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soc.culture.japan FAQ [Monthly Posting] [2/3]
Section - (6.1.1) JET

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See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Last update: 2/97
From: (Jerry Blanton)

What is the JET Program?

JET stands for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, a program
sponsored by the Japanese Ministries of Education, Home Affairs and
Foreign Affairs.  The program began in 1987 and was designed to bring
young, native English speakers to Japan to assist English teachers
in public junior high, high schools and college/universities as well
as to help bring 'internationalization' (the 1980's buzzword) to
Japan. These goals has now been expanded to include German and French
speakers as well.

Currently (1995), participating countries are:  Australia, China (CIRs
Only), Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Republic of Korea
(CIRs Only), Russian Federation (CIRs only) UK and the US.

This year there are nearly 5,000 participants (hereafter referred to as
'JETs') spread  across the entirety of Japan.

There are two types of JET positions:

1) ALT (Assistant Language Teacher).  The ALT goes to
   and 'team-teaches' with a native Japanese teacher.  Until 1989 there
   were only English instructors on the program but then it was expanded
   to include German and French teachers as well (big cities only).
   work in a wide range of situations and some ALTs teach in only one
   school while others never visit the same school twice.

2) CIR (Coordinator for International Relations)  The CIR position helps
   to fulfill the lofty internationalization goal. CIRs work in
   offices or in large cities (or sometimes not so big) doing anything
   tourism to helping the city deal with the influx of foreign workers.
   The CIR position is much less defined than the ALT.

The vast majority of JETs fall into the ALT category while only a few
hundred are CIRs.

Where Do I Sign Up?

All hiring for the JET program is done in the home countries of
Generally, the initial applications have to be received by mid-December
then notification of interviews is made in late January or early
with the interviews being held in Feb.  Most interviews are conducted at
Japanese embassy or consulates in each country. (Below is a list of
Japanese embassies in each of the participating countries)

What if I Don't Speak Japanese?

To be an ALT you DO NOT need to speak Japanese, nor do you need any
knowledge about Japan.  You do need to have an interest in Japan and a
willingness to help the Japanese improve their English skills.  Because
CIRs tend to work more with larger government offices, they need more
Japanese skills from the outset, although this is NOT always the case.
In all cases, you must have at least a bachelors degree by the time that
you are to departfor Japan (end of July).  The JET year is from
August 1 to July 31. At the initial application stage you can request a
rural or urban posting as well as a High School or Junior High School
posting but there are no guarantees you will get what you ask for
(probably the vast majority of people are randomly assigned).

How Much Do I Get Paid?  (And Is it Enough?)

JETs are pretty well paid considering that the majority of participants
are fresh out of college and have no experience.  As of this writing,
the JET salary is 3,600,000 yen which is about US$40,000 (@ the current
'endaka' rates of approx 85 yen to 1 US$) This is TAX FREE so your
monthly salary is 300,000 yen wihich is more than enough to live on,
and then some.  Big city JETs often complain that they make less due to
higher cost of living, but they are no where near poverty level.
Besides, the JET program isn't about making money, it's about a great
opportunity to live in Japan, learn Japanese, and work.

If you are interested in finding out more about applying for the JET
contact your closest Japanese Embas
sy or consulate.  Following is a list
of Japanese embassies for the participating countries:

Embassy of Japan "JET Desk"
112 Empire Circuit, Yarralumla, Canberra ACT 2600
Tel (06) 273-2679 Fax (06) 273-1848

Embassy of Japan "JET Desk"
255 Sussex Dr.
Ottawa ONT K1N 9E6
Tel (613) 241-8541 Fax (613) 241-2232

Embassy of Japan "JET Desk"
7 Ri Tan Rd. Jiam Guo Men Wai, Beijing
Peoples Republic of China
Tel (01) 532-2361  Fax (01) 532-4625

Ambassade du Japon "La Division de JET"
7 Avenue Hoche, 75008 Paris
Tel:  (01) 4888-6200 Fax:  (01) 4227-5081

Japanische Botschaft "JET Desk"
Abteilung Oeffentlichkeitsarbeit und Kultur
Godesberger Allee 102-104, 53175 Bonn
Tel 0228-81910  Fax: 0228-379399
<> und <>

Republic of Ireland
Embassy of Japan "JET Desk"
Nutley Bldg., Merrion Centre, Nutley Lane
Dublin 4
Tel: (01) 269-4244 Fax:  (01) 283-8726

Republic of Korea
Embassy of Japan "JET Desk"
18-11 Choonghak-don, Chongro-ku, Seoul
Tel: (02) 733-5626, Fax: (02) 734-4528

New Zealand
Embassy of Japan "JET Desk"
GRE House, 113 Custom House Quay, Wellington 1
Tel: (04) 472-7807 Fax: (04) 472-3416

Russian Federation
Japan Information Service, Embassy of Japan
Dobryninskaya Ulitsa, Dom 7
Domeshshenie 12, Moscow Rusia
Tel (095) 238-9868

Embassy of Japan "JET Desk"
101-104 Piccadilly, London W1V 9FN
Tel: (071) 465-6500 Fax: (071) 491-9347

Embassy of Japan, Office of JET Program
2520 Massachussetts Ave., N.W.
Washington D.C. 20028
Tel: (202) 939-6772 Fax: (202) 328-2187

You can also contact CLAIR (Council  of Local Authorities for
International Relations) @ Tel: +81-3-3265-1491 or Fax: +81-3-3265-1368
(Japan) for more information.

I am happy to answer general questions about the JET program vis a vis
own experience as both an ALT and a CIR.  However, please bear in mind
that I was a JET four years ago and my experiences come from when the
program was much much smaller.  Furthermore, I cannot help you with
application procedures for your own country or supply you with any more
information than the above as far as telephone numbers, addresses, etc.
is concerned.

Also, *please do NOT e-mail* me with requests about teaching
opportunities in Japan!  I have never taught English outside the JET
program and have no idea whatsoever about opportunities, contacts,
ways to get information, etc. about teaching in Japan.

[The toll-free information line for JET in the US is 1-800-INFO-JET. --ed.]

The following WWW pages contain information about JET:

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Previous Document: (6.1) Finding a job (for non-Japanese)
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