I'm heading to Japan at the end of July, for a year of teaching with the JET programme. They seem to be rather disorganised, so I'm getting tiny trickles of information about where I will be working and living. At the moment, I know I'll be in Fukushima city, in Fukushima prefecture, and working at a variety of junior high schools, and some elementary schools. There are about 70 schools in the city, and it seems that the JETs are posted to random schools for short times. This is good, as I won't need to remember names, but bad as I won't be able to build a rapport with the students.
The preparation for this move has been long, difficult and extremely busy. I finished my TESOL diploma course, after 3 years, with a final word count for all modules of: 107,069. I'm glad it is done, even though it caused me a lot of pain and stress.
I've gone paperless - scanned most of the documents, photos, and sheet music I want to keep. There's no point paying international postage for all that paper!
To raise money for the move I'm selling most of my stuff. This has been very difficult, it is hard to part with collections of things. But it has certainly opened my eyes about what is and isn't important, and my buying patterns have changed enormously because of it.
I've still yet to assemble an appropriately professional wardrobe, although I have grey skirt suit set, and some really comfortable black suit pants from Sportscraft. My plan is to hit the Camberwell secondhand shops at some point to see if I can find a matching black suit jacket and some nice shirts. I also need to find new shoes (indoor only) for wearing while teaching - I'm sure I'll be doing a load of standing and walking (and commuting between schools, but that's a different pair of shoes).
I'm not looking forward to the muggy summer in Japan. Fukushima has a very humid average of 30 degrees in summer, and 0 degrees in winter (there will be snow). Packing for a year for this is very difficult! I'm considering taking an extra suitcase and paying for the extra baggage, instead of shipping a box at a later time. I don't know which is best.
Trying to catch up with people before I move, so I'll be in the city at QV Max Brenner on Monday 28th from 4:30pm until about 8pm.