- How long does it take to obtain a visa? Do I apply for one in Japan or in my country prior to departure?
Berkeley House will apply for a Certificate of Eligibility for the teacher. It takes about 4 weeks to get the certificate from the Immigration Office in Japan. When you receive the certificate you can take it to a Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country to get a work visa (Specialist in Humanities and International Business).
If you are already in Japan, when the Certificate of Eligibility is ready, you can go to the immigration office in Tokyo and change your status there.
- Verified copy of your degree from the registrar of your university or the original degree.
- 2 pictures of yourself (3cm × 4cm, passport type).
- Photocopy of the
a) front page of your passport
b) visa page (if you have any old visas) and
c) past entry/departure record pages of your passport.
Resume (including elementary and high school education)
*Sept.1971 – June 1978 Curtis Elementary School, Chester, Virginia
*Sept.1978 – June 1980 Carver Junior High School, Chester, Virginia
*Sept.1980 – June 1984 Bird High School, Chesterfield, Virginia
*Sept.1984 – May 1989 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, *Blacksburg ,Virginia Received BA in History
Please do not forget to write the dates and city names.
Signed employment contract
- If I’m already in Japan, do I need to leave the country in order to get a work visa?
It depends on the immigration office you go to. In Tokyo, you can take your certificate of eligibility to the immigration office and change your status there.
- What are the actual working days and hours?
Berkeley House teachers generally work Monday through Friday. Teaching 23-25 hours per week. We do not have a set schedule, and you may have 2-3 long work days (6-8 hours) and 2 or 3 short work days (2-4 hours). You do not have to be at school when you are not teaching. A schedule is published every Friday evening which lets you know what your following week schedule will be. Schedules do vary from week to week. Also, overtime work is often available for teachers who are interested in making some extra money.
- Will I receive any training?
Yes, you will. We provide about 10-20 hours of training before you start teaching. We do our utmost to make sure that when it’s time for you to walk into the classroom that you are well prepared and confident. Training is not paid.
- How long are the classes?
Generally two hours but this varies according to the students needs.
- Where exactly will I be teaching?
Most all of your classes will be in central Tokyo but occasionally there may be classes in one of the neighboring prefectures.
- Are overtime hours available?
Yes, they often are.
- Will my travel expenses (to classes) be reimbursed?
Yes, BHLC will provide you with a monthly train pass to and from your place of residence from BHLC (max. 15,000 yen per month). We also pay 100% of your travel expenses from BHLC to any outside class rooms you may be asked to teach at.
- Do you have a dress code?
Yes, we do. This is because our clients are not only students but are also often business people and those who work for governmental agencies . We would like to show our respect for all of our students by dressing professionally. For detailed information please refer to the dress code.
Life in Japan
- I’ve heard that Tokyo is very expensive. Will I make enough money to survive in Japan?
Absolutely. It is true that prices in Tokyo can be rather high but you’ll receive more than enough remuneration to allow you to get by and have some fun in your free time. Actually, most teachers manage to put away quite a bit in savings each month (depends on your life style, of course).
- How much money will I need to pay my general living expenses?
The average BHLC teacher pays around US$600 for rent. The combined fees for gas, electricity and water run about US$75.00 a month. Telephone bills and food costs vary greatly depending on individual lifestyle. You’ll also have health insurance costs which are quite cheap your first year in Japan. The average teacher at BHLC probably pays about US$1,000 to cover all monthly bills (not including food costs).
- As for health insurance, I heard that the national health insurance is 5% of your income. Is that the insurance you plan on getting for me? I’ve also heard that there is also private insurance available for around 20,000 Yen. Will I be covered from my first day in Japan, or will it take a few days/weeks to register?
Teachers usually sign up for national health insurance. 5% of your income sounds about right. You will not have to pay much the first year because you did not make any money the previous year in Japan. Your payments will be based on your previous years salary (money earned in Japan). You will need a proper visa to get the insurance. If you are in Japan, it will take around 4 weeks to get a Certificate Of Eligibility and a little more time to get an actual work visa. So you can assume that you would not be under any insurance coverage for the first month or so. It might be better to get private insurance, at least for the first month.
Arriving in Japan
- When do you expect me to arrive?
We would like you to arrive in Japan at least 1 week before your first class begins so that you can go through the training program and get used to life in Japan.
- Do you provide a plane ticket or airfare?
Unfortunately we can not pay for airfare. We might, however, be able to pay the equivalent amount as a contract completion bonus.