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Studying Japanese & Working as an EFL teacher

mc mc

12 Jul 2006
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Hey Everyone,

I'm new to this forum.

I'm currently working as an English teacher in Germany (originally from the U.S.) and have wanted to go to Japan for a long time.

However, I'm a bit reluctant about working for one of the big schools (Nova, GEOS, AEON . . .) and since one of my main reasons for wanting to go to Japan is to study the language, I'm considering the option of studying at a language school there.

But, as an English teacher, I don't have a huge amount of money saved up, and the tuition fees for many of these schools are not cheap.

So has anyone gone to Japan to study Japanese and financed their studies by teaching English on the side? If you have, I'd love to hear your experiences.

Also, I would really appreciate any suggestions for Language Schools anyone can offer me. I'm looking for a relatively long-term program (about one year or so), but not a program that is so intensive that I'm not able to work part-time. I am also looking for a program that admits 'non-traditional' students, as I already have a B.A. and I'm not planning on studying at a Japanese university.

One last thing: I'm looking for a program that starts sooner rather than later. It's now July and I've already found several programs that start in January, but I would very much like to start earlier, perhaps September/October. Should I expect to have to wait several months to get a student visa, or does anyone know of another way I could speed up the entire process and perhaps begin studying two or three months from now?

Thanks again for any help you can offer me,


mc mc

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
8 Aug 2005
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hello mc mc, you might want to check to see the visa options you have available to you. My understanding is that a student visa does not allow you to do much working, and that "teaching on the side" wouldn't provide you with enough income to support yourself while you went to school.

You could look into the possibility of taking up a teaching job as your main reason for living in Japan, and then attending such free classes as the ones described in this thread: Free Japanese lessons in Kansai?

Also, your residence flag says America. If you are in Germany, could you change it so we know where you are?
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