Japan · JET Programme

JET Programme: Leaving JET

When January rolls around in the JET world you pretty much know what time it is: recontracting decision time. In most cases, ALTs are required to fill out and hand back their recontracting (or not) form by mid-January. It can become quite nerve-racking as you are expected to make a decision on something that will only come into effect almost 8 months down the line.

Last year it was easy to sign on the ‘yes, I want to recontract for a second year’ line as I felt Japan had so much more to offer and I hadn’t had my fill of exploring. So a second year felt like the right way forward. 🙂

However this year that decision was a little bit harder…

Yay or Nay?

So this time I decided not to recontract for a third year.

The reasons?

Well, the reasons aren’t really that important. I’m not leaving because I hate it here far from it! I suppose one factor that made me think twice about recontacting for a third year was my age. I’m no spring chicken (I’m in my mid-30’s) and I want to move on from my time on JET and head back home to start on the next adventure in my life.

Teaching in Japan was never a solid career plan for me to begin with it was more to do with the experience and adventure of living and working in a foreign country. Though now I have come to realise that teaching is quite enjoyable and am thankful that I was given this opportunity to discover it and try it out.

I will miss Japan…

I really enjoy living here and have discovered the part of me that holds a passion for teaching. There are many things here that I will miss once I am back home in South Africa (such as the convenience of everything, the brilliant salary, exploring a new culture, counting cats, etc)… but at the same time there are some things I definitely won’t miss (things that I decide not to write about 😉 ).

I will also miss writing posts on this blog. Through this blog I have have made contact with so many interesting people, many of them aspiring JETs.

The Bright Side 🙂

On the bright side, ever since I signed the form in January stating that I would not recontract, I have been making my remaining time here really count. If I had to pack up and leave tomorrow I wouldn’t have a single regret from my time in Japan. I feel that already I have seen so much and experienced so many wonderful things (just looking at my posts from the past year and a half shows all the awesome things I have done).

It’s not over quite yet!

I’m not too sure why it took me so long to write this post when I already knew in January where this year would take me. But now you know and at least there are still a few months left for me to write some more posts. So I’ll definitely be around for a little while longer. 🙂

Oh, and one last thing…

If you are an incoming 2016 JET and your placement is Hiroshima-ken (as a senior high school/prefectural JET), then there is a chance I might be your predecessor! 😀

Official Onomichi Cat Count: 99


10 thoughts on “JET Programme: Leaving JET

  1. Ah you didn’t say (: good to know. My other friend is calling it as well, roughly similar reasoning actually.

    Hope the last weeks will be good (: if I can make a suggestion. Think about using the exit from Japan to travel through Asia back. Not often you get a starting position right in the middle of it all.

    I can even suggest/help a bit as it’s what I did last year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I sort of forgot that I hadn’t really said anything to anyone about me finishing up contract. :/ I am actually heading off to New Zealand for a holiday before going home. I have done quite a bit of Asia already, so I thought heading down south would be fun. Hope all is going well in Singapore. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cheers, girl. I wish the JET timeline was a little different so we didn`t have to make such a life-altering decision 8 months in advance…but that`s the way the cookie crumbles I guess. Also your contract ending in August doesn`t mean you have to stop blogging here! JET alumni blogs can be just as useful as current JET blogs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your blog is great. Found this post looking for salaries as South African jets. As a South African jet, how much was tax deductions on that first year salary? How much did you basically net at the end of the day?


    1. Hi Nova! So in my situation I pay approximately ¥6000 – ¥7000 per month in income tax. Then about ¥35,000 – ¥40,000 is deducted as well for health insurance, pension, etc. But once I return home I can apply for my tax refund which is nice. 🙂

      I would say that on average my net amount per month is about 3/4 (though sometimes less) of the standard JET salary.

      As a South African we also have to pay annual inhabitant tax. In my first year it was very little (about ¥50,000), but this year I had to pay almost triple that amount.

      But do remember ESID – the amount deducted per month (and inhabitant tax) can be based on your contracting organisation, where you are placed in Japan, etc.

      Hope this helps 🙂


      1. That’s pretty damn decent. Like R30 000 a month-ish. Guess it just depends then on rent and travel :D. I like the sound of that tax refund! Pension as well?


      2. Ah, I meant to say pension from the start – so at the end of your contract when you return home you can apply for a lump sum pension withdraw, and normally the pay out is quite decent 🙂


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