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Moving beyond entry level (A master's from Temple?)
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Theory



Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 19
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:47 am    Post subject: Moving beyond entry level (A master's from Temple?) Reply with quote

Hi everyone, I'm putting together my plans for the next few years and I'm looking for a little advice.

Who I am: Last year my wife and I left the suburbs of New Jersey for the rice fields of Japan. I'm about to finish my first year in the JET program and I've signed up for a second term (through July 2013). I thoroughly enjoy teaching ESL and would like to pursue it as a career. I currently have a BA in English, a CELTA, and some experience teaching ESL to adults in NYC before doing JET. In the next five years, I'd like to get a master’s in TESOL and try my hand teaching at the college level. My wife would like to start a family in this same timeframe.

Originally I thought I would stay at my current job for 3 or 4 more years and get an online master’s degree during that time. But then I learned about Temple. I am now considering relocating to pursue a degree at their Osaka campus. I think I would prefer classroom learning to distance learning. Also I am hoping to develop some professional contacts while there, which I have heard are very important for finding work at the college level in Japan. Will the added cost of Temple be worth these opportunities?

There are of course several factors I have to consider, finances being the biggest one. If both my wife and I can secure employment in Osaka we’d be making more than we are now, as my wife can only find very limited part time work here in rural Japan. But if my wife can’t find work in Osaka then it would be very difficult, because I’ll probably be taking a pay cut when I leave JET and our living expenses will rise.

A few questions:
1) How difficult would it be for my wife to change her visa from 'dependent' to 'instructor/humanities', allowing her to work full-time? Most of the entry level jobs I see in Osaka ask that you already have a ‘valid visa’; will my wife’s current dependant visa make it hard for her to find work? Has anyone else been through this process?

2) Does anyone know anything about childcare in Japan/Osaka?

3) Has anyone graduated from Temple's MATESOL program? What was your experience like? Is there a practicum component? Were you able to build a good network and secure employment at the college level after graduating?

4) We currently have 2 cars. Am I right in assuming that we won’t need either of them if we move to Osaka?

Any advice or help is appreciated. Thanks!
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) How difficult would it be for my wife to change her visa from 'dependent' to 'instructor/humanities', allowing her to work full-time? Most of the entry level jobs I see in Osaka ask that you already have a ‘valid visa’; will my wife’s current dependant visa make it hard for her to find work? Has anyone else been through this process?

If she is a native English speaker, no problem at all, providing that she lands a job. If you are asking whether she can land a job, that's anyone's guess, and we'd have to know a lot more about her to even pose a remote one.

Forget the fact that you see ads like that. She already has a visa which will allow her to work, even though it is only PT. If she has a degree and is a native English speaker, she qualifies for a visa. It's up to the employers to decide whether they want to sponsor visas or not, and from the research I've done, more than half do.


2) Does anyone know anything about childcare in Japan/Osaka?

I have a son. What exactly do you want to know? I live in Hokkaido, so circumstances may differ from other parts of the country. Daycare is few and far between, and it can be either private or government owned. There is usually a long waiting list, and you will probably have to speak and read/write Japanese to apply. Check tokyowithkids.com for advice, yes, even about Osaka; there is a discussion forum there. Childcare hours don't run very late, and if you find a place that has after-hours care, you will likely have to pay more for it.

3) Has anyone graduated from Temple's MATESOL program? What was your experience like? Is there a practicum component? Were you able to build a good network and secure employment at the college level after graduating?

Can't help you there.

4) We currently have 2 cars. Am I right in assuming that we won’t need either of them if we move to Osaka?

Don't know, but I suspect not.

Quote:
In the next five years, I'd like to get a master’s in TESOL and try my hand teaching at the college level.
The degree alone will not be enough, you know. Publications are a huge selling point. Start now. Join professional groups, too. Don't wait 5 years to spread your face around. And, learn as much Japanese as possible.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 578
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends where you live. Osaka is a city and prefecture. If you live near a train station, fine.
But Osaka also has suburbs and rural areas too, especially near Wakayama and Nara.

Getting decent work in Osaka is not easy. Is 250,000 yen a month enough for you?

I think having one car is enough. You will have to find a parking space if one is not provided with your apartment. You would have to pay a monthly fee for parking.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMO, 250,000 is not enough for a married couple. You might survive, but only very frugally and from paycheck to paycheck. Enter kids, and you will not survive.
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
Posts: 891
Location: Here, There and Everywhere! :D

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
IMO, 250,000 is not enough for a married couple. You might survive, but only very frugally and from paycheck to paycheck. Enter kids, and you will not survive.


Ping Pong! Shocked

Glenskis right you cannot live on that for two people in Osaka especially if you are doign a master's degree which will cost like 2 or 3 million yen or even more. I do know some people who did it and they really liked it and I think one of them got a good job in a university but not in Osaka somethere like Miyazaki whcih is in Kyushu but it shows it can be done. Cool Bu tnot on 250,000 yen so you will need more money and more earning powet than that.

After you finish are you thinking of going to other universities in Japan or abroad or somewhere else? Cool
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Inflames



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 416

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew of one person who did their master's online and a second who did it at Temple. The one at Temple had a hard time finding a job but the person who did it online didn't. Of course, the person who did it at Temple had various issues the other person didn't.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 578
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could try distance learning and work full-time and with your wife working, but it could get tiring.

For the distance masters, sounds like you want a job with enough vacation so that during the vacation you could work on the degree.
So maybe being an ALT is the way to go.
As far as I know there are a few decent ALT positions at junior highs in Osaka prefecture.
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Mr_Monkey



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 661
Location: Kyuuuuuushuuuuuuu

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know a few people with an MA from Temple. I understand it to be really expensive.

A distance master's from the University of Manchester costs £2,300 a year. That's ~¥285000, or ¥855,000 for the whole degree (at, obviously, today's exchange rates).
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Vince



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 505
Location: U.S.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I arrived in Japan, I wanted to do a masters at TUJ. Then I saw the prices. That was the end of that.

Distance education is developed enough these days that you can get a quality degree for much less than Japanese university prices.
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 1896
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you should look into off-campus masters degrees from universities in Australia. They tend to be less expensive than British ones.
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
Posts: 891
Location: Here, There and Everywhere! :D

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its very expensive! Shocked
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Theory



Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 19
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I've been MIA for the last week or so. I had a bunch of life and work stuff all come down the pipe at once and I put this forum on the back burner. I completely agree that it would be impossible to support a family on 250,000 yen in the Osaka area. If both my wife and I get a job, then we would be making more as a family than we are now. But if only one of us works, it would be VERY difficult. That's why I was curious about how difficult it would be for her to change her visa status and find childcare.

I've given the future some thought and here's what I think. If we do decide to try for a child, it would be a better financial decision for me to stay on JET and go for a distance masters degree. However, if we decide not to try for a baby for the next few years, we should be able to make more money in Osaka (or any reasonably large city where both of us could find full-time employment.) My wife and I are both taking some time to think about what we want and are planning to revisit the baby issue sometime in September.


Glenski wrote:
The degree alone will not be enough, you know. Publications are a huge selling point. Start now. Join professional groups, too. Don't wait 5 years to spread your face around. And, learn as much Japanese as possible.


Thanks, this is great advice. I know of a few professional groups like the unions and JACET. But I know very little about where I could go to get published. Do you have any recommendations?

Thank you everyone for your help and advice.
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Mr_Monkey



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 661
Location: Kyuuuuuushuuuuuuu

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might wish to consider the JALT special interest groups publications/mini-conferences - I understand that since they're not peer-reviewed publications, they're easier to get a piece into and they still count somewhat. Might be a worthwhile venue for a first piece.

I understand it's quite common to recycle MA papers too.
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simonenglish



Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same as everywhere else, often it is who you know that will get you leads into jobs rather than just your quals. This is even more the case with full-time university jobs.

You can get get some part-time uni jobs but even those are fairly scarce with many other MA job applicants. It might take about two years to fill out your week with work.
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
Posts: 891
Location: Here, There and Everywhere! :D

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simonenglish wrote:
Same as everywhere else, often it is who you know that will get you leads into jobs rather than just your quals. This is even more the case with full-time university jobs.

You can get get some part-time uni jobs but even those are fairly scarce with many other MA job applicants. It might take about two years to fill out your week with work.


Wow! That's Buchos Buchos Depressing! Sad
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