Teaching in Japan
I loved being in Tokyo. There is always something to do, always people to meet, always a friendly face. I didn’t find it too difficult to save money either, despite the expense of the city.School Year
The first important thing you need to know about Japan is the school year is from April-March. Generally you work from April till July and get 6 or so weeks off in the summer. Maybe less depending on your school. You also get the first week of May off for Golden Week. You get another break for Christmas and New Year. Generally there is a week off in March between the school years.Students
Students in Japan are generally serious and very studious. Students go from their school to club and usually to cram school or tutoring. Public Schools in Japan are 6 days a week and so are some of the international schools. Best to check with any potential school. Students in Japan clean their own schools and take care of their things.
I was teaching at an international school so my students came from Japan, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and other locations. I found that for the most part these students had also adopted a serious mentality towards school.
In private schools (especially for profit schools) parents have a lot of say and admin may give you a difficult time if parents so not like you. Things will be done that look good to the parents but put an unrealistic expectation on the teacher.
My school in Japan did not provide housing and did not help you find housing and I will never again work for a place that doesn’t provide an apartment. Especially in Japan this is a nightmare. You can’t rent many places because you are foreign. You need a Realtor to do this for you. Once I found a place things were much better.
I started in a shared house provided by Sakura Housing. They do furnished rooms for rent in various parts of Tokyo. The best part is they only need one month notice before you move out. I quickly got tired of dirty dishes and shower hair. I can manage it if it’s mine but not if it’s someone else’s.
A good school will provide you with a transportation budget each month covering some of the cost of getting to school.
There are also gift foods like melons that really can be 50$ or 60$. You don’t need to buy those. Stick to Izakaya where you can buy lots of things to share with friends and split the bill after.