I’m going to start this blog in the past. The JET Programme starts with an application, and what a beast of an application it is. It’s quite complicated to get together and I am sure it acts as a preliminary sorting tool for applicants. After all, if you can’t follow the bureaucracy of this mammoth application, how will you survive in a foreign country by yourself!
The UK JET Programme website provides a really handy timeline of the application which I made sure to study religiously before applying. You can find it here. I had decided that I wanted to apply all the way back in April 2016, so I had plenty of time to make myself a timeline and work out when certain things needed to happen by. My advice for applying to JET is to start as early as possible. Not only do you reduce stress by getting things sorted, but if anything unexpected happens, you’ll be really prepared.
Onto the application itself. Within your application you actually have four applications – so be prepared to do an unholy amount of photocopying.
Application Form: Bureaucratic but do-able. You can’t do this before they open the application period but it’s fairly straightforward once they do. Just be prepared to sit down and get it done. Triple check your answers. Then check again.
Self-Assessed Medical Form: Easy enough provided you have no medical issues. I had a recent op which meant I had to get a statement of physician as well. From what I can tell, physical ailments are not normally a barrier to success so I wouldn’t worry about disclosing them. If you get to an interview and it’s an obvious issue they’ll find out then anyway.
Statement of Physician: Only needed if you’ve disclosed something on the self-assessment. Bye bye £120 for a doctor to take one look at me and say my knee still works. Seeing as how I’ve played rugby and run a 17 mile obstacle race since my op, I think I could have told him that. But it’s belt and braces to make sure it doesn’t look like you’re hiding anything.
Authorisation and Release Form: I honestly don’t even remember this. I think it was just a case of signing it?
Personal Statement: Probably the most important thing after getting the application form right. This is where you can show that you’re a person and not just someone who can tick boxes on a form. I started writing this months before the applications opened and had it printed and ready to go before the applications opened. Try to read the Key Points section on their website and answer these as concisely as you can while still coming across as someone with a personality. And for heaven’s sake remember to check the requirements for printing.
Academic Transcript: Easy. I ordered a new copy from my University for the grand total of £10. I then found another one lying around but oh well.. now I have a spare!
Proof of Degree: Easy (once I’d dug out my degree certificate). Might be harder if you’re a current student, but I imagine you could get this before October.
Passport Photo: Why do I always look like a psychopath in these? As per usual I lost any I might have had before, took new ones, then found the old ones…
Proof of Nationality: Easy if you have a passport. If you don’t…why on earth don’t you have a passport already when you want to move abroad? Get a passport now, then all you have to do is photocopy it.
References: You can get these way before. I happen to have a very nice and flexible work place so I actually got my manager and a director to write me my references. Both of them actually asked me to proof read them too which was reassuring as there is a very specific list of requirements they have to meet. Not everywhere will be so accommodating but if you can get them early, get them early. Particularly because they have to be copied in triplicate and signed over which is just mean to the referee if you ask me.
Extras: I had a TEFL cert so I had copies of that in there too.
Then once you’ve got it all together, everything gets photocopied a million times (4) then put into different bull dog clips, then into one MASSIVE envelope, then posted. For peace of mind I used recorded delivery and included a self-addressed envelope because I was paranoid about the postman losing it or dropping it in a puddle.
Then you can sit back, heave a sigh of relief and wait until late December/January to hear whether you’ve managed to get an interview!