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View Full Version : Is a Driver's License a dealmaker/breaker?



mirai
August 29th, 2017, 15:31
I live in Canada currently, I don't have my driver's license yet, just learner's. Tbh I am so afraid of driving, I've just driven in parking lots a few times and I hate it. I usually use public transit and I'm okay with walking and biking long distances. I am just wondering if for JET not having a license is a huge disadvantage? I've been considering going to driving school if having a license will be good on my application, and in my province it's fairly easy to get your full license which can lead to an international license. I'm hoping to not have an extremely rural placement so I could mostly take a train/bus/bike to work because I seriously don't want to buy a car in Japan. I know AEON gives priority to applicants with a driver's license. Is the same true for JET in people's experience?

acpc2203
August 29th, 2017, 15:42
Not being able to drive likely slightly downgrades your application but even where I am almost all JETs don't drive and many of those don't have licenses back home either. Of course Ini will say differently.

OatsCurrySummer
August 29th, 2017, 17:19
Just get your license. Im on an island in buttfuck nowhere with no trains in the entire prefecture. My license expired while I was here so I had to return home to renew it and finally, after almost two years I'll be able to drive in Japan. It really helps if you ever wanna go on a road trip or go to natural landmarks not serviced by public transit. It cant hurt you to have it, even if you dont use it.

webstaa
August 30th, 2017, 08:21
Get it relatively soon if you want to come to Japan. Public transportation is nice, until you get to the inaka and there's a bus at 5:00 and 18:00 and nothing in between. Not so necessary if you live in a place that needs a parking spot reservation, but can still be worth it.

To get your license transferred, IIRC you must have had it for a minimum of 6 months before coming to Japan. (Doesn't affect IDP, only getting Japanese license the easy way.)

word
August 30th, 2017, 08:51
Get your license.

While I'm not certain it will affect your chances (it would if I were running things), it's a really good idea. To be perfectly honest, what really worries me about what you've said isn't that you don't have a license, but that you're "afraid of driving." Seems a bit sketchy.

Jiggit
August 30th, 2017, 09:09
Just to offer an alternative opinion, if you don't drive but the rest off your application is strong, it seems you're slightly more likely to get a reasonably urban placement...

Ini
August 30th, 2017, 09:09
Saying you cant drive is like saying you drop your trousers and underpants when standing at a urinal. Technically nothing wrong with it but its a bit of a weird thing for a grown adult to do and I'm not sure I would trust putting you in charge of children.

Jiggit
August 30th, 2017, 09:25
It's cool, they have these things called "trains" nowadays. Incidentally I always use a stall.

OatsCurrySummer
August 30th, 2017, 09:27
It's cool, they have these things called "trains" nowadays. Incidentally I always use a stall.

Whats this "train" you speak of? Sounds like something only rich prefectures have.

mothy
August 30th, 2017, 09:43
To be perfectly honest, what really worries me about what you've said isn't that you don't have a license, but that you're "afraid of driving." Seems a bit sketchy.

I noticed that to. “I want to move halfway around the world to a country completely different than my own, but I'm afraid of doing something hundreds of millions of people all over the world do every day.” Huh?

OatsCurrySummer
August 30th, 2017, 09:48
OKay guys, lets not scare off the one new person to venture on here in the past few months.

Just get your license. Even if you never use it, its a life skill that all functioning adults (and some of the non-functioning ones as well) have.

acpc2203
August 30th, 2017, 10:10
Get your license, stance your car and put a fart can on it.

Satori Shinobi
August 30th, 2017, 11:11
Whats this "train" you speak of? Sounds like something only rich prefectures have.

How do you imagine the island would change if there was a train line across it?

OatsCurrySummer
August 30th, 2017, 11:24
How do you imagine the island would change if there was a train line across it?

Not my island, but the main island. It's long and thin with a fucking US base right at the narrowest point, choking off roads and creating horrendous traffic. A train would be in immense boon for the island and force people to stop relying solely on cars, as well as bring business and money to the inaka north.

Jiggit
August 30th, 2017, 11:30
Whatever we're all gonna have self driving cars in 5 years thanks to our Lord Saviour Elon Musk.

acpc2203
August 30th, 2017, 13:37
Not my island, but the main island. It's long and thin with a fucking US base right at the narrowest point, choking off roads and creating horrendous traffic. A train would be in immense boon for the island and force people to stop relying solely on cars, as well as bring business and money to the inaka north.
pfff okinawa traffic has nothing on hawaii traffic.

mirai
August 30th, 2017, 14:09
Just to offer an alternative opinion, if you don't drive but the rest off your application is strong, it seems you're slightly more likely to get a reasonably urban placement...

That's what I'm kind of thinking? My application should be fairly strong especially by the time I'm applying. I know lots of people want an urban placement but I personally know some too who really want to be in the country soo ...

mirai
August 30th, 2017, 14:10
Saying you cant drive is like saying you drop your trousers and underpants when standing at a urinal. Technically nothing wrong with it but its a bit of a weird thing for a grown adult to do and I'm not sure I would trust putting you in charge of children.

Uhh okay, interesting analogy.
Really? I know tons of adults who even in Canada can't drive because they've mostly taken public transit their whole lives.
Also not sure what driving has to do with teaching kids English? I'm pretty good with kids and I'm a certified babysitter and counselor. I've volunteered with children's reading programs for forever too. Those might be plusses on my application?

mirai
August 30th, 2017, 14:12
Just get your license. Even if you never use it, its a life skill that all functioning adults (and some of the non-functioning ones as well) have.

I probably will tbh. Just trying to get an idea of how having a driver's license legitimately impacts your application.

mirai
August 30th, 2017, 14:29
Get your license.

While I'm not certain it will affect your chances (it would if I were running things), it's a really good idea. To be perfectly honest, what really worries me about what you've said isn't that you don't have a license, but that you're "afraid of driving." Seems a bit sketchy.

Idk I've driven a couple of times but I don't feel comfortable with it. I suppose it gets easier with practice but it gives me the creeps. Idk why because I can ride a bike great ... maybe it's just that I'm bigger than a bike but a car is bigger than me. Lol

OatsCurrySummer
August 30th, 2017, 15:04
Really? I know tons of adults who even in Canada can't drive because they've mostly taken public transit their whole lives.
You must be from Toronto/Vancouver then, no? I grew up in a suburb only 30 minutes drive from Toronto and it was still a bitch to take public transit to school every day (Im talking 1.5hr each way five days a week). When I got my car its like the whole world opened up. Hiking four hours north with friends? No problem. Partying until after the subways stop running? Whatever. My commute to school became a scant 35 minutes and my grades were all the better for it.

As someone who lived outside of a city both with and without my license, you don't realize how hard you had it until you can suddenly go anywhere you want, whenever you want.

Ini
August 30th, 2017, 15:12
Uhh okay, interesting analogy.
Really? I know tons of adults who even in Canada can't drive because they've mostly taken public transit their whole lives.
Also not sure what driving has to do with teaching kids English? I'm pretty good with kids and I'm a certified babysitter and counselor. I've volunteered with children's reading programs for forever too. Those might be plusses on my application?

What happens when there is a tsunami coming and people are scrambling to get kids to higher ground? Going to strap a couple to your bike or shield them from the wall of water with your bus pass?

Jiggit
August 30th, 2017, 15:55
Is Ini using a "won't somebody please think of the children" argument?

mothy
August 30th, 2017, 17:01
Nothing would kill the JET programme faster.

Dululu
August 30th, 2017, 17:21
What happens when there is a tsunami coming and people are scrambling to get kids to higher ground? Going to strap a couple to your bike or shield them from the wall of water with your bus pass?

spat out my coffee

Isola
August 31st, 2017, 08:41
The coordinators who used to post here more or less said the license thing doesn't really affect your application much unless you're an alternate. If a BOE is looking for someone with a license, even if you are at the top of the upgrade list, you'll be passed over.

For anyone thinking, "should I get my license?", just get it, especially if you're planning on moving into an unknown situation in a foreign country. Maybe you won't need it, but what if you do? It's always a red flag for me when someone who lives in a country where you can get a license reasonably cheaply and easily just refuses.

Gizmotech
August 31st, 2017, 10:56
Also as a buddy of mine found out, even though he put no-driving on his application, he was required to drive once he got here.

webstaa
August 31st, 2017, 13:57
In my area there's a new JET without a license (never took driving courses etc) who has 4 schools per week. The closest one is maybe 1 km away. The furthest one is almost 10 km away. Doable on a bicycle, but not something I'd do.

acpc2203
August 31st, 2017, 21:31
In my area there's a new JET without a license (never took driving courses etc) who has 4 schools per week. The closest one is maybe 1 km away. The furthest one is almost 10 km away. Doable on a bicycle, but not something I'd do.
Yeah around here the schools are fine with having JETs without licenses but some of them have some serious commutes. So you might end up having to take the bus an hour each way to school or get used to biking in any weather.

Jiggit
September 1st, 2017, 06:29
Or you could end up in a placement in which you intended to drive but find the BoE forbids ALTs from driving because 20 years ago one person had an accident.

acpc2203
September 5th, 2017, 14:27
Not mentioned, you get your pick of all those sweet JDM cars, though you will likely end up with a 15 year old kei car that would lose in a collision with a bicycle.