Preparation for Re-entry

Preparation is always the best way to avoid problems, so it's a good idea to do a bit of research on re-entry shock before you encounter it. You'll be able to find articles and personal accounts on the internet. Some suggest the more successful you were in adapting to your 'new' culture, the harder you will find it to re-adapt to your 'old' culture. Also, when you are in an alien country, people are aware that you are from a different place and may tend to be more understanding of your actions. When you return home though, you will probably have changed and people won't necessarily be expecting that or be accepting of it.

Almost all JET alumni say it really helps to plan for the near future so you have meaningful goals to work towards when you get back. If you have something to aim for then it will help you to fit into your new life and quickly adapt.

Personal Preparation

  • Pack up your life in the same way as you will pack up your belongings: make lists of things you want to do before you go, spend quality time with people who you are close to before the pre-return madness begins.
  • Write a list now of all the things you will miss and the things that drive you nuts. Keep it safe and refer to it after your return, to keep your nostalgia realistic.
  • Start making preparations for home: you may well be trying to focus on your last few months here, but any prep that you do now will ease your transition.
  • Keep up with economic, political, and social developments in your country/hometown/new home by locating an on-line newspaper.
  • Start getting in contact with friends/family back home now. They will better understand where you are coming from, and you may also be more caught up on what is going on at home.

Professional Preparation

  • Get your resume/CV into top shape. Take your time and make several versions for different types of jobs.
  • Prepare yourself for financial adjustments!
  • Maintain relationships in Japan; you never know when you're going to need a letter of recommendation!
  • Search internet job/university sites and head hunters for potential opportunities. Submit your resume just to see what kind of feedback you get. If you get none, think about revisions. Look at websites worldwide and specific to your home country.
  • Know when the jobs in your country are 'hot' (North America - end of April/May).
  • For jobs in Japan, start with your country's Chamber of Commerce.