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Thread: Interac Placements Spring 2014

  1. #1
    Member tobenaitori's Avatar
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    Default Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Hello all! I've noticed a few people posting interac-related questions on these forums and have been hoping someone might start up an "official" Interac Spring 2014 thread, but since no one has yet, I thought I'd jump the gun and start one myself.

    It's still more than a month too early to expect to hear about our placements, but at least we can commiserate, right?

    I'll go ahead and introduce myself! I'm from Massachusetts, USA, interviewed in NYC (technically New Jersey) in October, and received my tentative offer a few weeks later. I just finished university (fall 2013 was my last semester) and am waiting for all the paperwork to go through for me to be officially "graduated." My degree was in Japanese language, and I previously studied abroad in Japan for 1 year, in Nagoya. My placement requests were 1. Nagoya city 2. Anywhere in Aichi prefecture 3. Somewhere it snows. Lol, I'm probably going to get packed off to Hokkaido.

    Anyways, I look forward to getting to know you all!

  2. #2
    Member teadaze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Hi!

    I'm Carly. I'm from New Jersey and I interviewed there in November. I finished school in May 2013 with a BA in studio art and have been working full time and a branding company and part time for artists and galleries in NYC since then. I studied Japanese for 3 years in high school, a semester in college (it wasn't offered at my school) and then studied abroad in Kyoto for 5 weeks.

    I wanted to be somewhere in Kanto, which I know is a total reach, because I have gotten super into Japanese fashion and art and want to be able to go to exhibitions and things in Tokyo without going totally broke. But I would be happy anywhere because there isn't anywhere that isn't exciting in Japan. Although, unlike you Tobenaitori, my one specific request was somewhere that isn't super cold because I always feel cold even if it's not freezing temperatures. n_~

  3. #3
    Member tobenaitori's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Hi Carly! Your work in galleries in NYC sounds especially glamorous! I'm glad to see there really are others on this forum heading over in March, 2014
    Kantou is pretty big, so hopefully you'll get placed somewhere in the area? That does sound really cool, about being able to visit art galleries in Tokyo.
    How did you enjoy Kyoto? I only went there once on a day trip to Kiyomizu-dera but the city seemed really old and beautiful, from what I saw of it!
    We are opposite in our choices of climate, then! I just can't stand hot weather, but I love the cold. My only disappointment with Nagoya/Aichi was that there wasn't enough snow. We're getting a snow storm up here in MA as we speak, actually!

  4. #4
    Member teadaze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Ah yeah it's actually really cool. It's not anywhere super, super high end but it's with people I really admire so it's pretty amazing.

    I hope to be in the area! It would be a nice contrast to Kyoto, which I absolutely loved but I want to explore another place. Kyoto is so beautiful and there are a ton of things to see. Kiyomizu-dera was so much fun when I went. I miss it so much. I'm so over living in the suburbs and feel like it's not nearly as pretty here as it is in Japan but I guess it might be because I'm so used to it.

    I'm not obsessed with hot weather really but I just get so cold so easily that it's just not fun to be to be somewhere that's super cold. We are getting snow here in NJ now too! It was kind of funny because it's only 1-3 inches but I got back from NYC today and my local Starbucks was closed at 7 pm and no one was on the road. -_-;

  5. #5
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Kanto isn't a stretch. Most of the new recruits go there.

    Plus I know at least one spot that will be opening up - mine.
    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Beaming down a rainbow into a San Francisco apparently inhabited exclusively by The Village People? It really says it all about Star Trek, imho.

  6. #6
    Member teadaze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    It seemed like the general consensus was that it was hard to get a placement there because Tokyo is close by. I wrote down 3 areas in Kanto but told my recruiter I would basically say yes to anything. That would be amazing if it worked out though! Where is your position?

  7. #7
    Member tobenaitori's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Zombiekelly - It's sad to hear that! Are you returning to your country, or moving to another position in Japan? I remember reading all of your posts in last year's thread

  8. #8
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Nah, it's not too sad. I'm going to go back to the US. I like Japan but the money's getting tight. Besides when I went home for the summer, the doctor said my potassium level tanked. Probably because I don't like fish (and you can only shove so many soybeans down your throat before getting sick of them).

    But Kanto being hard? Bah. There were two hotel floors of newbies for this year's training.
    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Beaming down a rainbow into a San Francisco apparently inhabited exclusively by The Village People? It really says it all about Star Trek, imho.

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    Member teadaze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Ahhh yes good news for me I hope!

    I bet it's a good idea to come home for a break too, even if it's a forever break.

    Where were you placed?

  10. #10
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Ibaraki. It may seem like out in the middle of farmland, but the Joban line leads straight into Tokyo. About 90 minutes for the slow train, faster if you spring for the hitachi. I think they're even extending the line to Tokyo station, but I usually don't go that far. Matsudo is enough for me when I need to escape from natto, but there are plenty of places within driving distance that give me what I need.
    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Beaming down a rainbow into a San Francisco apparently inhabited exclusively by The Village People? It really says it all about Star Trek, imho.

  11. #11
    Member teadaze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    That sounds like a good location!
    My boyfriend got an email today saying that we should find out placements mid-late January.
    It sounds like they are stepping up their game.

  12. #12
    Member tobenaitori's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    I hope we do find out mid-January! That would be great! But I doubt it will happen for me. I just graduated this semester, so I might not even get my proof of graduation paperwork from my university to Interac until early-mid January. I'm sure they'll give placements to those whose COE application they filed in late December first. :/ My family and friends have been asking almost non-stop where I'm going, it sucks not having any answer for them.

  13. #13
    Junior Member JapanBT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Minasan Konnichiwa! I am so glad there is an Interac Spring 2014 thread with my fellow recruits! I am in the same boat as everyone else, pretty much. My paperwork is in, I've gotten the update emails, and I am patiently awaiting placement and CoE. I will post updates in this thread. Let's keep each other encouraged. I think this thread will really pick up speed in about a month when some people's placements and COEs start coming through.

  14. #14
    Member tobenaitori's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Welcome, JapanBT! Where are you hoping to be placed?

    I had the speaking portion of the Japanese language test today with Ms. Nakada from the Tokyo head office, and I'm pretty sure I bombed it. I had a really difficult time hearing what she was saying, I'm not sure if that's because I was on a cellphone or because she was in the office with a lot of background noise, or just because my listening skills leave something to be desired, but I was totally embarrassed that I had to ask her to repeat almost every question, several more than once. The questions weren't hard, but they were a bit harder than what others on this forum told me to expect. Others told me that they were asked about things like their birthday and their hobbies. I did get asked my name and what my favorite Japanese foods are, but I also got a few that required a bit of thinking, such as "Please tell me about one aspect of Japanese culture that is different than your country's culture" (I talked about senpai-kouhai relationships) and "How has Japanese society changed over time" (maybe I misunderstood this question? I talked vaguely about women's suffrage). So if anyone else is going to be taking this test, my advice to you is to have them call you on a landline if possible, and be prepared to answer questions that you have to think about a bit. Good luck!
    I hope they email me soon to let me know the results of my speaking test, for better or worse :/
    Last edited by tobenaitori; December 20th, 2013 at 14:55.

  15. #15
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    I don't blame you, I can never tell what even the English speakers are saying when they call me from that noisy office.
    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Beaming down a rainbow into a San Francisco apparently inhabited exclusively by The Village People? It really says it all about Star Trek, imho.

  16. #16
    Member tobenaitori's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Thanks zombiekelly You made me feel better. I still haven't heard back (should be used to this with Interac already :P). I wonder when they typically get back to you.

  17. #17
    Junior Member JapanBT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by tobenaitori View Post
    Welcome, JapanBT! Where are you hoping to be placed?
    Thanks! My first choice is the Kansai region. I really hope I get placed there.
    Last edited by JapanBT; December 22nd, 2013 at 09:38.

  18. #18
    Member teadaze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Ahhh I haven't been home in days to send the photo or résumé. I'll have to do that today and get started on the Japanese test. I took Japanese for 3 years in high school and a semester in college plus abroad for 5 weeks but I have forgotten so much. It's really embarrassing and a shame. u_u
    I hope they are still at least a little impressed.

    Do any of you know when most people leave for Japan?
    Also the hours training tends to be for the first week or two? I hope we are able to go out at least a little.

  19. #19
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by teadaze View Post
    Do any of you know when most people leave for Japan?
    Training is usually last week of March, and it helps if you arrive as close to the start date as possible (for visa and driver's permit considerations).

    Also the hours training tends to be for the first week or two? I hope we are able to go out at least a little.
    Haha, no. Training was 5 days; from 8am to around 7pm, with some seminars after that, plus homework. Best you can probably do is a beer or two in your hotel room after trudging down to Sukiya for dinner.
    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Beaming down a rainbow into a San Francisco apparently inhabited exclusively by The Village People? It really says it all about Star Trek, imho.

  20. #20
    Member tobenaitori's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac Placements Spring 2014

    Someone on here (I forgot who now) told me they scored on the lower end of the scale but Interac basically told their BOE that they were fluent in Japanese and the BOE was super impressed with them. I think they will probably be pretty impressed even if the score is low.

    On the J-CAT test, it automatically times out after like 20-30 seconds and switches to the next question. I consider myself pretty good at Japanese, especially reading, and I just barely made it through the questions and answers and picked one before it changed to the next question (I didn't even bother reading the instructions most times, it was too fast), so I recommend you work as quickly as you can. You can't pause the test but in between section (vocab section and grammar section, grammar section and reading comprehension section) you can take a break. For the reading comprehension section, I suggest you look at the question first and just skim the paragraph to find the info you need. They give you more time for these questions (about a minute, minute and a half) but reading through the whole paragraph and then not having time for the question, or finding out that the answer to the question was in the first sentence, is really frustrating. Good luck!!

    WOW training sounds intense! I hope I can learn a lot, though. Honestly, I don't feel at all qualified to teach. Mostly, I have no idea how to draw up a lesson plan. I'm not especially creative. I hope they give some pointers about this during training.

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