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Thread: Placement preference question

  1. #1
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    Default Placement preference question

    Hello everyone,

    I've been seriously considering the JET program for a while now and this October I'm deciding to take the plunge and go for the application.

    My girlfriend, a Japanese national, recently returned to Japan and, of course, I'd like to put her city as my preferred option for placement with the other two preferences close by. My question is, if in the interview stage I'm asked about my preference, what is this best way to explain this without setting off red flags?

    I don't want my interviewers thinking that I'm not fully committed to the JET experience and I know they very much want to know more what I can do for them than the other way around. I'm aware preferences aren't always considered but I'm just curious as to how to maintain my chances rather than minimise them if they question me. Is it best to mention it or not?

    Thanks in advance for any and all advice!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Placement preference question

    When I applied, I was only starting to date an Osaka girl (who later became my wife). I had flown out a year before JET and stayed with her family for a while. During the interview, I was asked what made me choose Osaka as it was a pretty popular choice and it wasn't guaranteed I would get it. I explained that I had a penpal in Osaka who I flew out to meet last year and did a home stay with her grandparents. They liked the answer and I got my placement, so they do try to get you placed where you want.

    They like the fact you know someone who could assist you with things. Especially when getting set up in the first few months/first year. It takes the strain off the JET support network, and your supervisor. Plus, you're more likely to stay!

    Just be aware, the big cities are popular. Smaller towns are usually not requested so you'd stand a better chance there.
    Last edited by Beer Baron; June 2nd, 2017 at 22:22.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Placement preference question

    The JET ALT before me in my town was in a long term relationship with a Japanese girl he met when he studied abroad. He didn't get the same city or town, but he did end up getting a fairly close placement (around 45 minutes away by car.) They married a year or two after he arrived.

    Placements are a bit of a random draw - there's no real clear correlation between most JET applicants' preferences and their ultimate placements. Some people get the choices, but a large number of people end up with a placement nowhere near their choices. But I assume with a valid reason/link to a specific area, you'd have a better probability of getting a decently close placement.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Placement preference question

    I'm glad to hear that! Thanks again for the responses. When it comes to explaining my situation, would using the term "girlfriend" come across as too flippant or am I just overthinking it? I know it can be pretty easy to say the wrong thing.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Placement preference question

    Personal preference whether you say she is your girlfriend to be honest.
    If it was me, I would probably stick to "friend" unless it was a long term/serious relationship.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Placement preference question

    I would say "friend" makes it sound like you have someone there to support you whereas girlfriend makes it sound like you're either only coming for her and will leave when/if the relationship ends, or that you're coming to get married and stay forever. Both of which are kind of counter to the stated goals of JET, though I'm not sure how much that really matters.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Placement preference question

    I'm not sure it would make much difference. The spectrum-dweller that replaced me on Jet was coming over for his "girlfriend" (Xmas cake 10 years his senior) one prefecture south. He talked about her constantly in he rambling emails he sent me and also declared he'd be staying 5 years on Jet before he'd even spent one day in the job. It would surprise me if he hadn't brought up his girlfriend at some point during the selection process.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Placement preference question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    I would say "friend" makes it sound like you have someone there to support you whereas girlfriend makes it sound like you're either only coming for her and will leave when/if the relationship ends, or that you're coming to get married and stay forever. Both of which are kind of counter to the stated goals of JET, though I'm not sure how much that really matters.
    I'm just wondering, if you said in an interview you were hoping to stay in Japan after JET, would that be bad? Do they prefer you to come back and sort of complete the cultural bridge or whatever? How do you think it would be best to deal with that type of question?

    I also have a Japanese boyfriend living in Japan, of course I don't know for sure if we'll get married in the future and whatnot. I also really love Japan and have lots of other Japanese friends too. If I want to be placed around a certain area, would it be best to just say I have a lot of connections and friends who were former exchange students etc. and not say anything about whether or not I want to stay afterward?

  9. #9
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Placement preference question

    Well, the goal of the program is for people to go home when they're done. When you say stay in Japan, what do you plan to do there? What about staying in Japan will further your long term career goals.

    As for your BF/friends from random study abroad X, tough luck. JET won't give to shits about that.
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  10. #10
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Placement preference question

    I wouldn't mention too much about wanting to stay in japan long term and it would be best to have an answer to the "If accepted what do you intend to do after JET?" question that involves something about using the experience you gained in Japan in a career back in your own country (this doesn't have to be true of course, it just has to sound good)

    Ties to an area such as exchange experiences blah blah blah can help you with getting placed at your first choice but its more likely to come down to where your name crops up on the shortlist and if your bio (nationality, age, gender, teaching experience, japanese ability, experience of living abroad and so on) matches up with the what the contracting organizations in that area request. You can talk about your friends in the area as much as you like but if there are only 8 spots opening up in that area in a particular year and they request 30+ year old male New Zealanders with driving licenses and teaching experience and you are a 22 year old Canadian women on a push bike you probably wont get your first request.
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