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Thread: SoP orgy?

  1. #1
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    Default SoP orgy?

    EDIT: Well, looks like this got me an interview :P. 1/23/07
    EDIT: And it looks like I butt-fucked that interview, I got alternated :evil:. 4/04/07
    EDIT: Stuck in a cubicle pondering what would've happened if my they called bout my upgrade a month earlier. 11/30/07

    Well, my app is sent. Here's my SoP, anyone else wanna share?
    Don't tell me if you find errors, cuz iono how many times I've said the words "screw it"

    I grew up in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. My family and I immigrated there 14 years ago when I was 6 years old. Growing up on the islands, the oriental culture fostered a deep impression on me. Be it Japanese, Chinese, Korean or even Filipino, we had them all. Everything from lion dances and cultural festivals to mochi pounding and kim-chee contests I have participated in and enjoyed immensely. But it was only after my first trip to Tokyo that I found myself actively seeking to know more about this particular country. Since then, local subtitled TV shows like “Soko Ga Shiritai” and “Next Stop Discovery” gradually found their way to my week nights; books related to Zen Buddhism and Go began to pile onto my bookshelves and into my thoughts. And after three years of Japanese in high school, I came to understand that it was this Asian mentality and the Japanese lifestyle which I became deeply attracted to.

    Throughout college I continued taking more Japanese courses. I know that one day when I do travel to back Japan again it will help enhance both my experience and understanding. Attaining a certain degree of fluency is one of my goals and many reasons of wanting to go there.

    One of the most prominent attributes that attracted me to the JET Program was the opportunity to be situated within a typical Japanese schooling environment. As an ALT, I know I can relate to many issues the students may be going through, not only because I am of an Asian descent but also because I know quite well the ups and downs of acquiring a new language. Having been brought up in a bi-lingual environment I am keen on the finer nuances of Eastern and Western ideology and philosophy. In this regard, I believe I can bring many personal qualities to the JET Program as a whole. Modesty, humility, and conservatism are intrinsic values of any oriental society and values that I grew up with. Of course, I also share the values of individuality and freedom which are so clearly engraved within the Western mindset. My years spent studying here in Chicago have broadened my perspective of America outside of Hawaii, and I want to translate the broad culture of this country to the people of Japan. In this respect, I know I am able to contribute to the main goals of the JET Program while being fully adaptable to local customs and cultural norms.

    Currently, I am involved with a community development group tutoring high school students. Dedicating four to five hours a week to these kids who were my age a few years ago has been a great experience. Whether it was guiding them through complex subject matters or assisting them with simple homework problems, it has help me fortify many aspects of my abilities to teach and mentor. Often, when they do confront me with frustrations or difficulties, I found myself only more eager and persistent each time to help them find their resolve. Being able to interact with them on such a personal level has made this something I always looked forward to and really enjoyed. However, this alone has not been an unfamiliar experience for me. Tutoring my 9 year old sister throughout elementary school was mostly my responsibility as both of my parents lacked the necessary English abilities to help her. I love kids, and from experience I know a lot of patience is involved, but patience is also something I have in abundance. Additionally, many of my business related experiences have helped me develop a high level of professionalism and strong interpersonal relationship skills. I hope to call upon these experiences in situations where cultural sensitivity and diplomacy are held in high regards.

    With the current Sino-Japanese relationship advancing by leaps and bounds, if selected as a participant, I wish to use the opportunity not only to bridge culture gaps between Japan and America, but also represent bits and pieces of my Chinese heritage.

    I am confident of my qualifications and their relevance to the JET Program. I wish to use the experience I gain from Japan to follow in the footsteps of my father and pursue a career in the travel industry back home. If I am presented with this opportunity, it will truly be in my greatest honor and pride to give it my 110% effort.


    EDIT: paragraphed >.<

  2. #2
    VIP Doomer's Avatar
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    Hey broody,

    Thanks for your SoP...im sure a great many people will find it useful...id like to ask that you upload it and put it into our downloads section though...that way it wont get lost as this thread gets older and people can keep in their Hard Drives for easier reference...

    Thanks for your contribution!

    EDIT:damn typos
    You got the BFG 9000...Oh yes!!

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    Yes no problem. Once I get an "acceptance/rejection" I'll upload it with the corresponding results :P.

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    Yeah, I think I'll hold off on mine until the results come in. ^^; I worked so hard on it, but I was never happy with the results. Just eventually sent it in!

  5. #5
    Senior Member augustine's Avatar
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    Default Re: SoP orgy?

    Dude, I wrote about Zen and go in my SoP, too.

    If you're up for a game sometime, I'm on KGS and DGS as "augustine," too, and my AIM SN is: cmoyer12.
    - st. christopher
    nagasaki blues

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    holy crap, no shit?!? haha sweet. my sn on KGS is broody as well :P see you around man

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    Here's mine. Like you guys, if it gets me to the interview I'll upload it.

    From a very young age my family was constantly on the move. By the time I finished university I had lived in Cyprus, the U.A.E and several parts of Australia, and had travelled extensively through Asia, Europe and Africa. Coupled with my father being British and my mother Australian, when I am asked where I am from I hardly know the answer myself, as each of the places I have lived in is special to me. I consider myself an international citizen, but I am deeply patriotic to both the UK and Australia. My unconventional childhood has instilled in me a wanderlust and a desire for the unknown and foreign that I doubt I shall ever be able to satiate. I imagine myself travelling around the world for the rest of my life, taking my experiences with me from each country to the next.
    My fascination with Japan in particular started in university when I became friends with Japanese exchange students at my college. I was intrigued by the Japanese psyche and culture which I perceived as unique among any I had previously encountered. I began reading about Japan, joined the university's Japanese Students Society with my friends, eventually took a Japanese language elective (which unfortunately I had to withdraw from due to conflicts with my core subjects), and found a Japanese language partner. During this time I learned of the JET Programme from my Japanese professor, but missed the application dates for the year I graduated. Undeterred I sought and was offered a job in Japan with LiveDoor. I accepted the offer but unfortunately the project was cancelled. Now, after working in the UK for a year and in France since October 2005, I cannot wait any longer to go to Japan and decided to apply for an ALT position.
    I believe that you cannot gain a true understanding of a culture and it's people without immersing yourself in it, and that is what I plan to do in Japan. As a JET participant I would commit myself to becoming fluent in Japanese, learning the culture's customs and traditions and making as many friends as possible with my students, fellow teachers, and the locals in my placement area. I make it a personal goal in any country I visit to leave good first impressions and to promote a favourable image of my country. This will apply especially in Japan where I will strive to 'penetrate the bubble' of Japanese society and dissolve any misconceptions of foreigners I may encounter. As an ALT in the JET Programme I will be perfectly positioned to achieve these goals, especially as I will be able to inform so many young Japanese about the UK, the British people and western culture in general.
    At the international school I attended in the U.A.E and at university I met many people with varying commands of English. Through much practice I am now adept at adjusting my speech to compensate for limited comprehension or vocabulary, and am very good at listening through accents. I have called on this skill when tutoring groups of Malaysian students and when as a senior collegian I was very proactive in encouraging exchange students to participate in our social events. Although I have no experience of teaching English in a formal setting I have found that an effective technique to encourage a student to learn any skill is to show them its immediate use. An example I would give to my Japanese student would be its effect on their use of the Internet. A basic level of English opens up huge sources of information and makes possible interaction with millions of English speaking Internet users. To encourage this, homework could be set to research subjects from English web-based sources. With my skills and experience with computers I could expand on this by creating a website for my students to maintain journals on in English. This would encourage creative use of the language to describe their own lives for friends and classmates to read. Discussing the journals of different classes and schools would be a working example for students on finding information and communicating on the Internet with English.
    Outside the classroom, I plan to be accessible to answer any questions and provide extra help to students. I want to teach them practical conversational English to complement the standard curriculum. Hopefully with the addition of this regular informal interaction students will be more comfortable speaking English with foreigners and each other. In every activity as an ALT my aim will be to motivate students the idea that they are gaining valuable knowledge and encourage them to use me as the invaluable resource for their learning that I would be.
    My international experience, proven adaptability to new cultures, passion for learning more about Japan, and desire to be a model ambassador for Britain make me ideal for the JET Programme.

    I thuoght my idea about using blogs in teaching English was so original! But I found out 2 days after sending my application that the British Council had an article about that in a newsletter 2 years ago and that it had been discussed here on ITIL a while back Anyway, I'm still happy with it.

  8. #8
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    Sweet tapdancing jesus, those two SoP's make mine look like poop. Here it is, point and laugh:

    My desire to experience Japan developed from purchasing a new car in mid-2002. I was tired of my old Suzuki Vitara, and I was determined to buy an Australian made car, but my cousin insisted that I investigate the possibility of importing a used car from Japan. I was intrigued, looked into it, and discovered that it was a sound decision, both financially and from a quality point of view.

    As I began to receive paperwork, I discovered that my new Nissan Skyline was sitting in Osaka, waiting for a cargo ship to set sail for Australia. I decided to read about Osaka, wanting to know more about the city that my new possession was sitting in and to help stave off my impatience while waiting. My curiosity was piqued, and it grew further as the car finally landed on our shores.

    The day after I received my new car, I began to investigate every little compartment, glove box and ashtray, and buried under the lining of the centre console was a small, folded brown paper bag. I unfolded it, and found it was a small shopping bag for the automotive chain store, Autobacs.

    I was immediately interested, and began to research this ‘Autobacs’ on the Internet, and as I researched, I discovered natto, sakura festivals, geishas, bento boxes, tea ceremonies, keitai, samurai and kaiten sushi. The ubiquitous plethora of vending machines fascinated me, as did the concept of the public onsen. The gigantic urbanisation and the apparent need for harmony with nature seemed to be completely opposing, yet fitting, as in a symbiotic relationship.

    I was hooked. I even took a semester of introductory Japanese lessons as part of my bachelor’s degree I was completing at the time.

    While I am interested in Japan to the extent of wishing to live there for a period, I also deeply love my home country of Australia, which I have travelled extensively, often taking long road trips for weeks at a time, simply because it gives me the chance to experience the smaller stops along the way, to see the things in life that flying over them can never show you.

    I would like to share the experience of my travels and live in Australia with students and people of Japan, if for no other reason than to share real life in Australia, that not everyone is a crocodile hunter, owns a pet kangaroo, and other strange mistruths.

    Hopefully the truth about Australia will surprise and delight them more than any stereotype can.

    --

    I'd upload it as requested, but I think in hindsight, it's a bad SoP. I went too light on "how great I can be for Japan"... but, oh well. Shit happens. Maybe I'm perfect Nova material.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sciby
    Sweet tapdancing jesus, those two SoP's make mine look like poop.
    Nah man, at least you have the most original angle I've seen so far, so don't put yourself down - stay positive!

  10. #10
    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    There is no shortage of people who will tell you that their SOPs were utter garbage and they are in Japan anyway. Mine was way way worse than you guys wrote. I don't think it was even coherant. Stress not.

    Check out some of the drivel posted on other websites and stuff. It'll make you feel good.

  11. #11
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    Heh, thanks. If I can get into an interview, I'll be fine... but as I just said to a mate of mine "These other guys' SoPs are wonderful wordy volumes of personal horizons, internationalization on a singular level and expansion of mental borders, and mine says 'I bought a jap car and it's cool, so now I wanna go. Gimme a job plz.'"

    The funny thing is, I write in a semi-professional capacity (reviewer and sometime editor for a computer junkies website), so I'm kinda used to waffling on and making sense, but the SoP was kinda painful... the first one was disjointed and horrible, this one was the most flowing. I think the big problem was that we were limited to two pages of double-spaced text. Was this an Aus only thing, or is that the standard rule for everywhere?

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    I think the big problem was that we were limited to two pages of double-spaced text. Was this an Aus only thing, or is that the standard rule for everywhere?
    I think it's the same everywhere, in the UK at least and I'm pretty sure it's the same in the US.

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    yeah, the two page thing is standard in the US. So here's my contribution to the orgy:

    Back in high school, it was required of all students to take a minimum of two years of foreign language in order to graduate. Not being all that interested in taking a European language as did most of the students, I decided mainly on nothing more than a whim to take Japanese instead. At the time, I had no idea what I was getting into, but now six years later, that one little decision seems to have shaped my life in many ways since. Within the class, the teacher did not focus merely on the language. The teacher believed, as I do, that language is inherently tied to the culture of a certain place. To remove it from that context takes out part of the meaning. This eventually led to me and my class to take a trip to Japan in the summer of 2002 as part of the New Perspectives Japan program. While visiting areas such as Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo, I began to develop a real sense of the Japanese language as a subset of the Japanese culture.

    This is what interested me at the start. Japan has very strong ties to its cultural background in a way that I had never personally witnessed here in the United States. I decided to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa because I knew that there was a strong Asian influence in Hawaii. Once arrived, though, I was surprised by not only the Asian influence, but by the Hawaiian culture also. My eyes were opened to a people that I did not even know existed beforehand. I became friends with some of the people in the Hawaiian community and learned a lot about yet another cultural background. At the same time, I finally gave in to the idea of a European language and started studying German. Unlike what I had expected, yet again there was a deep sense identity. My interest was peaked, and I now had a good idea of what I wished to study.

    Right now, I am close to graduating with a B.A. in Speech Communication. I would eventually like to enter graduate school and focus on some aspect of cross-cultural relations, but I thought it might be more prudent to gain some firsthand experience. This, then, is where the JET program comes in. I like being able to reach out across borders and foster a sense in people that they are part of a larger world, much in the same way that had happened to me. I love the idea of internationalization; of giving a sense that while a person can (and indeed should) identify with his/her own culture, there are others. Most important, perhaps, is also that idea that we will always have to interact with people from these other backgrounds. Understanding where they come from can help foster more open communication.

    My personal experience in teaching is not very much at this time, but I believe what I do have is relevant. Alongside tutoring high school students at Kalani High, I have recently volunteered with the Hawaii Literacy Program. For the Literacy Program, I have been paired with an adult woman who immigrated from China. Each week we meet for around 90 minutes and work on her reading and writing. It is challenging, as sometimes she but I have learned slowly how to handle teaching. For me, it is important to have clearly outlined beforehand what exactly I wish to cover each week, and try to stick to that. Sometimes (in fact, most times!) we drift into tangents, but having an overall goal really helps things stay organized.

    What I like about the tutoring is that we get a chance to share with each other about where we came from in the midst of the teaching. By personalizing the text to both of us, it helps keep things interesting and moving forward. This, then, is why I look forward to being in the JET program. While sharing and discovering other people's culture I also get to share and discover a bit more of my own.

    ___
    I realize the ending is a bit cheesy and contrite, but oh well. It's over and done with at this point.

  14. #14
    Australian Sciby's Avatar
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    That's the thing, ain't it? As soon as its in the post, you can't do anything about it, so no point stressing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rojer42
    The teacher believed, as I do, that language is inherently tied to the culture of a certain place. To remove it from that context takes out part of the meaning. This eventually led to me and my class to take a trip to Japan in the summer of 2002 as part of the New Perspectives Japan program. While visiting areas such as Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo, I began to develop a real sense of the Japanese language as a subset of the Japanese culture.
    Nice line

    Quote Originally Posted by Sciby
    That's the thing, ain't it? As soon as its in the post, you can't do anything about it, so no point stressing.
    Well, fingers crossed for all of us!

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    I didn't think it had a page limit... The UK website just suggests a word count of 800-1000.

    Mine came in under four pages. I'll also post mine once I've failed or got to interview!

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    Quote Originally Posted by smith
    I didn't think it had a page limit... The UK website just suggests a word count of 800-1000.

    Mine came in under four pages. I'll also post mine once I've failed or got to interview!
    :x I think they stop reading at 2 pages! I hope they're not anal about it in your case! Mine was 1 line short of 2 pages and about 850 words or something.

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    Just this moment opened up what I sent and noticed a few IDIOTIC and MASSIVE ERRORS. I can't forgive myself. Looks better here than in double-space Times, that's for sure... man...

    (Paragraph breaks for flow; no other editing, this is what was SENT Nov 25 2006)

    Quote Originally Posted by myself
    Statement of Purpose

    I will never forget my first experience in Japan. It was “only” for one week, but that week remains one of the greatest and most influential of my life. It inspired feelings very similar to junior high, when my family relocated to the U.K.: amazement, exhiliration, overwhelming fear and awe. I returned to America changed, with a sensational view of life abroad. In the case of Japan, I promised to return.

    Fast forward to today, where I have lived in Akita prefecture for one year, and accumulated more than 1,100 unassisted hours of immersive English teaching experience to children and adults. My contract as a private English instructor (now complete) has rewarded me with invaluable insights, which I will treasure forever. And yet I feel I have only just begun to live in Japan. I have only seen only one aspect of the culture, and while I cherish the experience, my heart says, “Do more, do more!”

    Learning works as a dialogue, as a conversation between not just two people, but between the heart and the mind. It is this dialogue that we employ when instructing students in an immersive English environment. We use natural channels to educate, encourage, interest and inspire, and as a result, we achieve learning. For one year I have communicated with students on this level, encouraging them to make their own natural connections. But there is another kind of dialogue: cultural dialogue, dialogue between ourselves and our environment. This is something that can only be achieved through the JET Program.

    It is my dream to continue teaching English in Japan for many years. I want to grow, to share my knowledge, to absorb alternative cultures while expressing my own in as many ways as possible. I want to use language to stimulate cultural learning. To inspire and dazzle, to reach across all channels, to enrich the lives of those I teach, and to be enriched by them. I believe the JET Program shares my dreams, hopes and ambitions more completely than any other institution in Japan.
    Best luck to everyone applying,

    -- Reed

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    http://www.jet-uk.org/application/apppersta.html

    No rule breaking apparently- how did you fit 850 words on two pages?! Double-spaced I presume?

    That's madness!

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    Times New Roman, 12 pt, double spaced, 814 words, four paragraphs = 1 line short of 2 pages. I'd read that they were *very* particular about the format and the length, so I really stuck to the point in the essay. Maybe it's in the US or Australia or somewhere else that they're very picky about that. Anyway, at least I managed to make it conform to all of the guidelines.

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