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Thread: Driving...

  1. #1

    Default Driving...

    I asked a million questions about this during the application stage, but my brain is nagging at me once again. I put that I did not have a license/was not willing to drive on the application, then told them I'd be willing to at the interview... and now on the reply form, it says to choose 'willing to drive/no license/not willing to drive'... now that I'm in and I have the option to opt out, I'm getting all anxious about it again, but also obviously I don't want to seem wishy-washy since I've already changed my decision once.

    I don't wanna be put in a super inaka placement with no car, but having to buy a car is like confusingly scary to me, especially since I'm from the US and I've never driven on the other side of the road haha... plus gas, insurance, maintenance, it just seems like a pain to me. I think that's where my anxiety comes from.

    I guess what I'm asking is, if I put yes, will it be a pretty sure thing they'll have me drive? I've heard they often reserve it for non-North American kids since it's easier with them.

    WHY AM I SO ANXIOUS ABOUT THIS.... ugh...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fantasylife's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diving...

    I'm glad you asked this question. I also said I was willing to drive in the interview, although I haven't driven in years. I'm willing to do it in Japan if necessary, but like you I would prefer not to. Also, I'm concerned about the price of getting/maintaining a car. It was one of the reasons I sold the only car I ever owned. It was expensive as fcuk to keep a car in Chicago.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Diving...

    Quote Originally Posted by 00200293 View Post
    In all seriousness just put down your preference. If you want to drive select willing to drive, if you don't want to drive select not willing to drive. You are already in, no reason to try to impress anymore fill it out with your preference and it will be ok.
    See, I'm not worried about impressing or anything. I just don't want them to think I was lying or something and then end up getting booted out? Idk is that really irrational for me to think? I honestly was just super in between decisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fantasylife View Post
    I'm glad you asked this question. I also said I was willing to drive in the interview, although I haven't driven in years. I'm willing to do it in Japan if necessary, but like you I would prefer not to. Also, I'm concerned about the price of getting/maintaining a car. It was one of the reasons I sold the only car I ever owned. It was expensive as fcuk to keep a car in Chicago.
    Exactly. I hear it's not quite as bad in Japan, but on the chance I'd want to recontract, then there's the whole getting a Japanese license thing... and if I do get placed in the countryside and decide to get a car, I can make that decision when I get there. It's something I'd like to decide though.

    Bottom line, I don't want them to view this as something I lied on the application/in the interview about when it's really just me being anxious and indecisive.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Diving...

    Quote Originally Posted by 00200293 View Post
    You won't be disqualified for marking your preference. If anything I think the JET Program wants people to be honest so there is less of a chance of them bailing on the program. Just stick with what you marked on your application as this is what they would reference back to if anything.
    They marked it down when I said yes in the interview, too, though. Not sure if they changed it directly on my original application or what. :/

  5. #5

    Default Re: Diving...

    Quote Originally Posted by 00200293 View Post
    If you mark yes I would say your chances of driving are likely and that means you getting placed somewhat remotely. I think that what they marked down was to tally information for them to consider when scoring you once you leave the room. I am guessing that there is no appendixes made to your actual application.
    It was at the very beginning of the interview when they asked about my email, address, phone number, citizenship status, license, health record... general stuff. I think one of the coordinators mentioned they do that to make sure they have the most up-to-date info on you.

    I've heard they don't use that info for scoring anyway, and I really hope that's true because then I'd feel really guilty and paranoid about changing my mind and it leading to them thinking I lied.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Fantasylife's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diving...

    Hopefully one of the coordinators can weigh in on this.

  7. #7
    Official JET Staff miamicoordinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diving...

    I think that the reply forms were not updated is the thing. Last year, the applicatation form had the question if an applicant had a license, and if so, if they were willing to drive. This caused a lot of confusion last year. This year tokyo changed the wording to do you have a license, yes or no. They were not interested in peoples preferences this year.

    Let me be clear, if you do not want to drive, 1 of 2 things can happen.

    1) you are lucky enough to get a non driving placement.

    2) you are put in a place where you have to drive anyway, and you have to suck it up, or you decline your position on jet. you cannot ask to go to a different placement after your assignment comes in.

    Tokyo will most likely follow what is on your original applicatioj anyway since they have had those documents in their posession for a couple of months already.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Diving...

    Quote Originally Posted by miamicoordinator View Post
    I think that the reply forms were not updated is the thing. Last year, the applicatation form had the question if an applicant had a license, and if so, if they were willing to drive. This caused a lot of confusion last year. This year tokyo changed the wording to do you have a license, yes or no. They were not interested in peoples preferences this year.

    Let me be clear, if you do not want to drive, 1 of 2 things can happen.

    1) you are lucky enough to get a non driving placement.

    2) you are put in a place where you have to drive anyway, and you have to suck it up, or you decline your position on jet. you cannot ask to go to a different placement after your assignment comes in.

    Tokyo will most likely follow what is on your original applicatioj anyway since they have had those documents in their posession for a couple of months already.
    I had originally put 'no' for the license question on my application, then at my interview they asked if I was willing to drive and if I had a valid license, which I answered 'yes' to both. Would it be that updated information from the interview that Tokyo received then?

    If I end up having to drive, that's fine and I can manage. I just want to be sure that me putting 'not willing' on my reply form doesn't end up having an impact in my standing due to 'stating false information' - I would assume they deal with peoples' preferences changing for that stuff all the time though, right? And obviously those preferences aren't always accommodated.

    Thanks a ton for your weigh-in as always MC.
    Last edited by weepinbell; March 31st, 2015 at 12:32.

  9. #9
    Official JET Staff miamicoordinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diving...

    Quote Originally Posted by weepinbell View Post
    I had originally put 'no' for the license question on my application, then at my interview they asked if I was willing to drive and if I had a valid license, which I answered 'yes' to both. Would it be that information from the updated interview that Tokyo received then?

    If I end up having to drive, that's fine and I can manage. I just want to be sure that me putting 'not willing' on my reply form doesn't end up having an impact in my standing due to 'stating false information' - I would assume they deal with peoples' preferences changing for that stuff all the time though, right? And obviously those preferences aren't always accommodated.

    Thanks a ton for your weigh-in as always MC.
    yes, exactly. Tokyo sees the driving issues as secondary. They are mostly focused on whether or not you have a license or not. They will accomodate you driving preference just as much as they will accomodate your placement requests(and we know how often that happens!)

    You most likely wont know about driving until your pred contacts you which is normally sometime in mid june for the most part.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Diving...

    Quote Originally Posted by miamicoordinator View Post
    yes, exactly. Tokyo sees the driving issues as secondary. They are mostly focused on whether or not you have a license or not. They will accomodate you driving preference just as much as they will accomodate your placement requests(and we know how often that happens!)

    You most likely wont know about driving until your pred contacts you which is normally sometime in mid june for the most part.
    Perfect. So then I guess me literally switching my driving preference 3 different times isn't as big an issue as I feared lol - SO indecisive about this, but I guess it's out of my hands anyway. As long as it has no real impact on me, I just figure it wouldn't hurt to mark it as 'not willing' at this point, and just see what happens. Thanks so much!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Diving...

    When we submitted everything to Tokyo after the interview we indicated whether or not you had a license. If you had originally marked "No" on your application but then told people in your interview "Yes" then the JET Program Coordinator in your area should have updated it to a "Yes" on the official form sent to Tokyo (people could get their license in between the time that they apply and their interview, after all). So it is likely that you are marked for "Yes" as capable of driving.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Diving...

    Quote Originally Posted by miamicoordinator View Post
    I think that the reply forms were not updated is the thing. Last year, the applicatation form had the question if an applicant had a license, and if so, if they were willing to drive. This caused a lot of confusion last year. This year tokyo changed the wording to do you have a license, yes or no. They were not interested in peoples preferences this year.

    Let me be clear, if you do not want to drive, 1 of 2 things can happen.

    1) you are lucky enough to get a non driving placement.

    2) you are put in a place where you have to drive anyway, and you have to suck it up, or you decline your position on jet. you cannot ask to go to a different placement after your assignment comes in.

    Tokyo will most likely follow what is on your original applicatioj anyway since they have had those documents in their posession for a couple of months already.
    The Canadian application specifically asked if you have a license AND are willing to drive in Japan, so maybe it was just the American application that changed.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Diving...

    Quote Originally Posted by JET ProgramCoordinator SF View Post
    When we submitted everything to Tokyo after the interview we indicated whether or not you had a license. If you had originally marked "No" on your application but then told people in your interview "Yes" then the JET Program Coordinator in your area should have updated it to a "Yes" on the official form sent to Tokyo (people could get their license in between the time that they apply and their interview, after all). So it is likely that you are marked for "Yes" as capable of driving.
    That's what I assumed! I guess I'm just confused why I have the option again if Tokyo already knows I have a license. It's fine with me and if they place me somewhere I need to drive I'm prepared, but hey, if I have the option of putting 'not willing', I figure I might as well. Do you have any idea if any of that is even taken into account though? I'm sure it's not a primary thing they need to take note of during placement as long as the person HAS a license, but I'm just wondering if the process might be something like 'oh hey, this person doesn't want to drive and there happens to be a non-driving location' and submits them there or something. I guess I'm just curious why that option is on the reply form at all.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Diving...

    I think it's left on the Reply Form for people who received their driver's license between when they applied and now. As for how Tokyo does it, honestly we have no clue. My guess is that they have a list of things that COs request in an ALT - Teaching certified, high Japanese ability, has driver's license, etc. - and that you've either got a Yes or a No in those categories. They then use that when they're matching up people with COs. If I were Tokyo I wouldn't take into account people's willingness to drive or not to drive - either you can or you can't. In the past it used to be that they asked "Do you have a license?" and "Are you willing to drive in Japan?" but they've slimmed that down to just "Do you have a license?" so my guess is that they're removing the willingness factor. As for why it's left on the Canadian application, it's probably because they didn't change it. We can send Tokyo as much information as we want; whether or not they use it is another thing.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Diving...

    Roughly what % of placements require driving and of those are you required to get the car yourself/are they provided? Also I heard some people have their petrol paid for them, is this common for JET drivers?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Diving...

    Quote Originally Posted by weepinbell View Post
    I don't wanna be put in a super inaka placement with no car, but having to buy a car is like confusingly scary to me, especially since I'm from the US and I've never driven on the other side of the road haha... plus gas, insurance, maintenance, it just seems like a pain to me. I think that's where my anxiety comes from.

    I guess what I'm asking is, if I put yes, will it be a pretty sure thing they'll have me drive? I've heard they often reserve it for non-North American kids since it's easier with them.
    My prefecture is mostly American JETs and I don't know anyone who doesn't drive. (Aside from myself, and believe me if I physically had a license I would!) Idk where you got the idea they'd rather give a driving placement to a non-American JET? Haha? Anyway I've not heard anyone having trouble with changing to the other side of the road. Also, most people rent a car rather than buy one.

  17. #17
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diving...

    Driving opens the country up to you. If it's something to do with fear or not being a good driver, remember that speed limits in Japan are horribly low, and the chances of an injury collision are super slim. If it's a money thing, try to offset costs in your head. Buses and trains cost money too. Taxis cost a lot. Yeah, you'll spend money to drive, but it comes with tons of benefits like being able to go anywhere you want and being able to come and go as you please. You might find yourself in a place where the train comes once an hour, or even less frequently than that... or like me, a place where there is no train. So I suggest keeping it in the back of your head that driving might enrich your experience, rather than be a burden.
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  18. #18
    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diving...

    My prefecture has the highest accident rate in the country!

    With that said, I am SO happy I live in an area where I don't have to drive. As someone who has HAD to drive for more than 10 years (Texas, if you don't know) it is such a relief to just get on a train and let it take me where I need to be. Want to go drinking downtown? No problem, I can get drunk and take a train. In my hometown I would be afraid of taking a taxi (stabbings, getting robbed etc.) I don't need to go jogging because I walk everywhere. I absolutely love having public transit as an option. I might eventually get a motorbike, but for now I'm content. OK, I'm done gushing about passenger trains. They're fucking great. Ok, now I'm done.

  19. #19
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diving...

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    With that said, I am SO happy I live in an area where I don't have to drive.
    100%. There are definitely pros and cons for either. My hometown is suburban, and without a car, I couldn't even go buy milk or a beer.

    With the blood-alcohol max being zero in Japan, it is great to live within walking distance of things. Having to drive everywhere certainly isn't ideal. I had to stay sober at a drinking party in my honor because I had to drive back to my village and work the next morning. However, having the option to hop in the car and go wherever whenever is very nice.
    Last edited by BifCarbet; April 2nd, 2015 at 10:26.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Diving...

    Afraid of getting stabbed or robbed in a taxi? Did you live in Caracas, Texas?

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