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Thread: 2016 Alternates Thread

  1. #1
    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
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    Default 2016 Alternates Thread

    Hey everyone! Now that the results are coming out, everyone is either starting to get excited about their shortlist status or coming to terms with rejection.

    Well, that is, everyone except for all of us alternates. We get to enter JET purgatory, or as I like to call it, Interview Results: Part 2.

    To avoid emoing up the other threads and give a safe place for us to discuss (read: complain about) various alternate issues and questions, I've made this thread.



    First off, DO YOUR PAPERWORK. There is still a VERY GOOD chance you will be upgraded in the next few months. There are plenty of people who are going to drop out for various reasons, whether they found something better of just decided that they didn't want to be part of JET anymore. Your chances are actually still pretty good right now, up until about late May or early June (when some might start rejecting placements). And on top of that, you'll get a handful of flyjins - JET applicants who leave either DURING Tokyo Orientation or the first few weeks of being in Japan because they couldn't handle the transition. Upgrades will start pouring in before the reply deadline is even reached and start trickling to almost a full stop (but not completely) by the end of Summer. Just read the old threads here on ITIL if you don't believe me. Several frequent posters on here were once alternates, even late year alternates. It happens.

    But at the same time, start coming to terms with the fact it may not happen. For every success story, there is a second year applicant who was a not-upgraded alternate the year before (or if you're truly unfortunate, alternate two years in a row like yours truly...), so start making back up plans. Apply for jobs, grad school, other study/work abroad, etc. if you haven't already. Now is the time. You don't want to regret not having anything else in the mix in case things don't go through.

    The next couple months will be emotional, but hang in there. Sooner than you think, upgrades will start coming in. In the meantime, just live your life. It's what you were meant to do anyways.

  2. #2
    Junior Member DjgoofyG's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    Hey everybody long time lurker here.
    I was interviewed at the LA consulate. Well when I received the news I felt well pretty empty, it's just the prospect of more waiting that kills me. Anyway I'll just continuing living my life. Still mulling my options if I don't get in. Probably look into other programs in Japan such as eikaiwas or private ALT dispatch companies, teaching esl in other countries in Asia, or do a working holiday visa in Australia.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    I'd love to fill out my paperwork, but they didn't send me any paperwork!

    oh, and I'm an Alt ALT from ATL!

  4. #4
    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    I should have probably stated that I was an Alternate from Houston, lol...

    Sorry to hear about your paperwork. Have you emailed them? Which departure group are in you in (A or B)? Houston, once again, made a snafu (this time, far less serious) and sent us BOTH sets of Reply Forms, so I can probably give you a gist of what you need to get together to send it off while you wait.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    Naw, they said in the email that we would be getting our stuff shortly and that we really shouldn't contact them until then! Sounds like Atlanta and Houston need to get their act together! I'm pretty sure Atlanta is group A, if I remember the application correctly. We didn't even get our reply forms. Basically I just got an email that said "You're an alternate. Stand by for more details."
    Last edited by WhiteFang; March 31st, 2016 at 12:57.

  6. #6
    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    Lol, Atlanta sounds like fun. Bureaucracy!

    Well, at any rate, the paperwork isn't too hard. As long as you've already done the FBI Background Check and made a photocopy of it, you should be fine. For me, the problem I'm facing is I don't have a passport (I know, right? I went to Mexico all the time, and I don't have one...but you didn't need one where I was from as long as you had a birth certificate...), so I don't know how I'm gonna send them a photocopy of that. There's an option for "currently applying for one" so I marked that and emailed my coordinator to see what else I can do.
    Last edited by simplesam; March 31st, 2016 at 15:06.

  7. #7
    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    Sorry for the double post but I just wanted to say hey DjgoofyG! Welcome!

    Right now the US Aspiring Thread has a discussion of JET alternatives going on if you want to join in. Some of the suggestion that have been thrown at me where Interac for Japan and South Korea, which is apparently popular.
    Last edited by simplesam; March 31st, 2016 at 15:09.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    Welcome to limbo! don't worry! I was pretty upset yesterday, but I'm feeling better about it now! Keep smiling and living your life!

    @sam
    I actually do love Atlanta! I'd like to teach there if I don't get upgraded!

    Yeah, about that background check. I did that like a month ago and sent it off, but nowhere did it say I needed a photo copy of it before I sent it, so I don't have one. Do you think they'd mind (or notice) if I just filled out an FBI Background check form again and sent that? I can't imagine that would be an issue, but you never know. Do they also want a copy of your fingerprints? Because I do have a copy of those.

    I got got my passport when I traveled to Japan last year. Right now my only issue is that I don't have a copy of my FBI form.

  9. #9
    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    Ours specifically asked for a photocopy of the FBI form and specifically not for the fingerprints. They also asked for any receipts we have to verify we sent off the paperwork.

    If your coordinator ever gets back to you, I would ask what you could do to verify you sent things off. They may ask you to refill the form just to have something on file, but idk. ESID, as always.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    I think I actually still have the mailing receipt in my car. One of the few times being messy will save my sorry butt!

    what else do Alts do? Is it just a waiting game? Do they ever release how many are on the waiting list and if you are top or bottom half of it? Or are we just forever in a state of "I don't know?"

  11. #11
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    I wasn't an alternate, but after observing alternates for about 9 years on this site, my advice is just move on with your life. You'll never know if you'll be upgraded or not. You're in limbo, but don't act like you're in limbo. Move on with your life. If you end up getting upgraded later and you still want to go, cool. What a nice surprise. If you get upgraded and are now in a place where you don't want to go, cool. Sounds like life is going well. If you never get upgraded, oh well. At least you didn't waste anymore time on something that you have absolutely zero control over.

  12. #12
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    I wasn't an alternate, but after observing alternates for about 9 years on this site, my advice is just move on with your life. You'll never know if you'll be upgraded or not. You're in limbo, but don't act like you're in limbo. Move on with your life. If you end up getting upgraded later and you still want to go, cool. What a nice surprise. If you get upgraded and are now in a place where you don't want to go, cool. Sounds like life is going well. If you never get upgraded, oh well. At least you didn't waste anymore time on something that you have absolutely zero control over.
    word
    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.

  13. #13
    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    I wasn't an alternate, but after observing alternates for about 9 years on this site, my advice is just move on with your life. You'll never know if you'll be upgraded or not. You're in limbo, but don't act like you're in limbo. Move on with your life. If you end up getting upgraded later and you still want to go, cool. What a nice surprise. If you get upgraded and are now in a place where you don't want to go, cool. Sounds like life is going well. If you never get upgraded, oh well. At least you didn't waste anymore time on something that you have absolutely zero control over.
    Yeah, that's pretty much my attitude about it after my experience last year. Gotta keep that stiff upper lip and persistent optimism on while I do the paperwork, but offline, I'm feeling far more practical about my chances. I saw WAY too many people get upgraded in April and May to give up hope, but I was also one of the forgotten ones, so I realize Plan B needs to be Plan A pronto and JET is on the back-burner for now.

  14. #14

    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    I'm currently looking into Interac at the moment, but I'm not sure if I want to start this whole mess all over again so soon. I think I should just get myself a teaching job in the USA for a year and start my application for JET again in October.

  15. #15
    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    That's honestly what I did. Like almost exactly. I applied for some teaching and lab jobs, got part-time both around late August (wasn't fun to balance or lucrative, but eh, what can you do), and did the whole JET tango again in October. Honestly, it makes it easier to forget about it if you have a semi-decent job. After awhile, my thoughts were less "I can't wait until JET calls" and more "I can't wait until I can find a better job in this field."

    Plus a year of doing something that can be related to JET (e.g. teaching) looks good on your application when you apply the next year. They will most certainly ask you what you did to "improve yourself" or some variation of that from the year before and teaching can be a plus if you spin it right.

  16. #16

    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    Unfortunately, any teaching position I get won't start until August anyway, so all these people who keep telling me to "move on with my life" don't seem to understand that I can't start my career until next school year anyway, so either way, I'm waiting for JET to call or for the next school year to start... So, yeah. Maybe I should go for Interac. It'll keep me busy.

  17. #17
    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    Totally feel you on that. Science jobs hire based on school terms too and are more likely to hire during the start of Fall and Spring Semesters since during the summer they get to take advantage of slave..err, I mean, intern labor from all the kiddos who work for free resume experience for grad/med school. Hence my not getting employment until late last year. I had enough to occupy my time for April and May (had a best friend wedding in a different state and a family medical emergency to attend to), but that summer of unemployment was brutal...
    Last edited by simplesam; April 1st, 2016 at 05:08.

  18. #18

    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    Sounds brutal. I don't know what I'm going to do. It's not like JET was my only option, but I kind of wish I had gotten flat out rejected, because then I really could move on. Now I'll be applying with that knowledge that I MIGHT get called. It's so annoying! And even if I do get hired at a school, I'm still unemployed until August, so I'm waiting either way.

  19. #19
    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteFang View Post
    Sounds brutal. I don't know what I'm going to do. It's not like JET was my only option, but I kind of wish I had gotten flat out rejected, because then I really could move on. Now I'll be applying with that knowledge that I MIGHT get called. It's so annoying! And even if I do get hired at a school, I'm still unemployed until August, so I'm waiting either way.
    Welcome to being a JET alternate! Here's your complimentary blindfold and sense of paranoia!

    Lol, been there, done that.

  20. #20

    Default Re: 2016 Alternates Thread

    Hello my people!

    I was an alternate two years ago and again last year for a grand total of a week. So don't lose heart, you could still get upgraded.

    But yeah, I agree that you should basically move on with your life as if you won't be upgraded. It's easier on you in the long run. There's nothing worse than hearing everyone but you is being upgraded. But the worst thing you could do is nothing, still hoping for a call from JET. Be active in finding something else and do your paperwork.

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