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phthalocyanine
September 15th, 2017, 10:59
Hi!
Does anyone still use this site...? Unsure, but I thought I'd throw this thread out there anyway. I like old school forums like this more than the format of Reddit.

I'm from Canada, applying for an ALT position in the 2018 intake. The application portal just opened and I'm starting to draft my SOP. It might be nice to have a thread to chat or swap SOPs with any fellow applicants!

Anyway, nice to meet you.

mothy
September 16th, 2017, 12:44
there's still a few people around. you might be the only user applying for 2018 though. but it's still early, some more usually pop up.

cranguy
September 26th, 2017, 02:54
2011-2013 Hokkaido alum here re-applying for the 2018 year.

Cheese
September 26th, 2017, 03:15
Yep, I'm finally applying for 2018! Just waiting for the app to go live.

cranguy
September 26th, 2017, 03:29
Not sure if this is "news" or not but the SAMPLE 2018 application is available here: https://jetprogramusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2018-Application-Form-SAMPLE-1.pdf

phthalocyanine
September 26th, 2017, 05:40
Hi to you both!
Cranguy, how was your time in Hokkaido? What made you decide to reapply?

The Canadian app opened last week and right now I'm working towards a final draft of my personal statement. I also requested reference letters and my transcripts. I think that's all the paperwork I need...? I thought I'd need a doctor's note but apparently if you have no medical history a note is not needed until after one passes the interview. I still feel like I'm missing something, haha.

OatsCurrySummer
September 26th, 2017, 08:46
Cranguy, how was your time in Hokkaido? What made you decide to reapply?

Also interested in this answer.
I would consider doing JET again after this contract is up as long as I can get a different placement.

cranguy
September 27th, 2017, 01:59
Hi to you both!
Cranguy, how was your time in Hokkaido? What made you decide to reapply?


Honestly it was one of the most fulfilling things I've done in my life. Which is a primary reason I want to go back. I had an amazing small-town placement (in the town of Kikonai) where I got along swimmingly with my BOE and they treated me well. I'm going to try to request Kikonai again if possible.

I've been running a small online business back in the US which has gone "ok" but I underestimated the real costs of rent, insurance, etc, as a self-employed person with literally nobody to back me up. I'm paying the bills but that's about it -- no savings -- and I have that nagging feeling my life isn't going in the direction I anticipated. Not to mention my overall lifestyle (diet, exercise) was better in Japan.


Also interested in this answer.
I would consider doing JET again after this contract is up as long as I can get a different placement.

Be aware that the rules in the US require you to wait 3 years after you have finished a contract before you can apply again.

Cheese
September 27th, 2017, 06:29
US Application is live! May the force be with you all.

Snow
September 29th, 2017, 01:06
Can I ask is it okay to apply online just now and have the 4 application packs sent off in a couple weeks? I'm still waiting on my academic transcript and doctor's note to come back.

phthalocyanine
September 29th, 2017, 01:20
How are you guys structuring your SOPs? I've been writing and rewriting this thing and it's still terrible lol I think I need to go old school and brainstorm on paper... I've been out of university for a year and a half and apparently I forgot how to write...?

Cheese
October 10th, 2017, 01:36
Tofugu has a really good SOP guide, imo. You might want to check that out.

phthalocyanine
October 13th, 2017, 23:46
I checked out Tofugu's guide and it was really helpful! I think I've written something kind of passable but I still need to go through it again and write a final draft. I've collected almost all my other paperwork though and now I'm just waiting for reference letters to arrive in the mail before I can send off the package. eek. How's your application going?

Andiefav
January 24th, 2018, 05:53
Did anyone get an interview? What do you think the best way to prepare is? I am super nervous, mine is on Friday in Portland.

twilightstarz28
January 25th, 2018, 16:57
Did anyone get an interview? What do you think the best way to prepare is? I am super nervous, mine is on Friday in Portland.

My interview is on next Thursday. I am just referring to Tofugu's guide on how to prepare for the Jet interview to prepare (the article was written in 2015). Though if anyone else has other ways to prepare, I'd love to know as well!

Jiggit
January 26th, 2018, 09:23
The main thing I think that people (the ones who aren't crazy) misunderstand is that you're applying for a job and you want to speak in that capacity. They don't give the job to whoever they think has "earned" it by showing the most enthusiasm/interest, in fact I've known many JET ALTs who barely knew the first thing about the culture or language. So make sure you focus on why you would be a good assistant language teacher over how much you love Japan.

Also you want to come across as someone who is flexible, adaptable and open to new experiences; the last thing they want is someone who is going to suffer so badly from culture shock that they leave after one year or even break contract. It happens, and it often happens because people get a fixed idea of what their life in Japan will be like and that doesn't match at all with the reality.

phthalocyanine
January 27th, 2018, 01:10
Did anyone get an interview? What do you think the best way to prepare is? I am super nervous, mine is on Friday in Portland.

Good luck! I had my interview yesterday. I found the Tofugu guide really helpful and covered basically everything I needed to know. I think it went well... I hope? I guess we'll see...

Popapop2
February 1st, 2018, 02:06
Congrats to all those who got interviews and good luck in them.

Kumamonbassador
February 16th, 2018, 06:36
Congrats to everyone who got interviews! Now the nervous waiting begins. :popcorn:

phthalocyanine
February 21st, 2018, 03:26
5566

mothy
February 21st, 2018, 08:06
My advice, quit thinking about it.

OatsCurrySummer
February 21st, 2018, 08:40
Expect nothing and you wont be disappointed.

phthalocyanine
February 21st, 2018, 09:48
My advice, quit thinking about it.

Trying and failing. Advice? Disabling the auto email notification I get whenever someone replies to this thread would probably help.... haha

phthalocyanine
February 21st, 2018, 09:54
Expect nothing and you wont be disappointed.

This is my general philosophy haha. Just wish I had a clue where my life was going post-July. If I weren't waiting on JET, I'd probably be applying to other career-related things rn but knowing I might possibly be in Japan is making me not want to put a ton of effort into other applications... although I guess if I had truly adopted that philosophy I'd be applying to other things anyway.. hmm.

OatsCurrySummer
February 21st, 2018, 09:55
Talking to a miserable wretch like Mothy should be enough to curb your interest in Japan

mothy
February 21st, 2018, 11:40
Assume you've already failed and get moving on finding something else. Although rejection would suck, rejection without anything else going for you would be awful. Almost as bad as getting accepted and wasting years of your life in Japan.

cranguy
February 24th, 2018, 20:00
I cleared my FBI background check yesterday. Holy shit that was fast compared to previous years. They have a new "electronic" system that takes a week instead of 10-12 weeks.

I'm so glad to have that out of the way. The last time I did it, I didn't get results til June, meanwhile the embassy was threatening that if I didn't turn it in, that I would be disqualified. I was a wreck that year.

phthalocyanine
February 25th, 2018, 02:18
I cleared my FBI background check yesterday. Holy shit that was fast compared to previous years. They have a new "electronic" system that takes a week instead of 10-12 weeks.

I'm so glad to have that out of the way. The last time I did it, I didn't get results til June, meanwhile the embassy was threatening that if I didn't turn it in, that I would be disqualified. I was a wreck that year.

Ahhh, nice! Did you do it early just to get it out of the way? I thought that was something to deal with after notification of results unless you applied for early departure.

cranguy
February 25th, 2018, 03:24
The DC embassy sent us an email this month telling us to get the ball rolling on the FBI check if we planned to get it directly from the FBI, presumably still operating under the old 10-14 week timeline. I know from being a candidate in past years that getting this thing in a timely manner was a PITA for a lot candidates, not just me.

I also personally wanted to get it out of the way ASAP.

They also noted the new electronic process but added that they didn't have any experience (since it just started last month or so) with it and said that if you are going to use that, you could probably wait until after results are announced. Slightly conflicting message, but I assume it's owing to the fact that they didn't know exactly how quick the new process is. Per the email, "This option was introduced only last week, and as such our office can make no guarantees to the speed or effectiveness of this method when compared to applying by mail or using a FBI channeler." People planning to use a channeler can still wait til after results (and pay a little more $). Honestly after seeing how quick the new FBI system is, I don't personally see the point of using a channeler.

No matter what you choose, DC said "The deadline to submit this document is in early-June."

I should clarify I only got the FBI results by email/PDF so far. I requested the paper copy as required by JET and I'm still waiting on that. It could arrive today, next week, next month, who knows! Maybe I shouldn't be too quick to praise its speed until I get that.

cranguy
February 28th, 2018, 08:04
Somebody on Reddit reported getting their hard copy letter (https://www.reddit.com/r/JETProgramme/comments/7zd59b/help_confused_re_background_check_documents/duxieha/) from the new electronic FBI eDO background check process today so I should also be getting mine very soon.

Rupa123
March 21st, 2018, 15:31
Also applying!

Made an account because I'm really hoping I'll get in for 2018, first time applicant in my final year of undergrad and hoping to make any connections i can just in case.

I think I remember someone at my consulate (Detroit) mentioned not worrying about getting a background check until you've heard back in some capacity, but maybe I'm just making that up

phthalocyanine
March 22nd, 2018, 04:50
hi Rupa! I'm thinking we might hear back next week as that's when results were sent out last year... this wait is brutal lol.

mothy
March 22nd, 2018, 09:36
For a while some consulates were saying people should get their FBI background checks early because of how long it was taking. But now I guess there's some new sort of expedited check you can request, I guess. So I believe now the recommendation is to just wait til you hear.

Rupa123
March 23rd, 2018, 13:18
New Zealand applicants are hearing back right now! It's the end of Friday's business-day there, I think, so maybe Americans will hear around then too. Kinda scared because this is a bit earlier than i thought

Rupa123
March 24th, 2018, 10:25
A lot of the East Coast heard back today, from what I can tell.

Short-listed! Guess I'll probably be joining the crowd of you already over there, hope to be meeting some of the other applicants in Tokyo

phthalocyanine
March 24th, 2018, 16:04
Congrats Rupa!! Which consulate did you apply through? Results are still not out in Canada yet, I'm hoping for Monday or Tuesday...

mothy
March 24th, 2018, 18:46
A lot of the East Coast heard back today, from what I can tell.

Short-listed! Guess I'll probably be joining the crowd of you already over there, hope to be meeting some of the other applicants in Tokyo

congrats

phthalocyanine
March 29th, 2018, 13:03
Received news today that I was shortlisted too!

Rupa123
March 30th, 2018, 06:06
Congrats, see you at Tokyo Orientation!

puma
March 31st, 2018, 13:47
i was shitlisted too!!

phthalocyanine
March 31st, 2018, 14:31
i was shitlisted too!!

Join Date: Nov 2007 ?! Did you reapply after having done JET before? congrats to both you guys! on to the paperwork lol

mothy
March 31st, 2018, 19:45
i was shitlisted too!!

You've been on my shitlist for years!

Popapop2
April 10th, 2018, 02:02
congrats to all

acpc2203
April 10th, 2018, 09:07
Is JET still the gravy train? Some of the new people in my prefecture are getting screwed over on rent/key money because so many people broke contract.

mothy
April 10th, 2018, 09:42
Was it ever a gravy train?

word
April 10th, 2018, 10:55
Was it ever a gravy train?

In the '90s? Didn't they used to fly 'em over first class?

acpc2203
April 10th, 2018, 13:20
Ini will tell us about how each JET used to have manservants and be chauffered around in Toyota Centurys while the ground they walked on was worshipped.

Rupa123
May 25th, 2018, 07:16
Placed in Saitama prefecture, unsure how i feel about it yet

OatsCurrySummer
May 25th, 2018, 07:39
Placed in Saitama prefecture, unsure how i feel about it yet

Would you rather an island with no conbini, trains or shops? Count your blessings.

Jiggit
May 25th, 2018, 10:05
Be nice, currybloats. At least your Island doesn't have any scary foreigners.

acpc2203
May 25th, 2018, 10:42
At least you didn't get Tottori or itsabird's island.

mothy
May 25th, 2018, 15:53
Placed in Saitama prefecture, unsure how i feel about it yet

Welcome to my hell.

Rupa123
May 27th, 2018, 11:35
I mean I’m not sad about it, I knew pretty well I’d probably get it because ohio has a sister state partnership and someone in Saitama Cory gov told me JET really values that. I spent a semester near Tokyo (near Disney) so i feel like it’ll be similar in the sense I try to go there a lot, so I kinda wish I was somewhere totally new, but it isn’t bad and I can find an ALT job somewhere else after

phthalocyanine
May 28th, 2018, 16:37
I got a fishing town with 50k people in Toyama. Not sure what kind of inaka level this is? I guess 50k isn't too bad. It's half an hour from the closest bigger city. I'm looking forward to it but also so grateful for the shinkansen stop in Toyama city lol

mothy
May 28th, 2018, 17:12
doesn't sound that bad.

mothy
May 28th, 2018, 17:15
I mean I’m not sad about it, I knew pretty well I’d probably get it because ohio has a sister state partnership and someone in Saitama Cory gov told me JET really values that. I spent a semester near Tokyo (near Disney) so i feel like it’ll be similar in the sense I try to go there a lot, so I kinda wish I was somewhere totally new, but it isn’t bad and I can find an ALT job somewhere else after

sorry, my reply was all snark. I've lived in saitama since 2007, so happy to give you more info once you have a better idea of where in saitama.

phthalocyanine
May 28th, 2018, 17:29
doesn't sound that bad.

It looks pretty sleepy but beautiful. Somewhere I'd never have heard of or visited otherwise. I think I'll really like it.

OatsCurrySummer
May 28th, 2018, 20:59
town with 50k people in Toyama. Not sure what kind of inaka level this is?

Not to be all Inaka Wars up in here, but it's not.

Jiggit
May 28th, 2018, 22:01
Yeah Toyama is fairly inaka but Hokuriku in general is "good inaka" so you can have your cultural spiritual Japan journey while also not being boned to any real extent.

Rupa123
May 29th, 2018, 01:42
sorry, my reply was all snark. I've lived in saitama since 2007, so happy to give you more info once you have a better idea of where in saitama.

One of the first things that comes up when you google “Saitama JET” is a thread from this site’s archives and an argument breaks out against you saying Saitama isn’t great hahaha.

But awesome, didn’t know you were still around there! I’ll post when I get my actual placement

mothy
May 29th, 2018, 05:56
I hope it was the one where the guy had visited a cafe he liked there so Saitama was wonderful.

mothy
May 29th, 2018, 06:30
Did you read the 2008 thread as well? The me who hadn't been there even a year yet felt differently... Or maybe was just lying because I also say my apartment was nice when it was a mold and cockroach infested leaking shithole from the beginning. There are little hints of things to come though, like me calling the BoE "anal."

Rupa123
May 29th, 2018, 09:06
Oh yeah, I saw that too. The threads from here back then are pretty much the only available info on Saitama JET experience, so it’s funny to see that now. Was it just the JET situation that was a shitshow? I imagine that you must’ve had something you liked if you’re still there 11 years later

mothy
May 29th, 2018, 09:18
I mean, annoyances with the BoE were consistent throughout my time with JET and, since my wife is still employed as a public school teacher, have continued after my time on JET.
But I think the one thing Saitama has going for it is it has a little bit of everything, except the ocean. The problem is it doesn't have anything that's outstanding. So I think that's why I soured on it. But at the same time, having second class everything is not that bad, so why leave?

Rupa123
May 29th, 2018, 09:28
Yeah that’s my impression from what I’ve read, that it’s nice because it has access to a lot of things via Tokyo/surrounding prefectures but doesn’t have a ton going on within the border.
Honestly not terrible because you can have variety but also live away from it so it doesn’t get to the feeling of routine.

I feel like BOE shit can be all over the place, but in general tends to suck because of how bureaucratic it is. I’ve read some real horror stories and mediocre stories, nothing outstandingly positive ha.

The ocean thing is something that I was a little bummed about, but I’m in Ohio so it won’t be THAT different. Is it doable as a day trip via train/car?

Ini
May 29th, 2018, 09:31
Saitama is a very easy place to live and it has pretty much every amenity you could ever want. Geographically its a bit of a nothing and it has an alarming number of working/lower middle class residents. So if you enjoy featureless flat land full of warehouses but with a wide variety of shops, restaurants and services as well as the looming fear that you could be beaten and robbed at any time then its the ideal place to live.

mothy
May 29th, 2018, 09:40
The ocean thing is something that I was a little bummed about, but I’m in Ohio so it won’t be THAT different. Is it doable as a day trip via train/car?

If you're in the main parts of Saitama you'll have no problem going to the ocean. A nice beach may be harder to reach, but the ocean is easy to get to.

TachikawaTruffle
May 29th, 2018, 09:42
Geographically its a bit of a nothing and it has an alarming number of working/lower middle class residents. So if you enjoy featureless flat land full of warehouses but with a wide variety of shops, restaurants and services as well as the looming fear that you could be beaten and robbed at any time then its the ideal place to live.

So you've visited Ohio?

Rupa123
May 29th, 2018, 09:44
the looming fear that you could be beaten and robbed at any time .

I’m from a shitty part of the US, feel like nothing in Japan could be worse than East Dayton

OatsCurrySummer
May 29th, 2018, 14:13
nothing in Japan could be worse than East Dayton

The first two results for "East Dayton" on google have told me enough.

TachikawaTruffle
June 5th, 2018, 16:11
Has anyone ever turned up to TO in a formal kimono instead of a suit?

mothy
June 5th, 2018, 17:34
Probably. And I hope they died.

Jiggit
June 5th, 2018, 19:00
If it were a proper formal kimono I'd be impressed. And then ask him firmly but politely to seppuku.

webstaa
June 6th, 2018, 12:16
There's enough drama at TO without anybody going full weeb.

Rupa123
June 6th, 2018, 13:51
I'm truly afraid of what TO could look like after some of the questions people ask in the facebook groups

mothy
June 6th, 2018, 17:14
Honestly the vast majority of the people are able to appear semi-competent for a few days as long as you don't scratch at the surface too much.

Jiggit
June 6th, 2018, 18:26
Yeah iirc the most annoying people I remember at TO were the people desperate to point out that they already speak Japanese AKSHUALLY

OatsCurrySummer
June 6th, 2018, 21:11
Yeah iirc the most annoying people I remember at TO were the people desperate to point out that they already speak Japanese AKSHUALLY

To which I would have responded: So then why are you an ALT? AKSHUALLY.

mothy
June 7th, 2018, 07:28
And in a couple of months they'll be introducing themselves as a translator, not an ALT, because an acquaintance paid them to translate a document once and they need something else to make them feel special.

OatsCurrySummer
June 7th, 2018, 07:32
And in a couple of months they'll be introducing themselves as a translator, not an ALT, because an acquaintance paid them to translate a document once and they need something else to make them feel special.

Shit, I could have been demanding money for that??

mothy
June 7th, 2018, 08:00
No, but sometimes someone might offer.

Rupa123
June 15th, 2018, 11:22
I’ll be in the THRIVING metropolis of Kazo city

mothy
June 15th, 2018, 13:09
I’ll be in the THRIVING metropolis of Kazo city

oh

Never been because it's on the tobu-sen and I don't have easy access to that. There's kind of two Saitama's the Tobu Saitama and the JR Saitama. I prefer the JR Saitama, but Tobu saitama has it's good points too.

The good news is you have easy access to Tokyo. The bad news is you will have less access to the other Saitama JETs. But the good news about the bad news is most JETs are obnoxious anyway.