Saturday, October 1, 2011

2012 Intern application schedule! UPDATED!

Richard here,

UPDATED DEC 3/2011: Application deadline extended to January 31, 2012!

* The dojo will again accept new interns on only a 'working holiday visa' *.

See visa details below.

For those interested in applying for the 2012 Shiramizu Japan Karate Internship position, please read carefully the requirements below.

UPDATED Internship dates: April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013

The Shiramizu Japan Karate Internship was created in 2005 as an ideal way for a non-Japanese to visit Japan to learn karate and Japanese culture while earning subsistence money by working as a part-time English teacher.

The benefit to the intern is the supportive environment of a professional Japanese karate dojo teaching one the 4 main styles of Karate, Wado, which is recognized worldwide. Shiramizu is a member of the JKF Wadokai federation, one of the 6 mainstream karate groups in Japan.

By immersing into a busy schedule of weekly practices, seminars, training camps, tournaments, dojo parties and special events, the intern truly raises their martial arts ability and understanding to a high-level.

In addition to living the dream of learning karate in Japan, the intern earns enough money to to cover basic expenses by teaching English at kindergartens, private language schools, the dojo itself and sometimes through private lessons. For someone who loves teaching and interacting with mainly children, the position is ideal.

It is important for applicants to understand the core of the internship program is interacting in the karate world, while earning money is secondary once day to day costs are covered.

During their free time, interns are encouraged to learn Japanese at volunteer language classes, sight-see around Tokyo & Japan and try numerous cultural activities all while making new friends, some of whom will last a lifetime.

This intern blog has many years worth of posts describing the internship in detail so please look it over to better grasp how the internship works.

The main intern duties include;

- participate in karate lessons (most interns attend 3 to 5 practices a week aside from personal training)

- prepare lessons and then teach English classes (1 to 4 a day, Monday to Friday)

- update the intern blog once a week

-keep the Google Calendar account of intern related activities up-to-date

- represent the internship in a positive manner at all times

- help with Shiramizu foreign guests (normally 1 person or 1 group per month)

- attend events either as a competitor, participant or spectator on the official Shiramizu schedule (tournaments, seminars, summer camps, all depending on the intern's karate level and available free time)

While most interns to date have participated in this program because they wanted to become professional instructors upon returning to their home countries or they wanted to try to pass their shodan (1st degree black belt) in Japan, the internship is open to a wide range of people.

The 2 important factors that the selected intern must attempt in the internship;

a) Make the most of their time in Japan!

b) Improve the internship for the next person!

UPDATE on accommodation:
While there was a small furnished one-room apartment near the dojo included which the previous interns paid the monthly rent and expenses using some of their part-time English teaching earnings, from April 2012 the accommodation location might be moved. For sure accommodation be it an apartment/shared apartment/dorm/home stay will be organized.

Depending on the month, earnings can range from 120,000-220,000yen, as it varies due to regular vacation times with about 160,000yen being a monthly standard amount.

If an intern is careful, total monthly expenses don't run over 100,000-120,000yen.

UPDATED: Working holiday visa ok!
The dojo will accept a new intern from next April 2012 on only a working holiday visa!

This is very good news as it is much easier to acquire this visa from a Japanese embassy or consulate if you are from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland or Hong Kong 'the English-speaking countries in the program).

(As an aside just to head off all the questions I know I will get like previous years as to why Americans are not allowed to participate, it was explained to me that while Japan would be ok with the US joining, there is no political interest in the US for making the program reciprocal to Japanese, hence the two countries have not made an agreement.)

Official information for each country can be found here on the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website

*Applicants from countries outside the working holiday visa program will have to prove their already have or they can successfully acquire on their own a proper visa as the dojo can not sponsor a visa from 2012.

Candidate requirements
1. Age: 20-30
The working holiday visa program's age range is 18-30, but since the interns teach adults and children, and they interact in important adult events (meetings, dinners, etc) the dojo has the set the minimum participation age at 20 to match the Japanese legal adult age of 20 years old.

***UPDATED 2. A high school diploma completed in the English language required. Some university/college studies or degree in any field an asset, but not required.

3a. Experience working with children
3b. Experience teaching or tutoring English is an asset

4. Some experience with martial arts, preferably karate.

5. Positive, up-beat, take charge attitude (describe in cover letter)

6. No criminal record in any country - the selection committee reserves the right to potentially ask for a criminal record report if a concern arises

7. Ability to be in Japan for 52 weeks with no interruptions. April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013.

The required documents for the application are:
a) 1-page cover letter - describe yourself and why you would be a good candidate for this internship

b) 1-page resume - short list of only related information, including personal bio details

c) 2 references - list contact information and relationship to applicant

d) head/shoulders photograph (passport style, can be taken with own camera)
e) copy of high school diploma or copy of official transcript (scan or picture)

All documents can be sent as email attachments. Only small file sizes please.

Application Process:

1) October 1 to November 30: Applications are accepted.

UPDATE: Application deadline extended to January 31, 2012!

Email to: karateintern at gmail dot com

We thank all applicants who apply. Only those applicants short-listed will be replied to.

We do accept questions if anyone has them once they have clearly read this explanation page.

2) January 15-20: Skype interviews with the short-listed candidates.

3) January 20-25: Short-listed candidates ranked in order of acceptance and then this list is reviewed with Arakawa Sensei.

Final candidate and runner-up are selected and informed.

***The role of the runner-up is to have the option to become the intern if the first person selected is rejected by Japanese immigration when applying for their visa.

4) February to March: The selected candidate completes any local ESL weekend course (1 or 2 days) in their town prior to coming to Japan. Any inexpensive, short course is fine.

5) February: Selected applicant applies for the working holiday visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate in their home country as the application can be done within 3 months to arriving in Japan.

6) April 1: The selected intern arrives and is introduced to the dojo and the different English part-time teaching locations. The new intern receives an extensive explanation package on all the part-time lessons and begins teaching the English classes while going to karate practices.

April to March is the official Japanese school & university calendar, also followed by private English classes and the Shiramizu dojo classes so having the new intern start in April perfectly matches the 'back to school, meet the new teachers' atmosphere in Japan.

Again, there is much, much more information in this blog which interested applicants should read thoroughly.

If anyone has any questions, they can email us anytime.
karateintern at gmail dot com

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