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Working in Japan for a foreigner

willingo

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Hello after grade 12 ( I currently reside in Canada)I am going to university in Japan, my plan is to go into engineering. My plan was to live in Japan after this and hopefully get a job, however im wondering if I am being reasonable with saying I will get a job there as an engineer or something that can rack a decent living aside from this. This is assuming I am completely fluent in reading writing and speaking which I will be by then.
 

Davey

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Well the good thing is that you will go to a Japanese university for a while so you have a lot of changes to get connections, work on your Japanese etc. Try to find an internship at an engineering company and proof them you can work hard enough (Japanese style... which might be hard but if you want in you should).

Which uni will you go to?
 

willingo

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Hiroshima, I know it would be hard still since im not Japanese firsthand ( im canadian, and originally from south asia so I have darker skin :)). Just wondering if they give positions to non japanese born people at all, I know four languages so I think im good there ;D, french english japanese and bangali ;D
 

Davey

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One of the questions will be, what can you do that a japanese person in the company can't do.

Being able to speak 4 language might help a lot, especially if you would work for a trade company. Just keep working on your Japanese skills.

Keep your dreams but stay realistic as well. Good luck!
 

willingo

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Thank you! Is it common for foreigners to work at more established jobs rather than maybe a restaurant or cashier in Japan?
 

Mike Cash

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You need to research visa eligibility before researching job stuff.
 

Mike Cash

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I meant so he'd be informed about his situation after college, but working holiday would be a great idea.
 

Glenski

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In most cases, foreigners can get practically any job a Japanese can. However, few do because of certain very basic lackings:

Enough language fluency
The right degree
Proper experience or skills
Necessary licenses

Look up what the job market requires and get it. This holds for any country, including your own. There are exceptions, of course, and adapting to J culture helps.
 

willingo

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Hi thanks for the information, if I am fluent in japanese however this will hold less of a problem correct? Does anyone know how the engineering field is doing in terms of job rates in Japan and if it is needed considering that is what im going into, and yes im going to get all the degrees required at my university in japan.

Thanks all.
 

willingo

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Alot of family there and people I know, im probably going to be living at my uncles over there. I barely have any family here, and my family who do live her were planning on moving back anyways.
 

Glenski

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Being 100 percent fluent makes certain things easier, yes, but is that all you bring to the negotiating table? Think of someone coming to your own country who has zero skills, no experience, and either no degree or a very generic one. Employers will not look on them very positively. Their first question would be, what can you do that a local who is also fluent do? Perhaps translate or interpret, but even those often require training or certification, and perhaps doing the work in a particular genre is beyond someone with only everyday fluency, because of special terminology.

By the way, you will not become fluent in four years of university studies. Good, yes, but not fluent.

Go to daijob.com or career cross website to see what employers require in your proposed field.
 

willingo

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Being 100 percent fluent makes certain things easier, yes, but is that all you bring to the negotiating table? Think of someone coming to your own country who has zero skills, no experience, and either no degree or a very generic one. Employers will not look on them very positively. Their first question would be, what can you do that a local who is also fluent do? Perhaps translate or interpret, but even those often require training or certification, and perhaps doing the work in a particular genre is beyond someone with only everyday fluency, because of special terminology.

By the way, you will not become fluent in four years of university studies. Good, yes, but not fluent.

Go to daijob.com or career cross website to see what employers require in your proposed field.

Hello thanks for reply, im already past N2 so I think I can become pretty fluent by 4 or 5 years ( probably I cant say for sure though). Im sure having a degree from japan helps though, as opposed to just coming in with a degree from another country,correct?
 

Glenski

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Im sure having a degree from japan helps though, as opposed to just coming in with a degree from another country,correct?
A degree is needed for a work visa. It can come from a Japanese or foreign university.

I would suspect that only a few types of jobs actually require a degree from a Japanese uni. For teachers in public school, usually. Law school or med school, maybe (perhaps it is just enough to pass the law or medical school exams). For your current goal of engineering, it's not necessary at all. Study in Canada all you want.

You have to understand that Japanese students try to go to universities here with the best reputation for their fields. That's because employers hire based on the school's reputation, NOT (usually) on grades or performance. They want to mold the students in their own image. Senior advisors help them get jobs with their connections, too, but it is usually NOT based on grades. Japan is only just beginning to use GPA in the last year or so!
 

Mike Cash

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Don't most universities require JLPT 1?
 

Glenski

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Nope, Mike. In fact those at my uni who are foreign undergrads are not. The grad students outnumber them, and probably because they are doing research so much, they can survive without that much J. Some on MEXT scholarships must take 5-6 months of intensive course in J, but it hardly gets them to N3. And those students are the first to drop out of the uni's own language courses because they are "too busy".

We don't even have a minimum required level of either J or English. The school just wants their money. Even sadder is the fact that it advertises many of the grad school being taught bilingually, when that is plainly untrue. Imagine the students' shock.
 

willingo

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Thanks ill keep that in mind :), just curious but I think I read somewhere getting citizenship requires you to give up on the current one you have you have to live there for like 5 years,correct? Im just wondering because im going to have to end up moving to japan either way,because of family reasons.
 

Mike Cash

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You're waaaay down the road from considering citizenship. You'll be busy enough just taking care of the tasks right in front of you.

Are your family members Japanese? If not, what is their status in Japan? Are they citizens?
 

willingo

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I know I like to worry alot XD, I believe my aunt has citizenship, and alot of my other family there havent been there long enough but have been there for a couple years, im not completely sure I will ask them, but I dont think any of them have citizenship or perhaps mabye one does. The thing is they used to live back in my homecountry and they got job offers in Japan in the same field Im going in too, so they went there. I like to worry alot haha :p.
 

Glenski

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Why on Earth would you think about changing citizenship? Yes, you could conceivably do that after being here 5 years, but there is no need. Plenty of us foreigners (the majority, in fact, if you don't count Koreans and Chinese) live here for decades without doing that. I have Permanent Resident status. I can't vote and don't mind. That's practically the only difference between me and a naturalized citizen in practical terms.

Stay here as long as you like. Get PR after 5-10 years (depending on circumstances).

But as Mike wrote, you are putting the cart way before the horse.
 

Mike Cash

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Nothing wrong with seeking citizenship if and when the time comes for that. But in the meantime concentrate on getting your language skills up and researching all that goes into the college stuff. Permanent residency and/or citizenship are possibilities, but they need not be addressed for quite a while yet.
 

willingo

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Yeah, you guys are totally right I was getting ahead of myself there I was just being way too curious :p, im going to have a discussion with some of my cousins later studying in japan. Anyways do you guys know any links on what university acceptance is based on in Japan I know there is an exam and a language test however a website with detailed info is useful. I never really bothered doing any extensive research until recently. I assume my marks here in high school mean nothing :(, I have a target school but I dont know if that will work out for sure.
 

Mike Cash

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Why not look into a MEXT scholarship? It may be just the thing, since you're planning to go to university here anyway. You would have lots to gain and nothing to lose by trying for one.
 

willingo

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yup im defs applying im preparing for the exam as well, but its VERY competitive for undergrad so im not gonna rely on it only but meh who knows. so do universities over there just look at your EJU score and lang proficiency?
 
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