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01-14-2012, 11:27 PM

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Originally Posted by XxLucaxX View Post
Well I keep hearing that JET is simply the best one to go with.
I guess it's due to the fact that it's a government sponsored program and it also pays better and have better benefits compared to the dispatch companies that hire ALTs.
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Every once in a while I will see Aeon pop up in that category as well. Nova I keep hearing basically hires with out degrees and is an easy ticket. I haven't heard anything about bankruptcy or any of that.
I honestly don't know how NOVA can hire without people having some sort of a university/college degree. A Bachelor's is a requirement to obtain a work visa.
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I'm from a small country town. I think it's only logical to start in a smaller area because big cities can swallow you whole. I've heard it often too about Tokyo. Don't get me wrong it's probably really cool...but until I make the big adjustments and such it's a no go. Besides Japan isn't just Tokyo...it's vast and beautiful...well from pictures
That's a good way of viewing it. It's nice to see people realizing that Japan isn't just Tokyo. Big misconception. ^_^

I don't mind city areas much, but I'd rather visit it as opposed to living in it, but I don't want to be too far away from everything either.
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Flexibility I have learned is a good thing when it comes to working, especially here in the states as I'm sure you know.
Yep. Learned that long ago.
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Besides I don't know Japan so I wouldn't know where to go...Okinawa sounds amazing...I like warm weather. But one doesn't always get what one wants.
Ironically, in the Christmas of 2010, I was considering taking a trip to Okinawa with another friend of mine. I never got the chance to take the trip. Instead, I went to the bonenkai that my school was having and couldn't afford both. It's like a year end party for the teachers and staff at the school. We went to an onsen town (my mind is blank on the name right off, sorry). It was very nice. We went to a Ryokan (Japanese inn) with an onsen. I LOVED it!
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It only sounds a little surprising to me that you didn't go to Tokyo. But not too much.
In my case, I tend to grow bored easily if traveling by myself. I like to share the experience with others, so if I go on a trip, I can't fully enjoy it. I know of those who would love to visit Tokyo and stuff, and I just don't think I would've enjoyed it, unless those people were with me.
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Touring Japan is probably easier then touring the US since it is such a small country. Though you were probably busy. But Tokyo isn't the only thing to see!
Main thing that kept me away from Tokyo was enjoying the things in Yamagata...and also being stingy with money. I was actually planning on actually attempting to travel more in a general sense if I'd stayed a second year, but I had no choice but to return home. My contract was up with Heart English School and they weren't going to be hiring in the Yamagata area anymore. My uncle also died and I had to come home since I was his only niece by blood.
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I would probably hope for a town like Yamagata. Small enough to walk (which I have done A LOT of until recent...and somewhat enjoy) but large enough to if you need something you don't have to drive an hour to get it. You know what I mean?
Well...it all depends on what part you live in. I was just lucky. I was about a mile away from the school I worked at (and the elementary school was right across the street from the junior high school), about a mile away from the nearest train stop (and I would go into main Yamagata from it), five minutes (at the most) away from the nearest conbini (convenient store) and about 20 min away from the closest grocery store, but this is all on foot.

That aside, the only downside to Yamagata is that it's cold and snows as early as maybe November and as late as February and March. I didn't mind it, but if you ended up in a place like that, it may bother you since you said you like warm weather. It worked out great for me since I don't care for warm/hot weather. I hate it.
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When I was first thinking about this (have been for the past couple of years on and off ending up telling myself I was crazy) I was thinking it was something like I would be actually teaching a class but the more I've looked into it I've learned about being an assistant teacher as well as various other jobs.
You might teach a class if it pertains to something cultural. You know, like maybe teaching something about your hometown or city, that kind of thing, but as an ALT, you're generally never going to fully be on your own.
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I think ALT might suit me best. But it is something I want to look into more. It does sound like what I believe my capabilities to be (even though I have never technically taught a class I haven't even started my degree...but I have helped teach various other little things)
As far as JET goes, helping to "teach various little things" will be helpful for the application. Any type of experience teaching can help you, even if it's not English-language teaching or tutoring. JET's taken in people who had close to no teaching experience in the past, but not sure about how it is now since there's more competition these days.
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Were you given the wrong information on purpose? (For some reason I can imagine a JTE being cunning enough to do so)
No. Sasahara-sensei is much too nice for that and he was one of the ones I mentioned who used me in the classroom a lot. He actually worked with me and we did sorta "team teach", 'cept for when it came to grammar points, as there was no way I could explain that too well (not in Japanese anyway). He was also extremely friendly and easily approachable. I felt so comfortable with his classes, that even though I might not have been assigned anyplace some days, I'd actually go and help him out (during my free time).

Anywho, he genuinely mixed up the times. I enjoyed working with his classes the most because of how he used me. He had all the first-year kids and two of the second-year classes.
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I have heard the smaller the school the more lee-way you have but at the same time the more on-top of your game you have to be.
I still think it all depends on the actual school and the actual teachers you work with.
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Which I think is better suited for my personality. But being from the part of the country I am...I fear my English needs A LOT of work. But when people speak to me they tell me that my English is fine. Granted they are from the same neck of the woods. lol. But I am glad to know that it is somewhat like a total immersion (verbally) for them. I hear you learn better that way!
I wouldn't worry. Just make sure you enunciate your words clearly and all that. I personally feel like I sound like a country bumpkin, even though I grew up in Richmond, Virginia. People always tell me that I sound like I'm from one of the Carolinas because of my accent. There are some words that I may say where I actually do hear my accent, and it's usually words with a short-a sound, like "ant" or "aunt" (I taught them that we use two pronunciations for it). When I heard them pronounce "ant", I could hear the accent.
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Also this is completely off topic...but the Onsens...or is it public bath..any way are they off limits to people with Tattoos?
Tattoos in Japan are a bit taboo and has a negative connotation. It's associated with the yakuza (Japanese mafia). Usually, to my knowledge, those who have them usually aren't permitted into an onsen, although, as far as foreigners go, they may b e the exception since in other countries, it's not associated with mafia and crime. It probably all just depends on the actual place. Some may allow you in, some may not, but if you have one, just cover it up.

Last edited by SSJup81 : 01-14-2012 at 11:31 PM.
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01-15-2012, 03:45 AM

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Originally Posted by Nikkei View Post
Whats your guys understanding of the job market for english teachers in 2012 ? I know the Japanese are having less and less children and in some cities schools are closing down. Are you guys noticing it is more difficult given the tough economic times or are students more focused than ever on learning english to broaden their horizons internationally ?






WWW.JAPANONOMICS.COM || Understanding the worlds most interesting economy

The job market for teachers remains strong, but not for teaching children. Companies in Japan have come to realize that the Japanese economy is "mature", meaning that it has stopped growing. Since the market in Japan has little future, Japanese companies are expanding overseas. Banks and real estate companies are opening offices in other parts of Asia, as well as in developing countries. As Japan said generations ago, "English is the language of business". More and more Japanese companies are requiring that their workers learn English, while some businesses have adopted an "English only" workplace, where all communication is done in English. As a result, many language schools have seen increased enrollments over the last year.
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01-16-2012, 07:18 AM

This thread is a little too pessimistic--I'd like to point out that I have encountered intelligent bloggers online who have made a living in Japan without following the ESL route, including Danny Choo and Tae Kim, among others. Both were hard working and had a singular focus on learning the language, before picking up marketable computer skills.

-If anyone can think of other examples of possible career paths leading to placement in Japan, please list them. Not everyone is interested in becoming an ESL teacher, and why force them when there might be another method they'd be more interested in trying?
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doodoofan (Offline)
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09-22-2014, 03:28 PM

I think you need to be very careful when you apply to a company in Japan, because some bad people think that it's very easy to deceive foreigners. They even take advantage of the fact that foreigners need Visa. One of my friends was deceived that she'd be given a good job, with acceptable salary and of course, a Visa. The actual job was nothing like the one they told her about in the interview. She had to work in a factory for nearly 15 hours a day, and was allowed only 30 minutes to eat lunch, which she had to prepare by herself. She gave up after 1 day, and started find another job. Finding a job that offers you a working Visa is not easy. Most companies prefer Japanese people so they wouldn't have to go through the trouble of getting a Visa for a foreigner.
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