JET Program Reviews

Updated Jul 13, 2020

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4.1
88%
Recommend to a Friend
Pros
  • "The amount of insight into Japanese culture as well as the vocabulary that you can pick up in the course of your work and life there is priceless(in 39 reviews)

  • "Pretty good pay too as living expenses are generally much lower than they are back home(in 34 reviews)

Cons
  • "Every situation is different so you're experience can either be on the negative or positive side of the spectrum(in 65 reviews)

  • "For example I only received 15 days of PTO while most JETs receive 20 days(in 28 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great way to live abroad comfortably"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at JET Program full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Good salary, amazing benefits

    Cons

    - Your experience is highly dependent on your placement

  2. "It was worth it"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) 
    Recommends

    I worked at JET Program full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    One of the best ways to experience living and working in Japan. Even if you are not interested in teaching as a profession, you can build skills like public speaking, project planning and design, intercultural communication, and more. The amount of insight into Japanese culture as well as the vocabulary that you can pick up in the course of your work and life there is priceless. It's difficult to get students to speak English, but they are fun to interact with once you gain their trust. In my experience, it's up to you to decide how proactive you want to be in your job and how much work you want to do.

    Cons

    The amount of responsibility that you have in the classroom varies wildly, and it can be extremely frustrating to feel underutilized a lot. Sometimes you are only asked to pronounce words for students, other times you might teach and plan classes on your own. If you're interested in being actively used, you have to push for it and build relationships with your colleagues. It can sometimes be difficult to get your teacher colleagues to work with you, though. Some schools have a great culture, while in others you might feel ignored and isolated. The best piece of advice I could give you is don't take it personally if you feel like you are trying really hard but can't seem to get students or people to work with you.

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  3. "Work in Japan"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher 

    I worked at JET Program full-time

    Pros

    It's great if you are interested in living in Japan and want a job that isn't too stressful. I had a great time

    Cons

    At times, it feels difficult to get used to the different work culture or standards. My advice would be to take a deep breath, evaluate the situation, and follow your intuition. It is definitely not a job for everyone, but I found that being adaptable and willing to put in effort to new things are two of the most useful qualities to have while there.

  4. "ESID applies to literally everything"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at JET Program full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    All of these are POSSIBLE, but not guaranteed: travel within Japan and to nearby other countries, ability to craft curriculum, connecting with local community, help setting up utilities and housing, professional development opportunities. Lots of time for personal development, online classes, language study

    Cons

    Everything I mentioned above is possible, but not guaranteed. Also possible: xenophobia, lack of resources, geographical and social isolation, being disallowed from doing the job you were hired to do. Vacation time and sick time are not always differentiated and sick time typically means hospitalization.

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  5. "Awesome experience. Not for people who don't have a realistic expectation of living and working in a foreign country."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher 
    Recommends

    I worked at JET Program full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    If you live outside of the cities, the salary will afford you a comfortable standard of living. The program, especially at the beginning, really tries to prepare you for work and life in Japan. In most contracts, you are able to take a decent amount of time off to travel when class is out of session.

    Cons

    Every situation is different. You are signing up to work in a town and school(s) that you are not able to interview for first. I understand why the JET Program operates this way but it definitely can lead to some unhappy teachers and unhappy schools.

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  6. "Love Japan Before You Go"

    3.0
    Former Employee - ALT 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at JET Program full-time

    Pros

    Good opportunity to learn Japanese and gain teaching skills.

    Cons

    You have to really fight to be integrated into the school culture, sometimes it feels like you're just there to check a box. If you speak Japanese well and love Japanese culture already its a lot easier.

  7. "Amazing Experience Working in Japan"

    5.0
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher 

    I worked at JET Program full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The program is very organized. They were very helpful in preparing you for your new job as well as the culture shock that you may experience in the work place and living in Japan.

    Cons

    I don't have any cons.

  8. "Fun experience but get out quickly"

    3.0
    Current Employee - Assistant Language Teacher 

    I have been working at JET Program full-time

    Pros

    Tons of down time, but a bit boring.

    Cons

    Hard to transition into another career the longer you are on JET

  9. "Total Crapshoot"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at JET Program full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    This program offers a competitive salary for new teachers. You will likely be making more money than the native fresh teachers at your schools. The other main draw to this job is the work-life balance. You will have plenty of free time to read or study, and you will rarely be asked to stay late. There is a 0% chance of your getting fired for shoddy work as the bar is set ridiculously low.

    Cons

    Your happiness at the job relies heavily on the good attitude of your Board of Education and co-teachers. If you have a teacher or supervisor who doesn't like you, they can make your life miserable with little to no possible recourse.

  10. "Great job for right out of college"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ALT 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at JET Program full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You are paid to live abroad, essentially. Work culture and employer/co-worker relationships can vary quite a lot depending on the location, but overall most people I knew had a very supportive BOE (Board of Education) and enjoyed most, if not all, of the teachers they worked with. Pretty good pay too as living expenses are generally much lower than they are back home. You get a fair amount of paid time off, including all national holidays. Sick leave is also available.

    Cons

    It can sometimes be frustrating if your BOE or teachers are unwilling to work with you or listen to suggestions. Also this is very much just a job, not a career, so it can feel like a bit of a slog because there is no room for advancement or much change in your daily schedule.

Found 501 reviews