GriffN wrote:It's hard to say. There may be fewer casual applicants this year. But I doubt the disaster from earlier in the year is going to daunt anyone who really wants to be in JET. All the news coverage could have made potential applicants more sensitive to anything about Japan, so some people may look into JET when they otherwise wouldn't have taken the time. In an odd way it makes me want to go more, so I can be closer to my Japanese friends.
Of course, there are other factors. The program is generally shrinking, and the salary changes aren't going to attract more candidates. On the other hand, the economy is pretty crappy in the US, and the yen has made significant gains on the dollar in the past decade. But that's compounded by the poor state of Japan's economy, and I imagine programs like JET would be high on the list of things to cut...
On a side note, all of my ALT friends have been getting tons of pressure from their families to come home. This could translate into fewer JETs recontracting this year --> more new candidates accepted. But who knows.
One way or another, it's still going to be a competitive year.
There's definitely no doubt that this will be a competitive year. There's hundreds and hundreds of die hard anime, manga, game, and culture enthusiasts out there that will definitely bring competition. Not to mention a lot of them aren't really considering the remuneration and/or other factors that may dissuade a lot of other potential applicants from applying.
I don't know if the tragedy will make some "sensitive" to the problem in Japan. I think its split between those who want to help/sympathetic and those who are flat out afraid of the nuclear situation in the country. Couple that with worrisome families and that can definitely lighten the pool of applicants a bit. I do agree that there are other factors, such as the remuneration which could probably be the biggest factor. Remuneration is higher than a dispatch company but not that much and some may just sign up with a dispatch. They'll have a better chance of getting where they want to go and the pay won't be as less than compared to an actual first year JET.
KaitouK wrote:I don't think I consider myself a casual applicant, but I do want to go to experience Japan. The prospect of meeting new people in Japan and other JETs from around the world is exciting to say the least. I also feel it is a way to challenge myself, expand my view of the world, and grow as a person. I'll be 31 in January and not participating in the program is something I don't want to regret later on, if that makes any sense.
I guess by "casual applicant", I meant those who really aren't interested in Japan. The travel bugs; the people that just like adventure and aren't really that hard up to get to Japan. It's just an adventure to check off of their bucket lists.