Published 28th September 2017

For something completely different, have you thought about teaching English in Japan? Probably worlds away from your usual life, teaching English in Japan is an attractive option for the adventurous among us.

Finding a TEFL job in Japan

A degree and a TEFL certificate are non-negotiables when it comes to finding a TEFL job in Japan. A work visa is also necessary and this needs to be organised before you arrive in the country. What all this means is that you can find a TEFL job from the comfort of your own home and set out for Japan safe in the knowledge that you already have a job and a visa lined up. What this also means is that you will need to work on your interview skills so you can impress even though you are many miles away.

Teaching English in Japan

TEFL teachers can find TEFL jobs in the public-school system as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) or at the many English conversation schools. The JET programme is a popular programme run by the Japanese government which places graduates in public schools as ALTs. Application is quite a rigorous process but you are guaranteed a good salary and good working conditions. Teaching in a conversation school will mean doing shift-work but there are many incentives to make it worth your while.

There is a high demand for English in Japan because the necessity of learning English to compete in the global economy is obvious, but this doesn’t mean that your students are going to be overly motivated. You may find there is pressure from parents to learn English, but this enthusiasm is not passed on to their children, even if they are university students. If truth be told, the popularity of learning English has dwindled in the last few years with a few top language chains going bankrupt as a result, but if you are looking for an adventure, it’s still easy to find a job.

Living in Japan

We won’t sugar coat it: living in Japan can be hard. The language is most likely completely different to your own, the cultural differences will be vast and the food will probably take some getting used to, but this is the attraction for getting a TEFL job in Japan. Living in Japan is an experience like no other and if you manage to survive the culture shock, it will change you forever.

Japan is a historical and cultural country of note, and everywhere you turn you will be met by something surprising or shocking. Unbelievable scenery, startling technology, delicious cuisine, and a fascinating history all combine to make Japan a very popular destination for TEFL teachers looking to take a walk on the wild side. Be warned: you may never come back!