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Thread: Is NOVA that bad?

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    Default Is NOVA that bad?

    In my ITIL history, I haven't heard too many good things about NOVA. Why is that?

    NOVA is coming to San Diego on April 18th or so to conduct interviews. Would you guys advice me to pursue the interview or what until I hear from JET first?

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    I have the same impression about Nova. I haven't heard too many good things. Even outside of this forum, there is not as much about them as there is about the JET programme. You will probably hear about JET well before the Nova interview.

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    Well, recently, NOVA is in very hot water with the Japanese government, so I would be wary. Now I have talked to a few NOVAs, and their opinions range from "hell on Earth" to "amazing". I hear the same things from different JETs though, so I think it's just your own attitude. Things are what you make of them here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega037
    Now I have talked to a few NOVAs, and their opinions range from "hell on Earth" to "amazing". I hear the same things from different JETs though, so I think it's just your own attitude. Things are what you make of them here.
    I dunno. I think it's just the old "ESID" schtick.

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    Are there specific examples of why they suck?

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    You actually have to work to earn your money rather than just sitting on the internet all day.

    God bless the JET programme and all who rot in her
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Nova rejected all the applicants (that I asked anyway) from my interview. I think that they're not actually hiring anymore because of the trouble they're in, because I'm told that historically, they take anyone.
    Willis, nani ni tsuite hanashite iru?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solarian
    Nova rejected all the applicants (that I asked anyway) from my interview. I think that they're not actually hiring anymore because of the trouble they're in, because I'm told that historically, they take anyone.
    They don't take "anyone", but I bet they are doing some curtailing of recent. I am under the impression that the government is considering putting a temporary halt to NOVA being allowed to sign up new customers.

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    A guy who works at NOVA lives in the same apartment block as me. He has a really good situtation now (after 2 years) and is practically managing his branch, but he said it was rough at first - lots of evening and weekend shifts and being called in at the last minute to cover people who didn't turn up. I don't think NOVA takes "anyone", any more than JET does. He is really knowledgeable about EFL and takes his job fairly seriously, but his courses are very proscribed and he doesn't get a lot of freedom in what or how he teaches. Of course, this is true of some ALTs in schools, too.
    Depends also on what ages you want to teach. I wasn't interested in teaching adults and only a little interested in elementary students, so NOVA wouldn't have suited me.
    The hot water the company is in has nothing to do with the quality of its teachers, after all; I think NOVA will get out of it and still be doing a roaring trade.
    "Like anyone with a sliver of honesty in them I believe what I find I believe when I wake up each morning."
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    NOVA, huh...? Well, like people say, it doesn't have to be awful - it depends a lot on your attitude and how much shit you're willing to put up with... rather like JET actually! I have a friend who has been with NOVA for about six months, over in Nagoya. She generally enjoys her students, but that's rather her personality. Whether she enjoys her job may be a separate matter. The main complaints I hear about NOVA are:
    - Lack of freedom. Everything is taken from their prescribed textbook and should not be deviated from
    - Unpaid overtime. I.E., they make you come in unexpectedly or stay after, but you get nothing in return, not even thanks.
    - Big Brother. They teach in little cubicles, which are usually equipped at least with sound equipment or even cameras, to 'monitor' their teaching style and progress. A bit creepy, that...
    - Big Brother, Part 2. Apparently the staff rooms are also sometimes monitored, so they'll know if you're talking bad about the company or even describing your wild threesome with two young students at the last weekend.
    And otherwise, it's the same old English monkey routine that gets everyone down. Teaching ineffective English in ineffective ways and having to just suck it up because you need the money, that whole jazz.

    On the other hand, with NOVA or another of the Big Four you have a much better chance of selecting where you want to live and you can be placed in big cities with much more regularity than JET.

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    See I'd much rather take teaching adults, because that's what my degree is in, and well, shinji kun is just a little shit, but I don't want to be a salesman I want to be a teacher for which reason I'd give nova a wide berth in favour of one of the other eikawas after what ive heard from Novaites.

    Also JET pays better and doesn't have retarded weekend shifts.

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    My friend has a monthly-updated livejournal about NOVA, which can be read starting here. He seems to be having a good time. I believe he just went over in January.
    The first entry is mostly about how NOVA works, and the following ones are more interesting "wacky life in Japan" posts.

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    I'm a Jet, and my boyfriend works for Nova. I'm not an expert or anything, but I know most of the Nova teachers in my area, and a fair amount of Jets. I'll give my general view of the situation, but keep in mind's it's just my own opinion. It's spring break and I'm bored to tears.

    Schedule - Nova teachers (or at least the new ones) usually work later shifts, and rarely have weekends off.
    Vacation and paid holidays - Jets have national holidays off (and there's one almost every month in Japan), and usually around 20 paid holidays, while Nova employees only have ten and have to wait until they've been there six months to take them (I was allowed to take mine right away, not sure about other people)
    Pay - I think Jets generally get paid more, but my bf is on the 29 hour a week schedule. When I worked it out by hourly wage, it was around the same.
    Other benefits - Nova doesn't provide health insurance and has their employees buy it from a private company, which is kind of a scam. Jets pay into national pension and can apply to get it refunded when they leave Japan, I don't believe Novas can do this. However, my bf saves a lot on the bus, since Nova (or at least his, although I would think it would be the same across the board) provides his bus pass and we live about 15 minutes by bus from the city (and I use that term lightly) center.
    Students - It's hard for me to comment here, I work only with special needs students (as Japan defines special needs, but we won't go there). I guess you get a wide range at Nova, but have to work with kids? Someone else want to comment here?

    It's really hard to comment on the general workload. People usually make the generalization that Jets work less, and Novas work nonestop. This is probably true in most situations, but I think Novas in small towns do tend to have some free time at least. There is a Nova in a town/very small city in my prefecture where they used to send the city Novas to work before they got a full timer there, and they would often have three to four free periods a day. Also, you are paid the overtime you work. Some of my Jet friends who work in academic schools often stay until 6 or 7 at night (although tenchically they don't have to), and they're not paid extra for it. My schools often lets me leave a few minutes early to get the bus and never make me stay late, so it's really ESID there.

    One of the big differences I think people fail to mention is your coworkers. As a Jet you're pretty well guranteed to be the only non-Japanese person in your workplace, while at Nova you'll work with Japanese office staff and other non-Japanese people. It's really up to you which one you'd prefer - if you're interested in learning Japanese, Jet is better, hands down. Sometimes when I'm sitting at my desk at 8 am and the teacher beside me is staring over my shoulder to see what I had for breakfast or pointing out an itty bitty run in my pantyhose, I wish I had other non-Japanese coworkers, but for the most part I like it. In both jobs, you can work with great people and bad people.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jill

    - Big Brother. They teach in little cubicles, which are usually equipped at least with sound equipment or even cameras, to 'monitor' their teaching style and progress. A bit creepy, that...
    - Big Brother, Part 2. Apparently the staff rooms are also sometimes monitored, so they'll know if you're talking bad about the company or even describing your wild threesome with two young students at the last weekend.

    On the other hand, with NOVA or another of the Big Four you have a much better chance of selecting where you want to live and you can be placed in big cities with much more regularity than JET.
    I've never heard this about the monitoring... not that I'm disagreeing, I've just never heard it before. I don't think it goes on at any of the Novas around here, but it's a pretty small area. Maybe it goes on at the bigger Novas? It's the first I've ever heard of it, and I read a lot of Jet and Nova message boards/communities when we were applying. Kind of creepy... Although sometimes as a Jet you can feel like a zoo animal at times! When I first got here, I wanted to install one of those quarter machines with pellets by my desk and start charging them to come up and 'pet the gaijin' :P

    About placement requests - his request for my city was approved right away, not sure how it works out for everyone else.

    Overall - ESIfrikkinD! Jet has better pay, much better vacation, (usually) a better support network, and generally less workload. Although you're more likely to end up in the inaka, I guess.

    Again - just my opinion/observations, don't all jump down my throat! Just trying to stay awake... it's only 9:20 and already I'm sleepy.

    *EDIT* - Nova doesn't pay for your plane ticket, and Jet does. Also, I don't think there are many (if any) consequences for breaking a Nova contract, while I've heard there are for Jet.

    Good luck everyone - hopefully you won't have to look into it!!!

  14. #14

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    The recent "hot water" NOVA's in with the government might be minor...but it also might not be.

    Basically NOVA got in trouble for what basically was just bad business practices and breaches of contract with their students...BUT in image-conscious Japan and especially in the competitive eikaiwa market, it might have a greater long-term affect. Just something to keep in mind...it shouldn't necessarily discourage you from exploring NOVA as an option, but just know that the company isn't necessarily enjoying the greatest of times right now.

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    The Nova teachers that got busted for drugs didn't help either!!!

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    AH! Specific examples! Thanks a million...although it's just a "he said she said" thing...I have a better idea of what NOVA is all about. Thanks a million...hopefully, I'll get in JET and won't have to wonder whether or not I want to pursue NOVA. :wink:

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    Good luck! And Nova will come to your city again, right? If you need to look into Nova (which I'm sure you won't) they'll come again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by piinku
    Good luck! And Nova will come to your city again, right? If you need to look into Nova (which I'm sure you won't) they'll come again!
    Hee hee...you're too kind.

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