Page 1 of 19 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 364

Thread: 2016 JET Program Application

  1. #1

    Default 2016 JET Program Application

    Hello everyone!

    I found this site about 3 months ago after deciding to apply for the JET program for the 2016-2017 school year and have been lurking on it occasionally since then. I'm wanting to bolster my application before the application period starts in the fall. I know it's early, but I'm hoping people can point me in the right direction. Right now I'm a Japanese tutor as well as the founder and president of my school's Japanese Club. I just formed this club this semester, so we don't have many activities under our belt. My GPA is lower than I wanted due to unforeseen circumstances and is now standing at a 3.0.

    What advice can you give to me and any potential JET applicant in this next application season? Also is my low GPA going to negatively impact my application?

    Thanks for your time! :)

  2. #2
    Senior Member ambrosse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Minnesota->Mie
    Posts
    628

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Welcome!
    Most folks on here say that your GPA doesn't matter much.
    A 3.0 is not bad at all so don't worry too much about it.

    It's great that you're starting to work on the application early. I started at the last second and was scrambling to get everything together.

    Things to do:
    -Think about who you'd like to write your letters of rec.
    -Write a list of anything involving student or community organizations/clubs, volunteer work, work with children, teaching, tutoring, study abroad, etc.
    -Write a list of any international cultural experiences you've had (cultural festivals you've participated in, roomed with someone from another country, etc.).
    -Know Why JET, Why Japan, and Why You
    -Start writing your Statement of Purpose. Have family and friends read it and then have someone unbiased read it (such as a writing tutor or the likes). Focus on what you can do for JET rather than what JET can do for you.
    -Have some long-term goals or think about how JET can help you in future endeavors.

    There are so many other things! I recommend paging through the aspiring forum. There are quite a few very informative threads and such that can give you more details.
    As a general warning for ITIL, some people here are very blunt and can seem rude; however, many of them of them have great advice, you just have to sift through all the sass

  3. #3
    Member taysukidesu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    I really don't think your GPA will be a problem unless it's like, a 2.0 or something. My grades were really bad when I went abroad and weren't good the semester afterwards thanks to family/personal problems, and they didn't ask me anything during my interview. Though, I did end up graduating with a 3.5, so... *shrug* Probably not the best example.

    See if you can get a position working as a TA for a Japanese class or for foreign exchange students. Experience working with ESL/EFL students or children is something I feel gives you a good edge, as well as job experience organizing events/providing guest information. While it might not "fit" with what JET is "supposed to be", it lets them know that you can deal with stressful situations and can maintain composure in the face of upset individuals.

    Also, it doesn't hurt to continue after the application is submitted. My interviewers seemed really keen on me after I mentioned I was hired as a substitute teacher in January (in other words, not listed on my application) and at least a third of their questions were about that.

    If it's something worth noticing, they will notice.

    PRO-TIP: I really think that being able to synthesize your experiences and talk about how they will help you help others (READ: JAPANESE KIDS) in your essay is the most important part. The only person I know who got rejected for an interview was also the only person I know who didn't have anyone read his essay, despite the fact he has experiences fairly similar to my own and on all accounts should have gotten at least an interview.

  4. #4
    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    214

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Bienvenido Saxman! Which country are you applying from? Depending on the region, some of us may have some specialized insight and advice.

  5. #5
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    28,772

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman View Post
    Hello everyone!

    I found this site about 3 months ago after deciding to apply for the JET program for the 2016-2017 school year and have been lurking on it occasionally since then.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Do something with kids.

    Have some additional hobbies you can mention that aren't about Japan.

  7. #7
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    4,065

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Write an amazing SOP. My best advice is to make the SOP enthusiastic, clear and concise. The person reading your SOP will be reading hundreds of them, so save him some grief and get to the fucking point. It will pay off.

    Also, follow the directions closely. I think that a good number of the people who don't move onto the interview stage fail because they didn't follow the directions properly.

    Also, as much as the people evaluating your application probably love the idea of you growing as a person, etc. on JET, this is first and foremost a job application. Talk about how your strengths and knowledge might benefit your future contracting organization.

    I talked more about how much I love teaching than I talked about how much I love Japan.
    Last edited by johnny; March 24th, 2015 at 15:41.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  8. #8
    Weirdest ITIL member. haitch40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    1,775

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Welcome.

    Same as me. I intend to apply for next year. I am going to write a personal statement (you call it a statement of purpose) over the summer break. The advice from my friends who applied and got in last year is it is a lot easier if you do everything in advance if you can.

    Send some messages to the old timers here if you want someone to check over your SOP.

    From my time here I have got 2 feelings.

    1. Talk about what you can do for them. It is a paid job after all.
    2. State an interest in Japan but don't go overboard. The real Japan is different to what the media say so appear flexible.
    Last edited by haitch40; March 24th, 2015 at 16:15.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Thanks Ambrosse, Tsaysukidesu, Johnny, and Haitch40!

    Ambrosse, I'm not too worried about the bluntness of people. Tbh, I'd prefer it. I'm pretty thick skinned. I want to know the good, bad, and ugly of the JET program before I fully commit to it.

    Anyway, it looks like the most important thing I need to worry about is the SOP.

    I actually have quite a bit of experience living in Japan for a few weeks/months at a time (half-japanese) so I think, or at least I hope, that they'll assume I know the difference between Japanese culture as compared to American culture. As Johnny said, I did see that a lot of people were rejected because of mistakes made on their application. I haven't gotten a chance to look over the application yet. Is it that easy to make a mistake, or is it something harder? Like I saw that people were having words cut off their applications or other forms when they printed it off with the standard that Tokyo requested. Is that kind of thing counted against you?

    Simplesam, I live in the US.

    Also Ini... lol. For some reason I felt like I was a kid again and playing my new Pokemon yellow game.

    My University doesn't off a Japanese major or minor (Major bummer... get it? get it? lol) Anyway because of that, I doubt I could get a TA position with my professor. Do you think there's anything else I can do to increase my odds like greasing some hands (jkjk)

  10. #10

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Oh, one more thing. This is way, way off, but I've also read that you should be genki in your interview? I'm a pretty professional person when it comes to interviews and don't really joke around with my interviewers. Is that something I should worry about or work on?

  11. #11
    Senior Member ambrosse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Minnesota->Mie
    Posts
    628

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman View Post
    Oh, one more thing. This is way, way off, but I've also read that you should be genki in your interview? I'm a pretty professional person when it comes to interviews and don't really joke around with my interviewers. Is that something I should worry about or work on?
    Being genki doesn't mean you have to act like a clown. Smiling and being responsive and just having a pulse is good enough. Don't joke around with your interviewers unless they seem open to it or joke with you.

  12. #12

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    One advice I thought made a lot of sense came from a coordinator here, Miami I believe, was to ask you a question along the lines of : '' Do I see this person in front of a class of children ? ''

    If you're asked to do a mock lesson, can you act, can you pretend like your interviewers (at their request) are children ?
    Can you do an improvisation on the spot and be comfortable with it.

    Do you speak clearly and loud enough, or am I having trouble hearing you.
    And so on..


    That reassured me a lot beyond what answers I gave because I'm sure they can say at least I smiled, was enthusiastic, could do the mock lesson, had answers when they asked me questions and didn't freeze and ''hmm'' my way until the next one.

    Could my answers been better ? Certainly but I feel like I achieved the original question I advanced.
    Last edited by Gunjumero; March 24th, 2015 at 23:47.

  13. #13

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman View Post
    Oh, one more thing. This is way, way off, but I've also read that you should be genki in your interview? I'm a pretty professional person when it comes to interviews and don't really joke around with my interviewers. Is that something I should worry about or work on?
    I second gunjumero on this, because your job will be to engage students/the community. So yeah they probably want someone 'genki' enough to fullfil that job, but like ambrosse said, it doesn't necessarily mean going over the top.

    Honestly, just be yourself - I know that's super cliched advice, but they don't want a robot and they also don't want a slob. Like a happy medium of professionalism and *your* personality. I've heard stories from people on here getting hired by memorizing and rehearsing answers to a tee, and also going in with little prep and nailing it with their charisma. So obviously they hire a really diverse mix of personalities, so really... all you can do is go in there and stay true to yourself/your ambitions, etc. I think the main things are knowing why you want to go to Japan and what you'll do for the program and being really confident about that.

    But what do I know, I don't even know if I'm in or not yet.

  14. #14
    Weirdest ITIL member. haitch40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    1,775

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman View Post
    Thanks Ambrosse, Tsaysukidesu, Johnny, and Haitch40!

    Ambrosse, I'm not too worried about the bluntness of people. Tbh, I'd prefer it. I'm pretty thick skinned. I want to know the good, bad, and ugly of the JET program before I fully commit to it.

    Anyway, it looks like the most important thing I need to worry about is the SOP.

    I actually have quite a bit of experience living in Japan for a few weeks/months at a time (half-japanese) so I think, or at least I hope, that they'll assume I know the difference between Japanese culture as compared to American culture. As Johnny said, I did see that a lot of people were rejected because of mistakes made on their application. I haven't gotten a chance to look over the application yet. Is it that easy to make a mistake, or is it something harder? Like I saw that people were having words cut off their applications or other forms when they printed it off with the standard that Tokyo requested. Is that kind of thing counted against you?

    Simplesam, I live in the US.

    Also Ini... lol. For some reason I felt like I was a kid again and playing my new Pokemon yellow game.

    My University doesn't off a Japanese major or minor (Major bummer... get it? get it? lol) Anyway because of that, I doubt I could get a TA position with my professor. Do you think there's anything else I can do to increase my odds like greasing some hands (jkjk)
    For things to do. Think of experiences you could put down (even in casual settings) and maybe get some over the summer. Volunteer with local poor children etc. For me for example I have done 2 years of learning Japanese (and failing miserably ), helped Japanese exchange students with their English (in a casual setting. Also sets you out as an adaptable person being willing to talk the the foreign students as if they are friends. Well actually they are my friends.) and I plan on volunteering in schools next year.
    Last edited by haitch40; March 25th, 2015 at 03:12.

  15. #15

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Cool, cool. Alright, I'll just be myself then and let them decide whether I'm right for the job or not.
    I was thinking about working with children this summer, but I also want an internship in my major. I've already had quite a bit of experience working with children at camps and such so I think I'm okay there.

    Also good luck weepinbell!

  16. #16

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Two of the main sections on the application are Teaching and Japanese. If you're looking to bolster your application, I strongly *hint hint* recommend you:

    Study Japanese at your university. (Unfortunately the JLPT is only offered after the application closes, so unless you've already passed the JLPT, it won't help you now.)

    Sign up for a TEFL course and become certified.

    Being a school teaching job the best possible experience you can have would be teaching in a classroom. Try to do that somehow. Tutor, assist in class, etc. The more experience you have as an actual teacher, the better.

    Take on leadership roles in your club and community activities. We want people who are driven and will motivate students. Receive awards and accolades for your excellence.

  17. #17

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    SF, I know I at least have the club and community activities part down as the President of my club which is planning on doing a lot of volunteering in the Japanese community. Unfortunately I don't have a JLPT nor could I get one above JLPT 3 unfortunately. It looks like perhaps I need more teaching experience. So I think I'll look into helping teach over the summer some Japanese if I can. Currently I'm only tutoring Japanese at the college level.

    Is the TEFL certification actually worth it? I'm not planning on teaching anytime after JET. I'm interested in teaching but only for a few years. The JET program coincides with that desire to teach, as well as my need to develop connections in the Japanese market to facilitate my desire to work in a Japanese-American Company.

    Thanks for all the advice guys!

  18. #18

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman View Post
    Oh, one more thing. This is way, way off, but I've also read that you should be genki in your interview? I'm a pretty professional person when it comes to interviews and don't really joke around with my interviewers. Is that something I should worry about or work on?
    I'd recommend you be fun, but it all depends on your interviewers. I had two girls interview me - one was a pretty serious Japanese woman, and the other was a more friendly former JET. Both were fairly young. With them, I realized quickly I could make jokes and keep the interview light without them being upset.

    If I was up against a panel of old Japanese men, I wouldn't have bothered trying to joke around.

  19. #19

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    Haha yeah. Normally during interviews I try and gauge what kind of interviewer I have so I think I'd probably do the same thing as you. Thanks for the reminder though. If/When I get to that point, I'll be sure to think about it.

  20. #20
    Cute Frankenstein genkispirit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    The Gym
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: 2016 JET Program Application

    '' Do I see this person in front of a class of children ? ''
    That's kind of subjective isn't it. A small quiet person could be terrible with kids. I'm 6'1 and 240 and I'm great with kids, however, they probably look at me like I'm a monster.

    In terms of TEFL, most TEFL certifications you will most likely get are completely useless, save your money. I personally have a couple of $300 - $500 ones, and have a had a few interviews and none of my interviewees even mention it.

    If you DO still want a TEFL Certificate:
    The company Teach Away Inc. recently partnered with University of Toronto to provide an online TEFL course. If you want to take one I would suggest that one. The 120HR certification is probably your best bet. Be aware, however, that it costs $1,300. Because the course is offered by one of the top 20 Universities in the world, it's no joke.

    In terms of what you should do to make yourself a better candidate:
    Get involved in the local community. This involvement should be specifically with immigrants, this shows you have interest in working with foreign nationals. Travel somewhere (if you haven't already) the ability to show on ANY resume that you have some international experience is great. You have an entire year, does your school offer a transferable exchange? I did summer courses both in Japan and South Korea to bolster my resume going through university (I'm going on to get my M.A in International Relations). Volunteering with kids is paramount, If your community offers those opportunities take them. I once volunteered as a big teddy bear mascot for a kids festival, it sucked, but it was only a couple of hours and it looks great on a resume.

Posting Permissions

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