Jun 10

6/18/20 Free webinar about online opportunities

Minasan, I hope you are staying safe and healthy during these strange and uncertain times. My heart goes out to all the injustice that is happening in the world, and hope that the world can unite to stamp out hate.

Today I wanted to invite you to a free webinar that I will be doing in Japanese about online opportunities on June 18 (Thur) 6 PM EST.

Many people ask me what they can do to find work during these uncertain times. These people had internships or jobs ready to go in Japan or their country, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused cancellations, layoffs and furloughs. 

My answer: think outside the box. There are many opportunities that exist, you just have to FIND them. Although they may not appear perfect, it is *something* you can do to keep moving forward. Action = momentum!

Learn more about the various freelancing and online opportunities during my free webinar, whether it’s part-time, full-time or project-based.

Please note, though, that I will be doing this in Japanese… To be honest, I’m a little nervous that I will sound like a child, but I am ready because this is a topic that I am comfortable discussing. If you want to see me present in my foreign language so that you can realize nobody is “fluent” – please join!! It might give you the confidence that your nihongo is actually quite good. If I can do it, ANYONE can do it!

Free webinar date/time: June 18 (Thurs) 6 PM EST

If you’re interested, please contact me for the link!

Guest blog post by Kasia Lynch, Founder of Ikigai Connections, who supports job-seekers with her blog, job board and online training programs. Although not a former JET, she’s a big supporter of the Great Lakes JETAA and previously lived in Shiga-ken, Kobe, Kyoto, Saitama-ken and Tokyo (total 8 years).


Apr 29

Post-JET Jobs: Using Your Bilingual/Bicultural Skills

Guest blog post by Kasia Lynch, Founder of Ikigai Connections, who supports job-seekers with her blog, job board and online training programs. Although not a former JET, she’s a big supporter of the Great Lakes JETAA and previously lived in Shiga-ken, Kobe, Kyoto, Saitama-ken and Tokyo (total 8 years). She also studied on the same KCJS program in Kyoto with WITLife’s Stacy Smith back in 1998-1999.

I’ve often met JET alumni who have come back from the most incredible time of their life in Japan and struggle with their next career steps.

Here are the top 4 things I hear about this struggle:

  1. What can I possibly do with the experience I gained while on the JET Program? 
  2. I’ve had such a life-changing time in Japan, and I’m super confused about what I want to do. 
  3. I’ve been gone so long in Japan that I don’t know how to find a job in <country>.
  4. I’m “behind” in the job search and/or no one is hiring.

I will answer each of these struggles and provide my top tips on job searching regardless of where you are at in your journey.

Read More
Feb 11

JET Program Alumni Spotlight: Jonathan Kushner

Earlier this month, JET alum Jonathan Kushner was featured on the website of Connect, an online monthly dedicated to the JET Program and English-speaking community in Japan. Mr. Kushner talks about his experiences on JET and how they helped launch his post-JET career.

Alumni Spotlight: Jonathan Kushner


Dec 23

Connect: The Unexpected Path of Life After JET

Lillian Hanako Rowlatt, a former JET (ALT, Niigata-ken, 2003-05) wrote an article for this month’s issue of Connect (an online monthly dedicated to the JET Program and expat community in Japan) about how her JET experience helped launched her career delivering Japanese food across the world.


Nov 27

SurviveInJapan: Why Now is the Perfect Time to Work in Japan

Thomas Chang has lived and worked in Japan since 2015 and is the publisher of the Survive in Japan blog. Thomas came to Japan as an ALT and eventually became a software engineer in Tokyo. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring Tokyo’s many cafes and enjoys drinking a nice cup of coffee early in the weekends.

Japan is one of the most popular destinations, both for tourism and for living. Japan’s anime, food, and technology are enjoyed all over the world and it sparks people’s interest in the country. Japan is also a good place to live, with convenience stores everywhere and very low crime rates. If you’ve ever thought about getting a job and living in Japan, now is the perfect time to do so. This article will show you what makes now the best time to look for a job and what kind of jobs are best for foreigners. 

Japan’s Shrinking Population

One of the biggest reasons why now is the perfect time to move to Japan is the shrinking population. There are far fewer Japanese babies being born today than before the 1970s, resulting in an imbalance of young and old people. In fact, half the population in Japan is over 46 years old. This is causing an economic crisis since there are not enough people working to support the older generation. 

In order to fill this gap, Japan has no choice but to open more doors for foreigners to work and live in the country. As a result, there are more and more job openings available to foreigners every year. 

Japan’s Traditional Work Culture

Japan has a work culture that’s different from the rest of the world and it starts from the hiring process. Instead of hiring one by one when needed, most companies follow a process called shuushoku katsudou where they mass hire new graduates every year. The shuushoku katsudou period would be considered one of the most critical times of your life because, in that year, you would have to choose a company that you would work for for the rest of your life. 

It sounds crazy but the reason is that switching jobs was often looked down upon by society and it was extremely hard to find a company that would hire somebody that has quit their previous job. In fact, this was so extreme that suicide became the number 1 cause of death in Japan for men ages 20-44. 

With times changing and the shrinking population crisis, Japan’s work culture is changing little by little. Shuushoku katsudou is still around but working conditions are improving and more people are able to switch jobs, which means that foreigners can also find jobs.

Opportunities for Foreigners in Japan

English Teacher

This is the most well-known method to start working in Japan. With Japan’s plans to increase English education, there are more and more English teaching jobs available than before …

Click here to read the full post at surviveinjapan.com


Sep 17

Life After JET: Podcast interview with Stephen Horowitz, Director of Legal English Programs

*******

*******

Steven Horowitz (Aichi-ken, Kariya-shi, 1992-94) is the founder of JETwit, a member of the JETAA USA Board of Advisors, and Director of Legal English Programs at St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, NYC, “the most ethnically diverse urban place on the planet.” He also writes for the St. John’s Legal English Blog.

I was recently interviewed for a podcast episode by Louise Kulbicki, founder of StudyLegalEnglish.com, about the legal English work I do at St. John’s Law School with the LLM students and other non-native English speaking students there. Since my experience on JET teaching English and learning to function well in a cross-cultural environment has been core to my current career, and since JETs often want to know what people do after JET, I thought I’d share the interview here in case of interest.

Here’s a link to the podcast episode titled “LL.M. Legal Writing Tips with Stephen Horowitz

Topics covered:

  • Legal English LLM programmes for non-native speakers
  • Legal English writing challenges and tips
  • Using IRAC – Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion
  • Understanding categorization
  • Legal English resources

And here’s the video version of the podcast:

To learn more about what I do, or if you’re interested in getting into the field of legal English, you can read more at the St. John’s Legal English Blog. Feel free to contact me as well. (Did I mention I’m fortunate to work with two other JET alums at St. John’s Law School?)


Mar 10

Who’s going to TESOL International 2017 in Seattle?

The TESOL International 2017 Convention is coming up: March 21-24 in Seattle! I’ll be there presenting on a panel titled “Legal English: Strategies for Effective Communication in Law School” on Thursday morning at 9:30am.

Are any other JETs or JET alumni planning to attend? If so, please feel free to post in the comments section below or to email me directly at jetwit [at] jetwit [dot] com. It would be great to connect with other JETs there, and I’m sure there must be others.

Hope to see some of you there,

–Steven

tesol2017_homepagebanner_735x250

 


Mar 5

St. John’s Legal English: Comprehensible input for legal English students

Steven Horowitz (Aichi-ken, 1992-94) is Director of Legal English at St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, NY and publisher of the St. John’s Legal English blog. He will be attending the upcoming TESOL International Conference in Seattle and will be on a panel titled “Legal Language: Strategies for Effective Communication in Law School” scheduled for March 23.

SJULaw3Comprehensible input for legal English students: Resources, approaches & ideas

International students in LLM and legal English programs at US law schools come to study law, not ESL. At the same time, law study requires deep engagement with texts and concepts that are complex and challenging even for native English speakers. But how do you have substantive class discussions or evaluate students’ legal writing when students are struggling to sufficiently comprehend the language of the reading?

In linguistics, the relevant term is “comprehensible input.”

Click here to read the full blog post on the St. John’s Legal English blog.


Feb 22

 

 

By Mark Flanigan, Nagasaki (2000-04)

 

As a JET alumnus, I look back fondly on the four years I spent living and teaching in Nagasaki Prefecture. Serving on JET was, quite literally, one of those “life-changing” experiences, as it confirmed my career path in the direction of public service and global education. In the 15 years or so since my time in Nagasaki, I have been lucky to have had international roles in the U.S. government, in higher education, and at a private, Japan-focused non-profit foundation. I was even fortunate enough to return to Japan a second time, to earn my MA in Peace Studies in 2012 through the Rotary Peace Center at International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo. Later, I served in a variety of roles in Manhattan with JETAANY between 2012-16.

My most recent career stage brought me back into the classroom, albeit in a different role and a new part of Asia for me. I am currently serving as a WorldTeach Fellow volunteer in Chittagong, Bangladesh, at the Asian University for Women (AUW). It has been both a challenging and rewarding transition back into teaching, as I felt a bit rusty in the beginning and took a bit of time to get back in the groove. Also, my main experiences with Asia had been almost entirely focused on Japan, China, and Korea. For me, South Asian history and culture was something I knew very little about up until a couple of years ago. Being here, I realized how comparatively little I knew about the diverse cultures of the Indian subcontinent of Asia. Nonetheless, it has proven to be an extremely rewarding transition, personally as well as professionally.

 

15267584_1268416913201847_6707886774623943034_n (1)

Me with some of my Pathways students in Bangladesh

Through a friend in New York City, I had first learned about AUW back in 2015. She had been a WorldTeach Fellow here a few years before, volunteering and having a really significant educational and cultural experience. The more I heard about her time in Bangladesh, the more I thought it sounded like a great opportunity to get back in the classroom while making a positive contribution to education for women at a significant institution like AUW. While I definitely enjoyed my four years in Manhattan, working as a Program Director with the Japan ICU Foundation (日本国際基督教大学財団), I also felt ready to take on a new challenge. I applied and was happily accepted as a new volunteer with WorldTeach, and assigned to AUW for the 2016-17 academic year.

AUW was founded in 2008 as a regional hub to help educate underprivileged women throughout different regions of Asia and the Middle East. With a liberal arts curriculum that promotes critical thinking and women’s empowerment, it is a truly encouraging place for young women who have faced numerous challenges in life due to poverty, gender bias, and sectarian conflict. With 600 students (and over 400 alumnae) from 15 different countries, including Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Palestine, and others, AUW is an amazingly diverse place. The dynamic environment, small class sizes, and daily interaction of people with many different ideas, perspectives, and cultures makes it an esteemed center of higher education in South Asia.

However, I almost missed my chance to be here. Less than one month before I was due to arrive at AUW, we heard the news of the terrible attack in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. All I knew was that international residents of the city (and their local friends and colleagues) had been targeted specifically in a vicious terror strike. The attackers, while a definite minority in terms of the general population, were sending a very clear and deadly message. Although the attack did not take place in Chittagong, it was great cause for concern among both WorldTeach and AUW staff, as well as present and future volunteers. At that time, it was not clear whether we would still be able to serve in Bangladesh, or how the program might proceed. Many safety protocols would need to be analyzed and revised before a final decision could be made. In the end we were still given the option to come, which I was definitely happy to hear.

I have now been here for seven months, teaching two different groups of students over the autumn and now spring terms. My classes are part of the Pathways for Promise Program at AUW, which is the recently developed entry point for women who have not had as much formal preparation to succeed in higher education. Many of them have come as former workers from the garment factories of Bangladesh, while others are daughters of Grameen Bank loan recipients, refugees from the persecuted Rohingya community, as well as indigenous minorities from the Chittagong Hill tracts region. In addition to Bangladeshis, Pathways students have come from Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Myanmar. They will take classes for approximately one year in Reading and Writing as well as Listening and Speaking, and also study Math and IT while participating in Community Time and Social Mentoring workshops and events.

eid-lunch-banquet

A lovely display of Bengali cuisine

If they complete the Pathways Program successfully and meet all the exam requirements, they will advance to the one-year Access Academy and then an additional three years of undergraduate study at AUW. In all, the successful ones will graduate in five years with their bachelor’s degree in hand. Against all odds, this is their big chance to earn their college degree. Without the encouragement and funding support to match their own amazing dedication, it would most likely be impossible. It will not be easy for them. Many are far away from home and spend almost all of their time on the small but secure campus. They live in dormitories with 2-5 students per room, eat in the dining hall, and take all their classes together, so there is very little time for privacy or quiet reflection. Nonetheless, they are very eager to learn and make the most of this unique opportunity they have been granted.

It goes without saying that my students inspire me each and every day. Teaching them is really one of the biggest joys of my life here, and in many ways takes me back to my first experience teaching overseas in Japan. Although those two times are separated by about 15 years and many more miles, there are also some interesting parallels between them. Of the many things I have discovered over my time here thus far at AUW, one of the most interesting has been the surprising number of existing connections here between Bangladesh and Japan. As a former JET who later studied at ICU and worked to promote increased U.S.-Japan ties, it’s been a really pleasant surprise to find out about and help to build on these great bilateral bonds of friendship.

The first one, I discovered quite by accident. In the early part of the autumn semester, I was walking in the hallway outside of my office when I heard the distinct counts of “ICHI, NI, SAN, SHIIII!!” emanating from the level above. Intrigued, I climbed the staircase up to the next floor and was surprised to discover the gymnasium filled with perfect rows of students. They were in straight lines, balanced in strict stances, with fists alternately chambered by their side and then thrust forward in a crisp motion I instantly recognized. My mind wandered back to our small dojo in Hirado City, Nagasaki, where I spent countless hours drilling in those very same “kihon” movements. I was curious to find out more, so I made arrangements to return and observe a longer class in session.

It was then that I met Ms. Maria Chakraboty, their instructor, a remarkable woman from Bangladesh who has achieved her 5-Dan rank in Shotokan Karate. Maria serves as a real inspiration to her students, as AUW’s Associate Director of Physical Education and Karate instructor. Maria grew up in Chittagong, the same city where AUW is based, and faced hardships of her own due to people judging her negatively by her gender. She was strongly discouraged by others in her pursuit of Karate, but through the encouragement of her instructors, she has achieved a remarkable number of accomplishments. For her students, Maria is a living, breathing example of a successful adult woman, who has faced down discrimination and has continued her own personal growth through embracing the Japanese art of Karate. She has been able to impart her wisdom and experience to hundreds of young students through the years. Such is the wonderful environment of a cross-cultural, liberal arts university like AUW.

11289009_10205684723055824_9180447409746238676_o

Maria (Center) training with some of her AUW students

In addition to Karate,  there are other tangible bonds of kizuna between AUW and Japan. Attending the University’s Club Fair this past autumn, I was happy to learn that AUW students are involved in all kinds of social and academic club activities. Similar to Japan, students here balance their time between formal classes and organized clubs, like Model UN, Animal Welfare, a variety of sports, and other pursuits. Most interestingly to me, I discovered that there is a very active group of students on campus who are involved in the AUW Japan Circle Club! They are extremely genki and know an amazing amount of things regarding Japanese culture. They study Japanese on their own (as it is not taught here), read manga, watch anime, and even make their own kimono and other clothing by hand! Upon meeting them, I shared my experience as a JET alumnus and former ICU graduate student. They asked me to serve as their faculty advisor, to which I most happily agreed!

15241244_1255069251227341_4088807834390357307_n

With some of the AUW Japan Circle Club students (and their hand-made clothing)!

I have been very happy to be working with them on various projects here this term. Most specifically, we have planned and organized a Japanese book drive among some of my colleagues and friends in Japan and Hong Kong. Through their kind and generous help, we have now received about seven boxes full of manga, books, magazines, language textbooks, and Japanese-English dictionaries from abroad! All of these were donated to the AUW library, so students can access them freely anytime. As none of our students have been able to visit Japan as of yet, they really love the chance to see any kind of “hon mono” firsthand. One Tokyo friend in particular also sent a variety of delicious Japanese candies, which were a big hit with the students! We are still interested in receiving any other items from Japan, if anyone would like to donate. Additionally, the students performed a number of Japanese songs (in Japanese) and dances for our recent Lunar New Year Festival. We hope to develop exchange partnerships with AUW and universities in Japan, in order to offer study abroad opportunities in both directions. Interestingly, at least one AUW alumna is now studying in Japan, earning her Master’s degree at the United Nations University (UNU) in Tokyo!

Lastly, there is a very robust level of support for AUW in Tokyo. As part of the global support network for AUW students, a number of highly-accomplished and very influential donors make up the “Friends of AUW Japan” organization. Among them is Ms. Kathy Matsui,Vice Chair of Goldman Sachs Japan,who has a long and deep connection to AUW. In 2007, she was chosen by the Wall Street Journal newspaper as one of the “10 Women to Watch in Asia” for her work on the “Womenomics” theme, and serves as a board member of the AUW Support Foundation. Ms. Matsui and her husband, Mr. Jesper Koll, have been major donors to AUW since its inception, and they continue to look for ways to promote exchange between AUW and Japanese universities and companies. In addition, First Lady Akie Abe serves as an official Patron of AUW and has been actively involved with a number of fundraising efforts on behalf of the university in Tokyo over the past few years. Lastly, AUW has enjoyed very generous support through the past several years from a number of Japanese companies like HITACHI, MITSUI & CO., TOSHIBA CORPORATION, and UNIQLO.

Group-Photo-at-AUW-Japan-Event

 First Lady Akie Abe (center) and Ms. Kathy Matsui (second from right)

In conclusion, I would say my time here in Bangladesh has been a wonderful journey thus far. In many ways, it’s a completely new (and sometimes bumpy) experience for me, living in South Asia and in a developing, Muslim-majority country for the first time. Culturally, it’s much different than what I was used to, but that’s been a good opportunity to broaden my own horizons and question my preconceived notions about life as well. My students in the Pathways for Promise Program specifically, and AUW students in general, have taught me so much and really inspired me through their own energy, resilience, and desire to learn. As a nice coincidence, this latest chapter in my career also brings me back to teaching and to Japan in many ways. I am happy to have so many “natsukashii” moments here, to help teach these remarkable young women, and also to be in a position to try and advance the relationships between people in Bangladesh and Japan. In some ways, it’s the most unexpected yet personally satisfying addition to my time here at AUW. I’m happy to make the most of all these fortuitous connections during my time here in Bangladesh and beyond.

 

=================================================================================

Mark Flanigan is currently a WorldTeach Fellow volunteer in Chittagong, Bangladesh, at the Asian University for Women (AUW). Mark served as an ALT in Nagasaki Prefecture from 2000-4, and later studied for his MA in Peace Studies as a Rotary Peace Fellow at the International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo from 2010-12. After graduating from ICU in 2012, he spent four years working for the Japan ICU Foundation in NYC. He has also held leadership roles in the JET Alumni Associations of both New York and Washington, DC. He can be reached at markinmitaka(at)gmail.com

mark-in-bangladesh


Feb 1

Life After JET: Fil Ha

By Jon Dao(Toyama-ken, 2009-12) for his podcast Discussions with Dao. Jon works as a speech coach and personal trainer.


Filmore Ha (Ibaraki-ken, 2006-08) on growing up in the South and living in Japan.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/304346343″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]


Nov 6

Life After JET: William Agor

By Jon Dao(Toyama-ken, 2009-12) for his podcast Discussions with Dao. Jon works as a speech coach and personal trainer.

 


[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/291850779″ params=”color=ff5500&inverse=false&auto_play=false&show_user=true” width=”100%” height=”20″ iframe=”true” /]

Here’s an interesting one– William reached out to me after I made the Leaving Home (Again) video. He’s another former JET who could relate, so of course I invited him to talk about his experiences more. Here’s the breakdown of what’s discussed:

Why do JET? [1:00]

Was it worth it? [6:50]

3 Years, “The Sweet Spot” [12:45]

Would you go back? [23:00]

Advice for Returning JETs [27:15]

Option: Relocate [32:45]

Throwing Yourself a Pity-Party [39:30]

You can reach William here: genkinagaijin [at] yahoo.com


Oct 5

Good Doc, Bad Doc

Nathaniel Simmons (Nara-ken, 2007-2009) is currently a communication professor at Western Governors University and lives in Columbus, OH, USA. He teaches a variety of intercultural, interpersonal, and health communication courses. He has researched and published several scholarly articles regarding privacy management between foreign English teachers and Japanese co-workers in Japan and is currently working on turning his research into a book.

What makes a good or bad medical professional?

From school medical checks to hospital visits, the average ALT has several medical encounters throughout their year(s) in Japan.  Intrigued by my own experiences within the Japanese medical world, I interviewed 49 foreign English teachers in Japan about their healthcare experiences, and here’s what they said (in a much more condensed format):

Bad providers violate patients’ cultural expectations 

ALTs perceived providers that “violated,” and/or did not perform culturally expected practices as “bad” providers.  In other words, if a Japanese medical profession didn’t act as expected, the ALT perceived the experience and the medical provider as negative, or “bad.”  As an example, one English teacher characterized the difference between a “good” and “bad” doctor.  The following is an excerpt that distinguished between two physicians this English teacher encountered while seeking treatment for bronchitis.

“I walk into his [the doctor’s] office and he’s like, ‘Yeah, you’re not healthy I can hear you from outside.  This isn’t just a cold is it?’ ‘No.’  Just from hearing me cough he knew that I wasn’t well.  He says to me, ‘You either have bronchitis or pneumonia.  We’re going to take an x-ray and blood tests to find out.’  Difference in doctor right there! One of them [the bad one] just hands out a diagnosis and is like I think you might need antibiotics and the other [the good one] is like I want to do a blood test and do an x-ray to make sure you need the antibiotics and if they’re the right kind.  So that doctor, the good doctor, figures out all the information I needed.  The bad doctor, is like, ‘I’m going to give you medicine now.  Goodbye.  Give me ¥600.’”

This ALT’s experience with an array of Japanese medical professionals within Japan allowed the ALT to construct a comparison and contrast of “good” and “bad” doctors.  According to this ALT, good doctors either knew quickly what was wrong with a patient or took immediate action to determine what was causing the patient illness or discomfort as well as how to alleviate it.  The “good” doctor sought to understand the patient’s perspective and the illness versus simply handing out an antibiotic which may not treat the illness for a fee.

Throughout interviews with ALTs, “bad” providers were described as:

  • Ignited fear within the patient(s) by thinking out-loud and muttering possible diagnoses.
  • Provided no verbal or nonverbal cues, especially on invasive exams like pap smears.
  • Did not provide an “appropriate/adequate” diagnosis.

Good providers attend to the patients’ cultural expectations

ALTs believed that “good” providers should attend to their cultural expectations (i.e., all of those standards and norms for practice in one’s home culture).  In other words, “good doctors” should behave and act like one might expect in their home country.  For instance, when discussing a positive time with a doctor, one English teacher said:

People here don’t always smile when they meet you and things like that.  As a westerner you think, ‘Oh you don’t like me,’ but no it’s just because Japanese don’t smile.  When he [the doctor] first met me, he smiled at me, he introduced himself [in English], and so far it’s all been working out.”

Overall, “good” providers were described in interviews as:

  • “Very nice and understanding.”
  • “Similar to what I’d experience back home.”
  • Had “appropriate” body language.
  • Exceeded expectations on providing medical education, understanding, and comprehension to patients.

What next?

This study raises the importance of intercultural health communication training.  More programs need it.  English teachers are placed throughout Japan by numerous organizations and boards of education and are expected to live well.  However, that “living well” can be complicated when foreigners expect intercultural interactions to progress flawlessly and as according to their own culture.  Some ALTs even chose to not re-contract due to their health care experiences in Japan (and not necessarily because they are in poor health).  Scholars argue about “who should adapt to whom,” but that doesn’t really help us in the day-to-day life of a foreigner navigating a medical system (in Japan).

Here are some suggestions, what others do you have?

  1. Expect difference.
  2. Do your homework.
    1. Research the Japanese medical system.
      1. What similarities, if any, exist between Japan and your home country?
      2. What differences, if any, exist between Japan and your home country?
    2. Google Japanese words for common symptoms and your current prescriptions.
    3. Ask questions to a friend, other English teachers, and co-workers (if you feel comfortable).
      1. What should I expect when I go to the doctor/dentist/hospital?
      2. What surprised you about the Japanese medical world? (to other foreigners).
      3. What over the counter medicine do you find works best for _____?
  3. Laughter helps.
  4. Remember that Japanese medical professionals are trained professionals.
  5. Insert your tips here ______________!

This blog post is an adaptation of the scholarly article:

Simmons, N. (2016). (De-)legitimizing medical professional discourses: Evaluations from foreign English teachers in Japan. Language & Intercultural Communication, 16(2), 1-18. doi:10.1080/14708477.2015.1113984

Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14708477.2015.1113984?journalCode=rmli20 

 


Sep 4

By Jon Dao(Toyama-ken, 2009-12) for his podcast Discussions with Dao. Jon works as a speech coach and personal trainer.


The third appearance by former Toyama JET Randy Higashi. Unlike most of the other returnees I know, Randy actually went back to Japan for another two year stint. In this episode, we spend a lot of the discussion comparing the two experiences. Be sure to follow Randy on Instagram and check out the Takkomachi Facebook Page!

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/280306938″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Why go back again? (1:20)

Which stay in Japan was better– the first or second? (8:36)

 How does it feel to come back a second time? (10:10)

How can you tell going back to work in Japan is a good decision or not? (12:57)

Did you see unrealistic expectations and fandom of Japan from ALTs? (16:46)

The Japanese Office Culture (19:40)

Fan Question (24:40

Don’t Leave Your Cleaning/Packing Up Til the End (30:30)

Omiyage Again (38:02)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAeJ7HqS7tt/


Aug 22

By Jon Dao(Toyama-ken, 2009-12) for his podcast Discussions with Dao. Jon works as a speech coach andpersonal trainer.

 

 


Fresh off the plane (okay maybe more like a few weeks) from a 5 year stint in the JET Programme, here’s graphic designer Patrick Finn! Be sure to follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

The “Best Thing” being back (1:20)

Using Credit Cards Over There (4:10)

Music/Concerts in Japan (8:38)

Japan Apologists (15:20)

Why do the JET Program? (17:10)

What kept you going for 5 years? (20:10)

Is JET “worth it” for personal and professional development? (26:41)

“Just living alone and kind of having to start fresh, I could throw away any ties I had to people, right? Okay, I can finally be me. No one expects anything of me because they don’t know me. So I don’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations. Be 100% me and build my reputation around that.”

Traveling “Outside” (31:17)

Silence on the Struggle (33:07)

 Get the Pension Refund (37:40)

Fan Question (40:32)

 

“If you find yourself doing things that you could’ve been doing where you came from, You shouldn’t be there. You’re making a mistake. You’re not making the most of your time, and you’re wasting someone else’s opportunity.”

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/278243175″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

 


Jul 31

By Jon Dao(Toyama-ken, 2009-12). Jon works as a speech coach and personal trainer.


 

August is an exciting time for the JET community. For some, it’s the start of life as an ALT and CIR. For others, it marks the time to say goodbye to that trek and return home.

The decision to come home is a sigh of relief for some. I’ve heard many JETs say, “If this experience taught me anything, it’s that I never want to be that far away from family again.”

For me, it was a little harder to get adjusted.

But it’s not just the change of scenery that takes getting used to! What’s next for your career is something that isn’t covered enough.

Maybe you’ll go teach abroad in another country. Maybe you’ll apply to grad school. Maybe you’ll enjoy a year to “take it easy” and do some soul-searching. All of those are perfectly fine choices.

Back then, I’d disagree. I’d say that’s a waste of time. I would’ve said that’s just putting things on delay.

But no, all of those paths were much better than the one I took. After I became PA, I felt like I couldn’t just be an ALT anymore. I should be moving on to “bigger and better” things– something that I never clearly defined. And so I went back home without any real inkling of what to do next.

It became too easy to regret my decision.

I kept my sights set on the past which only made me more miserable. My day to day was just about existing, not living.

Finding a new job wasn’t easy– and this is something that deserves more attention.

For all the JETs who have their next gig lined up, that is great stuff.

For all the JETs who have no clue what’s in store next, I just want you to know you aren’t alone. There are many JETs in the same boat who don’t speak up enough about it. And when you don’t hear those kinds of stories, you might get even more frustrated with your situation.

But again, you are not alone.


Page Rank