JET Programme waiting lists
April 9, 2008 8:49 AM   Subscribe

JET Program-filter: I got accepted outright to the JET Programme (i.e. foreigners teaching ESL to Japanese public school kids). However, my girlfriend got waitlisted. If we both still send in the "acceptance" form, with each other still checked as "want to be housed with partner," will my outright acceptance and her affiliation with me get her bumped up on the waiting list?

My apologies for the "anonymous" but I'm trying to keep my current employers from knowing about my quasi-job-hunt. For what it's worth, we both requested suburban Kansai and both said from the get-go that we'd want to be placed together, though as a non-married couple.

I'm just tossing this out there in the hopes that someone might have either actual insider knowledge or just anecdotal evidence to suggest that either she'd stand a better chance than most waitlisted applicants, or that we shouldn't be wasting our time holding out for this.

Bonus points if anyone knows of any non-Eikaiwa jobs she'd be qualified for if I wind up as the only JET placement between the two of us. She's intermediate-proficient in Japanese and has a degree in Marketing, and really likes community volunteering stuff (i.e. she currently works for a food co-op and a local NPR affiliate).

Many thanks to anyone who can help!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
She won't get bumped up on the list. Although most of the people I knew who were on the waiting list received placements, that doesn't mean she'll be placed in the same area as you.

What does "intermediate-proficient in Japanese" mean? Most bilingual office jobs require at least JLPT level 2 Japanese. A better option would be a private ALT company like Interac.
posted by betweenthebars at 9:15 AM on April 9, 2008

By the way, I doubt that you'll be housed together unless you're actually married, according to anecdotes from friends who have participated in JET.
posted by armage at 3:35 PM on April 9, 2008

Seconding both of the above.
Many wait listed JET applicants make it on the program, but almost no JETs are placed where they request. I imagine the nature of a waitlist (eg. replacements for last minute cancellations, etc.) would make it almost certain you two wouldn't be together.
Because of these reasons, betweenthebars has the right idea. Look into other, private, eikaiwai / alt companies. Without JLPT certification, that seems to be her (yall's) best bet.
posted by Bun at 9:46 PM on April 9, 2008

If you haven't already found the website, check it out. The message boards can be an incredible resource (they're full of gaijin who've analyzed the application process inside out, as well as people who've lived/worked extensively in Japan). You'll also run into more creepy misogynistic & racist trolls than you'd ever imagined could congregate in one place without hitting critical mass. Pick your battles very carefully.
posted by soviet sleepover at 10:09 PM on April 9, 2008

FYI, I was waitlisted for JET and made it off the list in June, I think. I'd requested placement in one of two specific towns, one in eastern Shizuoka-ken, the other in western Aichi-ken. I was placed right in between them, just about equidistant...
posted by soviet sleepover at 10:14 PM on April 9, 2008

Interac is evil, don't work for them.

The general job options for English speaking foreigners without fluent Japanese are:

Children's English teacher
Business English teacher
Financial Industry (if you have a finance-related degree or connections)
IT-Related Work

The majority of the non-teaching jobs are in Tokyo and surrounding areas. For a selection of teaching and other jobs check out:

Joblet, my employer :)

For mostly IT related jobs try:


For volunteer work, TELL usually needs English help.

Also, she will probably hate you if she gets a standard eikaiwa job, because JET gives you ridiculous benefits and pretty cushy teaching hours.

Apologies if you are already in Japan and know all this stuff.
posted by ejoey at 12:24 AM on April 10, 2008

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