It’s close to that time of the year again. That nerve-wracking, sleep-depriving, checking-your-inbox-every-10-minutes time of the year again when the interview results for aspiring 2016-2017 JETs are released.
Last year I wrote a piece on receiving your results, found here. This year I thought I’d approach the topic again and cover the different types of results you could receive and other related information.
[Please note that what I post here is purely from my own point of view. I’m providing info regarding the JET Programme through what I have researched and experienced. Though for more detailed info I suggest heading over to the official JET Programme website]
Average Time-Span of Results Release Dates
Looking back at past years’ release dates, I would say that pretty much from now (late March) for the next month or so the results will be released.
In South Africa it has normally been around April 1st. In my own personal experience the notification e-mail was received at 6pm on April 1st, 2014. However, it could be slightly earlier or later than that depending on how CLAIR in Japan want to release the results. I have heard that sometimes they start with the countries who have a lower amount of JET participants, or they start with countries in the east (like Australia, New Zealand and Singapore) and make their way west across the globe.
The timing of the release also depends on how quick your embassy is sending out the results to your inbox.
The Three Types of Results
When that e-mail pops into your inbox and the butterflies in your stomach start to go crazy, you will be faced with one of three results: short-listed (made it onto the programme), alternate (on the waiting list), and rejected (did not pass the interview stage).
- Successful: Short-listed
If the e-mail states that you have made the final short-list, then you have successfully made it into the JET Programme – congrats! 😀
You are now scheduled to leave with either Group A (end of July) or Group B (beginning of August) to Japan.
Now you can get a move on obtaining your police-clearance certificate (FBI background check) and submit a certificate of health.
With about 4 months to go, you can think about collecting interesting things to take to Japan to show your students. Taking photos of everything and anything is always a good idea – students will be (should be) fascinated about where you come from, what your family, friends, neighbours, pets, house, food, etc., looks like.
When I first arrived in Japan I quickly discovered that my students would be fascinated by pictures of mundane things that I would never have thought of taking pictures of – such as what the shopping malls looks like, or the sort of food I eat in South Africa (they kind of freaked out when I said I love eating ostrich).
- Waiting list: Alternate
The e-mail you received from the embassy states that you have made alternate status – this means that you have been placed on the waiting list. Though don’t get disheartened: there is still a chance of being upgrade to short-list status.
An alternate means that you are still a potential candidate, it is just that the embassy has already filled the short-list positions currently available.
However, due to various circumstances, short-listed JETs may decline their position, therefore opening up a space for an alternate to take. Upgrades can occur at any time, though one can presume that a good bulk of them happen in the months following the release of the results (April, May, June, July).
Upgrades can happen as late as January the following year.
- Unsuccessful: Rejected
Receiving an ‘unsuccessful’ e-mail means that you have not made it into the JET Programme.
It is definitely not the e-mail you would want to receive, but unfortunately there is a limit to how many first-year JETs can be sent over to Japan every year from participating countries.
The upside of this is that at this stage you would have passed the first round of applications and made it to the interview stage. It is probably during the interview where not enough points were earned to be considered a short-lister or alternate.
With this in mind – and if you are planning to reapply at the end of this year – you can work on your interview skills and create a stronger application by gaining more experience that is related to teaching, dealing with students, Japanese language, etc.
Next Step for Short-listers and Upgraded Alternates: Placement Results
The next step is finding out which city/prefecture you will be heading to as a short-lister or upgraded alternate. These results are usually released about 2 months later (late-May/early-June) I found out my placement at the end of May.
With the placement results you will be able to determine whether you will be a city/municipal JET (elementary/junior-high school) or a prefectural JET (senior-high school). On the placement info, if you are given a city name and prefecture, then you will be a city/municipal JET; if you are only given the prefecture then you will be a prefectural JET.
Well, that is normally the case in most placements, though there are JETs out there who go to both junior and senior-high schools – so it’s not a set-in-stone rule when it comes to placements and the types of schools you will teach at.
I wrote an article about the differences between the two placements if you are interested in finding out more.
Here’s wishing all applicants the best of luck for the final results!