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Japan vs Vietnam

 
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aboylikedave



Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Posts: 6
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:13 pm    Post subject: Japan vs Vietnam Reply with quote

Would anyone have a view on whether it is easier to break even financially by working in Vietnam rather than Japan over 5 months (Ekinaiwas) on a basic 25 hours or so teaching. For what its worth I'm a youthful 39 with MA Applied Linguistics, lower management in University Administration and some IT teaching (at degree level) and training experience. Japan interets me more as a country but as my main aim is to gain TEFL teaching experience I'd be prepared to go to Vietnam (hardly a hardship!) if it means I'm more likley to break even whilst I'm gaining experience. I wouldn't be partying all the time, I like the odd beer but would be fine away from the main cities if needed.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1003

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Would anyone have a view on whether it is easier to break even financially by working in Vietnam rather than Japan over 5 months (Ekinaiwas) on a basic 25 hours or so teaching.


I haven't been to Japan, so I can't comment on what is happening there but in Ho Chi Minh City teachers make $12/hour and up. So with 25 hours per week you'd be making $1200/mo. Of course someone with your creds can make more and the cost of living can be quite low if you can live cheaply which is something a lot of British blokes can do well. So you'd probably save a bit of money. The work is somewhat seasonal though. Things slow down quite a bit near the lunar new year in February.

The main drawbacks with Ho Chi Minh City is that it is deadly boring, underdeveloped and somewhat dirty which, I imagine, is just the opposite of Japan.


Last edited by sigmoid on Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vietnam would probably be better because other than Westgate, I know of no other schools or institutions in Japan that offer contracts of less than 1 yr.

You will also work more than 25 hrs/wk in eikaiwas.
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aboylikedave



Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Posts: 6
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I would be planning on going to an Ekinaiwa and leaving after 5 months. I know some feel it's naughty but I'd like to think I'd give good value for that period and wouldn't take the p*ss.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japan.

Let's start with proper terminology. It's eikaiwa, not ekinaiwa.

A person with a master's in applied linguistics will often be considered overqualified for eikaiwas in Japan. That's not to say you can't get hired. It just might take a bit longer. And, the pay won't be any higher, if much. NOVA, for example, might only pay you 5000 yen more per month.

You will make about 250,000 yen/month in Japan at an eikaiwa, working 25-30 hours per week. That's 2083 to 2500 yen per hour, or about US$20 per hour. But, wait! Those are classroom hours per week, the amount of time you spend in the classroom teaching. Add to that the preparation time and other assorted duties you likely will face, and you actually end up working a full 40 hour week. So, your hourly wages are really 1562 yen, or US$14.

After you pay for basic necessities (rent, groceries, utilities, insurance, and basic phone service), you will have spent half of your wages. A conservative nightlife will chop that down by another 30,000 to 50,000 yen per month. That leaves you with about 70,000 to 90,000 yen each month to spend on everything else in life: postage stamps, souvenirs, snacks, sightseeing, long distance phone charges, batteries, film developing, etc., plus any outstanding debts back home (student loans, car payments, mortgage, etc.). Some frugal people have more to spend.

Want to leave a job after only 5 months? Yes, you can, and it's more than merely "naughty". It's rude, disrespectful, and it contributes to the negative image of the rest of us foreigners. Leave if you have poor working conditions, but why PLAN to leave so early and not honor your contract if the job is ok? Besides, look at it this way...

You spend about US$800 on airfare. About the only way you get it back is to complete a year's contract and get the bonus equivalent to that. Meanwhile, you will spend a month or two on less than FT wages because of a probationary training period, so that 70,000 to 90,000 yen each month is actually going to be less. You are bound to do some sightseeing while you are here. It's only natural, but that means you will spend a lot of that residual pay. Leaving in 5 months will just about allow you to break even on your setup expenses.
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aboylikedave



Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Posts: 6
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski, many thanks for this, I appreciate the time you have taken to reply. Regarding the MA, yes, having been turned down by Westgate and ECC I had decided a) not to mention the MA and b) include a photo as I look a lot younger than 39!.

Regarding the 5 months, I do see your point, the catch is I'm on a year round the world trip and want to spend 6 months working in Japan and 6 months in Mexico.

I should say though, that if someone in England were to say to me ' I want to apply for a job but know I will be leaving in 5 months' I'd say 'apply anyway and its not actually that dishonest' because who in all honesty can say what they will be doing in 5 months. I know alot of peolple who start jobs intending to stay but due to another great opportunity, in the company or outside, or change in life circumstances, leave before 5 months anyway. So I'd say don't not take a job and allow it to go to someone who may well leave after a short time anyway. This is actually what my boss said to me recently when offering a promotion and I told him I was unsure of my long term plans.

But thanks again. I have decided that Vietnam it is for me - even though I am much more interested in Japan and its culture, given my short termism and my main desire being to gain teaching experience, Vietnam is the better bet and less of a financial risk.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Regarding the 5 months, I do see your point, the catch is I'm on a year round the world trip and want to spend 6 months working in Japan and 6 months in Mexico.

A contract is a contract. Employers won't give a hoot what your traveling goals are like. I've spoken my peace on honoring them and not making the rest of us look bad.

Quote:
I should say though, that if someone in England were to say to me ' I want to apply for a job but know I will be leaving in 5 months' I'd say 'apply anyway and its not actually that dishonest' because who in all honesty can say what they will be doing in 5 months.

You are applying western thinking to an eastern culture. Besides, if you stated this up front, you wouldn't get hired anyway. It's not dishonesty that would cause you to lose the job, but the honesty. They advertise for a year's contract, and they expect you to work it. So do the students that sign up for your classes.

Best of luck and no hard feelings.
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AsiaTraveller



Joined: 24 May 2004
Posts: 908
Location: Singapore, Mumbai, Penang, Denpasar, Berkeley

PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aboylikedave is indeed behaving more like a boy than like a mature individual.

If you're serious about teaching as a profession, then you won't plan your year like a tourist who says, "I want to spend x months here and y months there".

Deliberately planning to leave a contract early is the action of a 'boy', albeit a 39-year-old boy.
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monkeylady



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2004 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I disagree with the 1 year contract thing. I have been working in Japan for the past two years.
From what I have seen, a lot of the big lang schools don't give a damn about their employees, partic Nova who almost expects people constantly leaving and coming. A lot of these big companies won't treat you with any loyalty...you are just an English teaching machine to them - and if they needed to cut staff would probably not give a damn about letting you go.
I think making money in Japan is super easy compared to in other countries. I teach some private classes on top of my normal job, and get around 15 pounds (30 dollars) and hour for these, so it is easy to save a lot. I haven't met anyone who wasn;t able to save a nice amount in Japan!
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2004 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I haven't met anyone who wasn;t able to save a nice amount in Japan!


But the original poster wanted to do that in six months. Not likely. Even getting private lessons takes time.

Good luck in Vietnam.
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