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Ozlexx
February 6th, 2013, 15:18
I'm currently working in China as a teacher but I plan to move to Japan in summer 2014. I am very fond of Japan and made a decision a year or so ago to learn Japanese. I decided to do a little research into what I might do next year and after a little digging found myself reading entire threads on this forum until the wee hours of the morning and becoming utterly depressed and demoralized.
teaching in China seems to be a farcry from what it is like in Japan. The most common way to obtain a teaching job there seems to be through dispatch companies. I've read experiences and opnions of them all on here and in other forums (eslcafe, Gaijinpot etc) and the general opinion is this:

JET: by far the best option but therefore difficult to gain a place on due to stiff competition. There doesnt seem to be a way of being certain of success even for those who are highly qualified and experienced.

Borderlink: simply NO

Interac, NEON, RCS: mixed reviews, no job or housing security, an all-round gamble.

I gained all this (true) information from everyone who posted here and in other forums so thank you.
the best way to find a teaching job here in china is to simply apply directly to the school (i.e the job advertisement from the school). I have been here 3 years and never experienced any of the horror and misary that some of you have suffered. furthermore, most schools here provide FREE accommodation either on or near site, you have plenty of free time and holidays, paid nearly always on time and are generally respected.
Now, I really do have my heart set on going to Japan in the near future. I've spend every spare moment in the past 6 months learning Japanese for an upcoming JLPT exam. when the time comes I will also have plenty of funds in the bank too.
is there any way for me to apply for jobs directly with Japanese schools (including colleges) without all the BS of dispatch companies that can provide me with a basic place to live, paid me and not make my life a nightmare. For those you who have been there and done it and had a happy experience, could you tell me exactly what you did to get over there and how you did it??

is there any hope or should I put down the Kanji textbook now and thing of something else to do with my life...?

mothy
February 6th, 2013, 15:48
Private schools might hire you directly but you're very unlikely to get a public school job directly. Especially while living in another country.

SleazySauce
February 6th, 2013, 16:00
Yeah and a lot of private school are going to want you have to a education degree. I know a regional manager of interac and have met a few of the guys. There complaints have mostly been about no help. Interac will get you here, but then you're on your own. Whereas JETs get a lot of support. The manager from Interac is a cool guy though. I imagine if you had a shit manager and shit schools it would be a rough time.

Antonath
February 6th, 2013, 16:03
While some schools will take on an ALT directly, it's usually only people that have taught there for a few years and the school is desperate not to lose. 99% of ALTs are dispatch or JET.

Also, if you're applying for an actual teaching role rather than an ALT position (which, as said, are extremely rare), you probably need a Japanese teaching certificate. Someone else may be able to tell you more about that, though.

Gizmotech
February 6th, 2013, 16:41
Private school ALT work should be manageable, but private school teaching is actually difficult to get. Because there are so many dead beat liberal arts majors over here, they tend to be asking for a masters (at least) or B.Ed., teaching experience (3-5 years), and that's just the bottom of the requirements.

mothy
February 6th, 2013, 16:53
Private school ALT work should be manageable, but private school teaching is actually difficult to get. Because there are so many dead beat liberal arts majors over here,

Well fuck you too.

Ozlexx
February 6th, 2013, 17:01
what do you mean by 'no help'? I wouldnt really need much help apart from getting accommodation and I would ideally like to have that arranged along with the job before I arrived.

To be honest, my real aim in Japan is to study Japanese at a University there. however, attending University there is certainly not cheap and although I will have saved up a fair amount by July/august 2014 it wont be enough. Since I dont want to stay in China any longer than that, and I certainly dont want to go back to UK, I need to go to Japan. This means I need to get a job for the first couple of years to finish saving up. since teaching is the only valuable profession I have any significant experience in, I'm forced to look for an ALT/TEFL position.
I'm just really discouraged now by how strict and formal these kinds of jobs are over there and how unhappy many people are. Not because they dont get any help but simply due to the nature of the job: travelling back and forth between multiple schools, strict codes of conduct and dress codes, no free time (even to eat) and unwanted meetings.

to me, that doesnt sound my idea of a forfilling job. Is this the reality or have I got the wrong impression?

zombiekelly
February 6th, 2013, 18:00
I was hired by Interac. They'll have an apartment set up for me, but I plan to find my own place after their six month parole is up. They're most likely not going to be my guarantor for that. They'll find me a car, but if I want something better I'm on my own.

I see a pattern here....

Gizmotech
February 6th, 2013, 18:40
@mothy: Hey man, I'm one of those dead beats too, I just haven't left JET yet.


since teaching is the only valuable profession I have any significant experience in, I'm forced to look for an ALT/TEFL position.
I'm just really discouraged now by how strict and formal these kinds of jobs are over there and how unhappy many people are. Not because they dont get any help but simply due to the nature of the job: travelling back and forth between multiple schools, strict codes of conduct and dress codes, no free time (even to eat) and unwanted meetings.

to me, that doesnt sound my idea of a forfilling job. Is this the reality or have I got the wrong impression?

You've heard of Japan before right? That is Japan. Strict formal bureaucracy, strict adherence to rules, and giving up your life for the cause.


Keep in mind you'll likely be looking for after study schools (juku) and ALT work. I doubt there will be many full teaching positions available, at least in major teaching centres (from what I've read online).

That being said, I could totally be wrong. Ini and mothy would know better.

Tyr
February 6th, 2013, 18:56
The grass is always greener on the other side.
I look at teaching in China and it seems much nicer than what I'm faced with.

Ozlexx
February 6th, 2013, 19:11
well, I've never been to Japan before so no, I dont know it.
I appreciate your truthful input. The more I hear, the more I realise I'm really not right for work in Japan (at least not at this point in my life). Also, I've read other threats and discovered a driving license from your home country is needed to at least get an IDP. I dont have one and I'm not living in the UK so I cant try and get one. Aside from that the process to get one is long and expensive anyway, people from the UK will understand.

Damn, I'm stumped now. so glad I researched this early before I had to make any moves.

mothy
February 6th, 2013, 22:29
If your true intention for teaching english in Japan is to enter university than your primary objective shoudl be just to find a job that is near the university you want. So most likely cram school or dispatch work is best fro you. It's unlikely that you'll be able to find a great job and a great university that matches up to exactly what you want and is heaven for you. If I was wanting to go to school in Japan I would choose the university I want first, and then whatever shit job I could find second.

Ozlexx
February 6th, 2013, 22:52
thanks, thats a pretty good idea, if a little disheartening.

I've had a bit of a breakdown as my Japan plans have now fallen apart BUT there could be hope.
I've looked around a bit and found the info for Eikaiwa schools much more positive. they are quite a bit more flexible in almost all aspects, less spirit-crushing and would not need to spend half my life driving around the area from school to school. I am aware that a lot of them only hire people who are already in the country but it's still a lot better than going through horrible dispatch companies IMO. There are 'training centres" here in China that are practically the same thing. in fact, I currently work for one at the weekends and it's not bad.

so what are your opinions of Eikaiwa (English Conversation) schools? good/bad??

if there is already a detailed thread on this, please direct me to it. thanks.

mothy
February 7th, 2013, 07:05
Some are fine to work at, but in general I equate them to a job at McDonald's. Although at least with eikaiwa you won't go home smelling like fries.
I haven't worked at any but from everything I've heard and seen they're low pay and either try to overwork you without paying overtime or underwork you and you have trouble getting enough money to pay your bills.

Gizmotech
February 7th, 2013, 08:28
I've also heard from talking to a few eikaiwa workers that if they're in a proper juku school (I think you called it a training school) rather than just an English school you may be "strongly recommended" to push the schools learning materials onto the students. They said the recommendations can feel somewhat intimidating if a) you manage to sell a few but they insist on more and/or b) if you feel somewhat morally above forcing materials you know are useless onto these kids.

Scrotty
February 7th, 2013, 09:09
dear china guy

you'll be hard pressed to get a full time teaching position without some combination of a teaching degree/masters, experience, and living in japan with a valid visa

for more information on being a direct hire through a company, you should send resident anti-hero BuckyJones a message

if you're looking at studying at a university, have a look at westgate. i don't know what their policy on studying at the same time as working is, but it seems like it would be a good match

eikaiwa work is pretty soulless, but it's a ticket into the country. you can spend a year doing the drudgework (and should be able to study at the same time since it's mostly evenings and weekends), then find something better after that

if you've got blue eyes and fair hair, you might want to consider working in a foreign host club, they only work evenings and make an absolute fortune

japanese skill is helpful but not compulsory for any english monkey jobs, so don't stress about the test too much

if you make it over here, don't tell anyone you were in china unless you want to hear a whole bunch of uninformed anti-china rants

your pal
scopey

mrcharisma
February 7th, 2013, 09:56
Also, I've read other threats and discovered a driving license from your home country is needed to at least get an IDP. I dont have one and I'm not living in the UK so I cant try and get one. Aside from that the process to get one is long and expensive anyway, people from the UK will understand

I'm assuming this is a noise up or are you genuinely surprised that you need a driving license to get an IDP? Is the long process you're referring to for an actual license or an IDP? The latter is a 5 minute job.

The misery and horror you seem to think we all go through is the exception rather than the rule. In my experience, the really miserable ones here have usually brought it on themselves and chosen to wallow in their self-loathing rather than fix the situation (see Tyr above). This mindset is a bit more common out in the sticks, as I imagine it would be in rural China when slaughtering secondborns and living without running water in a hut.

The big cities in Japan are great though, much like China's I'm sure, but with communism and brutal authority replaced by bumbling incompetence. If you go through a dispatch company you've a better chance of big city life.

Eikawa is in general a job for the lowest, most tragic specimens of the human race. Avoid.

zero
February 7th, 2013, 13:30
to me, that doesnt sound my idea of a forfilling job. Is this the reality or have I got the wrong impression?

Unfortunately, a basic grasp of English is required for a teaching position in Japan (with the exception of BJ's direct-dispatch company). Therefore, your application to be a Japan hating weirdo ALT is unsuccessful at this time. Please read a book and try again next year.

mothy
February 7th, 2013, 13:58
A basic grasp of English is one of the least required things to be able to teach in Japan.

zero
February 7th, 2013, 14:01
A basic grasp of English is one of the least required things to be able to teach in Japan.

I know but "forfilling"...seriously...?!

zombiekelly
February 7th, 2013, 14:01
I spelled personnel wrong on my test but I knew what an oxford comma was. You would think they'd want the opposite.

therealwindycity
February 7th, 2013, 14:07
I thought we had all agreed that they don't really know what they want?

mothy
February 7th, 2013, 14:11
My job is forfilling. Forfilling my belly with beer.

Antonath
February 7th, 2013, 14:28
I spelled personnel wrong on my test but I knew what an oxford comma was. You would think they'd want the opposite.
Given some of the JTEs I work with, poor basic English but detailed grammar is exactly what they want.

Ozlexx
February 7th, 2013, 14:52
ok folks relax. mistakes are made.

thanks for the points of view. I've come to the conclusion that employment options in Japan from overseas are all pretty terrible. I guess the better option is to study there full time first once I've finished getting the funds and while I'm there with some kind of visa apply for a job. At least I can physically be there for interviews and actually see what I'd be getting into.

the process for getting the license is long. Even if you do an intensive driving course, there is still a long waiting list and takes time to process the paperwork to get the full license. As I said, I'm not in the UK so I can't.

7607
February 7th, 2013, 22:40
The good news? A lot of BOEs are kicking out the dispatch companies and going to direct hire. The bad news? Most of their hiring is done in country. That said, even coming across with Interac gets you a visa and a foot in the door, and you can keep your eyes open for any other things that may come your way. Interac isn't so bad really. They certainly are not as sketchy as a lot of the smaller dispatch companies can be.

kurisu
May 31st, 2013, 15:19
My job is forfilling. Forfilling my belly with beer.



I see what you did there.

CitizenNapoleon
June 23rd, 2013, 00:17
Ozlexx, I jumped from China to Japan, so let me tell you my story.

I'm a JET on Kyushu, and I applied while teaching at a Chinese university. I was freshly graduated and in my first "job," and I figured I would give JET a shot since China kind of sucked, and I spent most of time watching Anime and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu music videos anyway.

If you're not in your home country to the application process, it can be quite tricky to coordinate everything. I did it, so anyone should be able to do it, really. You'll have to pay wads of RMB to Fedex your documents between continents, and you'll have to fly back for the interviews (you'd have to do all of this if you were in Japan already), but teaching/surviving China puts you ahead of most people who are applying to the program. Just stress how "international" you are and you'll get in.