Sorry for the wait on this post! After the last post ended up so long I was kind of putting off writing this one because I felt like it’d also end up really long and to be honest most of Tokyo Orientation was just a jetlagged blur anyway, but here goes!
The first day’s schedule comprised:
- A presentation about what to do in cases of natural disasters
- A presentation about laws in Japan
- A presentation by an ex-CIR
- A presentation about the different regions in Japan and maybe climate as well? This one was hard to follow
- A translation presentation/ workshop
- An interpretation presentation/workshop
Now, I realise CIRs are supposed to have a good level of Japanese, and not all CIRs can speak English that well if at all (as some are going to Japan to translate into their own native languages). However, when you’re jetlagged, you arrived at 9pm the night before and didn’t get settled in your room til about 11pm, you’re not in any state to be able to understand presentations that are mostly done by Japanese natives (and therefore a little too fast). Also, in my opinion, as understanding disaster/emergency info and Japanese laws are important, it would have been better if we were at least given information in different languages even if the presentation was in Japanese…but I realise there’re so many different nationalities of people on JET Programme that it might be difficult.
In the evening was the ‘welcome reception’, which had designated areas for each prefecture. It was okay, and there was a very large buffet with a variety of foods, but, obviously due to the number of people they had to fit in the hall, no seats. And trying to get food, eat food and mingle all at the same time is not something I enjoy much at all, so I met my prefecture’s people briefly (mainly the ones that would be in the same town as me) and then left to explore the area around the hotel (Shinjuku) with two other CIRs.
Second day had presentations on:
- Japanese business manners (things like sel-introductions, answering the phone, how to exchange business cards correctly)
- School visits
- Event planning
- Teaching foreign language (i.e. the CIR’s native language) classes
- A panel discussion between 3 or 4 ex-CIRs
The lady who did the business manners presentation was really lively and that was probably the presentation I stayed the most awake for. The event planning one, ironically, did not seem very well planned, and the guy didn’t seem very well prepared or to know what he wanted to say, or how to answer anyone’s questions, so considering event planning was one of the things I wanted to find out more about, that was pretty disappointing, but I think this presentation was done by an ex-CIR as well so it must have been nervewracking.
After that, there was a brief meeting with representatives from our respective prefectures, to get information about departure times etc. the following day, and then the rest of the evening was free to spend wandering around Tokyo a bit, or pack, or both.
Then on the last day, we had to meet with the other people traveling to our prefecture and the representatives to finally travel to our placements! Having to be ready for 7am was a struggle, but I think most of us were so eager to get to our actual placement and away from days full of presentations that we managed it pretty well.
Next time I’ll introduce my lovely placement area!~