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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by serendipity21, Feb 14, 2016.
I am looking at options for teaching in Kobe. Has anyone any experience of teaching there? Thanks.
Yes, albeit seventeen years ago. Great city sandwiched between the sea and mountains. Great hiking, and good beaches "down at Maiko." It often gets overlooked in favour of Osaka and Kyoto, but it really is a nice place (twinned with Seattle). Easy to get around, plenty of restaurants, bars, etc. I would live there again.
Thanks Helen, that is really positive
On the other hand, I did a year teaching ESL for a reputable company as an ALT in Japan and was working poor. Most of wage disappeared into living expenses, I received 50-80% pay during holidays and at the end of the contract I was expected to survive 2 months with no pay until the new contract. Not surprisingly I never went back.
Avoid ESL in Japan like the plague!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(unless JET program, extra $1000 pay for the same job)
Every country has crappy ESL schools. I worked for the notorious and now bankrupt NOVA when I lived in Kobe. The job was awful, but I earned 280,000 yen a month, travelled overseas every holiday and saved a bit. This was in 1999/2000. I hear wages have hardly gone up since then and possibly gone down. I certainly wouldn't go back as an ESL teacher. Don't let a job taint your opinion of a place. It's a good city.
Actually the company was really good, as were the schools I taught at. The system there for ESL is just totally bad. And yes it has gone down, I was on 230,000 Yen. This wasn't Kobe just comments on Japan itself. I enjoyed living in Japan but the poor wages really made it difficult to survive.
What's wrong with ESL wages in Japan? 250000yen a month is £1600 or £19200 a year. You can only earn 18k a year maximum supply teaching in the UK. And tax in the UK is 23% compared to 5% in Japan.
It's the cost of living that kills you. After my rent, food, travel, tax and very expensive insurance I usually had $250-500 in the hand per MONTH.... that's like nothing in Japan. You need to be making about 300,000 Yen to live comfortably. Anything around the 200,000 Yen mark your gonna be poor as hell...
And it wasn't just me all my friends who did the same job were all poor....
Insurance for what?
Rent is about 60,000yen per month and insurance about 5000 yen per month. So what you talking about. You must have drunk the money away if you only had $500 left.
Thanks everyone, I was concerned about the cost of living. It looks a cool place to live though.
National Japanese Health Insurance. It's pretty good coverage and the cost is tied to your income. It's very cheap the first year you are in country but is a fair sized monthly bill after that. City taxes can also be an annoyingly good sized chunk after the first year, depending on where you live.
Yeah, unfortunately I was convinced to sign onto the expensive health insurance and my city tax was very high also my travel expenses were very high as I was on one of the most expensive train lines.
I'll say again that I liked living in Japan. Nice apartment, good cheap food, cheap beer (at supermarkets). Just don't expect to make good money UNLESS you are on the JET program.
Oh, and serendipity if your going in make sure you have some cash to survive the setup. Most companies pay a month wages a month later, so you work FEB you get payed in March. Because of the start date it took me nearly 6 weeks to get a full wage. Also the apartments won't have any beds, bedding or cooking stuff so you'll need to buy that as well (all white goods were in there fridge, stove etc.)
That is just rude! I'm telling you my experiences and the experiences of my close colleagues and other ALT's I talked to (in their hundreds). Whatever, go. Live there for a year and try to survive then talk to me.
Thanks for the responses.