Sporadic Early Placement in Kobe-shi!!!

So at around 8:15 this evening I received a call from a peculiar number on my iPhone that I had never seen before. I answered only to my surprise to be greeted by a call from the Melbourne JET Program co-ordinator offering me nothing more than everything i have always dreamed of.

She apologized for calling at such a late hour but wanted to contact me ASAP as she had just received a message from Tokyo offering me an early departure spot to you guessed to KOBE CITY!!!

The only catch being that its short notice and I will need to depart on May 30th 2 months before the rest of the Australians heading over with group A.

She needs me to accept by this Thursday and since tomorrow is ANZAC day here in Australia if she hadn’t called me this evening it would have had to wait till Thursday when I would have had to give her a yes or no answer on the spot. At least this way I have 40 hours or so to decide my fate…….

Honestly this is really a dream come true for me, although I dont really want to leave 60 days before every one else (not to mention the fact I will miss Tokyo Orientation) i figure there are quite a few pro’s to this.

Pro’s

  • I will get my dream placement of Kobe city (pretty much regarded as winning the lottery in terms of placement).
  • I get to skip Melbourne s notoriously horrid winter going straight from autumn back into Kobe s summer once I cross the equator!
  • In Kobe (and the rest of Hyogo for that matter) JET’s receive subsidized rent, no key money and in Kobe transport is paid for. Also this means I likely wont need to waste money on a car as Kobe is so central.
  • I score an extra 2 months as a JET as if I stay at least a 2nd year the contract ends in July.
  • The insane waiting for placement/departure will be largely over.

Con’s

  • This will of course put an awful lot of pressure on me to pack up my life in Melbourne ASAP as I have major things to work out quickly such as organizing my investment property, working out tax status, quitting job at Museum Victoria, buying a laptop, selling car, etc.
  • I will be in the unique position of being one of the few JET’s to unfortunately miss Tokyo Orientation.
  • I have an incredible amount of guilt in that I will be leaving my parents a week after my brother leaves on a 2 month trip to Europe, effectively throwing them in the deep end with an empty house for the first time in 25 years!
At the end of the day though I didn’t think twice about taking her up on the offer, if I rejected it who knows where I may have ended up come July 29th when everyone else leaves.

So its official I’m Kobe City’s newest ALT on the JET Program ^______^

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I am Shortlisted!!!

I can’t even describe what im feeling at the moment!!!!!

I just rushed home early from work, ran to post box and there was my letter from the Japanese consulate, I vigorously ripped it open and tears swelled to my eyes as I read that I had been shortlisted for the 2012 JET Program! I’d go into more detail regarding the animalistic screaming and involuntary flash-dancing that ensured, however I shall abstain from elaborating and retain some dignity.

Its been an enduring period of anticipation leading up to the results (62 days in fact), I’m not exaggerating when I say that waiting is by the most difficult part of the JET Program application process.

For the past 2 months I have kept my mind off my ambiguous future by studying Japanese as much as humanly possible and occupying my evenings marathoning TV series. I became exceedingly engrossed in Zombie fiction after watching The Walking Dead and as a result find myself constantly criticality assessing buildings I pass on their potential of defending against the Zombie apocalypse………. yes applying for the JET Program probably definitely will make you this kind of crazy.

The wide range of emotions I have gone through during this period have been testing at times, everything from brash overconfidence to weeks of sleepless nights plagued by rejection (often zombie themed) nightmares.

However I always fell back on the thought that if I were to start the whole application process over from the beginning, would I do it any differently? Well no.

I worked harder putting together my Statement of Purpose and studying for my interview than I have for anything else in my entire life! God if I was this dedicated at university I would have graduated with honours. =P

One of the hardest contributing factors is not having anyone to talk about the frustrations one goes through waiting with (bar the forums) as the JET talk got old with my friends and family long ago. It would have been amazing to have a friend applying alongside me if only for the moral support.

I have read through the JET Program General Information Handbook (GIH) and found it incredibly informative, in fact I wish I had come across it prior to my interview as much of the information contained within it regarding conflict resolution and living in Japan is interview gold (note: the current years GIH is released in February each year)!!!

Now how to kill the time for the next month or so before placements are released…….

So Am I Still Waiting

So another month has passed and I am still waiting for a response from the Melbourne consulate. The cause for the delay is unknown to me but frequenting the official and ITIL forums I discovered the results were sent from Tokyo last Monday (the 9th).

They came out on the 16th last year (the delays understandably a result of 3/11 as in prior years they came out around the 4-5th) which is why the delay this year is peculiar.

Most countries send their results out via email however due to some quirk the Australians must wait for notification via snail mail…….why would they do this when it serves nothing more than the purpose of  delaying notification by another week, now this is a valid question.

I guess this really does reflect the entire JET Program application for Australian hopefuls (which iv discussed in detail in former posts) as a whole which is completely paper based unlike the american system which is now mostly online, certainly strange in this day and age.

This has been especially painfully as all week i have been watching as my friends on the forums posting that the have been shortlisted whilst I twiddle my thumbs ignorant of my future. The American consulates Guam, Detroit, New York in retrospect were certainly on the ball releasing their results only hours after receiving them from Tokyo, further reading can be found in this thread on the official forums.

Regardless I received an email on Wednesday stating that we should receive our results between the 16-17th so I shouldnt be whining as the hard part is all but over, surely i can wait another 2 days.

On a side note through my eternal quest to kill time, I have been doing a little data mining looking through the ITIL  forum archives and noticed that if you compare the number of forum users this year resisted as 2012 applicants  compared to the past 2 prior there is literally like half as many!

2010 Total: 158
2011 Total: 126
2012 Total: 79!!!!

Does this reflect a drop in applicant numbers or are the simply forums becoming less popular (ITIL members typicaly represent 5-10% of total JET applicants). I cant imagine either of those being accurate so it shall remain a mystery for the moment. However looking at those stats certainly do wonders for my self esteem.

Anyhow hopefully I will have good news to bring to the table in my next post 🙂