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I am completely new to this, looking for any guidance

 
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Richardm87



Joined: 06 Jul 2018
Posts: 1
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:02 am    Post subject: I am completely new to this, looking for any guidance Reply with quote

Hello,

Believe it or not this is literally the first time I have ever posted on any kind of forum, so if I'm doing this wrong I apologize. My name is Richard and I am an mental health therapist in the USA, Florida to be exact. I am considering to take a bit of a break from my field and am interested in teaching English, specifically in Japan. I wanted to ask if there was anyone here that is or has taught in Japan and had any suggestions or thoughts on the process. I have a masters in counselor education, but am willing to get any certifications suggested to me to make this happen as I assume that degree won't apply much in this area of work. I am a photographer by passion and would love to be able to teach and take photos in Japan as I have wanted to visit since I was a child.

I guess I can more precisely ask if, from anyones experience, do Japanese programs require a certification or degree (most of the time) and to anyones knowledge to programs help with any expenses (i.e food or housing or airfare to the country)?

Thanks in advance and sorry for the wordy post.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11373
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest heading to the Japan forum. You'll get more responses from those working there.
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Osiry



Joined: 19 Mar 2015
Posts: 76
Location: Nanjing

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are open to other countries, the working conditions and salaries can be pretty good in China. Cost of living is generally a lot lower too.
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Maitoshi



Joined: 04 May 2014
Posts: 718
Location: 何処でも

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you considered asking your current employer if a somewhat lengthy vacation or a leave of absence is possible? You may find such an
arrangement a good way to dip your toe into the water, as it were. Who knows? A few months here may be more than enough for you to get what you need out of the experience and, should you want to make the transition more permanent, that could always remain an option.
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marley'sghost



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maitoshi wrote:
Have you considered asking your current employer if a somewhat lengthy vacation or a leave of absence is possible? You may find such an
arrangement a good way to dip your toe into the water, as it were. Who knows? A few months here may be more than enough for you to get what you need out of the experience and, should you want to make the transition more permanent, that could always remain an option.


For the majority of the folks teaching English here in Japan, it's not a long-term thing. I think most of the regular posters here are old hands, but most teachers cycle in and out in a few years.

Not sure what your life situation is with regards to burning bridges, but something to keep in mind. To really make a career or it requires master's degrees and experience and really learning the language and connections and, and....

That said, the only real qualifications for an entry level job is a university degree (to satisfy immigration requirements) and a pulse. The "career" stuff you can from Japan, if you decide that this is the place to be and this is the work to do.
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1547
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richardm87 wrote

Quote:

I guess I can more precisely ask if, from anyones experience, do Japanese programs require a certification or degree (most of the time) and to anyones knowledge to programs help with any expenses (i.e food or housing or airfare to the country)?


Considering you’re already qualified in your field, it seems redundant to get further certification.

You’re a great candidate for the JET Program which provides airfare and in most cases helps participants find accommodation. The JET Program has prefectural advisors, regular events and conferences to support participants.

I’m a former JET. Before my JET experience, I was already a TESOL teacher in my home country. However, for preparation I’d say a basic Japanese course (self study or in a classroom setting) and a short TEFL course (through Coursera for example) would help you prepare for teaching and life in Japan.
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marley'sghost



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TokyoLiz wrote:
Richardm87 wrote

Quote:

I guess I can more precisely ask if, from anyones experience, do Japanese programs require a certification or degree (most of the time) and to anyones knowledge to programs help with any expenses (i.e food or housing or airfare to the country)?


Considering you’re already qualified in your field, it seems redundant to get further certification.

You’re a great candidate for the JET Program which provides airfare and in most cases helps participants find accommodation. The JET Program has prefectural advisors, regular events and conferences to support participants.

I’m a former JET. Before my JET experience, I was already a TESOL teacher in my home country. However, for preparation I’d say a basic Japanese course (self study or in a classroom setting) and a short TEFL course (through Coursera for example) would help you prepare for teaching and life in Japan.


Let me second that. (Should have mentioned JET in my first post....) JET is great. I came over as JET too, many years ago. It's a long, finicky application process (government program, what can you do?) but it is still the best pay, support and benefits of any job for newbies out there. Even if they don't fly you over business class anymore.
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 640

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marley'sghost wrote:
TokyoLiz wrote:

You’re a great candidate for the JET Program which provides airfare and in most cases helps participants find accommodation. The JET Program has prefectural advisors, regular events and conferences to support participants.


Let me second that. (Should have mentioned JET in my first post....) JET is great. I came over as JET too, many years ago. It's a long, finicky application process (government program, what can you do?) but it is still the best pay, support and benefits of any job for newbies out there. Even if they don't fly you over business class anymore.


Let me third that. I too was a JET participant (Assistant Language Teacher and then Prefectural Advisor). I had a very positive experience in Japan with the JET Programme and opted to spend the full five years allowed with the programme.

Your timing is good. Check out The JET Programme's website. If you feel like it is something that could suit you, you can start to prepare for the application.

That application would be due in November. If your application is successful, you would be called in for an interview around February. If that is successful, you would spend the spring getting ready to head to Japan and then around the end of July/beginning of August in 2019, you'd be on a plane heading to Nippon!

Warm regards,
twowheel
JET Programme ALT, 2007-2011
JET Programme PA, 2011-2012
Shizuoka prefecture
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