PDA

View Full Version : JET advice needed



sharpinthefang
April 23rd, 2014, 18:50
Hi all, i need a bit of advice here.
Heres the sit:

I am currently an alternate for JET, and my referees have been contacted for Interac (so im going to take that as a yes). Thinking positive and that im going to be upgraded for JET leaves me in a dilemma.

My OH (of 5 years) is doing a round the world climbing tour, starting in Aug and finishing in March. He was offered a job in a geological engineering field (which his degree is in) but turned it down to do the tour, and the manager of the company said he would keep my OH in mind for next year but no promises. The long term plan for the pair of us is to emigrate out of the UK. We are used to living apart (our uni's are 200 miles apart) so that not the issue.

JET contract ends in March, if i go home when he finishes, there is every chance that we could both be out of a job. But the pay and reputation are better.

Interac ends when i want it to (to some extent), so come March i could sign up for longer. If he finds a job, i would move back with him to the UK, or if he doesnt, he will join me in Japan and we can look for jobs in Japan/HK/AUS/NZ that much easier. Downside of Interac, less pay (by about £2k) and worse reputation.

What would you guys do? And if i have got any information wrong please let me know!

Ini
April 23rd, 2014, 19:27
Jet contract is August to July isn't it?

jacklostinred
April 23rd, 2014, 21:36
Jet Contracts are exactly 12 months. If your contract starts on August 4th it will end on August 4th.

Regarding which to go through consider some of the other options. Interac gives you days off at reduced pay when there are no classes whereas with JET you generally need to use vacation days. The wage is lower with interac and you also only work 29.5 hours allowing Interac to avoid paying their half of your government benefits (health care/pension). As an alternate there isn't a guarantee that you will even get upgraded. Have you looked into when Interac would be sending you, will it be this summer/fall or next spring? This is stuff you can and should look into before making a decision.

sharpinthefang
April 23rd, 2014, 21:46
Jet Contracts are exactly 12 months. If your contract starts on August 4th it will end on August 4th.

Regarding which to go through consider some of the other options. Interac gives you days off at reduced pay when there are no classes whereas with JET you generally need to use vacation days. The wage is lower with interac and you also only work 29.5 hours allowing Interac to avoid paying their half of your government benefits (health care/pension). As an alternate there isn't a guarantee that you will even get upgraded. Have you looked into when Interac would be sending you, will it be this summer/fall or next spring? This is stuff you can and should look into before making a decision.

Do you know how many hours a week JET's work then? And with Interac, i would be in the August intake. Interac allows me to work a side job, whereas JET don't like you doing that so much. How much extra government benefits would i have to pay with interac?

Ini
April 23rd, 2014, 22:00
You don't have to pay anything extra with interac if you don't want to, of course you won't have health care so be careful!
the hours are irrelevant. Your school will expect you to be at work from 8:30-4 everyday, it's just with interac you will get some "breaks" when you are technically not getting paid so it works out at 29.5 hours a week.

jacklostinred
April 23rd, 2014, 22:19
Thanks for clearing that up Ini.

Ini is also correct about the hours being irrelevant but for the sake of hours a Jet's contract says 35 hours a week and their employer pays for half of the healthcare. Jet's can't work side jobs unless they are approved, there are exceptions where people inherit an Eikiawa gig and get paid from that but don't expect it.

mrcharisma
April 24th, 2014, 08:46
Assuming you're an alternate who hasn't yet been upgraded, if you get into Jet I'm almost 100% certain your contract won't be ending in March next year. It will be July.

sharpinthefang
April 24th, 2014, 08:53
Assuming you're an alternate who hasn't yet been upgraded, if you get into Jet I'm almost 100% certain your contract won't be ending in March next year. It will be July.
Thank you for confirming the date (you as well Ini), i have not been able to find that out anywhere, not even when i rang the JET UK desk.

Ini
April 24th, 2014, 09:16
Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme UK - Pay and Conditions (http://www.jet-uk.org/aboutjet/pay.php)

yingyangryder
April 24th, 2014, 09:32
Thank you for confirming the date (you as well Ini), i have not been able to find that out anywhere, not even when i rang the JET UK desk.

Seriously? I thought it was common knowledge that the contract starts and ends in August... Well, on paper it ends in August, some people take paid vacation and leave earlier. With regards to hours, it depends on what level you teach. I am contracted 8 - 4, however I arrive at about 7:40 and don`t leave until 5 or 6pm.

sharpinthefang
April 24th, 2014, 10:09
Seriously? I thought it was common knowledge that the contract starts and ends in August... Well, on paper it ends in August, some people take paid vacation and leave earlier. With regards to hours, it depends on what level you teach. I am contracted 8 - 4, however I arrive at about 7:40 and don`t leave until 5 or 6pm.
Ok, thank you.

Another note, is TEFL worth it? I was thinking of applying through this company Accreditation
(http://www.uk-tefl.com/accreditation) and doing both the standard and advanced classes in the classroom setting.

yingyangryder
April 24th, 2014, 11:29
I`ve never done a TEFL so idk if it`s worth it but if you get upgraded and come to Japan with JET then you can get a discount on a TEFL I think.

Page
April 24th, 2014, 12:49
I don't think it's worth it to do it in hopes of getting a job but if you get upgraded on JET you can get a voucher (I think it's like $100 something? $120?) to cover part of your costs. The sense I've gotten (I took one because I got the grant but I already have an academic background in teaching) is that it's a good intro to ideas but the online courses (except for the Cambridge one) are a joke in the professional world. Good to have on your resume if you're planning to hop around on programs like Interac/Heart/JET/what-have-you but not worth the money for a maybe, imo.

greyjoy
April 25th, 2014, 17:33
There was one on Groupon a while back that I think I paid $60 for or something like that for a 120 hour online course. The course was normally like $700, which would be a complete waste. I don't think it was too bad of a deal for what I paid, and it might have made the difference in me getting an interview this year. If you get upgraded, though, I wouldn't bother. Everything I've read about the online courses agrees with Page, and even the classroom training offered by that company look like they'll be about equivalent to the Tokyo Orientation if you get in anyway.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
April 25th, 2014, 18:34
I did a Cambridge month-long intensive (most probably because I lived right next to the centre) and it was... good. It was pretty good. In fact, it was great. It looks nice on a CV, especially if you have some other incidental experience to back it up, and I was taught some pretty interesting things over the course of it, and still keep in contact with some of the other teachers I met on it... plus I was then hired by the language school I took the course at and they provided me with a year and half of pretty solid work, information on the best ways to get local private students and a whole host of other monetary/info-based benefits.

BUT

having worked my way up the company ladder (it was a pretty small company) to the level where I wasn't shooed out of the room at meetings between the owner and the local managers, I managed to glean that because of TEFL courses suddenly becoming a 'cool' thing to do for a recent graduate a number of years ago they now (for my old company at least) barely registered as an impetus for hiring. They were much more interested in actual experience rather than :meta-experience:, and would happily fund people they thought would be great teachers to do such courses in order for them to get the qualifications needed to move up the ladder. If you're going to take the time to take a course, do one that will actually teach you something useful rather than present you with a bit of paper saying 'this guy dun can teach' and then be proactive about building on that experience.

That was a bit more serious than my usual posts and, of course, this is barely relevant to JET... but it should be food for thought. JET doesn't last forever.

Kdes23
April 28th, 2014, 09:25
Wait until the deadline for acceptance forms. If you haven't been upgraded by then, go down the interac route.

Don't give into all the hate and stories that people get with interac. It's largely because they don't baby people like JET does. If you're independent, you do well on your own, you can deal with unexpected situations, you'll be fine.

Gizmotech
April 28th, 2014, 19:21
Wait until the deadline for acceptance forms. If you haven't been upgraded by then, go down the interac route.

Don't give into all the hate and stories that people get with interac. It's largely because they don't baby people like JET does. If you're independent, you do well on your own, you can deal with unexpected situations, you'll be fine.

Word. I've met some VERY happy people on interac during my travels in Japan. I'm actually VERY jealous of their transfer system which I would've gladly taken advantage of ages ago if I worked for them. Many of the "lifers" I've met in Japan have been on interac because seniority matters a bit in that company (unlike jet)

sharpinthefang
April 28th, 2014, 19:32
Thanks for the advice everyone. The poll shows 6 to JET and 2 to Interac. I think i'm going to go with whoever phones me first! I looked at the money side of things, and although Interac pay less and you pay for your flights, the other things about health care and location and longevity make up for it.

Reputation? I have worked for some of the worst companies in the UK, but have always found good people on the local scale.

SticksPrime
April 28th, 2014, 20:30
I looked at the money side of things, and although Interac pay less and you pay for your flights, the other things about health care and location and longevity make up for it.

I was declined at the last stage for JET, then applied for Interac two days later. Just tonight I sent my acceptance to their Offer of Employment for starting in late June/early July. In regards to pay, Interac does pay less on the minimum guaranteed salary but you are also "working" less hours per week. Does anybody know their higher-end of the salary? In regards to the flight, Interac pays "all Interac-related travel costs will be reimbursed". I have confirmed through e-mail that this includes airfare.
As for my two cents, do what suits your situation. If the deadline comes and still no word from JET, then go with Interac if it's still something you want to pursue

Corvus
May 1st, 2014, 07:00
Interac does pay less on the minimum guaranteed salary but you are also "working" less hours per week. Does anybody know their higher-end of the salary? In regards to the flight, Interac pays "all Interac-related travel costs will be reimbursed". I have confirmed through e-mail that this includes airfare.


Really? Unless something has changed, they've never paid for airfare.
Rising Daikon: JET vs Interac: An Objective Comparison (http://risingdaikon.blogspot.com/2012/02/jet-vs-interac-objective-comparison.html)

For what its worth, the claims on that link about BOEs being overly controlling seem to be contradicted by several testimonials here.

Edit: An interesting thing I read on the collaborative review's page is that third year+ renewals are supposed to be significantly more difficult on JET; curious to hear testimonials about this.

Statistically speaking, there is a big drop in ALTs after the 2nd year, but that could just as easily be due to the expat tax breaks.

Gizmotech
May 1st, 2014, 08:47
Fourth year is... Not that difficult? If you are good at your job as a teacher.

johnny
May 1st, 2014, 09:33
Most municipal ALTs in my prefecture say that they are usually offered another year. The people that seem to have a harder time are prefectural ALT's looking to transfer into the municipal system because they have a three year limit.

Jiggit
May 1st, 2014, 09:53
In our prefecture it's the municipal ALTs who can't stay more than 3 years often and they have to transfer to prefectural. Does one of us have their terms confused?

Antonath
May 1st, 2014, 10:50
In our prefecture it's the municipal ALTs who can't stay more than 3 years often and they have to transfer to prefectural. Does one of us have their terms confused?
Probably not. Each BoE, prefectural or municipal, is a rule unto themselves. Where I am, both can stay up to five years.

johnny
May 1st, 2014, 10:53
In our prefecture it's the municipal ALTs who can't stay more than 3 years often and they have to transfer to prefectural. Does one of us have their terms confused?

I am positive. Two prefectural ALT's are transferring to BOE's because of the limit. One girl is moving to Hiroshima because of the limit too.

Page
May 1st, 2014, 10:55
Yeah, there are no streamlined rules so it depends on each BOE how long ALTs stay, where they get their ALTs, etc..

It's not really hard to go to 5 years if you want to stay (unless you get someone who just likes rotating ALTs in an out). It was a little difficult for me but that was a special situation (my city was 3 years only until I came, lots of back and forth between the prefectural office and my city BOE before I got the OK). I was honestly worried that I'd be kicked out in favor of new ALTs with lower salary that don't require their taxes be paid for them but I guess convenience won out (and the fact that paying the cost of our flights, keio plaza stay, and other thing probably ends up evening out the costs).

Corvus
May 1st, 2014, 12:16
Most municipal ALTs in my prefecture say that they are usually offered another year. The people that seem to have a harder time are prefectural ALT's looking to transfer into the municipal system because they have a three year limit.

Interesting. What is the difference between the two? So, all things being equal, there are just some placements who don't want their ALTs to do a full 5 years? I think it'd make more sense to be up front about it...do they really make some people write...essays? I suppose it's not so bad if the ALT wants to stay and can be transferred somewhere else.

johnny
May 1st, 2014, 12:26
Interesting. What is the difference between the two? So, all things being equal, there are just some placements who don't want their ALTs to do a full 5 years? I think it'd make more sense to be up front about it...do they really make some people write...essays? I suppose it's not so bad if the ALT wants to stay and can be transferred somewhere else.

Prefectural ALTs work for the prefecture and teach in senior high schools. Municipal alts work for city BOEs and teach primarily at junior high schools.

In my Prefecture, prefectural ALTs have a hard cap of three years, but can transfer. The application criteria seem completely based on work reviews.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Gizmotech
May 1st, 2014, 12:47
I heard places like Kobe and Sendai are a lot more strict in their 4/5 year alts than many places.

Like page said, the cost of replacing the alt is a concern for a boe, and if they can defer that cost some will actually do it rather than replace the useless alt.