Throwback Thursday: April “Ido”

After sakura season comes “ido” season, which I experienced for the first time this year.

Ido” means ‘change’, which is a fitting word to describe April, as both the fiscal year and the school year actually start in April, unlike back home where the school year starts in September. This is why in a lot of anime or manga, at graduation or school entrance time for the characters, there’ll be cherry blossoms everywhere, rather than autumn leaves.

So, April is a month of new beginnings for both children and adults, with children starting a new school year, or depending on their age, starting at a new school entirely, and for adults, a lot of companies have their new employees (especially newly-graduated new employees) start in April. For the already established employees, there’s “jinji ido” (人事異動),  which can be translated as the “personnel reshuffle” or “staff reassignment”.

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Throwback Thursday: Translating and Interpreting Course

Continuing my posts about the JET Programme things, this week I thought I’d post about the Translating & Interpreting course that JET runs in collaboration with JIAM (Japan Intercultural Academy of Municipalities) each December. This is a course that can be taken by CIRs or ALTs, but I got the impression that the majority of participants are CIRs, which would make sense since CIRs are the ones that do more translating and interpreting generally.

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Throwback Thursday: Tokyo Mid Year Conference for CIRs

I feel like I haven’t done a proper CIR-related post in a while, so I thought I’d write about the mid-year conference all the 1st-3rd year CIRs have to go to in Tokyo every year. I’m not sure if the ALTs have a similar thing to this, so I’ll just be focusing on the CIR one.

Basically, this is a 3-day conference of powerpoints and workshops by guest speakers, some of whom are previous CIRs. The conference as a whole is a good opportunity to both find out about all the different things CIRs can do in their placements, but also to get advice from and network with your fellow CIRs.Read More »

Travelling to Japan

Sorry for the lack of posts! I uploaded all of the previous blog posts before I actually came to Japan, so once I got here I had to wait to get my internet sorted out and didn’t finally get it until a few days ago, so my posts weren’t as consistent as I wanted.

Today I thought I’d cover the actual journey to Japan. I had planned to post about Tokyo Orientation in this post as well, but as it got a bit long before I even started that part I’ll leave it to another post.

My assigned flight was with Qatar Airways from Heathrow, stopping at Doha Hamad International Airport to change planes for Tokyo. From Heathrow to Doha was 6 hours, then from Doha to Tokyo was 10 hours(!)Read More »

Pre-Departure Orientation

I realise it’s been a week since I last posted, but it’s currently the week before I leave for Japan so things have been getting busy, and I changed my mind on what I was going to post about as well.

I thought I’d write a bit about the Pre-Departure Orientation so people can get a bit of an idea what it involves. I went to the one in London since I’m in England, so other Pre-Departure Orientations might be a bit different, I don’t know.Read More »

How I Became a CIR

So, the main thing I had trouble finding when I was looking for information about becoming a CIR was about the application process and what the interview was like etc. so I thought I’d use this post to talk about that. It’s quite a long process though so sorry for the wall of text.

The application period is around October-November time to apply to go out to Japan the following Summer. This was fortunate for me as I finished my dissertation the September of the year I applied.

Before you start compiling all your paper documents (and trust me, there are a lot to compile), you have to go onto the JET website and complete their online application form. After you’ve done that, it will give you access to the forms you need to print off and submit. The reason there are a lot of papers to get together is that you have to not only submit original copies of each form and document, but also 3 photocopies of each item to also be included in the envelope you send everything off in. What’s more, you have to send them some documents which you have to pay for, such as an academic transcript and a Statement of Physician (a doctor’s statement saying you’re all fit and healthy, or if not quite, what conditions you have). Then, you also need photocopies of things like university degree certificate, passport, TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) certificates, as well as two references from different people, and a personal statement. All of these things have to be sent to the Japanese Embassy by post.Read More »

10 Days Before Departure

Hi there!

This will be my first post on this blog, so as a little introduction:

I’m a girl from England about to become a Co-Ordinator for International Relations (CIR for short) in Japan.

The CIR position is part of the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme. Unlike the Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) position, to become a CIR you need to have a good level of Japanese – they say ideally JLPT N2 level. To apply to the JET Programme, you also need to have a university degree.Read More »