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Monday, November 13, 2006

I would like to go to Japan to teach... 

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“Dear Ai,
I am a 25 year old Canadian male, interested in going to Japan to teach. I have never been there, but I’ve met so many nice Japanese people in Vancouver. I don’t have any teaching certificate and don’t know where to start. Do you know any good websites about this, so I can start planning? Mike - Vancouver

Hi, Mike. Thank you for your e-mail. There are a lot of private ESL schools (mostly teaching adults) in Japan and I understand your frustration to choose the right one. Dave’s ESL Café
is an excellent website to start. You can see what other foreign teachers say about schools in Japan. It is very interesting to read about their experience.

If you live in Vancouver, pick up the Georgia Straight every Thursday. Famous ESL schools like Nova or Aeon are placing ads to recruit teachers. They usually have information sessions you can attend.

If you are interested in teaching younger students, I recommend you check the JET program. Their requirements might be stricter (eg. under 40 year old, BA holder…), but they are a well-established organization. You might be sent to a remote area as a TA. They pay great and even provide accommodations. Please contact them directly to find out more information.

Usually, in order to teach in Japan, the person needs to hold at least a BA and has a TEFL certificate. If you don’t have a TEFL certificate, don’t worry. You can take courses before you go.
VCC offers an excellent program. Some private ESL schools like Winfield College or Global Village might be a good option too.

If you would like to go to Japan to travel, study or work, then check a Working Holiday visa. I found the Japanese embassy in Calgary helpful. Visit


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