Working in Japan
Japan is an extraordinary country and is still one of the top destinations for English teachers wishing to teach abroad. Japan continues to lead the world in technology and its culture and traditions are not hindered from this in any way. If you are up to the challenge of living and working in Japan, it can be one of the most exciting and rewarding times in your life. The diverse and interesting experience that awaits you in Japan will have both rewards and challenges. As one of the most cosmopolitan areas in Asia, you’ll not only have the opportunity to develop new friendships with the friendly people of Japan, but you’ll also grow as a teacher, polish your language skills and sample the ample culture and traditions.
Tokyo, compared to virtually anywhere else on the planet, is a glowing beacon of what civilised 21st century life should be. This colossus city of over 39 million people seems to blend all the best aspects of other cities and somehow discard the bad; it’s as stylish as London or Paris. It’s as modern a New York and it can match any eastern city for culture and heritage.
What can you expect living and working in Japan?
Flexibility is key when teaching in Japan students could range from kindergarten to adults and working shifts range from day to evening shifts. The job is extremely rewarding and there are ample bonuses offered. The working week is typically 25hrs long. Teachers are also expected to sign contracts for no less than a 6 month commitment, although yearly contracts are becoming more common. Employers provide health insurance and holiday concessions. Additional benefits can include: Monthly travelling allowance (usually up to 25,000 JPY/month), assistance finding accommodation, and contract completion bonuses.
The currency of Japan is the yen (JPY).
Foreign bank cards are accepted only at select ATMs, including those at the Japan Post Office, 7-Eleven and Citibank.
Cheques are not used in Japan, so it is essential to open a Japanese bank account in order to be paid by an employer. Bank transfers are commonly used as methods of payment for various purposes (e.g., gym memberships) when credit cards are not accepted.
How often do you get paid?
You get paid monthly.
Some employers provide housing as part of a teaching contract. An employer that does not provide housing may still be able to help you find accommodations and negotiate an appropriate rent and utility payments.
Japan is a fascinating place to live and work, as evidenced by the 1000’s of expats who live, study and work in metro Tokyo alone. To live and work in Japan is an experience which can have life changing consequences. Being immersed in Japan’s modern culture for a few years, or even a few months, is nearly always beneficial to those who make the effort. Whether it’s eating in some of the city’s super-cool restaurants and partying in its ultra-trendy clubs, or taking time out to learn about its fascinating history, you are sure to have a memorable experience that will stay with you forever, and gain an insight into what makes this town one of the most successful metropolises of modern times.