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Thread: Applying for AEON & Interac, never been to Japan

  1. #1

    Default Applying for AEON; EDIT: Essay help?

    EDIT: I posted the outline for my essay in the 4th post, any suggestions? Thanks!

    Hi there,

    So since JET rejected me I've decided to go ahead and look into other avenues; I'm going to apply to AEON/Amity and Interac. For AEON/Amity I've been trying to find example essays from people who have been accepted just so I can get a taste of what they're looking for.

    What concerns me is that the few essays I have found (not sure if they were accepted or not) all mention "Oh the last four times I went to Japan" or "that time when I spent three years in Japan" or other such things. I personally have never been to Japan, have no strong ties to Japan, and have never lived anywhere other than California, except for 1 month in Italy.

    To be honest, I want to go to Japan because my main goal is to try experiencing as many cultures first hand as I can; Japan's just the first on the list at the moment. (Partially due to video games and anime, but I think I'll leave that out of my essay.) Does anyone know of anybody who got accepted into programs such as these with no real experience with or ties to Japan?

    Also if anyone has any other tips for the essay I'd be happy to hear them. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by AzuraRiverja; February 14th, 2012 at 12:36.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Applying for AEON & Interac, never been to Japan

    Interac doesn't care if you been to Japan or not. As long as you write an essay that basically says you wanna teach kids and wanna learn about Japanese culture and be a great good amazing teacher then you'll be a sure fire in for a phone interview.

    They particularly like to look for people who are willing to stay a long time compared to a year and bounce so just look hungry enough for the job. From what I've got from them and stuff. Leave all the animu and mango aside until you get there. Whatever you did wrong on your JET SOP/App, try not to repeat it on your Interac app. Which, by the way, is a hell of a lot easier and less redonkulous than the JET app.
    Last edited by Merkypie; February 9th, 2012 at 19:04.

  3. #3

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    Thank you for your response!

    Yes, the application for Interac and AEON both seemed exponentially easier than the JET app. I spent weeks on that thing, heh.

    I would love to avoid the mistakes I made on my JET app, but I have no idea what they are - do they have that information available somewhere? I kind of figured it was just because I didn't have enough experience with Japan or teaching.

    I guess if they want people who will be there for a few years, I might leave out that I'd like to travel the rest of the world, too. Sounds like that would be counter to what they're looking for.

  4. #4

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    I've written the first draft of my essay. I'm afraid I've veered a bit too much away from the topic "Why I want to live and work in Japan" and ended up at "Why I'm a good candidate." I have the "why I want to" part in there, it's just that...I don't really have much to say about it. Eep. Here's my summary:

    -Have lived in CA my whole life, want to expand my experience by living in a country very different from my own, can only truly experience by living/working there, not just as tourist, for at least a year. Lived in Italy for one month, much too short. Fascinated by Japanese culture and tradition.

    -Worked as receptionist at small grooming shop, had to smile and be positive around customers, sell products and services, and mediate between customers and groomers to make everyone happy. Would stay late some days, get called in on days off. Had to be organized and juggle many tasks.

    -Worked at tutoring center for a year, enjoyed helping students of all ages and making sure they had fun. Rigid teaching structure. Been told I have knack for helping people understand. Eager to learn to teach in classroom setting.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by AzuraRiverja View Post
    I've written the first draft of my essay. I'm afraid I've veered a bit too much away from the topic "Why I want to live and work in Japan" and ended up at "Why I'm a good candidate." I have the "why I want to" part in there, it's just that...I don't really have much to say about it. Eep. Here's my summary:

    -Have lived in CA my whole life, want to expand my experience by living in a country very different from my own, can only truly experience by living/working there, not just as tourist, for at least a year. Lived in Italy for one month, much too short. Fascinated by Japanese culture and tradition.

    -Worked as receptionist at small grooming shop, had to smile and be positive around customers, sell products and services, and mediate between customers and groomers to make everyone happy. Would stay late some days, get called in on days off. Had to be organized and juggle many tasks.

    -Worked at tutoring center for a year, enjoyed helping students of all ages and making sure they had fun. Rigid teaching structure. Been told I have knack for helping people understand. Eager to learn to teach in classroom setting.
    JET wont tell you where you screwed up.... But since the SOP carries the most weight (assuming) try to see were u possibly went wrong. Did you talk too much about one thing? Did it sound too much like a cover letter and lacked personality? Did u fail to talk about what you can do for JET and not what they could do for you (ie: You list all of your qualifications but don't let them know how that's going to apply to your position specifically)? etc.

    Figuring out those things will help you figure out a part of what went wrong with your application. Everything else on the application just added points. You can't screw up listing qualifications but you can screw up writing about them in a 2 page essay.

    But given what you wrote here.... It seems more like a cover letter and less like an essay, from your summary. What does Italy have to do with Japan? Unless you can make it more relevant to the position, such as... Spending time in Italy has exposed me to a different culture... allowing myself to grow accustomed to... culture shock... or something. IDK.

    Take these ideas and talk about how these companies are gonna benefit from it. Talking about experiencing a new culture isn't helping them. Less about your gain and more about their own. Especially with Interac's essay, they want you to write something that basically tells them you know what the company and position is about.

    In 1000 words or less

    Sent from my LG-MS690 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Merkypie; February 14th, 2012 at 16:22. Reason: replying on a smart phone sucks - fixing all these errors

  6. #6

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    Ah, yes, I see what you're saying. After looking back over the JET essay I think I found some things to try avoiding this time.

    I'm unsure about how much to link it to the position since the essay is "Why -I- want to live and work in Japan," (this one is still for AEON, I'll adjust it for Interac most likely) so I tried to show that I don't plan to just up and leave after a short while. I mention Italy to say that I settled into the changes quickly and learned so much during my time there, and yet I left knowing that one month was not long enough to really experience a new culture- wanted to show I was eager to spend the whole year in Japan.

    I tried linking each experience back to AEON - ie "I had to be adaptable and maintain a positive attitude every day, and I feel I can do the same while teaching English in Japan." Is that too blatant? I guess I'm not sure how to draw the line between "essay showing them why they want me" and "cover letter." Sorry I'm being so obsessed about this; usually I can just write but I've already failed at JET and I'm kind of terrified of failing at my fall back options as well.
    Last edited by AzuraRiverja; February 15th, 2012 at 06:42.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Applying for AEON & Interac, never been to Japan

    Looking at a prompt like that, I guess AEON is looking for less "cover letter" and more "excitement and appreciation" for Japan. Guess the key point here is to split it up, " Why do you want to live in Japan " and " Why do you want to work in Japan ". I don't know the word limit for AEON, but you can probably split it up into two paragraphs and the tie it all in in the conclusion.

    I don't think they care about Italy in this case. I want to live and work in Japan because I spent time in Italy and didn't think it was enough.

    Well, if I was a processor then I'd be like, " And, well, why don't you just go back to Italy?"

    That's not telling them anything. If you have to force it in then it doesn't belong in the essay.

  8. #8
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for AEON & Interac, never been to Japan

    living abroad is important because it shows you wont freak out and run away when you discover there isnt a taco bell on every corner.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  9. #9

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    True. Youre right there.


    Saying I didnt get to spend a million years in Italy so I wanna go to Japan for that extended experience isnt telling them anything though.OP needs to figure out how to make Italy relevant to his/her position rather than use it as the reason for going to Japan.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member lexa1010's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for AEON & Interac, never been to Japan

    It definitely shows commitment and interest, its more of a "I learnt something about myself" then proving a point.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Applying for AEON & Interac, never been to Japan

    Yeah, true. Then, still, OP needs to figure out a way to make it work. I just think that throwing in I went to Italy and not explain exactly what you gained from it other than using it as the reason why one want's to go to Japan is not a good reason. If you're going to take up space talking about Italy then make that trip sound a whole lot more important than a 1 month.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Applying for AEON & Interac, never been to Japan

    Why did you travel to Italy? It would help in giving advice. A summer study abroad? Visiting friends/family? Just a vacation? I think whether you should include it or not depends on what you can mention about it.

    You might want to make internationalization a topic in your essay. That you're interested in learning about other cultures and what's drawn you to teaching English in Japan is the potential to become involved in the internationalization process of a town in Japan by sharing your own culture with your students.... or something. That way it's more balanced than just "I want to go experience Japan because it's super different from where I'm from"; it shows how you want to benefit the location you will travel to by showing them about your culture also.
    Last edited by anonymoose; February 16th, 2012 at 10:22.

  13. #13

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    Sorry for the delay, some stuff came up and I haven't had time to work on this essay. Thank you so much for being so patient with me and for your helpful responses.

    So I actually ended up scrapping the old essay and starting over on paper. Nothing like pen and paper to get the writing juices flowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Merkypie
    Well, if I was a processor then I'd be like, " And, well, why don't you just go back to Italy?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini
    living abroad is important because it shows you wont freak out and run away when you discover there isnt a taco bell on every corner.
    Quote Originally Posted by lexa1010
    It definitely shows commitment and interest, its more of a "I learnt something about myself" then proving a point.
    Quote Originally Posted by anonymoose
    Why did you travel to Italy? It would help in giving advice. A summer study abroad? Visiting friends/family? Just a vacation? I think whether you should include it or not depends on what you can mention about it.
    Okay, I tried to address this better in my new essay. First of all, I should have mentioned earlier that I went for a study abroad program. I actually wasn't interested in Italy in particular, especially since I had been there briefly before as a tourist, but it was the only overseas program with classes I was remotely interested in - painting classes when I was considering a studio art minor. The other programs offered by my school wouldn't have been useful classes, as most were IR related and my major was in the sciences.

    I do want to include the Italy experience because it's really the only time I've gotten to see a different culture as more than just a tourist, and as Ini said it shows that I didn't freak out, haha. I think I'll even include that I didn't really miss any of the things I was used to in America. Except for cold drinks that didn't cost 5 euro per serving, but that is neither here nor there. I also want to include it because, similar to what lexa1010 pointed out, that IS when I first realized I wanted to "see the world" by actually living in other countries for extended periods of time. Before that I thought I'd do a study abroad and that'd be it for my world traveling until I had a career and money saved up for short vacations.

    Quote Originally Posted by anonymoose
    You might want to make internationalization a topic in your essay. That you're interested in learning about other cultures and what's drawn you to teaching English in Japan is the potential to become involved in the internationalization process of a town in Japan by sharing your own culture with your students.... or something.
    I initially avoided the topic because I wasn't sure if "I want to share my culture with the Japanese people too" would seem like I was going to try to impose American culture upon them. But now that I think about it, I suppose most sources have suggested Japan is all for internationalization (hence the high demand for native English speaking teachers, duh self). I will see about including this in my essay.

    Thanks again everybody, you've been awesomely helpful. I'm going to work on this some more tonight or tomorrow and post the summary for the new essay

  14. #14

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    Okay, here's my new outline, with some of your suggestions taken into account. This essay is at least better written than the previous one, but I'm afraid I got a bit wordy and it's pushing 900 words. Anyone know if AEON has a max word count?

    First paragraph: why I want to live and work abroad
    - have lived in the US my whole life, have a limited world view
    - spent a month in Italy because of class there, adapted okay but wasn't enough time to settle in
    - trip gave me a new drive to be part of culture exchange by living and working with people over time

    Second paragraph: why I want to go to Japan
    - first interest from eating at a Japanese restaurant as a kid
    - one sentence story about mom's friend tricking me into eating wasabi (not sure if I want to keep this in, but I think it is kind of funny.)
    - things I love about Japan: cuisine, art and design, taken Japanese gardening class
    - experiences with Japan probably American-ized, but I know it's where I want to go

    Third paragraph: why I want to teach English
    - have always loved teaching and tutoring & am patient w/ knack for explaining concepts
    - I'm an amateur writer, English is my favorite subject, especially grammar, spelling, etc...(this is the part where I make a grammatical error, right?)
    - love to edit papers and many classmates have thanked me for my suggestions on peer-edited essays
    - teaching English would be one way to share my own culture with Japanese students in return for learning theirs

    Fourth Paragraph: conclusion
    - living abroad is going to be difficult, but the rewards will be worth it
    - have tutored before and know it can be difficult work, but that it, too, pays off
    - want to live in Japan, exchange culture, and teach English language

    I'm a bit worried I tried to include everything and now it's too much. Hm. On the upside I think I can adjust it to work for Amity fairly easily - think they'd be displeased if I used similar essays for both, or is that probably pretty standard?

  15. #15

    Default

    Cut the fat where needed. If you feel as if it's taking too much space in your essay and not providing anything important that represents you then cut it out.

    That being said, you shouldn't stress over this essay so much. It's not a JET essay and probably won't hold as much weight. A lot of these companies are looking for work-a-jerks, not bright eyed college grads looking for some cultural exchange.

  16. #16

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    lol, that's true. I'm probably way over-thinking this (although I wish I had done more over-thinking for my JET Essay, alas). I'll trim it down a bit, have a friend proofread, and send it off

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