PDA

View Full Version : Interac Alternates 2013



stephiiStephii
October 12th, 2012, 07:02
Hey all. I've been using this forum for research for many long months so thanks for all the info. It's beyond helpful!

I've been wondering if anyone will be heading to Japan as an Alternate in Jan/Feb in 2013? (as this is what I'm doing lol) Or does anyone have any first-hand experience to offer? Seems to be few and far between.

Thanks in advance! :)

notjim
October 12th, 2012, 09:47
I was an Interac alternate back in the day when I first came here. I took over for someone who unexpectedly quit just before renewal, so I started at the 2nd term start date in September. However, because it was a quick fill of a position, I received no training or guidance of any kind after my apartment was (semi) set-up.

It was a bit of a lonely time, but I was teaching in high schools and got a lot of JTE support, which I desperately needed. It took me quite a while to find the local ALT networks.

Of course... I did just kind of show up out of the blue with no Japanese or teaching experience.

stephiiStephii
October 12th, 2012, 12:22
I was an Interac alternate back in the day when I first came here. I took over for someone who unexpectedly quit just before renewal, so I started at the 2nd term start date in September. However, because it was a quick fill of a position, I received no training or guidance of any kind after my apartment was (semi) set-up.

It was a bit of a lonely time, but I was teaching in high schools and got a lot of JTE support, which I desperately needed. It took me quite a while to find the local ALT networks.

Of course... I did just kind of show up out of the blue with no Japanese or teaching experience.

Wow. Thanks for the reply. I was just super concerned in terms of coming over and not being contracted at all lol especially in Jan, it might be possible to just not have a job by March/April. How are you enjoying it now though?

adubose
October 12th, 2012, 13:11
I'm going as an alternate this month. This Saturday, actually!

stephiiStephii
October 12th, 2012, 13:23
Wowww awesome all the best! Keep in touch if possible :)

notjim
October 12th, 2012, 13:38
Wow. Thanks for the reply. I was just super concerned in terms of coming over and not being contracted at all lol especially in Jan, it might be possible to just not have a job by March/April. How are you enjoying it now though?

It is possible to not get contracted, but I'm sure the forums have a wealth of info on the chances of that happening. As far as re-contracting in March/April, I switched locations repeatedly due to the BoE not recontacting with Interac, and I finally got fed up with it.

I do enjoy it now, I left Interac after 2 years of employment with them for a different company. I find that mostly my work depended on my schools rather than the contracting company.

Sakurahoshi
October 12th, 2012, 18:17
I'm going as an alternate this month. This Saturday, actually!

So what does that actually mean then? What will happen when you get to Japan? In my Interac interview, nothing was mentioned about a possible alternate status. Given that you're still going to Japan, I'm assuming an Interac alternate is not the same meaning as an alternate with JET? I was selected as a JET alternate but never upgraded. I've been offered a position with Interac to start in March. I hope that's definite and it doesn't get screwed up :confused:

stephiiStephii
October 12th, 2012, 22:04
It is possible to not get contracted, but I'm sure the forums have a wealth of info on the chances of that happening. As far as re-contracting in March/April, I switched locations repeatedly due to the BoE not recontacting with Interac, and I finally got fed up with it.

I do enjoy it now, I left Interac after 2 years of employment with them for a different company. I find that mostly my work depended on my schools rather than the contracting company.

Eek.. that's a rough transition. Yeah I've been searching the forums mainly for "Interac alternates" but it's been difficult to find many responses. Thanks for contributing :) I'm keeping an open mind.. It's hard to find ESL jobs (been applying for almost a year, maybe it's because I'm coming straight out of Jam) so hoping being in Japan will help if Interac doesn't work out.

stephiiStephii
October 12th, 2012, 22:07
So what does that actually mean then? What will happen when you get to Japan? In my Interac interview, nothing was mentioned about a possible alternate status. Given that you're still going to Japan, I'm assuming an Interac alternate is not the same meaning as an alternate with JET? I was selected as a JET alternate but never upgraded. I've been offered a position with Interac to start in March. I hope that's definite and it doesn't get screwed up :confused:

Hey, my JET app wasn't even shortlisted -__- so idk much about the process. But from what I have gathered, JET and Interac are def diff things. As an Interac alternate we go to Japan, are trained and then wait for placement to arise. Interac sets us up in an apartment that we don't pay key money for, just rent (as we would have signed an ALT contract and would be getting paid). I'm sure it won't be as easy as it sounds lol but still looking forward to it!

TAmember2003
October 14th, 2012, 03:30
I was wondering, is this also where you will work in the tokyo office?
I wonder if the people that have done that before have liked it?

stephiiStephii
October 14th, 2012, 05:04
I was wondering, is this also where you will work in the tokyo office?
I wonder if the people that have done that before have liked it?

haha that's one of the things I'm trying to find out.. but from what I gather by reaching out to a few other Interac alternates I've found, it has worked out fine for them.

TAmember2003
October 15th, 2012, 01:45
^ It should be cool.. you would be living in tokyo at least...

which where is the main office in tokyo??

stephiiStephii
October 15th, 2012, 04:26
That's what I've been told so far yeah

Cynistar
October 16th, 2012, 23:08
Hi! I'm also an alternative. My first day of training will be January 7th. Maybe we'll be in Tokyo around the same time!

stephiiStephii
October 16th, 2012, 23:11
Hi! I'm also an alternative. My first day of training will be January 7th. Maybe we'll be in Tokyo around the same time!

Cool! I got a tentative arrival date of Jan 27th. How long ago did you receive confirmation of your arrival date?? I wish they would confirm mine and get my visa stuff underway... so anxious.

Cynistar
October 16th, 2012, 23:17
I was notified of my arrival date back on Sept. 30th. Yeah, I'm in the same boat as you concerning the CoE paperwork. They are applying for it at the end of October. I also don't have any clue where I'll be placed after the orientation/training.
Have you read of a experiences or statistics on alternates being re-contracted for another school year? I'm slightly worried that since I'll only be an ALT for 2-3 months that I may not be able to impress them enough to get re-contracted.

stephiiStephii
October 16th, 2012, 23:24
Same with me.. One of the reasons I started this thread was to see if I could get an idea of re-contracting because I haven't seen much otherwise. There are so many negative reviews of Interac out there so I guess anything is possible... So just hoping for the best right now :|

stephiiStephii
November 5th, 2012, 11:05
So in an ironic twist I'll be going in March.. Got a call from Interac this evening asking me to consider. It works out I guess..so I'm no longer an alternate. Still interested in hearing from anybody going early next year tho :^_^:

akanemukade
November 5th, 2012, 17:53
Congrats! It means waiting longer to come to Japan, but at least this way you'll get contracted for a whole year and you'll be able to go to a formal orientation where you get to meet other ALTs, which is a good opportunity to make friends. :)

I guess Interac figured that 2-3 months wasn't really enough time to get to know you and your teaching style, plus having you settle down in Japan for only three months is asking a lot especially if they decide not to ask you to re-contract.

stephiiStephii
November 5th, 2012, 22:35
Yeah I'm trying to see it as such. The extra time will also help me raise a little extra money to bring over (given that I can find a temp job from Jan-Feb) so fingers crossed and countdown extended lol.

How are you finding it so far??

akanemukade
November 6th, 2012, 07:36
I'm really enjoying it here so far! I may have another opportunity at home in April, so I haven't decided if I'm going to re-contract or not, but I've enjoyed my time in Japan, definitely. I know Interac gets a bad rep, but I haven't had any issues with them so far and they always pay me on time. :) The application process can be overwhelming at times, but it is worth it. Once you get settled here in your apartment and you get the hang of things, it's really nice.

stephiiStephii
November 6th, 2012, 09:03
awesome, thanks :^_^: can't wait to really get this going!

Laevatienn
November 7th, 2012, 06:13
I'm really enjoying it here so far! I may have another opportunity at home in April, so I haven't decided if I'm going to re-contract or not, but I've enjoyed my time in Japan, definitely. I know Interac gets a bad rep, but I haven't had any issues with them so far and they always pay me on time. :) The application process can be overwhelming at times, but it is worth it. Once you get settled here in your apartment and you get the hang of things, it's really nice.

Ah, the bad rap. They did earn it back in 2002-2006ish or so but around 2008/2009 they really kicked themselves up a notch. I think the Nova collapse really shocked them into a better business overall. They still make a few crap moves but for the most part everything is working well. They really didn't want to become the next Nova. Even if the business is slightly different, they saw how much teacher angst can break a business. Especially when said angst has to do with money.

oshejay
November 9th, 2012, 00:43
hey stephi, I'm a fellow Jamaican hoping to get to Japan in March 2012 intake,. i have my seminar on December 1. Any tips to give? I already planned my demo lesson and sent my documents off to Utah.... but I'm really nervous about how things will turn out.

stephiiStephii
November 9th, 2012, 01:03
Awesome oshejay! Welcome and congrats on the seminar! I didn't plan my lesson until like two days before so well done lol. Our recruiters are great so just go, relax and have some fun. Speak clearly when you're presenting - make sure your English is top notch. There's a grammar test as you know so don't make any simple mistakes. It's going to be a long day but I had a lot of fun with my seminar group.

There's a 20 minutes one on one interview at the end. Remain open about things like willingness to drive and living in the countryside and you will be fine. Keep in touch!

oshejay
November 9th, 2012, 01:14
thanks much,how many persons attended your seminar? During my phone interview i was told its a very large group so they will have to separate into those who will attend December seminar and those for one later down in the year.

stephiiStephii
November 9th, 2012, 03:11
Oh that's interesting to hear. We had about 12 people at ours and I don't believe that everybody was accepted.

TAmember2003
November 10th, 2012, 04:08
in my group there were 8 of us, including me...
So far I have heard from two others and all 3 of us have been accepted... I dont know about the others... I'm thinking all of us had a really good chance.
there was even this one guy who was really really good, but was just SO nervous and I don't think they would count much off from that...

but I guess what Im getting at is its okay to be nervous, but dont let it get to you.

Stephanie
November 10th, 2012, 10:55
I just received my email of acceptance; how would I know if I am an alternate or not? It was not stated in the email, nor in any follow up emails.

stephiiStephii
November 10th, 2012, 10:57
Hey Steph congrats! If they are considering you as an alternate it would more than likely be in that first email. Otherwise you'll be going in March or September. Did the Offer of Employment email have a start date?

stephiiStephii
November 10th, 2012, 10:59
in my group there were 8 of us, including me...
So far I have heard from two others and all 3 of us have been accepted... I dont know about the others... I'm thinking all of us had a really good chance.
there was even this one guy who was really really good, but was just SO nervous and I don't think they would count much off from that...

but I guess what Im getting at is its okay to be nervous, but dont let it get to you.

yeah it's natural to be nervous.. we were ALL dying of nerves in our seminar lol but it was kind of fun because it's a small group and you know everybody is going through the same thing. also we had some exercises to lighten the mood - played some games and stuff.

Stephanie
November 10th, 2012, 11:04
Yes, I received an offer of employment in the first message. There was not a placement listed, but I am aware that comes later.

Stephanie
November 10th, 2012, 11:06
I was the only one in my group to do Irregular Verbs:( I thought they would not choose me because my presentation was sooooo different. But I guess they liked my "swagg" lol

stephiiStephii
November 10th, 2012, 11:07
Oh cool. Well yeah if they didn't specify that you have the option as going as an alternate then you would be for their March or August intake I believe. I can't wait to find out where I'll be!!

Lool I'm sure your lesson contributed to being selected! I think they liked that I had made up a very simple opening song and printed bright pictures to go along to represent the lyrics. Also I did a TESOL course cause teaching overseas is something I've been looking forward to for a while

Stephanie
November 10th, 2012, 11:08
It said Spring 2013. ahhh now i need $6000

stephiiStephii
November 10th, 2012, 11:10
It said Spring 2013. ahhh now i need $6000

*sadness* I know how you feel. I have airfare money and some extra from long term savings but not as much as they told us to go with. I also don't have any winterish clothes because well.. Jamaica doesn't have winter. I'm looking forward to seeing snow for the first time next Christmas though :)

Stephanie
November 10th, 2012, 11:13
I'm from Michigan......snow sucks

stephiiStephii
November 10th, 2012, 11:14
I'm from Michigan......snow sucks

mannn >.< I won't let this ruin it for me! lol

Stephanie
November 10th, 2012, 11:16
oh not trying to sound creepy but if we are placed within a reasonable distance from one another we can probably hang out......I'm worried about what to do with my hair . lol . I am black.

Stephanie
November 10th, 2012, 11:17
mannn >.< I won't let this ruin it for me! lol

lol

stephiiStephii
November 10th, 2012, 11:20
haha not creepy at all, we can be in touch about placement later on definitely. and yeah hair has definitely been a concern for me because mine is processed so there will be lots of natural growth when i'm there lol

TAmember2003
November 10th, 2012, 11:57
well at least going in March its going to start getting warm and it gives you tons of time to save up for winter clothes the next year!

As for the money... I am in the same boat... I already told them I have to take the loan... although i dont want too... I would hate to move to a new country and already start out on the wrong foot, lol.

my big concern is that I'm 6'3... I'm freakin huge (compared to the average japanese dude)! Where am I gonna find clothes that fit me, lol.

stephiiStephii
November 10th, 2012, 14:06
haha I'm planning on doing some shopping right before going over, especially for work stuff. I've never been a "suits" girl but guess I'll have to get used to it

I told them I wanted the loan as well.. one more good thing about going in March instead of Jan, because I doubt I would have got it in Jan (because of the repayment scheme) so hopefully it will work out. Thankfully the interest rate is kind lol.

TAmember2003
November 11th, 2012, 11:06
true that!
I also plan on going shopping before I go...
I want to by 1 more jacket and maybe another pair of pants...
Cant wait to find out about the dress code.... I tried to ask my recruiter, but he said that it was different... I like wearing different color shirts and have TONS of them... sooo, I would like to know what colors I can play with, lol.

akanemukade
November 13th, 2012, 07:29
.

oshejay
November 13th, 2012, 08:05
thanks for the info stephii..... as it relates to hair, i'll have to learn how to do my own hair cause i have locs :(

stephiiStephii
November 13th, 2012, 08:40
thanks akane! Appreciate it :) lucky you, getting out of key money. That's awesome, hope I'm that fortunate. I'm definitely going to take part of the loan but thankfully the only financial commitment I have is my phone bill lol thanks for sharing!

Oshejay :| yikes, all the best with learning to lock your hair. I know ppl have done it tho so you'll be ok. I'm now learning to give myself a decent mani x_x lol

Page
November 13th, 2012, 16:58
true that!
I also plan on going shopping before I go...
I want to by 1 more jacket and maybe another pair of pants...
Cant wait to find out about the dress code.... I tried to ask my recruiter, but he said that it was different... I like wearing different color shirts and have TONS of them... sooo, I would like to know what colors I can play with, lol.

I'm pretty sure there are no schools that dictate what colors you can wear. Just look professional and have a black/dark suit or two for ceremonies at work and you'll be fine. Once you get to your school you'll get a feel for what everyone's wearing (tracksuits, etc.) but you can't go wrong by bringing professional clothes.

TAmember2003
November 15th, 2012, 00:26
I just wanted to let you guys know that I only spent about $3500 while I was here before I got paid, plus another $1100 for airfare. And I'm in a major city, not an inaka in the middle of nowhere. I'm not saying only to bring that amount, that's just how much I wound up spending. Every situation is different and it's a good idea to be a little frugal if you can help it.

I didn't have to pay key money though, so beware. Everyone else at my orientation did and the difference in price was pretty steep. Their apartments are a little nicer than mine, but I think I just got lucky.

I would advise against the loan if you can avoid it. It's not that Interac is bad about it, the interest rate they give you is actually quite low, it's just that you don't want that hanging over your shoulders for the first six months. Or at least I didn't, because I have student loans to pay back home. So if you can, I think bringing around $5000 is good. I brought $5000 with me and I was fine.

If you change your mind about the loan, you can still email them about it, but give them a few weeks notice. I was initially going to take the loan and I changed my mind.

All very good info! I dont want to take the loan but sadly I may have too because there is no way I will be able to get t the money in time...
I have no job and only 600 in savings... lol... Ill be lucky if I get 2500 by the time everything is said and done... (good thing there is Xmas and my birthday coming up!)

but i was told the loan would be paid back over the year of the contract, so I guess it would be less money taken out of the paycheck every month, but more in the long run (because of interest) but the cool thing is that its only 1%... not bad.

stephiiStephii
November 15th, 2012, 00:39
actually TA, on Interac's site I see where the loan is repayable within 6 months, not 1 year. so budget for that
https://www.interacnetwork.com/recruit/index.php/faq
#37

Edit: I'll be requesting the loan also but not the maximum amount. I have some savings thank God.

TAmember2003
November 15th, 2012, 00:58
^ im confused by that.

Because I was told 6 months.. but my recruiter said that the loan is repayable in terms of the contract, which i would be a year...

if it is 6 months, that would be better because I dont want to have a loan for a year, lol.
I just hope I get enough money so I dont have to take one.

stephiiStephii
November 15th, 2012, 01:16
I hope so for you too! I'd caution against taking recruiters at their word. Go straight to the source for important things like that - Tokyo lol.

Actually here's a part of the email I got from them when I asked about it:

"Loan requests are actually made when you arrive in Japan and forms are available and collected directly from your branch after training. Loans take approximately two weeks to process from the time you provide your bank account number. The maximum amount of time that you may take to repay the loan is 6 months."

They also sent me a little pdf file with more info. I could email that to you if you would like, just pm me.

TAmember2003
November 15th, 2012, 02:27
Thanks for the info!! I'll would like the email, so ill pm you when I het bqck home!