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Degree not from home country 2012/5/28 19:15
Hi everyone,

I'm a British student currently taking a BA in Chinese Language with Economics in China, at Xiamen University. After graduation next year, I'm thinking of applying to either the JET program or a similar teaching route in Japan.

I understand that the JET program and a work visa naturally require a BA degree and so I'm wondering, do you think the fact that my degree isn't from my home country will cause any issues?

I came to China when I was 18, beginning my degree in 2009, greatly interested on studying and researching China and Japan, the languages and culture. Xiamen University is one of China's top 15 universities and is considered very prestigious within China, however like most Chinese universities, it doesn't have much of an international name for itself. I expect any employer would have to look it up when going through my CV.

Aside from the degree, I have some experience from a two month internship in an English school, as well as doing university-sponsored tutoring following on from the internship. I speak Mandarin fluently and aim to reach a semi-advanced level of Japanese by graduation (been learning for a while now).

My concern is nothing to do with prestigiousness, etc, I'm just unsure whether Japanese employers, namely schools, or visa offices will be unsure what to make of my degree since they probably didn't expect me to have graduated in China. Is there a preference for applicants to have graduated in their home countries?

I'm really hoping to gain work experience in Japan as well as a cultural experience I've desired since I was a young boy.

Many thanks to you all for reading!
by Joshuawbb  

Re: Degree not from home country 2012/5/29 11:06
If all your looking for is a job as an english teacher, you do not have to worry at all. They pretty much do not care at all about your background as long as you have the prerequisites for the visa and are a native english speaker. Speaking Chinese and Japanese is of course a big advantage for an english teacher.

As for other jobs: You do not have a degree in anything 'useful'. I am certain, there are millions of native Chinese that speak fluent english and have a degree in engineering, economics,... What sets you apart from them?

by asdf (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Degree not from home country 2012/5/29 11:41
I understand that the JET program and a work visa naturally require a BA degree and so I'm wondering, do you think the fact that my degree isn't from my home country will cause any issues?

It doesn't matter as long as your degree comes from a recognized accredited university. It will fulfill the visa requirement as long as it satisfies that condition.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Degree not from home country 2012/5/29 13:35
Thanks very much for your answers. Glad to hear that it won't be a problem.

asdf, 'Useful' is a subjective description and depends on what one plans to do in the future. Indeed, there are likely quite a lot of Chinese who speak fluent English and have a similar degree; it's a bit of an exaggeration to say millions however. But taking what you said, you could easily say the same thing about almost any degree.

I'm not sure which job market you geared your comment towards, but looking at SE Asia and Europe in general, what sets me apart is being one of fairly few native English speakers with fluent Mandarin and several years of life experience in China. I'm not trying to boast myself at all here. The economics is a minor course, however multinational companies, more particularly in Europe, find this set quite desirable from their feedback to me.

One example, depending on their economic performance over the next 6 months, a Chinese company exporting batteries is planning expansion to the Netherlands. I was offered to be sent there after graduation to handle customer-office-factory communication. Aside from economics, I speak Mandarin, the local dialect of the factories and English, and am British so no troublesome visa hoops to jump through working in Europe long-term. I also don't have the unique circumstances some Chinese have that may compel them to return home each year for national holidays, family matters and other things. I share the same cultural understanding Chinese people have regarding business, communication and general relationships.

A Chinese person may very well get along fine with the above job, but I was offered because each person's profile and advantages are different. As I said, I'm not trying to sound arrogant, just providing an example.

asdf, a degree is only a part of your overall profile and becomes fully relevant together with everything else you are and have done. Apart from English, teaching Mandarin can be a viable direction, joining Chinese/multinational companies, going into translation, international relations work and in particular, intelligence agencies. GCHQ, part of UK intelligence, often recruits British Mandarin speakers and I will be applying next year too.

Thank you again for your replies.
by Joshuawbb rate this post as useful

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