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Post Reply Ask Me Anything About Living in Japan
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23 / F / Missouri, USA
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Posted 10/21/14

Kerensa wrote:
Long story short. Don't put all your eggs into one basket.


... Whoa. Well, that makes sense. Like Kurisu said as well, it seems like they look for personality types, even if those end up being hit-or-miss in the end. I don't necessarily plan to make this huge all-star resume and then expect that to coast me through everything, but I still do think that it would help me a lot to just get some teaching experience in general. I'm relatively shy in person, so it'd be good for me to know how it feels to stand in front of a class and actually do something.

But I will try to prepare from here on out without focusing too hard on the technical details when it comes to teaching and all. I'd like the experience prior to applying, but I won't make it the main focus, I think. Thank you for your insight and advice, I really, really appreciate it!!
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30 / F / Kumamoto, Japan
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Posted 10/21/14 , edited 10/21/14

zomgenius wrote:

[...] I still do think that it would help me a lot to just get some teaching experience in general. I'm relatively shy in person, so it'd be good for me to know how it feels to stand in front of a class and actually do something.


I think it is a good idea to get teaching experience, too. It's not very easy to do right off the bat ahaha. It's pretty nerve-wracking at first too. I remember teaching my first group of adults classes. I was terrified. Now I don't think too much about it. Same with kids classes. You've got a good head on your shoulders. :)

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31 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 11/3/14
Just to reply to the JET interviewing practices thing, I don't think it's random at all. I do think that what they look for isn't what you'd expect.

There's a specific personality type they look for in the interview, but in round 1 they specifically look for long term, personal and cultural ties with Japan. Having study under your belt helps, but they make you fill out a 40ish page document with essays for a reason. They want you to show them how you react to crappy situations, how you can function when you can't communicate or don't understand cultural cues, how resilient you are to being put under pressure in unfamiliar situations.

My application talked a lot about a student exchange as a kid, my time with my host family, how I planned and executed the logistical nightmare of travelling interstate in Japan with a group of 8 completely Japanese illiterate people across shinkansens and local transport in the time before Japan had English in their train stations. I wrote and rewrote my essays to show specifically how each of their criteria was fulfilled by a story of something I had done: deep and long term personal interest, ongoing cultural ties, ability to plan and execute, ability to modify plans on the fly when under pressure, ability to function well in adverse situations, etc. Knowing the language is a plus, but they aren't screwing around when they ask you to write those essays in the application. Think hard about what you want to say and tell a good story. Being a good storyteller is another thing they look for. Your whole time there, you are a walking encyclopedia about your country. They want you to be able to spew information in an interesting way.

One thing that's something of a drawback is applying in the US. Competition for positions is fierce in every country, but the sheer number of applicants in the US really makes it hard to earn a place. I know for a fact that a single issue with the application means they throw it. If you make a mistake on a form, Japan will be bad for you. They like their paperwork. So you don't get an interview.

Protip: Write, rewrite, and then rewrite again. Get someone to copy edit. Give it to people to read. Go over every part of ti with a fine toothed comb. Make sure it sings. Cross every t and dot every i. Then, if you get to the interviews, walk in and believe you've already got it. Even then, don't put all your eggs in one basket.
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25 / M / Wichita, KS
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Posted 11/12/14
Is the treatment of foreigners getting better? I know they haven't been the best in the past.
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31 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 11/15/14

Siman1990 wrote:

Is the treatment of foreigners getting better? I know they haven't been the best in the past.


Depends on the kind of foreigner. Depends on the situation.

If you ever have a crime committed against you, the police are unlikely to be much help. There's too much paperwork, communicating is a hassle, you aren't Japanese and the the perp was probably a foreigner anyway so why bother?

The Japanese police are almost uniformly useless. Laws will make living there long term a hassle.

As far as a trip or a few years working there, though? You'll be treated well because you are from an interesting place. People from China, Korea, and The Philippines get shit sometimes, but you really shouldn't have much in the way of problems.
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Posted 11/17/14
What is the view on foreigners with tattoos? Is daily life harder?
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35 / M / The Netherlands
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Posted 11/17/14 , edited 11/17/14

Raazden wrote:

What is the view on foreigners with tattoos? Is daily life harder?


Depends if the tattoos are in plain sight or hidden.

General dumb public opinion = "tattoo = gangster" does not mater what kind of tattoo.
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Posted 11/17/14
Thanks for the reply.
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31 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 11/20/14
The negative perecption is changing, but there are still places that won't let you in if you have a tattoo. That's not because of tattoos. It's because of Yakuza.

Basically, if you can cover it up, things are fine. But, Tattoos are a bit of a hassle in Japan.
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23 / M / 38.2500° N, 85.76...
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Posted 11/20/14 , edited 11/20/14
do people still hate US government and military for dropping atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Firebombing Campaign
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31 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 12/1/14
Some people do.

Generally, I found that the people old enough to remember it have made peace with it and the people under about 40 feel like it's in the past. It's the people in between say 40 and 70 that seem to care the most.

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25 / M
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Posted 12/9/14
How is the earthquake/volcano/tsunami/etc. in Japan?
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22 / M / Western Illinois,...
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Posted 12/14/14
Are there lots of motorcyclist? And if so, what style of bike is most common?
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16 / M / western Pennsylvania
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Posted 12/15/14
My Mom says that boys can dress as girls and go anywhere in Japan without being picked on. Is that right?
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