Celebrating Global Citizens
February 14, 2009 // by fiymc
February 16, 2009 at 3:35 am
It certainly is a good time to be here. One of my friends is teaching at a high school in Tokyo, while paying off a student loan back in the U.K. At current exchange rates, the funds he’s sending home are 37% greater than this time last year. He earns about ¥275,000 per month, and wires home about ¥100,000 per month, which is roughly UK£758 as I write. A year ago, that same amount of yen was just UK£476…
February 16, 2009 at 11:45 am
What about Korea? I have been thinking about going to Korea because I have a friend there.
February 16, 2009 at 3:06 pm
Thanks for your question.
I have a friend who teaches English in Korea and enjoys it, so Korea may also be a good choice. Economically, Japan has fared much better than Korea. With the current exchange rates, you will save more teaching English in Japan. Most people expect the yen to depreciate, but right now it is much better.
I have traveled to Seoul twice now and have enjoyed it. It is a very clean and beautiful city with great food. It is just different than Japan. I prefer Japan myself, but both countries have their merits and demerits.
March 21, 2010 at 9:34 am
Teaching in Japan is indeed a route out of the recession-wracked U.S., at least for the time being. Of course, Japan is in recession, too, but job opportunities are still here. Do expect to wait a bit longer for a post, though. I’m finishing my third contract here next week and I have yet to find another job. My age (55), the economy and my lack of a TEFL certificate are all factors in the delay.
Yes, older teachers will encounter discrimination, too, especially older women. The aforementioned JET program has a maximum age of 40. Dispatch companies also have the disadvantage of requiring you to find your own housing. The big obstacle there is that renting an apartment requires a guarantor and about 6 months of rent upfront. An alternative for some is a “gaijin house,” a guest house for foreigners, available in most major cities.
A dispatch company is interested in me but the pay is considerably lower than I was getting, and I have to pay expenses including credit-card bills. So I’ll probably say yes to them just to have something, but keep looking.
Good luck to anyone who decides to come here. It’s a lovely country with lovely people, and it could be a good place to establish a business if you do it right.
March 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm
I really recommend doing a TEFL certificate and teaching abroad. I taught in Japan for 3 years and it was a great experience.