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Hello! I'm Lady Julia KaNeko, and I'm new here!

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I haven't been on a forum site in years...

-AHEM-
Hello, everyone! I am Lady Julia KaNeko and today is my first day on here! I am 24 this year, in the U.S. and have high hopes to go to Japan someday once I'm finished with college and get my Bachelor's Degree.

I have interests in learning more about the Japanese Language and currently self-studying so I can get N5 certification from passing the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), but don't know if I would be ready by December... I'm still going to try, though! I want to learn more about the culture and proper etiquette as well. I would also like to know more about the history and see the sights, too.

The idea of being immersed in an entirely different culture is what drives me to keep studying hard and trying my best to meet that goal.

One thing I am nervous about when it comes to Japan is the food. I'm not as picky of an eater as I used to be, but trying new foods makes me hesitant. Maybe it's because I have the fear of if I try a new food, I may not like it and waste food/money.

Anyway, that's all I have to say for now! I hope to make many friends on here eventually and openly talk about Japan-related topics, tips and other things.

Lady Julia KaNeko (8/24/2016)
 

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Welcome aboard Julia ! JREF has been around a long time and the posts and information here is like having an encyclopedia on everything to do with Japan. The members and staff are super nice and very helpful with any questions you may have. I know what you mean about things to eat , when I went to Japan , I hated rice , fish , almost all vegetables , but still found plenty to eat , LOL. Hope you enjoy your time here.
 
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Welcome aboard Julia ! JREF has been around a long time and the posts and information here is like having an encyclopedia on everything to do with Japan. The members and staff are super nice and very helpful with any questions you may have. I know what you mean about things to eat , when I went to Japan , I hated rice , fish , almost all vegetables , but still found plenty to eat , LOL. Hope you enjoy your time here.
Thank you so much. ^^ This place does look very informative. So informative, I don't know where to start!

There are so many things I want to know about:
  • How much do I need to save up before I go?
  • ALT vs. Eikaiwa
  • Interview process for ALT/Eikaiwa and experience
  • Culture shock
  • Immersion
  • Basic Japanese cooking
There's just so much... But I know I have to take things one step at a time. Learning Japanese will be a good start, but I feel like I won't completely know it unless I just set myself directly in an area where I have no choice. When I thought about my first job, ALT/Eikaiwa came to mind, but I also want to know of what other jobs could be available to me for someone who would have N5 knowledge. I would like to have a career where I can help people by any means, if possible...

I'm just really excited at the thought of just... Just GOING there and proudly saying "here I am. I did it." Does that make me sound weird...? I hope not... :shy:
 

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Learning Japanese will be a good start, but I feel like I won't completely know it unless I just set myself directly in an area where I have no choice.
That is smart thinking. You're never going to completely know it, no matter what your environment, though.

When I thought about my first job, ALT/Eikaiwa came to mind,
Eikaiwa, unfortunately, is the absolute worst environment if learning Japanese is your goal. ALT can be better. It depends what you do with the hours they have you twiddling your thumbs.

Neither is it as hot as you might think if your goal is helping people learn something.

but I also want to know of what other jobs could be available to me for someone who would have N5 knowledge.
Unfortunately, nothing whatsoever that requires any ability to actually function in Japanese. Those jobs usually specify N2 or N1. I don't mean to belittle your accomplishment or discourage you from either learning Japanese or coming to Japan, but N5 is essentially an ability to order at McDonalds without pointing at the picture menu. It is an "attaboy!" certificate to help encourage further study.

I'm just really excited at the thought of just... Just GOING there and proudly saying "here I am. I did it." Does that make me sound weird...?
Not in the least!
 
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I understand. Everyone starts somewhere and I would like to aim higher and higher for the JLPT. Do you need to be N2 or N1 to be a full-on English teacher/professor? I've always wanted to teach children and help them learn.
 

Mike Cash

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I understand. Everyone starts somewhere and I would like to aim higher and higher for the JLPT. Do you need to be N2 or N1 to be a full-on English teacher/professor? I've always wanted to teach children and help them learn.
@Glenski and @Nemuyoake are best prepared to answer that.

When are you looking to come?
 
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It would be while. I JUST started my sophomore year in college and I heard I have to have at least a Bachelor's degree in order to go there...
 

Mike Cash

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It would be while. I JUST started my sophomore year in college and I heard I have to have at least a Bachelor's degree in order to go there...
What are you majoring in? What sort of career do you intend entering after Japan? Or do you intend to have a career in Japan and remain long term?

And you should certainly be able to learn Japanese to well past N5 before you get here, considering you have at least three more years to do it in.
 
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What are you majoring in? What sort of career do you intend entering after Japan? Or do you intend to have a career in Japan and remain long term?

And you should certainly be able to learn Japanese to well past N5 before you get here, considering you have at least three more years to do it in.
I'm currently majoring in Social Sciences, but may switch to Psychology. I like the study of people and how they function individually, in groups and in society in general.
 

Mike Cash

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I'm currently majoring in Social Sciences, but may switch to Psychology. I like the study of people and how they function individually, in groups and in society in general.
People are certainly interesting creatures.

How long do you intend to do the ALT/Eikaiwa thing before you return to the States?
 
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If I remember correctly, they said that it would last 1-2 years, which I wouldn't mind if that were the case.

I feel as though if I just start off small and "get my feet wet" as they say, if things go well and I enjoy my experience in Japan, I'll make plans to see about moving there and staying long-term if possible.
 

Mike Cash

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If I remember correctly, they said that it would last 1-2 years, which I wouldn't mind if that were the case.

I feel as though if I just start off small and "get my feet wet" as they say, if things go well and I enjoy my experience in Japan, I'll make plans to see about moving there and staying long-term if possible.
Then NOW is the time to start informing yourself about the preparation you need to do in order to maximize your chance of that. The fact that the vast majority of people who do the ALT/Eikaiwa gig only stick with it at most two years should tell you something about the desirability of doing that long-term.
 
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I don't intend on doing ALT/Eikaiwa as a permanent career there, but I figure that it would be a good start for me. I definitely will do more research on it as far as proper companies, personal experiences, and more.

It really is nice to talk to you, Mike Cash. I really appreciate it!
 

Mike Cash

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I don't intend on doing ALT/Eikaiwa as a permanent career there, but I figure that it would be a good start for me. I definitely will do more research on it as far as proper companies, personal experiences, and more.

It really is nice to talk to you, Mike Cash. I really appreciate it!
You're more than welcome.

The problem, dearest Julia, is that unless you prepare beforehand on how you're going to transition out of it (or better yet, avoid it to begin with), you will arrive at the end of it and find you have painted yourself into a corner where your options are to stay in that work or get on an airplane and go home.

You are in the enviable position of still having most of your education ahead of you. I would suggest you check on what professional career opportunities there are open to you in Japan outside the "flipping language burgers" field, spot one that appeals to you, and use your college career wisely to prepare yourself. Aim higher than the McEnglish job pretending to teach English to people pretending to learn it just because it seems the easiest way to get to come to Japan. It also happens to be the nearest thing to a guarantee your visit will be brief.
 
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Since you're interested in psychology, you might want to contact TELL (Tokyo English life line). They do psych testing here in Tokyo (I often get their reports when I pick up clients). I also know of at least one psychologist who is in business for herself, though I don't know her personally. She rents office space in the same building I do.
 
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Since you're interested in psychology, you might want to contact TELL (Tokyo English life line). They do psych testing here in Tokyo (I often get their reports when I pick up clients). I also know of at least one psychologist who is in business for herself, though I don't know her personally. She rents office space in the same building I do.
So it would be a place were Psychologists do testing and such there with volunteers?
 
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So it would be a place were Psychologists do testing and such there with volunteers?
I don't think it's volunteer for the psych testing, though I could be wrong. I haven't actually checked into it that deeply, I just know that I often get their reports when I pick up a new client who had testing for psychological/neurological disorders (ASD, ADHD, etc.).
 
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I don't think it's volunteer for the psych testing, though I could be wrong. I haven't actually checked into it that deeply, I just know that I often get their reports when I pick up a new client who had testing for psychological/neurological disorders (ASD, ADHD, etc.).
That does sound interesting. Even though I do lean more towards Sociology because I like to see how people behave, I also have love for Psychology because I would love to know the "how" and "why" of people. I'd love to work in a career where I can work with people and just get to know how they function, you know?
 
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That does sound interesting. Even though I do lean more towards Sociology because I like to see how people behave, I also have love for Psychology because I would love to know the "how" and "why" of people. I'd love to work in a career where I can work with people and just get to know how they function, you know?
I understand, though I have no idea how you would translate a degree in Sociology to a career in Japan.

Though I think you'll be sorely disappointed if you hope to learn the how and why of people, the answers are often either inscrutable or banal. Take it from someone who's been an applied how'n'whyer for more years than he cares to remember.
 
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I understand, though I have no idea how you would translate a degree in Sociology to a career in Japan.

Though I think you'll be sorely disappointed if you hope to learn the how and why of people, the answers are often either inscrutable or banal. Take it from someone who's been an applied how'n'whyer for more years than he cares to remember.
I don't plan to get a degree in Sociology, no. ^^U I just like the study of it. I would be changing to Psychology. I would have 13 more classes to take under Psychology before I transfer to a four-year college. The only downside to the current college I'm in is that they don't have any Japanese classes where I could learn the language, culture and history...
I'll be retaking my Psychology class and I feel like I'll do better this time--my professor for the Intro to Psychology was doing lectures that leaned more towards the bio-related part of Psychology. The part with the wiring of the brain, the famous conditioning experiments, etc... While it was interesting, she basically just threw everything out as once and given tests with no time to properly study... I digress... If I could land a job in a Psychology field, that would be amazing! Will I need N2 or N1 to qualify for such a place?
 
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