Applying to The JET Program & Taking a TEFL Course

by David
(Miami, FL, USA)

I want to apply to The JET Program. If I start a TEFL course now, I won't be finished by the time I turn in my resume/application this fall.

Should I mention that I am currently working on a certification?

They have various offerings (basic, educator, professional, etc). Should I go for a basic one or are the more expensive ones better?

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Dec 19, 2017
Jet Program and TEFL Certifications
by: John

Hi David,
Your question is a bit on the personal side. From the JET perspective, TEFL qualifications are not as much of a consideration as the situation of being a recent graduate. As a significant consideration in their hiring philosophy is that it is a youth to youth cultural exchange.

So their tendency is to hire recent graduates. Being that recent grads are more likely to be into or understand hip Japanese pop culture than someone whose is pushing 50.

So in a nut shell even if you have a 120 hour TEFL course under your belt, but show little enthusiasm and write a poor essay to JET, you will probably get blown out by a go-getter with an up beat attitude.

However on their website they do state "TESL/TEFL certification is not a requirement for participation on the JET Program but such certification will be an asset during the selection process." So having TEFL qualification can give you an edge in this highly competitive field.

Another thing or two to consider is that the TEFL definitely will not hurt you and considering that you do not have any input on your placement in Japan via their program, if you find out that you do not like the experience and feel that Japan is not right for you, you can always use your accrued experience and teaching certification to get jobs literally all over the world.

So Lastly, if you definitely want to get into teaching no matter what, then spend the extra money on a bigger course because you can always take a job in another country that is more to your liking and become a bit of a TEFL nomad teaching your way around the world.

Hope this helps and good luck to you!

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