Why I Chose BUNAC's Work Japan Programme

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BUNACer Rachel is all ready to have the adventure of a lifetime on our Work Japan programme. Get the lowdown on why she chose Japan for her working holiday adventure, why she chose to go with BUNAC, and how she’s found the journey so far. 

Why I chose to go to Japan 

I’ve always had a strong interest in Japan’s history, pop culture and way of life, and was keen to visit as more than just a tourist. The standard Japanese tourist visa lets you stay for 90 days, but I wanted to explore for a lot longer, so decided to try a working holiday which gives me full 12 months, and I’m able to work too. 

Why I chose to go with BUNAC 

I knew I’d want some help getting everything sorted for my trip to Japan, and especially when I actually arrive there – it's very different to the UK, and anywhere I’ve been before. I looked on google, and did find some companies who could help get me a job in Japan teaching English, however many also required me to have a degree, which I don’t have. 

You don’t have to have a degree to go with BUNAC so it was perfect for me.  

I looked through their website and was delighted with the various jobs I could do while in Japan – from working in a ski resort to working in a traditional ryokan (Japanese guesthouse). The programme sounded great, with lots of freedom for me to choose what job I want to do, and BUNAC would help me over the course of my stay in Japan.  

Taking my first steps to adventure 

I arranged to have a call from one of the BUNAC team and they were so helpful! They’d been to Japan themselves, so it was great to speak to someone who had had first hand experience of doing a working holiday there.  

He explained the application process and what would happen – from all the documents I needed for the visa, to extra activities I could get involved with in Japan, including Japanese language lessons. This is an extra cost, but it’s something worth doing as it gives you more of a cultural experience. I ended up paying my £100 there and then, and had an amazing feeling that I had just started something that would change my life! 

Getting ready to apply for my Japanese visa 

Over the course of the following weeks, I emailed the BUNAC team with various questions which came with a quick response and helpful advice as I started writing my letter as to why I wanted to go to Japan (something you need to obtain your visa). 

I watched videos on YouTube of others who live and work in Japan - I recommend doing this as I have learned much about the country and what I can expect. It’s got me so excited for my trip!  

Time for my visa appointment at the Japanese Embassy 

I applied for my visa on the 11th April 2019 and went to BUNAC HQ to get some last-minute help before my visa appointment, and filled in some paperwork so that BUNAC could pick up my visa for me as I live further away, and it saves me another trip to London. 

I went to the Embassy which was quite close by - you can't miss it as the flag is outside. My number was called and I went in. During the 10-15 minute appointment, they looked through my CV, cover letter and intended activities when I get to Japan, and also checked my passport, financial evidence, and my photo. The appointment ended and I was told my passport would be ready in one week. Hurrah! 

I was super relieved. I left the Embassy and went back to BUNAC where I met with Olivia. I handed her my paperwork and ticket from the Embassy and outlined what would happen next in the process. 

Once home it was a waiting game but I received an email saying it would be with me the following working day. 

I’m really going to Japan! 

Now I’ve been granted my visa, I’ve been getting ready to go to Japan at the end of May. My next steps are to order some Yen ready for my trip, pack and gather all the documents that I need to bring with me. It’s really happening – I'm moving to Japan!  

Overall, BUNAC has been amazing and so supportive. I would recommend BUNAC to anyone who is interested in doing a Work Abroad programme. 

Do you want to head off on a working adventure abroad like Rachel? Check out our Work Abroad programmes and start your very own adventure today. We’ll be following Rachel’s journey as she starts her new life in Japan, so watch out for more blogs soon.

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