The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET Programme) is a government initiative that encourages cultural exchange between Japan and other countries.
Foreign youth can work and live in Japan as assistant language teachers or coordinators for international relations in local governments. The program is very competitive, with many applicants competing for a limited number of positions each year.
Successful JET participants can gain professional and personal experiences, improve their language skills, and help enhance mutual understanding between Japan and their home countries.
How much is the Salary of a JET Programme Participant?
I’m aware that participants of the JET Programme receive different amounts of remuneration depending on the length of their appointment.
In their first year, they received approximately 3.36 million yen; in their second year, they received around 3.6 million yen. For their third appointment, they get about 3.9 million yen; those appointed for a fourth and fifth year get approximately 3.96 million yen yearly.
However, it’s important to note that JET Programme participants must pay Japanese income and resident taxes from this remuneration.
Do JET Programme participants receive any training?
As part of the JET Programme, participants receive thorough training before beginning their work in Japan. After arriving in Japan, they attend a two-day training conference in Tokyo to learn about the cultural expectations and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for their role as language teachers and cultural ambassadors.
Additionally, they receive ongoing support throughout the program and participate in periodic skills development training conferences. At the prefectural level, they receive a more specialised orientation for their specific placement. The JET Programme ensures participants are well-prepared and equipped to excel in their roles.
What types of language support do JET Programme participants receive?
If you’re a participant in CLAIR, you’re in luck! They offer a wide range of support services to help you succeed. For example, they have free online courses to help you learn Japanese and training to allow you to acquire translation and interpretation skills.
They even offer grants to help you get certified to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) or to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).
They have many publications, a monthly newsletter full of helpful information, a mental health counselling service, and career fairs. With all this support, you’re sure to thrive!
What are the Eligibility Criteria for JET Programme Applicants?
Please note that the eligibility criteria below are for those interested in applying for the 2023-2024 JET Programme Year as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) or Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs).
These criteria are subject to change for the following year. It is essential to keep in mind that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and CLAIR in Japan are responsible for determining the eligibility criteria for applicants interested in participating in the JET Programme.
- Hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher, or obtain such qualifications by the designated arrival date (applicants for the ALT position may alternatively hold a certification of completion of a 3-year course to teach at primary/elementary or secondary schools or obtain such qualification(s) by the designated arrival date).
- Be interested in Japan and be willing to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of Japan after their arrival;
- Be motivated to participate in and initiate international exchange activities in the local community;
- Make efforts to study or continue studying the Japanese language before and after arriving in Japan.
- Be both mentally and physically healthy.
- Be willing and able to adapt to living and working in Japan and commit to responsibly fulfilling their duties during their participation period.
- Be a national (not just a permanent resident) of the country where the recruitment and selection procedures occur by the time they submit their application form. Furthermore, those with Japanese citizenship must have submitted their applications to renounce their Japanese citizenship before submitting their Reply Form. Applicants with multiple nationalities in countries other than Japan may only apply as nationals of one of those countries.
- Be adept in contemporary standard pronunciation, rhythm, and intonation in the designated language (see Note) and possess excellent language ability that can be applied accurately and appropriately; have the ability to form sentences comprehensively and logically.
- Not have participated in the Programme since the 2020 JET Programme year (inclusive of April 2020 arrivals) or have participated in the Programme for more than six years in total.
- Not have declined a position on the Programme after receiving notification of assignment in the previous JET Programme year (excluding cases where it is accepted that the Participant had a valid, inevitable reason for withdrawing).
- Not have lived in Japan for six or more years since 2013.
- Have a desire to proactively maintain relations with Japan, even after completion of the Programme.
- Concerning entry into Japan for participation in the Programme, agree to reside in Japan under the status of residence stipulated in Article 2-2 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.
- Be willing to obey all Japanese laws.
- Applicants with a suspended jail term must have finished their probation period by the time they submit their application form.
Note: In the case of English-speaking countries (United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Philippines, Singapore, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, etc.) the designated language is English, for France it is French, for Germany it is German, for China it is Chinese, for Korea it is Korean, and for other non-English speaking countries, it is the principal language spoken in that country. However, there may be cases where English is required as well.
In addition, applicants from non-English speaking countries must Have a functional command of the English or Japanese language.
In addition to the above general criteria, ALT applicants must:
- Be interested in Japan’s Japanese education system, mainly foreign language education.
- Be interested in working with children.
- Be qualified as a language teacher or be strongly motivated to take part in the teaching of foreign languages.
The following are not part of the Eligibility Criteria, but additional consideration will be given to applicants who: - Have language teaching experience or qualifications. - Have general teaching experience or qualifications. - Have a high level of Japanese language ability.
In addition to the above general criteria, CIR applicants must Have a functional command of the Japanese language (Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1 or N2 is desirable).
JET Programme’s Application Process
Applying to participate in the JET Programme is a long and competitive process. However, the rewards of being chosen are well worth the effort. Successful applicants receive a one-year term of appointment with a contracting organisation in Japan.
What are the Application Guidelines and Required Documents for JET Programme Applicants?
- Application Guidelines (PDF) – Please read through the guidelines thoroughly before starting your application. Do NOT submit this document.
- Application Form (PDF) – This must be typewritten (except for the signature) and printed on A4 or letter-sized paper. We recommend using a Web browser such as Microsoft Edge or Chrome to accomplish the form. As this is an editable PDF form, please use your mouse and click on the form fields to type out your answers or tick the checkboxes. Please do not change the font size for your answers.
- Form Appendices (PDF) – Please fill this up and submit only if you need additional space for your Employment History and/or Teaching Experience. This must be typewritten (except for the signature) and printed in A4 or letter-sized paper. We recommend using a Web browser such as Microsoft Edge or Chrome to accomplish the form. As this is an editable PDF form, please use your mouse and click on the form fields to type out your answers or tick the checkboxes. Please do not change the font size for your answers.
- Information Slip and Agreement of Document Submission (PDF) – Please print this document on A4 or letter-sized paper. Accomplish one copy of this and place it on top of your original application form.
- Attachment Chart Sheet of Application (PDF) – This is a supplement to the application form. Do NOT submit this document.
- Self-Report of Medical Condition(s) (PDF) – All applicants are required to submit this form with their application. This must be typewritten (except for the signature) and printed on A4 or letter-sized paper. We recommend using a Web browser such as Microsoft Edge or Chrome to accomplish the form. As this is an editable form, please use your mouse and click on the form fields to type out your answers or tick the checkboxes. Please do not change the font size for your answers.
- Statement of Purpose (2 pages, double-spaced essay). Describe your motivation, purpose, and qualifications for participating in the JET Program. This should be typewritten on A4-sized paper, with 10.5 Arial font and a 1-inch margin on each side. Do not print on both sides of the paper.
- Two (2) Letters of Recommendation. References should be academic or professional (from a professor, advisor, or supervisor). If you are submitting a recommendation letter written in Japanese, you must attach an appropriate/approximate English translation with it.
- College/University Transcripts. From ALL colleges and universities attended, including study abroad institutions. Transcripts must be official; unofficial transcripts and/or student portal screenshots will not be accepted. Certified true copies can be submitted instead of originals.
- Proof of Graduation (Diploma, Certificate of Graduation). Showing the conferral of a bachelor’s degree or graduate studies degree (if applicable). Certified true copies can be submitted instead of originals.
- Proof of Philippine Citizenship. Such as a passport, birth certificate, etc.
What are the Supplemental Documents?
- Statement of Physician (PDF) – If the applicant lists medical history in the Self-Report of Medical Conditions form, that requires clearance to participate from a physician or medical specialist.
- Teaching Certification – If the applicant has a PRC certification (grade level, subject, substitute, etc.)
- TESL/TEFL Certification – If the applicant has completed a certificate in English as a Second/Foreign Language.
- Japanese Language Certification – If the applicant has passed any level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)
- Criminal History Background Check (NBI Clearance) – If the applicant lists any relevant history in the application
How and When to Submit the Documents?
All application materials required for this program are due on November 17, 2023 (Friday) and must be submitted via post or courier (LBC, Grab Express, Lalamove, etc) or personally hand-delivered to:
- The JET Programme
- Japan Information and Culture Center
- Embassy of Japan in the Philippines
- 2627 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City 1300
For same-day courier services and personally hand-delivered documents: kindly proceed to the back entrance of the Embassy of Japan – Lancaster St. cor FB Harrison St.
The Embassy can only receive documents at the back entrance on weekdays [except holidays] from 9:00am to 12:30pm, and 1:30pm to 4:30pm. Our security personnel have the right to refuse packages that arrive outside of those times, as well as packages delivered through the other entrances.
For FAQ, please visit https://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_ja/11_000001_00565.html
For more details about the JET Programme, please visit http://jetprogramme.org/en/.
Tentative Expected Timeline:
The schedule is subject to change.
- Submission of Application: From September to November 2023
- First screening results (released to only qualified applicants: Mid-January 2024
- Interviews: Late January or mid-February 2024
- Interview results will be released (Official result): Late March or Early April 2024
- Release of Placements: May 2024
- Departure for Japan: August 2024
Working as an assistant language teacher in Japan can be a truly fulfilling and rewarding experience. It provides you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in a rich, fascinating culture and make a positive impact on the lives of those around you.
Though there may be language barriers and cultural differences to overcome, you can build meaningful relationships and help others grow with patience and an open mind. Japan might be the perfect place if you’re searching for a unique and exciting adventure.