Q&A Session For Departing JETs

Introduction

Depending on the chapter and the consulate, the JETAA chapters take a varying degree of responsibility for organizing and providing content for the Q&A Sessions for departing JETs. Some chapters like Hawaii's provide support to the consulate and have an hour or two at the Q&A session. Other chapters like JETAA Southeast are responsible for organizing and fully manning the Q&A session with the consulate providing the location and some support but the chapter doing most of the work. It is important to note that this Q&A session is different from the mandatory pre-departure Q&A typically held the evening before the JETs depart.

Time / Location to hold event

One to two months prior to departure is the best time to hold the event as it gives the attendees time to take advantage of the learnings they get from the Q&A session. Typically the event is held at the consulate, although if there are a large number of departees then space can be a problem. The event will usually run all day. A typical schedule would be Q&A Schedule.doc

Suggestions

You can divide the sessions up into two types of sessions. Those that are useful for everyone and a set of break-out sessions where the departing JETs can recieve advice on the topics they are most interested in. Suggested topics for the sessions include:

All Participants

  • Introduction - Typically a session led by the JET liason at the consulate who will walk the departing JETs through a variety of materials and lay the framework for the rest of the session.
  • Team Teaching Demo - A demo given by two former JETs or Japanese teachers, typically in Japanese with the departing JETs playing the role of students, their limited knowledge of Japanese similar to the Japanese students' limited knowledge of english. Typical activities include teaching Janken, introductions, etc.
  • What to bring Q&A - Go over a list of typical items to take to Japan then answer the questions of the departees, typically regulatory questions such as questions about medicine should be answered by the JET liason at the consulate.

Break-out Sessions

  • Elementary and JHS ALT - A session that explains what a Elementary and JHS ALT should expect to do and some suggestions for ways to handle potentially difficult situations and avoid making mistakes. This session also explains the difference in organization between the ALTs employed by cities and towns and ALTs employed by the prefectures.
  • HS ALT - A session that explains what a HS ALT should expect to do and some suggestions for ways to handle potentially difficult situations and avoid making mistakes. This session also explains the difference in organization between the ALTs employed by cities and towns and ALTs employed by the prefectures.
  • Finances - How JETs are paid, places to bank, how to transfer money back to the US, and how to save money and make sure you have enough to live well, but also to have some left over when you leave.
  • Travelling in Japan and around Japan - A guide to travelling in Japan and around Japan and ways to save money yet experience everything that the country and it's neighbors have to offer.
  • Rural JET - Advice for living in a small town and how it differs from both living in a larger town in Japan as well as a small town in the US.
  • Urban JET - Advice for those living in large cities and how it differs from the rural areas of Japan as well as from large cities in the US.
  • Minority JET - Advice for minorities and how to handle potential situations that may arise while they are in Japan, including understanding the typical Japanese views of minorities.
  • Female JET - Advice for women and how to handle potential situations that may arise while they are in Japan, including understanding the typical Japanese views of minorities.
  • Japanese Food and Etiquette - How to order food at a restaurant, how to handle yourself at an enkai, etc.

Other comments

This event can be combined with other events held immediately after or in the weeks afterwards such as:

  • Enkai renshu - A dinner held at a Japanese Restaurant in traditional style so that departing JETs have exposure to being at an enkai.
  • Departee Picnic - Allows family members to participate and have their questions answered as well in a more informal setting.
  • Karaoke - Gives many departing JETs their first exposure to doing Karaoke.
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