Whew. We’re finally here in 2k19. Been one hell of a ride and I’m surprised you stuck around this long. Let’s go.
Anxiety to the max! I constantly was thinking about JET and results for the first round to be announced at the start of the year. I was relatively confident about at least passing the paper screening and getting to the interviews, but the longer the wait, the more I felt like I wasn’t going to make the cut.
Finally, towards the middle of January I received word that I was invited for an interview with the Japanese Consulate in Los Angeles in early February. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and the year was starting off on the right foot.
I spent the following weeks prepping for my interview and when the day came, I hopped on a train to LA—this was my first time taking the Metrolink in SoCal!!—and managed to survive the interview panel. Spent some time in Little Tokyo afterwards doing some grocery shopping before catching the train back. I find it amusing how I don’t hesitate to take any form of public transport in Japan or South Korea, and a few European countries, but I am always hesitant in the U.S. Goes to show how the perception of safety and convenience is different everywhere you go.
Post-interview, queue more anxious waiting. The official timeline given by the Consulate was for results to be announced early to mid-April for normal departure applicants. However, there were many applicants from the previous two years who shared that they started receiving results towards the end of March, but it varied by consulate/embassy and country. I hoped that they would announce results in March, as I was already on the edge of my seat.
Come the last week of March, I couldn’t sleep at all that Sunday/Monday. I kept thinking that the results could officially start rolling out any moment starting today. I wanted to do nothing more than constant check my email throughout the day. I figured there would be no results so soon, and it would be in the first week of April that people would start hearing back about their results.
Oh boy, was I wrong—and in the most amazing way!
I checked my email during my break at work, just in case. It was closer towards the end of the Consulate’s business hours and I thought that if there was nothing sent out by now, then there would be no news today. I found out that very Monday in March, that I was short-listed for my position.
I was very lucky that I was the only one in the breakroom at the time, because I screamed. I had the biggest, shit-eating grin you could imagine on my face. I was ecstatic. I was in a good mood for the entire day and still am. Its been nearly a month now since I received the news, and my mood has not dampened at all.
Being short-listed for the JET Programme is essentially the same as acceptance. You passed all stages of the selection process—from the paper application, the local interviews, the JET Programme in your country’s final selection, and Japan’s Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). Now it is only a matter of getting in your paperwork and getting your placement. It is very rare for someone who is short-listed to not get a placement. Sometimes something happens and the contracting organisation that you were going to be placed with no longer wishes to contract with JET or funding issues. But such instances are pretty rare to come across.
Almost cut off my finger while crafting first week of April. This is my life. Yay stitches. If you’re reading this, please do not let me handle extremely sharp objects within a few hours of waking up. It will not end well.
Set me back a couple hundred in savings for JET because of the Urgent Care visit. Not bitter. Nope, not at all. #saltyaf #whoneedssavingswhenyouhaveafinger
I had to submit my acceptance paperwork and additional documents in last week and will continue to submit various documents up until June/July. Placement results will be rolling out in May throughout June and I am now extremely excited (and impatient) to get my placement! LA JETs depart with Group A in late July and time cannot go any faster!
My entire application and acceptance into the JET Program is still a well-guarded secret from my current employer. I intend to keep it this way until I am required to give in my notice in July, as I know that they will begin to penalise me for planning to leave them—just as they have with everyone else that voluntarily quits. The closer it gets to my departure, the harder it is for me to not be open about this entire process.
Well, now you are all caught up with my life in the past few years. You stuck with me till the end so far and I hope you’ll continue to stick with during my next journey in Japan!
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