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tobenaitori
December 13th, 2013, 13:17
Hello all! I've noticed a few people posting interac-related questions on these forums and have been hoping someone might start up an "official" Interac Spring 2014 thread, but since no one has yet, I thought I'd jump the gun and start one myself.

It's still more than a month too early to expect to hear about our placements, but at least we can commiserate, right?

I'll go ahead and introduce myself! I'm from Massachusetts, USA, interviewed in NYC (technically New Jersey) in October, and received my tentative offer a few weeks later. I just finished university (fall 2013 was my last semester) and am waiting for all the paperwork to go through for me to be officially "graduated." My degree was in Japanese language, and I previously studied abroad in Japan for 1 year, in Nagoya. My placement requests were 1. Nagoya city 2. Anywhere in Aichi prefecture 3. Somewhere it snows. Lol, I'm probably going to get packed off to Hokkaido.

Anyways, I look forward to getting to know you all!

teadaze
December 15th, 2013, 15:03
Hi!

I'm Carly. I'm from New Jersey and I interviewed there in November. I finished school in May 2013 with a BA in studio art and have been working full time and a branding company and part time for artists and galleries in NYC since then. I studied Japanese for 3 years in high school, a semester in college (it wasn't offered at my school) and then studied abroad in Kyoto for 5 weeks.

I wanted to be somewhere in Kanto, which I know is a total reach, because I have gotten super into Japanese fashion and art and want to be able to go to exhibitions and things in Tokyo without going totally broke. But I would be happy anywhere because there isn't anywhere that isn't exciting in Japan. Although, unlike you Tobenaitori, my one specific request was somewhere that isn't super cold because I always feel cold even if it's not freezing temperatures. n_~

tobenaitori
December 15th, 2013, 15:55
Hi Carly! Your work in galleries in NYC sounds especially glamorous! I'm glad to see there really are others on this forum heading over in March, 2014 :D
Kantou is pretty big, so hopefully you'll get placed somewhere in the area? That does sound really cool, about being able to visit art galleries in Tokyo.
How did you enjoy Kyoto? I only went there once on a day trip to Kiyomizu-dera but the city seemed really old and beautiful, from what I saw of it!
We are opposite in our choices of climate, then! I just can't stand hot weather, but I love the cold. My only disappointment with Nagoya/Aichi was that there wasn't enough snow. We're getting a snow storm up here in MA as we speak, actually! :D :D :D

teadaze
December 15th, 2013, 16:50
Ah yeah it's actually really cool. It's not anywhere super, super high end but it's with people I really admire so it's pretty amazing.

I hope to be in the area! It would be a nice contrast to Kyoto, which I absolutely loved but I want to explore another place. Kyoto is so beautiful and there are a ton of things to see. Kiyomizu-dera was so much fun when I went. I miss it so much. I'm so over living in the suburbs and feel like it's not nearly as pretty here as it is in Japan but I guess it might be because I'm so used to it.

I'm not obsessed with hot weather really but I just get so cold so easily that it's just not fun to be to be somewhere that's super cold. We are getting snow here in NJ now too! It was kind of funny because it's only 1-3 inches but I got back from NYC today and my local Starbucks was closed at 7 pm and no one was on the road. -_-;

zombiekelly
December 15th, 2013, 17:10
Kanto isn't a stretch. Most of the new recruits go there.

Plus I know at least one spot that will be opening up - mine.

teadaze
December 16th, 2013, 07:18
It seemed like the general consensus was that it was hard to get a placement there because Tokyo is close by. I wrote down 3 areas in Kanto but told my recruiter I would basically say yes to anything. That would be amazing if it worked out though! Where is your position?

tobenaitori
December 16th, 2013, 12:00
Zombiekelly - It's sad to hear that! Are you returning to your country, or moving to another position in Japan? I remember reading all of your posts in last year's thread :D

zombiekelly
December 16th, 2013, 15:08
Nah, it's not too sad. I'm going to go back to the US. I like Japan but the money's getting tight. Besides when I went home for the summer, the doctor said my potassium level tanked. Probably because I don't like fish (and you can only shove so many soybeans down your throat before getting sick of them).

But Kanto being hard? Bah. There were two hotel floors of newbies for this year's training.

teadaze
December 16th, 2013, 15:57
Ahhh yes good news for me I hope!

I bet it's a good idea to come home for a break too, even if it's a forever break.

Where were you placed?

zombiekelly
December 16th, 2013, 20:59
Ibaraki. It may seem like out in the middle of farmland, but the Joban line leads straight into Tokyo. About 90 minutes for the slow train, faster if you spring for the hitachi. I think they're even extending the line to Tokyo station, but I usually don't go that far. Matsudo is enough for me when I need to escape from natto, but there are plenty of places within driving distance that give me what I need.

teadaze
December 17th, 2013, 14:02
That sounds like a good location!
My boyfriend got an email today saying that we should find out placements mid-late January.
It sounds like they are stepping up their game.

tobenaitori
December 17th, 2013, 20:36
I hope we do find out mid-January! That would be great! But I doubt it will happen for me. I just graduated this semester, so I might not even get my proof of graduation paperwork from my university to Interac until early-mid January. :( I'm sure they'll give placements to those whose COE application they filed in late December first. :/ My family and friends have been asking almost non-stop where I'm going, it sucks not having any answer for them.

JapanBT
December 20th, 2013, 14:00
Minasan Konnichiwa! I am so glad there is an Interac Spring 2014 thread with my fellow recruits! I am in the same boat as everyone else, pretty much. My paperwork is in, I've gotten the update emails, and I am patiently awaiting placement and CoE. I will post updates in this thread. Let's keep each other encouraged. I think this thread will really pick up speed in about a month when some people's placements and COEs start coming through.

tobenaitori
December 20th, 2013, 14:54
Welcome, JapanBT! Where are you hoping to be placed?

I had the speaking portion of the Japanese language test today with Ms. Nakada from the Tokyo head office, and I'm pretty sure I bombed it. I had a really difficult time hearing what she was saying, I'm not sure if that's because I was on a cellphone or because she was in the office with a lot of background noise, or just because my listening skills leave something to be desired, but I was totally embarrassed that I had to ask her to repeat almost every question, several more than once. The questions weren't hard, but they were a bit harder than what others on this forum told me to expect. Others told me that they were asked about things like their birthday and their hobbies. I did get asked my name and what my favorite Japanese foods are, but I also got a few that required a bit of thinking, such as "Please tell me about one aspect of Japanese culture that is different than your country's culture" (I talked about senpai-kouhai relationships) and "How has Japanese society changed over time" (maybe I misunderstood this question? I talked vaguely about women's suffrage). So if anyone else is going to be taking this test, my advice to you is to have them call you on a landline if possible, and be prepared to answer questions that you have to think about a bit. Good luck!
I hope they email me soon to let me know the results of my speaking test, for better or worse :/

zombiekelly
December 21st, 2013, 10:42
I don't blame you, I can never tell what even the English speakers are saying when they call me from that noisy office.

tobenaitori
December 21st, 2013, 22:29
Thanks zombiekelly :D You made me feel better. I still haven't heard back (should be used to this with Interac already :P). I wonder when they typically get back to you.

JapanBT
December 22nd, 2013, 09:36
Welcome, JapanBT! Where are you hoping to be placed?


Thanks! My first choice is the Kansai region. I really hope I get placed there.

teadaze
December 28th, 2013, 01:39
Ahhh I haven't been home in days to send the photo or rテゥsumテゥ. I'll have to do that today and get started on the Japanese test. I took Japanese for 3 years in high school and a semester in college plus abroad for 5 weeks but I have forgotten so much. It's really embarrassing and a shame. u_u
I hope they are still at least a little impressed.

Do any of you know when most people leave for Japan?
Also the hours training tends to be for the first week or two? I hope we are able to go out at least a little.

zombiekelly
December 28th, 2013, 19:08
Do any of you know when most people leave for Japan?

Training is usually last week of March, and it helps if you arrive as close to the start date as possible (for visa and driver's permit considerations).


Also the hours training tends to be for the first week or two? I hope we are able to go out at least a little.

Haha, no. Training was 5 days; from 8am to around 7pm, with some seminars after that, plus homework. Best you can probably do is a beer or two in your hotel room after trudging down to Sukiya for dinner.

tobenaitori
December 28th, 2013, 19:22
Someone on here (I forgot who now) told me they scored on the lower end of the scale but Interac basically told their BOE that they were fluent in Japanese and the BOE was super impressed with them. I think they will probably be pretty impressed even if the score is low.

On the J-CAT test, it automatically times out after like 20-30 seconds and switches to the next question. I consider myself pretty good at Japanese, especially reading, and I just barely made it through the questions and answers and picked one before it changed to the next question (I didn't even bother reading the instructions most times, it was too fast), so I recommend you work as quickly as you can. You can't pause the test but in between section (vocab section and grammar section, grammar section and reading comprehension section) you can take a break. For the reading comprehension section, I suggest you look at the question first and just skim the paragraph to find the info you need. They give you more time for these questions (about a minute, minute and a half) but reading through the whole paragraph and then not having time for the question, or finding out that the answer to the question was in the first sentence, is really frustrating. Good luck!!

WOW training sounds intense! I hope I can learn a lot, though. Honestly, I don't feel at all qualified to teach. Mostly, I have no idea how to draw up a lesson plan. I'm not especially creative. I hope they give some pointers about this during training.

zombiekelly
December 28th, 2013, 19:39
Was it me? They did that to my BOE. I can read Japanese well enough to buy comic books without furigana, but I can't speak much beyond what's daily necessary. That turned into "she's awesome and can understand you well".

Are you aiming for JHS? They have lesson plans already prepared for the big textbooks and their own curriculum, but a lot of the time they overestimate the students' level. The JTE will know where the students are at and can tell you what activities will be too tough.

tobenaitori
December 28th, 2013, 20:11
Ohh, yeah then it might have been you, zombiekelly! That's pretty impressive, though. I think I could speak semi-decently before I could read without furigana. It took me a really long time to get to that stage. Maybe it's because my school really emphasized speaking? We had class 5 days a week; 2 classes were grammar and miscellaneous stuff classes, and 3 were conversation practice. We only studied kanji at home for weekly quizes, and we didn't do much reading at all.

Right now I'm hoping I'll be placed in junior high, but when I applied I requested elementary. I thought it would be more fun, which it probably is, but I'm really nervous because I don't know what to expect. Junior high seems much more structured.

I think I'm going to lose my mind before I get my placement. I want to know!!! Haha

teadaze
January 2nd, 2014, 17:14
Ahh I want to know too! I am so anxious and excited and ready to conquer Japan ahah
I am making a point to study my kanji every day from now on since I have been slacking but mostly caught up in a million other life things.
I am not going to do so hot on that Japanese exam but I did email them and let them know that I don't think my years of language studies will be reflective in my score but they should know that I will be more than fine once I get to Japan. I wish I was better at retaining Japanese but I think I might actually have a memory issue I never properly looked into. ~_~
Anyway, I'm sure it'll all be fine. Just the wait is a huge pain.

tobenaitori
January 11th, 2014, 04:37
So, to state the obvious, I think all the spring recruits have gotten invites to the facebook group. I'm really surprised how many people were recruited this year. Based on this forum, it seemed like only 4-5 of us got recruited :P
I'm also surprised about the male-female gender ratio of English teachers in the company (and in Japan / Asia in general). I thought it would be about even, leaning towards women, if anything. But according to the chart posted on the facebook group, the actual ratio is something like 34-66, with men being more common. I wonder why. Any ideas?

zombiekelly
January 11th, 2014, 11:25
Well, a guess would be that these kind of temporary, "chilling out" jobs attract more men, especially the "dude, Japan, I'm gonna party" types.

Also, because I'm extremely cynical, I think there might be a little hiring discrimination going on. A lot of female candidates have family they want to bring (which is more hassle), and Interac isn't exactly the best job to have if you get pregnant.

tobenaitori
January 11th, 2014, 18:27
Interesting theory, zombiekelly, and I think you're probably right. When I hear that someone wants to bring their partner/child with them on a dependent visa, I imagine their chances of being hired go down simply because it's more of a hassle for the company compared to an equally qualified single candidate.
The recruiter at my seminar told us that she previously worked in the placement department, and she was constantly being bombarded with requests from schools that wanted female ALTs. She also said that she was pleasantly surprised with the 'high' ratio of female candidates at our seminar: 2, out of 12. Lol I guess she's done a lot of seminars with no women at all??
I'm really excited that people will start hearing about placements in the next few weeks. I personally won't be getting placed any time soon because my school has been dragging their feet and I still don't have my proof of graduation documents in yet, but still it will make me feel better (I think) to hear where other people are going.

zombiekelly
January 11th, 2014, 21:44
My placement is a little unusual in that 4 of the 5 ALTs are female, though two of the positions are what I call "rotating"- mine and the guy's are usually new people every year or two, while the other three are long term Filipino women with families here. Actually, now that I think about it, most of the Filipino ALTs I've met are women.

Gizmotech
January 14th, 2014, 19:49
I wonder if maybe men are less risk averse and are more willing to just fuck off to Japan as compared to women? I had quite a few friends back in canada who had absolutely no desire to leave after we graduated Uni because the rest of the world wasn't "safe" to them. (These are all trained esl teachers btw)

Also, based on my experience (highly anecdotal as it is) men seem more willing to take shit pay for benefits than my women friends. Mind you most of these men could go back home and make decent income after their travels so not sure if that matters.

coop52
January 15th, 2014, 10:24
It's possible. I know a lot of women won't travel alone, either in country or abroad, due to fear of being kidnapped/raped.

teadaze
January 15th, 2014, 14:12
Has anyone gotten a placement call yet?
My boyfriend got one yesterday but it seems like no one else has.

Axm
January 17th, 2014, 09:46
Hello everyone. This is my first post here. I have also been hired on to start this spring. I am awaiting placement and CoE at this time. My preferences are in general for Kyushu but more specificaly Sasebo/Fukuoka area. Hopefully someone knows here, how likely do you think it is I can have such a placement? From what I know Interac does have a HQ in Fukuoka. Crossing my fingers.



Has anyone gotten a placement call yet?
My boyfriend got one yesterday but it seems like no one else has.

Wow great. Where did he request and where was he placed?

teadaze
January 17th, 2014, 12:04
He requested same as me basically Kanto region and he got placed in Kanagawa.
Ugh so jealous he is just done being stressed about this meanwhile here I am still waiting.

Axm
January 17th, 2014, 12:27
He requested same as me basically Kanto region and he got placed in Kanagawa.
Ugh so jealous he is just done being stressed about this meanwhile here I am still waiting.
I feel you. Me and my wife (Japanese) are waiting here praying to get our home town of Sasebo or Fukuoka so we are near family. I'm staying optimistic but as you and me both realize, our future is riding on this placement. Are their any other forums you know of with people like us waiting besides our Interac Facebook members page?

teadaze
January 17th, 2014, 12:59
Ahh no way that's nuts. I hope it works out for you!! I think they definitely try to accommodate but don't want to make promises if there's a chance they can't keep them.
This and the Facebook are all I know of. :(

zombiekelly
January 17th, 2014, 19:08
The facebook group is company monitored, so at least from my standpoint, it doesn't feel like somewhere people can discuss the less desirable parts of the job.

tobenaitori
January 18th, 2014, 09:08
I didn't get an email notification that there were so many updates to this thread, usually it emails me when there are new responses.
Including your boyfriend, Teadaze, there are only 2 people I've heard of who have gotten placement calls already.
My university is being a real PITA and after promising me last year that they'd have my graduation processed by mid-January, they are now saying it might take until Mid-March. That's not going to work!
I think that Interac might not even give me a placement until my COE application has been filed. Please correct me if you know otherwise :P But yeah, I haven't been able to submit my proof of graduation yet, because my university is dragging their feet and haven't processed my graduation yet.
I also never heard back after my speaking test about whether or not I passed. I hope so!
I agree with what zombiekelly said, I'm very reluctant to post anything in the facebook group. Especially since everyone uses their real names and so on.

Axm
January 18th, 2014, 09:24
I got a call for my placement last night. It wasn't in Kyushu.. Nowhere near it. Let's just say my wife wasn't happy.

tobenaitori
January 18th, 2014, 13:16
Axm, congrats on getting your placement call, but I'm so sorry that it's not what what you were hoping for! Whatever you decide, I hope it turns out well.
I've just resigned myself to a Touhoku placement, it seems to be where the majority of 1st years get sent. Although I really want to be in Nagoya close to my friends and host family, I can also see the appeal in a Touhoku placement-- I'm from the north east part of my home country, so there's some solidarity there!

mirrormirror
January 18th, 2014, 16:23
We all just got asked to reconfirm our intent to re-contract so I imagine the bulk of the phone calls should start happening in another week or two once they've finished tallying up who wants to stay, who wants to transfer, and who wants to leave.

Don't get your hopes up being placed in Tokyo/Osaka/Kyoto/Insert famous city here if this is your very first time as an ALT. The way placements work with Interac is the Boards of Education paw through everyone's videos and resumes and short lists the people they want (unlike JET who does not allow them to chose). As a new hire with (most likely) no experience who will be competing with people who have experience you're extremely unlikely to get short listed for popular placements such as those in your first year (and you can bet everyone else who is already here wants those vacant spots too and is competing with you for them).

Fortunately, you can always request a transfer to your preferred location for your second year and at that time you're much more likely to get it. I'm not saying you have to accept a crazy location right off the bat but just remember that step 1 is getting to Japan. Just because you didn't get the dream location in your first year doesn't mean you can't get it once you've put your time in and made yourself a more attractive candidate for those BOEs.

Besides, no matter where you get placed in your first year it's bound to be a heck of a lot closer than to Tokyo/Osaka/etc than where you are right now.

Axm
January 19th, 2014, 03:25
Edit.

Gizmotech
January 19th, 2014, 07:46
Based on what I've read here over the years, if you reject your first offer, it's very rare you will get a second.

That being said, if you're already in Japan and reapply, you have a better chance of getting somewhere closer to where you want to be than not.

teadaze
January 20th, 2014, 14:43
I got my call! Odawara, Kanagawa!

They have a castle and apparently beaches and the specialty food is fish cake and ume!

Perfect.

therealwindycity
January 20th, 2014, 16:25
Congratulations! The main thing I know about Odawara is that we once put a drunk friend on the train home and she woke up at the end of the line in Odawara station. After an unsuccessful drunken attempt to walk along the train lines back to her home station (more than an hour away by train) she ended up sleeping on a bench on the grounds of a shrine and was awoken by a priest with a broom.

... not too off-topic, I hope.

kocooked
January 21st, 2014, 00:33
I just got the email asking for my address for my CoE! Does that mean I'm going to get my placement soon? Also, does anyone know when the various orientation programmes are?

teadaze
January 21st, 2014, 01:01
Hahah that's pretty funny about odawara. I'm excited I'm happy it's near a beach!

Hmmm I don't think I even got an email about my Coe thing like you did before my placement. I hope you get yours soon!

I know there's one in Tokyo and mine happens to be in Yokohama.

tobenaitori
January 21st, 2014, 04:41
Wow Teadaze, you got your placement already!!! I'm so happy for you :D And that's pretty close to Tokyo!

Axm, good luck no matter what you decide!

teadaze
January 21st, 2014, 04:58
Ahhh yeah I'm so excited! I keep googling all about it while at work. So much shopping to be done.

But man I am so upset about this dolphin hunting thing going on! I love Japan and everything but come on :(


In other news, any ideas about phones? The Facebook group says not to worry until we get there but I'm sure my parents want to have this sorted so they can be sure they can contact me. I need to research a SIM card for my iPhone.

tobenaitori
January 22nd, 2014, 06:54
When I studied abroad in Japan I got a phone with Docomo, it was 3,000 yen for the handset and 3,000 yen a month for service to add me to my host family's family plan. I only had 25 minutes a month (that's not a typo, literally twenty-five!) and unlimited email, but I hated trying to type on the flip-phone so I hardly ever used the phone except in emergencies.
This time I'm going to suck it up and pay the extra for a smart phone and unlimited internet.
Another thing I did was sign up for skype premium and a registered skype phone number. In total it is about $100 a year and you get a US landline number that people in the US can call and not get charged any differently than if they were calling a regular landline. Mine even has the same area code as my hometown. But when people call it it rings on your skype account. If you're at your computer or logged in on your phone, you can answer. Otherwise, it goes to voicemail. Also, buying the skype premium gives you unlimited phonecalls to any landline or mobile phone in a country of your choice. I picked the US, and was able to call anyone in the US from my computer or through skype on my mobile phone for free. Another benefit of skype premium is that you can do group video chat. Christmas before last I did 4 way chat with my parents in MA, grandparents in FL, brother in KS and me in Japan :D

Gizmotech
January 22nd, 2014, 07:12
How many years ago was that? It's only 6k/month w/ no upfront charge for a smartphone these days.

teadaze
January 22nd, 2014, 07:35
This is the best information anyone has given me so far. The skype is such a good idea. You need to be on wifi or data to be using it though right?

I would want a smartphone because I know I'm going to need maps and things. I hope it won't cost a fortune.

tobenaitori
January 22nd, 2014, 10:18
Gizmo, that's great news! I signed up in September 2012, but I think that was the best deal I could get for a one-year contract added to an existing plan, instead of starting a new plan.

Teadaze, glad to be of help! That way your parents have some way to contact you, and it's all set up before you leave the US. But yes, you need to be connected to the internet to use it, either ethernet, wifi, or cellphone data plan.

zombiekelly
January 22nd, 2014, 15:21
I wouldn't worry about having one before you get here. The hotel has wi-fi for skyping, and I'm sure your parents can wait the two-three days you'll be without internet/phone after training. If you end up in a Leopalace, the majority of them have their own internet access which works right away (that 24 hour BS is just that; took me all of two seconds to unplug the wire from the box and plug it into the PC).

mirrormirror
January 22nd, 2014, 18:22
Just wait until you get here to do the phone thing. A Japanese speaking person will take you to a phone place to help you get set up with one once you get to your new home.

But! Be prepared to drop a couple hundred dollars on a new phone when your IC takes you to Softbank or Docomo. Most phones are free with a two year contract but, thanks to the new visa lengths, you're going to get a 1 year visa which means no cell phone carrier will give you the free phone because your visa isn't good through the length of the 2-year contract. A bunch of us got caught by surprise with this last year (fortunately I was able to talk them into giving me an older model phone for free but most people ended up having to pony up the $400 for a phone)

therealwindycity
January 22nd, 2014, 21:26
You'll also want to ask people in your area which cell phone company has the best coverage.

teadaze
January 27th, 2014, 14:49
Thank you for all the advice! I was doing a lot of investigation on phones. I emailed AU and they said they don't have a 2 year smartphone contract, but you do need to purchase one through them. :(

Page
January 27th, 2014, 15:05
Tohoku isn't so bad depending on where you get. Please feel free to shoot me a message if you get a northern placement! I know we're getting at least one new spring Interac in our city.

Edit: I'm pretty sure not having 2 year contracts at au is a lie. The info depends largely on who you're asking and if they know you're a foreigner or not. Be prepared to pay in full for a smartphone if your initial visa is only for a year, some people have gotten by but it's rare.

coop52
January 27th, 2014, 16:27
My smartphone through au is on a 2 year contract. But, my current visa is for 3 years. It runs out this July though, and they still let me sign a new contract when I upgraded my phone this past September.

I thought most visas were 3 or 5 years. I didn't know they did one year ones anymore.

Edit- they were ok with payments for my phone, but not for my ipad. There's apparently been enough foreigners to screw them over on signing up and skipping out on ipads that they make all foreigners pay for them up front. My local au even called the head office to make sure.

Gizmotech
January 27th, 2014, 17:13
That doesn't surprise me. That being said, my inaka softwank signed me up for my iPad on my existing contract without any problem soo, whatcha gonna do.

zombiekelly
January 27th, 2014, 18:31
Lies. I'm on a 1 year visa but a 2 year LTE au contract. I picked a pantech, cost 2 man upfront.

tobenaitori
January 28th, 2014, 09:45
I know it's inevitable, but soooo many people on the facebook group are posting about their placements, it's driving me nuts. At least they gave us an end-date this year: they promised everyone will know their placement (or that they're being alternate-ed) by February 21st. I'm pretty sure that with my luck I'll be the last person to find out on February 21st :P

I do think it's interesting that people seem to be finding out their placements in bunches. First were a whole bunch of Ibaraki's, then some Yokohama's, then some Miyagi's and some Hyougo's. I might have skipped a few, but my point is that it's clear which branches are sorting out their affairs quicker than others. I wonder if other people will be added later to these areas that have already notified a bunch of people, or if the rest of us will go to other places. I also wonder if we have already been sorted out into which branch we're going to at this point, and just awaiting specific placement before we're notified.

I need to find something else to fixate on, to take my mind off this waiting game!

Axm
January 28th, 2014, 09:50
I know it's inevitable, but soooo many people on the facebook group are posting about their placements, it's driving me nuts. At least they gave us an end-date this year: they promised everyone will know their placement (or that they're being alternate-ed) by February 21st. I'm pretty sure that with my luck I'll be the last person to find out on February 21st :P

I do think it's interesting that people seem to be finding out their placements in bunches. First were a whole bunch of Ibaraki's, then some Yokohama's, then some Miyagi's and some Hyougo's. I might have skipped a few, but my point is that it's clear which branches are sorting out their affairs quicker than others. I wonder if other people will be added later to these areas that have already notified a bunch of people, or if the rest of us will go to other places. I also wonder if we have already been sorted out into which branch we're going to at this point, and just awaiting specific placement before we're notified.

I need to find something else to fixate on, to take my mind off this waiting game!

You'll most likely get your call the first week of Feb, at the end of the week. I'm waiting for my second placement and that's what I was told when I asked.
I know how you feel. Now imagine a Japanese wife with a family also breathing down your neck about it.
Its all good. Life is good. Just stress for now.. And then its the good life.

tobenaitori
January 28th, 2014, 10:05
Thanks Axm! Somehow, this makes me feel better. Even if it's not necessarily true for me, I will pretend it is so I can stop stressing about it :P
Sorry about the pressure from your wife and family. I really hope you get that Kyuushuu placement you wanted!!

teadaze
January 28th, 2014, 14:15
This phone thing is so confusing and I guess there isn't a sure way to save a lot of money. If only I could get my hands on a used Japanese iphone...

I hope everyone gets the placement they really want!! I know I would be freaking out if I was still waiting. It'll happen soon though. n_n

Azrael
January 28th, 2014, 14:17
商品検索結果ページ|新品・中古・買取りのソフマップ[sofmap] (http://www.sofmap.com/search_result/exec/?keyword_not=iPhone4S&gid=UD12190101&keyword_and=iPhone4&product_name=16GB&product_type=ALL&sale_date_from=2010%2F05%2F29&sale_date_to=2010%2F07%2F01&styp=p_srt&order_by=NAME_ASC&dispcnt=50&image=on&cs=off)

teadaze
January 31st, 2014, 12:33
One of my friends got her placement within the last few days and just found out her arrival date already!
I'm hoping they get back to me on mine soon for Yokohama.

tobenaitori
January 31st, 2014, 20:08
I hope so teadaze! I'm surprised they didn't tell you at the time of placement. I would have thought that the different branches already know where they are sending their employees for training and that the training dates were set...
I saw someone posting about it on the facebook group, and they said they had to arrive on 3/21. But I'm not sure which branch they were from. Still, it's good to have a ball-park arrival date :D

zombiekelly
February 1st, 2014, 10:52
If it's like last year, all the branches in the Kanto area will have their orientation together. There are several Tokyo branches and usually a branch in each of the prefectures (which is weird for me, because even though I'm close to one of the prefectural ones, I'm classified as a Tokyo). But I think the northern branches started earlier.

teadaze
February 4th, 2014, 12:57
They spoke to me as if my training would be in Yokohama because that's who was supposed to be in touch with me. Although maybe it could still be in Tokyo anyway?

tobenaitori
February 7th, 2014, 05:20
I don't know Teadaze :(

I got an email from Simon in the visa department, there was a problem with my college transcript. It was printed (and dated with a "printed on" date) on January 27th, and lists the graduation date of February 1st. Apparently this makes the transcript invalid as proof of graduation. :( I requested another one from my university, and had them send it directly to Japan instead of sending it to me and me forwarding it to Japan. Even so, this is going to put me back almost 2 weeks... I still haven't gotten a placement call, so I'm convinced they won't bother placing me until they get my proof of graduation document in.

By the way Axm, have you heard about your second placement yet?

Axm
February 7th, 2014, 05:45
No I havent. However ive seen someone on the Facebook page post that they got placement in kagoshima which is in Kyushu. So now I know Kyushu placements do exist. Hopefully Interac still pulls through for me.

tobenaitori
February 7th, 2014, 17:56
I hope you get a Kyushu placement! Maybe they've just been a bit slower about getting back to interac about how many new people they need.

Axm
February 13th, 2014, 09:34
Great news! They got me my placement in Fukuoka, Kyushu! Me and my wife are bouncing off the walls. We will be located right in between my wifes home town and downtown Fukuoka. Very excited :D

tobenaitori
February 13th, 2014, 17:58
Great news, Axm!!! I wish they would give me a placement already. Only a little over a week now until until the 21st... Just need to be patient...

Ochya
February 21st, 2014, 05:02
Great news, Axm!!! I wish they would give me a placement already. Only a little over a week now until until the 21st... Just need to be patient...

Hi tobenaitori! I actually joined this forum just to speak w u lol. Hope that's not creepy. The reason is because I had a big issue with my grad documents getting in on time as well. In fact, I just got them to the Tokyo Head Office on MONDAY THE 17th. I got an email after that saying that my CoE was logged for processing on the 20th and I've been moved to the placement stage. So if ur question hasn't already been answered, they need that grad proof for sure. Because they told me to expect my CoE by the 13th, and then I need to get my visa. Which means if I were to leave in late march, I'd have less than 10 days to obtain my visa, which I need before I can leave. I expect ur case is the same.

it sucks with the print date! I was warned to check that just in case.
At any rate, you are not alone. It'll be the 21st in Japan tonight, so I'm expecting to find out then if I have a placement or will be an alternate. Honestly I would just like to know either way!

Lugh
February 21st, 2014, 12:59
Hello guys, was looking for some place to discuss placements with fellow Interac people!
I'm Joe, I'm from Ireland and was interviewed in Oxford UK back in December.

I've been placed in the Kasumigaura "city" in Ibaraki. I can't actually find any images of the city or much information besides the fact that it's near Tsuchiura and the Joban line, about an hour to 90 minutes away from Tokyo by train, but from what I gather it's quite rural. Not quite what I was hoping for, but at least I can go to Tokyo on weekends. I'm hoping there'll be a few other ALTs in the area, not quite so keen on being placed somewhere rural on my own!

Oh, and can anyone tell me how to find the facebook page where people are discussing their placements? I only found the interac japan page, no ALTs talking about their placements there as far as I can tell.

zombiekelly
February 21st, 2014, 16:41
The facebook group is a "hush-hush" invite only thing. They'll invite you eventually.

But seriously, PM me, I have first hand knowledge of this so called Kasumigaura "city".

Lugh
February 21st, 2014, 17:11
pmd you ZombieKelly

I almost never use FB, only had a look to see what the story was. Is there anything I need to do to get the attention of this group?

zombiekelly
February 21st, 2014, 17:24
Doubt it. Adding them to your job history might do it.

teadaze
February 21st, 2014, 22:56
I bought my ticket last week and here is a top!! Some flights were significantly cheaper but didn't get in at the right time so I found it was actually more affordable to come a day early and pay for a hotel room. Just something to consider so you don't end up stuck with a really expensive flight because it gets in at a time that's better.
Interac wanted to meet me in the afternoon so I'm taking a flight a day earlier that gets in at 10:30 pm, staying at a hotel, and then I can meet them in the afternoon the next day.


Also the guy was just emailing me asking if I need help finding an apartment. Do some people figure that out on their own? I thought it was assumed I would need assistance hahah


Wahhh I'm sorry about everyone having visa related issues and hope that gets sorted out soon. :(

tobenaitori
February 23rd, 2014, 12:26
Hey Ochya, thanks for your message. It's not creepy at all. I hope everything works out for you!

I got an email from Simon in the visa department that apparently my university never sent them the new transcript (or else it got lost in the mail) so my COE won't be ready in time for me to come over on 3/21 with everyone else. They told me if I can get a new transcript to them by 2/25 I can come over on 4/6 as an alternate. I shipped it out Friday by fedex express, so hopefully it will make it in time and there won't be any more holdups. I am still hoping they will find a placement for me before I leave, but if not it doesn't really matter much to me anymore. I pretty much gave up hope of being placed in Nagoya like I hoped.

Teadaze, congrats on getting your tickets!

seida
February 24th, 2014, 12:40
I'm going to lurk this thread to see if anyone is being assigned to my city :)

In regards to Nagoya, I don't think anyone will be placed there unless they are aware/requested weird contracts. As far as I know Interac doesn't have any full time contracts in Nagoya, they are the 9-months-employed, 3-months-unemployed type.

For phones, AU definitely gives two year contracts to people with one year visas. Possibly it varies by branch, but I am on my 3rd two year contract with them... in fact AU was the only phone company who would give me a contract before my gaijin card was ready, so they've been nothing but great in my experience (they are also awesome about replacing broken phones).

Jcampb14
February 25th, 2014, 03:54
Hello~

I figured that I'd add my placement to the list here... I've been placed in Chiba ken in choshi city. I will be teaching at up to 5 high schools in that area. Has anyone also been placed in this area? Anybody else been given high schools (little bit nervous because i thought id get to ease my way in with elem. or jhs students) I didnt really think interac did a lot of high school placements so it caught me by surprise.

tobenaitori
February 25th, 2014, 06:11
Seida, thanks for the info about Nagoya, I'd rather be employed year-round than be placed there with only a 3 month contract!

Jcamp, that is impressive! I kinda would like to teach at highschool. I think you'll have fun. I didn't think interac did many highschool contracts either. Guess you got lucky!

green
February 26th, 2014, 07:56
Hi Jcamp, I have also been given all high school placements, I will be teaching at 3 high schools.

Is anyone else training in Nagoya? I have been placed in Nishio, Aichi (which is 50 minutes from Nagoya). I'm starting to get a little nervous because based on the Facebook group it doesn't look like anyone else has been placed in my area.

I can't believe we are moving to Japan in 3 weeks! It doesn't feel real!

Lugh
February 26th, 2014, 22:13
I still haven't found or been invited to the facebook group, can anyone help?

zombiekelly
February 27th, 2014, 16:56
https://www.facebook.com/groups/interac2011/

Take everything posted there with ten grains of salt.

tobenaitori
February 28th, 2014, 02:37
Okay, it's not what I was expecting or hoping for, but at least now I have some definite news (kinda)!
As I think I said already, my university transcript didn't make it in time, so I had the choice between 4/6 and 5/11 departure days. I chose 5/11 so that I could be sure my visa would be ready in time and also to give me a little more time to save up money. I got confirmation today that I will be an alternate and my arrival date will be 5/11. I went ahead and booked my ticket.
I was also surprised to learn something I didn't know before-- after the main Tokyo orientation on 3/21 all of the 'alternate' training sessions (4/6, 5/11, 6/1) take place at the headquarters in downtown Tokyo, not in Narita city. On one hand, it's going to be a pain getting myself and all my luggage into the city after a long exhausting flight, but it's going to be really cool to be IN Tokyo!

Lugh
March 1st, 2014, 05:34
Thanks again zombiekelly!

wolfspit
March 3rd, 2014, 23:09
Hi y'all. I'm in the Spring 2014 intake. I emphatically requested placement in Kansai (where Interac still appear to be advertising work). It's March 3rd and I don't have squat in the ways of a placement. I was, in fact, one of the lucky few to receive a 'you're probably going to be an alternate, deal with it' email. I have resigned myself to ending up just about anywhere. I'd rather be close to friends in Kansai, but getting to Japan on a working visa was the main goal, so I'm alright with it. I've lurked the thread and noticed, however, that many prefectures have been confirming placements. Kansai was not mentioned in the list. I was wondering if any there were any other Kansai-requesters or any other people who have been put there regardless?
See you all at training.

JapanBT
March 14th, 2014, 12:29
I have been placed in Tsukubamirai, Ibaraki. I'll be arriving in Narita on the 21st! I can't wait to meet you folks!

zombiekelly
March 14th, 2014, 17:41
Not a bad placement. The Tsukuba area is one of the areas with a big foreign population, on account of the university. But be prepared for some serious English forum competition.