Teaching English in Japan

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Teaching English in Japan

Ancient and the Ultra modern Sit Side by Side

Japan is a country of harmony and contradiction.

Japan is a country of harmony and contradiction, where the ancient and the ultra-modern sit side by side. With such a unique culture, living and working in Japan allows for a memorable experience. It also provides plenty of opportunities for travel, from the high-tech city of Tokyo to the old capital of Kyoto, to experience the ancient rituals of Shinto and Buddhist religions, as well as participating in tea ceremonies. Culturally, there are many opportunities to learn martial arts, music, and calligraphy or participate in the spring and summer festivals. Hot springs also offer a perfect way to unwind from the demands of your teaching week. Each season in Japan also brings with it a vast array of food and speciality dishes, such as soba noodles in soup, or sitting under the spring cherry blossoms enjoying an outside barbeque.

Japan, however, is not for the faint-hearted. Many TEFL teachers experience major culture shock, due to the fact that the cultural rules are often the opposite of what the foreigner has ever experienced before. This new environment, coupled with the fact that the language is so unfamiliar, due to the non-roman alphabet, means that you need to work that much harder to understand what is going on around you. You will also have to accept that you will not be accepted in the same way as a Japanese person. This does not mean that you won’t have any Japanese friends, but you will be treated as someone who is outside of the cultural rules. 

Teaching Opportunities

There are many opportunities for foreigners who have a degree to find work in many areas of Japan due to the fact that English education is now compulsory in all state schools from primary right through to the end of high school. There is a range of teaching jobs, from children, to adults and corporations.The hours are varied depending on your teaching environment, and classes can range from 20 – 40 students per class. You will need to find work before going to Japan in order to get a work visa.  You are generally given a flight to Japan, but you will need to pay rent for accommodation. Often, you have to give a deposit and a one-time payment, up front, to your landlord. This means that you will need to have at least 2-3 months worth of money available. Many private schools offer rented rooms in shared housing with other teachers working at their institution, in order to reduce the accommodation costs. 

Teaching Requirements

Degree Requirement Typical Contract Length Peak Hiring Seasons Visa Info Typical Students Average Monthly Cost of Living in £ GBP & Local Currency Average Monthly Salary in £ GBP & Local Currency
BA/BS Required12 months All year round (there are also major job openings for September/October employment) Work visa in advance (If you lose your job, it is still valid for work.) Business professionals, children 150,000 - 200,000 JPY (945 - 1,260 GBP) 250,000 - 300,000 JPY (1,575 - 1,890 GBP)
BA/BS Required
All year round (there are also major job openings for September/October employment)
Work visa in advance (If you lose your job, it is still valid for work.)
Business professionals, children
150,000 - 200,000 JPY (945 - 1,260 GBP)
250,000 - 300,000 JPY (1,575 - 1,890 GBP)

Your TEFL journey starts here! Fancy teaching English as a foreign language around the world?

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