5 Things To Know About Teaching English Abroad in Japan
If you ever dream of witnessing the vividly pink cherry blossoms, drinking sake at the karaoke bar, tasting the food featured in “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” or living in one of the world’s busiest city – Tokyo, you must visit Japan once. Many people choose to teach English abroad in Japan to truly experience the lifestyle and admire the country’s beauty. Fortunately for those, the demand to learn English in Japan is high and still increasing.
Here are 5 things to know about teaching English abroad in Japan:
1. How to Land a Teaching Job in Japan
A TEFL certificate and an undergraduate degree are the bare minima for Teaching English jobs in Japan. If you have the CELTA or DELTA qualification, your chances of securing a good job are improved. If you’re applying for a position at a college or university in Japan, a master’s degree or a Ph.D. would be required. For many employers, the teacher candidate is preferred to be a citizen from one of the seven English-speaking countries (the U.S, U.K, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa).
To land a teaching job in Japan, you can go through a language institute that hires year-round, sponsors your visa, offers a year-long contract and takes care of your accommodations. We also can help you find English teaching jobs in Japan!
2. Types of Teaching Jobs in Japan
Avoid large chain English language schools since they tend to overwork their teachers and underpay them. A popular path is to apply to be an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT), working along with a native Japanese teacher in public schools in Japan. Private language schools (Eikaiwa) is a common choice as well. Lots of elementary schools in Japan started to offer global studies and hire foreign teachers. You should prepare lots of picture books and engaging materials for kids for this type of job. The most highly desired teaching positions in Japan are with colleges or universities. While the qualifications are difficult, the rewards are high. Lastly, another option you have is to conduct private teaching or to tutor.
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3. What The Japanese Students Are Like
The Japanese students are a pleasure to teach, making teaching English in Japan highly appealing! They are super cooperative and enthusiastic. Thus, you should plan your lessons to be engaging, interactive and fun for the highest learning efficiency.
4. Lifestyle and Culture in Japan
The Japanese are known for their use of indirect communication. Their messages are often aimed at avoiding disharmony or conflict instead of expressing the naked truth. Such a typical distinction of the Japanese can be hard to get at first. They’re usually known to be organized, patient, and respectful. The people in Japan also profoundly value family and gender roles. You may experience the first culture shock with the size of Japanese apartments. They are usually tiny (I’m talking 10 meters square!). Don’t trust me? Watch YouTube documentaries about Tokyo living in crazy small apartments. One thing I admire though is the Japanese’s creative ways to make use of every inch in their living space.
The nation’s deeply in love with cute animal things, such as animal-shaped sweets and souvenirs or the Hello Kitty planes! Japan offers a rare contrast of tall skyscrapers vs. ancient shrines and temples. While in Japan, try to learn some Japanese to show your respect and to access more resources.
5. Cost of Living in Japan
Japanese schools usually pay very well and provide amazing benefits. As an English teacher in Japan, you can expect around ¥250,000, or over $2,000. Depending on the job, you may even earn up to $5,000 a month.
On the other hand, Japan’s cost of living is crazily high. Monthly rent is around ¥80,000 to ¥140,000 ($800 to $1,400). While your accommodation may be already covered in the contract, budget a decent amount for food and entertainment! Lunch is on average $10 per meal. Spending nights out in Tokyo can be very costly as well. One night out drinking and eating can be from $40 to $100. Cooking more at home will help you save some.
Are you looking for opportunities to teach English abroad in Japan? Check out our Teach English Abroad Facebook group for daily job listings.