Anyone ever gone to teach in Japan?

  1. Hey everyone =)

    I'm just curious to see how many TPFers have gone to Japan to teach or are in the process of applying for a job.

    I've currently made it through the first round of interviews for a teaching job in Japan (still have to get through the interview task then the main interview).

    Tips & tricks? Share your experiences!
  2. I haven't done it myself, but did look into it pretty deeply and have a friend who went to teach in Korea(he loved it). Not sure if this is a private job or one of the programs that allows for a year long assignment, but if it's the latter and you want info from people who have been in the program, a LOT of them have websites about everything from the interview process to the living conditions, just search for the name of the program you're applying to. Good luck! :smile:
  3. I never did, but at one point considered it. I have several friends from college who went overseas to teach in various Asian countries (Taiwan, Korea, Japan). They all have mostly good things to say about their experiences.
  4. Hi! Thanks for posting =) I'm just curious to hear about your experiences in general (and not just for a particular company). I've made it through to the final interview for the job I applied for, and as I looked more deeply into just general budgeting, it made me realize just how many "extra" things that'll cost money that I didn't think of at first (like if I rent an apartment, I'll obviously need a bed...but spending $300 on a bed doesn't really make sense for me if I'm only going for a year...)
  5. When I looked I saw a lot of places you could get furnished with just the basics. Very small apartments, with a little bed, a small sofa or chair, and a desk + chair. I'd look into that if you can, because I agree it wouldn't be worth it to get new furniture when you're only there for a year.
  6. I did look into some places, but because I'm looking to move to a smaller city (in Aichi prefecture) I found that contrary to my expectations, overall it's more EXPENSIVE to live in a smaller city than a bigger city (that is of course if it's still a city--if you go into the countryside it'll probably be a different story).

    For cities like Osaka & Tokyo, there are many foreigners concentrated into those two cities, so there are quite a few fully-furnished accommodations to choose from (Sakura House, etc.). And because there are so many, the prices tend to be competitive. Whereas if you go to a smaller neighboring city, there are only one or two companies catering towards foreigners & the prices tend to be quite high for not as many options (the only ones I've been able to find are either completely unfurnished or allow renters to rent furniture to a tune of 5000+ yen per month!).

    Another option is to go through the regular route that Japanese residents take, but that opens up another can of worms because then you have to worry about "key money" (it's basically a "present" that you have to give to the landlord that can be up to 6 [or even more] months of rent. It is not a security deposit---at the end of the lease, you do NOT get the money back, so it's a BIG deal. Even if the rent seems reasonable, if you factor that in, it often becomes too expensive and not worth it). Not only that, but you'll need to find someone in Japan who will be willing to be a guarantor. And even if you clear all these things, there is still a bit of discrimination that goes on & there are landlords who won't want to rent to foreigners.
  7. Hi oceansportrait,

    I'm living in Tokyo so obviously I can't help about Aichi prefecture, but 6 months of rent in key money seems a bit steep! I never ever heard of more than 2 months of key money (in my case I paid one). For the guarantor, I paid half a month of rent to a company to act as a guarantor; every foreign friend of mine (without a very good and rich Japanese acquaintance) does the same. As for the discrimination, yes, it happens...

    Anyway I can believe that it might become more expensive finding accommodation outside big cities. The good thing around big cities is that you have access to a lot of recycled/second-hand furniture, and chain stores like CostCo & Ikea. However I think there are some nationwide delivery services for this kind of stuff now?

    If it can help I can recommend you a website called "Surviving in Japan', it's curated by a sweet blogger who arrived in Japan as a JET teacher, she lives in Shizuoka prefecture, and she gives tons of advice about daily life in Japan.

    Hope this helps. :smile:
  8. Thanks for all the info =) I received a job offer and I'm heading there early next month (much sooner than I had anticipated...they told me when they first interviewed me that the positions being offered began in March-April!).

    I managed to find a great shared apartment that's a ten minute walk from my job location. Shared accommodations wasn't exactly my ideal situation, but being able to save on travelling costs (which, unfortunately, aren't covered by the company) will be a BIG plus.