08-26-2010, 04:15 AM
Just for the record MMM, (at least in my prefecture) they don't send you away to any "renewers conference" any more. I think they chose to cut that out of the program(me) because it was considered a waste of money.
I've heard of parents/couples in JET before, but never have I heard of a single parent. If I were a single parent, JET (or something like it) is not something I'd like to do. The logistics of dealing with daycare and the like would be outrageous. As far as the "overnight stuff" goes (which you might have depending on your school) you can, and teachers often do, opt out of going. However, there are different "enkais" (I guess dinners/banquets with your coworkers) that you will have to go to out of obligation especially if you are in the inaka.
I live in the inaka. The town that I live in is one of the easiest and most comfortable places to live (as far as I'm concenred). The prefecture is often voted as being the place with the happiest/most satisfied residents (or something to that degree). However, there are areas that are EXTREMELY hard to live in. I'm talking having to drive like a half hour or an hour to get to a super market and getting snowed in during the winter (and having to shovel snow every single time you move your car). There is always the chance that you will get a place like that.
I'm just gonna say, I think your child will probably learn some Japanese while he or she is here, but I think it would hurt his or her overall education if it's only going to last for a couple of years (as the Japanese will likely be forgotten in 10 years or so). So if you speak and understand Japanese really well, then maybe. If you don't speak Japanese really well, then I think it would be a risk for your child (think about your kid getting really sick in a foreign country in which you don't speak the language too well... and you're in the mountains in the middle of nowhere.... when it's snowing). I am 100% sure that will happen if you get accepted. I think the program will think of this and immediately say no, so I wouldn't put any high hopes on getting in. I'm sorry to be so straight, but I think that's how it will go. If you are completely serious and prepared for everything then there is no sense in not trying though.