Monday, June 5, 2017

Mail? From my Japan? It's more likely than you think.

On Friday, June 2nd I received a notice in my mailbox that I had missed a delivery. The sender? Japan. I was confused. I hadn't ordered anything. I hadn't received any emails saying to expect a package. At the same time I was excited. Was this from my board of education (BOE)? Would this have my specific placement details? Fortunately my post office is open on Saturday mornings, so I stopped in on my way to church to pick up the mysterious package to find out what was inside.

Anticlimactically, it was not from my BOE nor did it have the specifics of my placement. What it did have were four documents. The first is a welcome letter. This introduced my Prefectural Advisors and the people in charge of the JET Program in Nagasaki. It also outlined what I could expect as far as pay date, housing, clothing, food, ecetera. A lot of the information I already knew, like where Nagasaki was located, and that some people have to pay key money. It's really a nice introduction if you've done zero research. 

The next document is a Notice of Appointment. This was, once again, a document filled with information if you still didn't know what you were doing and had never looked around the JET website. It stated the job description, how much I would get paid, and that I won't have to pay for airfare if I do my job. 

The third document is the Nagasaki Prefecture Terms and Conditions for an ALT. Now this document was a doozy. This document contains the full extent of what is expected on the job, including three pages dedicated to explaining work hours, holidays, and different types of leave. One point I found interesting is that I get time off for New Years from December 29-January 3 in addition to all Japanese national holidays. Looks like I'm going to need a Japanese calendar!

The fourth and final document is a Statement of Agreement. By signing that document I'm agreeing to work in Nagasaki. If I don't agree with anything in the packet then I am forfeiting my position as an ALT in the JET Program. At this stage in the game, I'm not turning back. I've already started packing and I've already sold my couch. Fortunately I don't need to mail anything back, I just need to bring the documents with me. 

Now the waiting game continues as I wait to see where exactly I'm getting placed in Nagasaki for my adventure in the land of the rising sun. 

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