Very neat site!
by Zachary Gretzinger
I'm a 20 year old newly-wed from Atlanta, GA. I work at Wal-Mart part-time and I love chocolate, laughing at funny pictures on the internet, and potty-humor. Needless to say, I'm a bit of a loser and my life kinda sucks haha. I'm looking for a change and have decided teaching in Japan is the way to go.
As I child I taught myself how to read and write English (no parents). When I was in my early teens I started studying Spanish and achieved a level of "pre-fluency" before beginning my studies on German. Teaching myself these languages have made me a sort of "master" at learning new languages. I started teaching myself Japanese recently and am confident with Hiragama, pronunciation, numbers, and other basics (I'm by NO means a professional yet).
I plan to start working on my degree this spring online (so I can choose my own hours and knock it out in 2 years). I'm planning on getting a degree in Early Education with a concentration in Special Education.
A few questions:
1) As stated above, I plan on studying early education / special education. Does anyone know if it is possible to (down the road) switch from teaching conversational English to businessmen and "30 somethings" to teaching children?
2) To obtain a work visa myself, how much would it cost me? Does it cost
3) I plan to be somewhat somewhat close to fluent by the time I decide to move to Japan. I obviously will also have obtained my degree. In the meantime I plan to teach English for free online and in person around town along with obtaining my ESL and/or TEFL myself. This (in theory) will make me look like a "golden child" in any future interviews. I plan on making this HAPPEN and quite honestly do not plan on returning to America. Is there anything else I can do to nab that job ASAP?
4) Does anybody know of any pen-pal or pen-pal-like services (other than Skype as you need to initially have already met the person) to keep in touch with a native Japanese to learn the culture? Learning the language online is a piece of cake... The culture? Not so much haha. There are many things you can only learn through casual conversation as they are often overlooked.
5) My wife is a baker and plans on opening a small bakery or restaurant there. Do the Japanese enjoy sweets as much as Americans? I threw an idea of opening a hamburger, hotdog, and cookie joint named 'Merica but she didn't go for it... I think it would be a hit :p
Sorry for the exceedingly long post... If you are reading this line then you rock!