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starxrox
June 12th, 2015, 06:20
How did you choose your preference?
I'm more than happy to go rural but I just don't know where.
I'm aware it's not a sure thing but I'm interested in where people chose and then ended up?

I've also heard about a guy going somewhere in Shimane (will have to check YouTube) and getting a little blue house with a garden and paying next to nothing. I realise that's a bit of a push but if I could get landed something like that I would be so happy.

Cheers.

texxaport
June 12th, 2015, 06:53
Well one thing that dictated how I did my preferences was this (http://www.jetprogramme.org/documents/stats/2014_jet_stats_e.pdf) document. A lot of people waste their requests by putting in places that there aren't any ALT positions.

Other than that, I selected places that were close to my friends who study in South Korea, were on the water (I'm a biologist with a specialization in marine systems), had decent connections (rail and air) and had a decent number of ALT positions there.

I have yet to receive my final placement city/town but I know I'm in Hyogo-ken which is the same prefecture as my third choice (Kobe City). I could actually be in Kobe after all anyway.

haitch40
June 12th, 2015, 07:15
Well one thing that dictated how I did my preferences was this (http://www.jetprogramme.org/documents/stats/2014_jet_stats_e.pdf) document. A lot of people waste their requests by putting in places that there aren't any ALT positions.

Other than that, I selected places that were close to my friends who study in South Korea, were on the water (I'm a biologist with a specialization in marine systems), had decent connections (rail and air) and had a decent number of ALT positions there.

I have yet to receive my final placement city/town but I know I'm in Hyogo-ken which is the same prefecture as my third choice (Kobe City). I could actually be in Kobe after all anyway.
According to that I have a good chance with what will be my number 1 choice of Kagoshima.

Although of course the BOE may not like me lol.

In fact JET may not like me.

texxaport
June 12th, 2015, 07:28
Yeah, I thought my chances for Sendai were good too. Then I learned that they wanted quite a decent level of Japanese for all their ALTs. Not surprised I didn't get it.

haitch40
June 12th, 2015, 07:42
Yeah, I thought my chances for Sendai were good too. Then I learned that they wanted quite a decent level of Japanese for all their ALTs. Not surprised I didn't get it.
True. It is all down to them.

Zolrak 22
June 12th, 2015, 07:50
I'm up for going anywhere where I'll have stuff to do. I'm more open to Tokyo just cause I won't need a car and it's an amazing place for design.

But I'm aware it's a long shot and a costly one at that. So yeah, as long as I can get to do stuff instead of being stuck at home, I'll be fine.

Though I won't deny I'd be happier with people closer to my age. I'm a little tired of living with people in their golden years.

haitch40
June 12th, 2015, 07:53
I'm up for going anywhere were I'll have stuff to do. I'm more open to Tokyo just cause I won't need a car and it's an amazing place for design.

But I'm aware it's a long shot and a costly one at that. So yeah, as long as I can get to do stuff instead of being stuck at home, I'll be fine.

Though I won't deny I'd be happier with people closer to my age. I'm a little tired of living with people in their golden years.
Read the sheet. Anything without a village placement is a good shot at having everything you want. Or am I wrong?

Zolrak 22
June 12th, 2015, 08:08
Read the sheet. Anything without a village placement is a good shot at having everything you want. Or am I wrong?
*shrugs *

I can't say for certain, the whole ESID and whatnot.

Though it would be kind of cool meeting at least one of the forum folk.

My money's still on killing you at TO.

Virgil
June 12th, 2015, 08:33
How did you choose your preference?
I'm more than happy to go rural but I just don't know where.
I'm aware it's not a sure thing but I'm interested in where people chose and then ended up?

I've also heard about a guy going somewhere in Shimane (will have to check YouTube) and getting a little blue house with a garden and paying next to nothing. I realise that's a bit of a push but if I could get landed something like that I would be so happy.

Cheers.

I put up a map of Japan on my wall and threw three darts at it.

haitch40
June 12th, 2015, 08:56
*shrugs *

I can't say for certain, the whole ESID and whatnot.

Though it would be kind of cool meeting at least one of the forum folk.

My money's still on killing you at TO.
Killing me?

Although if we both get in this year it would be great to meet you at TO.

Saga
June 12th, 2015, 09:38
I wanted anywhere in Shikoku/Kyushu because of my host family, nice weather (I was so unbelievably sick of Minnesota winters), cheaper cost of living, and a greater chance to live in a smaller community where I could really get to know my students and participate actively in my village/town/whatever. So, I requested semi-urban or rural in two places in Shikoku and one in Kyushu (Ehime-ken, Tokushima-ken, and Nagasaki).

Got into my first choice of Ehime, and I'm super pleased. Here's hoping I'm just as happy about my placement once I actually get there.

haitch40
June 12th, 2015, 09:41
If I get in and get Kagoshima I am going to have my mother going nuts that it is near a volcano.

Saga
June 12th, 2015, 10:13
Hahaha. My mom is freaked out because she thinks I'm going to get hit by a tsunami. Never mind that I'm in the mountains an hour away from the ocean, and Ehime faces the Inland Sea...

I actually have a friend who got placed in Kagoshima (she's a prefectural ALT though, so she doesn't know what city yet) and I'm almost jealous - Kagoshima looks absolutely beautiful and apparently has great onsen. I've always wanted to go to Kyushu, so I figure I'm going to use her placement as an excuse to do some traveling around Nagasaki and Kagoshima at some point.

Satori Shinobi
June 12th, 2015, 11:53
:| I actually wanted Saitama so that I could continue to study my martial art, but coming to Japan was more important so I jumped when the upgrade came.

Zolrak 22
June 12th, 2015, 12:07
Killing me?

Although if we both get in this year it would be great to meet you at TO.
http://www.weapons-universe.com/Swords/Movie_Swords/Highlander-Victory.jpg

x_stei
June 12th, 2015, 14:03
I didn't think about the likelihood of getting my placement requests at all, so mine were based on some simple parameters.

I picked, in order, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa, Nagoya and Tokyo because of cool art museums that I thought would be cool to be close by. This was way before I knew that Nagoya didn't take any ALT's. Obviously, I am not as resourceful as tex.

In the end, I got Nanao, Ishikawa, which is 2.5 hr away by car. I count myself lucky. I think they tried.

starxrox
June 12th, 2015, 15:21
Damn I wanted to apply for Kanazawa city too.... Guess it's not too far

Jiggit
June 12th, 2015, 15:28
I don't think there are too many ALTs leaving Kanazawa city this year. A lot of people are leaving the Noto peninsula though.

moonbeam
June 13th, 2015, 00:41
I chose two prefectures that I had been to already and wanted to explore more (a two week vacation to Japan is not enough). I also picked a prefecture way up north just for something different and requested rural... I didn't get any of my requested prefectures but I did get a rural placement. And it's in the middle of what I asked for so I'm pretty happy.

naginataonthebrain
June 13th, 2015, 02:04
After a brief trip to Kyushu during study abroad, I knew I wanted to be placed somewhere there. The food and people there were just absolutely lovely and it left a big impression on me. I also wanted to be placed where they had a decent naginata community so after talking to my sensei and senpai, I chose my placements as Kumamoto-ken, Fukuoka-ken and the Kinki region (because I really loved living in the Kansai area). I also requested a suburban placement and wanted to teach ES. I got placed in Miyazaki-ken in a city of around 57,000 folks. It was farther down south in Kyushu than I was imagining but I'm excited so far. Also, it seems like all the newbies that are going to Miyazaki-ken have at least intermediate J-go skills, which I found interesting (guess that's what the prefecture wanted from their ALTs). And for my friend who is heading to Nasebo-shi in Nagasaki, all of her cohorts (including herself) have an education/teaching degree. For future applicants, is there a way to know what prefectures prefer in an applicant? Or is it really a crapshoot?

Saga
June 13th, 2015, 02:30
I'm pretty sure there's no way to know. With so many thousands of prefectures, municipalities and individual schools hiring, there's simply no way to find out what any one of them is looking for.

I just found out this week, for instance, that my municipal BOE only requests people with at least intermediate Japanese skills as there isn't anyone at the BOE who speaks English. Yet, the other new incoming ALT has little or no Japanese ability, so their request was apparently not heeded in that case. Anyways, they put the ALT who doesn't speak Japanese in the less rural of the two placements, and put me in the more rural placement, likely because in the smaller village fewer people will speak English, and my placement requires getting a car and navigating the Japanese car insurance system. Plus my pred is female who I'm going to have to share a house with for a few days as our arrivals/departures overlap. If they had placed a male ALT there, they probably would have had to spring for a hotel room for one of us.

Anyways, that's all to say that it's better-than-chance crapshoot. I probably got placed where I was because I requested the prefecture and this BOE wanted a Japanese speaker, but some people end up in placements that make little sense when looking in from the outside.

x_stei
June 13th, 2015, 03:01
I don't think there are too many ALTs leaving Kanazawa city this year. A lot of people are leaving the Noto peninsula though.
Jggs: Yeah, a possible predecessor of mine is actually transferring to Kanazawa.

mrcharisma
June 13th, 2015, 09:48
The most intetesting thing in Ishikawa is that big fucking Kannon statue in the abandoned theme park, must be pushing 100m. Kanazawa city is quite nice but not much happening.

weepinbell
June 13th, 2015, 10:53
I literally just kinda picked where I wanted to go and went from there lol. I kept seeing crap about 'choose obscure placements, they're the only chance you'll have'... well, I put Osaka suburbs as my first and Kyoto suburbs as my second - and I got an Osaka suburb. I knew I'd prefer a more urban placement if I had the choice, and I knew I didn't want anywhere as big as Tokyo... I live in an Osaka sister city, and I thought I could play up that angle. Lo and behold, it somehow worked.

I feel like playing the number game won't always work... they send off your stuff, if a prefecture/city happens to like you, you're in. I'd definitely say choose where you think you'd LIKE to go, but obviously have an open mind! I literally would have been happy with any placement, since I'd never been to Japan and I told them that. But I'm definitely pretty excited to have gotten my first choice.

singinglupines
June 13th, 2015, 22:32
I put Osaka, Nagoya (didn't know about this handy stats sheet), and Shizuoka just because I have Japanese friends in those areas. My request was somewhere with good public transport, centrally located, and I want to teach elementary.

What I got is a prefectural placement in Gunma. Very central ha.

starxrox
June 13th, 2015, 23:21
Sorry if this has been covered before, what is the difference between a municipal and prefectural placement?

Ebi
June 14th, 2015, 00:35
Sorry if this has been covered before, what is the difference between a municipal and prefectural placement?
Municipal = employed by a city's board of education
Prefectural = employed by a prefecture's BOE

The details of the placements depend on the city/prefecture, but some things seem to be more common in municipal placements compared to prefectural ones. For example, municipal JETs tend to be placed at JHS or elementary schools and prefectural JETs tend to be placed at SHS.

Also, designated cities kind of function like prefectures, so placements in big cities will probably be quite a bit different from small ones. Often "cities" in the inaka are actually just a combination of several hamlets. You may have to rotate between several schools or you might spend most/all of your time at just one school.

starxrox
June 14th, 2015, 07:23
Thanks Ebi. Appreciate that.

Would I be right in saying that a BoE is responsible for accommodation also? Id prefer to teach high school kids as I'm already a high school English teacher. I'd also prefer to be at the one school and not have to buy a car. I know ESID but I thought if I knew where to go I could give myself a better shot of doing that.

Ebi
June 14th, 2015, 08:00
Yes, BoEs set up housing for you (usually). But you really can't game the system like that.

I said I wanted to teach older kids since prior to JET I had been teaching university students. I now teach exclusively JHS and elementary. I also didn't get placed anywhere near my prefecture choices. I specifically said I didn't want to live in a major city/urban placement, which is where I ended up. I even said I was fine with driving, but I'm in a placement where it's completely unnecessary.

Definitely put down your requests and explain why, but don't expect any of them to be fulfilled. I'm incredibly happy with my placement and I'm glad I didn't end up where I thought I wanted to be.

starxrox
June 14th, 2015, 08:50
Yes, BoEs set up housing for you (usually). But you really can't game the system like that.

Cheers man. That's more or less what I figured. I guess not knowing is half the fun. I'll continue my research and just pick places where I think I would like to go (using that list provided so I know where I CAN go)

Were you a university lecturer Ebi?

Ebi
June 14th, 2015, 09:58
Were you a university lecturer Ebi?
Nope, just a student teacher. I volunteered in a lot of classes for Japanese exchange students and taught adults from other countries for my TESOL practicum.

How about you? How long have you been teaching HS?

starxrox
June 14th, 2015, 10:01
Nope, just a student teacher. I volunteered in a lot of classes for Japanese exchange students and taught adults from other countries for my TESOL practicum.

How about you? How long have you been teaching HS?

Only been out a year. I've help out in the ESL classes at my school but I have no Japanese students so not sure how helpful it will be in the application.

But I'm a senior English teacher so I'm hoping that will carry some weight.

Ebi
June 14th, 2015, 10:11
Only been out a year. I've help out in the ESL classes at my school but I have no Japanese students so not sure how helpful it will be in the application.

But I'm a senior English teacher so I'm hoping that will carry some weight.
I wouldn't worry about the lack of Japanese students, personally. It seems like you have adequate teaching experience.

Maybe I missed it earlier, but do you have any connections to Japan or Japanese speaking ability? If so, then it sounds like you have a strong application.

starxrox
June 14th, 2015, 10:13
I'm currently studying Japanese after work one night a week. So my Japanese is pretty limited.

Not sure what you mean by connections. I don't know anyone over there. :(

Ebi
June 14th, 2015, 10:17
I'm currently studying Japanese after work one night a week. So my Japanese is pretty limited.

Not sure what you mean by connections. I don't know anyone over there. :(
Well that shows you're making an effort so I don't think that's bad. Plenty of people, the majority I think, come to Japan with minimal Japanese comprehension. I studied before I came but I was really terrible at it.

Connections could mean anything. Look to see if your current city or hometown has a sister city in Japan. What aspects of Japanese culture are you aware of an interested in? Have you visited Japan before? Why do you want to live in Japan?

starxrox
June 14th, 2015, 10:23
Oh I understand.

My hometowns sister city is Himeji near Kobe.
I've never visited Japan before but have always wanted to.
I used to do Karate so I'd like to continue that.
I don't know how to answer why I want to live in Japan with just sounding really corny.

Ebi
June 14th, 2015, 11:22
Oh I understand.

My hometowns sister city is Himeji near Kobe.
I've never visited Japan before but have always wanted to.
I used to do Karate so I'd like to continue that.
Well, all of those things can be a plus if you play them right.


I don't know how to answer why I want to live in Japan with just sounding really corny.
Work on that because people will ask you this question over and over. People in Japan really like to know why you like Japan. There's a whole TV show about interviewing foreigners about why they came to Japan. My reasons are also kind of wishy-washy, but I've tried to sum them up in a succinct way.

starxrox
June 14th, 2015, 20:34
Solid advice. Thanks Ebi.
I'll put some thought into it.