Jul 2, 2015

The Road to JET: Part Four - Kansai Bound

My interview was in early February, and I had to wait until the start of April to hear results. It was only about two months, but it felt like forever. It even felt longer than it did my first year applying, as I was a lot more nervous about the results.

When I finally got the results I was ecstatic, but it also meant that I now had a LOT of stuff to prepare for and do.

In the email, your coordinator who was in contact with you for the interviews will inform you of your results. There are three options that you could fall under at this point.

  1. Shortlisted: This basically means you are accepted, pending official placement and some paperwork. It would be very unlikely at this point for you to then be rejected, as long as you fill out and send paperwork on time, and that nothing happens to mess your situation up (lying on your application/medical forms, criminal record check comes back unclean, etc)
  2. Alternative: You could be in... if someone rejects their position on the shortlist or something happens and someone cannot accept their position. You could be upgraded right away if someone rejects the shortlist offer, or as late as the following December (8+ months later) if someone breaks their contract, or comes home early for whatever reason.
  3. Rejected: No explanation really needed, though being rejected doesn't mean you can't apply again. There are lots of people (me included) that get into JET after trying two or more times. 
The email also usually contains a number of documents which are due at various points of the summer. This includes an initial "acceptance" form, which needs to be sent back within a few weeks, VISA application information, medical check forms, criminal record or FBI check information, insurance forms, and possibly more depending on your consulate. My consulate had a pamphlet that contained a list of important dates and deadlines in addition to the above forms.

In mid to late May, placement information starts to arrive. Some are given specific city names where they will work for the municipal Board of Education in mainly Elementary or Junior High schools, or others will be told just a prefecture which means they could potentially work in schools in multiple cities and would likely work in Senior High Schools. After you receive the location of your placement, contact with your contracting organization can begin! Sometimes this happens immediately, but in can also take what seems like forever to get in contact with them. 

My placement is a special one, though also a lucky one! I was placed in Kobe City, in Hyogo prefecture. Because Kobe is a designated city, I work for a large BOE and could be placed in a number of schools from Elementary to Senior High. Kobe hires a lot of JET participants, including 4 of us from Vancouver, plus who knows how many from other locations around the world. Because there are so many of us though information is still just now trickling down to me and the others, and I still am not sure what schools I will be working at, or even what age group they are. We even just only this week got more details about our apartments though we still don't have exact locations yet.

That being said, I am so happy about my placement. The BOE is very helpful and provides and arranges a lot of stuff for us. Our rent is cheap, apartments have basic furnishings we won't have to worry about, and I expect them to take good care of us once we arrive as well. The location of Kobe is amazing as well - Osaka is about 20-30 minutes away from the main station in Kobe, and Kyoto, Nara and other places I want to go and see are just a hop, skip, and a jump away. It's also in Kansai, which is exactly the area I wanted. Where I will be living in Kobe won't be right in the core of the city, but I will have easy access to all kinds of stores and shops, and to downtown whenever I feel like it. 

In the next week or so I should get the rest of the information, and then it will all final feel real! 

One month to go!