Finding jobs as a qualified, non-native speaker

by Thomas
(Currently in Laos)

I'm a Dutch high school math teacher (25) who's eager to teach English in Japan. I'm struggling to paint a picture of what's possible and what's not. I have certain qualifications that would make me a very interesting applicant. These include a teaching qualification, 3 years of teaching experience, (highly positive) student inquiries and an IELTS test that determined my English proficiency at CEFR level C2.

After doing some initial research, I still can't really tell how much of a drawback my lack of being a native speaker is. Is Japan an option (especially with Tokyo 2020 in mind) or should I focus more on other countries like Vietnam and Laos?

Any help would be very appreciated.

Kind regards,

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Dec 30, 2017
From Laos. Teaching Experience But No Degree
by: John

Hi Thomas,

It looks like you did your homework. And you are right it isn't easy task to find work in Japan without that magic 4 year degree.

However what you have in your corner is that 3 years of teaching experience. This will qualify you for an International Services Visa.

Nothing is set in stone. Many companies won't even consider an applicant without a degree - it is just their policy. Some however will.

It's not impossible but will take the approach of leaving no stone unturned. Persistence will be critical and when you do get your application accepted you'll have to really bring it in the interview. You'll have to shine in the interview to make up for not having the degree.

You can enter Japan on a landing permit visa but this only gives you 3 months to line up a company that will employ you. That is a tight time line and is stressful, so I would just stay put and hammer on as many job openings as you can.

Best of luck to you

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