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Can I work as a teacher in Japan? Chances? 2020/9/10 10:40
Hey!

I (a German) am currently studying at a university in Germany to become a teacher for junior high schools. My subjects are German and English.

My wife is Japanese and maybe we will live in Japan later. But my question is: Are there any chances for me to work as a German and/or English teacher at a school in Japan? I heard that Japanese schools are looking for foreign teachers, at least for language subjects. But is that true?
by EducationJPDE (guest)  

Re: Can I work as a teacher in Japan? Chances? 2020/9/11 00:08
Maybe?

The question is what is your Japanese like? Outside of foreigners on the JET Program, the expectation for those working in an actual Japanese public or private school is that they are fluent in Japanese as well as the language they are teaching because they need their Japanese skills to communicate with the administration and the rest of the teachers.

Assuming you can get a spouse Visa through your wife that would certainly help you since you can apply for a job while within Japan and the school will not need to sponsor you or bring you to Japan.

I would think unless you are completely fluent in English your chances of getting into the JET Program are low and even then it can be hard. The program is very competitive because a lot of people want to live in Japan. You do not have a choice in your JET School assignment and unless you just want to live in Japan and have no preference to where, you should not even consider this route.

Most foreigners in Japan teach in language schools. No Japanese is required and you can pick where you want to live. I've heard mostly negative things about it lately. Back before 2010 the experience was much better (outside the Nova debacle) but as more people want to live in Japan it's gotten worse. The schools do not give consistent hours so planning holidays or vacations or just visiting friends can be challenging.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Can I work as a teacher in Japan? Chances? 2020/9/11 00:59
I'd say it's zero.
You need to pass the national exam after going through required course in a Japanese university to teach at a school.
by // (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can I work as a teacher in Japan? Chances? 2020/9/14 09:45
" Outside of foreigners on the JET Program, the expectation for those working in an actual Japanese public or private school is that they are fluent in Japanese as well as the language they are teaching because they need their Japanese skills to communicate with the administration and the rest of the teachers."

Not true. Donft really know where people who actually live and work in Japan get this idea from.

I know many foreign teachers that can't speak Japanese fluently and work fulltime at private elementary and high schools. I have been in Japan for about twenty years.

Get a spouse visa come over and start looking for a teaching job. The international schools are another option as well.
by Stokley rate this post as useful

Re: Can I work as a teacher in Japan? Chances? 2020/9/14 10:48
@Stokley
They are not "teachers" who conduct the classes but are ALT.
by // (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can I work as a teacher in Japan? Chances? 2020/9/15 01:12
OP is not automatically going to get a spouse visa because their wife is Japanese.

While this link is for people in the US who want a Japanese Spouse Visa it would still be applicable to people from other countries
https://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/travel_and_visa/visa/spous...

Since OP and his wife are presumably still living in Germany they need:
A letter of guarantee from Japanese guarantor residing in Japan
Japanese guarantor's Certificate of Employment and Certificate of Tax Payment
Japanese guarantor's Resident's Card (Jumin-hyo)

OP needs someone to be his guarantor. Usually in the case of a spouse visa that is your spouse or your in-laws. If his spouse is living in Germany with him right now, unless she is employed by a company that can transfer her back to Japan, she is not going to qualify as his guarantor and he will need someone else.

I think outside of JET or Interac or a similar program that works with schools to get you a placement, it can be challenging without the help of someone who speaks Japanese to find other placements. Presumably, OP could count on their wife's help, but not all positions are advertised in English and it helps a lot to have another visa when you start looking for said job. If actual school positions, which tend to pay better and have better hours, were more readily advertised in English internationally or even within Japan a lot more people would jump from language schools to those positions because most language school jobs suck and have seen a degradation as more people want to move to Japan.

by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Can I work as a teacher in Japan? Chances? 2020/9/15 15:41
It is definitely possible to get hired from your home country as a teacher in at least private schools in Japan and not as an ALT. It would be easier if you were here for physical interviews. Donft worry too much about the Japanese ability. I know several people who have very limited Japanese ability teaching at private schools. They get the same salary and bonuses, are responsible for different club activities and members of different committees and hired as tenure employees as well as responsible for all curriculum and lesson planning. The classes usual consist of English conversation and writing composition. I know of several guys down in Fukuoka teaching elementary, they are responsible for all subjects, except for Japanese.

Although due to covid there is a bit of a hiring freeze at the moment.
by Stokley rate this post as useful

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