About 2 months ago, Pat and I were preparing for the JET Programme interview. After about a month of paperwork for the initial application process beforehand, we nailed an interview with the Japanese Embassy. It turns out, we were successful! As of March 28, 2019 we passed the interview and were accepted into the JET Programme (it was Pat’s new suit that really nailed it)!!

It was a long waiting period between the application process, the interview and then the final results. In total, the process took about 4 months. In fact, a lot can change in 4 months.

Here’s what happened. In the beginning, Pat and I at the time of the initial application were feeling stuck and needed something else to stay afloat financially – especially with new student loans to pay off. While I was only working part-time as a TA, Pat was only getting a few classes a week. It was enough, but we needed more to be a little bit more comfortable; living paycheque to paycheque is stressful. We felt that JET would be a great opportunity to expand our horizons, and work full-time to make and save some money while also exploring a new country.

While we were waiting throughout this process, Pat and I had some opportunities to do some extra supply work and really show our current employers that we really love what we are doing. Suddenly, one resignation after another, Pat and I found ourselves taking over a few new classes for those who resigned. We got promoted and were super excited to have more on our plate here in Ottawa. We now work almost full time – myself; between a full afternoon class and Starbucks, and Pat; full morning and afternoon classes!

Since the JET Programme made us wait forever for the results after the interview and upon getting the offers for more classes, we had some time to think. We started asking ourselves: are we happy here now? Are we successful here in Ottawa now? What would be getting from JET that we would be leaving behind here in Ottawa? Should we continue building our Canadian experience? The JET position is for a TA while we are lead teachers now! Can we guarantee our placements together? All of these questions were very overwhelming… and each conversation led us to believe that the JET Programme isn’t the best decision right now. We don’t want to gamble leaving behind our amazing positions that we have right now for something entry level. Finally, we decided to stay. After, we found out we passes the interview.

In our hearts, we believe we made the right choice. Now, there’s no crazy build up in the middle of summer – we can fully enjoy that now. As well as we get to stay and expand our lives here. We have no reason to escape anymore, which in turn probably would have caught up to us while in Japan anyways. We immediately felt relieved when we made that decision, even before knowing the results of the interview.

We are still counting down the days until our Japan 2020 trip beginning July 1, 2020. We want to experience Japan first before making any rash decisions. In this way, we can test the waters and decide where we want to live and guarantee our placements together. With that being said, we are escaping the basement and we signed a lease for a spot by the canal. Some greenery and quiet will be good for us before starting an adventure the year after this one.

Lastly, I would like to end this post by thanking everyone who supported us throughout the JET application and interview process – especially those who supported us in the decision to stay for at least one more year. We love you!! ❤

We love you! Fernie, B.C March, 2019.

Do you have overseas experience – teaching or otherwise? Leave a comment or feel free to contact us!

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