Saturday, June 5, 2010

Well. . . I'm Kinda Screwed.

I writing from a hotel room in Vancouver. My mom came down here to take part in some fancy lawyer course, and I came with her in order to submit to the Japanese consulate my application for a working holiday visa. The good news is that everything appears to be in order as far as the application is concerned-- after submitting all the necessary forms (application form, tentative itinerary, CV, letter of motive, and passport), I was told that my visa would be ready in week, barring any problems found later on, in which event I would be contacted.

As for the bad news. . . the consulate employee to whom I was submitting my forms asked me if I had any work lined up. I answered no, adding that I was planning to find work through the Japanese Association of Working Holiday Makers (J.A.W.H.M.), the only organization licensed by the Japanese government to assist those taking part in working holidays. That's when he dropped the bombshell: the J.A.W.H.M. will be shutting down as of June 19th. I had not heard of this because the news was announced only a day before I left for Vancouver.

The J.A.W.H.M. provided a lot of helpful services for working holiday takers: job postings, help with finding accommodations, Japanese lessons, etc.. Without J.A.W.H.M., I, and a lot of other people who plan on taking working holidays , will have that much harder a time getting by in Japan.

At the same, though, it's not like I don't have a plan. I figure that since I am both a native English speaker AND possess high level scientific education, I can serve as a tutor for a niche market: foreign Anglophone students who need help in physics, math, and maybe even chemistry as well. Plus, there's always demand for English teachers, even if TESOL certification (which I don't have) is preferred.

I guess I'm starting to get cold feet. Shit's getting real now.

Stay tuned.


Cait said...

I'm sorry to hear about the J.A.W.H.M. :( I hope everything works out for you!

Jeremy K. said...

Things are starting to come together. I've found a bunch of other organizations that can help me find long term (~3-6 month) accomodations, be it a Gaijin house, apartment, or home stay. I've also found a few sites with postings for part-time English teaching positions. It looks like things are gonna be okay. I plan to be off to Japan by end of June, and will hopefully be able to stay the full twelve months allowed by the working holiday visa.

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