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100 thoughts on “THE TRUTH About the JET (JAPAN EXCHANGE & TEACHING) Program// My Experience Teaching Abroad

  1. I am sure you mean well, but you come across as whiny. I lived in Kuroishi for 3 years on the JET program and it was an amazing experience, but you had to apply yourself.

  2. I understanding everything you talked about – mainly in describing yourself. You’re not alone. There is nothing wrong with wanting to go internal and and expand yourself

  3. Keep in mind one of the first things she said. Namely, "some situations are worse than others." The JET Program's motto is "every situation is different", and that holds true. There are some people who will have a great experience and those who will not. I had a great experience and forged life long bonds with my teachers, BOE supervisors and several of my students who I am still in contact with to this day years later.

    On the other hand, I had several friends during my time who quit during the middle of their JET contract because they just couldn't handle their situations. Some of them, admittedly, were just not mentally tough and couldn't handle the cultural differences. Especially those who were put out on the boonies in Japan couple hour train ride, or worse yet once-weekly ferry ride, from civilization. That would be hard, but really that is a large part of the experience and arguably is the best immersive experience you could have. They just didn't like the cultural isolation and major cultural differences. Those issues will be less pressing the more urban your placement as Japanese in urban areas tend to be more westernized, and obviously there are more foreigners around you. I would say in fact that most of the people I knew who quit during their contracts were those who either had unrealistic expectations of a different culture and country like Japan the reality shock was too much, or were not mentally strong enough to deal on the long term with some cultural and geographical isolation. However, there were certainly people, like in this video, I knew who truly just had terrible situations. Their schools were close minded, their communities were not open to foreigners, their BOE gave them no responsibility or trust and treated them like a dancing monkey who could say funny things in English, they were sent around to 15 schools a week, etc.

    Long story short is don't decide not to apply because some people had a bad experience. Apply because there is a greater chance you have a wonderful, life changing experience. If you end up having a bad experience and your situation truly is terrible, there is nothing to stop you from leaving at that point, but that fear and the bad experiences of others should not prevent you from applying and going. as they say, "lets not cry before you are hurt".

  4. Do you have to know Japanese to go? I’m an English teacher at the moment and I teach at a high school level; however, I don’t know any Japanese yet. Would I still have a chance in being accepted through Jet or looking for other jobs in Japan? I plan to learn Japanese, but I want an idea of what is expected of English teachers there.

  5. Great video, though I’m sorry you had that experience. JET definitely seems to vary based on placement. I also wonder if they put you in Aomori at BOE because of your Japanese ability. This is only speculation based on things I heard back when I was looking into applying (2007), but I was told by friends who had done the program that knowing the language was more likely to land you further away from metro areas like Tokyo and Osaka, where English-speakers were more plentiful for those who didn’t speak Japanese.

  6. Ohh my god. I recently found your videos and have been really enjoying your channel and everything. I just moved to Tokyo so it's nice seeing another expat being real about everything but ahh! I can't believe you're also a former Aomori JET! I'm so sorry you had an incredibly rough experience and I'm glad things have worked out (๑•ᴗ•๑) Really interested in hearing about your current work life balance (and how you landed a job that felt right for you after dealing with all that hecticness)

  7. From what I have gathered from other people teaching english abroad, places like South korea and Japan don't really care if you have a degree in education.

  8. Wow, you think like me about career, making the opportunity for yourself instead of aiming goalless. Yeah, you made the right choice of getting the job in Nagoya.

  9. What would always be in the back of my mind if I had a job with no work, is are they going to let me go. Being unemployed in Japan would have sucked, but glad it worked out. By the way, I noticed you were using a ring light. I notice things like donut reflections in your eyes. 🙂 Good video/info.

  10. Sooo Jet chooses where you live? I have friends over in Japan and would rather choose my own place if I went through Jet 9000 yen a month is basically a shack😞Damn…so glad you hung in there.

  11. 9000 yen a month for a beat-up place? They must have found out you were dirt poor and that may have affected your placement.

  12. I've been checking some of your videos and it seems that you've been through a lot in Japan.
    You look pretty brave and listening to your stories is really inspiring!
    Keep up the good work!

  13. You are very strong to be so young! You have a determination that will make you succeed in whatever you do! Thumbs up girl!

  14. It's totally wasting tax payers money not giving you positions.
    I live in Kansai area in Japan and know Americans who are on JET and they teach 4 days a week at least. It's not just JET program teacher s who keep complaining about Japan and the Japanese people but also students at schools. They are not making any efforts to understand Japanses culture or learn Japanese language they just complain.
    I don't like people who takes everything negative and keep blaming others.

  15. Hey, yeah, I did the jet programme and also had no work. I worked in a small JHS with one class per grade in a little village where I was the only foreigner. The teachers there didn't let me have any input in the classes that I was watching them teach. It was mind numbingly boring. I remember one time during summer, all of the other teachers had taken leave and it was just myself and the vice principal for one week. I managed to watch every season of Sabrina the teenage witch on YouTube during that time. Now I work at a training center in China which is also awful but in a completely different way. I learnt more in one week about teaching there than I did during my whole year with the JET programme. But the thing is, Japan is such a magical and beautiful place, I miss it sooo much. Maybe one day I will go back there to teach, but there's no way I could ever work for JET again. I need to actually teach in order to feel fulfilled as an employed teacher.

  16. Oh my goodness we sound so similar. Going out with friends is nice but if you are surrounded by a bunch of rude strangers I would also much rather do my own thing. The cliquiness does sound like it was quite bad. and as far as having a job where you do nothing, I have also experienced it and it drove me up the walls. It makes the day feel so, so long.

  17. The Jet Program is HIGHLY political. Having the "correct" political prospective is critical. BTW: If you're going to teach English overseas, check out a piece titled Mark's English Grammar Shortcuts. Can't recommend it highly enough.

  18. Oh god listening to this reminded me of my first year at university experience, I move in first day, break out of a 4 year relationship, had my bank account hacked and all money taken out. Then the college refused to give the uni my paper work so they couldn't count me as "a part" of the uni, so because I wasnt part of the uni I wasn't aloud to attend lessons, then a few days later they tell me there kicking me out of halls because I'm not in lessons, somehow my teacher persuaded them to keep me in halls and it took 3 months before anything got sorted he was emailing me the lessons where I couldn't attend (super grateful) and I lived of pasta for breakfast lunch and dinner for 3 months 😂 it all got sorted in the end though and was one of my best life experiences to learn from xD

  19. I was an ALT way back in 1999 in the countryside of Ogose, Saitama for two years. Kelly's comments are very useful to people who want to join the Jet Program. Nobody has the same experience! The same year I went, another ALT was assigned kagawa, a very rural location which nobody wanted to go. He ended staying in JET for 3 years, got married, found a good job after JET and has been there for 19 years now. I stayed for only 2 years and left after I wasn't allowed to change apartments (horrible apartment I had). When I look back at my experience, it was a terrible work experience, as most JETs have probably discussed. However, I wouldn't change anything about it. Those two years I experienced Japanese culture, travelled, met so many great people both Japanese, and from other countries. It's an experience I often share even today with friends and people who want to travel to Japan. I still visit Japan every year and love going there. The key is perseverance which is something that has helped Kelly get through the obstacles and achieve her goals. It builds character and will prepare you for your next ambition.

  20. LoveLyzKelly , Great video. Thank you for sharing. It really helps as it contains a lot of info about the JET Program. I would just like to ask if I may request for a SOP check from you? This would really help a lot as you are very knowledgeable about the JET Program. Thank you and God bless 🙂

  21. I can relate so much to this video. I am CIR in Rokkasho Village in Aomori. The feeling of isolation is really strong. We jave no publuc transportation and everything is at least 40mins away by car. And
    The usage of the skillset of JET participants is still improvable. It can be really depressing if you want to do more…

  22. This reminds me of my experience I had with the Fulbright program my first year in Germany (2012-13). It was my most depressing year abroad, and I had barely any work to do. That being said, the Fulbright got me to Germany in the first place, and if it weren't for the program, I wouldn't still be here in Europe today! Thank you for these vlogs, from one expat to another. 🙂

  23. What is your opinion on dropping a career in supply chain to move to Japan and teach English for a year and then transition to a completely different career from both teaching and supply chain?

  24. yeah it seems like there is a lot of immaturity in those people complaining about everything. Those are toxic people, its best to stay way from those.

  25. I'm currently on the JET programme in Akita prefecture! I recently took a trip to Aomori and Hirosaki. Its a very beautiful place but the snow was insane! I thought to myself "If I had been placed here there's no way I could stay longer than a year". Doesn't help that most Japanese houses are basically freezing ice boxes. Sucks to hear you had such a terrible experience but sounds like breaking contract was the best thing for you!

  26. Those FINGERPRINTS man.
    I had terrible eczema on my right hand at the time and I seriously thought it would actually prevent me from going. Also, surprisingly a lot of police stations don’t know how to properly do fingerprints. sigh

  27. Wow! Your story is really inspirational! I’m a freshman in college and I already want to be a game designer in japan someday! I’m considering starting out in the JET program and then moving towards a game design company so I can get a feel for Japanese life first. Still figuring things out, but you’re story is really cool! Best of luck! 🙂

  28. My friend had the exact opposite experience in tachikawa. He had none stop work at his school as a JET. He couldn't take vacation because his was a private school. Also you are right about JETS being rude and being in cliques. I had met other jets in my friends area and they didn't like him because he wouldn't hang out with them. My friend was exhausted from work and they gave my friend an attitude and shunned him. Where do they find these people lol?

  29. sounds like you came across a bunch of r/japancirclejerk people when you first got there! That really sucks. I'm sorry ):

  30. yeah the aomori jets are like that, i lived in hachinohe as a jet and i was like you, i preferred studying at home and went out only once in a while

  31. Hey guys, can anyone help me about refferences required for Interac company? I cannot understand what kind of refferences they need? Official refferences from some companies or just e-mails with my supervisor, phone conversatio with them etc.. Can anyone help me?

  32. I've been told that since I am an asian female that it's harder to get hired or picked as a teacher and they prefer people that are non-asian. is this true? My cousin has a teaching background and she's asian and teaching in japan but I am very introverted with just a BComm.

  33. I am looking into getting my teaching degree i should be in my 40’s by the time i graduate. I welcome any info or tips

  34. Honestly The JET programme was my dream but it's unfair. They require you to have a Bachelor's Degree in ANYTHING to be an ASSISTANT TEACHER but you can't apply with a Diploma in Education or other associated certificates. So basically if i did a Bachelor's Degree in Auto Mechanics and I've never done a course in my Life training with kids I can assist a JTE…..THIS MAKE NO SENSE.

  35. I’m headed to Saitama Ken in 3 months to teach high school through the JET Program. I am watching this for advice and insight.

  36. Having a tough time looking for that mini-documentary that mentioned where you tell your experience working at this international school in Japan..

  37. Hi, Do you get time of to go visit The rest of japan ? Also do you get to choose whereabouts in japan you go to ?

  38. I lived in Hirosaki for two months last year and it was amazing! I’m sorry you’re experience wasn’t very positive but I’m glad you’ve found a place in Japan you’re more comfortable with!

  39. Have u seen gize in jeans,that are blueish whiteish green? Dudes have a hard time fynding jeans in this color!

  40. Thousands of us are riding on inner-tube's all the way to Japan on the Mojado Program & for the generous Welfaria…!

  41. I've been in Korea for almost a year but really want to try teaching in Japan. The process to teach there seems so much different from how I got to Korea. I'm nervous all over again.

  42. Well this info help me out. I was looking in to the JET Program as well. Still that is rough that happen to you ;/

  43. 😂😂 I lived in an apartment in saitama and there was no hot water because the pipes froze during the winter so I had a small kettle and boiled water to fill the tub even 1/4

  44. Planning on doing the JET program after college! I'm studying Japanese this year, my teacher told me about it 😊

  45. Just found this channel and I am sooo happy. This is everything I've been looking for since I've started learning about Japan and its culture. Thank you so much!! Do you know where I can research how to move to Japan?

  46. Hi, thanks for your video and tips, I'm going to Tokyo, but I'm a Spanish teacher, do you think there are some places that I can apply as a Spanish teacher, I can't find anything on internet.

    Thanks,
    Elizabeth

  47. Hello 👋🏼 I’m considering moving here after I graduate college to teach English and learn Japanese. Is JET the best program?

  48. 1.Please give advice about how to obtain medication for eg allergies or common cold and flu, painkillers …. If the need arises. Is it easy to obtain..

    2.Also can you give an overview of some of the places you have been in Japan. Some rural places.. Some urban places. Which is easier to survive in terms of friendliness of people, access and close proximity to supermarkets/pharmacy/stores/apartments

    3. How does one obtain/apply for data/internet.

  49. The JET program scares the hell out of me, but I feel like its a good path. I planned to teach History stateside, but the cost of living in cities is becoming extremely expensive, so being able to make 30k a year with a cheap apartment, while getting teaching experience, and also being in a place with historically significant landmarks all over the place, I feel like it would be a good idea between getting a bachelors and masters.

  50. there's a saying: women are the worst enemies of other women.
    bitches be bitches. they were probably jealous cuz you were cute. that's all

  51. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m applying for a similar program, but it’s for undergraduate students and it’s for a shorter amount of time. I hope that if I get in and enjoy it, I’ll be able to do the JET program after I graduate ☺️

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