*warning*…this entire post is gonna sound like one big advertisement…can’t say I never tol’ yah!
JET Programme applications are out (in case you didn’t know)! At least, that’s so for the Jamaican folks. “JET” stands for Japan Exchange and Teaching and it’s the reason I’m living in Japan. I remember this time last year. I was so frantic, checking out different forums, youtubing, randomly google searching, whatever it took to gather as much information as possible. I guess I did a pretty good job 🙂
So, what is JET (or rather, the JET Programme)?
It’s a programme that takes persons with first degrees (or higher) in ANYTHING, from many countries (Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, the U.S, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, France….if I’ve left out a country please let me know) to do two things:
A) teach English as a foreign language to Japanese elementary, junior high or senior high students (you do NOT need to be a teacher or have any teaching experience for this job by the way. There are seminars, workshops, books, sempais and the good old internet to help you out)
B) teach about your culture, and to some extent, other foreign cultures (I’m here teaching about Halloween at the moment…what the heck do I really know about Halloween?)
Basically, JET fosters grassroots internationalization through classroom interaction. Now that we’ve gone through all that, here are the perks of the programme:
1)paid trip all the way from your home country to your new prefecture (like parish or state) in Japan
2) 3 days (unless it changes) to live it up in wonderful Tokyo. Actually, that’s 2 nights really, because the 3 DAYS will be spent doing orientation related thing-a-ma-jigs
3) damn good pay…enough to feed, clothe and entertain yourself very well especially if you’re loan free. This is especially great if you’ve recently graduated from university.
4) the chance to live in and explore one of the world’s gems. You get to see the real Japan, not just the stereotypical thing that we are often exposed to.
5) the opportunity to be strategically placed and financially competent enough to travel all over Asia. I mean, really, how many of us will be able to just hop, skip and jump to places like Bali for the rest of our lives?
6) paid trip back home when you’re done with the programme
Now that you’re intrigued, keep in mind that it would be good to think about the following things before applying:
-can you stand being away from all your comforts and familiarities for a long time?
-are you entirely open to being thrown into not just a culture which is drastically different from your own, but into a place with a language and alphabetic system that you do not understand? I mean, somewhere like Spain, or France speaks a different language, but at least you can read words. Here, if you don’t speak Japanese, things will just look like pictures to you. Talk about suddenly being illiterate.
-can you handle sticking out like a sore thumb everywhere, ALL.THE.TIME?
Really, think about it.
I encourage any and everyone who meets the requirements to apply. I’m all about trying new things, exploring new terrain, and pushing yourself to new limits, and this programme certainly gives (and sometimes forces you) the opportunity to do all that and more. So APPLY, and good luck!
Useful links are:
myargonauts channel on youtube
Jamaican online application forms and information are available here: