Back in September of 2014, I began a journey that would take almost a year to realise: applying for the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Programme. The JET Programme fosters international relations between Japan and your host country, as you teach English within Japanese schools, and live within the Japanese system.
My idea to apply to this Programme came in 2011, when I was in Tokyo for New Years. There, I met some expats that were on similar programmes to JET, that appeared to be loving the Japanese lifestyle. I had always harboured an interest in Japan, being an avid lover of Japanese produced Role Playing Games when I was a teenager. I had no doubt in my mind, as the clock chimed 12, bringing in the New Year, that my resolution would be to enter the JET Programme.
The application process was a long one in which I had to write a Statement of Purpose outlining my intentions for the Programme, source two References that would vouch for my credibility, and collect other paperwork such as Academic Transcripts, my medical history, and other such documents.
I was successfully short listed for interview, receiving my notification by mail on 22nd December. My interview was held at the Brisbane Consulate-General on Friday, 13th February (I am NOT superstitious). I will go into further detail about my actual interview and my earlier mentioned paperwork in another post, however I will say that I went into the interview expecting to be grilled and was pleasantly surprised. A friend of mine who is currently participating in the programme from the 2014 intake was quite upset by her interview, so I was expecting the worst. As it turns out, I had the panel laughing and was confident that my interview was a successful one.
Queue the long wait to find out about whether I was a successful short listed candidate. The wait was around 6 weeks – which would have been unbearable had I not been working two jobs to fill my time. In any case, on Monday, 30th March, I was contacted via email, advising that I was successful in making the short list. Now, I have 4 months to sort out my life – that includes selling all my belongings, saying goodbye to everyone, tying up my two jobs… the list just seems to go on.
What I am most looking forward to with the Programme? All the interesting and diverse people that I will get to meet as an expat, the arts and theatre I will have the opportunity to explore, and challenging myself in a role that I am entirely unfamiliar with. Watch this space…