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Saxman
March 24th, 2015, 01:39
Hello everyone!

I found this site about 3 months ago after deciding to apply for the JET program for the 2016-2017 school year and have been lurking on it occasionally since then. I'm wanting to bolster my application before the application period starts in the fall. I know it's early, but I'm hoping people can point me in the right direction. Right now I'm a Japanese tutor as well as the founder and president of my school's Japanese Club. I just formed this club this semester, so we don't have many activities under our belt. My GPA is lower than I wanted due to unforeseen circumstances and is now standing at a 3.0.

What advice can you give to me and any potential JET applicant in this next application season? Also is my low GPA going to negatively impact my application?

Thanks for your time! :)

ambrosse
March 24th, 2015, 08:41
Welcome!
Most folks on here say that your GPA doesn't matter much.
A 3.0 is not bad at all so don't worry too much about it.

It's great that you're starting to work on the application early. I started at the last second and was scrambling to get everything together.

Things to do:
-Think about who you'd like to write your letters of rec.
-Write a list of anything involving student or community organizations/clubs, volunteer work, work with children, teaching, tutoring, study abroad, etc.
-Write a list of any international cultural experiences you've had (cultural festivals you've participated in, roomed with someone from another country, etc.).
-Know Why JET, Why Japan, and Why You
-Start writing your Statement of Purpose. Have family and friends read it and then have someone unbiased read it (such as a writing tutor or the likes). Focus on what you can do for JET rather than what JET can do for you.
-Have some long-term goals or think about how JET can help you in future endeavors.

There are so many other things! I recommend paging through the aspiring forum. There are quite a few very informative threads and such that can give you more details.
As a general warning for ITIL, some people here are very blunt and can seem rude; however, many of them of them have great advice, you just have to sift through all the sass ;)

taysukidesu
March 24th, 2015, 08:50
I really don't think your GPA will be a problem unless it's like, a 2.0 or something. My grades were really bad when I went abroad and weren't good the semester afterwards thanks to family/personal problems, and they didn't ask me anything during my interview. Though, I did end up graduating with a 3.5, so... *shrug* Probably not the best example.

See if you can get a position working as a TA for a Japanese class or for foreign exchange students. Experience working with ESL/EFL students or children is something I feel gives you a good edge, as well as job experience organizing events/providing guest information. While it might not "fit" with what JET is "supposed to be", it lets them know that you can deal with stressful situations and can maintain composure in the face of upset individuals.

Also, it doesn't hurt to continue after the application is submitted. My interviewers seemed really keen on me after I mentioned I was hired as a substitute teacher in January (in other words, not listed on my application) and at least a third of their questions were about that.

If it's something worth noticing, they will notice.

PRO-TIP: I really think that being able to synthesize your experiences and talk about how they will help you help others (READ: JAPANESE KIDS) in your essay is the most important part. The only person I know who got rejected for an interview was also the only person I know who didn't have anyone read his essay, despite the fact he has experiences fairly similar to my own and on all accounts should have gotten at least an interview.

simplesam
March 24th, 2015, 09:54
Bienvenido Saxman! Which country are you applying from? Depending on the region, some of us may have some specialized insight and advice.

Ini
March 24th, 2015, 12:24
Hello everyone!

I found this site about 3 months ago after deciding to apply for the JET program for the 2016-2017 school year and have been lurking on it occasionally since then.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oLazoHUu0yc/Tpi6il5Z8OI/AAAAAAAAABs/tiaChtjXe2M/s1600/here_comes_a_new_challenger.png

MikeCarter
March 24th, 2015, 15:35
Do something with kids.

Have some additional hobbies you can mention that aren't about Japan.

johnny
March 24th, 2015, 15:38
Write an amazing SOP. My best advice is to make the SOP enthusiastic, clear and concise. The person reading your SOP will be reading hundreds of them, so save him some grief and get to the fucking point. It will pay off.

Also, follow the directions closely. I think that a good number of the people who don't move onto the interview stage fail because they didn't follow the directions properly.

Also, as much as the people evaluating your application probably love the idea of you growing as a person, etc. on JET, this is first and foremost a job application. Talk about how your strengths and knowledge might benefit your future contracting organization.

I talked more about how much I love teaching than I talked about how much I love Japan.

haitch40
March 24th, 2015, 16:10
Welcome.

Same as me. I intend to apply for next year. I am going to write a personal statement (you call it a statement of purpose) over the summer break. The advice from my friends who applied and got in last year is it is a lot easier if you do everything in advance if you can.

Send some messages to the old timers here if you want someone to check over your SOP.

From my time here I have got 2 feelings.

1. Talk about what you can do for them. It is a paid job after all.
2. State an interest in Japan but don't go overboard. The real Japan is different to what the media say so appear flexible.

Saxman
March 24th, 2015, 22:45
Thanks Ambrosse, Tsaysukidesu, Johnny, and Haitch40! :)

Ambrosse, I'm not too worried about the bluntness of people. Tbh, I'd prefer it. I'm pretty thick skinned. I want to know the good, bad, and ugly of the JET program before I fully commit to it.

Anyway, it looks like the most important thing I need to worry about is the SOP.

I actually have quite a bit of experience living in Japan for a few weeks/months at a time (half-japanese) so I think, or at least I hope, that they'll assume I know the difference between Japanese culture as compared to American culture. As Johnny said, I did see that a lot of people were rejected because of mistakes made on their application. I haven't gotten a chance to look over the application yet. Is it that easy to make a mistake, or is it something harder? Like I saw that people were having words cut off their applications or other forms when they printed it off with the standard that Tokyo requested. Is that kind of thing counted against you?

Simplesam, I live in the US. :)

Also Ini... lol. For some reason I felt like I was a kid again and playing my new Pokemon yellow game.

My University doesn't off a Japanese major or minor (Major bummer... get it? get it? lol) Anyway because of that, I doubt I could get a TA position with my professor. Do you think there's anything else I can do to increase my odds like greasing some hands (jkjk)

Saxman
March 24th, 2015, 22:47
Oh, one more thing. This is way, way off, but I've also read that you should be genki in your interview? I'm a pretty professional person when it comes to interviews and don't really joke around with my interviewers. Is that something I should worry about or work on?

ambrosse
March 24th, 2015, 23:37
Oh, one more thing. This is way, way off, but I've also read that you should be genki in your interview? I'm a pretty professional person when it comes to interviews and don't really joke around with my interviewers. Is that something I should worry about or work on?

Being genki doesn't mean you have to act like a clown. Smiling and being responsive and just having a pulse is good enough. Don't joke around with your interviewers unless they seem open to it or joke with you.

Gunjumero
March 24th, 2015, 23:44
One advice I thought made a lot of sense came from a coordinator here, Miami I believe, was to ask you a question along the lines of : '' Do I see this person in front of a class of children ? ''

If you're asked to do a mock lesson, can you act, can you pretend like your interviewers (at their request) are children ?
Can you do an improvisation on the spot and be comfortable with it.

Do you speak clearly and loud enough, or am I having trouble hearing you.
And so on..


That reassured me a lot beyond what answers I gave because I'm sure they can say at least I smiled, was enthusiastic, could do the mock lesson, had answers when they asked me questions and didn't freeze and ''hmm'' my way until the next one.

Could my answers been better ? Certainly but I feel like I achieved the original question I advanced.

weepinbell
March 24th, 2015, 23:56
Oh, one more thing. This is way, way off, but I've also read that you should be genki in your interview? I'm a pretty professional person when it comes to interviews and don't really joke around with my interviewers. Is that something I should worry about or work on?

I second gunjumero on this, because your job will be to engage students/the community. So yeah they probably want someone 'genki' enough to fullfil that job, but like ambrosse said, it doesn't necessarily mean going over the top.

Honestly, just be yourself - I know that's super cliched advice, but they don't want a robot and they also don't want a slob. Like a happy medium of professionalism and *your* personality. I've heard stories from people on here getting hired by memorizing and rehearsing answers to a tee, and also going in with little prep and nailing it with their charisma. So obviously they hire a really diverse mix of personalities, so really... all you can do is go in there and stay true to yourself/your ambitions, etc. I think the main things are knowing why you want to go to Japan and what you'll do for the program and being really confident about that.

But what do I know, I don't even know if I'm in or not yet. :p

haitch40
March 25th, 2015, 00:07
Thanks Ambrosse, Tsaysukidesu, Johnny, and Haitch40! :)

Ambrosse, I'm not too worried about the bluntness of people. Tbh, I'd prefer it. I'm pretty thick skinned. I want to know the good, bad, and ugly of the JET program before I fully commit to it.

Anyway, it looks like the most important thing I need to worry about is the SOP.

I actually have quite a bit of experience living in Japan for a few weeks/months at a time (half-japanese) so I think, or at least I hope, that they'll assume I know the difference between Japanese culture as compared to American culture. As Johnny said, I did see that a lot of people were rejected because of mistakes made on their application. I haven't gotten a chance to look over the application yet. Is it that easy to make a mistake, or is it something harder? Like I saw that people were having words cut off their applications or other forms when they printed it off with the standard that Tokyo requested. Is that kind of thing counted against you?

Simplesam, I live in the US. :)

Also Ini... lol. For some reason I felt like I was a kid again and playing my new Pokemon yellow game.

My University doesn't off a Japanese major or minor (Major bummer... get it? get it? lol) Anyway because of that, I doubt I could get a TA position with my professor. Do you think there's anything else I can do to increase my odds like greasing some hands (jkjk)
For things to do. Think of experiences you could put down (even in casual settings) and maybe get some over the summer. Volunteer with local poor children etc. For me for example I have done 2 years of learning Japanese (and failing miserably :( ), helped Japanese exchange students with their English (in a casual setting. Also sets you out as an adaptable person being willing to talk the the foreign students as if they are friends. Well actually they are my friends.) and I plan on volunteering in schools next year.

Saxman
March 25th, 2015, 01:02
Cool, cool. Alright, I'll just be myself then and let them decide whether I'm right for the job or not. :)
I was thinking about working with children this summer, but I also want an internship in my major. I've already had quite a bit of experience working with children at camps and such so I think I'm okay there.

Also good luck weepinbell!

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
March 25th, 2015, 01:17
Two of the main sections on the application are Teaching and Japanese. If you're looking to bolster your application, I strongly *hint hint* recommend you:

Study Japanese at your university. (Unfortunately the JLPT is only offered after the application closes, so unless you've already passed the JLPT, it won't help you now.)

Sign up for a TEFL course and become certified.

Being a school teaching job the best possible experience you can have would be teaching in a classroom. Try to do that somehow. Tutor, assist in class, etc. The more experience you have as an actual teacher, the better.

Take on leadership roles in your club and community activities. We want people who are driven and will motivate students. Receive awards and accolades for your excellence.

Saxman
March 25th, 2015, 02:41
SF, I know I at least have the club and community activities part down as the President of my club which is planning on doing a lot of volunteering in the Japanese community. Unfortunately I don't have a JLPT nor could I get one above JLPT 3 unfortunately. It looks like perhaps I need more teaching experience. So I think I'll look into helping teach over the summer some Japanese if I can. Currently I'm only tutoring Japanese at the college level.

Is the TEFL certification actually worth it? I'm not planning on teaching anytime after JET. I'm interested in teaching but only for a few years. The JET program coincides with that desire to teach, as well as my need to develop connections in the Japanese market to facilitate my desire to work in a Japanese-American Company.

Thanks for all the advice guys! :)

MikeCarter
March 25th, 2015, 03:18
Oh, one more thing. This is way, way off, but I've also read that you should be genki in your interview? I'm a pretty professional person when it comes to interviews and don't really joke around with my interviewers. Is that something I should worry about or work on?

I'd recommend you be fun, but it all depends on your interviewers. I had two girls interview me - one was a pretty serious Japanese woman, and the other was a more friendly former JET. Both were fairly young. With them, I realized quickly I could make jokes and keep the interview light without them being upset.

If I was up against a panel of old Japanese men, I wouldn't have bothered trying to joke around.

Saxman
March 25th, 2015, 04:40
Haha yeah. Normally during interviews I try and gauge what kind of interviewer I have so I think I'd probably do the same thing as you. Thanks for the reminder though. If/When I get to that point, I'll be sure to think about it. :)

genkispirit
March 25th, 2015, 07:04
'' Do I see this person in front of a class of children ? ''


That's kind of subjective isn't it. A small quiet person could be terrible with kids. I'm 6'1 and 240 and I'm great with kids, however, they probably look at me like I'm a monster.

In terms of TEFL, most TEFL certifications you will most likely get are completely useless, save your money. I personally have a couple of $300 - $500 ones, and have a had a few interviews and none of my interviewees even mention it.

If you DO still want a TEFL Certificate:
The company Teach Away Inc. recently partnered with University of Toronto to provide an online TEFL course. If you want to take one I would suggest that one. The 120HR certification is probably your best bet. Be aware, however, that it costs $1,300. Because the course is offered by one of the top 20 Universities in the world, it's no joke.

In terms of what you should do to make yourself a better candidate:
Get involved in the local community. This involvement should be specifically with immigrants, this shows you have interest in working with foreign nationals. Travel somewhere (if you haven't already) the ability to show on ANY resume that you have some international experience is great. You have an entire year, does your school offer a transferable exchange? I did summer courses both in Japan and South Korea to bolster my resume going through university (I'm going on to get my M.A in International Relations). Volunteering with kids is paramount, If your community offers those opportunities take them. I once volunteered as a big teddy bear mascot for a kids festival, it sucked, but it was only a couple of hours and it looks great on a resume.

Gunjumero
March 25th, 2015, 07:30
That's kind of subjective isn't it. A small quiet person could be terrible with kids. I'm 6'1 and 240 and I'm great with kids, however, they probably look at me like I'm a monster.


I didn't mean physically.

Saxman
March 25th, 2015, 07:51
Oh yeah! Another question! What prefectures would you guys recommend? I've been looking at them, but right now I'm looking at Hyogo,Shizuoka, and Chiba Prefectures. Are there any prefectures you'd recommend that stand out in a good way? I'm wanting a suburban placement. I'm also wanting to save a little money while I'm there, but it's not a necessity.

Saxman
March 25th, 2015, 07:55
Thanks Genkispirit! :)

I don't know if my city has many volunteer events that involve children, but I'd assume they do. I hadn't really thought of the possibility of doing that on top of an internship this summer.
And okay. It looks like I'll have to think about the TEFL thing. Some are saying it's worth it and other say it's not. I'm leaning towards not right not just because I don't plan on teaching after the JET program.

genkispirit
March 25th, 2015, 08:01
Oh yeah! Another question! What prefectures would you guys recommend? I've been looking at them, but right now I'm looking at Hyogo,Shizuoka, and Chiba Prefectures. Are there any prefectures you'd recommend that stand out in a good way? I'm wanting a suburban placement. I'm also wanting to save a little money while I'm there, but it's not a necessity.

No matter where you are, even if it is the same place as someone else, your Japan is going to be different then their Japan. It's the same in your home country, everyone experiences life differently depending on their own hobbies, interests, and social environment. Also, it should be noted that Subruban areas in Japan are enormously different than suburban areas in the west. Suburban Conservatism in the West is a A LOT different than suburban conservatism in Japan. Saving money will depend entirely on you, and what living situation JET gives you. It varies wildly in terms of saving money, especially if you have any domestic debts that you have to pay, Student Loans, Credit Cards, etc.

You'll find that everyone will say ESID (Every Situation Is Different), nothing could be closer to the truth.

Saxman
March 25th, 2015, 08:26
I see. I knew it was kind of a tall order to ask for some prefectures lol.
I guess what I mean is based off generals in each prefecture, what prefectures, generally, offer more convenience or nicer people? Just personal experiences would be nice to kind of see what's going on in different parts of Japan. Especially because I haven't even considered the other main islands of Japan.

And luckily I've experienced a rural/suburban experience in Japan already. :) My gma lives there which gave me some much needed experience. I've also experienced the urban areas, and I like to visit them. However, I probably wouldn't enjoy living in an urban area based off what I've experienced. I'm a guy and not really interested in shopping or clubbing, but rather I just enjoy spending time with relaxed people. I feel that can be experienced in most living placements.

Saxman
March 25th, 2015, 08:29
Also, has anyone experienced concerts in Japan? More specifically classical or Jazz? As you might be able to tell from my username, I've enjoyed that kind of music since high school. Is it true Japanese concerts are kind of awkward?

Jiggit
March 25th, 2015, 08:30
Jazz is pretty popular in Japan (compared to other music I suppose). I wouldn't get your hopes up tbh. Lack of music culture is probably my least favorite thing about living here.

webstaa
March 25th, 2015, 08:33
Also, has anyone experienced concerts in Japan? More specifically classical or Jazz? As you might be able to tell from my username, I've enjoyed that kind of music since high school. Is it true Japanese concerts are kind of awkward?

There are a variety of classical and jazz festivals all over the country. Tokyo Jazz, Montreux Jazz, Jozenji Jazz festivals etc. Every major city probably has one a year, at least. The concerts I've been to haven't been any more awkward than concerts in the US.

Saxman
March 25th, 2015, 08:36
Ah, dang. That's rough. I'll just have to get myself a good pair of headphones and pretend then lol. That or I need to find a good speakeasy or something haha

Saxman
March 25th, 2015, 08:38
Awesome! Thanks webstaa. I'm glad to hear it! And I'm surprised about the awkwardness. I heard that often people just sway while looking at the band/singer like they're zombies. I would go to a concert like that just to see it once haha.

Ananasboat
March 25th, 2015, 09:22
I've actually been to two classical concerts here in Japan. They were both hosted by my elementary schools and featured the same four people. But still, I miss classical so it was nice.

MikeCarter
March 25th, 2015, 11:01
I see. I knew it was kind of a tall order to ask for some prefectures lol.
I guess what I mean is based off generals in each prefecture, what prefectures, generally, offer more convenience or nicer people? Just personal experiences would be nice to kind of see what's going on in different parts of Japan. Especially because I haven't even considered the other main islands of Japan.


I hear Saitama is just lovely.

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
March 26th, 2015, 01:28
Saxman - I can't speak to whether a not a TEFL certificate will actually help you be a better ALT on JET, nor I can say whether or not it would help you professionally in the future with some other pursuit. What I can say, however, is that a TEFL certificate WILL make you a stronger applicant in Tokyo's eyes.

As for jazz, there are quite a few jazz bars across Japan. My buddy (an ALT) met his wife because they both played at the same jazz bar. That was actually one of my favorite things to do when I'd go out to a new city!

Genkispirit - Arguably it's subjective, but all interviews are. We do our best to make sure that that subjectivity is balanced across all interview panels and consulates, though. At least when I create the interview panels it's very intentional who I put with who. But in general, if you come to your interview and you're very quiet, that will count against you. A teacher does not sit in the back of the classroom looking down at the ground. We're looking for people who are naturally outgoing and sociable, someone who can crowd control a class of 35 students 4-5 periods in a row. That's not to say that people with a more natural quiet disposition don't make good teachers, but if you want to maximize your performance in your interview, dazzle us. Also if you want to work with younger kids you need to show us you have the energy level for it. We'll get the occasional candidate who would like to work with young kids but who is too low-energy and will be eaten alive; those JETs usually fair better in a more academic high school setting. The more playful your spirit is the higher a chance you have of being recommended for elementary school level.

Saxman
March 26th, 2015, 03:37
SF - I see. :/ Decisions decisions. Thanks for the insight!
Awesome! I'm looking forward to checking out some of those jazz bars. Definitely one of the more relaxing things for me to do is go out with some friends and just listen to some good music while having a beer!

Ananasboat - I guess I can only hope that if I get there, my school will have concerts like that as well!

Mikecarter - Somehow I feel like that's a rolling joke here. But I don't think I'd mind Saitama. All parts of Japan have their good points from what I've experienced :)

Ini
March 26th, 2015, 09:28
you cant have experienced saitama then.

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
March 27th, 2015, 01:35
Saxman - Even to the Japanese, Saitama is the butt-end of a lot of jokes. Some people call it "Dasai-tama", or "lame Saitama". The best analogy I can think of is New Jersey. It's often compared to New York (Tokyo) and we all know that it's constantly teased as being a terrible place with unlikeable people where no one in their right mind actually wants to live. In actuality...well, I can't say because I haven't been there. I've met people that say that it's actually a really nice place to live and it doesn't deserve its bad rep, but then I've also met people who say there's justification for the bad rep it gets. Soooo for me the verdict is out on that one. But I'm sure that there are people who live there and love it, just like there are people who live in New York and hate it.

Saxman
March 27th, 2015, 06:27
Haha, I figured it was something along those lines. I'm not too worried about it. I would rather live a bit farther from Tokyo anyway. As awesome as it is, it's way more westernized than the rest of Japan. For me, it kind of defeats the purpose.

webstaa
March 27th, 2015, 08:41
Saitama's is a giant running joke. Doesn't help that it gets a lot of 'Florida Man' type bad headlines. Like 'Saitama man kicks blind girl in the back of the knee' etc...

Still probably safer than 90% of the US.

Virgil
March 27th, 2015, 08:48
There once was a man from Nantucket...

Saxman
March 27th, 2015, 23:48
Hearing everyone trash talk it kinda makes me want to try and apply for there now just to see if it lives up to its name haha. :)

Zolrak 22
March 28th, 2015, 05:34
Hearing everyone trash talk it kinda makes me want to try and apply for there now just to see if it lives up to its name haha. :)
Ohhh, Saitama.

She is our Gotham, our Detroit, our Sin City.

But we love her so.... ?

[emoji38]

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
March 28th, 2015, 06:17
Saitama's is a giant running joke. Doesn't help that it gets a lot of 'Florida Man' type bad headlines. Like 'Saitama man kicks blind girl in the back of the knee' etc...

Hahaha that's true, we do have that about Florida. We hear in the news "Florida man eats face off of pedestrian" and we think "Really? Again!?" ;)

PuddingHead
March 28th, 2015, 06:33
Hahaha that's true, we do have that about Florida. We hear in the news "Florida man eats face off of pedestrian" and we think "Really? Again!?" ;)

Just an average day here...

haitch40
March 28th, 2015, 17:50
Just an average day here...
Did you mention your tendency to do this in your application?

Zolrak 22
March 28th, 2015, 18:05
Just an average day here...
http://i.imgur.com/2FCTzJe.gif

Did you mention your tendency to do this in your application?
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m59t5lcC3I1r0gcd4.gif

starxrox
May 26th, 2015, 11:32
Good thread! I'll be applying this year too Saxman for 2016.

I'm finishing off my degree in high school education with a double major in English and History. I've started an intro to Japanese language course one night a week that I am terrible at.
I've found a few international students through LextTalk app and I help them proof read their assignments.
I've also volunteered at a local Japanese festival.

I'm not sure what else I can do? I'm worried because I'm 29 they won't want me?

Let's keep in touch though and we can help each other out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Virgil
May 26th, 2015, 11:51
Good thread! I'll be applying this year too Saxman for 2016.

I'm finishing off my degree in high school education with a double major in English and History. I've started an intro to Japanese language course one night a week that I am terrible at.
I've found a few international students through LextTalk app and I help them proof read their assignments.
I've also volunteered at a local Japanese festival.

I'm not sure what else I can do? I'm worried because I'm 29 they won't want me?

Let's keep in touch though and we can help each other out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

29 isn't a problem.
Get certified in your area and you're a shoo-in.

starxrox
May 26th, 2015, 11:53
Cheers Virgil.
It's always been my plan to go teach in Japan.
I lived in Europe for a couple of years before coming back to Australia to get my degree. I haven't done Asia yet!




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Lorenzo
May 26th, 2015, 12:22
Obviously your degree is in education, but maybe contact some local schools and ask them if you can observe lessons? I did that and I think it helped me out a lot - both in the sense that it was good to put on the app and that it helped me have a more relevant, rounded perspective when it came to teaching questions/issues.

starxrox
May 26th, 2015, 12:24
For sure Lorenzo,
I've done 3 different placements so far and I've got 2 more teaching pracs this year.
I might ask around though, especially if they have ESL students. Good call man!


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Lorenzo
May 26th, 2015, 12:40
Ah, you're probably alright then! I should've figured that an education degree would involve having placements. As you say, though, might still be worth asking around. The more experience the better, especially if you're being proactive about it.

starxrox
May 26th, 2015, 12:45
I'm just excited to get going! Haha. I can't wait.
I feel like I should get involved in some sports before I go. I know Japan is pretty big on extra curricular activities


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Virgil
May 26th, 2015, 12:45
I had a horribly rushed app, but still got an interview. I had a horrible interview and was still an alternate. If I didn't have my cert I would not have been upgraded.

Basically I'm actually completely incompetent (Or may have appeared that way), but I have a piece of paper.

starxrox
May 26th, 2015, 12:47
Hahaha Virgil! That's gold mate. I'm sure you did better than you thought, from what I've read, it's pretty competitive. They must have seen something in you.


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Virgil
May 26th, 2015, 12:49
Hahaha Virgil! That's gold mate. I'm sure you did better than you thought, from what I've read, it's pretty competitive. They must have seen something in you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yeah, I'm joking a bit - but my interview was seriously gross. When I think back to the questions they asked me and how I answered... jeez.
It apparently helps to be super enthused, and GENKI too. I was pretty even-keeled and matter-of-fact. I think that probably screwed me most. You know - the fact that I'm a calm and collected person.

EDIT: The last part is actually true. They made me send my certification to them.

starxrox
May 26th, 2015, 12:53
Yikes... I'm generally happy but I channel The Dude from Big Lebowski most days... I wonder if my sarcastic humour translates... Probably not [emoji19]




“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

Lorenzo
May 26th, 2015, 12:56
To add to Virgil's post, I did my SOP the night before/morning of the deadline (don't do that), I failed a Japanese class at University, and I thought my interview went badly, but I still got in. Essentially, even if you feel like you've screwed up, it might not be true. Although there's some particular things that are attractive - teaching experience, community involvement, interest in Japan, etc. - it's hard to define exactly what they want. I thought I didn't have a chance, so it was a welcome surprise when the letter came.

Virgil
May 26th, 2015, 12:58
Yeah, I have a strong suspicion that shiny pieces of paper matter a lot. Teaching cert, TEFL cert, and experience go a long way.

starxrox
May 26th, 2015, 12:59
Wow good to know. I will start putting things together in my uni holidays in 3 weeks... I'm notorious for leaving things to the last minute.
You guys are so quick to respond, it's awesome. Thank you both.

I wanted to start a thread but couldn't work out how on the iPhone about life after JET. What people do now etc.


“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

BambooTelegraph
May 26th, 2015, 13:00
Yeah, I have a strong suspicion that shiny pieces of paper matter a lot. Teaching cert, TEFL cert, and experience go a long way.

They do. It's one of the things the JET Program looks for in applicants...

starxrox
May 26th, 2015, 13:09
Good to know Bamboo Telegraph. Thanks. It makes me feel a little more confident about applying.
Im working on my Japanese but I'm still pretty terrible. I have most of the greetings, please and thank yous' down though.


“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

BifCarbet
May 26th, 2015, 13:11
Good to know Bamboo Telegraph. Thanks. It makes me feel a little more confident about applying.
Im working on my Japanese but I'm still pretty terrible. I have most of the greetings, please and thank yous' down though.


“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

Just stick with it. There are JETs who live in Japan for 3+ years and still can barely say anything. If you have an interest and show effort, that will help. You definitely don't need to be good at it.

Virgil
May 26th, 2015, 13:12
I knew basically nothing before arriving here. I just told them that I really wanted to pick up a second language, and that one of my personal goals was to learn Japanese while I am living there.

starxrox
May 26th, 2015, 13:15
Cheers Bif. I'll keep at it.

That's awesome Virgil. I've got a feeling from what I've been reading WANTING to learn probably appeals more to the panel than already knowing.

Did anyone tell them what they would do after? A few things I've read, people who got in said stuff like "when I come home, I'll do ........ to spread good will about Japan" and to definitely NOT say you intend to stay there after the contract finishes.


“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

Virgil
May 26th, 2015, 13:19
I didn't get asked anything like that. They just asked pretty mundane stuff like "What will bring to the table to represent your culture?" "You taught MUSIC, what qualifies you to teach at the lofty position of ALT?" etc

One of the dumbest questions I got was "You weren't in many clubs in college, why not?"

I answered really poorly to the effect of "I was really busy"
Which I was, because music majors get the shaft as far as free time goes.

starxrox
May 26th, 2015, 13:21
Hahahaha you're bloody funny.

Fair call mate. Just curious.


“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

CUPS
May 26th, 2015, 15:35
How totally bizarre to think that someone on this thread may be my successor next year. ;)

Virgil
May 26th, 2015, 15:36
How totally bizarre to think that someone on this thread may be my successor next year. ;)


I think there are much more bizarre coincidences in the universe. You know. Like existing.

Jiggit
May 26th, 2015, 15:41
Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all.

starxrox
May 26th, 2015, 15:51
Haha where are you located CUPS?

CUPS
May 26th, 2015, 16:15
One of the most inaka placements in the country (so I was told)... Enjoy! :lol:

starxrox
May 26th, 2015, 16:16
Haha in my preferences i was actually going to put Shimane or Totorri prefectures....

Ananasboat
May 26th, 2015, 17:40
Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all.

Woah.

http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/000/288/625/69c.png

Jiggit
May 26th, 2015, 17:51
I bet only Virgil was cool enough to get that.

starxrox
May 26th, 2015, 18:07
I realise I'm pretty new to this forum... But in your experience, would it be worth making a Facebook group for aspiring JETs of 2016?

naginataonthebrain
May 27th, 2015, 01:11
I realise I'm pretty new to this forum... But in your experience, would it be worth making a Facebook group for aspiring JETs of 2016?

It's worth it but right now it's way too early to even start thinking about the 2016 application process. If no one has created one by September, go for the gold and make one yourself.

singinglupines
May 27th, 2015, 02:47
Did anyone tell them what they would do after? A few things I've read, people who got in said stuff like "when I come home, I'll do ........ to spread good will about Japan" and to definitely NOT say you intend to stay there after the contract finishes.

They asked me how I would share my experiences in Japan after I returned. They wanted to know I would stay connected in the Japanese community or share the culture or something. I luckily knew of a Japanese Saturday school in my area so I used that.

x_stei
May 27th, 2015, 03:13
Two questions from my interview:

1. "How would you be an ambassador for Canada in Japan and for Japan in Canada after you come back?"
I couldn't answer this well... I said something along the lines of, "I love Japan, I have heard about it for a long time." <- excellent example of putting my foot in my mouth in the most inopportune time lol.

2. "How do you plan to incorporate your experiences in Japan into your career in Canada after you leave?"
I made a connection between my professional design career and Japanese aesthetics. I started to talk about a school project of mine that was heavily influenced by wabi-sabi but I got sidetracked lol.

haitch40
May 27th, 2015, 03:23
You all just reminded me I need to write my personal statement. I think I will do the first draft tomorrow.

x_stei
May 27th, 2015, 03:29
You all just reminded me I need to write my personal statement. I think I will do the first draft tomorrow.
I'd like to offer up my services as a proofreader and general advice-giver for SOP's.

Frap
May 27th, 2015, 03:45
You all just reminded me I need to write my personal statement. I think I will do the first draft tomorrow.

Wait, you're not in Japan yet? Well colour me confused.


I bet only Virgil was cool enough to get that.

That was a nice song.

haitch40
May 27th, 2015, 03:54
Wait, you're not in Japan yet? Well colour me confused.
Nope. I am applying this year. I am still in blighty.

I haven't even finished my degree yet.

I think I know how to portray myself as a good candidate. My issue is experience. I haven't got much except helping Japanese exchange students with their English on a Wednesday night at (unofficial) Japanese society. I think I have references nailed. 1 from a course leader who is hopefully also going to be my dissertation supervisor and 1 from the guy who taught me Japanese for 2 years (which I am awful at) as he is a native and I thought a reference from someone who is from Japan would be good.
Might try and volunteer in a few schools when back at uni again. With the latest budget cuts they may be willing to take volunteers.

BifCarbet
May 27th, 2015, 04:20
Yeah, Haitch. Keep us in the loop and we'll try to give you some input based on our experiences.

weepinbell
May 27th, 2015, 09:29
I think I know how to portray myself as a good candidate. My issue is experience. I haven't got much except helping Japanese exchange students with their English on a Wednesday night at (unofficial) Japanese society. I think I have references nailed. 1 from a course leader who is hopefully also going to be my dissertation supervisor and 1 from the guy who taught me Japanese for 2 years (which I am awful at) as he is a native and I thought a reference from someone who is from Japan would be good.
Might try and volunteer in a few schools when back at uni again. With the latest budget cuts they may be willing to take volunteers.

Dude I literally did NONE of that stuff... and it sounds like you already have more experience than a lot of successful candidates lol. The experience they were most interested in for me was my extremely non-Japan-related degree. Obviously the more experience the better, but mostly just do the first thing you said and you should be good.

starxrox
May 27th, 2015, 10:56
Two questions from my interview:

1. "How would you be an ambassador for Canada in Japan and for Japan in Canada after you come back?"
I couldn't answer this well... I said something along the lines of, "I love Japan, I have heard about it for a long time." <- excellent example of putting my foot in my mouth in the most inopportune time lol.

2. "How do you plan to incorporate your experiences in Japan into your career in Canada after you leave?"
I made a connection between my professional design career and Japanese aesthetics. I started to talk about a school project of mine that was heavily influenced by wabi-sabi but I got sidetracked lol.

Awesome. Thanks for that.
It's all pretty exiting.

Gizmotech
May 27th, 2015, 11:36
Nope. I am applying this year. I am still in blighty.

I haven't even finished my degree yet.

I think I know how to portray myself as a good candidate. My issue is experience. I haven't got much except helping Japanese exchange students with their English on a Wednesday night at (unofficial) Japanese society. I think I have references nailed. 1 from a course leader who is hopefully also going to be my dissertation supervisor


JUMP IN TIME.

What's a course leader? Is it a teacher who has instructed you and can speak to your abilities and character?



and 1 from the guy who taught me Japanese for 2 years (which I am awful at) as he is a native and I thought a reference from someone who is from Japan would be good.
Might try and volunteer in a few schools when back at uni again. With the latest budget cuts they may be willing to take volunteers.

Okay, me thinks you might not understand how reference letters work. You're thinking in American style thinking, where the "position" is more important than the "content". This is entirely the wrong way to think about the letter. The position isn't going to impress anyone, JET will bring anyone over, so the letter has to speak to your ability to actually a) teach b) interact and explain content to others c) understand/react multiple cultures.

How well you did learning Japanese matters very little. Dissertation supervisor might be okay, but it might not cut it if they don't have much to say about you.

haitch40
May 27th, 2015, 11:42
JUMP IN TIME.

What's a course leader? Is it a teacher who has instructed you and can speak to your abilities and character?


.
As in the guy who deals with the course admin? I have taken every module he teaches on so I think he can.

And you stuff about content. I trust both those people to know me well and write well of me.

I know fully that content matters.

Jiggit
May 27th, 2015, 11:44
As in the guy who runs the course admin?

The what?

Ananasboat
May 27th, 2015, 15:34
Okay, me thinks you might not understand how reference letters work. You're thinking in American style thinking, where the "position" is more important than the "content". This is entirely the wrong way to think about the letter. The position isn't going to impress anyone, JET will bring anyone over, so the letter has to speak to your ability to actually a) teach b) interact and explain content to others c) understand/react multiple cultures.

How well you did learning Japanese matters very little. Dissertation supervisor might be okay, but it might not cut it if they don't have much to say about you.

Eh, I've heard the opposite. One of the people I got a reference letter from was the head of the department and specialized in a certain ancient language. He has a lot of experience writing letters for people going on the JET program, and he said that as even if the content were the same, a letter from someone in his position would be better received than a letter from a boss or coworker. I mean, I got in, and I only had one class with him. So, yeah.

Frap
May 27th, 2015, 17:19
I asked one of my old lecturers, and a primary school teacher I'd supported for two terms to write mine.

x_stei
May 27th, 2015, 23:00
Mine were from a professor with whom I had a bunch of classes and my band director for whom I volunteered my time and skills as a percussionist.

Shincantsen
May 27th, 2015, 23:39
Eh, I've heard the opposite. One of the people I got a reference letter from was the head of the department and specialized in a certain ancient language. He has a lot of experience writing letters for people going on the JET program, and he said that as even if the content were the same, a letter from someone in his position would be better received than a letter from a boss or coworker. I mean, I got in, and I only had one class with him. So, yeah.

How would he, a reference writer, know what the JET program was looking for?

singinglupines
May 28th, 2015, 01:50
I did a mix. I got my club advisor from my uni that I was president of for three years (called association for cultural exchange) and my tefl program director.

weepinbell
May 28th, 2015, 02:53
I just did two professors I was close to in college... one I TA'd for, one was a former JET I took some Japanese classes with. I feel like rule of thumb for any reference letter is just to get it from people who are in a higher position than you who know you well?

Virgil
May 28th, 2015, 07:25
I just did two professors I was close to in college...

I see...

So I'm not trolling I'll add something. Make sure the person you choose can write well. This might seem "duh" but I think it's probably a bigger problem than people think.

Hopefully they won't write your letter on their phone.

naginataonthebrain
May 28th, 2015, 07:33
I see...

So I'm not trolling I'll add something. Make sure the person you choose can write well. This might seem "duh" but I think it's probably a bigger problem than people think.

Hopefully they won't write your letter on their phone.

THIS. The first time I applied, I had my Japanese professor and the boss at my internship write me reccs. I did it because I thought they knew me the best. But in hindsight, they weren't that strong in writing (especially my Japanese professor). My internship boss didn't even write mine until a week before the deadline. :/. The second time I applied, I had my boss at Japanese camp and my mentor at a business boot camp write me reccs. Although I only knew them for a few months when they wrote their reccs, their writing skills were superb (especially my mentor...she also gave me some critical tough love when it came to my SoP).

Zolrak 22
May 28th, 2015, 07:40
My internship boss didn't even write mine until a week before the deadline. :/.

One of my references wrote his the day before the deadline (a few minutes before the last shipping). I had to rush to UPS and overnight it. [emoji19]

Awesome professor and overall person, but horrible with deadlines.

Ananasboat
May 28th, 2015, 07:47
There's a professor at my school who is terrible with deadlines. Really important shit gets left until the deadline passes. I've had friends get declined for programs because he never sent things in on time. Hell, I almost didn't get into JET because I had a class with him my last semester and he didn't get our grades in until a month after they were due. God that was a stressful time.

haitch40
May 28th, 2015, 07:47
The what?
I am not really 100% sure because we have a course administrator as well. I just get pieces of paper saying these lecturers are the course leaders and for which degree they are leaders for. 1 for each degree. I am doing a joint degree which has its own as well so I get to pick from 3 that I know well.

weepinbell
May 28th, 2015, 11:24
I see...


You......

starxrox
May 28th, 2015, 12:03
I am getting my two mentor teachers to write letters. They are the teachers who's class I took over when on teaching placement.

I figure they have have seen me teach and know if I can handle a class room.

Do you think they would be better as opposed to my uni lecturer who just sees my academic work?

Gizmotech
May 28th, 2015, 12:06
Why not do one of each? (seeing as one needs to be a teacher at the uni you are currently at if you aren't graduated by the time application starts)

starxrox
May 28th, 2015, 12:07
Ahhh ok. That's a good call. I'm sitting on a 98 for English anyway... somehow...
Cheers Gizmotech

setyoursightsnorth
June 4th, 2015, 02:41
Glad you got this going, Saxman. I'm also applying for the 2016 year. I've been lurking, but haven't really posted. And I'm sure we'll all get to know each other once the 2016 JET threads start being made. I'm really excited about the entire process. Graduating with a Secondary Ed/History double major and I was going to minor in Asian Studies, but I ran out of credits. I've started to take some simple Japanese courses online (Memrise) and been researching on the prefectures. Nara prefecture seems to be the early favorite for me!

x_stei
June 4th, 2015, 11:16
I see...

So I'm not trolling I'll add something. Make sure the person you choose can write well. This might seem "duh" but I think it's probably a bigger problem than people think.

Hopefully they won't write your letter on their phone.

Slightly late here, but WORD!

One of my recs gave me an extra copy to read. He had a lot of mistakes throughout the letter.

I suppose it all worked out in the end though. I guess I was lucky.

Cbill1
June 4th, 2015, 12:20
I don't remember a lot of specifics from the interview, but I remember that they asked a lot of questions like "Most JETs are inaka placements. What would you do if you were placed in the inaka?" And I stressed that I'd be able to cope/prefer such a placement because I was raised in rural America.

They also asked me what I planned to do after JET and my answer was "get my teacher certification in the States" so I think that won me a few points, too.

I got shortlisted, and my placement is almost perfect (and the things that are wrong with it are things that are different from what was addressed in the interview). IMO, the best thing you can do is at least base your answers in honesty; you don't want always to give the full truth, but if you aren't at least a little bit earnest about what you're saying, it will probably come across.

texxaport
June 10th, 2015, 02:09
I see...

So I'm not trolling I'll add something. Make sure the person you choose can write well. This might seem "duh" but I think it's probably a bigger problem than people think.

Hopefully they won't write your letter on their phone.

This is a big one. I had a reference from my favourite uni prof who I had 3 courses with and literally lived with for two weeks during field work. I consider him a friend too and he actually sent me a copy of the letter beforehand and it was well written and praised me immensely.

My other letter was from my boss at the job I worked for 3 summers. She was a nice lady and a really great person to work for but her writing wasn't so great. Luckily she also sent me a copy and I was able to ask her to correct the grammar and spelling mistakes. Otherwise it was a very good letter that made me look awesome.

Verbatim
June 10th, 2015, 02:13
Nara prefecture seems to be the early favorite for me!

Oh nice, that's where I got placed and it seems great from what I've studied. Can't wait to get there!

texxaport
June 10th, 2015, 02:13
Additionally, here (https://luxnovis.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/jet-the-interview/) are the questions I was asked in my interview and how I answered them.

I'm sure it has also been mentioned before too but be sure to check out word's interview advice thread. It's gold. A lot of my prep was based on that guide and others like it.

Verbatim
June 10th, 2015, 02:23
Additionally, here (https://luxnovis.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/jet-the-interview/) are the questions I was asked in my interview and how I answered them.

I'm sure it has also been mentioned before too but be sure to check out word's interview advice thread. It's gold. A lot of my prep was based on that guide and others like it.

It sounds like you did really great with your interview! I don't think I did too bad with mine, but as it stands I think I've blocked the experience from my memory, haha.

texxaport
June 10th, 2015, 02:36
It sounds like you did really great with your interview! I don't think I did too bad with mine, but as it stands I think I've blocked the experience from my memory, haha.
Other than getting the meaning of the JET acronym wrong, I think so too.

texxaport
June 10th, 2015, 02:41
It sounds like you did really great with your interview! I don't think I did too bad with mine, but as it stands I think I've blocked the experience from my memory, haha.
I also think that trying to explain Kafka on the Shore to a grade 3 kid was a bad call... It's pretty graphic. I really had to dance around a lot of the major plot points. I think my final disclaimer saved me.

Ebi
June 11th, 2015, 17:24
It sounds like you did really great with your interview! I don't think I did too bad with mine, but as it stands I think I've blocked the experience from my memory, haha.
I made several goofs during my interview, so I'm not surprised I didn't get shortlisted straight away.

For one thing, I completely bombed the Japanese part of the interview. I claimed I was intermediate since I'd studied Japanese for several years, but honestly my speaking skills weren't that great. But I did worse than I expected. Even though I knew what the interviewer was asking, I froze and couldn't string together a grammatically correct sentence to save my life. It was awkward and she gave up after I gave a few broken answers.

I think my other major mistake was giving a very flippant response about why I chose my three placement requests. They were very generic choices (Aichi, Kyoto, and Tokyo) but I did research the areas and had solid reasons behind the choices even if they were overly optimistic. I should have explained my reasons, but instead I just said something dismissive like "Oh, I don't really care where I go. I just put those down just in case." The interviewers immediately started scribbling notes down and I realized I phrased that poorly.

I also tried to joke about something dumb and it fell flat. I also didn't know the name of the Japanese prime minister, although I don't think I handled the question poorly. I'm sure there were other little things I messed up, but the rest of my interview seemed pretty solid. I think my demo lesson went well (thank you TESOL) and I think I gave pretty good replies to the other difficult questions that forced you to really think critically ("Why do you think Japan outlaws guns and has widespread access to fireworks meanwhile America has widespread gun ownership and highly regulates fireworks?")

Virgil
June 11th, 2015, 17:31
Upgrade JET is best JET.

Sent from my 401SO using Tapatalk

Ebi
June 11th, 2015, 17:41
Upgrade JET is best JET.
Honestly, more often than not the most dedicated and hardworking ALTs in my city turned out to be upgraded JETs. But no one gives a crap if you were an alternate once you get here and settle in, so I don't dwell on it. The only difference is that late upgrades have slightly different contract/residency dates and they might miss out on orientation and get-to-know-you parties.

Gizmotech
June 11th, 2015, 18:57
I dunno about that. There was one chick here who had a real hardon for being a shortlisted and assumed that everyone who wasn't like her must be an alternate.

Shincantsen
June 12th, 2015, 00:08
I dunno about that. There was one chick here who had a real hardon for being a shortlisted and assumed that everyone who wasn't like her must be an alternate.

What a bizarre thing to get hung up on. It's like meeting a 25 year old who still brags about their SAT score.

Ebi
June 12th, 2015, 00:12
I dunno about that. There was one chick here who had a real hardon for being a shortlisted and assumed that everyone who wasn't like her must be an alternate.
True, there will always be snobs. I've had a bunch of friends over the years that are/were Interac and Eikaiwa teachers but I know some JETs who act like any non-JET person is an inferior being. (And not just as a joke.)

BifCarbet
June 12th, 2015, 01:39
I don't think I ever asked or knew whether or not anyone was an alternate. I can't believe anyone is arrogant enough to think that's relevant. Well, actually I can believe it. It's just dumb. My best friend and the best ALT I knew was an Interac ALT, while some of the JETs around us we psychos and sociopaths.

texxaport
June 12th, 2015, 01:44
I don't think I ever asked or knew whether or not anyone was an alternate. I can't believe anyone is arrogant enough to think that's relevant. Well, actually I can believe it. It's just dumb. My best friend and the best ALT I knew was an Interac ALT, while some of the JETs around us we psychos and sociopaths.

I know I'm not there yet but I really don't think it matters whether someone was an alternate or not. Even with people who were shortlisted, I'm sure many of us were one or two mistakes away from the alternate list. It's human to make mistakes and you never know why people were alternates rather than shortlisters. I also wouldn't be surprised if many people who are otherwise great ALTs were alternates simply because they don't interview well.

While I was (not so) patiently waiting for my interview results I didn't really know where I stood. I wasn't sure if the two things I perceived to be grievous errors in my interview actually made a huge difference or not. I wouldn't have been surprised if I got alternate status.

singinglupines
June 12th, 2015, 08:16
I see it as an alternate you didn't necessarily do something wrong, but those from your consulate were just extra good.

uthinkimlost?
June 12th, 2015, 08:26
Alternates either didn't get the points or had something that held Tokyo back from giving them a guaranteed placement. Neither of these are necessarily negatives.

Jiggit
June 12th, 2015, 08:35
Additionally, here (https://luxnovis.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/jet-the-interview/) are the questions I was asked in my interview and how I answered them.

Good post, but I like that you said living with a language barrier would be no problem because you lived in Sweden. Does anyone there not speak English?

Virgil
June 12th, 2015, 08:37
Good post, but I like that you said living with a language barrier would be no problem because you lived in Sweden. Does anyone there not speak English?

I had a similar question. OK, it was exactly the same.

texxaport
June 12th, 2015, 08:57
Good post, but I like that you said living with a language barrier would be no problem because you lived in Sweden. Does anyone there not speak English?

Well honestly most of them do speak very good English, but I'd still argue that there are things that I did have to deal with due to language barrier. Mostly reading in places like restaurants/grocery stores.

uthinkimlost?
June 12th, 2015, 09:02
Well honestly most of them do speak very good English, but I'd still argue that there are things that I did have to deal with due to language barrier. Mostly reading in places like restaurants/grocery stores.

Oh, sir...

You have a world of pain coming your way.

Virgil
June 12th, 2015, 09:04
Well honestly most of them do speak very good English, but I'd still argue that there are things that I did have to deal with due to language barrier. Mostly reading in places like restaurants/grocery stores.

Yeah, but even still you're surrounded by characters you can recognize etc. I came over with basically 0 J-go skill. I learned really fucking fast though, because I don't fancy eating at 7-11 and hiding inside my hole all day. The language barrier here csn be downright frustrating, especially when you are working a job that relies on strong communication. You might be willing to go the extra mile to communicate beyond barriers, but your coworkers might not.

texxaport
June 12th, 2015, 09:04
Oh, sir...

You have a world of pain coming your way.

I know it's going to be a much more difficult situation with language barrier. I'm not really saying that I'm immune to the issue because of my experience in Sweden, just that I'm not entirely clueless. I have been to Japan before as well.

Virgil
June 12th, 2015, 09:07
I know it's going to be a much more difficult situation with language barrier. I'm not really saying that I'm immune to the issue because of my experience in Sweden, just that I'm not entirely clueless. I have been to Japan before as well.

Yeah, you seem like a pretty stable/smart guy. I think it was probably a fine angle to use in an interview, as long as you're not illusioned by it.

Saga
June 12th, 2015, 09:31
I lived in Sweden as well, and surprisingly I actually had a harder time there than in Japan. In the area I was in, a lot of people didn't speak English well or at all (including my host family), and people were pretty unfriendly and unhelpful. At least in Japan, people tried to communicate with me despite my poor Japanese. In Sweden, even though I spoke pretty good Swedish, people just did not want to talk or socialize very much.

Go figure. That said, I know a lot of people who studied abroad in Sweden and loved it, met friendly people, etc.

Virgil
June 12th, 2015, 09:33
I lived in Sweden as well, and surprisingly I actually had a harder time there than in Japan. In the area I was in, a lot of people didn't speak English well or at all (including my host family), and people were pretty unfriendly and unhelpful. At least in Japan, people tried to communicate with me despite my poor Japanese. In Sweden, even though I spoke pretty good Swedish, people just did not want to talk or socialize very much.

Go figure. That said, I know a lot of people who studied abroad in Sweden and loved it, met friendly people, etc.

Interesting. Sweden is one of the countries I want to live in for a bit. I have family up there (Although they are quite a bit older than me)

Jiggit
June 12th, 2015, 09:41
People in Northern European countries are not going to be as friendly as most Americans are used to. The general philosophy is not to care about people who aren't relevant to your life.

Japanese people are pretty open and friendly, relatively. Especially to token gaijin in the countryside.

Saga
June 12th, 2015, 10:16
People in Northern European countries are not going to be as friendly as most Americans are used to. The general philosophy is not to care about people who aren't relevant to your life.

Japanese people are pretty open and friendly, relatively. Especially to token gaijin in the countryside.

WORD.

Also, I think part of my issue was that I expected life in Japan to be hard - to not be able to communicate or make friends, that the culture would be really different, etc. And when I had a great experience, I was pleasantly surprised. With Sweden, I assumed that because I could speak the language that I wouldn't have any issues and that the culture would be more or less the same as American culture. Then when things were hard, I wasn't prepared for it.

Virgil
June 12th, 2015, 11:03
WORD.

Also, I think part of my issue was that I expected life in Japan to be hard - to not be able to communicate or make friends, that the culture would be really different, etc. And when I had a great experience, I was pleasantly surprised. With Sweden, I assumed that because I could speak the language that I wouldn't have any issues and that the culture would be more or less the same as American culture. Then when things were hard, I wasn't prepared for it.

I think a lot can be said for preconceptions and living abroad. *Stares at weebs*

webstaa
June 12th, 2015, 11:36
Especially to token gaijin in the countryside.

Welcome to being a minor celebrity. Although for a lot of folks it's more of a drawback. (All of my students know where I live. 90% of the people in my town know where I live and work... and probably a few of my hobbies, too.)

Virgil
June 12th, 2015, 11:51
Welcome to being a minor celebrity. Although for a lot of folks it's more of a drawback. (All of my students know where I live. 90% of the people in my town know where I live and work... and probably a few of my hobbies, too.)

I have it made - I live close to the city but teach in the boonies. I don't have to see any of my students outside of workkkkk. The commute blows though.

texxaport
June 12th, 2015, 13:07
WORD.

Also, I think part of my issue was that I expected life in Japan to be hard - to not be able to communicate or make friends, that the culture would be really different, etc. And when I had a great experience, I was pleasantly surprised. With Sweden, I assumed that because I could speak the language that I wouldn't have any issues and that the culture would be more or less the same as American culture. Then when things were hard, I wasn't prepared for it.
Basically everyone in Stockholm spoke English but I heard from a friend who studied in Lingkoping that apart from people at the university, almost nobody spoke English. Out of curiosity, where did you study?

Virgil
June 12th, 2015, 13:08
Basically everyone in Stockholm spoke English but I heard from a friend who studied in Lingkoping that apart from people at the university, almost nobody spoke English. Out of curiosity, where did you study?

Most young people speak English from what I understand. Some of the older/more rural folks might not.

Saga
June 12th, 2015, 22:36
I was in Nykoping, a little town about an hour south of Stockholm. I would say that about half to two-thirds of my classmates spoke English really well, but my host family (including siblings), most shopkeepers, etc. didn't. My school focused pretty heavily on English, though. Most of the students I met who went to other schools (art, science, etc.) weren't quite as good.

singinglupines
June 13th, 2015, 01:25
I used my time in Czech Republic as my example of somewhere i didnt speak the language. The English level is dismal there, probably on par with Japan. I came with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised that mostly in my town people tried to communicate with yes/no, and hand gestures.

texxaport
June 13th, 2015, 01:25
I was in Nykoping, a little town about an hour south of Stockholm. I would say that about half to two-thirds of my classmates spoke English really well, but my host family (including siblings), most shopkeepers, etc. didn't. My school focused pretty heavily on English, though. Most of the students I met who went to other schools (art, science, etc.) weren't quite as good.

Yup! I know where Nykoping is. I occasionally went to a national park near there.

Saxman
June 26th, 2015, 10:37
Hey Setyoursightsnorth, Haitch40 and Starxrox! :) Been super busy with 2 jobs so haven't been able to get on lately. :(

Anyway I'm glad to finally meet some others that'll be applying this year with me! I'm currently thinking suburban Shizuoka or Mie as my prefectures. (Mie's where my family lives there)

I've been thinking I should start writing my SoP, but I haven't been able to decide what exactly I want to write about. I mean most people are probably interested in Japan if they're applying so I don't want to write about that. I'm thinking I'm going to write more about my childhood experiences and how those experiences and the ones I'm hoping to have in Japan will impact my future. What did everyone else do for their SoPs?

weepinbell
June 26th, 2015, 12:38
I don't think talking about your interest in Japan will be detrimental, like they wanna know that you have a genuine interest. The SoP last year, I thiiink that was a requirement? A 'why are you interested in Japan'-type thing. I took like 2 sentences to say Japanese music got me interested in the culture when I was younger and then spent some time talking about how I applied Japanese culture/history to my theatre major in college. But the majority of mine was about what I could offer to the program, like specific stuff I intended to do on JET and specific qualities/experiences + examples of them and why they made me a good candidate. I think it's less about what you'll gain from it and more about what they'll gain/Japanese communities will gain from having you on the program. Obviously you wanna mention your personal growth, I only spent about two or three sentences on that, though, if even.

books8137
June 26th, 2015, 22:11
Like weepinbell, I approached my SoP like I would a cover letter for any other job because that's what it is. The Program is looking to fill vacancies, so with any kind of employment opportunities, what an individual can offer them is key. "It's about them, not you" is the fundamental mantra of job opportunities. Of course, the SoP for the JET app does ask about the candidate's goals for the futures, but one should still tailor that aspect to long-term benefits for Japanese society at large and/or impact elsewhere, like back home or other goals.

To give you a more concrete idea, I'll use my SoP as an example. I have an interest in TEFL as a potential career opportunity, so I discussed experiences and skills gained from prior teaching experiences but also more "soft skills" from other jobs. Basically, as I mentioned before, I wrote it like I would a cover letter, though the JET SoP does offer a bit more leeway/creativity by asking you to discuss yourself. I also talked about my inspirations for teaching as well as how my long-term aspirations factor into the JET experience specifically and future plans in general. One of the things that I made sure to include was why JET specifically and not other similar teach abroad ventures. You don't want a cookie-cutter cover letter/SoP if you're applying to other programs as well. You really need to think about why JET and not something else, and how the Program can use your personality and skill set to its advantage.

If you'd like me to send you my SoP, I'd be happy to. I also would be happy to help you revise and edit, if that's something you'd be interested in.

As for timeline, I started it in September and went through several rewrites, but not major overhauls. If you can, instead of using a computer (or typewriter, if you roll the really old school way lol), actually write your thoughts and the SoP itself. You'll be amazed at how much flows out. I approach "essays" with outlines because that's what works best for me. I wrote down the requirements for the SoP in last year's applications then brainstormed ideas for each part without over-thinking it. I took a day off before organizing the bulleted list into more coherent thoughts, as well as eliminating weak concepts. After that, I outlined a structure for the beginning, middle, and end, then basically free-wrote the first draft. It was...LONG haha I had three of my friends involved in helping me revise and edit until the end of October, and I strongly recommend you do the same. They all had different styles of writing and thinking, which really allowed me to be critical and reflective of my SoP. Ending here, don't overdo the rewrites. Like I said, from beginning to end, the core of my SoP remained the same. The rewrites mostly involved things like sentence construction, grammar, vocabulary, clarity, organization - all the technical stuff that goes into writing a good cover letter. If you're still in school, ask a professor to look over your SoP or head to your university's writing center.

Edit: P.S. Don't put all of your eggs into the JET basket, as some may have already told you. It's a job. It could be the greatest thing anybody has done or the worst, but it's still a job. I found out about JET in college, but due to my situation at the time, I couldn't apply, so I completely forgot about it until last year. I graduated a few years ago and have been working in the "real world" since then. You will change as a person, and with every opportunity, whatever experience you have will be a result of the kind of time and effort you put into it.

I wouldn't say I applied to JET on a whim since I've always been interested in the field of education, but it's not far off from the truth either. I remember being really disappointed I couldn't apply in university but when I actually applied last year, I didn't really care in the sense that I didn't allow myself a lot of emotional investment because of what I know about myself now. Like any job I've ever applied to, I always went in with the mentality of "it would be great to get it, but it won't be the end of the world if I don't." It took me a many years to build up this kind of strength, so take that as you will. Basically, keep your expectations realistic (for me, it's having low to no expectations haha). This doesn't mean don't be optimistic, just be aware of worst-case scenarios. If you do this and still plan to move ahead, then you can't be truly devastated because the worst thing anyone can say is "no." Rejection will not kill you.

Also, "the best time to look for a job is when you already have one." I'm lucky enough to have a stable personal life (supportive family and friends) as well as a decent paying job, so even if JET hadn't worked out, I would have been just fine. So definitely apply to other teach abroad programs if that's what you want to do and jobs in your field of study as well. Don't just have one backup plan but a backup plan for your backup plan; if Plan A fails, you have B, C, and D to fall back on. Just treat JET as another application to fill out.

Edit 2: Sorry I keep thinking of things I forgot to put in the first few times haha Just my personal experience with the application process: It's not horrible, but it can definitely be emotionally and mentally taxing, mostly because of the interminable waiting between each step. But like I said, each step, my mindset was, "If they say no, you'll be fine." Of course, I would have been disappointed, but not devastated. Can you tell I've dealt with a lot of rejection? haha

Because I had prepared myself for the worst, I did my best to succeed anyway. I revised and edited my SoP multiple times, as I said before, but also looked over the application itself thrice before sending it off. You can imagine my (pleasant) surprise when I made it to the interview stage. I scoured blogs and this site for interview questions and had my friends and family mock interview me (three mock interviews spaced apart two or three weeks before the actual interview, with the last one two days before with my dad and brother, who are horrendously tough.) I would definitely recommend mock interviewing if you make it to the interview. After I did my post-mortem on that, alone and talking it over with my friends and family, I figured I had a 50/50 chance of making it in. Once that was done, I put it out of my mind as much as possible and moved on with my life. Even after being shortlisted, I didn't quite believe it because all I could think about was I'd be the one person who doesn't get a placement because being shortlisted isn't a guarantee of placement. It's an almost guarantee, but nonetheless not. I just bought some yen for the move yesterday and now it's finally starting to feel real.

haitch40
June 26th, 2015, 22:41
I am going to do 2 to 4 lines on why I like Japan and the rest will be what I can do for JET/what experiences I hope to get from JET.

x_stei
June 26th, 2015, 22:54
I spent a lot of time on my SOP. I had heard of how important it was to the JET application so I tried really hard on making it a good one.

I know I plug this guy too much, but his guide to JET SOPs here (http://thisjapaneselife.org/2013/10/30/jet-program-statement-purpose/) really helped me.

I free-wrote my first draft and sent it to my recommendation letter writers. It got sent back as a much better version.

Then I sent it off to different friends to look over it for edits and suggestions. The first draft was around six pages?? And drafts 2-5 were all around three to four pages. It wasn't until the night before the application was due that I was able to shorten it down to exactly two pages to fit into the application. All in all there were six drafts which led to a final version. Needlessly to say, I'm very proud of my SoP. :)

I'm willing to read over anyone's SoP if they need help.

I didn't focus on my interests very much, barely mentioned them. Each paragraph on the inside started with my experiences and background and gave examples of how they would support my time on the JET Programme. Also the last part of each paragraph I tagged along specific examples that I would like to do while in Japan that led from those experiences.

Good luck!

moonbeam
June 27th, 2015, 05:18
Alternatively, I didn't spend much time on my SOP. I think I wrote it about a month before the application was due? I sent it to some people and tweaked it a little bit based on their suggestions but that was about it. After it was written I just forgot about it.

I would say that talking about why you want to go to Japan is important though. Part of the program is a cultural exchange so it helps to know that you have a genuine interest in Japan. You don't need to go into super detail though. But I think the most important things to talk about are what you can offer to the program and what you plan on getting out of it in return.

Fantasylife
June 27th, 2015, 08:52
For my SOP, I answered each question individually, put all the answers together in a document and edited only for length. I did it all in a weekend with no help/reviews from anyone. I found the SOP to be the less stressful part of the application.

Saxman
June 27th, 2015, 10:12
books8137, congratulations on being shortlisted! Right now I'm just thinking about the SoP and how I can make mine unique. I'm glad to hear everyone's input. I thought it would be pretty obvious why I'm interested in Japan, but after thinking about it and reading your responses, it's become clear that I should at least make a note of why Japan despite the fact that I'm half Japanese. I've actually been given a job opportunity to work in Japan with my degree after school so my eggs are not all in the same basket, but I want to teach a few years before I go into my chosen field. Then I can develop some contacts that way and perhaps work in America for a Japan based company wanting to expand their American influence. That's another topic though.

The interview part has me a bit worried as well, but I'm trying not to think about that too much. I still have to pass the application stage after all and interviews can be practiced.

x-stei, I feel like I might have the same problem as you. I tend to overwrite as habit from years in a college environment (including high school (boarding school)). Cutting it down to the non-bs will be something I'm going to need help with most likely so if you and the others that have offered are willing, I'd very much appreciate you guys looking over my SoP and giving me critical reviews. I'm afraid my friends aren't critical enough to depend on them and my university's writing center is not the best as they're centered around more research writing.

Right now I'm thinking about talking about my past experiences involving Japanese Culture and how I've implemented that into my daily life here in America in an effort to educate others about Japanese culture (established the Japanese Club at my Uni). Then talk about how I plan to get myself involved in the community while I'm there and what I'm hoping to take from it. I also need to put in a bit on why I'm considering the JET Program path as compared to just flying over and applying directly to schools seeing as I have dual citizenship.

Have 2015 applicants received the exact places they'll be living at yet? If so where and what's it seem like based off the research I'm sure you've done on it so far.

books8137
June 27th, 2015, 12:35
books8137, congratulations on being shortlisted! Right now I'm just thinking about the SoP and how I can make mine unique. I'm glad to hear everyone's input. I thought it would be pretty obvious why I'm interested in Japan, but after thinking about it and reading your responses, it's become clear that I should at least make a note of why Japan despite the fact that I'm half Japanese. I've actually been given a job opportunity to work in Japan with my degree after school so my eggs are not all in the same basket, but I want to teach a few years before I go into my chosen field. Then I can develop some contacts that way and perhaps work in America for a Japan based company wanting to expand their American influence. That's another topic though.

The interview part has me a bit worried as well, but I'm trying not to think about that too much. I still have to pass the application stage after all and interviews can be practiced.

x-stei, I feel like I might have the same problem as you. I tend to overwrite as habit from years in a college environment (including high school (boarding school)). Cutting it down to the non-bs will be something I'm going to need help with most likely so if you and the others that have offered are willing, I'd very much appreciate you guys looking over my SoP and giving me critical reviews. I'm afraid my friends aren't critical enough to depend on them and my university's writing center is not the best as they're centered around more research writing.

Right now I'm thinking about talking about my past experiences involving Japanese Culture and how I've implemented that into my daily life here in America in an effort to educate others about Japanese culture (established the Japanese Club at my Uni). Then talk about how I plan to get myself involved in the community while I'm there and what I'm hoping to take from it. I also need to put in a bit on why I'm considering the JET Program path as compared to just flying over and applying directly to schools seeing as I have dual citizenship.

Have 2015 applicants received the exact places they'll be living at yet? If so where and what's it seem like based off the research I'm sure you've done on it so far.

It's great that you're thinking of life beyond JET but also in terms of what it can offer you. I didn't mean to sound condescending, and if I did, I'm sorry! Just was word-vomiting my thoughts and experience with the process haha If your field is the kind that requires constant update on skills and/or there's difficulty even getting in to entry-level positions (say the medical field, engineering, or other hard sciences, just to mention a few examples), I would think very hard about whether or not teaching/doing JET will delay your entry into that world and thereby your long-range plans as well.

I am a-okay with helping you with your SoP, however much input you'd like. Just let me know when! Also, sounds like it's starting to take shape, so keep up the momentum on that front.

Dual citizenship: You'll have to renounce your Japanese citizenship if you're offered a position on JET and you accept it, so if that's important to you, you'll have to consider if JET is worth giving that up. Point 5 on the following link: The JET Programme--Official Homepage of The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (http://www.jetprogramme.org/e/aspiring/eligibility.html)

As for placement, I found out mid-May. Not one of my preferences, but I didn't mind. It's semi-rural, lots of snow in the winter, murderous summers. I received my contract from the BOE about two weeks ago, and reached out to my pred through other ALTs already in the area/prefecture via a FB group. That's all I have for now, so keep us updated on your application! In the meantime, enjoy your last summer before the "real world" kicks in and take it easy haha

Saxman
June 28th, 2015, 00:00
Haha I didn't think you sounded condescending at all! Anyway that'd be awesome if you could help with my SoP. I'm not planning on writing it for a couple months though. I've read about giving up my citizenship if I get accepted into the program. That's a bit frustrating(?), but you can always just get it again later on after living there for 5 years so not too big of a deal. Also that sounds like the best kind of placement! :) I'm jealous haha

setyoursightsnorth
June 28th, 2015, 01:33
I haven't written my SOP yet. But what I'm going to hit on is a short introduction as to why I got interested in Japan. Then my own experience with learning a language (I was born in Poland and learned English when I moved to the states) and the opportunities that have resulted from learning a second language. Lastly, I will include something along the lines of why I think I am a good candidate and what I can contribute to the JET program. In the end, it's a job interview and I feel that it is immensely important to include what you can contribute to the job. My interest in JET is paramount, but I'm going to focus my statement towards how I am going to contribute to the program.

Penguinonfire
June 28th, 2015, 09:04
I took my SOP seriously, but I spent waaaaay less time on it than some of you. I printed out the official list of questions that they wanted the SOP to cover, hopped in the bath, and scribbled down my answers to the questions. I ended up with about 3 pages and then edited out the unnecessary sentences and reworked anything that didn't sound very good. My final draft was probably my 3rd draft, and it still was essentially answering their questions in essay format with a good intro and conclusion.
Maybe it helps that my major was political science, so I was used to throwing together 10 page essays overnight. I tell people that I got a B.A. in B.S.

BifCarbet
June 28th, 2015, 09:19
I took my SOP seriously, but I spent waaaaay less time on it than some of you. I printed out the official list of questions that they wanted the SOP to cover, hopped in the bath, and scribbled down my answers to the questions. I ended up with about 3 pages and then edited out the unnecessary sentences and reworked anything that didn't sound very good. My final draft was probably my 3rd draft, and it still was essentially answering their questions in essay format with a good intro and conclusion.
Maybe it helps that my major was political science, so I was used to throwing together 10 page essays overnight. I tell people that I got a B.A. in B.S.

We are definitely the same person. The only thing about that post that isn't true for me is when you said "hopped in the bath", my story was "went to the office". I've even used the B.A. in B.S. line.

Gizmotech
June 28th, 2015, 10:48
Wrote it the day before I submitted application. One draft. Got in. It's not hard people.

BifCarbet
June 28th, 2015, 11:46
Wrote it the day before I submitted application. One draft. Got in. It's not hard people.

It's not hard, but you might as well make it perfect. I think it's definitely worth putting a lot of thought into it.

books8137
June 28th, 2015, 12:11
It's not hard, but you might as well make it perfect. I think it's definitely worth putting a lot of thought into it.

+1

I didn't think the application process was hard either, just incredibly time-consuming and like you said, if I was going to try anyway, might as well put my best foot forward. Felt like an endurance test more than anything.

texxaport
June 28th, 2015, 12:21
The only difficulty I had with the application process was with the medical form, but that had nothing to do with JET. It was simply because I have a doctor who is illiterate.

Ebi
June 28th, 2015, 12:22
I also didn't really spent that long on my SOP for whatever reason. I knew what I wanted to say, wrote it down. I brought it to my university's writing workshop to get it checked out and the assistant there honestly told me "looks fine, don't change anything."

For what it's worth, I also had written two 10-page thesis papers that quarter, so I had plenty of BS practice. In my city we actually have to write out big applications every time we renew after year 3, so I've kept my resume skills sharp.

texxaport
June 28th, 2015, 12:26
In my city we actually have to write out big applications every time we renew after year 3, so I've kept my resume skills sharp.

Is that mostly a formality? I can't imagine firing an ALT of 3 years because they sent in a mediocre application...

Ebi
June 28th, 2015, 12:30
Is that mostly a formality? I can't imagine firing an ALT of 3 years because they sent in a mediocre application...
In my experience, yes. It's a holdover from back when JET only allowed 3 so staying beyond that meant you became a private contract ALT. But it's good experience anyways since it also involves an interview in Japanese. (One staffer will help you translate if you absolutely have to, but they encourage you to do it all in Japanese.)

From years 5 onward you can apply to be a private contract ALT, but that's very competitive since ALTs from outside the city can also apply. So having a few years practice is useful.

Naru-toes
June 29th, 2015, 09:22
Wrote it the day before I submitted application. One draft. Got in. It's not hard people.

I was like this too. But who knows, maybe it was the weakest part of my application, so for others it might be more important.

Saxman
July 2nd, 2015, 00:22
Hahaha, I wish I had your guys' confidence. I always feel the need for things to be perfect when I send in applications and the like. Probably one of my weaknesses tbh. I'm only thinking about working as an ALT for 2 or 3 years so I'm not too worried about after that. Besides that, you have to start paying taxes from the 4th year on, right?

BifCarbet
July 2nd, 2015, 00:52
Hahaha, I wish I had your guys' confidence. I always feel the need for things to be perfect when I send in applications and the like. Probably one of my weaknesses tbh. I'm only thinking about working as an ALT for 2 or 3 years so I'm not too worried about after that. Besides that, you have to start paying taxes from the 4th year on, right?

3rd year on. The taxes really aren't THAT big of a deal though. On a third year JET salary of 3,960,000 yen, the income tax is 364,500 yen. Sure it sucks when you think about what you could do with that money, but it's income tax, which you won't avoid in your next job if you leave JET to avoid it. There's also an inhabitant's/inhabitants/inhabitant/inhabitants' tax which I know less about. But it's really not killer. Unless you're leaving for something with a much higher salary, I wouldn't think leaving JET to avoid eventually paying taxes makes much sense.

There are also pension refund incentives to F off after three years, but I don't remember the specifics now.

webstaa
July 2nd, 2015, 08:27
Hahaha, I wish I had your guys' confidence. I always feel the need for things to be perfect when I send in applications and the like. Probably one of my weaknesses tbh. I'm only thinking about working as an ALT for 2 or 3 years so I'm not too worried about after that. Besides that, you have to start paying taxes from the 4th year on, right?

If you're from the US, you have to pay local inhabitants tax after 2 years (48 months) of residence. Depending on where you are placed, it can be a huge hit or just another minor bill. (The way you pay varies too - a lot of people pay a lump sum, some make bimonthly payments etc.)

The worst thing about the next few years is going to be the exchange rate - unless the dollar or yen really tank.

x_stei
July 2nd, 2015, 23:18
books8137, congratulations on being shortlisted! Right now I'm just thinking about the SoP and how I can make mine unique. I'm glad to hear everyone's input. I thought it would be pretty obvious why I'm interested in Japan, but after thinking about it and reading your responses, it's become clear that I should at least make a note of why Japan despite the fact that I'm half Japanese. I've actually been given a job opportunity to work in Japan with my degree after school so my eggs are not all in the same basket, but I want to teach a few years before I go into my chosen field. Then I can develop some contacts that way and perhaps work in America for a Japan based company wanting to expand their American influence. That's another topic though.

The interview part has me a bit worried as well, but I'm trying not to think about that too much. I still have to pass the application stage after all and interviews can be practiced.

x-stei, I feel like I might have the same problem as you. I tend to overwrite as habit from years in a college environment (including high school (boarding school)). Cutting it down to the non-bs will be something I'm going to need help with most likely so if you and the others that have offered are willing, I'd very much appreciate you guys looking over my SoP and giving me critical reviews. I'm afraid my friends aren't critical enough to depend on them and my university's writing center is not the best as they're centered around more research writing.

Right now I'm thinking about talking about my past experiences involving Japanese Culture and how I've implemented that into my daily life here in America in an effort to educate others about Japanese culture (established the Japanese Club at my Uni). Then talk about how I plan to get myself involved in the community while I'm there and what I'm hoping to take from it. I also need to put in a bit on why I'm considering the JET Program path as compared to just flying over and applying directly to schools seeing as I have dual citizenship.

Have 2015 applicants received the exact places they'll be living at yet? If so where and what's it seem like based off the research I'm sure you've done on it so far.

Yes do send me SoP's to look over once you have a good idea of what to write.

Looking forward to it! :)

JetMaybe2015
July 3rd, 2015, 02:54
After being short listed on JET twice, I feel I can get anyone into the program. If anyone needs help I would be more than happy. Just please don't message me until after August.

ambrosse
July 3rd, 2015, 03:48
I am also open to anyone in need of SoP help :)
I usually respond fairly quickly~

TweedPawn
July 5th, 2015, 03:03
I'm applying for the third time this year! Haha!

Been a while, huh? i'll start off by thanking everyone who've been a huge help the previous years. Second: NEVER GIVE UP NEVER SURRENDER.

Third:

I would like to pursue the same "rip it to shreds" approach to my SOP as I had last year. However, I have some awesome new things to add to it:

1.) I got a job teaching at a non-profit. I learned so much. I can understand why just tutoring wasn't enough to impress JET last year.
2.) I started my own business! How does this relate to JET? I'm thinking of using it to pursue the "you better believe I can be independent and resourceful!" route.

p.s Still learning japanese, still tutoring peeps with english.

If you want a challenge, I'm your gal! The big thingwill be how to add these new elements into my SOP.

moonbeam
July 5th, 2015, 05:00
God speed, Tweed.

AyaReiko
July 8th, 2015, 07:44
Wow, you guys are so early... granted I'll apply again too.

x_stei
July 8th, 2015, 07:48
Wow, you guys are so early... granted I'll apply again too.
I'm rooting for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *

* Maximum enthusiasm!

books8137
July 8th, 2015, 10:57
I'm applying for the third time this year! Haha!

Been a while, huh? i'll start off by thanking everyone who've been a huge help the previous years. Second: NEVER GIVE UP NEVER SURRENDER.

Third:

I would like to pursue the same "rip it to shreds" approach to my SOP as I had last year. However, I have some awesome new things to add to it:

1.) I got a job teaching at a non-profit. I learned so much. I can understand why just tutoring wasn't enough to impress JET last year.
2.) I started my own business! How does this relate to JET? I'm thinking of using it to pursue the "you better believe I can be independent and resourceful!" route.

p.s Still learning japanese, still tutoring peeps with english.

If you want a challenge, I'm your gal! The big thingwill be how to add these new elements into my SOP.

I like your enthusiasm and optimism.

I think your way of incorporating point 2 will work. Discuss the soft skills and abilities you developed and improved from both of these experiences, especially how they'll benefit you as a JET. If you can, briefly highlight a specific example or impact either/both had on you so you're not speaking in generic or abstract terms. Like I mentioned in one of my earlier responses, I approached the JET app as a regular job opening, which means I viewed the SoP as a cover letter. ("Organization looking to fill in following opening. Only qualified candidates who meet the following requirements need apply." Every job posting ever haha )

If you'd like help with drafting, let me know. Good luck, and keep working hard!

ljusastjarnan
July 18th, 2015, 12:16
Heya! I've posted a brief intro before, and decided now, whilst potentially still a little too early, might be a good time to start posting proper. The reason I want to get the bulk of what needs to be done now is because I'm going to be very busy once semester starts, both studying for the LSAT, as well as juggling work/club and society obligations in addition to a pretty hefty workload, and I'd prefer if I only have to deal with details and box ticking when the time comes instead of having to chase up professors for letters of recommendation and whatnot.

I have a rough draft of my SOP based on what the suggestions I've read online, but my biggest worry is the lack of mention to do with anything related to teaching -- I have held beginner Japanese speaking workshops for uni, but I don't really have any aspirations to be a teacher. Not sure how to work at this angle here. I do believe I'd benefit greatly from the experience, and that (hopefully) I can be a fun person who happens to help teach kids English, but I've no ambition to continue in the field. I've had a buuunch of part-time jobs to fund my hobbies, but apart from that, more or less fresh faced undergrad (almost) graduate. I think I would be able to work an angle to what I do have, though! I'm definitely interested in Japan and immersion in the language. Help revising or taking my SOP apart would be greatly appreciated! Not sure what I could offer in return, except perhaps the promise that I will do the same for the next gen of JET hopefuls if I get in? Heh.

The other thing is the letter of recommendation: I'm getting extremely mixed suggestions on this, and I'm a little confused to as who I should turn to. At first, because I was told that it would be best to have someone of "status" write it, I was thinking my Japanese professor, who is head of the Japanese and French department to write it. The way my uni is structured makes it such that it's difficult to know *any* one professor very well, and whilst we've talked a bit, obviously, I wouldn't call it a very close relationship. I have another Japanese communication lecturer, who tutored me in a speech contest I was thinking of asking instead. The other recommendation I was thinking about is a philosophy professor, which, you know, doesn't really have anything to do with the JET programme, but he probably sees the best of me considering how enthusiastic I am in that subject. To be fair, I'm not exactly spoiled for choices either, as those three are the only ones I can think of. It's a shame we're not allowed to actually read the letters. I will probably ask all three for a letter of recommendation, in case one falls through.


I'm applying for the third time this year! Haha!

Been a while, huh? i'll start off by thanking everyone who've been a huge help the previous years. Second: NEVER GIVE UP NEVER SURRENDER.

Third:

I would like to pursue the same "rip it to shreds" approach to my SOP as I had last year. However, I have some awesome new things to add to it:

1.) I got a job teaching at a non-profit. I learned so much. I can understand why just tutoring wasn't enough to impress JET last year.
2.) I started my own business! How does this relate to JET? I'm thinking of using it to pursue the "you better believe I can be independent and resourceful!" route.

p.s Still learning japanese, still tutoring peeps with english.

If you want a challenge, I'm your gal! The big thingwill be how to add these new elements into my SOP.

That's amazing! I really admire your dedication. Super rooting for you this year. :)

books8137
July 19th, 2015, 02:34
Hey, jarnan, glad to see you're taking the initiative to start your app, like others on this thread/forum. That said, the application itself isn't terrible, but before you send it off, make sure every box and blank is filled in properly. From all accounts, the initial screening process is quite thorough, so even one oversight means rejection. It's the little things, I guess.

As for your SoP, it's okay to not have aspirations in the field of education. When writing your SoP, think of it as a cover letter for a job because that's exactly what you're doing. Like I've mentioned before, jobs aren't about the candidate but about the company/organization looking to fill openings. It's about what you can do for them, so what you want to highlight is the skills you think will help you be an effective JET (ALT + cultural ambassador). Do emphasize your enthusiasm while pointing out things like adaptability, interpersonal skills, etc. "Typical" job requirements, basically. Make sure you include specific examples or instances for the important soft skills you choose to incorporate, either a quick one-liner for each or better yet, a larger situation that shows (don't tell!) your abilities. The SoP does require candidates to discuss how JET will offer value to them, so for this part, try to tie it into a global answer. "How will you make the world or your part of it a better place through and after JET?" If cultural immersion and language learning are what you hope to get out of JET, perhaps a language school might be better your speed. Because this is a job with corresponding responsibilities, so it will require your primary focus.

Regarding recommendations, definitely go with three. That's what I did because I had a feeling the one I really wanted would be late, so it's smart to have a backup. Obviously, don't tell your backup he/she is your backup lol Choose people who know you well but can also write well. (Aside: I don't think "status" matters all that much, though it might not hurt.) Also, some references will be sticklers about not giving you a copy of the letter beforehand or after the fact, but it doesn't hurt to ask. The two references I ended up using are the types who keep you in the loop, so they both sent me copies of their letter in addition to the official unopened ones to send to JET.

x_stei
July 19th, 2015, 13:22
I had a long post typed out, and my internet pooped out on me and now I'm gonna do the DL;TR version:

"Status" doesn't matter in terms of your recommendation letter writers. What matters is whether if they know your strengths enough to write about them well. Ask your potential letter writers if they would be willing to write you a positive one beforehand, because you never know with these things... And books is right, ask all three and use one for backup.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but you have to know how your experiences in JET will help you in your future. It's fine if you don't intend to pursue education or teaching after JET, but knowing how your experiences and/or skills you garner while on JET can benefit you in your future career would be helpful. My suspicion is, after the application stage, they will ask you this question during your interview too, so make sure you know the answer to this down pat!

Things to consider:
1. What do I want to do after JET?
2. What skills will gain while on JET? (maybe do some research about this one. The blogs can be helpful if you know how to use it!)
3. How will these skills help me in the future after JET?

I know I pretty much just outlined my last point in list form, but I thought this might be easier to understand.

PM me SOP's when you're ready for some feedback.

Good luck!

Ps. Obviously being concise is not one of my fortes. Heh.

ljusastjarnan
July 19th, 2015, 15:55
Call me ljusa, tis fine. :'DD (It does mean something bahahah) Thanks for the feedback, books and x_stei!

I will definitely ask all three for a letter of recommendation. I was wondering when the applications will come out this year? When do they generally come out?


Hey, jarnan, glad to see you're taking the initiative to start your app, like others on this thread/forum. That said, the application itself isn't terrible, but before you send it off, make sure every box and blank is filled in properly. From all accounts, the initial screening process is quite thorough, so even one oversight means rejection. It's the little things, I guess.

Yeah I will definitely set aside some time to comb through the application three times.


As for your SoP, it's okay to not have aspirations in the field of education. When writing your SoP, think of it as a cover letter for a job because that's exactly what you're doing. Like I've mentioned before, jobs aren't about the candidate but about the company/organization looking to fill openings. It's about what you can do for them, so what you want to highlight is the skills you think will help you be an effective JET (ALT + cultural ambassador). Do emphasize your enthusiasm while pointing out things like adaptability, interpersonal skills, etc. "Typical" job requirements, basically. Make sure you include specific examples or instances for the important soft skills you choose to incorporate, either a quick one-liner for each or better yet, a larger situation that shows (don't tell!) your abilities. The SoP does require candidates to discuss how JET will offer value to them, so for this part, try to tie it into a global answer. "How will you make the world or your part of it a better place through and after JET?" If cultural immersion and language learning are what you hope to get out of JET, perhaps a language school might be better your speed. Because this is a job with corresponding responsibilities, so it will require your primary focus.

What are the relevant corresponding responsibilities I should know about? It seems like an ESID kind of thing, but I'm sure there are overarching responsibilities that every JET has, in addition to teaching, or other things that may or may not fall under the umbrella of "teaching". I will try integrate it into my SOP. JET is well established and very well known with a large cohort of alumni, and that gives me a type of holistic experience and stability I want. That would probably be the reason I give if they ask me 'why JET as opposed to a language school?' As for attending a language school, I did consider it as that's what a family member who lives in Tokyo recommended. She offered to pay for me, and since that's well within her means, I wouldn't feel *too* guilty about it, which makes the option considerably more attractive, but working as a teaching in the inaka still seems like a more real, and less cushy experience, I suppose? Besides, I'd be making my own money and I'm doing the language school thing with Chinese. Either way, you're right, that option still stands.

On another related note, said family member knows all about the JET program and seems very against me doing it? It's really odd, she seemed adamant it was a waste of time.



Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but you have to know how your experiences in JET will help you in your future. It's fine if you don't intend to pursue education or teaching after JET, but knowing how your experiences and/or skills you garner while on JET can benefit you in your future career would be helpful. My suspicion is, after the application stage, they will ask you this question during your interview too, so make sure you know the answer to this down pat!

Things to consider:
1. What do I want to do after JET?
2. What skills will gain while on JET? (maybe do some research about this one. The blogs can be helpful if you know how to use it!)
3. How will these skills help me in the future after JET?

I know I pretty much just outlined my last point in list form, but I thought this might be easier to understand.

PM me SOP's when you're ready for some feedback.

Good luck!

Ps. Obviously being concise is not one of my fortes. Heh.

Clearly, being concise isn't mine either! I can get really really verbose. If I try, I can get right down to the point, but sometimes content is important, and cutting down the edges won't do comprehension or your argument any favours.

After a year in Japan would ideally be law school, and being able to get a better grasp of the culture through immersion and interaction with locals, as well as, importantly, improving my grasp of the language exponentially to a near fluent level would hopefully help me in my endeavors with international law, which is hugely competitive. If I wanted to deal with the international trade sector or multinationals, having generally having any asian languages under my belt in the Asia-Pacific would be hugely beneficial. Whilst my experiences in the Japanese countryside might not directly have an effect on my goals, I believe keeping grounded is incredibly important. Having lived in a big city all my life, I think living in the middle of nowhere will, hrm, "expand my horizons" except not as cliche'd, pfff. I've been to Tokyo many times, but the JET programme will give me reason and opportunity to explore rural Japan, something I've always wanted to do. :') (inb4 they cart me off to tokyo, what with the recent increase in the tokyo intake lol)

Thanks for offering to look over SOPs, x_stei! I will probably have something for you soon.

Zolrak 22
July 19th, 2015, 16:40
Applications pop up around October (ish).

If you ask for a rural placement, it's more than likely that you'll get it.
(People tend to "fight" over the more urbanized spots)

Sounds like you are more than financially well off, which usually implies good connections. So it's more than likely you could find something "better" and more directly related to your goals. That's probably what your family member meant.

ljusastjarnan
July 19th, 2015, 16:51
Applications pop up around October (ish).

If you ask for a rural placement, it's more than likely that you'll get it.
(People tend to "fight" over the more urbanized spots)

Sounds like you are more than financially well off, which usually implies good connections. So it's more than likely you could find something "better" and more directly related to your goals. That's probably what your family member meant.

That's very late! And would mean we don't get all that long to get everything done. D:

I was thinking perhaps there was something like a stigma attached with the JET program in Japan, as there is with many English teachers in China. Said family member is financially well off, not me or my immediate family by any stretch of the word, but I'm certainly very lucky to have her.

MikeCarter
July 20th, 2015, 05:22
Applicant of 2015 here. Got to the interview stage last year, then got rejected. Still salty about it, but this isn't the thread to rant about that in, lol.

I'm thinking about applying again, but have a few reservations.

The first hurdle is letters of recommendation. I had the same hurdle last year, but managed to get two people from my university to write letters for me. So, question one is: Can they just give me the same letters of recommendation? I haven't really spoken to them since then, but they're still the most "qualified" to write them for me, however I really don't want to waste their time making a new one up.

I've made no real new connections to use. I tried to volunteer at places, but hilariously it's now the exact same process as job applications, and I haven't heard back from any of them.

That's the main hurdle for now. I'm still back and forth if I actually want to go, because now I have a job that could be really well paying in the next year, but I feel like this is still something I want to follow through on (and who knows if I'll still be working here in another year anyway).

books8137
July 20th, 2015, 05:35
Ljusa, last year, the application for Americans opened around early October with a deadline towards the end of the month, but due to various technical issues, the deadline was extend to mid-November. Based on what Zolrak said and trends in the past years, you can expect a similar timeline this year.

As for what I meant, even with all the hand-holding JETs receive, you're there to do a job, first and foremost. Not only will you be teaching, but depending on how much responsibility you have, lesson planning will also be involved, in addition to extracurricular activities and events throughout the year like speech contests and sports day. You might also have eikaiwa classes as part of your duties, just to list some examples. I don't know what your Japanese level is like now, but you can reasonably expect to need more than a year to become near fluent since a majority of your time is already accounted for.

Related to time management, you mentioned you plan on attending law school after JET, should you get an offer from the Program. There was a post on the JET subreddit about managing medical school interviews while on JET that I think might also apply to you if you intend to apply to law schools while on JET: money and time will be huge issues, with it being incredibly expensive on the first front and unprofessional on the second since you'll need a fair amount of time off. But if you're applying to law schools this year along with JET, then never mind about this part.

RE: JET not being necessarily relevant, with many jobs, soft skills you gain are just as important as technical abilities. If you are successfully shortlisted and choose to accept an offer via JET, make it an experience you enjoy but also learn from in terms of how it tests you. Living and working in another country, even a developed one like Japan, already shows recruiters and hiring managers you can adapt to different environments, so it'll be your job to expand on that and take it from there.

There could be a stigma attached to the JET Program in the sense that some BOEs might not have had great experience with their JETs or scandals as such, but you won't know until you ask her. Another reason she might be opposed to it is because it's not particularly well-paying job and/or it's not a career. She could just be concerned for your future prospects when considered from that angle.

starxrox
July 20th, 2015, 12:32
These are all excellent conversations. I think I might actually print them out.

I'm so excited to be applying this year!
Thanks for getting me pumped up guys!!!

ljusastjarnan
July 20th, 2015, 17:50
As for what I meant, even with all the hand-holding JETs receive, you're there to do a job, first and foremost. Not only will you be teaching, but depending on how much responsibility you have, lesson planning will also be involved, in addition to extracurricular activities and events throughout the year like speech contests and sports day. You might also have eikaiwa classes as part of your duties, just to list some examples. I don't know what your Japanese level is like now, but you can reasonably expect to need more than a year to become near fluent since a majority of your time is already accounted for.

This is true, though since I am at a high-intermediate, low-advanced level, immersion in a Japanese workplace will benefit me greatly, save for some kanji memorisation on the side. Just having conversations with people will be good practise. I wouldn't really want to overload myself with duties should they be optional (unlike potential eikaiwa classes), though I think I would like to continue with archery, maybe pick up kyudo, if such a club exists. And if I spend up all my potentially scant holidays carving through powder in Hakuba or Niseko it will be absolutely worth it. *_____*


Related to time management, you mentioned you plan on attending law school after JET, should you get an offer from the Program. There was a post on the JET subreddit about managing medical school interviews while on JET that I think might also apply to you if you intend to apply to law schools while on JET: money and time will be huge issues, with it being incredibly expensive on the first front and unprofessional on the second since you'll need a fair amount of time off. But if you're applying to law schools this year along with JET, then never mind about this part.

I am going to be applying to law school during the JET program if I get in, but I will probably not be applying for American universities, both because my GPA does make the cut-off for Ivy League (close, though! the 4.0 GPA is very lenient towards consistently faaairly good marks), and also because the process is long and, as you said, time consuming. It's way more trouble than it's worth, considering I'd only be able to actually practice in America. Australian law schools are relatively painless.



RE: JET not being necessarily relevant, with many jobs, soft skills you gain are just as important as technical abilities. If you are successfully shortlisted and choose to accept an offer via JET, make it an experience you enjoy but also learn from in terms of how it tests you. Living and working in another country, even a developed one like Japan, already shows recruiters and hiring managers you can adapt to different environments, so it'll be your job to expand on that and take it from there.


This is a very good point! JET will probably give me many of these soft, general skills to pad my resume with.



There could be a stigma attached to the JET Program in the sense that some BOEs might not have had great experience with their JETs or scandals as such, but you won't know until you ask her. Another reason she might be opposed to it is because it's not particularly well-paying job and/or it's not a career. She could just be concerned for your future prospects when considered from that angle.

Yes, a few bad apples can reflect very badly on the program. Well it's true that it's not a very well-paying job, but as you say, it's not supposed to be a career, but rather a springboard for one. It pays the bills, though, so I'm not too fussed about money.

patjs
July 20th, 2015, 23:15
Applicant of 2015 here. Got to the interview stage last year, then got rejected. Still salty about it, but this isn't the thread to rant about that in, lol.

I'm thinking about applying again, but have a few reservations.

The first hurdle is letters of recommendation. I had the same hurdle last year, but managed to get two people from my university to write letters for me. So, question one is: Can they just give me the same letters of recommendation? I haven't really spoken to them since then, but they're still the most "qualified" to write them for me, however I really don't want to waste their time making a new one up.

I've made no real new connections to use. I tried to volunteer at places, but hilariously it's now the exact same process as job applications, and I haven't heard back from any of them.

That's the main hurdle for now. I'm still back and forth if I actually want to go, because now I have a job that could be really well paying in the next year, but I feel like this is still something I want to follow through on (and who knows if I'll still be working here in another year anyway).

As far as I know there is no reason why you couldn't use the same recommendations. Your paper application was scored highly enough to get you an interview, so the problem doesn't lie there, most likely.

You may have heard this already so I apologize if so, but there was something that raised a big flag during your interview that got you rejected. I'd definitely work on interview skills and think about the types of answers given to the common questions and what you may have said that would cause concern in the interviewers.

I think a common fault is that people give off the vibe of wanting to just take a year vacation to party, or not having a real interest in Japan or teaching/children.

moonbeam
July 21st, 2015, 02:06
The first hurdle is letters of recommendation. I had the same hurdle last year, but managed to get two people from my university to write letters for me. So, question one is: Can they just give me the same letters of recommendation? I haven't really spoken to them since then, but they're still the most "qualified" to write them for me, however I really don't want to waste their time making a new one up.

I applied in 2014 and 2015. I only changed one letter writer and I managed to get in. I would get in touch with them now and just briefly let them know what you've been up to for the past year and how you've improved since the last application. When I asked my old prof to write me a new letter I stressed that it was partly because of her that I was granted an interview. She was happy to write it and didn't think it a waste of time.

starxrox
July 21st, 2015, 06:55
Yes, a few bad apples can reflect very badly on the program. Well it's true that it's not a very well-paying job, but as you say, it's not supposed to be a career, but rather a springboard for one. It pays the bills, though, so I'm not too fussed about money.[/QUOTE]

I was under the assumption the pay is "very generous" according to the people on YouTube.

I guess having just looked at the conversion rate, the starting salary is only approx $32k Australian... Compared to $65k if I used my teaching degree here...

But as you say, you don't go there for a career or do this for the money.

MikeCarter
July 21st, 2015, 07:08
As far as I know there is no reason why you couldn't use the same recommendations. Your paper application was scored highly enough to get you an interview, so the problem doesn't lie there, most likely.

You may have heard this already so I apologize if so, but there was something that raised a big flag during your interview that got you rejected. I'd definitely work on interview skills and think about the types of answers given to the common questions and what you may have said that would cause concern in the interviewers.

I think a common fault is that people give off the vibe of wanting to just take a year vacation to party, or not having a real interest in Japan or teaching/children.

95% sure I came off as not having a real interest in Japan. I couldn't answer her "two most important people in Japanese history and why" question, I didn't know the current prime minister (damn you Abe), my reason for going to Japan ended up as a long rant that basically amounted to "I like their culture because it's different but the same", and my Japanese skills (although low) were quickly dismissed as nothing. Rest of the interview (although it still seemed tougher than most) went fine, and I didn't think much of it because everyone I talked to said those questions didn't matter much.

I still think had I gotten a better interviewer (specifically the person interviewing about the Japanese portion) I could have gotten in, but everyone I said that too seemed to believe the system is flawless and that clearly I'm just a terrible applicant with some massive flaw. Any complaining has everyone jump on you going "Well that attitude is why you didn't get in!".


I applied in 2014 and 2015. I only changed one letter writer and I managed to get in. I would get in touch with them now and just briefly let them know what you've been up to for the past year and how you've improved since the last application. When I asked my old prof to write me a new letter I stressed that it was partly because of her that I was granted an interview. She was happy to write it and didn't think it a waste of time.

I'm probably over-thinking the amount of work it'd require from them tbh. For one of them I actually wrote the letter myself, and the other had their secretary write it, haha.

Really I'm just wondering if the JET programme frowns on reusing letters and if they would compare them to last year's or something. If not I don't think I'd have an issue asking them again. You're right in that I should probably get in contact with them soon though.

Jiggit
July 21st, 2015, 08:23
I still think had I gotten a better interviewer (specifically the person interviewing about the Japanese portion) I could have gotten in, but everyone I said that too seemed to believe the system is flawless and that clearly I'm just a terrible applicant with some massive flaw. Any complaining has everyone jump on you going "Well that attitude is why you didn't get in!".

If you're going to assume that everyone giving you advice is wrong and the system is flawed then what's the point of posting about it in a discussion forum? Clearly you're not going to take anything anyone says on board, so why bother asking?

Virgil
July 21st, 2015, 08:47
I still think had I gotten a better interviewer (specifically the person interviewing about the Japanese portion) I could have gotten in, but everyone I said that too seemed to believe the system is flawless and that clearly I'm just a terrible applicant with some massive flaw. Any complaining has everyone jump on you going "Well that attitude is why you didn't get in!".


Even now, you're perspective seems just `not right.`
It's almost Poe level, since you seem like you could be a real person and these are actual views you have. Even through text I can tell that you have a strong tendency for externalizing blame. This is a red flag for me personally, since I do the opposite.
Even if something is not my fault, I'm always trying to think about what I could have done better to mitigate the situation. This is just my perspective, but I find that it serves me well - if not a tad self-deprecating at times.

You're probably right about the interest in Japan thing. I think this is a bit bigger than most people realize. Sure they don't give a shit about how much a weeaboo LOOOOOVES JAPAAAAN! They do care that you should have done a LITTLE research into the country you claim to want to work in. They asked me similar things, and the only thing I knew about Japan was Abe's name. I also knew a bit about the Japanese language, but that was mostly due to my interest in language. I wasn't shortlisted either, so there's that.

haitch40
July 21st, 2015, 09:38
Mike.

Blaming everyone else just suggests that you don't realise why they rejected you. If you think hard then there will surely be something you can see that you can improve on.

The interest in Japan stuff. I do feel that it is a bit of a major point if you did that bad. Not bothering to even know Abe's name is like going to any other interview having not researched the company which just shows you aren't really bothered about the job.

BifCarbet
July 21st, 2015, 11:08
For one of them I actually wrote the letter myself, and the other had their secretary write it, haha.

Ask different people.

Virgil
July 21st, 2015, 11:16
And I don't think anyone said the system was flawless. Not here at least.

MikeCarter
July 21st, 2015, 11:31
And I don't think anyone said the system was flawless. Not here at least.

Really?

Because you're all ignoring that I already pointed out what I think I did wrong. I already know what I can do to improve next year, and fully intend to do it.

Instead, you're insulting my character, saying that I can't accept blame, that I think everyone that disagrees with me is wrong, and even that I may not be a real person (I mean really, the fuck?).

Why? Because I said I think if I had gotten a better interviewer that I could have gotten in. Even if you don't think it's flawless, you're all still incredibly defensive of the JET programme process.

And you didn't even give your opinions on if I should get different letters of recommendation or if the same ones are fine, lol. It's like you came in here just to insult me.

BifCarbet
July 21st, 2015, 11:39
you're all still incredibly defensive of the JET programme process.

I think you're on to a little bit of something with this response. However, I think the idea is that the real world is not fair and rewarding, not "The JET Program is fine and you suck."

Virgil
July 21st, 2015, 11:42
Really?

Because you're all ignoring that I already pointed out what I think I did wrong. I already know what I can do to improve next year, and fully intend to do it.

Instead, you're insulting my character, saying that I can't accept blame, that I think everyone that disagrees with me is wrong, and even that I may not be a real person (I mean really, the fuck?).

Why? Because I said I think if I had gotten a better interviewer that I could have gotten in. Even if you don't think it's flawless, you're all still incredibly defensive of the JET programme process.

And you didn't even give your opinions on if I should get different letters of recommendation or if the same ones are fine, lol. It's like you came in here just to insult me.

Ah, sorry if I hurt your feelings.

I get a bit dismissive when your actual question is prefaced by "I would have got in if the interviewer was better."
It's actually absurd on so many levels, and I'm just trying to get you to see that.

Then your question about recommendation letters said "For one of them I actually wrote the letter myself, and the other had their secretary write it, haha."

I'm gonna let you do the work on that one.

I'm really not insulting you, I'm giving constructive criticism. If you choose not to see it that way, you are welcome to ignore it. I don't think I am bullying or being an ass - if I am I'll change my wording at a mod's request.

Jiggit
July 21st, 2015, 11:48
Because you're all ignoring that I already pointed out what I think I did wrong. I already know what I can do to improve next year, and fully intend to do it.

All you've done is say what you think and that everyone else's opinion is wrong. It's got zero to do with accepting "blame", you're not accepting any ideas that you don't already agree with. You "already know" everything about what happened and you've acted that way since the start.


Even if you don't think it's flawless, you're all still incredibly defensive of the JET programme process.

Are we? I don't see where. All we're saying is to stop whining about the world being unfair and focus on yourself, which is the only factor you can actually affect.


And you didn't even give your opinions on if I should get different letters of recommendation or if the same ones are fine, lol. It's like you came in here just to insult me.

Can you blame him when you just came in here to bitch about how we're all stupid meanies? Again, why would we bother giving you our opinions when you've already shown you only listen to them when they confirm what you already decided?

Gizmotech
July 21st, 2015, 11:50
Really?

Because you're all ignoring that I already pointed out what I think I did wrong. I already know what I can do to improve next year, and fully intend to do it.

Instead, you're insulting my character, saying that I can't accept blame, that I think everyone that disagrees with me is wrong, and even that I may not be a real person (I mean really, the fuck?).

Why? Because I said I think if I had gotten a better interviewer that I could have gotten in. Even if you don't think it's flawless, you're all still incredibly defensive of the JET programme process.

And you didn't even give your opinions on if I should get different letters of recommendation or if the same ones are fine, lol. It's like you came in here just to insult me.

Well you got an interview, that's basically everything until that point is okay. In the interview, you must have demonstrated a quality or characteristic that the interviewers didn't like. If it was the same level of arrogance (Your lack of ability to accept full responsibility, rather than try and blame someone/something else) that you are demonstrating here, it makes perfect sense they wouldn't be interested. One member of a panel should not be able to fail a candidate, and if they could there would be NO WAY I'd be on the program. That Japanese dude on mine was shooting laser beams into my head. Like, scary levels of hate. I still got in, and most people over here would say I don't belong on the program (I regularly tell them to go fuck some sand paper).

Mind you, the letters of reference you mentioned seem pretty week if they couldn't be bothered to write them themselves. I imagine at second glance they were pretty unspectacular letters. Which also says something to your character, that you couldn't find two people who were willing to write praise about you. (Seriously, that small but significant part of the recommendation letter process is often overlooked by candidates. It's not who wrote it for you, it's what they wrote).

We have a right to be defensive about the process. The people who get on, have made it through, and while they aren't all perfect they did achieve the end result. And there have been 27 years * 2000 people, or around 60k people on the program who made it through. If the system was as flawed as you make it out to be, I imagine more people would have a valid grievance.

sheonamacaulay
July 21st, 2015, 12:22
Hi everyone, I am also applying for JET this year from Scotland, and would be very grateful for some help on my SOP closer to the time! I currently teach in Thailand, so I'm hoping that will be a plus. Starting to write my SOP at the moment because I want to be prepared haha... Anyway, nice to meet you all!

johnny
July 21st, 2015, 13:50
Well, let me say now that, no interview process is perfect. Any panel is going to have members with biases and short-comings. For all we know, you lost out because there was one domineering interviewer that didn't like the part of your hair.

That being said, I don't think the Jet Programme's interview process is particularly flawed. I think that the best thing you can do is reflect on your interview and think of how to do better next time.

Rather than lament the process, think of it as challenge. Think of how you can change your interview performance so you can get over to Japan.

BifCarbet
July 21st, 2015, 13:55
Hi everyone, I am also applying for JET this year from Scotland, and would be very grateful for some help on my SOP closer to the time! I currently teach in Thailand, so I'm hoping that will be a plus. Starting to write my SOP at the moment because I want to be prepared haha... Anyway, nice to meet you all!

You will find help here. Throw it at us when you're ready for some feedback.

x_stei
July 21st, 2015, 14:26
95% sure I came off as not having a real interest in Japan. I couldn't answer her "two most important people in Japanese history and why" question, I didn't know the current prime minister (damn you Abe), my reason for going to Japan ended up as a long rant that basically amounted to "I like their culture because it's different but the same", and my Japanese skills (although low) were quickly dismissed as nothing. Rest of the interview (although it still seemed tougher than most) went fine, and I didn't think much of it because everyone I talked to said those questions didn't matter much.

I still think had I gotten a better interviewer (specifically the person interviewing about the Japanese portion) I could have gotten in, but everyone I said that too seemed to believe the system is flawless and that clearly I'm just a terrible applicant with some massive flaw. Any complaining has everyone jump on you going "Well that attitude is why you didn't get in!".



I'm probably over-thinking the amount of work it'd require from them tbh. For one of them I actually wrote the letter myself, and the other had their secretary write it, haha.

Really I'm just wondering if the JET programme frowns on reusing letters and if they would compare them to last year's or something. If not I don't think I'd have an issue asking them again. You're right in that I should probably get in contact with them soon though.

I'm going to try my best to help you.

If you could help me understand where you went wrong in your interview by answering these questions, please do:

Thinking back on your interview, what would you have considered a better interviewer?

What were the questions regarding Japanese culture that you prepared for that could've been asked at the interview?

What did you say in your self-introduction? If you could be specific, that would be great.

Why do you think writing a recommendation letter does not require a great amount of work?

What did you do when you couldn't answer the "two most important people in Japanese history and why" question?

I've read your posts in other threads and some of my questions came from that.

ljusastjarnan
July 21st, 2015, 14:29
I agree with John. It could very well have been the case that had it been another interviewer, you would have got in. There is no way to confirm that, however, and these things will always be out of your control. The jet program has no way to account for human error and the inherent biases that will bring, and people just have to work around that.

Do you have contingency plans? For if JET does not work out? I would focus more on them, and becoming a more well-rounded person.

starxrox
July 21st, 2015, 14:34
Do you have contingency plans? For if JET does not work out? I would focus more on them, and becoming a more well-rounded person.


Just on the note: what are some contingency plans for wannabe JET's?
Obviously stuff like interac... But are there other companies like JET in say, Korea? Nepal? South America?

x_stei
July 21st, 2015, 14:41
South Korea has Epik: EPIK (English Program In Korea) (https://www.epik.go.kr/index.do)

Also, my friend is going to China to teach English through CIEE (Teach English Abroad | Teaching English Abroad | CIEE Teach Abroad (http://www.ciee.org/teach/)) but I suspect that's only for US citizens.

books8137
July 21st, 2015, 23:32
Also, Hong Kong has their own initiative, if you want to be in China but not IN China: Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme (http://www.edb.gov.hk/en/curriculum-development/resource-support/net/index.html)

There are also sites like Teach Away with job postings/recruitment help in places around the world, especially the Middle East if you're interested in teaching English there, though I've noticed they generally like better qualifications and/or teacher certifications.

patjs
July 22nd, 2015, 00:25
95% sure I came off as not having a real interest in Japan. I couldn't answer her "two most important people in Japanese history and why" question, I didn't know the current prime minister (damn you Abe), my reason for going to Japan ended up as a long rant that basically amounted to "I like their culture because it's different but the same", and my Japanese skills (although low) were quickly dismissed as nothing. Rest of the interview (although it still seemed tougher than most) went fine, and I didn't think much of it because everyone I talked to said those questions didn't matter much.

Yeah that's gonna raise a red flag.


I still think had I gotten a better interviewer (specifically the person interviewing about the Japanese portion) I could have gotten in, but everyone I said that too seemed to believe the system is flawless and that clearly I'm just a terrible applicant with some massive flaw. Any complaining has everyone jump on you going "Well that attitude is why you didn't get in!".

This is not a good attitude. Also let me let you in on something- the Japanese test is bonus points and not even that important. You having a different interviewer would not have changed anything




I'm probably over-thinking the amount of work it'd require from them tbh. For one of them I actually wrote the letter myself, and the other had their secretary write it, haha.

Really I'm just wondering if the JET programme frowns on reusing letters and if they would compare them to last year's or something. If not I don't think I'd have an issue asking them again. You're right in that I should probably get in contact with them soon though.

Go ahead and re-use the letters. I'd work on your interviewing skills and attitude a bit though for next year.

texxaport
July 22nd, 2015, 06:36
Hi everyone, I am also applying for JET this year from Scotland, and would be very grateful for some help on my SOP closer to the time! I currently teach in Thailand, so I'm hoping that will be a plus. Starting to write my SOP at the moment because I want to be prepared haha... Anyway, nice to meet you all!

I'd take a look at it for you when the time comes!

MikeCarter
July 22nd, 2015, 07:33
Ah, sorry if I hurt your feelings.

I get a bit dismissive when your actual question is prefaced by "I would have got in if the interviewer was better."
It's actually absurd on so many levels, and I'm just trying to get you to see that.


I said could have, not would have. I don't think it's 100% I would have gotten in, but I certainly think I would have stood a higher chance had I had gotten the same interviewers some others had.


Well you got an interview, that's basically everything until that point is okay. In the interview, you must have demonstrated a quality or characteristic that the interviewers didn't like. If it was the same level of arrogance (Your lack of ability to accept full responsibility, rather than try and blame someone/something else) that you are demonstrating here, it makes perfect sense they wouldn't be interested. One member of a panel should not be able to fail a candidate, and if they could there would be NO WAY I'd be on the program. That Japanese dude on mine was shooting laser beams into my head. Like, scary levels of hate. I still got in, and most people over here would say I don't belong on the program (I regularly tell them to go fuck some sand paper).


See, that opinion is just odd. Why on earth would you think I act the same way at an interview as I do here? They are two completely different situations. Do you approach every single interaction the exact same way or something?


Mind you, the letters of reference you mentioned seem pretty week if they couldn't be bothered to write them themselves. I imagine at second glance they were pretty unspectacular letters. Which also says something to your character, that you couldn't find two people who were willing to write praise about you. (Seriously, that small but significant part of the recommendation letter process is often overlooked by candidates. It's not who wrote it for you, it's what they wrote).

God damn, you guys really are vicious when your programme is insulted.

For the record, the letters and my statement weren't at the interview. The Canadian process was streamlined and it seems those were part of the things left out. Makes sense if you think about it; they already read it once and thought it was good, no need to bring it up again.


I agree with John. It could very well have been the case that had it been another interviewer, you would have got in. There is no way to confirm that, however, and these things will always be out of your control. The jet program has no way to account for human error and the inherent biases that will bring, and people just have to work around that.

Do you have contingency plans? For if JET does not work out? I would focus more on them, and becoming a more well-rounded person.

At the time, none. I since got a good job, a car, and in general my life back on track though.

I'm kind of hesitant to apply because of the job, but if I get in and still have this job I can deal with that when the time comes.

And thanks for being one of the only people to agree I'm not completely out of line for thinking a different interviewer could have mattered.


I'm going to try my best to help you.

If you could help me understand where you went wrong in your interview by answering these questions, please do:

Thinking back on your interview, what would you have considered a better interviewer?

What were the questions regarding Japanese culture that you prepared for that could've been asked at the interview?

What did you say in your self-introduction? If you could be specific, that would be great.

Why do you think writing a recommendation letter does not require a great amount of work?

What did you do when you couldn't answer the "two most important people in Japanese history and why" question?

I've read your posts in other threads and some of my questions came from that.

1) Asking better questions/not being so dismissive. The one girl was fine and asked decent to good questions, the other turned the dial to 11 and asked harder questions than others got. For example, a popular question others got was "name two famous Japanese people", and the one I got was "Name the two most important people in Japan's history and why". Things like that happened. When the girl read my Japanese ability was self-taught, her reaction was "So, then you don't know any Japanese?", before actually testing me. I told her I knew some, she asked me to introduce myself, I did, and then she went "But you don't know anything else, right?"

When I said I did she just said okay and ended the testing part.

2) Dunno. I was under the impression having interest in Japan was the requirement, not having knowledge. In many of the videos I watched the people accepted said they had very little knowledge of Japan and were accepted.

3) I don't recall there being a self introduction. Either that was another change to the Canadian process, or I just have forgotten by now.

4) I didn't say writing a recommendation letter doesn't require a lot of work. The ones I got were written by myself and the assistant of one of the people I asked though, so in terms of effort required on their parts, it was really low. Hence, the ones I got did not require a lot of work on their parts.

5) Ahh, that's a good question, haha. Truth is, I had two names in mind - Tokugawa Yoshinobu and Oda Nobunaga. Yoshinobu for starting the Meiji Restoration, and Nobunaga for unifying Japan. I didn't go unprepared for that question.

Thing is, I completely mixed up and said Tokugawa Ieyasu instead, and I mispronounced his name so bad she had a hard time understanding who I was trying to talk about (doesn't help I was saying he started the Meiji Restoration, lol). After awkwardly trying to say who he was, I gave up and just said I didn't know a second because I figured I'd butcher Oda's name too, and thought they might frown on using two people from the samurai era.

Virgil
July 22nd, 2015, 08:01
I had a guy in my panel who was kind of a dick too. I think they do it on purpose to see how you'll react. They want to see you under pressure.

Ebi
July 22nd, 2015, 08:44
I had a guy in my panel who was kind of a dick too. I think they do it on purpose to see how you'll react. They want to see you under pressure.
I think this is spot on. I think the point of the interviews is to give them a good idea of whether or not you might flake or freak out when put into an uncomfortable position.

I was asked some difficult questions by one interviewer who seemed to be intentionally trying to make me squirm. But I did a decent enough job answering/deflecting them that I got an alt position. (Obviously I could have done better still since I wasn't short listed right away.)

I hate to add to the pile on, but it doesn't sound like you dodged those questions very well. A little bit of humor could probably have saved your mix-up with the names. And it probably didn't look good that you abandoned saying a second person rather than give it another shot.

The questions might seem harsh or irrelevant, but I actually think it's important that interviewers ask intentionally difficult questions to force people to think on their feet. Flexibility is a huge part of being an ALT.

Some people still pass who probably shouldn't and I'm sure some people fail even though they would have done great, but they just had a bad interview. It's not a perfect system but I don't think the solution is to make every interview easy and exactly the same.

webstaa
July 22nd, 2015, 08:54
I'm going to try my best to help you.

If you could help me understand where you went wrong in your interview by answering these questions, please do:

Thinking back on your interview, what would you have considered a better interviewer?

What were the questions regarding Japanese culture that you prepared for that could've been asked at the interview?

What did you say in your self-introduction? If you could be specific, that would be great.

Why do you think writing a recommendation letter does not require a great amount of work?

What did you do when you couldn't answer the "two most important people in Japanese history and why" question?

I've read your posts in other threads and some of my questions came from that.


I'll throw my answers up here for comparison's sake.

1.) My interview panel was an American academic of Japanese history/culture/language from a reasonably prestigious university, a Japanese staffer from the consulate, and a post-JET from the city I studied abroad in. The exALT was especially energetic - she asked questions like 'do you know the gaijin bar in X town?' and 'did you go to the nearby cities every weekend?' etc.

2.) When they opened up to me for questions, I tried to be fairly specific. Having lived in Japan for a year, most of my questions were about office culture (my biggest fear.) The consular staffer thought that was good but couldn't articulate more, and the exALT was extremely broad in her answers.

3.) I had a self-intro as a part of the Japanese 'test.' I did a basic (with what keigo I know/can use) - My name, hometown, when I graduated from college/where I studied (including abroad,) and threw in a yoroshiku for closing. I bombed the written/reading portion (hadn't studied seriously for about 9 months at that point.)

4.) I solicited letters from only 2 people - both instructors I had taken classes from in the three years before I applied. I knew they'd write glowing letters for me, but in hindsight - a little variety might have been better.

5.) I heard about this question and chose Yoshida Shigeru (Japan's first post-war PM) and Iwakura Tomomi (a statesman at the end of the bakufu/beginning of the Meiji era.) When asked, I got flustered and went down the, 'well, there's so many, who to choose?' line - they seemed satisfied with any answer. In reality, they were much more interested in my personal answers to 'why Japan' rather than what Japanese historical figures I liked.

Gizmotech
July 22nd, 2015, 09:05
I See, that opinion is just odd. Why on earth would you think I act the same way at an interview as I do here? They are two completely different situations. Do you approach every single interaction the exact same way or something?

I dunno. Could it have something to do with the fact that your reviewer decided to be aggressive with you? It's actually a pretty logical position to take with someone who is arrogant, as it quickly demonstrates whether an arrogant person has humility and the ability to adapt to situations which they might encounter. Two skills which are VERY MUCH REQUIRED on the JET programme.


God damn, you guys really are vicious when your programme is insulted.

For the record, the letters and my statement weren't at the interview. The Canadian process was streamlined and it seems those were part of the things left out. Makes sense if you think about it; they already read it once and thought it was good, no need to bring it up again.

The interview doesn't make all the final decisions. It's a cumulative score. Just because they weren't at the interview itself, doesn't mean they aren't included in the final score. Also, not being defensive of the programme so much as pointing out that your individual experience seems counter to the experiences of at least 60k people over almost 30 years, (probably in the range of 300k people if you assume only 25% of interviewees get in)



And thanks for being one of the only people to agree I'm not completely out of line for thinking a different interviewer could have mattered.

You're not out of line, and you deserve to complain. That being said, you're looking for a point of failure which is far less likely than the more obvious point of failure.




1) Asking better questions/not being so dismissive. The one girl was fine and asked decent to good questions, the other turned the dial to 11 and asked harder questions than others got. For example, a popular question others got was "name two famous Japanese people", and the one I got was "Name the two most important people in Japan's history and why". Things like that happened. When the girl read my Japanese ability was self-taught, her reaction was "So, then you don't know any Japanese?", before actually testing me. I told her I knew some, she asked me to introduce myself, I did, and then she went "But you don't know anything else, right?"

When I said I did she just said okay and ended the testing part.

I know this from first hand experience, it's to determine if you are comfortable using Japanese right away or not, so they know where to place you. I studied in Uni (4 years, but had a year off before the interview). They asked me for an introduction, I flubbed the whole thing, they said do I know anymore, I went ya, they said "okay". If I could have held a conversation slightly more competently it would have been a mark for ES/JHS where you don't always have english speaking JTEs.



2) Dunno. I was under the impression having interest in Japan was the requirement, not having knowledge. In many of the videos I watched the people accepted said they had very little knowledge of Japan and were accepted.

Did you ever assume that rather than being based on knowledge, the purpose of the question was to see how you would react to being asked a question you may or may not know the answer to (read: all of teaching)? There are ways to handle questions you don't know the answer to rather than just blurting out your memorized information. You are absolutely right that having an interest is all that is required, and very little knowledge won't hold people back



3) I don't recall there being a self introduction. Either that was another change to the Canadian process, or I just have forgotten by now.

You just said you did one in Japanese. This is what the question is referring to. How did you introduce yourself in Japanese?


4) I didn't say writing a recommendation letter doesn't require a lot of work. The ones I got were written by myself and the assistant of one of the people I asked though, so in terms of effort required on their parts, it was really low. Hence, the ones I got did not require a lot of work on their parts.

5) Ahh, that's a good question, haha. Truth is, I had two names in mind - Tokugawa Yoshinobu and Oda Nobunaga. Yoshinobu for starting the Meiji Restoration, and Nobunaga for unifying Japan. I didn't go unprepared for that question.

Thing is, I completely mixed up and said Tokugawa Ieyasu instead, and I mispronounced his name so bad she had a hard time understanding who I was trying to talk about (doesn't help I was saying he started the Meiji Restoration, lol). After awkwardly trying to say who he was, I gave up and just said I didn't know a second because I figured I'd butcher Oda's name too, and thought they might frown on using two people from the samurai era.
So more importantly, did you realize that mistake in the interview or afterwards? Did they bring it up to you?

You said we're (more specifically I am) vicious, frankly this is nothing. Your responses to us online so far have demonstrated a certain amount of arrogance and entitlement that don't go down well over here, and while yes this is your online persona, it doesn't mean that parts of this persona don't filter into the real world from time to time.

I'm quite glad you have a car and a job now. I would honestly suggest sticking with that plan. JET isn't the end all be all of international exchanges, and it also isn't a career (hell it's not even a well paying job at this point... grrr). Stick with what ya got and run with it bro, it'll get ya further.

word
July 22nd, 2015, 10:59
Asking better questions/not being so dismissive. The one girl was fine and asked decent to good questions, the other turned the dial to 11 and asked harder questions than others got.


I had a guy in my panel who was kind of a dick too. I think they do it on purpose to see how you'll react. They want to see you under pressure.


I think this is spot on. I think the point of the interviews is to give them a good idea of whether or not you might flake or freak out when put into an uncomfortable position.

word

One of my interviewers was kindof a dick, too, but I think it was intentional. He put me on the spot, harassed me a bit, and made me uncomfortable. It was a pretty good way of seeing how I would react to such a situation... and I have definitely found myself in the exact same scenarios (and worse) a few times in my years here. All of us have. Though I didn't enjoy it at the time, I very much understand how essential this sort of test really was.

I'm as arrogant and dickish as they come, but sometimes humility serves one far better--especially in Japan.


Truth is, I had two names in mind - Tokugawa Yoshinobu and Oda Nobunaga. Yoshinobu for starting the Meiji Restoration, and Nobunaga for unifying Japan. I didn't go unprepared for that question.

Thing is, I completely mixed up and said Tokugawa Ieyasu instead, and I mispronounced his name so bad she had a hard time understanding who I was trying to talk about (doesn't help I was saying he started the Meiji Restoration, lol). After awkwardly trying to say who he was, I gave up and just said I didn't know a second because I figured I'd butcher Oda's name too, and thought they might frown on using two people from the samurai era.Ouch. That sounds pretty rough.

That story is one of the reasons why I tell people not to focus on preparing for the questions before they go into the interview. The interview isn't about your ability to rattle off prepared answers. It's not even about the questions at all.


The questions might seem harsh or irrelevant, but I actually think it's important that interviewers ask intentionally difficult questions to force people to think on their feet. Flexibility is a huge part of being an ALT.

Some people still pass who probably shouldn't and I'm sure some people fail even though they would have done great, but they just had a bad interview. It's not a perfect system but I don't think the solution is to make every interview easy and exactly the same.word


...and while yes this is your online persona, it doesn't mean that parts of this persona don't filter into the real world from time to time.word

I am terrified that parts of my online persona filter into the real world.

http://images-cdn.moviepilot.com/images/c_fill,h_600,w_758/t_mp_quality/gtnle7a9oy4bgcjxc405/my-top-25-episodes-of-community-376302.jpg

x_stei
July 22nd, 2015, 11:29
1) Asking better questions/not being so dismissive. The one girl was fine and asked decent to good questions, the other turned the dial to 11 and asked harder questions than others got. For example, a popular question others got was "name two famous Japanese people", and the one I got was "Name the two most important people in Japan's history and why". Things like that happened. When the girl read my Japanese ability was self-taught, her reaction was "So, then you don't know any Japanese?", before actually testing me. I told her I knew some, she asked me to introduce myself, I did, and then she went "But you don't know anything else, right?"

When I said I did she just said okay and ended the testing part.

2) Dunno. I was under the impression having interest in Japan was the requirement, not having knowledge. In many of the videos I watched the people accepted said they had very little knowledge of Japan and were accepted.

3) I don't recall there being a self introduction. Either that was another change to the Canadian process, or I just have forgotten by now.

4) I didn't say writing a recommendation letter doesn't require a lot of work. The ones I got were written by myself and the assistant of one of the people I asked though, so in terms of effort required on their parts, it was really low. Hence, the ones I got did not require a lot of work on their parts.

5) Ahh, that's a good question, haha. Truth is, I had two names in mind - Tokugawa Yoshinobu and Oda Nobunaga. Yoshinobu for starting the Meiji Restoration, and Nobunaga for unifying Japan. I didn't go unprepared for that question.

Thing is, I completely mixed up and said Tokugawa Ieyasu instead, and I mispronounced his name so bad she had a hard time understanding who I was trying to talk about (doesn't help I was saying he started the Meiji Restoration, lol). After awkwardly trying to say who he was, I gave up and just said I didn't know a second because I figured I'd butcher Oda's name too, and thought they might frown on using two people from the samurai era.

1. What are better questions?

(It's possible that you were unlucky and got an interviewer that might've been too judgemental.)

2. They may have had little knowledge, but that doesn't mean they didn't prepare answers for questions related to Japanese culture. Study up on this next time. Try to memorize 3-5 famous Japanese actors, athletes, politicians, etc.

3. I see, thanks for the explanation!

4. I read somewhere else that you didn't do very well on the self-intro and they were also being dismissive. I'm answering with limited knowledge, but do some research online about how to do a JET Programme self-intro next time. Maybe this might help? http://www.jetprogramme.org/documents/conference/tokyo_ori/2013_to/beginner_japanese_handout.pdf

5. I think giving up was a bad idea. I think the JET Programme interview panel really likes to see you try even when it's obvious to them and yourself that it's bad lol. So next time don't give up and even if you don't know something, try your best to come up with something. Think creatively and on your feet. Also, apologize if you know you're doing something wrong, or think you might be doing something wrong, bring out that Canadian-ness!

naginataonthebrain
July 22nd, 2015, 11:31
I'm going to try my best to help you.

If you could help me understand where you went wrong in your interview by answering these questions, please do:

Thinking back on your interview, what would you have considered a better interviewer?

What were the questions regarding Japanese culture that you prepared for that could've been asked at the interview?

What did you say in your self-introduction? If you could be specific, that would be great.

Why do you think writing a recommendation letter does not require a great amount of work?

What did you do when you couldn't answer the "two most important people in Japanese history and why" question?

I've read your posts in other threads and some of my questions came from that.


I'll also throw my answers up here.

1. I had four people at my interview. The JET coordinator, a Japanese lady who was a professor at a well-known school here in the south, and two ex-ALTs. The ladies were nice but one of the ex-ALTs had a severe resting bitch face. I thought he was going to be the one grilling me but he kept quiet most of the time. I thought it was slightly annoying that they kept asking me how I would deal with culture shock even though I have previously lived in Japan. In fact, except for my health record, they didn't mention ANYTHING about my SoP or background. I wondered if they even had time to read it in the first place. Oh well, I rolled with the punches.

2. See, I was planning to go over a bunch of Japanese trivia before the interview but about a week before it happened, I was like "You know what, that will be overkill.". If I knew the answer, great. If not, I would own up to it and find out later. Luckily they didn't grill me about japanese culture. I'm assuming it's because I told them I majored in East Asian Studies in college and they were like "ok, clearly she's interested in japan, moving on".

3. I was not asked to do a self-introduction, which was weird. Perhaps it was because I marked intermediate on my application. The Japanese professor lady just pulled these cartoons of different scenarios and told me to describe the situation. Then she asked me to name a famous landmark in the U.S. and why it was important. I chose the Statue of Liberty because it represents freedom and the american dream and blah blah blah. She then asked me about immigration in Japan and that's where my j-go shut down.

4. This was my second year applying (didn't make it to the interview stage last time) and I chose two people who, although didn't know for me a long time, worked with me intensely and got to know my work ethic very well. Plus I knew they were strong writers and one of them has a record of writing recommendations for JET applicants (and all of them got in). I also wrote them thank you cards in the past for helping me out and I think that really helped my chances of having them write recommendations for me.

Satori Shinobi
July 22nd, 2015, 11:53
I chose the Statue of Liberty because it represents freedom and the american dream and blah blah blah.

More like kicking the British out, freeing the slaves, and the coming resurgence in feminine empowerment. You don't have to be facetious about it.

haitch40
July 22nd, 2015, 12:04
More like kicking the British out, freeing the slaves, and the coming resurgence in feminine empowerment. You don't have to be facetious about it.
It is more a symbol of how much they love the French. It was made in France after all.

Satori Shinobi
July 22nd, 2015, 12:13
It is more a symbol of how much they love the French. It was made in France after all.

All about those bohemian ideals which we share.

naginataonthebrain
July 22nd, 2015, 12:19
More like kicking the British out, freeing the slaves, and the coming resurgence in feminine empowerment. You don't have to be facetious about it.

I'm sorry, may I remind you this was the Japanese portion of the interview? I like to think my skills are decent but not sadly, not enough to go into the finer detail of Lady Liberty's history.

Satori Shinobi
July 22nd, 2015, 12:29
I'm sorry, may I remind you this was the Japanese portion of the interview? I like to think my skills are decent but not sadly, not enough to go into the finer detail of Lady Liberty's history.

Reminded...

BifCarbet
July 22nd, 2015, 16:42
God damn, you guys really are vicious when your programme is insulted.

Speaking from outside the program, you don't realize that the JET Program is not revered by the participants. Actually, the good majority think, "God, if only I was in charge..."

starxrox
July 22nd, 2015, 19:28
word


That story is one of the reasons why I tell people not to focus on preparing for the questions before they go into the interview. The interview isn't about your ability to rattle off prepared answers. It's not even about the questions at all.


Do you mind clarifying this exactly?
I think I have a hunch of what you mean.

What kind of questions did he ask you to throw you off guard?

word
July 22nd, 2015, 22:04
Do you mind clarifying this exactly?
I think I have a hunch of what you mean.

Hmm, not much I could really add that I didn't put in the "word's advice" thread (http://www.ithinkimlost.com/threads/18935-Word-s-Formerly-Secret-Interview-Advice):


The important things, I guess, are the parts about taking care of yourself and looking good. Every year, people focus like crazy on the questions (I've been watching this process for over eight years, even though I didn't apply until four years ago), but I don't think this is a good idea. Sure, look over some of the old questions, if you'd like. It can't hurt. But don't let that be the focus of your efforts! The interview isn't about the questions, like I said. It's about you. Be your best. Be goddamned super-you when you walk through that door. Be on your game. If you're looking good, feeling good, they can pitch whatever they want at you and you'll knock it out of the freakin' park.

Basically, focusing on the questions is focusing on the wrong goal. Your goal for the interview shouldn't be to present what you think the interviewers want to see, it's about presenting yourself at your best. If you're right for the job, it won't matter if you can't answer every question. If you aren't the best for the job, being able to answer every question won't help you, and nobody--certainly not you--will benefit from your admission into the program.

There's no shame in not being the perfect candidate for JET. That doesn't mean you aren't intelligent, or worldly, or funny, or able to work overseas, or able to teach, or anything of the sort. It just means that your application and interview may not have reflected what the program needed at the time. It can be frustrating, but there are a lot of other ways to go about accomplishing what you want in life. JET shouldn't be a life-goal. It should be a means to an end. There are many means to the same end. Maybe something went wrong, and you weren't at your best, and didn't feel that you presented an accurate picture of yourself. If you think that's the case, figure out how to improve and apply again!


What kind of questions did he ask you to throw you off guard?From the same post:


But be ready for them to f*ck with you. The ex-JET on my panel did. Early on they asked me "Why Japan?" I'd answered the question very clearly in my SoP. I answered it again when they asked. Towards the end of the interview, he said, "I'm still not sure that I'm really understanding your answers to 'Why Japan?' Can you elaborate more on that?" I was about stumped, I mean, I'd said it pretty clearly twice. But I smiled and reached for an answer, reiterated the bit about my grandfather and my childhood experiences, and ended with something horrible: "...but I guess, other than that, I really don't have a clear answer for you." I don't recommend saying that. I don't think that was the important bit, though. I think it had a lot more to do with taking the question in stride. Smile. It helps!

And I still think (even more strongly today) that the "throwing you off guard/f*cking with you" sort of questions aren't at all about the questions; they're about attempting to intentionally make you uncomfortable, to make you struggle--and see how you react. If you react in a defensive, irritable manner; if your pride is reflected by even slight annoyance or hostility... then the interviewer will have a pretty good idea of how you might react when you're thousands of miles from home, surrounded by a language and culture you don't understand well, and inevitably find yourself in an uncomfortable or frustrating situation.

patjs
July 22nd, 2015, 23:47
Basically, focusing on the questions is focusing on the wrong goal. Your goal for the interview shouldn't be to present what you think the interviewers want to see, it's about presenting yourself at your best. If you're right for the job, it won't matter if you can't answer every question. If you aren't the best for the job, being able to answer every question won't help you, and nobody--certainly not you--will benefit from your admission into the program.



Word.

This is it right here. The actual questions aren't that important. They are first and foremost trying to ascertain if the candidate will be able to handle the position. Do they react well to uncomfortable situations? The interviewers are basically trying to figure out if the candidate is going to be able to handle the myriad of awkward, infuriating, insulting, or difficult situation ALTs face in Japan. Can they handle it and handle it gracefully?

johnny
July 23rd, 2015, 16:56
I mean, this is it right here folks. Word is right on the money. Be ready for at least one of your interviewers to push you and to challenge you. It's not them being a sadist. They probably don't like seeing people squirm. They want to make sure that your future CO has a good ALT that won't crack under any pressure.

They also push you because they don't want you to have a bad time either. If you don't deal with this sort of minor pressure well, then Japan might not be the right place for your to work.

MikeCarter
July 25th, 2015, 09:04
Speaking from outside the program, you don't realize that the JET Program is not revered by the participants. Actually, the good majority think, "God, if only I was in charge..."

There's a difference between changing parts of the program once on it, and changing how people get on it.

Most people that got through are incredibly defensive of the process. It's the process that choose them, after all. There's good reason for them to want to believe they got on solely due to their merit.

Granted, you could swing that around and say the reverse is true for people that don't get on the programme as well, which is exactly what most people have done.

Reality is, it's impossible the process isn't flawed. There's too many different people involved in the decision process for biases and and some bad interviewers to not make it through, especially given most of the interviewers really have no reason to care who gets in the programme. It's not like they're all normally involved in HR either. These are usually just normal people pulled from different sectors.

word
July 25th, 2015, 11:46
Most people that got through are incredibly defensive of the process. It's the process that choose them, after all. There's good reason for them to want to believe they got on solely due to their merit.I don't think I got in solely due to my merit. I think I got shortlisted because of a variety of factors. My efforts to show myself at my best comprised quite a few of those factors. There were other factors over which I had absolutely no control. However...


Reality is, it's impossible the process isn't flawed....while this is true, it's also true for every other job-interview/screening process on the planet. Until The Singularity emerges and turns human civilization into a finely-tuned herd of cooperative sheep, we're gonna be doing the best we can by stumbling along in our flawed way. For JET and all other jobs, this means an inherently imperfect system of screening and hiring candidates.

Mitigate the system's flaws at much as you can. Control the factors that you're capable of controlling. Acknowledge areas in which you may have fallen short so as to improve successive attempts. That's all any of us can do.

caffeinedreamer
July 25th, 2015, 18:03
Any ex-JETs applying from the UK this year? I was 2008-2013. Happy to help with advice, but also looking for some myself!

How many positions will there be in Tokyo next year? I heard JET were opening some more up? Also, would a reference from a former JET supervisor help?

Virgil
July 25th, 2015, 18:26
I'm pretty sure I've said on this board that they throw darts at applicant's pictures to select shortlisters.

Gizmotech
July 25th, 2015, 19:10
Any ex-JETs applying from the UK this year? I was 2008-2013. Happy to help with advice, but also looking for some myself!

How many positions will there be in Tokyo next year? I heard JET were opening some more up? Also, would a reference from a former JET supervisor help?

Umm were you a 4 or 5 year alt?

uthinkimlost?
July 25th, 2015, 19:14
A) Why again?

2) I think you hit the limit there, bub.

acpc2203
July 26th, 2015, 06:54
I'm pretty sure I've said on this board that they throw darts at applicant's pictures to select shortlisters.
Spoken like a true alternate :^)

texxaport
July 26th, 2015, 08:01
A) Why again?

2) I think you hit the limit there, bub.

A -> 2 ?

uthinkimlost?
July 26th, 2015, 08:19
A -> 2 ?
A->2->B.999999

Shincantsen
August 19th, 2015, 23:04
A word of advice - if you're not sure if an arrest/conviction from your past has been completely expunged or not, now is the time to order an FBI background check for yourself. That way you can see if you need to mention it on your application or not.

word
August 20th, 2015, 10:33
A word of advice - if you're not sure if an arrest/conviction from your past has been completely expunged or not, now is the time to order an FBI background check for yourself. That way you can see if you need to mention it on your application or not.
word

Seriously, this is a good idea.

sparrosd
August 28th, 2015, 21:41
Hello! :^_^: I wanted to introduce myself as a 2016 JET Applicant. I am excited to get to know everyone (well... maybe not everyone) here.

setyoursightsnorth
August 29th, 2015, 02:07
Hi all! As the application date draws closer, I have a few questions about the documents necessary to fulfill the application.

So the application asks for an official transcript, of which I'll have to make three copies (as with every document that I submit). My university gives me the option of sending the transcript to me personally (which would be marked as a student transcript) or to a direct institution. Here is the information in more detail:

"Issue to student or send directly

Every transcript that is issued directly to a student is clearly marked as such. Because many institutions and other entities will not accept a transcript that has been in the student's possession, we strongly recommend you request the Office of the Registrar to mail a transcript directly to the institution/entity involved. If you choose not to follow this recommendation, you are liable for any further charges for additional transcripts."

So my question is: do I order a student transcript and send in my copy plus two additional copies, or do I send three transcripts made out to the Jet Program/Japanese Embassy in DC? How did you guys go about this when you applied?

Shincantsen
August 29th, 2015, 04:40
So my question is: do I order a student transcript and send in my copy plus two additional copies, or do I send three transcripts made out to the Jet Program/Japanese Embassy in DC? How did you guys go about this when you applied?


Since they want to get all your documents together at one time, you should send yourself the official transcript and open it (even if it says that will make it invalid) to make the copies.

Ananasboat
August 29th, 2015, 17:46
It's a good question, but shink is right. Your application will look like a stack of newspapers with all the documents and pages you need to submit. Those on the recieving end don't mind if it's technically "invalid" because they just want to see if you possess a degree or will soon.

Dr. Doom
August 29th, 2015, 20:48
For people who are obsessed with JET. Let me offer some solace(Or maybe Grimace to a degree).



Firstly, there is a video of some weird girl doing an apartment tour on Youtube. The girl is literally obsessed with anime and it shows. Her house is an absolute wreck. It looks like the next tsunami came in and she opened the door and invited it for breakfast.

She has toys and figurines literally everywhere, on the window seal, the kitchen counters, on top of the television, and god knows where else(The bathroom sink maybe?). Half of the video was literally her showing her new anime posters, toys, and merchandise that she picked up from Akihabara. She was like a weird caricature, almost to the T of the stereotypical "weaboo" that I think most people on this site dislike. Her speech patterns were odd too, one of those,"EEEEK!!, Look at this special edition *insert anime character here* name that I picked up from *insert generic Akihabara anime store*, that you don't have and I do because I live in Japan!! EEEEK"; type of person. She also admitted that she JUST graduated from college(oh brother, not that one again) and saw a JET poster/pamphlet and thought "super cool"!! And folks, when I say her room was mess, it was an understatement. It was the type of room you would expect from a 6 year old with ADD, jacked up on Mountain Dew, who got tired of coloring books and started moving to the walls for a better canvas.

I mean every trope and sin that can possibly be committed was committed. And the entire time I was thinking...,"Somebody got screwed over out of a job so this fresh faced grad who can't even clean her room, and only cares about anime can get a job"? I was disappointed. It was then that I realized something everybody here knows, and is already aware of even if only mentally. JET doesn't give a good god damn about your resume, your organizational skills, or how good of a "game" you can spit in the interview. If you can put on your good ol' boy cap, and take off your cosplay outfit for 30-45 minutes they won't know the difference and you'll be on the next free flight to Japan laughing your ass off at how you fooled everybody in that room. I say say screw JET. They act high and mighty, but how many good people have been screwed out of jobs so they can get their blonde college grad? Probably hundreds. Those hundreds then went on to be successful at other companies teaching English in Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and many other countries.


If JET doesn't want you, hell take that as compliment. Most people I know working for JET hate it. JETs have duties that every other English teacher in Japan either doesn't have to do or doesn't want to do. I've heard about JETs having to stay after school to teach "events", "clubs", and "sports" and god knows what else. Now if you want to do that, more power to you. The school isn't going to stop you. But JETs don't have a choice. Other ALTs, and teachers do. Another thing JETs have to do is during the slow months, they come in and literally have to sit at a desk and do nothing. Wasting valuable vacation time and personal time just to "earn that check". My friends at Interac and ECC are gone at 3:30-5:30 as soon as their last class is out, because most dispatch companies don't require you to stay after school; and during the slow months they take off completely meaning they can go on month long vacations, travel all around Europe or South America, etc because of the length(even though the pay is prorated it's still worth it) JET is only one that does, because they see themselves as being something "more". Which I find funny, I'll take the latter which involves having your nights and actu ally being able to enjoy Japan. If you want to hate Japan like most bitter JETs end up doing, leave after one-two years, and be more sour than a grape, choose JET. If you want to spend some serious time in Japan, potentially retire, get married, go on dates, have a life that isn't your job, and work with more relaxed people choose any other job. For what's it's worth too, I don't know a single Expat in Japan over 40 that works for JET. We are talking hundreds of successful, married expats here. Most people that successfully make it either own their own company or work for a better one. Many people use it as a springboard and then cut it loose as soon as possible.

haitch40
August 30th, 2015, 00:32
Link to this video?

Dr. Doom
August 30th, 2015, 01:12
Link to this video?


Had to find it. Took a while.



Chikusei Leopalace Apartment tour - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8hFj7CeDSI)



She says she "just moved in". Which I called "BS" because all of her anime crap is organized. I laughed, when I was 15 I always used to tell people my room was "under construction" whenever they asked why it was dirty. Even though it was simply by my own laziness it never got cleaned. I finally got tired of having a dirty room as an adult.

elmaldito
August 30th, 2015, 01:52
For people who are obsessed with JET. Let me offer some solace(Or maybe Grimace to a degree).
...

I don't know you personally and don't take it the wrong way, but you do sound bitter, possibly because JET rejected you? Again, I don't know you and I could be wrong, but you seem bitter about JET for some reason. Like you say it should really only be used as a springboard and here JET is one of the best entry level TEFL positions in Japan IMO. You mention Interac, but salary is a lot less (230-250,000) and, as you mention prorated. I know which one I would prefer. However, of course, each has its pros and cons. There's another thread with more discussion on JET vs. Interac.


For what's it's worth too, I don't know a single Expat in Japan over 40 that works for JET. We are talking hundreds of successful, married expats here. Most people that successfully make it either own their own company or work for a better one. Many people use it as a springboard and then cut it loose as soon as possible.

There used to be an age limit on JET and not many people over 40 are on it, and on their website I see the following:



2.14 Is there a maximum age limit?
There is no age limit to apply to participate on the JET Programme. However, you should understand that the JET Programme was conceived as a youth exchange programme. If you understand the goals of the JET Programme and have the ability to accomplish these goals, please feel free to apply.

Which clearly explains why there are few 40+ year olds on the programme. I don't really see the problem with this. It's like in the UK they have conversation assistant programmes for France/Spain etc and they are generally filled by graduates or people in their early 20s on a gap year etc.

It might be annoying seeing this girl on the JET programme when other, possibly better qualified, interviewees got rejected, but we don't know how good her interview skills are or how she came across in the interview (she might have showed great passion for the Japanese language/culture whereas the other more qualified person might have appeared less "genki" and less interested in Japan). Some people can pull off a totally different professional persona compared to their real-life personality (as you mention doing this for the 30-45 minute interview). The fact of the matter is is that Japan seems to attract such people and it's natural some will be picked.

Now I'm going to check out this video you linked!

Dr. Doom
August 30th, 2015, 02:15
I don't know you personally and don't take it the wrong way, but you do sound bitter, possibly because JET rejected you? Again, I don't know you and I could be wrong, but you seem bitter about JET for some reason. Like you say it should really only be used as a springboard and here JET is one of the best entry level TEFL positions in Japan IMO. You mention Interac, but salary is a lot less (230-250,000) and, as you mention prorated. I know which one I would prefer. However, of course, each has its pros and cons. There's another thread with more discussion on JET vs. Interac.



There used to be an age limit on JET and not many people over 40 are on it, and on their website I see the following:



Which clearly explains why there are few 40+ year olds on the programme. I don't really see the problem with this. It's like in the UK they have conversation assistant programmes for France/Spain etc and they are generally filled by graduates or people in their early 20s on a gap year etc.

It might be annoying seeing this girl on the JET programme when other, possibly better qualified, interviewees got rejected, but we don't know how good her interview skills are or how she came across in the interview (she might have showed great passion for the Japanese language/culture whereas the other more qualified person might have appeared less "genki" and less interested in Japan). Some people can pull off a totally different professional persona compared to their real-life personality (as you mention doing this for the 30-45 minute interview). The fact of the matter is is that Japan seems to attract such people and it's natural some will be picked.

Now I'm going to check out this video you linked!




Why does someone have to be "bitter" about something to give an honest opinion on it? This is probably the most overused response ever. No I didn't get "rejected" by JET. I came over years ago from using connections I had made in the country from abroad. As I said in my last paragraph, I could care less if I got rejected by JET even if it did happen. There are 1000 other ways to come to Japan, like many of others have said on this very thread.





Are all disgruntled Walmart employees "bitter" or does Walmart just suck at treating it's employees well? What about MacDonalds? Everybody I know that's worked there hated it, but according to you they must be "bitter". I'm just going off what people have told me that have worked there, and what I know from working in and around the industry. The "best" companies in any field, from insurance, to food, to teaching, are always jaded because they think they are the best and their employees are "lucky" to be working there. Wal-Mart hasn't raised their wages in years, despite the company growing in financial sectors as much as 300% because they consider themselves to be better than their employees. Smaller, more worker-centric companies will always have better models, usually better conditions, and they take themselves far less seriously. Unlike, JET where they act like someone with a master's degree is lucky to even be applying there and should kiss their feet.








Your bolded is exactly the my point. I wish no ill will on this girl and hope she has a good time in Japan. All I can say for a fact though, is some really qualified people were probably sitting at home, reading their automated "Rejection letters" JET sends out, scratching their heads thinking, "What went wrong?" You assume that she interviewed better, and that the more qualified person didn't, which is why she got the job. This is what I was alluding to. JET is a Mickey Mouse organization where they spend more money on advertising than choosing qualified candidates.

Virgil
August 30th, 2015, 02:30
JET is a huge program that is bound to be plagued with issues. While there are other avenues to work abroad, JET offers a lot of jobs without requiring even a year of teaching experience. This is both the reason it is popular and the reason it has muckheads posing as educators.

A lot of what you said is a vast over generalization, and into reflected by my own experience. I could give detail that experience and what otters have told me, but that is only anecdotal and doesn't actually reflect reality.

Dr. Doom
August 30th, 2015, 02:34
JET is a huge program that is bound to be plagued with issues. While there are other avenues to work abroad, JET offers a lot of jobs without requiring even a year of teaching experience. This is both the reason it is popular and the reason it has muckheads posing as educators.

A lot of what you said is a vast over generalization, and into reflected by my own experience. I could give detail that experience and what otters have told me, but that is only anecdotal and doesn't actually reflect reality.


I'll agree to that. Like I said. If someone wants to do JET, more power to them.



I just don't want the young kid getting discouraged whenever JET won't call him back after three years, and then thinking their only option is JET. Most of the successful expats I know, to include myself were never JETs. You don't NEED JET to come over. JET NEEDS you though.

elmaldito
August 30th, 2015, 02:53
I'll agree to that. Like I said. If someone wants to do JET, more power to them.



I just don't want the young kid getting discouraged whenever JET won't call him back after three years, and then thinking their only option is JET. Most of the successful expats I know, to include myself were never JETs. You don't NEED JET to come over. JET NEEDS you though.

Of course, you're right, there are other opportunities and someone shouldn't put all of their eggs into one basket but your anti-JET post sounded rather bitter to me focussing on everything negative about a programme you haven't even taken part in. However, you have told me you're not bitter, so fine. Please relax.


What about MacDonalds? Everybody I know that's worked there hated it, but according to you they must be "bitter"

It's best not putting words into peoples' mouths.

Dr. Doom
August 30th, 2015, 03:54
Of course, you're right, there are other opportunities and someone shouldn't put all of their eggs into one basket but your anti-JET post sounded rather bitter to me focussing on everything negative about a programme you haven't even taken part in. However, you have told me you're not bitter, so fine. Please relax.



It's best not putting words into peoples' mouths.



Thanks for the civil discussion. I figured some JET coordinator would come in here bashing me. No my post was not "anti-JET". There is a difference between being critical of something and being "anti-something". I'm going to assume you work for JET or have in past? Personally, I think they've got a pretty nice spread for newcomers. I would definitely put my ticket in hat to see if it got pulled, in regards to applying to JET if I were coming over now.


My entire post was about, "Don't be depressed if JET doesn't accept you" as people like Word on the last page alluded to, than "JET is an evil organization that stomps on kittens and throws babies out of skyscrapers windows". If JET accepts the anime addicted blonde college grad, over the Bald 35 year old with the masters degree, then they deserve what they get. Everybody else has Interac, Peppy's Club, ECC, Aeon, and a wealth of other schools over here needing teachers. JET is not the end all, be all, and believe all they try to make it seem on their website and on Youtube.

elmaldito
August 30th, 2015, 05:39
No worries. No, I don't work for JET and never have, but will in fact apply this December.


She also admitted that she JUST graduated from college(oh brother, not that one again) and saw a JET poster/pamphlet and thought "super cool"!!

Could you tell me which minute she says this? I don't remember her saying she was on the JET programme and was under the impression that people saying in Leopalace were recruited by Interac.

You think her apartment is messy? Look at this one: Apartment Tour - JET Program - Rural Japan - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtOourAU30w) :p Now, this is a pigsty!!