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JMoon

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Well I am 26 at the moment, planning on visiting Japan early next year for the first time...and then will decide if I want to live there for a while afterwards..

At the moment, I am using this time to become as fluent as I can in Japanese...

I have a BA in Finance from SUNY Binghmaton.

Though, I don't really want to work in the finance field.

I would like to teach for a bit, and then maybe go to school in Japan.

Things I am interested in are Therapy (Depression, OCD, mental/emotional/spiritual), teaching, and any jobs that involve lesser amounts of stress. I don' t mind the difficulty, as long I interact with people, and it's not too hectic.

I still don't know if I am going to live in Japan, since I haven't been there yet. I want to visit first...

But if I like it, I think I may want to live there for some amount of years.

I guess any advise would be useful.

Thank you.
 

Glenski

Just me
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Definitely, if you have never been here, come as a tourist for a few weeks if you can. Lots of people are enamored by what they read or see in movies, but as you can expect, books and movies are not what people face in real life. Go to www.lonelyplanet.com for some good information. Specifically, read the FAQs on Japan here --> http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=504236&tstart=0
and read the discussion group itself (called ThornTree) on Japan here --> http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forum.jspa?forumID=19&keywordid=85

Even so, as a tourist, you will not get a full experience of living and working here. The best route to doing that is to get on the JET programme and teach English as an ALT in public schools. www.jetprogramme.org The hitch is that the application process is lengthy and occurs only once a year. The next hiring is for Aug 2009 to July 2010 term. Deadline for applications is around December 2008.

If you are bolder or more anxious, see what you can do to land an eikaiwa (conversation school) job here from the major schools that recruit from abroad (ECC, AEON, GEOS). You won't have to fly here for interviews. I mention eikaiwa only because qualifications are pretty minimal. Everyone's experience is different, and lots of people complain because they didn't really think ahead, IMO.
More info on teaching can be found at the ESL Cafe discussion groups www.eslcafe.com/discussion , at ELT News archives http://www.eltnews.com/guides/teaching/teaching_guide1.shtml , and at the Japan FAQ web site http://thejapanfaq.cjb.net
You might also want to read up on ads and supplemental information at the biggest online ad site for teaching jobs here www.ohayosensei.com .
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
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It is very refreshing to encounter someone with the good sense to say they want to dip their toe in the water before deciding if they want to make the plunge.
 

JMoon

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Wow, that's a wealth of information.
I am going to look into all the options you have laid out here...and I truly appreciate your post.
Thank you.
 
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