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project_4
October 26th, 2014, 20:57
Any advice to offer for someone who is currently working in Japan with an ALT dispatch company and who is applying to JET from Japan? Been working since April, the company is awful, but the schools and kids are great. Was waitlisted the first time with JET, last year, but never upgraded; went on to apply to other companies to make it here anyway.

The current company (like many companies or workplaces in Japan) won't write a letter of reference, so the references will be a bit dated (talking about work done earlier in 2014 or 2013), but from back home.

Anyone else gone this route and successfully made it on JET?

sharpinthefang
October 26th, 2014, 22:55
You have to go to the country where you are from to go for the physical interview, otherwise the rest of the application is the same.

miamicoordinator
October 26th, 2014, 22:56
Any advice to offer for someone who is currently working in Japan with an ALT dispatch company and who is applying to JET from Japan? Been working since April, the company is awful, but the schools and kids are great. Was waitlisted the first time with JET, last year, but never upgraded; went on to apply to other companies to make it here anyway.

The current company (like many companies or workplaces in Japan) won't write a letter of reference, so the references will be a bit dated (talking about work done earlier in 2014 or 2013), but from back home.

Anyone else gone this route and successfully made it on JET?

There are jets who successfully apply from japan each year. Some apply in guam, others go back and see their friends and family in the states(if you are a u.s. citizen). If you are another nationality, you go back to your home country for the interview. No way around it.

If there is no one who will write you a rec letter from japan, then you really have no choice than to ask people from back home. Rec letters are very important, so choose wisely.

mothy
October 27th, 2014, 08:23
Any advice to offer for someone who is currently working in Japan with an ALT dispatch company and who is applying to JET from Japan? Been working since April, the company is awful, but the schools and kids are great. Was waitlisted the first time with JET, last year, but never upgraded; went on to apply to other companies to make it here anyway.

The current company (like many companies or workplaces in Japan) won't write a letter of reference, so the references will be a bit dated (talking about work done earlier in 2014 or 2013), but from back home.

Anyone else gone this route and successfully made it on JET?

Are you American? If so you can go through Guam. I know someone who was successful doing it that way.


Didn't we have this conversation three days ago?

mothy
October 27th, 2014, 08:26
Are you American? If so you can go through Guam. I know someone who was successful doing it that way.


Didn't we have this conversation three days ago?

Jeez you old fart, it was two weeks ago, not three days!
http://www.ithinkimlost.com/aspiring-applying/19812-interview-locations-those-living-abroad.html

Zolrak 22
October 27th, 2014, 10:02
Didn't we have this conversation three days ago?

It sure feels like it.


But to reiterate, Guam is the best choice for USA. Cheapest and you can get there a day earlier and make sure you know the area (so you won't be late to interview) .

project_4
October 27th, 2014, 16:52
Sorry, I should have been more clear... no, I'm not American. I'm aware that the interview must be done in person, in the country of nationality. I meant to ask about:

-Tips for the SOP
Given that there will have been already 6-8 months of work as an ALT in Japan, how could that be effectively presented? I've read so many things about how JET is not just an ALT job, that it's about getting involved with the community, grassroots internationalization, etc. In that respect, interviewing for JET isn't just about job performance but about personality. I want to effectively present my current work as an ALT, but without seeming like I'm just out for a better paying ALT job in Japan. I really do want to get involved with the community -- since arriving, I have been categorically refused from attending any of my school's events (happyoukais, enkais, bunkasais, etc.). Is there a way of mentioning this without seeming like I'm trashtalking my company? Should I even mention it at all?

-Tips for the interview
Any tips from people who have been working in Japan already and have interviewed for JET? What are the questions like? How do you handle the jetlag?

-Reference letters
I'm aware of how important the reference letters are. My current company in Japan won't write any, of course. My most recent employment back in Canada can write me one, and the other place I worked at can write me one but it's from over five years ago. Even this work reference letter from over five years ago will probably be better than what my former Japanese professor could write -- I had already asked her the first time I applied for JET two years ago and it had been two or three years since I'd been in her class then, so now it'll be nearly four or five years anyway. Will this hurt my chances of scoring an interview, since I can't provide a more recent reference form Japan?

greyjoy
October 27th, 2014, 17:10
You can just say something to the effect of "I think JET will afford me more opportunities to integrate with the local festivities, so that I can encourage cultural exchange" or some hooey. You don't have to bring up the fact that your current company (inexplicably) disallows this, just emphasize that you want to experience local culture and share your own, and you think JET is a great way to do that.

I'm inclined to say that the length of time since you've worked with a person shouldn't affect the quality of the recommendation, or at the very least has a negligible effect within your past three jobs or so. I don't know the standards for sure though, so maybe Miami can answer that better. You could always ask them to sidestep the "when", and focus on the "how long" instead. I think one of my recommendation letters was written that way.

Gizmotech
October 27th, 2014, 18:39
If you can't sell yourself as a teacher sell yourself as an international person of mystery who will talk to anyone.

Zolrak 22
October 27th, 2014, 20:25
an international person of mystery
?
http://youtu.be/mX5rHfmPyNU

More on topic, you could say JET will allow you to experience another side of Japan, the program itself is (supposedly) deeply connected to the community, so it's a good way to see it from that perspective.

You shouldn't bash your employer, it makes you look bad. You shouldn't say or imply negative thoughts in either your SoP or your interview.

Valkerion
October 28th, 2014, 00:04
Applying this year so don't take this advice as 100% reliable but, past employers are kind of like past girl/boyfriends. Don't bring them up specifically when talking to someone new that you are interested in. I'd mention the previous job/experience as a positive, like you said the kids and what not were great, the actual company being horrible what you would want to avoid saying.

vaterross
October 28th, 2014, 08:45
I'm in a somewhat similar situation as Project. I've been working the equivalent job in Korea for about 2 years and I've played up my teaching/working abroad experience. The tricky part has been figuring out how to not sound jaded or like some kind of EFL mercenary just looking for the next gig (Japan was actually my first choice for EFL). I've kept my references to my time in Korea fairly neutral so as not to turn into a comparisons game.

Does anyone have any specific advice about how to characterize my experience in Korea? Should I sell my time in JET as a continuation of what I've been doing with EPIK in Korea? Should I include concrete examples of things from Korea (teaching experiences, cultural experiences, culture shock)?

I'm interested in hearing from anyone who transitioned from another ALT/NET type EFL gig to JET and especially interested in hearing from anyone who came from Korea.

side note: I'll be interviewing in Guam as well. Luckily my vacation here overlaps with the interview dates.

Jiggit
October 28th, 2014, 08:58
Ham it up so long as you can manage to sound both enthusiastic and sane.

therealwindycity
October 28th, 2014, 21:04
Should I sell my time in JET as a continuation of what I've been doing with EPIK in Korea? Should I include concrete examples of things from Korea (teaching experiences, cultural experiences, culture shock)?


Yes. It will reassure interviewers you're not going to turn around and run back home at the first sign of culture shock, and having experience team teaching will make acclimating to the job easier.

borilocks
October 31st, 2014, 12:01
Looks like we are in the same boat here! I'm applying but have been living in Japan and teaching English since 2011. I really like the English school I currently work with but I need more hours and the reliability of a salaried job with vacay time, sick leave, insurance, etc. I haven't even told my job that I am applying for JET yet because I am not sure if they will try to sabotage my efforts since native English speakers are in short supply in my neck of the woods. My latest problem is that I brought up the potential of going back to Canada in mid-February for a visit (for the interview, if I get one) and they are pretty much telling me that it is impossible for me to take any time off in February, being so close to the end of the school year. I am in the process of begging, bowing, and pleading my way into a week off but still trying to avoid saying it's for a potential job interview...

borilocks
November 3rd, 2014, 17:06
Here's another little glitch I ran into: The application instruction states that all photocopies must be on 8 1/2" by 11" paper. I asked around, but can't find anything other that A4. Will they even notice that my paper size is off? Probably. Will they care? Hopefully not.

word
November 4th, 2014, 09:12
I can't imagine that would cause much of a problem; I wouldn't stress about it.

borilocks
November 4th, 2014, 09:31
Welcome to my personal hell

4582

johnny
November 4th, 2014, 10:01
I'm in a somewhat similar situation as Project. I've been working the equivalent job in Korea for about 2 years and I've played up my teaching/working abroad experience. The tricky part has been figuring out how to not sound jaded or like some kind of EFL mercenary just looking for the next gig (Japan was actually my first choice for EFL). I've kept my references to my time in Korea fairly neutral so as not to turn into a comparisons game.

Does anyone have any specific advice about how to characterize my experience in Korea? Should I sell my time in JET as a continuation of what I've been doing with EPIK in Korea? Should I include concrete examples of things from Korea (teaching experiences, cultural experiences, culture shock)?

I'm interested in hearing from anyone who transitioned from another ALT/NET type EFL gig to JET and especially interested in hearing from anyone who came from Korea.

side note: I'll be interviewing in Guam as well. Luckily my vacation here overlaps with the interview dates.

I taught in Korea prior to coming to Japan and I definitely talked about it a lot. It shows that you have previous classroom experience and like Windy said, it shows that you can deal with a different culture.

I talked about what my responsibilities were in my school in Korea, I talked about how much I enjoyed the country, and I talked about how much I enjoyed learning about Korean culture.

On a personal note, I can say that after a year in Korea, I didn't really experience any real culture shock after coming to Japan.

You become accustomed to things being different.

uthinkimlost?
November 4th, 2014, 10:02
If you're that worried, trim larger paper to 8.5x11.

greyjoy
November 4th, 2014, 19:03
A4 paper is basically non-existent in America. Letter is the standard, and so letter is what they ask for. They just don't want people sending in paper of all differing sizes, or printing out their 50,000 word SOP on two pages of poster board.

Print everything in A4, and nobody will even take the time to notice.