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  • Trying to get to Japan

    Hello,
    I am trying to find a why to Japan other then teaching English. I am still in school and it is hard to find a study aboard or exchange program that will allow me to take graphic arts course and honestly I can't afford to take any course that don't relate to my major. So my questions are after I graduate are there any programs that I can get into that will allow me to go to Japan. And my other question is do you think that a year off will hurt me in finding a job after I return to the US. I'm wondering this because if I went to Japan to teach english for a year how would I explain my new employer.

    Thanks for the advice to whom ever respond

  • #2
    I know there are some university exchange programs, and Osaka / Tokyo daigaku may have some post-grad studies.

    Another way is what I did - got a job with a multinational, and requested a transfer to Japan. Had a wonderful, well-taken-care of, all-paid-for, expatriate experience.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by wonderful
      And my other question is do you think that a year off will hurt me in finding a job after I return to the US. I'm wondering this because if I went to Japan to teach english for a year how would I explain my new employer.

      Thanks for the advice to whom ever respond
      I've met one or two people in the past who came to Japan for a year as an English teacher, and tried to enter the job market in a different field upond returning to the states, and yes, taking time off to teach English in Japan did hurt them, especially in the current economic conditions.

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      • #4
        So should i just save my money and just go when i have some free time.

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        • #5
          IS there a website that I can go to help me plan a trip to japan on my own.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by wonderful
            IS there a website that I can go to help me plan a trip to japan on my own.
            Do you want to come toJapan as a foreign exchange student or come here to teach English?

            They require different visas. I can give you advice on teaching and finding jobs here if you come here by yourself but it depends of what you are looking for. There are not many things you can do outside English teaching unless you have some fluency in Japanese.

            Graphic arts courses at universities will likely be taught in Japanese.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by paulh
              Do you want to come toJapan as a foreign exchange student or come here to teach English?

              They require different visas. I can give you advice on teaching and finding jobs here if you come here by yourself but it depends of what you are looking for. There are not many things you can do outside English teaching unless you have some fluency in Japanese.

              Graphic arts courses at universities will likely be taught in Japanese.

              As far as Japanese goes, Im taking this online class and its a good startbut it wont get me to level 1 so I am currently looking for other ways to study Japanese. If you know any, please feel free to tell me.

              With teaching English, I don't mind doing it but I was wondering if that would effect me job wise when I graduate. What I mean is will teaching English in Japan hurt me in trying to get a graphic design job in the US. I would like to work in Japan as a graphic designer but I know that I need to develop some kind of work portfolio beforehand.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by wonderful
                As far as Japanese goes, Im taking this online class and its a good startbut it wont get me to level 1 so I am currently looking for other ways to study Japanese. If you know any, please feel free to tell me.

                With teaching English, I don't mind doing it but I was wondering if that would effect me job wise when I graduate. What I mean is will teaching English in Japan hurt me in trying to get a graphic design job in the US. I would like to work in Japan as a graphic designer but I know that I need to develop some kind of work portfolio beforehand.

                Obviously you are going to have to sort out your priorities and from where I stand they appear to be mutually exclusive.


                Your goals are

                1. Learn Japanese
                2. get a job in Japan as a a graphic designer
                3. get a job in the US after teaching English in Japan
                4. You want to teach English here.

                To get any none teaching job here you are going to

                1. Need Japanese ability
                2. Have the right visa and connections

                If you work full time as a language teacher, forty hours a week (which is what you will need to live on) you wont have time to study. To achieve fluency in Japanese will take 3-5 years of study which you cant do if you are working, so you either teach English or study Japanese.

                Plenty of ways to study Japanese. Do you want to self-study, take a class, enrol in a 6 month course in Japan?

                You want to be a graphic designer, which is hardly a background for teaching English but you want to do it becuase you are a native speaker and 'anyone can teach English' Essentially what you want is the same thing in reverse. Do something in Japan that has no relation to a job or career back home.

                teaching English is only good for Japan, no where else unless you get a Masters degree in TESOl and find a teaching job back home. 2-3 years in Japan you will take yourself out of the market and networks back home, and essentailly fall behind the latest trends. A teaching stint will mean absolutely zilch to an employer back home, but you will have picked up some Japanese and you may learn something about the business while you are over here. You really have to make the most of your opportunities but i really dont think teaching at a conversation school, in a completely unrelated field will help one way or the other.

                You really have to decide what is important for you, learning Japanese, working ina Japanese company (which requires you having skills and experience they cant get over here) as well as a proper working visa. Trip Hop knows more on this than I do, but I would say with no Japanese your chances are low to non-existent in a Japanese corporate setting. remember this will be in a non-English business environment where all meetings, faxes, memos, documents are in Japanese.

                working at a conversation school is far removed from working at a big Japanese graphics firm and its unlikely you will make the connections you need or have the time to study Japanese to make inroads or develop the networking skills, especially if you lack solid experience.


                Sorry if this is long winded but you have to decide which is more important to you, working in Japan, working in the US, and learning Japanese. What you win on the swings you lose on the slides, as they say.

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                • #9
                  I pretty much understand that I need to be able to speak Japanese and that I need some professional graphic art skills. I guess my priorities are as stated

                  1. Finish my degree in graphic arts, while studying Japanese
                  2. Get employed in the US , while studying Japanese
                  3. Get a job in Japan

                  Honestly, I just want to come to Japan. I guess I can go on a vacation there but I don't know where to start.

                  Now as far as studying Japanese, I would like to enroll in a 6 month course in Japan but since Im still in school that is not an option. I would like to comprehend the language, not just passing the proficiency test. So if you know of any other online classes and/or books that I can use, please let me know.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wonderful
                    I pretty much understand that I need to be able to speak Japanese and that I need some professional graphic art skills. I guess my priorities are as stated

                    1. Finish my degree in graphic arts, while studying Japanese
                    2. Get employed in the US , while studying Japanese
                    3. Get a job in Japan

                    Honestly, I just want to come to Japan. I guess I can go on a vacation there but I don't know where to start.

                    Now as far as studying Japanese, I would like to enroll in a 6 month course in Japan but since Im still in school that is not an option. I would like to comprehend the language, not just passing the proficiency test. So if you know of any other online classes and/or books that I can use, please let me know.
                    Now we are getting somwhere

                    You will need a degree anyway as most work visas here require a university degree or unless you have specialised trade skills and experience. Some visas require you have up to 3 years experience in the field if you dont have a degree (Humanities visa).

                    Cannot give you advice about working in the US as im not an American. All I can recommend if you want to learn Japanese is you are going to need to learn how to read (not necessarily write)speak and hear Japanese. Language and vocabulary will improve through lots of reading and lots of input. Speaking to OK but there is only so mcuh you can learn in daily conversation nad you have to learn polite language, business Japanese and trade jargon. Dialects are also a consideraation as no one here speaks like a text book, and Tokyo Japanese is different from that spoken in Osaka or Fukuoka.

                    If you pass Level 1 or Level 2 of JLPT it shows you have a pretty good understanding of Japanese- Level 1 requires learning nearly 1900 kanji and 10,000 vocabulary. About the same level as a Japanese high school student. i have level 2 myself.

                    You can come here as an exchange student to a Japanese university while you are studying. See if your university offers programs to study at a university in Japan. Many foreign students study here and the Japanese government will actually pay you money to come and study here, about 180,000 yen a month, as a way to attract foreign students.

                    Do you want to learn to speak read or write Japanese?

                    there are a number of books on learning Kanji and most bookstores will have basic texts on learning to speak Japanese or you can order off Amazon. I cant think of any off hand as everyone is different and it depends on what you are looking for.

                    Let me know where your interests lie and what your learning goals are.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by paulh
                      You can come here as an exchange student to a Japanese university while you are studying. See if your university offers programs to study at a university in Japan. Many foreign students study here and the Japanese government will actually pay you money to come and study here, about 180,000 yen a month, as a way to attract foreign students.
                      I would love to do this but my school doesn't offer any classes that will go towards my major and I tight on how many credits I can spare.

                      Originally posted by paulh
                      Do you want to learn to speak read or write Japanese?
                      All. I would like to speak,read and write. I acutally learning hiragana right now.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wonderful
                        INow as far as studying Japanese, I would like to enroll in a 6 month course in Japan but since Im still in school that is not an option. I would like to comprehend the language, not just passing the proficiency test. So if you know of any other online classes and/or books that I can use, please let me know.
                        Cant think of any online sites at the moment

                        Only one I know is http://www.kanjiclinic.com

                        Best way to learn spoken Japanese is to talk to people and practice what you learn. Hang around any foreign exchange students at your university and make friends with them. Offer to take them places if you let them speak Japanese with you (most of them will speak Japanese to each other but English to non-Japanese, trust me, most have a phobia about their Englsih though)


                        Systematic Japanese. A Simple, Effective Method for Self-study. by Gene Nishi, Shufunotomo Co., Ltd., (255 pages), 2000, 2500 yen
                        Nishi graduated as an engineer from Waseda U, then worked as a technical advisor and instructor in telecommunications systems for the U.S. military before joining IBM. He has a very logical flow to his teaching of grammar, and although the book teaches largely with English instruction, it has lots of romaji and Japanese text.

                        Japanese for Everyone. A Functional Approach to Daily Communication by Susumu Nagara, 1990, Gakken Co., Ltd., (383 pages), 2900 yen
                        Most grammar books are just about the same in their content. Nagara's book starts in the same way as others, but covers a bit more ground. I liked that because I couldn't find a suitable book as a "second stage" text without going over my head. Be prepared for lots of Japanese text, but this is an excellent book.

                        Basic Kanji Book, Volume 1 and 2
                        by Chieko Kano, Yuri Shimizu, Hiroko Takenaka, & Eriko Ishii; 1989, Bonjinsha Co., Ltd., (228 & 262 pages), 2400 yen and 2500 yen
                        I haven't found a perfect book to self-teach kanji, but these are very good. The high school where I work uses them for exchange students who are taught on an intensive system. Each book offers 500 kanji with a nice semi-pictorial format to describe how each one was derived. There are many good workbook style examples that build on each other. By the time you reach Vol.2, you'll have to know how to read instructions in Japanese.

                        101 Japanese Idioms by Michael L. Maynard and Senko K. Maynard; Passport Books, 1995
                        Mixed with Japanese and English. Some of these will surprise your Japanese learners, but let's face it. Even westerners don't know all of their own idioms. A handy book with two nicely organized indices.

                        On The Move In Japan. Useful Phrases & Common Sense for the Traveler by Scott Rutherford, Yenbooks, 1995, (159 pages), US$8.95
                        This is a pocket-sized book, and I think it's terrific. It doesn't cover every situation, but it's extremely useful. Good phrases with fill-in word lists make this quite practical, and it shows English, romaji, and Japanese text, so you don't have to worry about fluency if all you want to do is get an idea across to someone. It's not a grammar book, just a handy phrase book for the traveler, as the title says.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          tha paulh for the book suggestions. i will go to my local bookstore and look for them.

                          back to question on moving to japan. do you know where i can find information on what i need to do to come to japan for a vacation during my summer break. are the month may- august good times to come to japan.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wonderful
                            tha paulh for the book suggestions. i will go to my local bookstore and look for them.

                            back to question on moving to japan. do you know where i can find information on what i need to do to come to japan for a vacation during my summer break. are the month may- august good times to come to japan.

                            YOu need a suitcase a plane ticket a visa and enough money to tide you over for 3 months. For the average person coming over for 2 months looking for a job I recommend $2000-$3000 but if you will be sightseeing, traveling around the country, eating out most nights you will want more. Its not cheap to live here.If you have somewhere to stay you will be OK.

                            June-July is rainy season and it gets rather wet. August you are in summer and it gets pretty humid 75 degrees or more.

                            A lot depends on what you want to do and see, I think.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A copy of the Lonely Planet GuideBook to Japan will also help, to give you a better idea of current Japan, travelling, touring, and the rest of the country. AND the costs involved in travel.

                              If staying in Tokyo, a copy of Kodansha's Bilingual Tokyo Atlas will enable you to travel stress free around the city, as the book fits easily into a pocket or bag. Equiv. available for Osaka/ Kyoto, but not as good.

                              A Japan Rail Pass will give you reasonably cheap travel for the duration of the pass, but you need to have an itinerary worked out to get the most out of the pass. Of course you can always get more than one pass and validate them at different times, but once in Japan, they are not available.

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