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54, 3 years college, speech major, married to Japanese nat'l

 
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sachsan



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 3
Location: ny, ny

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 1:06 am    Post subject: 54, 3 years college, speech major, married to Japanese nat'l Reply with quote

I am a 54 year old male, looking to teach in Japan who is married to a Japanese national. I can get the appropriate visa as such but am wondering about the realistic chances of landing work. I am willing to live away from the family, my wife can live with her family. I have only completed about 3 years of university in speech communications and have been working as a chef, not teaching. I have a considerable amount of public speaking experience though. Any thoughts, suggestions, etc?

Regardless of my age, I am very active as my normal occupation requires a tremendous amount of energy and attention to detail. I am desiring to come there for several reasons, not the least of which is to get my daughter enculturated in her second culture as well as force her to really learn Japanese, since Mom made it the language of discipline, not love. Crying or Very sad Any insights would be helpful. Regards, Chris
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PAULH



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 4672
Location: Western Japan

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 7:14 am    Post subject: My two cents worth Reply with quote

Glenski will probably respond but a man of your age will be better off teaching at a high school rather than a conversation school where most etachers are in their twenties and the teachers room resembles a frat dorm.

With a spouse visa you could pick up jobs- not the best ones as many will still ask for a degree as a matter of course, even with a spouse visa. How far along are you in your degree and is there any chance of being able to finish it?

If you have children as well and want to send her to school here you will ahve to think about where to send her to school, how you want her to grow up (Japanese or western thinking?) and how you will pay for it. If she speaks minimal Japanese and is thrown in a Japanese secondary school with poor Kanji it may be sink or swim, though tuition is cheap. International schools with western curriculums cost the same if not more as a college education in Japan if not more. Canadian Academy in Kobe costs 1.5 million yen a year or $US10,000 a year for tuition, just for starters.

I dont want to put words in your mouth but most teachers with kids here are teaching at universities, are on good incomes. Some even own their own non-teaching businesses. You may have to consider finishing the degree, getting a Masters some how and getting a high school or university job to pay for it all. I have two kids born and raised in japan at school now and I see very little change out of 460,000 yen a month or US$4000. A regular language school by comparison working a forty hour week will net you 250-280,000 yen a month, tops, excluding privates.

With a spouse visa such jobs will not be available to you unless you get proper professional qualifications, or you have other skills you can bring to bear, for which you may need Japanese language skills yourself to be even considered for many jobs, as japanese companies will not babysit you if you dont speak Japanese.

I dont know if I am being too blunt but i would need some more detail about your qualifications, short and long term goals for you and your daughter etc.
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Sherri



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 748
Location: The Big Island, Hawaii

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To get a better idea of what kind of educational options are available for your daughter try http://www.tokyowithkids.com/
You can find all kinds of kid-related information here. I don't know how old your daughter is but the older she is, I think the harder it will be for her here. I have a small daughter and another one on the way, after 12 years in Japan I am making plans to leave because I do not want them to attend Japanese schools (another topic!)

I agree with Paul, it will be tough to find a good teaching job here without a degree. You might consider working as a chef as this is what you have already been doing but I have no idea how much this pays (Tokyo or Osaka would be your best bets). If you want to make a long-term commitment here think seriously about finishing your degree--it sounds like you are really close with 3 years completed.
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PAULH



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 4672
Location: Western Japan

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just had a look on http://www.jobsinjapan.com and there were a few restaurant trade ads on there- most will require some experience and qualifications as well as Japanese ability when dealing with staff and customers etc- I dont know the level of your restaurant experience (any manager experience or is it simply salad bar level?) but this will give you an idea of whats available


Experienced western chef wanted for busy modern British style pub. Prefer from UK, AUS or US. E-mail mark(%-)hobgoblin-tokyo.com (posted 2/2303)


Yokohama Country & Athletic Club is seeking: Maintenance Manager, full time, turf experience a plus, Japanese speaking ability helpful. Applications to be mailed or faxed to the attention of the General Manager, YC&AC, 11-1 Yaguchi-dai, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-8684. Fax 045-623-1233. E-mail: ycac[&]ycac.or.jp. ONLY SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES WILL BE CONTACTED. (posted 2/20/03)

We are looking for an experienced 2nd chef for our busy pub in Meguro. Japanese national only: 5 days/week. Living locally preferred. Working with our British head chef responsibilities will include all food preparation, stock ordering, and kitchen maintenace etc.. Those interested in learning more about British food & working in an English speaking environment should apply. The Meguro Tavern 03-3779-0280 www.themegurotavern.com garth@themegurotavren.com (posted 2/18/03)


(This is an ad in Japanese for a dining manager and a bar manager at a members-only VIP club: seeking Japanese only by the looks of it)

www.cityclub.co.jp / fb@cityclub.co.jp (posted 2/15/03)

Yokohama Country & Athletic Club is seeking a reliable part-time parking attendant. Work schedule - weekends, public holidays, 09:00-15:00. Basic English/Japanese conversation required. Please e-mail your resume to the attention of the Front Desk Manager at Front@ycac.or.jp or fax 045-623-8121. (posted 2/9/03)

Staff for Natural Food cafe in beautiful surroundings 1 hour from Ikebukuro on Seibu Line. Responsibilities: soup, salad, hot dish creation and serving. Music and event planning. Full time. Japanese or non Japanese OK with language skill . Contact alishanj@gol.com or URL www.alishan-organic-center.com (posted 2/2/03)

International Catering Company seeks outgoing and enthusiastic sales staff for their Lunch Delivery Service division. Good pay, bonuses & incentives. Immediate start! Email: delivery@corporategourmet.jp or Tel: (03) 5791-1459. (posted 1/23/03)
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sachsan



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 3
Location: ny, ny

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 4:05 pm    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

thanks to all-I will look into finishing my degree ASAP. Question though, how seriously do people look into your coolege credentials? What do I have to provide. Thanks, again to all. regards, Chris
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PAULH



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 4672
Location: Western Japan

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris

As I mentioned before- you dont really need the degree if you have a spouse visa. You can get jobs with no degree if you can work legally in Japan. That said, 95% of teaching jobs requiring a proper work visa need a degree so the employer can sponsor them. The other 5% are spouse dependent, culture working holiday visas (from Australian, Canadians)

You will find a uinversity degree will have little direction connection or relevance to what you do in the classroom. I am teaching a beginner level class at a Japanese university and at the same time embarking on a PhD in Linguiistics. Little or none of what I am studying I will use in the classroom.

You can pick up teaching techniques and tricks to use in the classroom, or do a one month practical teaching diploma that will be of more benefit in the classroom than a three year degree. Where the degree comes into its own is that it shows the employer that you are literate, are well-read, can express yourself well verbally and in writing as you will have been required to write essays and reports. the difference in ones English vocabulary between a high school education and a college education is between 7000 and 10,000 words. Pretty useful stuff.

It also shows perserverance and dedication to completing a task.

Sure you can get a teaching job with a spouse visa. But with a wife and child to support you will be restricted to teaching at conversation schools and teaching privates and the odd company class. nothing wrong with that of course but you will find your time and income maxing out at about 60 work hours a week and 300-350,000 yen a month.

By comparison you could get a high school job with a degree where you are paid 350,000 yen a month or 4-5 million yen a year, teach only 26 weeks of the year, have time for your family and even take on privates if you want to. If you do a Masters degree in your spare time by distance learning (next to impossible when teaching at a language schoo) university jobs open up to you- incomes there are from 400-600,000 yen a month.

Its all a question of your own personal goals, how long you plan to stay in japan, where you see yourself in 5 years and most importantly, how you plan to pay for your daughters education while you are here. Schooling here aint cheap and you need to put in place the qualifications you need to get jobs which help you pay for it. My 8 year old daughter is at an international school in Kyoto where the teacher is a native English speaker, classes are taught in English and she is in a small class. Monthly school fees cost me US$800 a month, or about a third of what you get paid at a conversation school, not to mention your living expenses.

You can get by as many do teaching all over the place at eikaiwas and the like, but you cant complain when you cant get the jobs you want, because they require a degree or a Masters etc. You dont have to do the degree if you have the spouse visa, but many doors will be closed to you job-wise and your income will hit a peak very quickly.
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PAULH



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 4672
Location: Western Japan

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 12:24 am    Post subject: What do they need? Reply with quote

As to your last question you dont need the degree for a spouse visa but if schools ask for it they will want to see a copy and/or the original certificate.

If you apply to graduate school they will want a copy of your university transcripts as well.

Hope this helps
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sachsan



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 3
Location: ny, ny

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 1:53 am    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

The responses from you all have been very informative. I really appreciate when people level with me. It opens my options doors more realistically. My decision making then can be more informed and less likely to lead to some disaster. My sincere gratitude to you. Regards, Chris
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1303
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 5:59 am    Post subject: Re: What do they need? Reply with quote

PAULH wrote:


As to your last question you dont need the degree for a spouse visa but if schools ask for it they will want to see a copy and/or the original certificate.




Although he can get into and work in the country on a spouse visa, he won't be able to work at a Public or Private school *legally*: any course that leads to nationally recognised qualifications/examinations *requires* a degree of the teacher.

He'll be okay for eikaiwa and other types of work, but teaching in a school is out. A private school *might* overlook it, but a Public school won't. I can try and dig up the web link on this if anyone wants - it was on the MEXT site.
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PAULH



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 4672
Location: Western Japan

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was really referring to the private language schools or "eikaiwa" when I said you can get by without needing a university degree. When teaching English or any other subject at high schools, trade schools, semongakkos, junior colleges and the like, It is generally accepted that the teacher will hold one degree higher than the students they are teaching, unless there are special extenuating circumstances. At my university for example you need a phD to teach graduate students, while I work with undergrads.

Japanese high school teachers anyway usually have a university degree, a teaching certificate and undergo some pre-service and in-service training before they are let loose on students. Foreign teachers are expected to have at least a degree for their visa.

A one month TEFL diploma is not a sufficient enough qualification to get a working visa and is not really deemed enough to get a job at a high school without a degree to go with it.
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