You see, it was always my intention when I booked my TESOL course that I would apply to the JET Programme again, but I’m actually starting to think that I might even stand a chance this year.
For those of you who don’t know, JET stands for Japanese Exchange and Teaching, which is basically a government programme which recruits graduates from English speaking countries to go and teach English to students in Japan. This programme is the finished article – if there was ever a safer and sure-fire way of working as a Assistant Language Teacher in Japan, JET is it. But as with everything government-related, it is highly HIGHLY competitive.
I was going to apply anyway, but in my mind I figured that I probably wouldn’t make it to the interviews (like the last time I applied back in 2009), but with things starting to move forward in my life, I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe, I might have a shot.
You see, I did the TESOL course, not just for JET, but for myself as well. The concept of teaching English abroad was so interesting when I booked it and now that I’ve completed it, I’m determined to leave the country and actually do it. So first stop. Japan.
But even if I don’t make it onto JET, I’m going to Japan one way or another. I’ve been interested in that place since my cousin got me into anime when I was thirteen and now, over ten years later, it’s become a must.
So what am I doing in order to increase my chances of finding work over there?
as you know, I completed my TESOL course. My certificate came the other day –
the postman bent the corners of it –
the wanker– but it arrived.
- I’m in the process of legally changing my name. I’ve heard that Asia is very strict when it comes to names and identification. I even read a blog post where some girl had problems retrieving items that had been sent over to her in South Korea simply because of a discrepancy with the name on the package and the name in her passport. Therefore, because all of my certificates - dating back to my school days – indicate my surname with a gap, I’ve legally included a gap in my last name. The deed poll came today and thus, I now need to circulate them to the designated government bodies or what have you starting with acquiring the forms to apply for a new passport.
- I put up an ad on Gumtree advertising for a Japanese language exchange partner. I had a mountain of feedback, but as I know what Gumtree is like, I figured I’d email people back and forth for a bit before meeting them in person. There are people out there that are looking for a bit more than just a language exchange. I kid you not when I say I saw an ad in the Skills and Language Swap section advertising for a live-in girlfriend.
- In addition to this, I joined a few tutoring agencies and got a phone call from one of them last night. As I was in the cinema watching Taken 2, I figured I’d call them today and find out what’s up. Good news! It's a boy! He's ten-years-old, he’s lazy and I've been told that I need to be strict. I spoke to the mother this evening and stupidly forgot to list some questions to ask her about her son, but she seemed very desperate for the help and our regular tuition days will be Saturday mornings at 11am.
- I’ll pick up the
next one, however. I’m thinking my maximum will probably be three.
So, in terms of the JET application and working overseas teaching children in general, this looks good. I’m tutoring children, teaching English, learning Japanese and about the Japanese culture and I’m still earning an income. I’m hoping that by the end of this year, I’ll have enough to be able to survive the first month in Japan – the month you have to wait before that first paycheck. So come the new year, post-JET application process, the real job search begins.
So how am I gonna handle all this?
Well, I’m going to have to strongly organise my life. It’ll be like university all over again – only the assignments will be lesson plans and unlike uni, they’ll be due in fast and furious. My part time job as an admin is the part time job I had at university – I was a retail assistant. Fun. The little time I spend with friends and family will be the clubs and student union nights I’d go to every once in a while. I have to fit the gym in there somewhere and my bedtimes will probably have to be earlier as they're 12am if I’m tired, 1am usually and 2am if I’ve got things on my mind.
I think it would also, be helpful if I fixed my diet as well. There’s been a dangerous influx of Chinese takeaways of late. We did the monthly shop last week, however so I have no excuse.
I shall keep you updated, however. Hopefully I don’t burnout.