JET application ( Step 2): Online Application (to then be printed and mailed)
After you have decided to apply for the JET Program, you have to actually do it…That may sound obvious, but so many people simply do not apply for the JET Program even though they would like to.
Life can throw a million mini unrelated hurdles at you that can make you stumble, get distracted and even forget to apply altogether. As such, it can also be a bit daunting and takes some time to complete, so please give it the attention it needs and start as soon as possible.
That brings us to the Online Application (to then be printed and mailed upon completion. Must arrive by the deadline, not mailed by the deadline.)
- Letters of recommendation, Who to ask?
When it comes to letters of reference, choose wisely… If you are a recent grad or still have close ties with your previous professors that could back you up, that is a good path for one of your letters. If you are currently working full-time, and feel safe doing so, I would ask someone you report to that knows just how hard you work and is aware of your interest/ passion to do this (this is what I did and it worked out well). I also recommend that if you have work or volunteer experience at a school or such, that you get a recommendation from an upper there. It will show that you have experience working with children and that you can handle yourself in that diverse environment. Basically try to find someone of authority that they will stop and say…”oh wow,” if at all possible.
- Risk of asking Co-workers
This is a very difficult situation for some, and very straightforward for others. If your job is supportive of change and of you have had conversations about JET in the past, then I would certainly speak to someone you report to or above and ask for a recommendation. If your current workplace is not as supportive and you would risk your current employment situation by letting anyone know, then I would recommend only asking someone you trust to keep your application on the low, or finding someone else that knows you well, but is of a professional relationship to you (not a friend or family member).
- Proof of Graduation (one of the easiest parts):
You can get this by going through your home university and is usually rather fast and painless. Make sure you plan for a few weeks of processing and then another week or so for shipping if you are not on campus. Some universities charge for this, others include it for free for a certain number of years after graduation, but they should always have your records, so no worries if you are several years out.
- Introduction essay (there is so much information but there is so little space… what should I put?):
When writing this, you need to be very to the point as you have such a limited amount of space to explain why you are interested, and why you could be of assistance. Try not to include too much information that is covered later in the application as there is no point to repeat everything that they will see on the next page. Be to the point, and for goodness sake, make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors here!!!
I would recommend creating a small outline of all of your reasons, interests, and how you would be a fit for the program, and then cut out anything repeated (unless super critical) and go with what is left.
- Not enough space for a full description on each line of the questionnaire / online application:
Most of the time a proper response or explanation would be needed for these questions, but you are often limited to a 2 inch box or so if you`re lucky. This is where you should be using abbreviations for words or phrases, and taking out any and all fluff as there will not be room.
- Checking for vague questions and answers:
There will be sections that could have multiple answers and you will need to choose the best response. Maybe you have a long work history that shows your teaching background, but you have since changed jobs or no longer volunteer, etc. Make sure you drop the unnecessary aspects once more and only include what is relevant. (This is a little repetitive, but once you see how limited of space you have, you will understand)
- Choosing where to go …
- You can only select 3 options
This will reflect whether you would prefer a city, an urban setting, or a rural setting and is very specific. You cannot change this later on, yet it is quite common to be placed somewhere completely different than where you requested (which is exactly what happened with me). After your placement is decided and the JET program notifies you, there is no option for switching your placement besides turning it down, waiting another year, and then applying again… Not the best so people usually accept it anyways, but there are still many people who turn down what they are offered and the alternatives are called and offered the position instead.
- Optional early departure
This requires an immediate Background check/ fingerprinting, full health check, and such that you will need to do later anyways. So if you are up for it, I would probably apply for the background check and such at, whether you check yes to early departure or not, this time as it takes FOREVER!!!
- Print and Reread
Everything may look perfect on the computer, but you should still print out everything BEFORE finalizing the online application. There are bound to be sections that fit just right on the online application aspect, but once printed, end up cutting off parts of words, or sentences altogether. I usually like to have a close friend read through everything to make sure that I have not gone crazy and everything actually makes sense before finalizing the online application and mailing it all out.
Posted on October 5, 2015, in JET Program(me) and tagged 2, 2014, 2015, 2016, ALT, application, Assistant Language Teacher, CIR, college, Decide, english, Fukishima, fun, goal, Japan, Japan Exchange and Teaching, JET, JET program, programme, step 2. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.