JET Application + thinking about “American culture”
I turned in my application for the JET Program last Friday. It was one of the most nerve wracking things I have ever done. So much heart goes into explaining why one would want to be an assistant English teacher in a foreign country, and a mistake as small as a misspelling of just one word can throw you out of the running. I must have read my application at least two dozen times before deciding that I would submit it and print it out. I must have read my Statement of Purpose four dozen times. I was being very cautious about this regiment they want their applicants to follow. I wanted to make sure that all this hard work wouldn’t be thrown off board because of something miniscule. Do any of you other 2014 JET applicants feel the same way?
Unlike most JET applicants I’ve been reading up on (per their blogs anyway), I really feel like I’m one of the older ones. I’m not all that much older, but it’s been a few years since I’ve graduated with my bachelor’s and had a job in the “real world” with my own apartment, car, etc. In other words, I’m not too fresh out of college, but still in good shape enough to be “genki” enough for a classroom.
I’ve been going over some JET interview questions I found on the net, one of them ask “How would you describe American culture?” It really got me thinking. I now realize that I’m not sure what “American culture” is. But I think that through the JET Program, somehow I can realize “American culture” more from a far by taking a step back from it. Of course, I’ll have to come up with a strong response even before ever going to Japan through JET (if ever), but these questions really get me thinking about what American culture really is (and being able to state such without sounding over-patriotic or down-talking America.
Anywho, I’m excited about the opportunity and am glad the first phase (applications) is over so I can rest my mind a bit.