I agree with MKEdude. Too much to say.
I have been living and working here for 6 years now. I still love it. I live in one of those small rice paddy towns but since I was from a small farm town, I could adapt quicker to the situation. I spent the first year NOT BEING A GAIJIN. This was my trick. Instead of spending free time with Gaijin, I spent time with local people and made solid relationship which helped develop trust. Many foreigners come to Japan and DON'T interact with locals why? They think that they are ONLY seen as "foreigners." Reality: Japanese are shy and not going to come up and welcome you, its not in their nature. You have to make the first move and show interest in them before they open up.
Though my profile says Coordinator of International Relations, I spend a lot of time teaching.
Are you looking at an Eikaiwa or ALT program?
|Quoting SATX (Reply 6):|
The quality of life seems to be much better over here in America than what I could get for the same work in Japan as an eternal outsider.
This might be true. I would say the quality of life is better here. Many things are taken care of and I do not have to worry about changing health care when changing jobs or anything like that. Vaccines are covered for children unlike the U.S. and I can get tax breaks for buying environmentally friendly products like the Prius or solar panels for my house. But as for Quality of work environment. It can get old when you are treated like a second class educator even when you have more experience than most.
As for being an eternal outsider...I have seen plenty of foreigners who keep themselves as eternal outsiders. You will be a foreigner if you act like one. There are many foreigners like myself who never hang out with other Gaijin. They hang out with Japanese of the same age or with Gaijin with local interests. I have few foreign friends but many Japanese. If you show interest in your community and the culture, make local friends and keep involved you will be respected. Most ALTs and Eikaiwa teachers at ECC or NOVA are here on a short "killing time" personal adventure. They do not have true interest in Japanese education or helping to make a change in that education.
IFLYMCO...read up on Japanese education and English education in Japan. It is not as "amazing" as the ministry of education would like to portray. It has some great ideas but outside of Tokyo, those ideas are not practical. As for learning Japanese...it helps. But it will come quickly.
You can contact me offline if you need anything.
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!