Konichiwa: Found an Alternative to China

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!

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11 thoughts on “Konichiwa: Found an Alternative to China

  1. I am a JET program Assistant Language Teacher and this is my third year in Japan. I am friends with a lot of ALTs who worked for small, private companies and they all hated the contracts they were working under. Many of the city Boards of Education have been hiring ALTs directly who were previously with companies and they tell me they are being paid better and have better insurance fee situations. I know JET is a notoriously hard program to get in to, but I am so glad I applied to JET and not a smaller company.

    If you wanna talk more, let me know. Japan is where it’s at. You should definitely ditch the USA for a while when you’re not yet settled in a career.

    1. Yeah, I see these small eikaiwa’s as being a way in. With no teaching experience I think it’ll be hard to get into JET. I have two months experience at a summer camp in America though, looking after kids AND living in a foreign country for two months (I’m from England not the states). Apparently Peppy is quite easy to get onto, as long as I ace the interview stage obviously. Waiting to hear back now as to whether I get an interview.

      1. As a person with a background in eduction, I’m actually a minority among ALTs in my city (the biggest city in Gunma Prefecture). I think the people without teaching training feel a lot more natural and perhaps happier at work, too. JET is about cultural exchange as much as it is about “teaching”. A lot of what I do I didn’t learn a granule about in my university classes or student teaching placement. I hope you get an interview, but if you don’t or if the company gives you a weird feeling, don’t give up.

        1. Ah thanks for the information 🙂 it doesn’t cost anything to apply so I think I’ll apply for JET either way 🙂 do you have email or Facebook or anything? I want to build up a network of people in Japan for when I finally get there either next year or the year after xD

          1. Sorry about the USA reference before. I remember reading about you being in America and haven’t quite updated myself about everything new in your life! I’ll send you a message on the FBs.

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