I just want to let everyone know what to expect of the first month here. I pretty much want to convey: "Don't worry, be happy :)". You can get a bit tense coming into this foreign situation (haha get it?), but in reality everything becomes clear as you go along. I always felt a small bit lost, but that is just a part of the adventure right? Accept it and enjoy. Now... onwards!
So you finally made it to your prefecture! If your like me, you will arrive in the middle of the week (Wednesday), afternoon, during summer (August). When I first arrived my supervisor was waiting to pick me up (with a big welcome sign!). First, I was taken out to lunch! Then, I went directly to my main school to meet everyone. The whole time I was wearing a suit in about 32 degrees Celsius. To be honest, I could have gotten away with something cooler, but it wasn't terrible. After the office visit I was taken to my apartment and shown around, before finally being left alone to relax.
The atmosphere for the 1st month was really relaxing for me (and most of the other JETs I know). If you arrive in August you'll be right in the middle of Summer break, and most of the teacher may not even be in the office. This is great because you may get to meet people slowly. A few things that'll happen in the first month are:
- Sports day. My High School holds their annual Sports day in August. This is great to get involved in.
- Enkai - You may have a formal party held to celebrate your arrival. As for me, the night after I arrived I had an okonomiyaki party with my supervisor and another sensei. It wasn't for another month till my formal Enkai.
- Work - You'll be mostly working on your self-introduction. I did mine completely using powerpoint. You need to figure out what's available to you.
- Clubs - there are many clubs going on during the summer break - check them out.
- Students - there are many students simply hanging around school - meet them! The English club came to visit me everyday :)
- Setup - setting yourself up in Japan. Your supervisor will help you get a bank account, cellphone, internet, etc. Get on to the internet as soon as possible, this can take the longest to setup.
In the first month I didn't have much work to do apart from my self-introduction. So if you find a similar situation with lots of free time, then simply just make yourself known around the school.
So these are really just the formal things, there is so much more to do in your city/town/island. Make sure you get out and about in your first weekend! Tackle the interesting things like taking the bus/train/etc. Quicker you figure out your city/town the better.
Enough for now ;)