Originally Posted by tommib
I'm currently looking into the idea of teaching english in Japan as a way of travelling and working at the same time. There are various language schools to apply to, but I'm thinking of JET in particular as it seems to be one of the oldest and most professional.
Does anybody have any experience or advice that I would find useful? It would be well appreciated.
I was a JET-ster between 1992-1993. I chose JET because I thought I was not the type of guy to buy an airplane ticket, live in a hostel, and put something together on the ground. I did have back up interviews lined up with GEOS when JET came through.Some of my fellow JETsters suggested that the program looked better on a resume than NOVA or Howdy Howdy English school. Don't really know if potential employers saw it that way or not.
I'd recommend applying for JET, but not putting all of your eggs in that basket. A friend of mine who coordinates the program at one of the consulates notes that competition is pretty fierce.
I had requested Shizuoka or Fukuoka, and was placed in a very very small town in Kyoto Prefecture. Still I wouldn't be too hung up on wanting to be in Osaka or Tokyo. Japan is small enough that you can travel. Even if you are placed in Hokkaido, you can make it to Osaka two or three times during a year here.
I really wouldn't say that JET will always be unqulifiedly better than NOVA or Bi-Lingual, but the chances are good that you will be treated pretty well. Of course you could have an awful boss, but JET provides a built in support network that private English schools usually don't offer. People on JET have quite a bit of fun because they generally work fewer hours than private English school teachers, they often get school holidays off, and they are often feted semi-celebrities in their communities.
Brian SD: Did I understand your post correctly? Your school charges you $1400 to train you in exchange for allowing you to select where you will be placed?
I would tend to second rach2jlc....Osaka and Tokyo have their advantages, but they are not really the be all and end all of Japan. You certainly could have a blast in Toyama, Himeiji, Hakata, Sapporo, or Kumamoto.