Friday, 12 October 2007

Tabi - The Journey Begins

Had I the Japanese proficiency I one day hope to possess, I'd have titled this first entry with all of the equivalent Japanese words. As I can't read Japanese writing as yet, Babelfish doesn't do me any good here, either, in making my own haX translation ^^ However, I'd like to make that a motif of these blogs as the ability becomes available to me.

The reason for this blog is to hopefully document the process by which I apply as an Assistant English Teacher in Japan, go through the application process and, if accepted and all goes well, actually get a position in a school over there and get to employ my 1337 language and teaching skills. I also intend to continue keeping a record of my experiences if all goes according to plan and I find myself at this time next year well established in a school somewhere in the islands of Nippon, teaching my heart out.

My desire to go to Japan is three-fold:
  1. The otaku in me screams "animé paradise!" O.O Being the long-time fan of animé that I am, what better place than its land of origin. One of my dreams over the years has been to learn to speak Japanese and to better understand the culture. I will one day watch raw animé, unhindered by the language barrier. But it's not just animé that I'm looking forward to: I really enjoy Asian culture and cuisine - Japan presents me with the opportunity to experience more of both.

  2. As a Christian, going to a pagan country presents a real challenge. The missionary in me wants to see everyone in the world converted to Christianity, and going into a place as spiritually dark as Japan will not only be a real challenge to me, ministerially, but will test my spiritual resolve and provide me with many opportunities to share the gospel of truth.

  3. Japan is close to South Korea. It's just a small hop over to that peninsula where I once spent six months of my life. Catching up with friends won't be so much of a tremendous difficulty once I have settled and actually manage to sort something out. I miss my Korean friends ^^
So how does this all start? Well, I've resolved to go to Japan to teach English after I graduate from Victoria University Wellington next year. It's a decision that I have thought about, prayed about and come to the conclusion of doing something about. JET is probably the most widely known programme for sending young Kiwis over to Japan to teach upon university graduation. Upon being reminded of this recently via email, I shot over to the JET website and proceeded to download and print both the application form and the guidelines for the JET 2008 intake.

So now it's just a matter of sending in the application form together with all of the necessary documentation in order to apply for a position in next year's programme. So far, I have requested my academic record from the university as well as a letter that shows my expected date of graduation. I still need to sort out two references and an authenticated copy of my proof of nationality (passport photocopy signed by a Justice of the Peace), but this application is well on its way to completion. This is just the first step, but I intend to keep this blog apprised of the application process and any other steps that are taken in my journey to Japan.

Currently, I am in my third year of university and will graduate with a BA in English Literature in June next year - in time for being accepted into the 2008 JET intake. I already have a Diploma of Christian Ministry (DipMin) and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA), as well as some teaching experience (during my CELTA training) and assistant teaching experience (when I was over in South Korea in 2003). The only thing necessary to apply for an English language teaching position in Japan is a bachelor degree from a recognised university. These academic and experiential extras that I have are a bonus and should help in securing me a part in the 2008 Jet programme. Having a real interest in Japan and Japanese language and culture - and a love of rice and fish - is also helpful.

Now I just have to do well in my end of year exams (over these next two weeks) and focus on finishing up my degree next trimester. Applying for a job in Japan is the "easy" part - it's proving my worth and following through with competent study to finish my degree that I will struggle with. Perhaps these blog entries and my intent to update this journey will provide me with the motivation needed to reach the end and continue on towards my goals.

Until I post again.



rib said...

here is a spaniard who will eagerly follow your blog...

Timotheos said...

I hope that others will follow suit. I don't intend to update it as much as my old, daily blog, but I will follow the process of getting to Japan and also my travels while over there.

Should be an interesting journey ^^