Japan is a prime location for teaching abroad, especially among recent college grads, terrified with the prospect hanging up their beer bong in exchange for a real 9-to-5 job. As Daunting as the real world is, teaching English in Japan is not really an escape, it’s more of an adventurous stepping stone. You’ll learn valuable cultural and language skills, as well as teaching skills to help boost your resume’s potential when you get back to the states. Teaching English in Japan is a great option for qualified grads with an adventurous spirit and a thirst for knowledge.
Japan has long been a prime target for those wanting to teach English in Asia, and the demand for teachers shows little sign of abating. It may not be as lucrative as it was in the 80s before the bubble burst, when an English speaker could apparently waltz into an easy 20-hour-a-week job that would more than pay the bills, but there is still a huge need for English, and native speakers will have little trouble finding work. Though teaching qualifications and experience will widen your options, simply put, Native English Speaker + Any University Degree = Teaching Job in Japan.
Of course, JET is not without its downsides. As neither Japanese language ability nor teaching experience is required, competition for the approximately 1,500 U.S. positions available each year is fierce. Also, the application process is drawn out over ten months starting in September, with successful applicants not landing on Japanese soil until the following July. What’s more, although you can request a location, there’s no guarantee you’ll be placed there. The vast majority don’t get their top choices, because famous cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Sapporo are heavily oversubscribed, while little-known rural areas tend to get overlooked.
Next time: How to get your TEFL