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Instable Japanese economy?

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Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Posts: 1
Location: Connecticut

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 7:48 pm    Post subject: Instable Japanese economy? Reply with quote

I was hoping to teach in Japan this upcoming summer or fall after I graduate but have been warned about Japan's poor economy right now. I've heard rumors of many American teachers having to leave as their schools didn't have enough money to pay them. Is there any truth in this and is it be something I should be concerned about in planning my near future? Also I've always heard that one can live comfortably and still save money, but recently I just talked to a Japanese friend who felt the cost of living is so high there that that really just isn't realistic. Any input on that? Thanks!
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Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 9:41 pm    Post subject: save money in Japan Reply with quote

Yes, the economy is in a recession. And, yes, some eikaiwas are cutting back. Japan was just voted once again as the most expensive city in the world.

However, there are still lots of jobs available. What are you qualified to teach?

Teachers should have no trouble saving at least US$500 a month on the most basic salary of 250,000 yen per month. Basically, you'll have about US$1000 left over from this salary after you pay for the necessities (less after the first year because insurance costs go up). So, how much you save depends on how much of this $1000 you spend on entertainment, reading material, long distance phone charges and/or Internet, travel, photographs, clothing, and souvenirs.

Drop me a line for a detailed breakdown of these required expenses and more information.
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David W

Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 457
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no doubt that the economy is not good and of course that will effect all businesses, not just English schools. However, there is a school of thought that says in hard economic times people will invest in job training which includes English. Parents may also be more keen to give their kids a head start. One way to do this may be by having them learn English. Also, English learning is being expanded through the school system so there may be oppurtunities there. Another opening may be in company work, English being the language of business.
While the market has undoubtedly become tighter, there is still work there for the determined. May I suggest, if you haven't already done so, getting a TEFL Certificate. It is not strictly required in Japan, but it certainly won't hurt your chances.
As for savings, well it's true that Japan is not as attractive for Americans/Brits as it is for Australian/Canadians/Kiwis due to the relative strengths/weaknesses of the various currencies but the "minimum case scenario" outlined by Glenski is still pretty good.
For the experienced in Japan, salaries of 350,000 yen a month and up are normal and savngs in the US$ 1500-2000 range a month are certainly possible. Good luck.
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Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 8:05 pm    Post subject: No Promises Reply with quote

I can understand why you're concerned about the Japanese economy.

From personal experience, you'd never know that people are going through a recession if you were to walk the streets in Shibuya.

People are still spending lots of money and I have a feeling that you'll probably find a job somewhere.

How long it'll take you and the quality of the job you get is hard to say.

But if you're clean cut, present yourself professionally, I have no doubt that you'll find a job in Tokyo where you can make Y300,000 a month, most likely even more.

The problem with Tokyo and Japan in general seems to be the costs associated with getting set-up.

It's a lot more difficult than some of the other countries in the region like Korea, China, Thailand and Taiwan.

So, if you come, save, save and save as much money as you can before you leave. You'll need the extra money.

Best bet is to come over with NOVA. Then leave them when you get some money in the bank and your own apartment for better working conditions and remuneration.

The best of luck to you!
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