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Thread: Peoples preferred prefectures?

  1. #21
    Member Saga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    I'm pretty sure there's no way to know. With so many thousands of prefectures, municipalities and individual schools hiring, there's simply no way to find out what any one of them is looking for.

    I just found out this week, for instance, that my municipal BOE only requests people with at least intermediate Japanese skills as there isn't anyone at the BOE who speaks English. Yet, the other new incoming ALT has little or no Japanese ability, so their request was apparently not heeded in that case. Anyways, they put the ALT who doesn't speak Japanese in the less rural of the two placements, and put me in the more rural placement, likely because in the smaller village fewer people will speak English, and my placement requires getting a car and navigating the Japanese car insurance system. Plus my pred is female who I'm going to have to share a house with for a few days as our arrivals/departures overlap. If they had placed a male ALT there, they probably would have had to spring for a hotel room for one of us.

    Anyways, that's all to say that it's better-than-chance crapshoot. I probably got placed where I was because I requested the prefecture and this BOE wanted a Japanese speaker, but some people end up in placements that make little sense when looking in from the outside.

  2. #22
    PIKITIS!!!!! x_stei's Avatar
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    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    I don't think there are too many ALTs leaving Kanazawa city this year. A lot of people are leaving the Noto peninsula though.
    Jggs: Yeah, a possible predecessor of mine is actually transferring to Kanazawa.
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  3. #23

    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    The most intetesting thing in Ishikawa is that big fucking Kannon statue in the abandoned theme park, must be pushing 100m. Kanazawa city is quite nice but not much happening.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    I literally just kinda picked where I wanted to go and went from there lol. I kept seeing crap about 'choose obscure placements, they're the only chance you'll have'... well, I put Osaka suburbs as my first and Kyoto suburbs as my second - and I got an Osaka suburb. I knew I'd prefer a more urban placement if I had the choice, and I knew I didn't want anywhere as big as Tokyo... I live in an Osaka sister city, and I thought I could play up that angle. Lo and behold, it somehow worked.

    I feel like playing the number game won't always work... they send off your stuff, if a prefecture/city happens to like you, you're in. I'd definitely say choose where you think you'd LIKE to go, but obviously have an open mind! I literally would have been happy with any placement, since I'd never been to Japan and I told them that. But I'm definitely pretty excited to have gotten my first choice.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    I put Osaka, Nagoya (didn't know about this handy stats sheet), and Shizuoka just because I have Japanese friends in those areas. My request was somewhere with good public transport, centrally located, and I want to teach elementary.

    What I got is a prefectural placement in Gunma. Very central ha.
    Last edited by singinglupines; June 14th, 2015 at 03:58.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    Sorry if this has been covered before, what is the difference between a municipal and prefectural placement?

  7. #27
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    Quote Originally Posted by starxrox View Post
    Sorry if this has been covered before, what is the difference between a municipal and prefectural placement?
    Municipal = employed by a city's board of education
    Prefectural = employed by a prefecture's BOE

    The details of the placements depend on the city/prefecture, but some things seem to be more common in municipal placements compared to prefectural ones. For example, municipal JETs tend to be placed at JHS or elementary schools and prefectural JETs tend to be placed at SHS.

    Also, designated cities kind of function like prefectures, so placements in big cities will probably be quite a bit different from small ones. Often "cities" in the inaka are actually just a combination of several hamlets. You may have to rotate between several schools or you might spend most/all of your time at just one school.
    Last edited by Ebi; June 14th, 2015 at 00:36.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    Thanks Ebi. Appreciate that.

    Would I be right in saying that a BoE is responsible for accommodation also? Id prefer to teach high school kids as I'm already a high school English teacher. I'd also prefer to be at the one school and not have to buy a car. I know ESID but I thought if I knew where to go I could give myself a better shot of doing that.

  9. #29
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    Yes, BoEs set up housing for you (usually). But you really can't game the system like that.

    I said I wanted to teach older kids since prior to JET I had been teaching university students. I now teach exclusively JHS and elementary. I also didn't get placed anywhere near my prefecture choices. I specifically said I didn't want to live in a major city/urban placement, which is where I ended up. I even said I was fine with driving, but I'm in a placement where it's completely unnecessary.

    Definitely put down your requests and explain why, but don't expect any of them to be fulfilled. I'm incredibly happy with my placement and I'm glad I didn't end up where I thought I wanted to be.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebi View Post
    Yes, BoEs set up housing for you (usually). But you really can't game the system like that.
    Cheers man. That's more or less what I figured. I guess not knowing is half the fun. I'll continue my research and just pick places where I think I would like to go (using that list provided so I know where I CAN go)

    Were you a university lecturer Ebi?

  11. #31
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    Quote Originally Posted by starxrox View Post
    Were you a university lecturer Ebi?
    Nope, just a student teacher. I volunteered in a lot of classes for Japanese exchange students and taught adults from other countries for my TESOL practicum.

    How about you? How long have you been teaching HS?

  12. #32

    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebi View Post
    Nope, just a student teacher. I volunteered in a lot of classes for Japanese exchange students and taught adults from other countries for my TESOL practicum.

    How about you? How long have you been teaching HS?
    Only been out a year. I've help out in the ESL classes at my school but I have no Japanese students so not sure how helpful it will be in the application.

    But I'm a senior English teacher so I'm hoping that will carry some weight.

  13. #33
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    Quote Originally Posted by starxrox View Post
    Only been out a year. I've help out in the ESL classes at my school but I have no Japanese students so not sure how helpful it will be in the application.

    But I'm a senior English teacher so I'm hoping that will carry some weight.
    I wouldn't worry about the lack of Japanese students, personally. It seems like you have adequate teaching experience.

    Maybe I missed it earlier, but do you have any connections to Japan or Japanese speaking ability? If so, then it sounds like you have a strong application.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    I'm currently studying Japanese after work one night a week. So my Japanese is pretty limited.

    Not sure what you mean by connections. I don't know anyone over there.

  15. #35
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    Quote Originally Posted by starxrox View Post
    I'm currently studying Japanese after work one night a week. So my Japanese is pretty limited.

    Not sure what you mean by connections. I don't know anyone over there.
    Well that shows you're making an effort so I don't think that's bad. Plenty of people, the majority I think, come to Japan with minimal Japanese comprehension. I studied before I came but I was really terrible at it.

    Connections could mean anything. Look to see if your current city or hometown has a sister city in Japan. What aspects of Japanese culture are you aware of an interested in? Have you visited Japan before? Why do you want to live in Japan?

  16. #36

    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    Oh I understand.

    My hometowns sister city is Himeji near Kobe.
    I've never visited Japan before but have always wanted to.
    I used to do Karate so I'd like to continue that.
    I don't know how to answer why I want to live in Japan with just sounding really corny.

  17. #37
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    Quote Originally Posted by starxrox View Post
    Oh I understand.

    My hometowns sister city is Himeji near Kobe.
    I've never visited Japan before but have always wanted to.
    I used to do Karate so I'd like to continue that.
    Well, all of those things can be a plus if you play them right.

    I don't know how to answer why I want to live in Japan with just sounding really corny.
    Work on that because people will ask you this question over and over. People in Japan really like to know why you like Japan. There's a whole TV show about interviewing foreigners about why they came to Japan. My reasons are also kind of wishy-washy, but I've tried to sum them up in a succinct way.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Peoples preferred prefectures?

    Solid advice. Thanks Ebi.
    I'll put some thought into it.

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