When I applied for the JET Program, I knew that if I requested to be placed in popular places like Tokyo, Osaka, or Kyoto, I might not get any of my choices. After giving this some thought, I put down places away from the big cities and, sure enough, I wound up getting Hiroshima prefecture. I was quite happy about this because it allowed me to look for my distant relatives (more on this in another blog post).
Apr 1, 2012
When people leave the JET Program, they often end up wondering what they should do with themselves. Some wind up staying on to work in Japan and others decide to take a breather by traveling around. Still others return to their home countries to work or go to school.
Anywhere in the world, kids can be, well, kids so bullying can sometimes be a problem in Japan. I recall a class where a student placed thumbtacks on another student's chair as he was about to sit down. As an ALT, you are not supposed to intervene physically. I did at least verbally tell the student not to do that and removed the thumbtacks.
Prior to living and working in Japan, I had the notion that all students I worked with would be hard-working and getting ready for the university exams (at least at the senior high school level). While this is partly accurate, I found students all over the map especially in the public school realm.
Are you wondering how you can increase your chances of getting into the JET Program? Fear not, I've compiled a list of things you could do to achieve this. Before I start going down the list, remember that you're going to Japan to become an Assistant Language Teacher first and foremost. You should, therefore, attempt to figure out how you can enrich others' lives with your own culture and identity.