How to get International/Intercultural Experience
Another section of the JET Application asks for your international and/or intercultural experience. Let's face it, somepeople have more than others; either because they have been exchange students or their parents were stationed abroad for part of their careers. But it isn't necessary to have traveled to Japan to participate in JET. In fact if you have been in Japan for a total of 3 years in the last 8, you are ineligible to apply!
So where to start:
You want to take an inventory before you willy nilly fill out your application. What counts:
international events (ethnic festivals)
international club membership (and participation)
living in another country (not exchange related i.e. your parent was in the military)
Don't forget these things:
volunteer projects with various ethnic groups
volunteer work with immigrants (legal and otherwise)
anthropology work with native peoples
marriage to someone from another country
Basically as a U.S. citizen/applicant you are allowed 1 additional page per question (for a select group of questions) so make the most of it.
In my opinion, it is better to put things down that might count (you must actually have done them - no make believe) and have the reviewers decide, rather than not put something down that totally would have counted. Your ticket to an interview could be decided by just a few activities!
Need help finding an international event?
Contact your international program director at your school for suggestions of clubs or international activities in your town. Check out other community resources for international events, too. If you join/participate between now and when you send off your application (I suggest no later than the beginning of Thanksgiving) then you can put this on your application. For those of you who will not apply this year, get crackin'. You have lots of time to get seriously involved with these projects/clubs/events.
If you need any help, contact me at info@TheJapaneseConsultant.com