Teach in Japan - is it too late for me?

by Peter
(Hull, UK)

Hi all,


Firstly let me say what a great site you have here, I have travelled to Japan on a number of occasions and find it truly amazing both culture, people and especially the food!



I am 34 years of age and have not really found what I really want to do in life. I am a computer science graduate and have obtained work in this role but after 5 years I have no job satisfaction out of this and it is really time to make a change for myself before it really is too late...



Teaching in Japan has really been a fantasy of mine and I have not had the courage to pursue it for many uears, it has always been there in the back of my mind and I feel I just really need to step up and get things done! This is what I really want to do, at last I know, shame it has took me so long to figure it out!!!



Of course it`s knowing where to start so for the first instance i have set myself a goal to say I want to be working in Japan by the time I am 37 (3 years) I have already registered at the university (local) to study Japanese and Japanese culture 2 year course and am already learning the basics from modules.



Obviously I will take some form of TEFL training during the 3 years also.

The questions are, am I too old? Do they like UK teachers? Is 3 years achievable if I put my mind to it.

I would love any comments and really would like you to be as honest as possible...

Thanks in advance for taking time to read through this.

Pete

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Jun 04, 2015
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This is great NEW
by: Anonymous

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Mar 04, 2011
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On Preparing to come to Japan
by: Kevin R. Burns

Hi Pete,

You`re welcome!

I think your study plan is a good one. I would
pick up a copy of the book by Alan Booth called
"The Road to Sata." I think he sums up the experience of non-Japanese (us), who come to live in Japan, and what it is really like.

But studying all the Japanese you can either on your own or in a course is a great idea. It is
an amazingly difficult language. Makes French seem easy!

I would concentrate on learning how to speak but
of course learning to read and perhaps to write
will be a help. I can`t write much myself.
But I really don`t need this skill much. But I do need to read sometimes--train station signs,
road signs etc. So I know some kanji, and all the hiragana and katakana.

I need to learn more vocabulary to speak more.

I advice you to skew your Japanese study to be able to listen and speak as well as you can before you come. Hire a tutor if possible.
Or study from a book or even online with a live
teacher. It is pretty cheap.

I`m not so up on the pound these days but that sounds like a lot. I came with 3,000 dollars.
But had a job lined up before I came.

More advice? Read our site, and read all you can
about living in Japan at our sister site Japan
Living.org and at your library.

Any more questions? Ask!

Kev

Mar 04, 2011
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thanks
by: Pete

Hi Kevin,

Many many thanks for your positive reply, this is so exciting and for the first time I really do have something to look forward too! This has reassured me and I am already taking steps towards my entry to Japan.

Firstly my Japanese introduction course does not enroll at the university until September this year, almost 7 months away so I have decided to learn the Pimsleurs approach (library didnt need to buy) it seems ok, also starting with learning the kana (Hiragana and katakana simultaneously after each lesson of speach). I plan to study atleast 1 - 2 hours per day up until my course starts. Can you please let me know if this is wise? Or should I just hang on until university, i feel it should be ok but just would like your honest opinion. Eventually once I understand the Kana would move onto Kanji. (I want to try not use Romaji as i understand from reading notes that this can be a bit of a burden and cause a few problems down the line, allthough i do understand how to use it if needed).

In regards to saving, I would hope to start entry into Japan with roughly 20,000 - 25,000 UK sterling (pounds), i already have 10 and should easily manage the rest within three years, would this be suffice to start or would you recommend saving a bit harder?

Any more advice is greatly appreciated, i am also slowly working my way through your site and it really has some amazing and useful.

Many thanks,

Pete

Mar 04, 2011
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Thanks
by: Pete

Hi Kevin,

Many many thanks for your positive reply, this is so exciting and for the first time I really do have something to look forward too! This has reassured me and I am already taking steps towards my entry to Japan.

Firstly my Japanese introduction course does not enroll at the university until September this year, almost 7 months away so I have decided to learn the Pimsleurs approach (library didnt need to buy) it seems ok, also starting with learning the kana (Hiragana and katakana simultaneously after each lesson of speach). I plan to study atleast 1 - 2 hours per day up until my course starts. Can you please let me know if this is wise? Or should I just hang on until university, i feel it should be ok but just would like your honest opinion. Eventually once I understand the Kana would move onto Kanji. (I want to try not use Romaji as i understand from reading notes that this can be a bit of a burden and cause a few problems down the line, allthough i do understand how to use it if needed).

In regards to saving, I would hope to start entry into Japan with roughly 20,000 - 25,000 UK sterling (pounds), i already have 10 and should easily manage the rest within three years, would this be suffice to start or would you recommend saving a bit harder?

Any more advice is greatly appreciated, i am also slowly working my way through your site and it really has some amazing and useful.

Many thanks,

Pete

Feb 23, 2011
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Is it too late?
by: Kevin R. Burns

Is it too late for you to teach in Japan at 37?

Not at all.

We hired a 58 year old teacher at one point, and teachers in there 40s, 50s and sometimes even older
do come to Japan to teach.

I would save up all that you can and read the advice we have in our "First Steps," section
(lefthand navbar) near the top of the front page.

Peter pursue your dream of coming here to teach if that is what you really want. Nothing will stop you!

I`m not saying it will be easy but if it is meant to be, like it sounds like it is, I say go for it!

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