Looks like my next job takes me South Korea, NOT Japan. Although I intend to move back to Japan at some point hopefully. Heavy on the hopefully there.
I have found that compared to when I first went in 2000 to Japan, the benefits and wages for Native English teachers have been steady declining. Imagine a plane in nose-dive if you will.
From 2000-2002 I was making the equivalent of 30K USD in Japan. Ah, how I reminicse on those days.
From 2006-2008 I was making the equivalent of 26K USD in Japan. I was in the back-ass country at the time so it worked ok as there was no place to go to actually spend money.
Now shopping around again in 2009, I'm finding the area I worked before in 2000 is offering as low as 23K?!?!?!
(In case you didn't know already, Japan and Korea school years start in the Spring so from January you enter the height of teacher recruiting season.)
Yes, yes, there are still some placesa offering reasonable salaries, but mostly you're looking at the ridiculously low range where the compensation in NO WAY covers the amount of work you will be doing.
Frankly, I find no excuse for this. Commodity prices cost of living has been rising since 2000 and yet salaries are steadily going down??? Where is the compensation for this?
On the other hand, all the schools - few though they may be - I have looked at in Korea are offering top wages for Native English speakers, more in the 26-28K USD bracket. I don't understand this. Yes, the Japanese economy is in shambles, but so is the economy of the whole worldso that doesn't make for an excuse, does it? On top of which, there is a growing need for native English teachers now that they are starting to require English classes at the elementary school level nationwide.
So, as long as I convince someone to give me a contract, it's off to Korea!!
I kinda did want to go there anyway at some point. Besides, they do have a 3hour ferry that runs between Pusan and Oosaka, Japan. (A city near Kyoto if that is more familiar sounding to you. Sorry if you already know that. ^.^ )
In that case I'll be posting info about surviving in both areas from then on.
Thanks again for stopping into my little corner of the 'net, and Happy Browsing!!