An ALT is responsible for co-teaching, preparing materials and participating in cultural and extra curricular events with students. The JET program's main aim is to promote cross-cultural understanding, not just to teach English. The JET program is also highly competitive, with about a quarter of applicants making the cut.
An ALT will earn 300,000 Yen per month, close to $2500. On top of this, ALTs will be provided with paid vacation, sick days, a paid flight from this home country and many other benefits.
Money aside, the support provided by the JET program is second to none in Japan. You will teach alongside a native Japanese teacher and have the privilege to teach in a Japanese public school to get an authentic look into Japanese life and culture.
You must also be living in your native country at the time of applying. For example, if you are an Australian citizen, teaching English in China, you will be ineligible to apply as you need to attend an in-person interview in your native country.
The Application process
Put down as much positive information about yourself as you can. Even if you aren't sure if it will be beneficial, chances are it will! Volunteered for 2 weeks over summer? Put it down. Helped work in your schools kitchen once a week? Put it down. Tutored someone for Math? Put it down. I hope you're noticing a trend. Put down as much positive information about yourself as possible, because you can rest assured that other candidates will be.
Now is not the time to be humble. Shout your success from the rooftops. The hiring panel wants to see this!
You should highlight your passion for Japan, multiculturalism and volunteering (which all should be genuine if you want to enjoy JET).
You also have to write a two-paged essay explaining why you would be the perfect fit for the job. Don't go overboard with your love for Japan here. You're applying for the job, they get that you want to live in Japan. This is a job application, tell them why you would be a good fit for the job and how you would be a fantastic teacher. Remember, they want to hire someone who will be a good English teacher, promote cross-cultural understanding through adhering to the core values of the JET program.
Follow the essay guidelines! Check that you have discussed all important topics.
Now is the time to brush up on your interview skills. You've done the hard work and passed the application process and now need to use all your charm to convince JET why they should spend money sending you all the way to Japan.
You will be interviewed by a panel of 3 interviewers who will grill you to see how you perform under pressure. Keep cool, calm and collected. There's nothing more you can do at this stage, so just do your best, enjoy the ride and hope that they liked you.
And that's all there is to it. After a wait that will feel like forever, you will learn your fate. Either you're accepted or you're not. Please remember that the hiring process for JET is shrouded in secrecy. You will see countless articles like this, with comments and rumors. People wondering why a dumb friend with no experience was accepted, when they were majored in Japanese and were rejected. The truth is, no one knows why. Just do your best, don't worry about others and hope for the best.
What do you think? Any tips for being accepted by JET? Leave a comment below.