September 30, 2015

Laurence's September web post!

Laurence here!

My second month in Japan is coming to an end and while I was very busy with moving into my new apartment, buying furniture and settling in, there were a few highlights that made this month truly memorable for me.

First was the rice harvesting trip I went on earlier this month. It had already been postponed once because of bad weather conditions, so even though it was raining cats and dogs that morning, we still had to go.


I was a bit worried at first because of the rain, but it turned out to be a really fun trip! Everyone was in a good mood and motivated despite the weather and rice harvesting in itself is definitely an interesting experience.

Cutting the rice and tying it is not especially hard, but it you want it done quickly and well, teamwork is the key. The students were especially nice to me (they thought I was a student at first,which might have helped) so it went very smoothly. It was exhausting work of course, but definitely a satisfying experience.


The other very important event this month was the school’s bunkasai, or culture festival. The international department also had to prepare a room, so it kept us very busy the week before.


We had a lot of work to do in the time frame we had, but we still managed to get it all done just in time! Along with the displays in our room, we also had a fortune telling booth and candy that definitely helped bring more people in.


It was fun playing fortune teller for two days. We had lots of guests coming into our room, including lots of potential students and younger kids, whose English was surprisingly good; we even had a few votes for the best room of the festival, so I’m pleased to say it was a success!


Now that our schedules are starting to be more final, my workload is only going to increase from here, so I’ll do my best to keep up and become a great assistant teacher!
See you next month!


September 11, 2015

Welcome to Seiritsu, Melissa!

Hello, my name is Melissa and I am an 18 year old student on the Gap year programme here at Seiritsu.


It has only been roughly two weeks since I arrived in Japan but I have already learnt and seen so much! Back in England I have already finished college and taken my University exams meaning that right now I am on my gap year. As I plan to study Japanese at University I realised attending a Japanese high school for 7 months would be a fun and rewarding way to improve my Japanese whilst simultaneously exploring Japan.

Japanese High School has been such a new and exciting experience with my favourite parts so far being the tea ceremony club, making friends and an afterschool trip to Harajuku.

August 25, 2015

My first month in Japan

Hello! My name is Laurence Dubé. I'm a first year JET programme participant working at Seiritsu Gakuen and these are the things I did during my first month in Japan.

First, let's talk about accommodations. Personally, I got to stay at a weekly mansion for two weeks and then did a home stay for the reminder of the month, but some JETs just did homestay. Either way, there are a few things I had to learn to do during my first week.
-How to get to my school, how basic transportation here works and how to get a suica or a pasmo card (to pay for transportation).
-How to introduce myself properly in Japanese (I already knew the basics but that isn't the case for all JETs)
-How the appliances (washing machine, toilet, shower/bath panel) work
-How and where to get cheap food near me (I'm talking about actual $4 and less meals here), including learning about the frequent questions people at the konbini or restaurant might be asking you
-How trash sorting works here.

Then once you got that out of the way, congratulations! You can now basically function as a human being in Japan! But of course, that's only the beginning. There are a lot more things you need to do in the first month, including…
-Registering at your local town office
-Look for an apartment (with relocation Japan's help, in my case)
-Get a hanko (personal stamp)
-Open a bank account
-Get a phone and a phone plan
-Join as many Facebook groups relevant to your JET situation as you can. These will give you access to tons of useful information, as well as a way support and answers to any questions you might have.
-Look for furniture. I recommend Japanese Craigslist and second hand/recycle shops (Off House is a good one) and arrange for delivery.

Finally, there are also work related matters to attend to even though you probably arrived during summer break. We're here to work after all! Personally, I had to…
-Do some readings about my school (history, clubs etc.)
-Read through some of the books the teachers use to teach at my school
-Start learning the teacher's names
-Write some JET/School related blog posts (like this one ;P)
-Record some short, educational videos about differences between Westerners and Japanese people.
-Learn where all the important locations were in my school.
-Work on my self introduction and start coming up with ideas for lessons and activities.
Annnnd that's pretty much how it went! That sounds like a lot, right? That's because it is, but don't worry—you're not alone. There are most probably tons of JETs in similar situations as you are in right now and there are many people around you who can help, including other ALTs, your supervisor and your coworkers, so your transition in your new life goes as smoothly as possible. Just remember to take some time to relax, eat well and never hesitate to ask for help.


Good luck!!

August 25, 2015

"The More You Know" - A Public Announcement From a JET

Hi everyone! It's Teresa again.

In one week, it's going to be officially one month since I landed in Narita International Airport and started my JET adventures with Seiritsu Gakuen.


In one concise sentence, things have been proceeding extremely well! I moved into my apartment last week and it's a beautiful 2DK that I initially thought was a tiny living area for me and my fiancé. After settling down with my suitcases and my furniture though, I am in love with my space. I actually find it quite large as it is a 45 m2 apartment. Most of my JET friends have an apartment that is around 20 m2. I feel blessed to have found such a beautiful apartment that is not too far from Seiritsu Gakuen.

For those thinking about an international move, specifically a move to Tokyo, Japan, I have a few tips for what to do before your flight:
a) start researching whether your phone is compatible to the LTE bands in Japan
b) start researching phone plans you desire
⁃ (I started researching the summer before arriving and found a monthly plan for \1,600.)
c) start researching areas you would like to live in
d) start contacting real estate agencies on Gaijin Pot, for example, for apartments in areas you want to live in
⁃ (Some agencies do not have fees!)
e) contact your supervisor if possible!
Read Laurence's post for tips that apply to your first month in Japan.

These are the few simple tips that would save you money! It is so important to research. Knowledge is key!

I am quite happy and proud to have researched because I saved about \6,000 from only my monthly phone bills. I saved much more by finding a large and amazing apartment in a nice area with a low rental fee. You can save too if you research and network and learn from others. C:


August 12, 2015

Bonjour! I'm Laurence!

Hello! My name is Laurence Dubé and I'm one of the new JET Programme ALTs (assistant language teacher) at Seiritsu Gakuen. Pleased to meet you~


I'm a translation major from the province of Québec in Canada. I've lived in Quebec City for the past seven years, but I originally come from a very small town in the countryside called La Pocatière. I also took Japanese classes in college, and I've been studying the language by myself for a few years. My first language is actually French, but I learned English at school and through personal study and practice times at home.

This is my first time in Japan and also my first long-term trip, so I'm a little nervous, but also very excited to be here. Japan is very different from Canada (especially the weather), but so far everything is going well and I hope I can adapt quickly.

I love languages and I hope I will be able to make you love them too. To me, learning a language is also about learning about a country's culture and its people and overall, a wonderful way to broaden your horizons. Let's have fun and learn English together!

August 12, 2015

Hello, I'm Teresa

Nice to meet you! My name is Teresa Fong, and I'm going to be one of your new JET Programme assistant language teachers (ALT). I hail from the Fijian Islands, but moved to Boston, Massachusetts in the Eastern coast of America when I was eight years old. Please call me Teresa and don't be shy to say hi to me if you see me around the school.


Even though I lived in Tokyo last year as part of my study abroad program, I still stumble and lack in many ways when it comes to living in Japan. One of the main challenges include surviving the heat and humidity along with the millions of other residents! Let's hope I find some cooling tips and remember to drink enough water to avoid heat sickness. Despite the challenges I may face, I am more than ready to tackle them with all my might.


I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to teach and learn English with the students and teachers of Seiritsu Gakuen. Let's use English everyday and jump to new levels!

August 10, 2015

Seiritsu gets two new JET teachers!

In 2014, the Tokyo government brought in about 100 JETs, joining their counterparts spread throughout Japan. JET stands for “Japan Exchange and Teaching” and is a programme to promote grass-roots international exchange. You can learn more about the programme at the following links:

Then, starting this year, they added another 100 participants to help out in Tokyo at private institutions like Seiritsu Gakuen, bringing the number of Tokyo JETs to 200. We learned on April 29th that we would be fortunate to have two teachers placed with us.

With only three months to prepare, we have spent a lot of extra time behind the scenes researching what is needed and what is often done to meet the needs of the incoming ALTs.

After all the build up, we finally got to meet in person on Wednesday August 5th in Shinjuku at a special orientation put together for the JETs and the host schools. Nogami Sensei, Kawaguchi Sensei and Brent took part and then brought the JETs to Seiritsu and then their short term accommodations. Vice-principal Fukuda Sensei took a picture and made a blog post for the Seiritsu family column. You can see it here:

We are going to spend most of August helping the two new teaches get settled into their lives here in Tokyo. Please join us in giving them a warm welcome!

We are confident they will enjoy their time with us her at Seiritsu!

July 19, 2015

Seiritsu's ID students train for Hazards!

Although most of our international students aim to take the Japanese term exam tests just like their Japanese home room peers, those still learning the language have the opportunity to go on School excursions with the International Department.

So, while Connor, Marina and Sora were trying their best with the Term 2 exams on July 9, Brent and Peter took students Tai, Jeremy and Meg (a Japanese returnee born in Canada) to the ikebukuro Life Safety Learning Center. There we learned about the great Kanto-Tohoku disaster of March 11, 2011, and also what we can do to ensure our maximum safety in Fire and earthquake emergencies.

We experienced putting out fires, crawling through smokey corridors...


...and the high level of a level 7 Shindo (Japanese measurement based on sensation) earthquake in a simulator.



Also, a News station TBS was filming in the center that day too, and so Seiritsu staff and students were filmed and interviewed for their evening programme NStar!

We hope to have footage of this soon, and will post it if we get a chance.

However, all students agreed that going to the Life Safety Center was an invaluable experience.


Peter Williams
International Department Coordinator

July 17, 2015

Seiritsu Baseball team's "Koshien" Qualifiers!

It's the season that all High School baseball fans look forward to every year!

The All Japan High Schools Baseball Championship qualifiers have started, and Seiritsu are looking to repeat their performance of four years ago when they managed to enter the main Championship for the first time.

The tournament, known as "Koshien" because of the staduim it is held at in Osaka, is shown nationally on TV during the summer, with scouts for the Major League teams in Japan looking out for their latest potential star.

Seiritsu is currently in the 3rd round, having beaten Ikebukuro's Rikkyo High School 10 runs to 2.

Good luck guys, We're all cheering for you!

Peter Williams
International Department Coordinator

July 13, 2015

Come like our Facebook page!

Hello everyone,

Did you know that we have a facebook fan page?

By liking the Seiritsu page, you will get notified of our regular updates for this blog as well as extra comments we post on our fan page.

You can find the Seiritsu fan page here:

Have a great summer!




about Seiritsu

Seiritsu Gakuen is a private co-educational high school created in 1925 and it is located in Tokyo, Japan.

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