May 18, 2016
If you’re here, you’re probably wondering if teaching English as a second language is a good way for you to live in Japan.
Teaching English overseas isn’t for everyone, which is why a lot of people who try it go home after a year (or less). Even for those of us who love it, teaching English in Japan isn’t exactly a long term career. Most ESL teachers I’ve met, even in the US, are working part time and have multiple jobs.
Teaching English might be the most common way for foreigners to live in Japan, but maybe you’re better off going to Japan to study Japanese or work as a video game designer. Maybe teaching in S. Korea is a better option for you.
Use this flowchart to help you decide, along with the articles I’ve written about becoming an English teacher in Japan.
PS: This is not a professional consultation and is for entertainment purposes only. Deciding how you can make your life more awesome is something only you can do.
NOT to be republished without permission.
More articles on the topic on the helloalissa blog.
Teaching in Korea was never really on my radar, but it's interesting to hear that it might be a better place to clear off debt. Is it a higher salary, or cheaper living? Or both?
@DaveJpn Korea is maybe similar to Japan 20 years ago? Airfare usually included, housing sometimes subsidized, salary about the same as in Japan, but living costs around half. I've only taught at camps there (different benefits), so that info is what I've heard or seen while looking at available jobs. I've also heard there are sometimes crazy hagwon (eikaiwa) owners who decide not to pay people... there can be issues. I've found Korean people to be worse workaholics than Japanese people. Good points are really cheap and awesome food, great culture (different from Japanese but some similarities), kind & hardworking people. I think the best place financially to teach English would actually be in the middle east - if that's something you'd be interested in. I've taught (mostly Saudi) middle eastern students in the US and most of them were really skilled/well educated and had a great sense of humor. There's a big world of English teaching outside of Japan.
@helloalissa Yea, I've got a friend who teaches in Dubai. He's living the high life it seems. Great salary, plus he hardly ever seems to be at work. His summer holiday is insanely long. Korea sounds like an interesting option. I've heard stories of foreigners having a harder time fitting in over there, though. But maybe I just caught people who'd had a bad experience.