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Thread: Heart English School

  1. #1

    Default Heart English School

    Anyone have any experiences with or heard stories about Heart English School (based out of Ibaraki prefecture)? They dispatch ALTs into school in Japan, mainly Ibaraki.

  2. #2
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heart English School

    smaller operation, less "support" than other places but also less interference. I wouldnt say they are the best company for a new to Japan ALT as they are pretty useless when it comes to explaining issues like health insurance/helping you set stuff up but on the plus side they dont stick their nose in with constant "observations" and "training sessions" like other companies. Their bread and butter is winning ALT contracts from BOEs by undercutting their rivals. This translates to a fairly low wage. I wouldnt look at them as a long term prospect as they tend to lose contracts and win new ones at an alarming rate so there is never really a guarantee you'll be working in the same city by the time april rolls around. So apart from the constant threat of you having to move house/not have a job coupled with a dangerously low salary they are pretty much the same as every other dispatch company.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Heart English School

    Thanks. My main concern is hearing stories about them lying about things, like offering one salary at first then changing the contract to a lower one once you get to Japan. I don't want to apply to a company that I couldn't trust to do basic things like be upfront. I could only find one report of this, so it's possible that it was just a communication error rather than intentional there.

  4. #4
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heart English School

    they are fairly shady but then again most the dispatch companies. Changing the terms of a promised contract when it comes to the actual signing is not an isolated incident and happens fairly often. The are no angels but I wouldnt say the stuff they get up to is any better/worse than the behaviour of places like borderlink or joytalk. In a past life when I had to deal with these places and their ALTs I never met an ALT who stayed with their company for longer than 3 years as eventually the bullshit just grinds you down. A lot of them used it as a springboard into finding better jobs but a lot went back to their home countries burnt out and resentful.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Heart English School

    Wow, I didn't know that dishonesty was so common in the field. Low wages yeah.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Easy_money's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heart English School

    They are pretty shady. They had a short 4 month contract in my old city and I talked a lot with the Heart ALTs. They entered the country on tourist visas and did not even have their COE yet began working immediately. They would price gouge and charge for things that didn't happen. For example, they sent an ALT a bill for 'tolls' when they drove their rental car up to the town they were living in even though there were no tolls incurred. The company would quickly back down when challenged, saying it was a 'mistake' but I'm sure some gullible ALTs would just pay it. They also charged a guy 23,000 for 'cleaning' his new apartment and when he arrived it was filthy and there was a tarpaulin on the floor covering hundreds of dead bugs. They then asked for more money to actually clean it. As for the salary they were told the salary was 230,000 before leaving but it was 180,000 when they arrived in Japan.

    All that being said, the ALTs enjoyed their time at school and there wasn't much bullshit to deal with from Heart on a day to day basis. If looking at working for them, just be aware how dodgy they can be and watch your back. They are probably no worse than RCS or Borderlink as Ini mentioned. Even if you just use them for a visa and then jump ship to something better. You can generally get better-paid work in early education if you have a visa and if you are capable of dealing with 3 year olds.
    Ok, picture a mind.... Now flay that shit!

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  7. #7

    Default Re: Heart English School

    Agree with most dispatch companies being shady. Ideally, having those companies out of the picture would be best!

    Btw, how do you get long-term and experienced ALTs? Because only old timers seem to still enjoy their unlimited contract as long as they don't change their job. But these days, even if anyone gets hired directly through a BOE, there are some kind restriction of how long you could be employed. Sometimes, you may have a chance to work more than 3 years except, your job has been "reset".
    Last edited by alee50; July 28th, 2016 at 20:57.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Heart English School

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_money View Post
    They are pretty shady. They had a short 4 month contract in my old city and I talked a lot with the Heart ALTs. They entered the country on tourist visas and did not even have their COE yet began working immediately. They would price gouge and charge for things that didn't happen. For example, they sent an ALT a bill for 'tolls' when they drove their rental car up to the town they were living in even though there were no tolls incurred. The company would quickly back down when challenged, saying it was a 'mistake' but I'm sure some gullible ALTs would just pay it. They also charged a guy 23,000 for 'cleaning' his new apartment and when he arrived it was filthy and there was a tarpaulin on the floor covering hundreds of dead bugs. They then asked for more money to actually clean it. As for the salary they were told the salary was 230,000 before leaving but it was 180,000 when they arrived in Japan.

    All that being said, the ALTs enjoyed their time at school and there wasn't much bullshit to deal with from Heart on a day to day basis. If looking at working for them, just be aware how dodgy they can be and watch your back. They are probably no worse than RCS or Borderlink as Ini mentioned. Even if you just use them for a visa and then jump ship to something better. You can generally get better-paid work in early education if you have a visa and if you are capable of dealing with 3 year olds.
    How easy is it to jump ship with a work visa? Because ALT work gets you an Instructor work visa, so if you want to do anything else like eikawa or waiting tables you'd have to find a sponsor all over again to switch authorized work fields, right?

    I also heard that employers get suspicious of applicants who have work visas from ditching another job.
    Quote Originally Posted by alee50 View Post
    Agree with most dispatch companies being shady. Ideally, having those companies out of the picture would be best!

    Btw, how do you get long-term and experienced ALTs? Because only old timers seem to still enjoy their unlimited contract as long as they don't change their job. But these days, even if anyone gets hired directly through a BOE, there are some kind restriction of how long you could be employed. Sometimes, you may have a chance to work more than 3 years except, your job has been "reset".
    Really?

    This really is a field with no chance of upward mobility, huh? Unless you use it as a resume booster to change careers or become a full teacher.
    Last edited by Eibig; July 30th, 2016 at 11:07.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Easy_money's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heart English School

    Japan isn't like Korea and other places where your visa is tied to your employer and they have you by the balls, therefore it's not that hard to change your status from 'instructor' to 'specialist in humanities' as it is not like getting a whole new visa. The new company just needs to prepare some forms and you go to immigration with a few documents and 4000 yen. However, If I recall correctly, one of the documents you need to take is a 'letter of release' from your previous employer so I guess they could make it difficult for you if you screwed them over.
    Ok, picture a mind.... Now flay that shit!

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  10. #10

    Default Re: Heart English School

    Regarding upward mobility in the English teaching field, I think you will find out for yourself how difficult that can be. However, working for an international business company in Japan, would be a better working environment and having Japanese proficiency is a huge plus!

    Yeah, 4000 yen for 1 year and 3 year visa. You can even apply for 5 year visa, but...

  11. #11
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heart English School

    if you want to work long term you really should be looking at PR. Nobody is really going to entertain you with a work/spouse visa.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heart English School

    Yeah, it's not really a matter of upwards mobility. Its teaching. Even Japanese teachers have little upwards mobility. It's the permanent position you want. So permanent residency and some luck is needed.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Heart English School

    It's just something about Japan that...N/A

    As for PR, it depends on a case by case basis and perhaps, the mood of immigration officer. If all works smoothly, 8000 yen, loads of application documents, and additional costs for requesting documents from city hall.

    Before all of that, get your foot in the door and find out if working/living in Japan is right for you.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Heart English School

    I'm not really looking into long term English teaching for myself. I do have some friends who are training to be teachers, though, and we had been talking about teaching English overseas in a more permanent manner than many people online talk about.

    I didn't know that the spouse visa doesn't give you full work authorization. At least if the marriage goes well, permanent residency is relatively quick to get.
    Last edited by Eibig; August 1st, 2016 at 06:03.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Heart English School

    4 month process after submitting the PR application form and you need 3 years of tax documents, proving that you've paid your Japanese taxes.

    FYI, save up to pay your residency tax!! It's a huge chunk! Doesn't apply until your 2nd year in Japan.

  16. #16
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heart English School

    Quote Originally Posted by Eibig View Post
    I do have some friends who are training to be teachers, though, and we had been talking about teaching English overseas in a more permanent manner than many people online talk about.
    If you have a teaching license you should be looking at private schools/international schools and universities. Its pretty much a waste of time trying to work in a public school as a foreigner doing anything else other than contract work (ALT/support staff/janitor).
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Heart English School

    I "interviewed" with them, almost... the interviewer did not show up, lol.

    It was a Skype interview, but still...

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