Japan Post Suspends Airmail to Canada Due to Strike

From the Japan Post English site:

Suspension of Acceptance of International Postal Items to Canada

June 16, 2011

Japan Post Service is temporarily suspending acceptance of international postal items to Canada due to a postal strike. This suspension is effective from the date in the table below.
Destination: Canada
Starting date of suspension: June 17, 2011

For postal items already accepted and on the way to Canada, Japan Post Service will return them to the sender. The postage will be refunded to the sender, if desired.

Thank you for your understanding.


JET Alum Academics Group on LinkedIn

From Jet Wit:

Many JETs will leave JET for graduate or professional school or for jobs in the academic world–and some of us already have advanced degrees or experience in that area! Steven Horowitz of JET Wit has set up a new LinkedIn group for JETs, JET alums and friends of JET who work in academia or are interested in working in academia. This includes any professors, PhD candidates, master’s degree students or anyone doing work related in any way to research and academia. Join JET Alum Academics here.

Sign Up for the 2011-1 JLPT!

Sign up for the 2011-1 JLPT!

The 2011-1 Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) (日本語能力試験) will be held on 3 July 2011 and will cover all levels from N1 to N5.
Why take the test?
Setting a goal: Whether you’re a beginner or a semi-pro, having a goal will motivate you to study—and you’ll definitely learn more Japanese, which is always good!

Learning the test style: Taking the lower levels of the test will help you learn how to take the test.

Professional investment: The upper levels of the test (N1 and N2) are extremely useful for job applications in Japan-related fields. Certification will look good on your grad school applications, as well.

How to Apply
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Blog Review: JET Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interview Tips

Image from "履歴書 – Japanese Résumés (blog post by former CIR)"

Not recontracting? Building your professional resume and cover letter, whether in English or Japanese is, frankly, stressful. How do you convey exactly why and how you are the perfect candidate for a job—and how do you explain JET?

Luckily for us, Vince Ricci, a lecturer and admissions consultant at the University of Tokyo, does pro bono work helping JETs prepare for life outside the program. Although he will be at the Leaver’s Conference on Feb. 21-23, 2011, you can get started now with his blog, located at http://jetresumes.blogspot.com/.

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JET Open Campus for the Doshisha Business School Global MBA Program

This information comes to us from the Great Lakes JETAA mailing list.

Doshisha Business School in Kyoto will be holding an open day (PDF flyer)
for JET (alumni and current) regarding their Global MBA program on Saturday, 12 February 2011. Contact Dr. Andy Staples to learn more at astaples [AT] mail [DOT] doshisha [DOT] ac [DOT] jp.

Click the link below to read more about the program and the funding opportunities for international students!

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Blog Review: What Can I Do With a B.A. in Japanese Studies?

What Can I Do With a B.A. in Japanese Studies? (a.k.a. Shinpai Deshou) is run by Paula Curtis, a graduate of Gettysburg College and an M.A. candidate at The Ohio State University. She and her team of bloggers post information and articles on all things related to Japan and Japanese studies. You’ll find everything from tips on interviews with Japanese companies; a list of scholarships for grad school and language study; reviews of study tools and programs to improve your Japanese; job openings; and fun Japan-related links.

This is an amazing resource for those planning on going into a Japan-related field post-JET, and I highly recommend adding it to your Google Reader, twitter, or RSS feed.

Leah Zoller is a second-year CIR in Anamizu, the editor of this blog, and a guest blogger on What Can I Do with a B.A. in Japanese Studies?. Check out my article on online dictionaries: Making the Most of Online Dictionaries.

JET-Sister City Project

This information comes to us from Dipika Soni, a former JET and a translator in Kahoku.

JetWit, an online community of JET alumni, is putting together a list of sister cities and sister states/prefectures/provinces. Ishikawa has no entries so far, so please help out by emailing your sister city information to the site.

The Goal: To create a list of Japanese cities (and prefectures) where JETs lived that have a sister city relationship with another country.

How can you help? Email jetwit AT jetwit DOT com with your name, prefecture, city/town and years on JET as well as any sister city relationships that your town had.  If you already see your city listed, email your name anyway so we can include you as well.

The Result: JetWit will add to the below list as responses are received.

The Purpose: To lay some groundwork that may help Japanese cities/prefectures that hosted JETs increase their “return on investment” from their initial investment.

(Note #1: There actually is a Japanese government publication that lists every Japanese sister city relationship.  However, it does not list any correlation with JETs.)

With all of the above in mind, please email your responses to jetwit AT jetwit DOT comYoroshiku onegaishimasu!

Also, check out jetwit.com for post-JET job postings, JET alumni in the news, blogs, and JETAA information.

Time Flies: A Former ALT Looks Back

This guest post is by Robb Hoiseth, who was an ALT on the JET Program in Kanazawa from 1990-1992.  Photos courtesy of Robb Hoiseth and Paul Fradale.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since I began my overseas career as a teacher in the JET program in Kanazawa.  It was 1990 and we had been married 2 months when Linda and I stepped off the plane in Japan.  Two naïve farm kids from central Minnesota, we had certainly never seen the bright lights of Tokyo.

A week later and it was off to Kanazawa.  I will never forget the second day in my wool Bill Blass suit meeting the mayor: I was wet from the humidity and the bus ride downtown.  My supervisor Mr. Kobayashi must have thought I was about to pass out as he rushed me onto an air-conditioned bench and gave me a glass of iced ocha!

Back in the second year of the JET program life was very different than it is for you today.  Of course we had no Internet or emails.  Letters and videotapes from home were like gold when they showed up in our mailbox.  The fight for the morning edition of The Japan Times was a daily event.  There were only about 50 foreigners in town, so we got free drinks at the clubs.  My voice was a constant companion on the radio as I did a lot of the commercials on Hello 105. Since we were the only married couple in Ishikawa, our apartment became the place for Noto JETS to crash and seek advice, and since we were less than a block away from the best pizza in town, many weekend nights were spent with new friends and bottles of Asahi Super-Dry, the new beer that came out in 1991.

In some ways I expect Japan probably hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years.  I hear our salary is the same; only the rate of exchange is different. In 1990, it was 138 yen to a dollar. (Currently, the exchange rate is about 90 yen to a dollar. -ed.)  I imagine all the frustrations are still there as well: the stares, the misunderstandings, boring hours spent at school.  I hope the sushi is as fresh, the yakatori just as delicious, the beer machines just as cold and available!

Life moved on for us. (As it will for  you!) We went back home to teach, only to get laid off, and, happily, moved back to international teaching.  After stints in Kuwait, Malaysia, Poland, and Peru, here we are in 2010, in Qatar.  We have two beautiful kids. We are planning a return trip, a 20 year reunion of sorts where it all started out: Kanazawa 2011–here we come!!  (Can a family of four crash in your apartment?)

Robb Hoiseth and his family today.

Robb Hoiseth currently works a social studies teacher at the American School of Doha in Qatar.  He has been married 20 years and has two children, a 14-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl.