JET Program Employee Reviews | Glassdoor

JET Program Reviews

Updated March 21, 2017
260 reviews

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260 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • A great way to spend some time after college (in 23 reviews)

  • You get to experience Japanese culture first hand, build relationships and establish friendships within whatever community you are placed (in 22 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "ALT"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Changed my life and perspective of the world.

    Cons

    Limited contract. I was a "unicorn."

    Advice to Management

    Extension the limit.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Coordinator for International Relations"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Coordinator for International Relations
    Former Employee - Coordinator for International Relations
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at JET Program full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    A great opportunity to immerse oneself into a non-English speaking county and experience a rich and diverse culture and history. As a Coordinator of International Relations (CIR), develop a lot of experience in translation and interpretation (formal and informal), developing international relations, and networking. An annual mid-year conference, training, and a CLAIR-sponsored translation and interpretation course is available for language development as a few forms of program support.

    Cons

    Depending on placement (location and office), bureaucracy and workload may quickly become difficult to manage and balance; at the mid-year conference, it is common to meet CIRs who work 3+ hours overtime (uncompensated by contract). Though CIRs are expected to have a strong command of the Japanese language (JLPT 2 or 1), they are not professional translators yet may come to be treated only as such.


  3. "ALT"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at JET Program full-time

    Pros

    Excellent way to broaden international experience. Smooth transition into education.

    Cons

    Experience varies greatly from placement to placement.


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  5. "Great Experience, Not a Career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher (ALT)
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher (ALT)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at JET Program full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you're interested in Japanese culture/language, it is a great way to get paid to visit Japan. Some schools provide great support (some don't). It's one of the highest paying ESL jobs in Japan and provides great health insurance, pension, benefits, and a large support system.

    Cons

    It's a job, not a career (unless you are hoping to live and teach in Japan afterwards). While there are salary increases every year, there is no room for advancement up the ranks. Depending on what you hope to do when you return to your home country, some future employers will see your time abroad in a negative light. You can not choose where you live and many teachers seem unhappy with their assignments. Depending on your assignment, you may be more of a "human tape recorder" and less of a "teacher."

    Advice to Management

    The Japanese government needs to come up with a system to use the ALTs who wish to stay in Japan. So much experience is wasted because people are bored with their position, underemployed, or forced home after 5 years. Teachers in schools need to use their ALTs more effectively, and the program needs to weed out the applicants hoping to party abroad.


  6. "Good experience for life but not for work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at JET Program full-time

    Pros

    You get to live in Japan! Hopefully not in the countryside but that can be nice too.

    Cons

    Your job is a joke...lots of free time to work on other things. Not a lot of support depending on which school you are at.


  7. "JET Program"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    This is a good company that takes care of you and will never leave you stranded. The job is very easy and the people are good.

    Cons

    There is no real room for advancement. This is not a career move unless you want to live in Japan the rest of your life and make not much money.


  8. "Great job out of college"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at JET Program full-time

    Pros

    Gives you experience and a chance to see the world

    Cons

    Some teacher only want you to be a tape recorder.


  9. "Every Situation Is Different"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher (ALT)
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher (ALT)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at JET Program full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    My school left me mostly to my own devices, and after staying long enough to prove I would stay at my school the maximum number of years, took my suggestions for the English program more seriously. Could leave work right at 4pm if I chose to. There was a lot of freedom. You have the option to re-contract once a year, which is good for people who don't like their placement.

    Cons

    You must know Japanese work and business culture very well to make any big changes in your school, and you have to be willing to stay long-term to see the changes through. Also your experience with the main JET administrative office in Tokyo is going to be really distant. Even though they claim to support and help JETs when they're in dire straits, in reality they will most likely ignore you. If you get sexually harassed, go through mental issues, or have severe allergic reactions to your location, don't expect the upper division of JET administration to care about you even though they claim to. You have to hope you have responsible and honest CIRs, board of educations, surrounding ALTs, and co-workers with good intentions to look over you. Some schools you can get placed in are absolutely abysmal, others are wonderful, most have their ups and downs, and you won't know until you get there.

    Advice to Management

    Tokyo JET Administration: Get your act together when it comes to compensating mental health costs, you are being absolutely childish in the eyes of the entire foreign community.


  10. "ESID, but overall a good experience!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher (ALT)
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher (ALT)
    Recommends

    I worked at JET Program (More than a year)

    Pros

    +Cultural Exchange
    +Networking Opportunities with other JETs and Japanese Coworkers
    +Grant opportunities for TEFL courses
    +Dynamic and varied work - every day is different!
    +Can usually find time to travel

    Cons

    -ESID Every situation is different. Some contracting organizations may not be stellar
    -Pay isn't super high, may be a struggle if placed in expensive places to live like Tokyo, but otherwise is acceptable
    -Sometimes have a lot of free time and nothing to work on depending on school year (ie testing season/school vacation)
    -Interview process is long, tedious


  11. "Alt"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at JET Program full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great opportunity to travel, gain international experience, and teach

    Cons

    Depending where you are placed, you maybe very far from a cultural center or city.



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