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Arriving in Japan this Monday... any tips

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  • Arriving in Japan this Monday... any tips

    Hi all,
    I've been reading this discussion board on and off for the past six months or so and this is my first post. Here's my situation. I'm a 30 year old Irish guy married for a few years to a Japanese girl. We're moving to Japan this Monday and hope to give it a bash (4-5 years?).

    I've worked for the last 10 years as a graphic designer (for print), however, I don't have a degree. I recently completed a 6 week RELSA TEFL course. The school tell me the RELSA certificate is almost the same as the CELTA one, but not as widely known.

    We'll be living near Yokosuka. I've been to Japan loads of times - but always on holidays. My Japanese language skill is below beginner level.

    Do any of you have any last minute advice/tips, particularly In terms of getting my first teaching job after I arrive?

    Thanks for your time.

  • #2
    Make sure you have your spouse visa, if you do not already have one, then you can work without restriction in Japan.

    You should have read enough already about the challenges of graphic/ print/ media jobs. Bring a portfolio of all that you have already done, and start networking - SWET for a start. Whilst you can write about what you have done, nothing beats samples to look at. No really large publishers in Yokosuka, but some places in Yokohama. Look to peripheral local organisations who you could produce material for directly, if you have a current DTP capability. Macs and QuarkXPress are still tops here, though InDesign is fast making in-roads. PageMaker is struggling to survive in most areas.

    As for teaching, there are plenty of teachers here who can advise you (not my area). But obvious points are to make a good CV and just get out there, applying for jobs. Start with Monday's Japan Times, and your local newspaper. Yokosuka will be hard as so many military spouses providing low price teaching/ conversation classes.

    Good luck.