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Old 03-20-2006, 09:55 AM   #1
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Ok, so my fiance and I have suddenly (just this afternoon) decided that we want to teach english in Japan this summer for 3-3 1/2 months. Does anyone know of any programs (through the Japanese embassy or otherwise) where we can get a certificate and a placement in Japan for that short a time? I know there are tons of TEFL programs on the net, but is there some sort of package thing to do the cert. and get a job/housing placement?
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:28 PM   #2
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i know i'm being absolutely no help here, but i have a story to add to this topic
my dad was going on an overseas holiday with a friend when he was about 25 and they had a 2-day stopover in japan. they liked the place and extended it to a week holiday, then the friend moved on to wherever they were going and dad stayed for 2 years teaching english and selling cars. we are still in contact with a lot of his students who sent me birthday presents every year when i was a kid...
anyway as this was about 30 years ago i can't help much with your questions... but best wishes and have a ball over there
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:35 PM   #3
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If I remember correctly, you do need a bachelor's degree to teach in Japan. Actually just to work there. Not sure if you and your girlfriend do. That is usually more important than having your TEFL certification. Teaching experience is helpful as well. There are tons of sites out there that have information on programs - they almost always include housing, a stipend, and airfare reimbursement (pending a finished contract which is usually about a year, unfortunately). You can sometimes find part contracts, where someone left their contract and they need to fill it and will sometimes do the airfare reimbursement with that. You should never have to pay for anything (like program fees or information I mean).

Here are some sites to consider.

ESL Teacher's Board
Tesall
Teach Abroad

I still have hopes that my husband and I will spend a year in SE Asia teaching.

Sorry, didn't see your question about the certification. Sometimes it's unnecessary, but I never found one that included it. You can get it online for relatively cheap. You can also view Japanese government job boards and see if there's anything.
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Old 03-20-2006, 06:49 PM   #4
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It's a longer-term commitment but if you're really interested you could check out the JET program.

http://www.jetprogramme.org/

It's a year contract but they help you out with almost everything (and can actually extend your contract if you're really into it).
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by jamiepeaski@Mar 20 2006, 05:35 PM
If I remember correctly, you do need a bachelor's degree to teach in Japan. Actually just to work there. Not sure if you and your girlfriend do.
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Thanks, guys. I'll keep these sites in mind. We will both have our bachelor's degrees as of the spring, but we want to find a short-term contract because she's going to college starting in september. I'm guessing there's no equivalent to our summer school for ESL courses in Japan? I understand why they wouldn't want to invest so much money (airfare, housing, spending money) on a short-term contract.
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:31 PM   #6
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Update: If anyone knows of any programs in other places, basically anywhere, not only Japan, that can be approx. 3 months long, I'm open to that too. Japan was just the first place we thought to go, but that doesn't look like it's happening because contracts are usually a year long, so if there are shorter-term contracts in other countries, we'd for sure be open to that too.
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Old 03-21-2006, 12:22 AM   #7
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Try South Korea, we met a lot of teachers there, although I don't know if they're long term contracts or not...

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Old 03-21-2006, 08:09 AM   #8
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My cousin taught English in South Korea. It was a 15 month program, though.
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:30 AM   #9
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my wife taught in korea for 16 months. she uses (she still teaches korean kids english online) http://www.daveseslcafe.com they have job listings, a forum and lots of info for teaching in asia.
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:39 AM   #10
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The most popular places for teaching English in Asia generally are China, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea and Japan. Thailand pays the least but is generally one of the most popular due to weather, culture, etc. I have heard bad things about South Korea.

I suspect you will have a hard time finding some place to invest that much money in you (airfare, housing, etc.) for just a three month commitment, but you never know. If you had some money to get you started, you could possibly go over to Thailand, for example, where the cost of living is low and just try to free-lance for a few months by doing corporate trainings or private tutoring, something like that. Good luck!!
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:09 PM   #11
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China might be your best bet. I just returned from there and there were loads of people there for the short term teaching English. I agree with the above that for a short time you probably cannot get housing, but that is another reason to go to China over Japan; in China you could stay in a hostel for like $4-5 US a night, vs. $20-30 US in Japan...
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2fan@Mar 21 2006, 09:09 PM
China might be your best bet. I just returned from there and there were loads of people there for the short term teaching English. I agree with the above that for a short time you probably cannot get housing, but that is another reason to go to China over Japan; in China you could stay in a hostel for like $4-5 US a night, vs. $20-30 US in Japan...
[snapback]107937[/snapback]
Thanks, U2Fan. Here's a slew of questions if you know the answers (no pressure, just hoping to get some info): Where in China were most people you ran into teaching? Did they need TEFL or some other certification? Were they teaching on contract or finding their own work? How safe is China compared to, say, Europe?

If you can answer any of these, I'll give you a prize: my gratitude! Seriously, thanks for all of the help, guys. I really hope I can pull this off. I just need a way to travel to a cool place for 3 months and come back with a lot of money in my pocket.
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:02 PM   #13
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There were loads of people in both Beijing and Shanghai; didn`t come across many in Xi`an (the only other place I visited). According to some in Beijing, you just need a bachelor`s degree. This one guy said places in Beijing were desperate and he sent out about 15 emails and they all responded within the next two hours and said to come on in and interview and made it sound like he had the job already. Most of them were there for short term ie no contract.

China is not as safe as Europe I suppose but still, there is not much violent crime; just a lot of pickpocketing. One girl I was with in Beijing nearly got robbed twice in half an hour.
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
and come back with a lot of money in my pocket.
I hope you realize what you'll be paid in SE Asia will not seem like a living wage here (States). While living expenses will be cheaper especially if you get housing paid for, what you'll be able to save probably won't exactly equal to a lot of money.
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:30 AM   #15
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Another city to check out for teaching in China is Shenzhen. It is a new city, located near to Hong Kong (which is a bonus). It's quite modern and there is a fair bit of english teaching work so I have heard (though I do not know from personal experience). I have been to and through Shenzhen a few times and it seems like a decent enough city. An added bonus is that it is the capital of DVD and software pirating in Asia - so lots of cheap movies, ha, ha.

As JP noted above, it is quite likely that you will not wind up with a truckload of cash from an Asian teaching engagement. From what I have heard from various people, it seems like Taiwan might offer the best opportunity for saving money when considering wages to cost of living, but again, finding short-term employment will be the sticking point. Good luck.
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:29 AM   #16
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I know this thread is over a year old but I thought I would throw this in for anyone reading the "Working abroad" forum.

In Japan, you can work for a big "conversation school" like Nova, Jet, Aeon etc. as long as you do not mind "screwing" them by leaving early...you can always just say you plan to stay a year.

If you have any desire to return, give them at least one month notice. That should probably be good enough that you won't be black listed. Apparently, you can make some really decent money while you are there if you disobey your school's rules and teach on the side. I was told a salary of roughly 40-50 thousand dollars is possible when you branch out. I don't have any personal experience with this, but I learned a lot from a British guy who has been TEFLing around Asia for 10 years.

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