Survey Summary – Transition

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Wikis > Returnee Handbook > Survey Summary – Transition

The hardest part about leaving Japan for JETs is…

  • Leaving very important things behind!
    • Friends and coworkers
    • Students
    • Japanese language, culture, and lifestyle
    • Specific places/things you grew accustomed to/grew to love
    • Food – Where’s the Ramen?
    • The sense of adventure
    • The job
  • No longer having something “new” to learn everyday
  • Keeping up your language skills
  • Knowing it isn’t necessarily easy to come back and dwelling on that fact
  • Entering the “unknown” next phase of your life

The hardest part about coming back was…

  • Finding a job!!! (there is a definite consensus on this)
  • Reverse culture shock
  • Learning how to incorporate the Japanese lifestyle into your American life
  • Adjusting to living in a completely new area, or one that you’d been away from
  • Realizing not everyone wants to hear about JET
  • Trying to get friends and family to understand that you changed through your experience
  • Connecting your experience in Japan to your new life and career
  • Being in a new location without an established support system/friend network                       (Please note JETAADC is a ready support system/friend network!)

JETs’ advice…

  • Take advantage of the opportunities Washington, DC has to offer – cultural, historical, educational, career, personal, etc.
  • Connect with and get involved in JETAADC!
  • Start meeting people and making friends as fast as you can
    • Meetup is a good place to meet people outside of work
    • Make some friends who have also experienced living overseas
  • Take the good with the bad—Japan does some things better than the US, and the US does some things better than Japan
  • Network, join societies and groups, and get on some listservs
  • Save money—live with roommates
  • Research places to live before you move
  • Avoid getting into a “rut” and if you do, push, push, push yourself to get out quickly
  • Be willing to think outside the box—even if you want Japan to be a part of your career, establish yourself in the US first


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