Home Guide ESL How to Prepare to Teach English in Japan

How to Prepare to Teach English in Japan

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If you're recently graduated, or are thinking of a career change, you might want to look into teaching English in Japan. Besides a pretty fat salary for recent grads, there are a lot of opportunities to teach free-lance making much more on the side. When you consider it gives you a chance to see a country most dream of, it can be a nice way to start your international career.

  • Apply for your passport.
  • Begin your Internet search for jobs in Japan. Start with the larger schools, then continue to smaller schools. In their adverts they will often clearly spell out if they provide accommodations and visa. Salary and working conditions are also clearly spelled out. If not, ask. For detailed information about dozens of currently available positions.
  • Check out the school, after they agree to hire you, to make sure working conditions are normal.
  • Start studying Japanese. It's not necessary to be able to speak Japanese to get a job in Japan, but it sure makes things easier.
  • Get a certificate of eligibility through your employer. You will need to bring it your local consulate to get your visa stamped.
  • Write your resume and cover letters and start working on a theme like "Why I want to teach in Japan". Make sure it also includes all personal references with their contact information.
  • Take care of any tax matters. Some countries, such as America, will not tax your income made in Japan however you may need to file some forms before you leave. You should research this matter well in advance because you may need to take a certificate to your employer to avoid Japanese income taxes and it may take as long as eight weeks to get it from your government after you file the paperwork.
  • Book your flight and send this information to your new employer, so that they can make arrangements to pick you up at the airport.

Tips
  • Get information about your living arrangements. They might be shared or individual.
  • Find out if your travel expenses will be compensated.
  • If housing is provided ask how much your rent is.
    • TESL or TEFL certificates will help with small scale employers but large chains schools don't require them. They do of course require a university degree.
  • Prior teaching experience isn't necessary but a desire to experience a different culture, enthusiasm and willingness to commit definitely helps in the interview process.