Apple Country

Stories of rural life as an ALT in a northern Japanese fishing town.

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Applying for JET

This is a post for anyone thinking about or getting ready to apply for JET.  I can’t believe it’s already a year since I applied – the process seems very long and draining but it’ll all be over before you know it, and you’ll *hopefully* be preparing for your new life in Japan!  I remember feeling quite overwhelmed when I was reading all the advice from successful applicants, so I will try and keep mine fairly straightforward and focus on what I found most helpful.  Obviously do not leave everything to the last minute!!  I know that there are a lot of people who managed to get in and sent theirs in on the last day, but you probably don’t want to make it anymore stressful for yourself.  The deadline will creep up on you…

  1. Make your personal statement interesting to read.  Use your creativity to make it stand out from the hundreds of other applications, and don’t be afraid to inject a little humour (appropriately!)
  2. Keep it relevant.  Your interests and skills don’t necessarily have to be Japan or teaching-related, but make sure you say why they make you a good candidate.
  3. Be careful when asking others to read over your statement.  Absolutely check the grammar and structure, but try not to let other people’s ideas strip your writing of your personality.  I only asked my parents and my supervisor at university, who also wrote me a reference, so it might also be helpful to send a copy to your referee to give them an idea of why you want to go on the programme.
  4. Get all the other extra bits sorted out early.  There were a lot of people who ran into problems last year, especially with the health certificate.  Maybe ask for a third reference as well just in case you have a problem with one of them.  I originally asked another lecturer in September to write one and he kept promising me he was on it, but then he ran into some problems at home and eventually told me in November that he hadn’t written it.  Luckily I’d got kinda suspicious he was gonna write it too late, so I asked my former boss and she got the job done.

I hope that helps!  Even if you’re not sure that you’ll be successful, just go for it anyway and see what happens. If anyone wants to ask me anything just leave a comment… 🙂