Originally Posted by greenocelot
May I please ask you a question?
Please will help with your advice. I know that I should've never been in the situation because I should've done more research, but they asked me to leave within a week, so I did not have much time to do so.
The recruiter for a company was not upfront about the salary. I recently (April 2016) had a very bad experience with an ALT dispatch company. They promised that I would have a livable wage when I started teaching in Saitama, but when I arrived there the dispatch company told me that I would work very long hours, which I later figured out would equate to less than $9.50 an hour. And he said that before coming to Saitama that they would pay for the first months rent and key fee (I have the Skype transcript to prove this). But once I heard the hours that would be associated with the pay, I had to leave before I signed the contract. So they are now telling me that I have to pay every fee associated with the apartment rental and cancellation. But I knew that I could not sign the next contract and take the job because what they were offering wage, hours associated with wage, offering no assistance was akin to indentured servitude, and being so I would never be able a month to ever have enough to live and pay on student loans. And after I decided I could not take the job, they then said I harmed the company; which seems like a crazy thing to say because they were trying to hire an employee with only a weeks notice, telling me half truths to get me over there, all to fill a position on a hope and a prayer, to cover themselves for a contract they made hastily with the city in Saitama, with not enough foresight to wait until the week before the semester started to fill the last teaching position.
I never signed a contract, just an employment offer, and the offer said nothing about housing or accommodations. Should I pay them? Do they have any course of legal action if I return to Japan to work? It has been about a month since this experience, but I feel bad for not paying them, even though everyone advises me not to pay them.
Welcome to Japan, and the world of teaching.
You cannot calculate your salary by dividing the money you earn by the hours you are at work, but supposedly by the hours you actually work, which as a part-time teacher, should be 6 or so per day. Empty periods or time spent at club activities is unpaid, which, while not good, is standard in Japan. More than likely, they offered you the standard 200k to 250k yen which all foreign, part-time teachers are paid.
Housing may or may not be subsidized, depending on the company, at best, they will pay for half of your rent, at worst, they will cover nothing at all. But they do cover the deposits, insurance, lock fees, agency fee, and such.
You ought to have signed the contract, as an employee, even a part-time employee, has a fair amount f protection in the Japanese legal system. Since you are not an employee, and you did not sign the contract, you cannot easily file a claim against the employer. Had you signed the contract, and become an employee, you would have far more options and negotiating ability.
Pretty much no English teaching job in Japan will pay more than 250,000 yen per month. Technically, you can only work 29 hours per week, but almost every teacher will be at his or her school for 40 hours per week. It is not fair, but that is the way it is, and the price you pay for being an English teacher. And this is one of the reasons I don't teach English.
If you need a teaching job, finding one is as easy as falling down. If you can stick with it for a couple of years, you can try to find your way into an international school or private school which pays more than 300k per month. If you have a masters degree, universities will pay 500k per month, but these jobs are much more in demand.
In the meantime, as you are overseas, and are trying to get a job in the education field, you might see if you can get your student loans deferred for a period. If you find yourself unable to repay your loans, don't become too stressed out about it, student loans in the US can be rehabilitated one time, and one time only. This means that any interest or fees accrued from the time you stopped paying can be written off, and you get a second chance to start paying down the loans. But this can be done one time, and one time only.