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Transferring to a Japanese University/College

Ken387

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Hello, I had a question that someone might be able to help me with. My wife and I want to go to Japan to teach English; however, we wanted to wait until she finished with her Bachelor's. However, we had the idea that maybe she could finish up her degree at a Japanese university and then if we could do that then we could get out to Japan sooner rather than waiting a few years. My wife is an early childhood education major and I'm not sure if they had something like that. I tried doing some preliminary research, but didn't find anything that jumped out at me. Does anyone know if this is possible? And if so do you happen to know any universities/colleges offhand that might work or at least a website or two to point us in the right direction? Thank you for help!
 

Mike Cash

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I take it you already have a degree yourself. Is that correct?

Options for a degree with all coursework conducted in English are going to be rather limited. How is her Japanese? How is yours?

How many more years are we talking about until she finishes her degree? What's the rush to get here? Japan isn't going anywhere; my advice would be to finish the degree where she is currently and to also use the time to learn Japanese and research what other career opportunities she might be able to work herself into that would translate to a more satisfying stay in Japan than pretending to teach English to people who are pretending to learn it.
 
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My wife is an early childhood education major and I'm not sure if they had something like that. I tried doing some preliminary research, but didn't find anything that jumped out at me.
Keep in mind, that early childhood educators in the U.S. require licensing and a Japanese degree may or may not fulfill the requirements.
 

Ken387

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I take it you already have a degree yourself. Is that correct?

Options for a degree with all coursework conducted in English are going to be rather limited. How is her Japanese? How is yours?

How many more years are we talking about until she finishes her degree? What's the rush to get here? Japan isn't going anywhere; my advice would be to finish the degree where she is currently and to also use the time to learn Japanese and research what other career opportunities she might be able to work herself into that would translate to a more satisfying stay in Japan than pretending to teach English to people who are pretending to learn it.
Yes, I have a my degree in History and I have a couple semesters left before I have my second Bachelor's in Asian Studies. And our Japanese is minimal at best. I am taking some classes over the next couple of semesters and trying to work with someone who knows Japanese fluently. My hope is that I at least know enough to get around and then I'll pick up more of the language when I'm living in the country.

My wife has two or three years before she's done and that's only if the university she's at offers the classes that she needs. Her program is very strict when it comes to what classes she can take and when so it just sucks to think that Japan might be years out. I suppose our rush really has to do with our own mindset. We want to go to Japan and have that experience, but we're afraid that we'll become too grounded where we are if we stick around too long. Does that make sense? It's a bit more complicated than that, but I'd be writing a really long post if I explained everything.

Also, pretending to teach those who are pretending to learn it? I'm guessing the cynicism comes from your own experiences teaching English?
 

Ken387

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Keep in mind, that early childhood educators in the U.S. require licensing and a Japanese degree may or may not fulfill the requirements.
Yeah, we figured that may be the case. Obviously we'd need to look into things to see if that's the case. Or perhaps she might shift her focus or major a bit so that it fits with what she wants and what a potential university or college might offer.
 
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Hello, I had a question that someone might be able to help me with. My wife and I want to go to Japan to teach English; however, we wanted to wait until she finished with her Bachelor's. However, we had the idea that maybe she could finish up her degree at a Japanese university and then if we could do that then we could get out to Japan sooner rather than waiting a few years. My wife is an early childhood education major and I'm not sure if they had something like that. I tried doing some preliminary research, but didn't find anything that jumped out at me. Does anyone know if this is possible? And if so do you happen to know any universities/colleges offhand that might work or at least a website or two to point us in the right direction? Thank you for help!
Hi. Transferring from a foreign university to a Japanese university is probably quite rare since I have not ever hear of that happen before. Most people simply do a study abroad if they are in a foreign university and want to study in Japan. I suggest looking at your wife school's study abroad program and check with her department if there are any courses she can take from that. I suppose it would be ideal to take all the classes that she can't do in Japan right now, and save your last year or semester (or longer) for courses she can take in Japan.

If you really want to leave right away, you can try applying for an international undergraduate program in your desired major. Although, that limits you very much on what majors or universities you can apply for since there are so few english international programs especially for the undergraduate level. I think there are much more english international graduate programs than undergraduate (if you or your wife is interested in applying for that instead). Additionally there is a possibility that if your wife applies for an undergraduate program, she will need to start out fresh. Also there is a quite a possibility that she simply won't get accepted because she may be too far into her current degree. So I recommend her participating in a study abroad program from her school.
 
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She virtually has to finish it there if she ever hopes to work in the US school system, unless by some incredibly small chance there's an accredited program here.

On the upside, if she finishes her degree the US Naval Hospitals here hire ECSEs to work part C early intervention since DoDDS is required to comply with IDEA and here in Japan the Naval hospitals currently handle EI. DoDDS also hires ECSEs to teach 3-5, but much tougher to get in unless you lateralize from USNH.

Depending on where in Japan, I believe it's either a GS-11 or GS-12 position, and comes with CONUS hire benefits. Sterling Overseas handles the contracting, and USAJobs.gov is if she's interested in GS. With all the benefits it's right around 90K USD per year IIRC.

Another option would be for her to look into hiring into an international school. There are a few who are working to expand their special ed programs, though it appears to be a slow work in progress.
 

Mike Cash

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Also, pretending to teach those who are pretending to learn it? I'm guessing the cynicism comes from your own experiences teaching English?
I'm guessing calling it "cynicism" comes from your own lack of experience teaching English.

Think what you will....my words will come back to you often in the classroom if you teach Eikaiwa. Of course, you may decide to be an ALT....in which case you may in most cases edit the "pretending to learn" bit to "not even pretending to learn".
 
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Lots of good advice from all the above posters. Regarding your current mindset: I suggest looking at this a different way. You talk about sticking around too long, but as Mike says, Japan will still be here in three years. If your wife cracks the books and actually graduates in two years, you only have 24 months to start getting your act together; and that means getting your degrees and job prospects in order, getting your finances in order, getting your visa requirements in order, getting your Japanese language foundation (maybe starting by taking the Japanese Language Proficiency exam while still in the States?), etc.... 24 months is nothing.
Resist the urge to just go to Japan for the experience of it. Find out what makes you and your wife valuable to a US company or school, and then that will most likely be your selling point for you here in Japan as well. If it takes you 24 or 36 months to nail that down, it will be time well spent. In the interim, you have plenty of time to research jobs and visas, and research living conditions here in Japan, study the language, etc...
 
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