TJC Podcast 004: I Got Into The JET Programme…What Next??



So you’ve got into the JET Programme! Congratulations, that’s awesome, but what next??

In this episode, Thomas gives you a preview of what’s coming up next and what you can be doing right now. Breaking it down by month, here’s the Cole’s Notes version of what he mentions:


1. Start learning Japanese
– Genki textbooks

2. Pay attention to your consulate
– Attend events
– Get to know other departing JETs

3. Look into getting a nice camera


4. Get in touch with your predecessor
– Get them to write your a personal guide to your placement
– See if they can carry over the internet to you
– Be suspicious if they try to sell you their things

5. Connect to local groups
– Primarily regional AJET groups and prefectural Facebook groups


6. Get you documents in order
– Prescriptions, international driving permits, etc.

7. Start planning goodbye parties/having ‘final dinners’


8. Pack!
– Don’t bring your entire wardrobe
– Definitely pack some business attire
– Lots of cheap souvenirs for everyone
– Whatever is direly important to you, even if you have to pay a bit of extra to bring it with you
– $1500+ cash is definitely a safe bet

9. Enjoy your final month


For ALL of the details, give the podcast a listen!


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  • Sid Scott

    I’m the same way about bringing my desktop. I was planning on taking it apart and having someone mail the parts to me after i pack them up. Do you mind going into a bit more detail about how you packed your desktop and whatnot?

    • Thomas Simmons

      Yeah no problem. It was actually pretty ghetto. I wrapped it in a few towels and clothes and stuffed it into the middle of my duffle bag lol. Not the prettiest solution, but it was in a tower and was well protected with clothes-padding, so there was no damage whatsoever. You can always get them to label ‘fragile’ on your bag as well.

      I could have definitely done some sort of formal packaging with just the desktop or taken it apart and have someone mail it and what not, but I just wanted to have it with me. Actually bringing it with me meant that it was right there and I didn’t have to wait to get it up and running. I was just subject to overweight fees which I settled right there at the airport.

      • Aaron Fern

        So glad someone else asked this question. I’m fairly sure I would have a heart attack if I did that. But, having heard that you’ve done this I think I’m going to reconsider my decision to leave my desktop behind.

        A couple extra questions. How big is your tower? And what about your monitor?

        • Thomas Simmons

          My tower was relatively small, so I admittedly had it easier than someone who packs on of those monster towers. If you’re concerned about packing it with the rest of your stuff, I would then consider shipping it before you leave or just in a separate box and bring it with you to the airport, making sure they explicitly mark it as ‘fragile.’

          I have found monitors to be reasonably priced here, and I knew it would add extra bulk, so I elected to leave my monitor behind. I now have my desktop hooked up to a 42 inch television I picked up for about $400 on sale here in Japan. Makes for a good PC experience ahah

        • Albo Agunday

          I’ll throw in my two cents too. While I didnt come WITH a tower, a couple years ago I actually went back home for christmas, built a hackintosh and brought it over with me. Looking back, I’m not sure I would recommend doing even this.

          The tower was 4/5 of the space in one of my check-in luggage. If you have a laptop, I would honestly leave the tower at home because it takes up too much space that you could be spending bringing things like clothes, comforts and other necessities from home. Stuff like winter jackets and shoes (especially if your feet are larger than size 10.5 US) will take up a lot of space in your luggage.

          Then if you find you really want your desktop, you could always bring it back with you the next time you go back to your home country for the holidays.