Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 43

Thread: So why Jet [above all others]?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ryuu Kyuu
    Posts
    134

    Default So why Jet (above all others)?

    In reading ITIL and other Japan-teaching boards over the last six months, I've noticed that many people tend to fixate on JET and dismiss private companies and eikaiwa as distant secondary options. One poster here applied to JET three years in a row without realizing that there were other options; and although in the end I was shortlisted, I myself hadn't made any inquiries into private companies like Interac or Aeon in case of rejection.

    So my question is this: why do people universally treat JET as by far the best option and consider employees of private companies to be rejected JETs? JET does pay better than private companies (though apparently the margin is slimmer now than ten years ago) and takes care of necessities like housing, banking and insurance, but it certainly has its disadvantages as well. The application time is enormous compared to private companies, and you have little control over where you are placed (and almost zero chance of being in a city).

    In my case, being in a rural environment has positive benefits (the ability to learn Japanese more quickly and focus on my own personal projects without distraction) and I did my best to spin it this way in my interview, but I can't imagine that this is the case for everyone.

    So I would be interested in hearing from other posters what made JET their #1 choice. Hopefully this thread can be helpful to future applicants and current alternates who may not realize that there are other very good options on the table besides JET.

  2. #2
    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    We all have a reponsibility to continue jihad.
    Posts
    16,604

    Default Re: So why Jet (above all others)?

    Main reason: better pay and (often) less hours of class time.
    And a little bit more in the way of support. Other ALT's, various teachers, supervisors, prefectural CIRs or Advisors I mean. As opposed to an eikaiwa where you may just have one jerk boss.
    Last edited by Ini; April 18th, 2009 at 19:42.
    <a href=http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=3134&dateline=1245615339 target=_blank>http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.ph...ine=1245615339</a>
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

  3. #3
    Bilbo's Cloak of Geekery goloons's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    +1 to smiting
    Posts
    5,529

    Default Re: So why Jet (above all others)?

    There are the perks you mentioned: higher salary and necessities. Also, because JET is a government program, it has a lot more stability than things like NOVA (which imploded and left tons of Americans stranded in Japan with no money and no way home a few years ago). As a JET, you get a pre-made support system in place. Usually, you won't be put to ridiculous work demands, as Interac is known for (http://www.debito.org/?p=2993). Also, as a JET, you become an ALT, not an eikaiwa teacher, and some people like that simply because it's a 9-5 job rather than an evening gig. Finally, the application time for JET is so ridiculously long because JET is the most prestigious (read: on later resumes, you can write "Government Employee" rather than "Glamorized Homework Helper") and most difficult to get into of all the companies/programs, and thus, theoretically, the JETs are the best of the English teachers in this country. Theoretically.
    Quote Originally Posted by AliDimayev View Post
    They are like elongated octopi, but with only 6 testicles.

  4. #4

    Default Re: So why Jet (above all others)?

    Government job, more help settling in, huge JET support system (Hyogo's, for example, really is HUGE), higher pay, normal working hours....

    I was an alternate and didn't consider any other options (to get to Japan) because I thought the JET benefits were too much to give up. I didn't want to pay for my own flight to Japan, key money for an apartment, or feel like a lonely foreigner. I had nowhere near that kind of money. Luckily, I got upgraded and sent to a city!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ryuu Kyuu
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AliDimayev View Post
    Main reason: better pay and (often) less hours of class time.
    And a loittle bit more in the way of support. OTher ALT's, various teachers, supervisors, prefectural CIRs or Advisors I mean. As opposed to an eikaiwa where you may just have one jerk boss.
    However, in the case of eikaiwa, if you end up with a jerk for a boss I imagine it would be easier to transfer to another company located in the same city than with JET, which only makes transfers possible in the most extreme scenarios. And even if you quit JET and decide to go the private route, you may be stranded in BFI, making a move to a new town or city a HUGE hassle.

  6. #6
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    4,158

    Default Re: So why Jet (above all others)?

    The benefits and pay are better with JET. The pay and benefits for private companies have not been converging on JET. In fact, they have been constantly reduced for some time now. With whole companies going bankrupt and other companies gaming the system to keep their employees out of health insurance.

    The difference between JET and a private company is about 70,000 yen a month and 15 more days of PTO every year.

    Not to mention it looks better on a resume.

    I think the only benefit with going private is the ability to have some control on where you live in Japan. Other than that, they are very much below JET on the pay/benefit/support/post Japan employment options scale.
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

  7. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Kelvinator View Post
    However, in the case of eikaiwa, if you end up with a jerk for a boss I imagine it would be easier to transfer to another company located in the same city than with JET, which only makes transfers possible in the most extreme scenarios. And even if you quit JET and decide to go the private route, you may be stranded in BFI, making a move to a new town or city a HUGE hassle.
    if you think you're up for working in Japan without a built-in support system laid out for you, then sure, going to an eikaiwa probably wouldn't be a bad idea. but the advantages to JET are pretty darn good from what I've seen and the ability to work in a large classroom setting has its advantages versus private/small classes that eikaiwas do.

    I will say that if you want to teach as a career, if you're doing this to become a full fledged professional, eikaiwas give you so much more experience (read: work) than working as an ALT. I'm fully responsible for 20-30 hours of lesson plans a week, not to mention charting progress of each student, being held accountable for their progression, and having almost total control of what I do in class. Maybe I'm taking the "tape recorder" analogy too seriously from the ALT's I've talked to and I'm sure there are some ALTs who work harder than eikaiwa teachers, but in general I think it's true. But like I said, real classroom experience that ALTs have is just as good on your resume as is private one-on-one or small group classes.

    I think the application process for JET is ridiculous though, especially when it sounds like most people applying for it just want to live in Japan and enjoy the culture (rather than be serious teachers). I decided I wanted to go to Japan around October of 2008 and after some mass emailing/tweeking of my CV, I was accepted into an eikaiwa around the beginning of December 2008. I didn't have to do anything really intense other than a few phone interviews. Compared to what most people go through with the JET application process, the waiting discomfort was minimal if not absent.

    If you get into JET, it's too good of an opportunity to pass up. Like most have said, the benefits are huge compared to eikaiwas and the built in support network is better than what you get if you go to a private school.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    On a happy rainbow
    Posts
    12,291

    Default Re: So why Jet (above all others)?

    JET is much more reliable. I've heard so many stories of people being fucked over by private companies. Those cases on JET have been few and far between. Plus like everyone else mentioned, better pay and benefits. For me it was a no brainer.

  9. #9
    VIP Coollead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Yes We Kansai!
    Posts
    8,855

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Kelvinator View Post
    In my case, being in a rural environment has positive benefits (the ability to learn Japanese more quickly and focus on my own personal projects without distraction) and I did my best to spin it this way in my interview, but I can't imagine that this is the case for everyone.
    This has been debated to death, and was found to be not necessarily true. In a rural area, you may actually have less chances to use Japanese, due to less people/less stuff there. You may also be busy doing a ton of extra stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    I will say that if you want to teach as a career, if you're doing this to become a full fledged professional, eikaiwas give you so much more experience (read: work) than working as an ALT. I'm fully responsible for 20-30 hours of lesson plans a week, not to mention charting progress of each student, being held accountable for their progression, and having almost total control of what I do in class. Maybe I'm taking the "tape recorder" analogy too seriously from the ALT's I've talked to and I'm sure there are some ALTs who work harder than eikaiwa teachers, but in general I think it's true. But like I said, real classroom experience that ALTs have is just as good on your resume as is private one-on-one or small group classes.
    I'll disagree with this only based on my situation. As an ALT, I'm responsible for all my lessons, and I teach on average 16-20 lessons a week. Unfortunately, like always, you'll only hear from the people who complain about being bored. People who actually do work, and have nothing to complain about won't mention it, so you'll never really hear about it.

    I only considered JET because I didn't want to be in a little eikaiwa teaching a few students at a time. I didn't read much good about the dispatch companies, and you're made to seem expendable... Not to mention the whole selling lessons thing. I'll pass.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Kelvinator View Post
    and takes care of necessities like housing, banking and insurance, but it certainly has its disadvantages as well.
    Your boe is supposed to, but apparently they don't always do it, or do it correctly. I'm a short listed JET and I plan to do it and make it work. BUT, I'm still saving tons of money, so if I get a boe that is truly cruel to me I can bolt. It's pretty rare, but still.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JackAttack View Post
    I didn't want to pay for my own flight to Japan, key money for an apartment, or feel like a lonely foreigner. I had nowhere near that kind of money. Luckily, I got upgraded and sent to a city!
    Don't a lot of boes make their JETs pay for key money though? I guess what rubs me the wrong way about JET (and think there's a lot that is GREAT about it besides the money) is how extremely ESID it is. And I'm pretty freaked out about having to pay 3k+ up front because my boe is broke. That's a lot of money for anyone that just graduated from college.

  12. #12
    Burasuto from the pasuto. Wanderlust King's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,134

    Default Re: So why Jet (above all others)?

    I was asked this question in my Interview. I actually had no idea at the time it was better paying or had less class hours typically. I told her that it was just the one that I had heard the most about and was most easily able to research.. Which is true.

  13. #13

    Default Re: So why Jet (above all others)?

    I was asked about it too, and I said that I had heard about JET first but did research into others. JET is more prestigious, it has better benefits, a better support system, an alumni association, etcetc...

  14. #14

    Default

    I have many of the same reasons as the above people, but I'd like to add that the JET program seems to be a little easier to work with if you are married or have children. I'm married, and while looking at my options, many of the private eikaiwa schools wanted you to have a single apartment and didn't seem willing to subsidise a larger place for a married couple. In fact if I remember the AEON faq page they stated that you could find a new larger space but may still be required to pay rent on the place they had found for you. >_<

  15. #15
    andweewoo
    Guest

    Default Re: So why Jet (above all others)?

    When I lived/worked in Japan in 2007, I lived in Tokyo. Don't get me wrong, Tokyo is a fantastic city and I absolutely loved living and working there. However, while my Japanese did improve a lot, I definitely could have improved more. There's so many foreigners in Tokyo and maybe it's because of the big city, but people definitely were not afraid to come up to me a strike up a conversation in English. That was fine and dandy and I didn't mind too much, but that didn't help my Japanese any.

    So, (one of) my main reasons for wanting JET first is that I will most likely be placed somewhere where I am compelled to use Japanese.

    Of course, there's always the financial aspect of JET, which is great for paying off my student loans, and the security that comes with a government approved programme - guaranteed health insurance, support network, paid flight, etc. I also wanted to do some ALT work, having already tried the eikaiwa thing and the private school thing.

    My ultimate goal is to get into a M.Ed.TESOL programme and then go from there. I'm eyeballing the schools I want to apply to in Japan and if I'm in Japan, the investigative process is much easier to do than if I'm here in Canada. As well, since the hours with JET are good, I have time to take night classes or weekend classes if I get in. And, even if I don't stay with JET while doing a degree, I'm in a great position to find another job within Japan by being in Japan. I don't want to work for one of the big 'fast-food' companies; I like the small 'ma and pa' type ones and they don't hire direct from overseas.

  16. #16
    Bilbo's Cloak of Geekery goloons's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    +1 to smiting
    Posts
    5,529

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Coollead View Post
    This has been debated to death, and was found to be not necessarily true. In a rural area, you may actually have less chances to use Japanese, due to less people/less stuff there. You may also be busy doing a ton of extra stuff.
    Like he said, it's been debated to death, but I'll just throw out the opposing idea once for this thread. I definitely use Japanese more on my island than in larger cities. There are, quite literally, twelve people on this entire island with decent English. There are less people here, yes, but there are also so many less English speakers. There isn't a whole lot to do, but you can find things, and so long as you get semi-involved in the community, your Japanese will skyrocket.
    Quote Originally Posted by AliDimayev View Post
    They are like elongated octopi, but with only 6 testicles.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kbecker4 View Post
    Don't a lot of boes make their JETs pay for key money though? I guess what rubs me the wrong way about JET (and think there's a lot that is GREAT about it besides the money) is how extremely ESID it is. And I'm pretty freaked out about having to pay 3k+ up front because my boe is broke. That's a lot of money for anyone that just graduated from college.
    I think it's rare to pay key money. You're supposed to move into your pred's apartment, but sometimes it doesn't already happen. Though if you need a new apartment and key money, for some reason, often your BoE will help you and give you a loan I think....

  18. #18
    This is what happens... houk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    ...when you find a stranger in the alps.
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: So why Jet (above all others)?

    kbecker you might consider just not going in the first place. there seem to be a lot of caveats to you accepting your position, and it doesn't sound like you're at all prepared to deal with less-than-perfect situations in real-life before you've even been confronted with them.

    maybe you should take some time to think about it, let an alternate take your spot, and just figure out why you're so afraid of a challenge.

  19. #19
    This is what happens... houk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    ...when you find a stranger in the alps.
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: So why Jet (above all others)?

    right, but your "bad situations" seem to involve little more than being somewhere cold and rural, or being away from your host parents, or having to pay fees that are unfortunate but sometimes necessary. i dont recall you talking about being "exploited", but obviously something like that is a different beast from what ive seen you talking about

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by houk View Post
    kbecker you might consider just not going in the first place. there seem to be a lot of caveats to you accepting your position, and it doesn't sound like you're at all prepared to deal with less-than-perfect situations in real-life before you've even been confronted with them.

    maybe you should take some time to think about it, let an alternate take your spot, and just figure out why you're so afraid of a challenge.
    I've lived in Japan before, and I definetly had a less than perfect situation. I'm willing to deal with poor or no air conditioning, poor heating, bugs, or a moderately rural location and other things. I have a few limits, but most people do have limits. There is one area I don't want a placement, but otherwise I will be definitely going. Although I'm looking forward to the "adventure, challenge" aspect of Japan, I'm returning to Japan to improve my Japanese, explore more of Japan, and help build international understanding. I'm willing to compromise, and even grit my teeth. However, I'm not willing to be exploited, and I think no one should be willing to be exploited either. It doesn't happen often with JET, but it does happen.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •