Application FAQs

1. Where can I obtain an application form and notes?

The UK JET Programme application period runs only once a year between late September and November. The application form and related documentation is only available on our website during this time. You are strongly recommended to apply online, however we can provide paper applications to candidates with no internet access. If you would like us to send you a paper application, please contact the JET Desk and explain your situation.

2. Why should I apply online?

The online application form contains a box next to each question giving further details of the information you are required to enter. This makes completion of the form easier and quicker. Furthermore, forms submitted online can be processed more quickly meaning that less time is needed for us to make a decision regarding your application. Please also note that every year we receive a number of paper applications which cannot be processed due to illegible handwriting.

3. I missed the application period between September and November. Can I still apply to go out next summer?

Unfortunately no, the application period runs only once a year and we cannot accept late applications. Please apply during the next application window.

4. When is the deadline for applications?

The UK JET Programme application deadline is usually 18:00 UK time on the last Friday of November for departure the following year. This deadline is strictly enforced and we regret that we are unable to accept any applications received after this time. We strongly urge all applicants to send in their applications as early as possible.

5. Why is the presentation at my university so near to the deadline?

JET Programme presentations are held from the beginning of October until close to the deadline at the end of November. We aim to cover as many sites as possible and unfortunately some presentation dates may fall just before the deadline.

6. Are the CIR and ALT salaries the same?

Yes, all JETs are paid the same annual salary of about 3.36 million yen.

7. Can I apply for both ALT and CIR positions?

No, you cannot apply for both positions in the same year. CIR applicants can request in their application to be considered for the ALT position as well as CIR, however this request is only taken into consideration after interview should the interviewers feel that the candidate is more suited to the ALT position than CIR. Please contact the JET Desk should you require further details.

8. I have done some tutoring but nothing formal. Should I include it in my application?

Yes, you should include all teaching or tutoring experience. Please be clear and exact regarding the type of experience you have.

9. What extra-curricular activities should I write about?

This is your opportunity to present yourself outside of academic and work achievements. Please give details of your extra-curricular activities and interests including how long and to what level you have been active.

10. Can I request to be placed in a senior high school or junior high school?

Unfortunately not. If you have a specific reason as to why you think you are suited to a specific age range, you are more than welcome to mention this on your personal statement. However, we cannot guarantee to meet any requests made.

11. What kind of references do you require?

We require two references (click here for further details). Your references must be specific and directly address your suitability for the JET Programme. They must be signed and sealed, with a signature across the seal.

Please do double check that your referee has a clear understanding of what you are applying for and has signed the letter as well as the seal of the envelope. Failure to follow the instructions may result in the delay or dismissal of your application. Your references should be sent together with your application.

We will NOT accept hand-written references or references written by a relative, a personal friend or friend of the family.

You are advised that referees, specifically academic referees, can take a great deal of time to prepare, sometimes 2 or even 3 months. You are STRONGLY advised to request references well in advance of the deadline. It is your responsibility to ensure that references arrive at the Embassy by the deadline date.

Please note that the JET Programme cannot provide further guidance regarding the choice of references apart from the information on this website. It is up to the applicants themselves to choose appropriate referees. Every year we receive a large number of e-mails asking for advice regarding choice of referees – this is something that we cannot provide.

12. What should I do if I my referee cannot write a reference on headed paper or the correct headed paper?

In the case that company policy restricts a referee from using headed paper, this must be stated within the reference. If your referee has recently left the workplace at which they supervised you (for example your academic referee has started working at a different university), they should use the headed paper at their current workplace if this is available. This should be explained within the reference.

13. What is a certified record / academic transcript and how can I get one?

This is a list of all the courses you have taken / are due to take as part of your Bachelor's degree. Proof of enrolment and academic transcripts for postgraduate courses are not strictly necessary but are welcome as further supporting documentation.

On the record/transcript, the course names must be written in full with the course marks. The document must be an original, on official university stationary and signed by a person with authority to give such information.

You can obtain this document from your university registrar, school secretary and sometimes your personal tutor. We recommend you allow at least 1 month to obtain this as it may take some time for your university registrar or department secretary to prepare and authenticate the document.

Alternatively, some universities allow students to access their course results online. A print-out of these course modules and results will be acceptable, ONLY if it has been authenticated by a university official, with a signature and university stamp.

14. My partner and I want to apply for the Programme, can we be placed together?

If you are both eligible for and strongly interested in the JET Programme, you can apply together. Please bear in mind though that we cannot guarantee that you and your partner will be placed in the same area if successful, and it is very unlikely that you will be living together if you are not married. However, it is our experience that married couples are generally placed together if both are successful candidates.

15. If I apply with a friend, could we be placed together?

If you are applying with a friend, please put down their details on the application form. You will also need to state whether or not you would be happy if your request to be placed together cannot be met. Placement requests cannot be guaranteed. Please ensure that your friend writes down your name on their application form, otherwise your request will not be recorded.

16. How are the placements allocated?

Once confirmation of acceptance from successful candidates has been received, the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) considers the requests of both contracting organisations and participants. CLAIR then submits their proposals to the Special Mediator Committee consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and local governments. This committee makes the final decisions regarding participant placements.

If there is a certain area in which you would like to be placed, we urge you to undertake some research on this area and give reasons to support your request. All requests are considered, but due to the varying needs of each contracting organisation it is difficult to satisfy every participant. Please remember that the JET Programme cannot guarantee to meet any placement requests.

Please note that if you do not have any specific placement preferences, you are welcome to leave this section of the application form blank. This will in no way hinder your chances of selection for the JET Programme.

17. I'm worried about being sent to an isolated rural area. What are my chances of being placed in a big city?

All participants on the JET Programme have a support network of other JETs available as well as other structures to help them settle into life in Japan. When applying to the JET Programme, you should expect to be offered a unique experience outside of the main tourist regions in an area that may not be well-known to you initially.

Applicants can make placement requests for a specific area of Japan and/or a rural, urban or semi-urban placement on their application forms. Any placement requests made after handing in your application form will not be considered.

Big cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto are very popular and so your chances of being placed in one of these three places are minimal. One of the principal aims of the Programme is to encourage grass-roots internationalisation and such cities are already very international, therefore they have little need for JET Programme participants. Please note that a very small number of participants are placed in the Tokyo region, and these participants are placed far from Tokyo City itself.

Moreover, there are many big and interesting cities in Japan aside from Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto and it is well worth doing a little bit of research on the country to learn some more about the many diverse and fascinating cities Japan has to offer. Also, please consider that the cost of living in big cities will be higher.

Another issue you may like to consider is climate. Northern Honshu and Hokkaido tend to have long winters and these areas are great for skiing and other winter sports, however it is worth bearing in mind that central heating in Japan is not common. Southern Japan enjoys a much milder climate though the heat and humidity of summer spans several months.

Please note that if you do not have any specific placement preferences, you are welcome to leave this section of the application form blank. This will in no way hinder your chances of selection for the JET Programme.

18. I saw the doctor regarding emotional issues. It wasn't anything serious and I am now fully recovered. Do I have to mention it?

Yes. You MUST declare any and all consultations with a medical practitioner regarding emotional or mental concerns at any time in your life irrespective of their severity. You must provide a detailed account of the number of consultations, the names of medication taken, if any, and the duration of the treatment.

By submitting your signed application form, you are declaring that all the information you have given is correct and that no information has been withheld. Please be aware that all successful applicants are required to submit a Certificate of Health Form completed and signed by their GP in the April before departure. If any discrepancies arise between this form and your Self-Assessment Medical Form, your position on the JET Programme will be jeopardised and may well be terminated.

Regarding physical health, you must declare any illnesses or injuries you have had within the last 5 years, except for minor colds and flu.

It is important to note that past physical or mental illness will not disqualify you from the JET programme, but false information or withholding of information will do.

19. Why do you require my personal medical information?

Participation on the JET Programme involves moving abroad to a foreign country to live and work. As sponsors of the JET Programme, the Japanese Government must be confident of your fitness to live and work in Japan, therefore you must declare all health issues as requested in your application. Furthermore, it is essential that you provide correct medical information in case of any emergency situations that may arise after you have departed for Japan. All information is regarded as strictly confidential.

If you are in any doubt regarding the declaration of medical issues, we strongly recommend that you call the JET Desk to discuss your individual case before completing your application form.

20. How will I know if the JET Office has received my application?

We recommend that all applicants enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with their application.

The JET Office will return the postcard to acknowledge receipt of your application. Please note that postcards are returned as soon as possible but there may be a delay during our busiest period in November and December. It may not be possible for the JET Office to confirm that we have received your application form until sometime after the deadline date has passed.

21. I will be unable to attend an interview in the last week of January. Should I mention this with my application?

Yes, please enclose a covering letter with your application detailing dates of unavailability during January and February as well as a brief explanation. This information will be considered when allocating interview slots. However, the interview schedule is very tight and it may not be possible to meet such requests. It is your responsibility to keep the JET Desk updated regarding unavailability during the interview period, for example when university examination dates are released. Applicants who do not inform the JET Desk of unavailability during January and February and who subsequently request a change of interview date once an interview invitation has been issued are unlikely to be offered an alternative interview slot.

22. What kind of person does well on JET?

There is no one particular "type" of person that does well on JET; however flexibility and positivity are key attributes that we are looking for. The Programme requires applicants to take responsibility and to thrive in occasionally challenging situations. There are many situations in which JETs must be able to take initiative and be proactive in their work, and creativity is also important when creating lesson plans and teaching classes. JETs should also be culturally sensitive and accept that things in Japan work differently to things at home.

Finally, a good candidate for the JET Programme should have a genuine interest in international exchange and in Japan itself.

23. How can you use JET to further your career?

The skills and experience you gain from living and working in Japan are invaluable. JET is very highly regarded by employers and the JET support network continues once you return, with the JET Alumni Association website advertising vacancies from employers specifically looking to recruit ex-JETs, as well as a Careers Information Day. The skills you gain are very versatile meaning that ex-JETs find employment in a number of fields from teaching to the Civil Service, from the Police Force to television and journalism.

24. Why do JETs depart in July/August mid-way through the Japanese academic year?

The Japanese school year begins in April. JET Programme participants depart for Japan in early August as this matches the end of the academic year for the majority of participating countries. In addition, the time between spring and summer gives Japanese students and staff a chance to settle in to the new academic year, making it easier for an incoming ALT to integrate into school life.

25. Can you apply for both JET and MEXT ?

You can apply for both; however please bear in mind that JET and MEXT are quite different from one another. Applicants are advised to gain a precise understanding of the criteria of each programme and consider their options carefully.

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