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First Month Checklist

With lessons suspended until September, you may find yourself with a lot of time at your desk. Make it productive.

Within your first month you should:

  • Register with your embassy.
  • Make a spare key and put it in a secured location other than your home (such as your work desk drawer, etc.).
  • Have a good idea of where is your closest station, hospital, clinic, supermarket, etc.
  • Network with fellow JETs and Japanese people in your community; accept invitations, go to parties.
  • Establish relationships with colleagues (i.e. start conversations and give omiyage/cookies).
  • Have the following items on your person, as any or all are required for various paperwork (i.e. signing up for mobile phone service):
    • Inkan (personal seal)
    • Residence Card (在留カード)
    • Passport
    • Your apartment and work addresses, in English and Japanese
    • Bankbook
    • Insurance card
  • Compile a list of questions, be they work-related or living-related, to ask your colleagues, etc.
  • Set goals
    • Financial (budget, savings, debt management; you should not leave JET broke)
    • Personal (language, hobbies/interests)
    • Professional (teaching skills, knowledge of English grammar, overall career direction)
    • Travel (destinations, festivals)
  • Check out Fukuoka NOW, an excellent international resource for those living in Fukuoka.