The path to teaching English in Japan through the JET Programme is a long one, and sometimes the dates at which certain things happen (like interviews, finding out the results, leaving for Japan, etc.) can become a bit confusing as Japanese embassies around the world operate slightly differently when it comes to the schedule of events during the 10-month long application process.
I thought I’d make it a bit clearer by providing a very generalised timeline of what to expect around certain months if you have applied, or are interested in applying for the 2017-2018 intake.
Disclaimer: Double-check with the embassy you applied through to obtain the exact dates as every embassy/country is different. This timeline below is just a simplified version as to what can be expected.
Everything starts happening from…
September/October – Application forms become available on embassy websites
November/December – Application deadlines
End of December/January – Notification as to whether or not applicants have been granted an interview
Mid-January/February – Interviews take place
Late March/April – Around two months later from when the interviews took place the results are released. Applicants find out whether they are short-listed (made it onto the programme), alternate (on the waiting list), or rejected (did not pass the interview stage). See last year’s blog post regarding interview results here.
Mid-April – Short-listed JETs who were accepted for early placement depart for Japan and attend post-arrival orientation in Tokyo
May/June – Short-listed JETs (in group A or B) find out where their placement will be and make contact with their supervisor and predecessor. In some situations (like in my case) the school and predecessor may only make contact in early July.
June/July – Embassies hold pre-departure orientations for short-listed JETs
Second last weekend of July – Group A JETs depart for Japan from their home countries and attend a 3-day Tokyo orientation (last week of July)
Last weekend of July – Group B JETs depart from their home countries for Japan and attend a 3-day Tokyo orientation (first week of August)
Mid-August – Group C JETs depart for Japan and attend a 2-day Tokyo orientation
Confirm with your embassy to find out if you are in group A or B if you don’t already know. Incoming JETs in group C are usually upgraded alternates who could not depart in time for the group A or B orientations.
Hopefully this will make things clearer about how the process works. For more information you can have a look at the official JET Programme website. For further information regarding the yearly schedule for JETs, read through last year’s General Information Handbook.