So now you’ve thought about why you want to apply to the JET Programme. Are you ready for what lies next?
Hours… and hours… of paperwork. Thankfully most of it is online. I’m not going to go into specifics of the application, you can find that almost anywhere. The basic process is the initial, half online half handwritten application. Start on your application as soon as the portal opens. You will need all the time you can get. In Canada I believe the portal opened either September or October. But applications were due the second week of November. Between all the referral letters, transcripts, medical notes, and everything else, you will need to commit a lot of time to collecting everything. Even more if you decide to do Early Departure.
Pay attention especially to the tiny, specific, itty bitty details that are on your forms (like don’t staple it, use a paperclip). Small things like not following directions can get you disqualified before they even look through your application.
The only thing more nerve-wracking than the sheer amount of paperwork is the Statement of Purpose. This should be the first thing you start when the application portal opens. Have it proof read a billion and two times. I’m kidding, but have all kinds of people read it — academics, friends, family. They all have something they can contribute to it — your friends and family know different sides of you, and academically inclined people can check for grammar and if everything flows smoothly. I had about nine people check over my statement before I sent it off. A big tip is to try and make yourself memorable, as well, leave them wanting more. Them=the people reading your statement. I don’t mean leave a super awful cliffhanger, just tell them a brief story that will peak their interest and gives room for them to ask more questions. But keep in mind, you only get two double-spaced pages. Be concise, make sure you answer all the important questions. You can elaborate later in your interview.
Make sure to send everything in before the due date, and then it’s time to play the waiting game. Try to keep busy during this time, because checking your email every 5 minutes will consume you. I know. It consumed me until I finally got the notification on January 13th that I was accepted for an interview.