So I thought I might go into my experience in preparing my JET Program application thus far. Anyone who is applying or ever has applied before will tell you this is certainly a less than exhilarating ordeal.
There are 2 different positions avalible to Australia applicants which are either ALT or CIR, I will be applying for the ALT position as to be a CIR applicants must be fluent in both English an Japanese. Overall most JET’s are ALT’s with around 10% in the CIR position.
Also note I will be discussing the Australian application process, however since there is generally only a few difference in the process from country to country this will certainly still be useful to aspiring applicants from the US/UK/Canada/etc.
Basically it comprises of around 9 parts depending on your circumstances, I believe the gruelling amount of paperwork that is required of the aspiring JET’s applicant is not simply the result of the Japan being the crazy bureaucratic nation that it is, but is in fact the first hurdle to prove applicants are not total no0bs, have some grasp of English grammar and can follow the complex instructions that the application demands.
To add injury to the wound, Australian applicants are required to submit 3 copies of the entire application for god knows what reason, all which must be meticulously arranged and ordered without the use of any staples!
Anyway this is the check-list iv taken from the 2012 Australian application.
l) Application Form
2) Self Assessment Medical Report
3) Statement of Purpose (Essay)
Typed, single-sided, doubled-spaced on A4 paper, not exceeding two pages.
4) Letters of Reference from two referees
5) Certified academic transcript of all tertiary courses
6) Certified copy of degree testamur
7) Certified document which shows your nationality
Although these forms came out less than a week ago I have been working on mine for the last 2 months or so. Would that be as I’m on the neurotic side of things….. perhaps, but as application forms are usually 99% the same it’s fairly safe to use last years forms to get a head start on your application.
Arguably the most important part will be you SoP (Statement of Purpose) which is an essay of sorts in which you will be essentially required to sell your soul to JET in around 700 words , the Australian question for quite sometime has been as follows:
“If you were successful in your application, what particular goals would you like to achieve, and what specific contributions do you think you could make in your position as a CIR or ALT?”
How long did I spend on my SoP, well im actually still working on it and its now in its 23rd inception, luckily for me I have 2 very good friends I work with, one a writer, the other an editor, having them proofread my SoP again and again along with sending it off to current JET’s I have met in the ITIL forum for proofreading it’s really started to shine. With such a tight word limit every sentence has to have a purpose and a reason for existing. I know many applicants write theirs in a night and some are even accepted, for me however i have spent dozens and dozens of hours tweaking it here and there. Will I ever be happy with it, well in certainly proud of what I have written, but content with it…… well that’s ultimately the question.
JET – Japanese Exchange and Teaching
ALT – Assistant Language Teacher