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Created by Dan Oville: May 26, 2015 7 replies
I've been teaching here in China since 2011 and as mandated by law, I can't work here for more than five years (continuously). So it's time to move on. The two places that interest me most are Japan and Kazakhstan. Is there anyone in this forum who currently are working in either of these countries who can give me an advice perhaps or some ideas?

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William Nichols: Oct, 17, 15
I would highly recommend teaching ESL in Japan.You have lots of choices depending on your education and your experience. You can teach at private schools, public schools, or Unniversities. They also have Juku`s which are company cram schools. Obviously the top job would be a professor at a University. But the hours are long and you must be a published ESL author in some cases. The next best position would be at a public school. But you may only be an ALT which means you are an assistant to a Japanese Teacher, you would not have your own classroom. Then you have the private schools. The quality of the position can vary here because each school is run differently. If you have a great manager or owner and great staff to work with it can be a joy to teach there. But if you have a bad boss, and grouchy staff to teach with them youlife can be miserable. Some of the privvate schools ar huge company chains whcih I call english factories, avoind them like the plague. However you may have to endure such a positionto get your foot in the door and then move on to another more favorable position one year later. Japan is a different country and can be difficulty to adjust compared to a western country but once you do the people are wonderful, the students will love you, and the parents will respect you. I started out in a huge compnay school and then got lucky and secured a kindergarten teaching position at a small private Mom & Pop school. I had my own classroom and the school was run by my friend and colleague on the spot. I was able to give input on how the school and the classes would be conducted. I wrote curriculum`s, my own lesson plans, ordered new books and materials, and created some new health and accident policies at the school. It was a rewarding expereince and I got to know the parents of all of my stduents. I was also allowed to mentor new teachers aas well. So it all dpeends where and who you end up with. My suggestion is when you are getting interviewed, do some interviewing yourself. Ask questions about the daily operation of the school. And most importantly ask for contact details from teachers who are currently emloyed there so you can askthem questions as well. I hope this helps you out. Have a fine day. Billy-sensei
William Nichols: Oct, 17, 15
Sorry about the typos in the previous thread. Have any questions, just ask. Billy-sensei
Kara Cheung: Oct, 19, 15
Hi Billy, sorry for spamming and tagging on this post but I want to ask William regarding to your experience teaching in Japan. I'm currently in Canada and I'm a newly graduated elementary teacher. I'm interested in teaching English in Japan to elementary school children preferably in Tokyo or Osaka. Just wondering what's the best way to start? Which school did you teach in and whereabouts is it in Japan?

Thanks and sorry again
William Nichols: Nov, 29, 15
Hello Kara,
I would suggest applying for the JET program. Do a google search and find out more about it. It is the best program for young teachers just graduating from Uni. You will become a Japanese Assistant Langue teacher in the public school system. You can do that for at least one year and move onto a different school if you wish; private schools, big company schools and even cram schools. But right now Japanes is in a recession so the exchange rate to American and Canadian dollars is low. Good luck. William
Robin Dahling: Mar, 14, 16
Not sure what you're talking about mate - we had a teacher who has been teaching there for 11 years, and I worked at the same school for seven years. There is no law that limits you to only working a maximum of five years; that must be a school decision, but it's not a legal requirement.
Robin Dahling: Mar, 14, 16
Interesting that you recommend the JET program William. I was flying back from China via Narita and had a young man who had been teaching in Japan and started out with the JET program. Having had an interest in teaching in Japan I asked him about it and he warned me against the JET program completely. Maybe it was his experience, but from what he was saying, there are better programs than JET.
Edward King: Mar, 30, 16
Kazakhstan was a little crazy, but I loved it.
There is no money there at the moment as the local currency devalued massively.
Do not go to the capital (Astana), go to Almaty.
Be wary of visas - this is a problem in Kazakhstan, as very few places can actually give you a visa and some places will even do their best to not pay you.
If you get a good place you will enjoy it, if you get a bad place you will hate it.
Just make sure there are other foreigners there and ask to speak to them beforehand.
Good social life, interesting culture outside the city, next to mountains, lots of different languages and everyone speaks a little English.