Thursday, January 26, 2006

This is how they said no THIS year

For what its worth, and I don't think it is worth anything, here is the letter they sent to JETs not granted an interview this year:

Dear JET Program Applicant,

Thank you for your recent application to the 2006 Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. The JET Program Review Committee has now processed and evaluated all applications. Unfortunately, we cannot offer you an interview for this year’s program. Please be aware that the decisions made by the JET Program Review Committee are final, and there is no appeals process. We ask that you please refrain from calling or emailing our office to ask specifically why you were not selected for an interview because it is our policy not to comment on this information.

Generally speaking, the following are some of the most common reasons applicants are not selected: missing documents (such as official transcripts, proof of graduation, recommendation letters, or proof of study abroad), unofficial documents, and/or failure to meet eligibility requirements or to effectively address necessary points in statement of purpose.

We sincerely hope that our decision will in no way diminish your interest in exchange and teaching opportunities with Japan and encourage you to try again for next year’s program. If you would like to apply for the 2007 program, please visit our website at in September 2006 to access the 2007 application. Carefully reviewing application instructions is very important and may improve your chances of selection in the future.

Once again, thank you for your interest in the JET Program. You will be getting a hard copy of this letter in the mail within the next few days. We wish you the best of luck as you continue in your career.


JET Program Office

Embassy of Japan

I think it is identical to the one they sent out last year and, although I didn't keep it, I think it is also identical to the one they sent to me in 2000. At least they are consistent. If you didn't get in this year, there's always next year and there are plenty other ways to work in Japan or score with Japanese girls. Please don't commit seppuku if you didn't get an interview.

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Kamikawa-ALT said...

I think you're making JET out to be way better than it is. I was in JET in 2002-2003, and I have to say that, if I had it to do again, I might do it the way you are. JET is good in that it's secure and comfortable, but it's... less than impressive in that it's filled (overwhelmingly) with people who just want to go to Japan to party.

That being said, you seem to be more interested in Japan than any of the people I met in JET (save one or two exceptions to the rule). As I've read through your blog, I've come to wonder why you haven't been accepted.

And then I read your letter. It was great, but I think it shows that you are, crazy as it sounds, too much the Japanophile. JET is looking for people with an interest in Japan but also strong roots in their western homeland because, more than anything, JET is meant to help internationalize.

To know some of the language and a bit about Japan is good, but it's not what's going to get you in. JET wants its ALTs to sit around with sensei and members of the BOE at enkais, chatting in 'engrish' and karaokeing in English. Not necessarily to chat in Japanese.

If you haven't already noticed, Japan is a country built on other-ing. Japanese people are, in general (and I know it's not good to generalize, but there are truths about each culture than can be boiled down to this or that), fascinated by Gaijin. You've likely seen or heard of the typical Japanese zeal for blonde hair and blue eyes--------the more 'other' you are when you arrive, the better.

And then you start to fit in. And you learn the language and cultural norms. But not until you've sufficiently represented yourself as Gaijin.

I hope that makes sense to you. I think it's so fantastic that you love Japan and aren't there just for the parties (as so many JETs are); but, to be absolutely truthful, you may need to tone down the Japanophile in you in your next application to JET. Or, better yet, be happy with what you've got going on right now 'cos it seriously sounds better than JET, no offense to the administrators of the program.


Saipan Chamoale said...

Thanks for the advice, but I won't be applying to JET this year or next. I got to go there for 5 months. It wasn't enough, but it will have to do.