Starting Out!

Hi all,

My first post here, I have read through some other posts on here and it seems you are a great crowd, thought i would introduce myself and hope to gain advice from anybody who can help.

Pete here, I am a 34 year old male who currently lives in England, i am a UK Citizen and have obtained a BSc Hons in Computer Science at a UK university. My ambition is to live in Japan, I love the culture, the food and just the way of life over there and at 34 i have realised i just hate the way of life over here in the UK. I have worked in IT for 4 years after university and i am really getting no job satisfaction out of it so want to start making preperations to be able to apply to study English in Japan, firstly,something that has been at the back of my mind for a while and now realise that is what i want to do in life.

I am hoping to go to Japan when I am 37. This gives me three years to learn the language and read and write a little, i am currently spending 1-2 hours per day and hope to be relatively conversant by the time i leave(I do understand that learning Japanese is a lifelong process).
I am saving everything i can also and within the three years i should have around 20 - 25,000 uk pounds(sterling) to make a start out there. This is my goal and really it is a dream at the moment.

I do however have a few questions if anybody can help in any way. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

1 - Would my qualifications be eligible for me to locate other work apart from teaching (i would start of as an english teacher but eventually would like to find IT work in an office environment once i could converse a bit more fluently in the language)
2 - Would it be wise first to just move out there and locate work on the three months visa, i should hope to be convesant in everyday japanese speaking or should i apply to be a teacher of english in japan and go from there once accepted.
3 - As a British citizen are we generally liked by the Japanese, or would it be really hard to meet japanese friends at work and in bars, pubs etc?

I have made up my mind and this is where i want to go, a new start and a new experience, you only live once right? I have no ties so am in a position to do it if i work hard. I know it will be hard for me but i am seriously committed! Any advice from any brit/american expats out there would seriously be of great help.



Hi Pete !

Welcome to the forum and thanks for this introduction.
I hope your various questions will be answered soon ;)


Hello Pete.

I don't know much about finding work in Japan so I can only answer the third question.

I'm quite sure Japanese people generally like British people!
Just might take time to make good friends, Japanese people are quite conservative.

Hello Pete!

Japan is a truly unique, interesting, and worthwhile destination.  I spent over six years there and it was by far one of the highlights of my life. 

It would be in your best interest to start as an EFL instructor since landing a job in other fields can be very difficult.  Plus, once you are in Japan, learning the language will be much easier. If you do not already have a TEFL certificate it would be wise to get one.  They generally last four weeks and range from $1200-1700 USD. It is money well spent.  It will leverage your chances of getting hired as an EFL instructor.   

Look into working for Westgate Corp, ECC, or the JET program. They are all reputable organizations.  If you are looking for more information on TEFL and Japan check out TEFL FLYER or How to Teach English in Japan: The Straight Story on ESL Teaching in Japan. 

In my experience, the Japanese are extremely hospitable, helpful, and curious about most foreigners, regardless of where you are from.

Good Luck!