The following are a number of Frequently Asked Questions made by new or incoming JETs. Though many of the answers really are ESID (every situation is different), we tried to supply answers to the best of our ability.
Where will I be living?
Hiroshima Prefecture is a part of the Chugoku Region. It is tucked across the Seto Inland Sea from Shikoku. The summers are hot and humid and fall, winter, and spring are mild. If you’re arriving in August be prepared to bring light, but professional clothing, and drink lots of water. There are very few earthquakes, sometimes floods and mudslides, but most typhoons are blocked by Shikoku. It is a comfortable place to live situated in the middle of Japan.
Your placement in the prefecture could be a number of places. We have JETs located in all regions of the Prefecture including Hiroshima City, Fukuyama, Kure, Mihara-Onomichi, Higashi-Hiroshima, and the North.
Hiroshima Prefecture is a beautiful place with several World Heritage Sites, beautiful tourist destinations, and delicious food. You can see the wonderful Miyajima Island, and eat many local delicacies like fried oysters, momji manju, and okonomiyaki. We hope you’ll enjoy your time here!
What will my apartment be like?
Within Hiroshima Prefecture there are a great variety of housing and apartment situations.
Municipal or City JETs, (your Placement Sheet says “-shi”) who usually teach Elementary and Junior High, typically live in affordable, subsidized teacher housing, or kyoshokuin jutaku (教職員住宅). The rent is only about 10,000 yen/month, and the quality can vary greatly depending on your region and how well your predecessor took care of the place. These places are typically pretty old and may be very out of the way. You do have the option of moving into private housing, but rent can be very high and likely won’t be covered by your contracting organization.
Prefectural, or Senior High School, JETs (your Placement Sheet says “Hiroshima-ken”) may also live in teacher housing if it is available, though many need to find their own private housing. Most SHS JETs will try to move into their predecessor’s old apartment, which is usually the most frugal and stressfree choice besides moving into teacher housing. Because it’s private housing, these places are usually in excellent locations and very convenient for work or travel.
For all JETs, unless your predecessor has agreed to it, there is no guarantee that your apartment will be furnished. It may not even come with an air conditioner. For specifics about your housing situation, please contact your CO or predecessor directly as soon as possible.
How much money should I bring?
You should bring about $2000-$3000 (~£1500-£2300) to have on hand.
What will I do at work?
The duties for an ALT vary greatly by school, but some general expectations include:
–Team-teaching or assisting JTEs
–Creating and designing lesson plans
–Recording speaking tests
–Assisting in the preparation of teaching materials
–Providing info to JTEs on language & related subjects
–Correcting or marking tests and papers
–Assisting with speech contests
–Conducting interview tests
–Participating in ECA with students
–Assisting with other activities as specified by the CO
–Guide for visitors or sister-school reps
As for CIRs, you will likely be…
What will my work hours be like?
Your typical work hours will be around 8:30-16:15, Monday through Friday, but this depends greatly on your school and how many schools you have.
There is no overtime in Japan, so even if your are stuck working late you will not be paid extra. Japan is also a very prompt society, so if you are more than 15 minutes late do not be surprised if they take one hour of your vacation time.
What should I pack?
You should pack business wear, a formal suit, memories from home, and much more. For more information, please see our packing guide.
What will I do when I first arrive?
When you first arrive in Hiroshima Prefecture, you will have a couple days set aside to get your apartment, bank account, and utilities all set up. After that you will spend the summer holidays at work preparing for your classes, attending Hiroshima JET Orientation, or Japanese Language Boot Camp. More ideas on what to do while at work those days, please check the First Month Checklist.
What will I do my first month?
For new JETs starting in August, the first month is prep-time. As the students are all on summer holiday until early September you have time to get to know your co-workers, explore the school, and meet some of the students practicing their club activities. During this time, you can fully prepare and organize your lessons and have a lot of time to meet with your supervisor and other JTEs. So, please take advantage of this time! For more ideas, you can check the First Month Checklist.
What groups or support systems are available in the prefectual?
Hiroshima JETs pride themselves in being active in a number of events and programs around the prefecture. From volunteering at a children’s home to playing ultimate frisbee to calligraphy, Hiroshima JETs can do it all. We like to form a strong network for other JETs to feel welcome and supported. For more information on JET groups, please visit the JET Groups page.
If your question is not on this list or you’d like to know more, please feel free to contact us.