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Seeking advice from teachers in Japan 2020/8/1 19:43
Hi all,

Ifm super keen on moving to teach in an international school in Japan. However, I am not sure whether itfs feasible to do this on a single salary (two kids and wife). If anyone has any experience of this Ifd be really grateful to hear: we would love to live in Japan but only if we can make it work financially.

Background- Ifm a qualified secondary school teacher from the UK with international teaching experience. I have two children at primary school age and a partner. My wife currently tutors Mandarin and so may be able to do this a little bit (if visa allows) but to be sure, I will need to be making enough to support us all.

I understand children usually get free places at the international school which employs the teacher but am also aware that these are now taxed at a high rate. I know this will affect how much I bring home but will there still be enough? We are fairly frugal with our money want to afford going broke. Wefd also be happy in Tokyo or far away from the capital.

Any thoughts?
by Returningjet (guest)  

Re: Seeking advice from teachers in Japan 2020/8/2 19:32
I used to teach at a good quality international school in Japan and unfortunately it's one of the most difficult countries to get a job in. Before COVID - Japan was almost (if not more) as difficult to get a job in for international teaching as Europe.

I'm only 1 person - but 1 teacher with 3 dependents in a highly attractive country with a decimated expat population (this means significantly lowered number of students) makes it a tough sell. If you have a strong track record in the DP for math or sciences then it's possible.

There are only around 5 schools where you could comfortably live on a single wage. These are: American School in Japan, Seisen, St Mary's, Yokohama International School & Tokyo International School.

The second tier with a living wage for a family includes Nagoya, Osaka Senri, Canadian Academy Kobe, Nishimashi, St Maur and potentially some others which I might have missed.

Search International Schools Review for a specific forum on international teaching for more direct answers.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Seeking advice from teachers in Japan 2020/8/3 08:43
It's definitely possible to find a decent enough job to be able to support you and your family, though what matters is would be the kind of school you're working for, along with the salary they pay. Most schools pay on average 250,000 a month. If you think that is feasable for you and your family, then go for it. Some schools in the Tokyo area might pay more since it's more expensive to live there.

I would search around and see what you can find online as they are usually upfront about what they are willing to pay you. I'd always mention and highlight your qualities so that you will be the desired pick over other people and to get the asking price of what you want.

Just throwing this out there as well, but don't limit yourself to only teaching jobs. If you have the opportunity to apply for another type that you'd enjoy, it doesn't hurt to give it a shot. Good luck!
by TonyMontana1 rate this post as useful

Re: Seeking advice from teachers in Japan 2020/8/3 12:32
I am a DP Chemistry teacher who has been thinking about working in Japan for a year if a job came up in an international school. What is the likelihood of being hired as a foreign teacher for a single-year contract?

Details: no dependents, several years teaching experience in DP, native English speaker, university degree in Chemistry with research experience, graduate diploma in education. My current school would likely be okay with me taking a year break to work overseas (they encourage working sabbaticals after several years at the school).

Regarding job ads, is it best to just keep checking school websites or is there a central portal where a lot of international schools are likely to post their ads?
by / (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Seeking advice from teachers in Japan 2020/8/3 12:39
Check / sign up OHayo Sensei. Monthly newsletter of jobs...
by Reina Jess rate this post as useful

Re: Seeking advice from teachers in Japan 2020/8/3 13:35
DP Chem is one of the more in demand positions, even in Japan. Having some DP experience (with good results from your students) can make you in demand. However - 1 year contracts are not normally much of a thing in the better schools in Japan.

It's normally a 2 year affair - due to the costs on bringing you over to Japan. Some of the newer schools (not that many) might offer 1 year contract, but this is not the norm.

For a family to live reasonably comfortably in Japan in a major city - a wage of 400,000 yen a month (with housing allowance) is needed. This is due to the tax costs associated with paying for the tax burden of your children going to school.

I am not aware of many/any international schools in Japan that pay 250,000 yen a month. Wages may have significantly dropped since I left a couple of years ago - but I doubt it. I do know that schools are reducing things such as health insurance coverage, shipping and flights. It's now rare for Japanese International schools to offer flights to and from your country of residence.

Some places to look for jobs includes TIE (The International Educator), Search Associates (a paid job agency) and CIS (Council of International Schools). Jobs are often advertised internationally around September and filled by the main job fairs in Jan/Feb for an August start. There are about 4/5 IB schools which use the Japanese school year, but expect to work 5-7 more weeks a year compared to normal International Schools.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Seeking advice from teachers in Japan 2020/8/4 01:57
Thank you all for your responses.

It seems that aiming for the best schools is the only way to go. I can imagine thatfs going to be very competitive so best have a plan B ready!

Thanks again for names and resources mentioned, will certainly be following those up!
by Returningjet (guest) rate this post as useful

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