I’ve been thinking about the whole going to China thing and seriously thinking about whether or not I could do it. The more I looked into China the more turned off I was feeling about it all.
It was the country I was turned off on, not the idea of moving to a different culture for a year so I thought “hey, I have had an on and off appreciation of Japan over the years, from JRPGs and Anime to taking the language at the original college I was at before dropping out”, and the more I looked into it the more I decided that YES I did want to go away, but it was to be Japan not China.
I looked into how this would be possible and I stumbled across a program called the JET Programme (or the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme). Similar to the one that would have sent me to China it is a Teacher of English position, although in Japan (obviously).
You don’t run your class in this one though, I’d be applying as an ALT (or Assistant Language Teacher), where you’re there as linguistic back up. The more I’ve looked into it though, certain people have said depending upon the school you may have more responsibility over time as they asses your skills and the like.
The JET Programme seems like it is going to be MUCH harder to get into but that won’t stop me trying (chances are 0% if I don’t apply…obviously). Whereas there’s a chance I COULD get in if I do.
The main two pieces of criteria are as follows:
You need a degree in any discipline and you have to speak English.
I have/can do that so I’m eligible, so now I have to stand out. The only thing in the way of standing out I think I have going for me is my experience at a summer camp in America. I have a proven record of not only having the responsibility of children but living in a foreign country for two months (although nowhere near as foreign as Japan).
Either way I am going to apply when the application opens in a couple of days (the deadline is 6pm on the last Friday of November so I came across this at the right time of year!) If successful I would leave around July/August next year which gives me lots of time to save!
So, all in all….wish me luck!