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Thread: Does anyone like JET??

  1. #1
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    Default Does anyone like JET??

    Hi all,

    I was initially really excited about the JET program when I found out about it while doing some research online. After reading through several forum posts here, now I'm not so sure!

    I was originally looking to apply to an international university, to learn Japanese and immerse myself in the culture. I stumbled across the JET program while researching this avenue. I found the JET program appealing because it appears to be a way to spend a significant amount of time in Japan, allowing me to immerse myself in the culture, and also be paid a salary while I'm at it (rather than spending my entire savings with my original idea of university).

    But now I'm not so sure. Does everyone really find the program as lack luster as what the threads are leading me to believe?

    Should I just stick with my original plan to attend university?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    You have to have a 4 year degree to do JET, so get that first and see if you still want to do it.

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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    I have a bachelor's degree already. I'm just looking for something to do post-grad. But thanks for the reply.

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    Sociopathic Scroogemcduck MJN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    I enjoy it, really.
    I thought it was time to use a sig

  5. #5
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by RomulusLupin View Post
    This is our meeting ground to complain about all the tiniest things that bother us on a daily basis. In reality, it's a very easy job for decent pay. You have the chance to internationalize, which will bring both the most insane frustrations and the coolest moments. If you're someone who can make their own fun, deal with a challenge and take criticism, it's a great job. If you are unsociable, cannot entertain yourself and have a thin skin, it would not be ideal.
    I second this. If your main goal is to "internationalize" and you don't try to pretend culture shock doesn't exist there's a good chance you'll enjoy JET. If you want to get a taste of teaching/a feel for the Japanese workplace it's also really good. If you're hoping to learn Japanese, JET can help but it still requires a lot of self-motivation. Ifyou're hoping to be a really successful EFL teacher you may end up tearing your hair out, depending on the school environment.

    If you want to study in Japan, there also some scholarships available, including the MEXT scholarship which allows a living stipend in addition to full tuition.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by sandbear View Post
    I found the JET program appealing because it appears to be a way to spend a significant amount of time in Japan
    The JET program is a reasonably good way to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandbear View Post
    allowing me to immerse myself in the culture
    You could do that while you're here but it's unlikely you really will. Mostly because the Japanese working culture is balls and the social culture is nice but not staggeringly beautiful. Most ALTs skim the surface of the culture and ignore/avoid all the shit parts, which isn't really 'immersion'. Instead of immersing yourself in the culture, think of it more like snorkling.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandbear View Post
    and also be paid a salary while I'm at it (rather than spending my entire savings with my original idea of university).
    Depending on where you are from, that salary is between minimum wage (Australia) to the average you'll get as a fresh graduate out of college (America). If you want a good salary though you should consider working at a job in your chosen profession, as with the JET program you do get a 'raise' each year, but they cut the salary enough that it'll take you 3 years to break even compared to previous ALTs. Furthermore, coming back home with 3-5 years on the JET program can put you in a difficult position depending on the field/industry you want to get into. It might help if you are going to be an ESL teacher, but it's going to make things pretty rough if you're looking for engineering jobs with a 5 year old degree and no applicable work experience.


    Quote Originally Posted by sandbear View Post
    Should I just stick with my original plan to attend university?
    A year on JET looks pretty good on an application, and if you're thrifty you can save enough to help pay for some of your degree. It also provides you with a year of mostly free time in which to prepare your applications and get accepted. Personally, I would sign up for JET and do JET while you apply to universities. If/when you're accepted, break contract and go home.
    Last edited by Kuroda Ishikawa; April 23rd, 2013 at 13:00.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    JET is shit for anything education related. It's also not that good for immersing yourself in the culture if it's your first time working a full time job as your work habits will probably alienate you from your coworkers leaving your only option for social activities hanging out with foreigners.
    JET is good for developing a drinking problem and a superiority complex, which shouldn't go hand in hand but because of all the truly horrible people you will meet, it does in Japan.

  8. #8
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Seconding what RL said, also.

    I think it's safe to say that most folks here generally like the JET Program, but the unfortunate reality is that what they don't like is actually Japan and Japanese culture itself. In the West/'Murika, we get a very skewed version of Japan--the "crazy" sh*t is picked up and amplified by Western media, weeaboos idealize virtually every aspect of the nation and its culture, and the Japanese people you actually meet in America/other nations tend to be, by and large, very atypical in comparison to the vast majority of the Japanese population.

    Many JETs, ALTs and the like, who have created this fantasy of what Japan is like based on their extremely limited information, invariably experience a very startling and depressing immersion in reality once they arrive. Japan is nothing like it is portrayed in Western media. It is nothing like it is portrayed in any japanimation show. It is nothing like any of the stereotypes that are constantly being perpetuated across western nations.

    If you can handle this once you arrive, you'll be fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pablo668's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    I really enjoyed JET, though it could be soul crushingly boring at times.
    If you want to experience the culture your best bet is by making Japanese friends outside of work.
    I did this by being part of a sports club and making friends with Japanese friends of friends.....as it were. Keep in mind the fact that most of the Japanese people you meet will be friends with other foreigners and/or will have spent time overseas so they'll be a bit western in outlook.
    As opposed to the old drunk Japanese guy who swears at you about foreigners while your sitting next to him late at night in a ramen stall. He's very Japanese.
    I changed my sig for Meelynn

  10. #10

    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    JET is good for developing a drinking problem and a superiority complex, which shouldn't go hand in hand but because of all the truly horrible people you will meet, it does in Japan.



    Seriously though JET is great and all but OP do yourself two favours: develop a thicker skin if reading a couple internet posts can bother you that much and also please stop using the phrase "immerse myself in the culture" and actually think of solid reasons why you want to come to Japan and things you want to do and experience here. Cause not saying this is true of you but that phrase seems to be a favorite of weeaboos who often have a completely incorrect idea of what Japanese culture or society is actually like and freak out upon coming here. Nah but seriously it's just not very solid reasoning. I think a lot of people come here without really thinking about why and that can make it difficult when things don't turn out like the imagine in your head. Get some more solid things that you want to do that you know other people have done and actually are achievable by coming to Japan. Read the horror stories and whining and ask yourself if you can deal with it. Also think about if you want most of your waking hours being spent teaching. Potentially with very young or very low-level students. In buttfuck nowhere.

    I'm not saying "immersion" is impossible... I've just never met a single person who has done it or wanted to do it after living here a while. Really it fcan take quite a lot of effort and frustration to even get a group of Japanese friends, never mind "immersion". It's just a very vague goal which will probably result in you ending up like the majority of posters on here. I speak as someone who has had this experience. If you do set more solid goals for yourself you'll probably be far more proactive about achieving them.

    University will be different but not that different. The main thing I would say would be being able to choose where you get to live (I assume a decent-sized city) and having more time/interaction with young people.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    What RL said. JET is not study abroad, it is a JOB. Chances are if you stay a year and aren't an anxious failure of a human being you're going to have a good time and find some time to do cool culture stuff. If you stay longer? Depends on how strong your resolve is, a job is a job no matter where in the world you're doing it, plus you get the added fun of dealing with cultural/logical differences.

    If you want real cultural immersion do study abroad. If you pick a good program it's worth the money; there's field trips, Japanese classes, cultural sht, host families, etc. It'll be an amazing experience (oddly enough this is why a lot of people who study abroad in Japan before JET/weeaboos hit Stage 2 of culture shock before complete noobs).
    Last edited by Page; April 23rd, 2013 at 14:39.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by sandbear View Post
    Does anyone like JET??
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by Page View Post
    What RL said. JET is not study abroad, it is a JOB.
    lol, not really.

  14. #14
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    It's the hours of a job coupled with the responsibilities of a four year old. Just don't crap your pants and you did good that day.
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    Sociopathic Scroogemcduck MJN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Seconding what RL said, also.

    I think it's safe to say that most folks here generally like the JET Program, but the unfortunate reality is that what they don't like is actually Japan and Japanese culture itself. In the West/'Murika, we get a very skewed version of Japan--the "crazy" sh*t is picked up and amplified by Western media, weeaboos idealize virtually every aspect of the nation and its culture, and the Japanese people you actually meet in America/other nations tend to be, by and large, very atypical in comparison to the vast majority of the Japanese population.

    Many JETs, ALTs and the like, who have created this fantasy of what Japan is like based on their extremely limited information, invariably experience a very startling and depressing immersion in reality once they arrive. Japan is nothing like it is portrayed in Western media. It is nothing like it is portrayed in any japanimation show. It is nothing like any of the stereotypes that are constantly being perpetuated across western nations.

    If you can handle this once you arrive, you'll be fine.
    See, I actually like Japan and Japanese culture. It's not without its problems, as any place in the world, but I find it interesting enough and the country fun enough to want to stay living in. What grinds me in all honestly is working under the confines and inside the inanity of the Japanese bureaucracy, but I'm guessing the levels of that change nationwide.

    What I agree with is that if you come to Japan expecting it to be like all your precious anime, it's going to destroy you unless you have a fantastically robust soul.
    Last edited by MJN; April 23rd, 2013 at 19:51.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    Just don't crap your pants and you did good that day.
    tumblr_m9605dLjOS1rt6jnqo1_500.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by MJN View Post
    See, I actually like Japan and Japanese culture. It's not without its problems, as any place in the world, but I find it interesting enough and the country fun enough to want to stay living in. What grinds me in all honestly is working under the confines and inside the inanity of the Japanese bureaucracy, but I'm guessing the levels of that change nationwide.
    I agree with most of this. MG and I actually really enjoy our life here, for the most part. However...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    I'm not saying "immersion" is impossible... I've just never met a single person who has done it or wanted to do it after living here a while.
    This.

    I have met people who have wanted to do it after living here a while--and they are, invariably, completely freakin' weird. The longer I live here, the more comfortable I am being a gaijin--the more I value it, the more I appreciate being able to live "outside" of many of the social constructs within Japanese society. I've found that my Japanese friends are often the sort who chafe under such constructs, as well. I could easily live here the rest of my life (I won't, but I'm very aware that I could)... it would be a nice life, as a gaijin.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    I have met people who have wanted to do it after living here a while--and they are, invariably, completely freakin' weird. The longer I live here, the more comfortable I am being a gaijin--the more I value it, the more I appreciate being able to live "outside" of many of the social constructs within Japanese society. I've found that my Japanese friends are often the sort who chafe under such constructs, as well. I could easily live here the rest of my life (I won't, but I'm very aware that I could)... it would be a nice life, as a gaijin.
    Yeah, one of my friends "went native" for his first 3-4 years on the program. He is at N1+ level of Japanese and spent enough time with the culture that he "gets" a lot of the cultural quirks. He often makes comments about how the way I do things is non-Japanese and possibly irks my teachers to which I respond with "so?" Despite his ability to "be Japanese" he's still not immune to irking his teachers, I don't think his work life is especially more fulfilling than mine in which case I'm left thinking "why bother?"

    I'm happy to take and leave what I want from Japan, much as I do back home in Aus. I don't feel a need to "become Australian", in many ways I choose to distance myself from the typical Australian.

    So I definitely wouldn't want to immerse fully in the culture. Just being a full time worker here is more than enough "immersing". If by immersion you don't mean "live life as a Japanese person" but "get to experience a diverse range of cool Japanese cultural quirks without any of the associated bullshit" then JET probably isn't the best for you. If you have the money you'd be best off picking an expensive study abroad that involves a homestay, temple trips, zazen, green tea and onsens. Homestay is actually pretty important for the "cool" kind of immersion, in some ways I learnt more about Japanese family life in the 4 days I spent at my VP's house when I arrived than I've learnt in the entire time since. You can't beat living with someone for immersion.

    Speaking of which if you want to immerse yourself inside a Japanese person's nether regions that can be something JET can potentially provide.


    As for what else it provides? It's a job, so unlike study abroad you don't go backwards. It's a job you can do even with "unemployable" liberal arts majors. You get exposure to Japanese people and Japanese media more easily than back at home. You have access to vacations in Japan more easily during your holiday period. If you're lucky like me you might even be within an hour of a major touristy place like Kyoto making weekend fun a reality. For me it's also been a time for me to adjust to the Mon-Fri 9-5 grind. I've never had a full time job before so it's been good to have the regularity of that in an environment that I'm comfortable in.

  19. #19
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    I have met people who have wanted to do it after living here a while--and they are, invariably, completely freakin' weird. The longer I live here, the more comfortable I am being a gaijin--the more I value it, the more I appreciate being able to live "outside" of many of the social constructs within Japanese society. I've found that my Japanese friends are often the sort who chafe under such constructs, as well. I could easily live here the rest of my life (I won't, but I'm very aware that I could)... it would be a nice life, as a gaijin.
    Living in Japan isn't particularly hard. People don't really bother you, you have health care, and you can usually find work (regardless how demeaning some of it can be). As for JET, it has it's moments, but most of those moments aren't worth sharing. I suppose we could post daily about seeing a kid smile when we explain something to them and they understand, or the moments of pride you feel when an activity goes perfectly. The feeling of success when the kid you've been training for 2 or 3 years tells you they are going to study abroad. Those are the things that keep you going, that aren't really needed to be shared.

    What we need to share, and why ITIL exists is to explain the uniquely backwards and idiotic things in Japan, so others can avoid them or share in our misery from a similar experience. Sure it might seem negative, but it's something of a survival trait in a country in which you will never be one of the team, regardless how much slanty eye plastic surgery you get.
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  20. #20
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

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