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TEFL Japan

Travel Forums Asia TEFL Japan

1. Posted by RMS8 (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Hello, i have just been offered a job for a year by a company to teach english in Japan. Despite the fact im no stranger to traveling, im in constant deliberation and worry about it. Iv been out to USA for 3months twice and europe for a month and Australia for a year. Iv had up and downs in all trips but iv definetely got the travel bug.
Iv met people who have or who know people have have gone out to teach english somewhere, and strangely iv never heard a bad thing said about it!
Im saving money at home, which will be good. As on my trip to Australia i definetely didnt go out with enough, as it turned out to be a lot more expensive than 1st thought. However the thought of being out in Japan, with a years contract, just begs a lot of questions. With a lot of things travel related people usually do them and 'cross that bridge' when they come to it, but theres always a long stage of worry.
If theres anyone who can throw out some info, or stories on teaching english in asia (or anywhere) and their experiences, id love it hear.
Cheers
Ross

2. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 8y

Well I don't really know what so answer because you didn't actually ask any questions. But what I can say is to not worry about it. Japan is pretty much the easiest country in Asia to be in, living or traveling. You will quickly discover that they are a fully westernized country and life functions much the same as it does at home. So in the end, traveling in Japan is the same as traveling in Europe. Different language, slightly different culture, but very much the same way of life.
As for living there, you probably won't save much in your first year as wages in Japan are crap compared to other English teaching jobs around Asia. But you'll make enough to have a good time. But go with as much as you can because often the start-up costs, such as apartments, furniture, cars etc... can run quite high. But it depends on what company you got hired with. You didn't say so I don't know what your conditions are like, but some companies hook you up with an apartment, some leave you to find that on your own, and most do something in the middle.
As for what it's like teaching in Japan, again, that's hard to say without knowing what company you're going with. There's two types of jobs and they are completely different and will greatly effect your lifestyle in Japan. If you are with a conversation school, you'll live in an urban setting, though not necessarily in big city by any means, will work shift work, and have small one hour classes with a variety of students and will most likely have a couple other Western co-workers. If you were hired with an ALT company, you could live anywhere from downtown Osaka to the middle of a rice field in the mountains, will probably work in the public school system (could be any grade) teaching actual classes, and may be the only English speaker at your school and possibly in your town (as in my case). But every case is completely different and so it's hard to say how your life will be. My case was fantastic and I had one of the best years of my life. I lived in some stunningly beautiful mountains by myself and was the only Westerner around, I worked at a couple tiny junior high schools (hired through Interac) in the most cushy job I'll probably ever have, biked, hiked and snowboarded in my free time, and had a very peaceful and quiet life where I got to know students and community well. But, I was only a 15 minutes drive away from a small city where I could get anything I needed, take Japanese lessons, and spend the weekends letting loose with a group of Westerner friends, most of whom hated their boring conversation jobs in the city. I also had many friends who came to Japan when I did, lived in just as small towns near me, and left for downtown Tokyo the second they had a chance because they hated the countryside. So it depends on where and in what kind of school you are place, and what kind of person you are. But either way, don't worry about it, it's an easy place to live, and you'll never know if you like it until you get there.

3. Posted by RMS8 (Budding Member 7 posts) 7y

Yeah, i realise i didnt exactly put down a question. Thanks for that reply though! was just wat i was lookin for!
its a company called saxoncourt.com. Did you enjoy being the only westerner where you were living? did it put pressure on you to learn japanese? was it not hard with the lanaguage barrier?