View Full Version : how to start?
2002-05-18, 09:52 PM
Okay I'm originally from Boston, MA, and I've been in the UK for the past year, getting a masters degree in archaeology. I don't think I want to go back to the states just yet. I would really like to see Japan, and I think a much better way to see it than visiting as a tourist would be to live there and really get to know it by becoming part of it. My difficulty is that I don't know any Japanese, and I don't know if I have the experience to get a job teaching English. I have taught little kids horseback riding lessons, but never anything in a classroom setting. Does anyone out there have any suggestions? I know a lot of people use the JET program, are there others I could look at?
Any help would be fantastic :) Also feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
thanks so much :)
2002-05-19, 08:28 AM
The JET "scheme" is the best. Why not use it? No experience needed. No Japanese language ability required. They fly you over. They provide an apt. and a phone. You don't have to buy a phone line (about 600 bucks). You don't have to pay key money (another 500 bucks). You are ALWAYS paid on time. You finish work at 5 p.m. or usually earlier. When you leave you get a 7,000 dollar bonus in the form of a pension refund. Your return airfare is paid, in cash. And they usually pay double what you need.
Now that's a good deal! Better than any EIKAIWA!
And rememmber, all you need is a degree and the ability to breathe. (Oh, yeah, make sure that you have the right kind of passport)
2002-05-19, 08:46 AM
As Sebastian wrote, JET has some distinct advantages over eikaiwas (conversation schools). Its biggest two disadvantages (in my opinion) are these:
1. The application process is only once a year, beginning in December, and it takes almost 8 months before you are actually sent to Japan (July/August). It's also very competitive.
2. JET's are not teachers. They assist Japanese teachers of English, so if a person has any decent experience teaching, he/she will probably not like being a JET. Of course, JET experiences vary. And, you may do community activities as well as work in a school. I've known people who are asked to be the official welcome committee for foreigners (ANY foreigners) when they visit the small country towns where they work, and I've heard of others who are asked to record their voices on exhibitions inside museums just to give the place an international feel.
Bear in mind, too, that JETs are sometimes asked to travel to more than one school, especially if they live in a rural setting. So, your workplace might shift almost daily during the week.
If you are interested in becoming a serious teacher, I'd suggest that you get some training. If you're going to apply to JET, you'll have time anyway.
2002-05-19, 11:22 AM
thanks for the info!
2002-05-19, 11:59 AM
Although JET is competitive, it is still unclear to me what they are looking for exactly. You might want to read postings about getting into the JET program either on this forum or on others (try eltnews.com).
If JET doesn't work out, by all means try applying to some of the other companies in Japan that hire people from abroad. Several of them offer training as they are used to getting people without a teaching background. I say go for it! The experience/adventure is well worth it.
2002-05-19, 12:44 PM
Yes. By all means. Go for it! But try JET first.
2002-05-20, 01:12 PM
JET's...well I have to say I am glad I decided to come to Japan on a different scheme.
JET's dont have too much freedom and are "asked" to take part in local activities and events which is very good for the first few months. But then it just becomes the showing off of the local GAIJIN event. Everyone knows you as the teacher who is paid by the city and you are expected to keep face and be a "good city employee"...
Slightly annoying (embarassing) if accidently drinking to much and being spotted crawling past one of your sudents families houses. A bad example but you will be known...or famous as many like to put it.
I have to say they are all actually a much of a muchness and only pay and holidays etc will change. AET's are probably better than EIKAIWA's by a step and a bound and a little bit more...
Come to JAPAN. DO IT. It will be an experience never to forget!
Just be prepared not to want to go home!!