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Old 07-04-2009, 04:12 AM   #1
Jamie_Macc
Dojo: Macclesfield/Genbukan
Location: Stockport
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 45
United Kingdom
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Going to Japan - JET Program Questions

Hi everyone,

I was just wondering, how would be the best way to get to japan. obviously by aeroplane!How does the JET programme work? Can you just get a cheap flight over? I was only planning to go for a month?

Many thanks

Jamie

To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is Aikido.

- Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:29 PM   #2
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,087
Japan
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Re: Going to Japan

Hello Jamie,

The days are long gone when you can wander over to Japan and obtain a well-paid job that also allows you enough free time to practice aikido.

If you want to come just for a month, you would also need to finance yourself for all of this time. In this case, the best thing would be to buy a Japan Rail Pass and wander around the country, sightseeing and visiting dojos.

The JET programme requires a couple of years and you do not know where you would be sent. I am sure that other posters with greater knowledge than I have will be able to answer your question.

Finally, please give my best wishes to Alan Rowley. I used to train with him many years ago.

P A Goldsbury

Quote:
Jamie Kenyon wrote: View Post
Hi everyone,

I was just wondering, how would be the best way to get to japan. obviously by aeroplane!How does the JET programme work? Can you just get a cheap flight over? I was only planning to go for a month?

Many thanks

Jamie

P A Goldsbury
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Hiroshima, Japan
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:24 AM   #3
mathewjgano
 
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Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,212
United_States
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Re: Going to Japan

Quote:
Jamie Kenyon wrote: View Post
Hi everyone,

I was just wondering, how would be the best way to get to japan. obviously by aeroplane!How does the JET programme work? Can you just get a cheap flight over? I was only planning to go for a month?

Many thanks

Jamie
Hi Jamie,
My wife was in the JET programme as was her sister and they suggest going to the web site to apply. I know they require a 4-year degree, but I'm sure they will pay for you flight if you're accepted. They may have changed the system a bit for all I know, but I'm pretty sure they have 1-year minimum stays. I know most folks who do the JET programme have a fantastic experience, but as Prof. Goldsbury said, you don't really have a choice on where they place you. I'm sure with less Japanese speaking ability a person is more likely to be placed in a larger population center...my wife went over with minimal speaking ability and was placed in Himeji-shi (where I was fortunate enough to mooch off her for 3 months at a time...another option if you can find someone already over there).
I'm not sure about other English programs though...I've heard some have gone out of business, but I know a guy who just started his own very small school, so maybe with a bit of research you can find what you're looking for.
Good luck!
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 07-05-2009 at 01:27 AM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:56 AM   #4
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
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Re: Going to Japan

The Ministry of Education is going to start requiring the primary schools to offer English classes, so I have heard that the JET program is going to significantly increase its number of teachers. Might be a really good opportunity.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:24 AM   #5
Kent Enfield
 
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Location: Oregon, USA
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Re: Going to Japan

The number of JETs is on the decline. We're pretty much the most expensive "brand" of assistant language teacher (ALT). We get our flights to and from Japan paid for; our resident/inhabitant tax is paid for; we don't pay for our own insurance; and we have orientations and conferences that have to be paid for by our contracting organizations (usually various boards of education). We also get the highest salaries, barring some direct-hires, and some of us still get our rents subsidized partially or completely.

The downsides of JET are the mind-numbingly long and seemingly random application and selection process and the high chance of being sent to somewhere completely different from where you wanted to go.

If you want to come to Japan in a general sense, JET is a great way to do it. If you want to come to a specific spot in Japan, there are probably better options.

Oh, and your ability to speak Japanese or lack there of has no influence on what sort of placement you'll get. It may matter to a specific placement, if the people in charge there want someone who speaks Japanese. But they also have the ability to request, for example, women from New Zealand. You can be put in some mountain village or on an island that has access to the mainland only by weekly ferry with no Japanese.

And since most JET placements are rural, chances are they won't speak the Japanese you studied anyway.

While the number of JETs is decreasing, the total number of ALTs in Japan is increasing. The difference is made up by those from private dispatch companies like Interac. I'll let someone who has direct experience give the details.

Kentokuseisei
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:15 AM   #6
Jesse Legon
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu, Osaka (Ittaikan Brighton/Central London SA)
Location: Osaka/Japan
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 24
Japan
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Re: Going to Japan - JET Program Questions

If you only want to come over for a month, unless you are friends with someone who owns a business they will hire you for, your chances of finding a job are slim to none. Unless you don't tell your employer your stay is so short.

Work is a bit thin on the ground here right now. Depression means fewer people have the money for luxuries like private english lessons and a school would only hire you for a year, or if you're lucky, a term.

The cheapest flight from the UK I've found was 490, it'll be an expensive trip.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:33 AM   #7
aikido_luver
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 27
New Zealand
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Re: Going to Japan - JET Program Questions

Hi Jamie.
I went to japan end of last year/early this year and worked at a ski resort through a programme called boobooski (check out boobooski.com they have other resort jobs)
I would say if your wanting to head to japan for just a month dont bother trying to find a job. Programmes like boobooski and the Jet Programme dont cater to people who only plan on staying for 4 weeks.
About the only jobs you can get in Japan as a foreigner is an English teacher a model or through some programme unless you have connections already.
It takes a few weeks for your gaigokujin card to come through as well (you have to apply for one if you are working or planning to stay more then 90 days)
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:36 PM   #8
Lorel Latorilla
Location: Osaka
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 311
Japan
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Re: Going to Japan

Quote:
Kent Enfield wrote: View Post
The number of JETs is on the decline. We're pretty much the most expensive "brand" of assistant language teacher (ALT). We get our flights to and from Japan paid for; our resident/inhabitant tax is paid for; we don't pay for our own insurance; and we have orientations and conferences that have to be paid for by our contracting organizations (usually various boards of education). We also get the highest salaries, barring some direct-hires, and some of us still get our rents subsidized partially or completely.

The downsides of JET are the mind-numbingly long and seemingly random application and selection process and the high chance of being sent to somewhere completely different from where you wanted to go.

If you want to come to Japan in a general sense, JET is a great way to do it. If you want to come to a specific spot in Japan, there are probably better options.

Oh, and your ability to speak Japanese or lack there of has no influence on what sort of placement you'll get. It may matter to a specific placement, if the people in charge there want someone who speaks Japanese. But they also have the ability to request, for example, women from New Zealand. You can be put in some mountain village or on an island that has access to the mainland only by weekly ferry with no Japanese.

And since most JET placements are rural, chances are they won't speak the Japanese you studied anyway.

While the number of JETs is decreasing, the total number of ALTs in Japan is increasing. The difference is made up by those from private dispatch companies like Interac. I'll let someone who has direct experience give the details.
True story. I myself am a JET Alumni, not out of choice unfortunately. I am a victim of cutbacks and bad economics. A shorty kaught in the system.
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