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jdkacz

Teach English in Japan

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My fiance is a education major, however, where we live, teaching jobs are hard to come by, and I see on Monster, jobs for teaching english in Japan. I wondered if anyone has done this and what kind of experience they've had as she's giving the idea some thought.

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My sister went to Japan for this purpose and now manages a school there. What kind of questions do you have?

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a lot of my friends are and have been teachers here. Some have really liked it, but all of them have been here with short term goals. Actually, most weren't edcucation majors... as you only need to natively speak english and have a batchelors (in anything) to teach English in Japan and asia. If your fiance is intrested in teaching since she is an edcuation major, i wouldn't really reccomend her doing the english thing... because it's basicly just having conversations all day and doing a few short lessons.

What I do reccomend though, is that she check out DODea (google it). DoD Schools... you can live overseas and make way more than you would teaching in the US (ie: 55K and higher) and have a LOT of amazing benefits since you're a government employee. It's pretty much the best deal you can get teaching... and is actually what I plan to do when i finish school. I really sugest that you guys check it out.

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I have recently moved to Japan to avoid being stuck in a long term teaching position at a young age. I am very excited about teaching and love my subject (social sciences). A cahnce to travel and experience a totally different culture is something I encourage. The only issue is that when you "teach" english here you have to cater to a lot of nonsense. I have to put up with a lot from parents that are really the customers, unlike public school, and will pull there kids out if you aren't teaching their child the way they deem best. It is pretty frsutrating at times.

I have to agree with Tony Speller. It would be wise to work for the department of defense and get paid what you ought to get paid and experience the culture. The Japanese students are really great though. I imagine an international or public school to teach English might also be an exciting way to use your education degree.

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What kind of transition is it? I imagine it has to be quite the jump. I know some Japanese, the fiance none (however, she seems to be more of a natural at language in general so I think she'd do better then me in that area) as I took it for several years in college, so its basic conversational at best, so what Im getting at is how easy is the transition process?

Additionally, if she's employed as a teacher or if the DoD route works, then are visas needed? Or is that something the employer takes care of? Additionally, if Im not employed do I need a visa?

Sorry for all the questions, but thanks for all the ideas and help, its greatly appreciated!

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What kind of transition is it? I imagine it has to be quite the jump. I know some Japanese, the fiance none (however, she seems to be more of a natural at language in general so I think she'd do better then me in that area) as I took it for several years in college, so its basic conversational at best, so what Im getting at is how easy is the transition process?

If you stick to the cities, it is pretty easy to get around even if you don't speak or read Japanese. There is a lot of english in use and in places such as restaurants, you can simply point at the plastic food that is found in almost all of them. Most Japanese expect that westerners will try to speak in english and shop keepers and civil servants will try to help if they can, ironically what they don't expect is for a westerner to try and speak in Japanese. Some of them simply won't communicate this way with non-Japanese.

The transition to the culture there can be difficult for some and very easy for others. I think a lot of it depends on how willing you are to adapt to the Japanese culture and letting go of some western concepts on what is important. It also certainly helps to establish a base of friends in Japan.

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Metro.m, you mentioned your sister did this, are all the employers that offer these positions reputable or are there things to be on the lookout for?

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Metro.m, you mentioned your sister did this, are all the employers that offer these positions reputable or are there things to be on the lookout for?

I know you asked this to monsoon, but I can answer this as well. Not all are reputable. Actually, it's best if you work for a "real" school (as in a public school) or the JET program. Otherwise, there's no guarantee that you'll be paid or treated well. Even if you work for a large ELT company like NOVA (NOVA actually has a really bad reputation among workers and students). No matter who you work for, make sure that you are churched up on all of your rights as an ELT in Japan. there is an ELT union that state specific things that ALL employers must give you (time off, pay, benefits, etc)... but a lot of companies won't tell their workers about it on purpose. Coincidently, a lot of innocent people get taken for when they don't even know it.

Japanese english schools are probably the most reputable in Asia though. I know a ton of people in korea that worked for months without being paid.

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Metro.m, you mentioned your sister did this, are all the employers that offer these positions reputable or are there things to be on the lookout for?

I have never heard of anyone that has had any trouble with the larger better known schools in Japan. We are not talking about a 3rd world banana republic. The worst thing that can happen is that you get on the plane and return to the USA. According to my sister, that happens mostly to the people who are unable to adapt to the culture there, or have gotten into some kind of trouble.

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What Tony and Metro have said is good information. Like Tony said, go JET if you can, but it has become highly competitive in recent years, and there is an age limit, and maybe less flexibility as to where you can go/request to go. Many schools have recently cancelled their JET programs do to funding problems. The pay as a JET teacher is best, and the benefits like free apartments, etc., can be good, though not always a guarantee.

I worked for NOVA for two years. All of the large schools like AEON, NOVA, GEOS have their isues and problems, silly rules, etc., but the fact of th matter is that despite all of the complaints, nobody held guns to anyone's head and forced them to to teach there!! I always chuckle when I hear so much complaining. Sure, I had my share of issues with NOVA, but it wasn't THAT BAD. I mean, come on, we all complain about aspects of our jobs no matter where we go. The cultural experience for me was worth it. Two of the best years of my life. And if you don't like it.....quit!! Yeah, some people have an issue with breaking contracts, but you can quit if need be.

There may be some measure of culture shock that doesn't necessarily hit right away, could take a few months to settle in. Knew more than one teacher that was there one day, and simply gone the next. Couldn't take it. I'd say these folks aren't the norm though.

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Excellent, thanks for all of the advice, I've been passing it along, and will post updates if a decision is made to make the jump.

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one website you should check out is www.gaijinpot.com. there are classifieds with all sorts of jobs(including ELT), plus it's pretty useful for a lot of other reasons.

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The only issue is that when you "teach" english here you have to cater to a lot of nonsense. I have to put up with a lot from parents that are really the customers, unlike public school, and will pull there kids out if you aren't teaching their child the way they deem best. It is pretty frsutrating at times.

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Every nation should get a quality education.Taking them to a wonderful and educated life.

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