View Full Version : whats the "right" way to do it?
2003-06-11, 10:43 PM
I'm aplying for NOVA now, but my brain is exploding with all the advice i'm reading here.
i know that waiting ot apply for JET is a good idea, but for now i'm settling with my NOVA app, so i wont worry about "who do i go with"
i gather that JET and NOVA are the only two programmes that supply airfare. is this correct?
so should i:
ask for my own accommodation, or share a NOVA apartment?
worry about never seeing my friends in tokyo if i'm placed out in woop-woop?
buy a laptop computer secondhand and get ISDN so i can have internet? (how are you all connecting?)
quit NOVA as soon as i get there and start looking for a better job?
(if so how do you "quit"?)
i keep hearing horror stories about racism and sexism, and being isolated and working for nasty people, and high prices, and lack of job opportunities outside of teaching "fast-food" english.
The overall message i'm getting is that japan is still an amazing place (nothing would make me give up on going over) i'm just hoping to have a positive experience, be able to get around the country as much as possible, and i really would like to be in tokyo because i have some good friends there.
Basically i'm scared of being too isolated. I want to meet lots of people japanese and gaijin, but also catch up with friends.
2003-06-11, 11:43 PM
Nova doesn't pay for airfare unless things have changed in the last year since I quit nova. Definitely ask for a private non nova apartment. This way if you decide to switch jobs you don't have to move out and they can't kick you out of the apartment.
As for a computer you might get a good second hand laptop in Tokyo. But, keep in mind that not all cities have hook-up for cable internet. For hook-up through phone lines it is very expensive because you pay per minute of usuage. That isn't including the cost of the phone line.
If you come over definitely do not quit until you have another job lined up. It isn't too easy to find another job. It takes connections or simply being in the right place at the right time. Also make sure that when you do quit that you have a contract with the new company and never do any full time work without a contract.
Each branch or school you are placed at is different. Some branches are run better than others so it is all in luck again as to what you will receive.
Jet does pay better and they will pay for your airfare, some areas also pay all or part of your rent. (utilities are generally paid by you)
You can always look forward for a trip into Tokyo if you aren't placed there to see your friends.
2003-06-12, 05:49 AM
NOVA does not pay airfare. GEOS and AEON pay something but only after you have completed a contract. This is one way to keep the slackers from coming over and then bailing out on a free visa and airplane ticket.
JET program and Westgate Corporation pay airfare.
Quitting any company is done the same way as back home. You give notice and resign. If you are being housed by the company, be prepared to move out SOON.
Bring a laptop computer. Secondhand ones are cheaper, but who knows what condition they are in, or how old they are. Remember, in the computer business a 3-year-old computer is ancient. You can connect to ADSL and have a better deal than ISDN. Call NTT for info. It'll cost about 10,000 yen to set up, and you pay 5000 yen/month for unlimited Internet and basic phone charges.
If you are placed in a rural setting far from your friends, so be it. If you want the job, you go where they say. Being in a rural setting gives you a chance to learn your Japanese better and to experience "real" Japan better anyway.
2003-06-12, 09:06 AM
that's interesting Nova seems to omit from actually saying whether they pay your airfare or not, that's why i brought it up here. thanks for clearing it up - doesn't make much difference in my situation anyway.
I've never heard of Westgate Corp, so any info would be welcome. are they worth working for, what qualifications do i need etc...
thankyou MY for the tip about not quitting till i have another job lined up. From the gaijinpot lists it looks likes theres heaps of work out there though, is it really that hard? some of the deals do look dodgy, but most look ok.
I've heard the Nara office of Nova is really good so i've put that as my second option. i'm not going to die if i'm not in tokyo, but i live an isolated enough life at the moment, in a country where i dont speak the language (yet) i really am worried about isolation, and the ability to contact my friends easily - hence the internet. I was hoping someone would say "oh, your job will give you internet access" but noone has said that?
there's no point in me bringing a laptop computer, A) they are much too expensive here, B) they have the wrong electrical wiring. So i may as well fork out the same money in Japan and get one slightly ewer with the right transformer. If i were worried about the speed of a computer i wouldn't be going secondhand.
I think i'll go with the Nova apartment, i'll beliving with other people then, and have a microwave, fridge, tv and keymoney all set for me. i don't think i could save up enough to go out on my own "just in case" i decide to quit. there's always Year Two for that... thanks for the advice though :)
i didn't know Jet paid better. hmmmm... well if nova don't want me then i'll have my chance with Jet :)
2003-06-12, 04:32 PM
I'm in the process of waiting to go to Japan to teach English through Shane.
You have to pay for the airfare, but after 3 months, you get 65000 yen back.
2003-06-12, 04:33 PM
Can anyone offer any advice on this? Im 33 years old,dont have a university degree.Is there any possibility of making my way to Japan alone,finding a job,then sorting a visa out? Would much appreciate any input!
2003-06-12, 05:08 PM
This message is aimed at all potential English Teachers who are thinking of coming to Japan and is written by someone who has worked for NOVA (in Osaka and Mie), in junior high and high schools throughout Japan for local education authorities and now runs their own community based English School.
There are literally hundreds of jobs in Japan to "teach" English and I am lucky enough to be one of the employers who can offer people positions; yet I cannot find suitable candidates.
If you are TRULY interested in TEACHING as a career, then there are plenty of very good jobs in Japan; but I stress this, you have to consider yourself as wanting a career in the teaching sector to be considered for one of these positions.
I am constantly searching for committed teachers who wish to forge a career in the English teaching sector and we pride oursleves on seeing one of OUR responsibilities as employers as encouraging and motivating our staff to attain higher levels of excellence that will serve them well when they decide to move on. As an employer it is in my interests to help you to become a better person as a result of your experience here.
However I am far too often faced with candidates who fail interviews; and more often than not, they fail since we can tell, and very easily, they are just another one of the "people", not "teachers", passing through Japan "out to get as much cash as possible with maximum fun while simultaneously doing that necessary evil known as teaching English".
If your are interested in a teaching position purely as a means to "get into the country" and "experience Japan" then you will have to face the fact that (and I say this as both an employee and employer), if you treat your employer and job as a means to an ends, you cannot possibly expect to have your employer do anything except treat you accordingly.
We are always looking for suitable people... we have great trouble finding them. The question you have to ask yourself if you are thinking of coming to Japan is into which of these two general "groups" of jobs you wish to place yourself; and will have the experience that goes with that.
What PRECISELY do you expect people to do/have?
2003-06-12, 11:20 PM
I could expatiate onthe subject of Shane, but don't presently have the energy to do so.
In the nearly six years I have been here I have NEVER heard anything positive about the "school".Check scumbagsinjapan.com.It might prove illuminating>I knew a woman who was treated like scum by them.She took her case to the labour relations board.
2003-06-12, 11:23 PM
Nova.I cannot think of an organisation that is more synonymous with : exploitation; duplicity......oh,I could go on for ages about them, but would prefer others to do it.Just forget the whole idea.
2003-06-12, 11:34 PM
i've just written a long thankyou letter to Mr. Samworth for his encouraging thoughts. as teaching is one of my passions, and something i love learning to become better at.
I agree this message is lost on alot of people, but i also think it is lost on alot of japanese who use their valuable english speaking assets (us) and sit them in a corner like a living dictionary - this is understandably discouraging for those who hope to come and engage and share their skills. SO the blame does not fall squarely on the applicants shoulders i suspect.
2003-06-13, 05:40 AM
Hey, whats up D? Are you Canadian? Cuz if you are, then you qualify for a working holiday visa. Actually if you're from any English speaking nation, minus the states, then you qualify for a working holiday visa, I believe. This allows you to work for one year in japan, without a degree. There are certain rules, I guess you would call them. First, you must obtain it here; and second, its only good for a year, and is a one in your lifetime deal. After that, you need to have a degree, in order to obtain the actual working visa. These visas are obtained through consulates/embassies. Hope this helps out man, Good Luck!
I agree with what you say. in regards to the "teachers" who are doing the necessary evil to finance their foreign experience.
I kick myself everytime I realize I have hired one. (sigh)
2003-08-13, 03:38 AM
gah! trying to find your own housing brings stress upon itself. you'd have to have a BIG nest egg piled up to get the starter money fo ryou non-company apartment unless you find yourself a gaijin house. another thing is that JET is a long application process and only accepts applications once a year. if you are in more of rush you could come over through a private company.
airfare is not paid by NOVA. During my interview, this was made crystal clear (you have to ask in order to get the fact that NOVA has no end-of-contract completion bonus)
2003-08-26, 10:59 PM
I saw your e-mail from a while ago on the Gaijinpot.com site and wanted to know what your opinion was for minimum requirments to get good quality teaching work in Japan. I have a BA honours in English and History. I realise this will get me teaching work quite easily, but I wanted to know if further qualifications would make much difference. I want to make a carreer of teaching and was unsure whether it would make a huge difference if I had something like a TEFL course or post graduate qualification. I am turning 30 soon and thought it best to go to Japan before this to avoid visa difficulties.
2003-09-11, 07:17 AM
I like to think of myself as someone who is serious about teachiing and after pouring over these forums for the past month, I have become quite discouraged. I'm interested in finding a quality teaching position in Japan (preferably not Tokyo) and would love any tips or advoce you could offer. You can also email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
2003-11-04, 09:00 PM
Reading David Samworth's post, I suspect he's being as unrealistic as he claims his interview candidates are. There are not literally hundreds of jobs to teach English in Japan, there are many thousands. The JET program alone accounts for around 5,000. So right there, his school is operating in the market against a program that pays 300,000 yen a month, requires no special skills or professionalism, and takes very good care of its employees, including covering airfare to and from the home country, cheap or free acccommodation, and generous holidays. And it's not especially difficult to get hired.
Almost everyone to some extent treats their job as a means to an end. Whatever your commitment to teaching itself, you could hardly be blamed for wanting the maximum benefit from your employment package. Not many schools can offer one as good as or better than the JET program (which I do however admit, has its own shortcomings, not least for those genuinely committed to teaching).
From David's description of what he needs for his school, perhaps he should concentrate on recruiting from abroad, and more importantly, only hire people with a teaching qualification. Surely that would weed out the "passing through Japan" types? He does, after all, mention teaching as a "career". Why try to select from people who are already in the country, when he must know that the great majority will fall into the category he has so little time for?
I also take issue with the implication that people are just treated by schools in accordance with their own "means to an end" approach. The whole question goes a lot deeper than that, and there are a lot of angles to it. Nova for example, has built up a genuinely awful reputation as an employer. This is not related simply to the quality of the teachers they hire: it is because they are unscrupulous. They also have some genuinely demoralizing and idiotic rules, such as their non-fraternization policy. If I worked for them - and frankly, I'd rather starve - I would consider it a duty and a matter of honour to break that rule at the first opportunity. In eight years of teaching, one thing I did learn was that it's just about impossible not to socialize with your students.