11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

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senseiman
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11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:14 am

All right, since pretty much everyone here is an ex-Eikaiwa teacher rather than a current Eikaiwa teacher I thought I`d start a thread in the Eikaiwa section to talk about that.

I just realized it has been 11 years since I left Eikaiwa in 2003. Well, that was big Eikaiwa anyway - AEON, I stayed in Japan teaching English for 2 years after that on my own so I guess it has been about 9 years since I left all forms of Eikaiwa teaching behind. Still, that is a long time.

Lot of water under the bridge, but god do I miss it sometimes. Not so much the teaching, but just being in my early 20s in Japan for the first time and knowing nothing about the place. Totally awesome. I notice that as the years go by my views on my eikaiwa days have changed immensely. Hated the companies bitterly when I worked for them and stayed that way for the first year or two afterwards. Then slowly started to appreciate those years more and more, even though I have a much better job now.

How long has everyone else been out? Miss it?
祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響あり。娑羅雙樹の花の色、盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。おごれる人も久しからず、唯春の夜の夢のごとし。たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by RalphWiggum » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:52 am

That pretty much sums up my experience too. Moved back home a bit over 8 years ago after just under 4 years in Japan. Loved the whole time I was there - my mid to late 20s in Tokyo were amazing. Loved the job (in spite of all Nova's flaws), though I had to trade in some of the enjoyment of work when I became an AT but it was worth it in the end (just...) for the leg-up that gave me on my CV when I came home. Doing a job that didn't feel like work, playing in a decent band, touring and seeing the country, snowboarding every weekend of the winter, meeting / moving in with / marrying the wife, eating, drinking and merrymaking as I pleased and just generally having a blast - everything suited me down to the ground.

Finding a way to move back is always at the back of my mind, though it's very unlikely now as I've got a very good job with skills that aren't relevant in Japan, and the old lifestyle isn't really compatible with having primary age kids (although they've mentioned that they'd like to live in Japan as they've loved it each time we've visited). Maybe if I win the lottery... :cry:
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by steki47 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:49 pm

I loved my time at Nova-friends, parties and the novelty of everything. Even getting promoted made the job a bit more interesting, if stressful. After that, I bounced around 2-3 small eikaiwas and they were just jobs. And shitty ones at that.

I miss the friends and parties, not much else. The job itself was pretty easy and straightforward.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by lordCONAN » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:57 pm

I did 6 years at AEON and finished up 3 years ago. After that I did a year as an ALT at elementary schools which was a huge cut in pay, but an absolute cake walk of a job. And for the last 2 years I have been a full time teacher at a private high school.

I'm really enjoying my current job, even though it is by far the most difficult of the 3. I also get paid more than both my previous jobs, plus 2 bonuses a year. I get treated like every other teacher (except maybe for the fact that I will never be a homeroom teacher, but I'm fine with that). Unlike eikaiwa, and even ALTing at times, where it felt like someone was always watching over my shoulder, always evaluating me, at my current job as long as I don't fuck up, nobody has a problem. I choose the textbook for my class, decide how I run it, and do it all my way. That said I do work 2 or 3 Saturdays in the month, but I also get 20 paid days leave a year, and as long as I get my classes rescheduled and there is not some big event going on, nobody tells me I can't take a day off. Summer vacation I have to go to work, but because there's no classes I can just take swathes of days off, or if I decided not to, go to the office and browse the internet for a few hours, go out for lunch, then take the last 4 hours off.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:14 pm

RalphWiggum wrote:
Finding a way to move back is always at the back of my mind, though it's very unlikely now as I've got a very good job with skills that aren't relevant in Japan, and the old lifestyle isn't really compatible with having primary age kids (although they've mentioned that they'd like to live in Japan as they've loved it each time we've visited). Maybe if I win the lottery... :cry:
Mine too after I moved back to Canada. I ended up moving back to Japan a little over 5 years ago in large part because I missed living here so much (my career has gone OK here, but I would probably be making more money now if I had stayed in Canada).
祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響あり。娑羅雙樹の花の色、盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。おごれる人も久しからず、唯春の夜の夢のごとし。たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Japandy » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:18 am

Left 5 years ago and my job is a million times better. Now a university lecturer, teach 10 hours per week, have lots of holidays and a high salary. Glad I left but feel sorry for those that remain.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by angryboy » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:03 am

Japandy wrote: feel sorry for those that remain.
Well don`t. Believe it or not there are some who like it.And there are some who make
a lot of money out of it , possibly even more than you.
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:30 am

angryboy wrote:

Well don`t. Believe it or not there are some who like it.And there are some who make
a lot of money out of it , possibly even more than you.

:agree:

There are good jobs that pay well in Japan (just as there are lousy jobs elsewhere that pay crap).

If you are at a good university in Japan, the pay, benefits and research funding available is much more generous than it is in Europe or most North American universities.
祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響あり。娑羅雙樹の花の色、盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。おごれる人も久しからず、唯春の夜の夢のごとし。たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Edogaijin » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:16 pm

I teach about 21.5 hours a week...5 hours a week of that is eikaiwa.
The rest is at a private high school.

If it's not worthwhile I wouldn't do it...I only do it on my terms and don't work for an eikaiwa...except my own school.
Therefore I get all the profits... :clap:

Hoping to reduce my workload in March by giving 3 or 4 or more if possible lessons to another teacher.
As long as the rent is covered and the teacher is happy with the pay...I'm not too concerned about big profits...unless the teacher is a dick!

Every March I do the 80/20 and cut any jobs that are wasting my time....

Not sure if I'd like to work full time in an office when I get so much free time and holidays.

I've had two lady's come for trial lessons this week...both wanted private lessons but said it was too expensive. Talked them into doing group lessons as they are actually more beneficial ( for me ).
They both took about 150 of my school leaflets each to post around their hoods, and recruit some friends to make a new class. Great pyramid scheme if you ask me.

Got four teachers on standby to slot in here and there... Need about 20 students before April to really get the ball rolling...
Last edited by Edogaijin on Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by allblacks » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:07 pm

I finished in 2007 I guess. After a long stretch in a Japanese exporter/freight forwader I am on my own. Its working out so far. All I can say is DIE NZD DIE!

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Japandy » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:57 pm

senseiman wrote:
angryboy wrote:

Well don`t. Believe it or not there are some who like it.And there are some who make
a lot of money out of it , possibly even more than you.

:agree:

There are good jobs that pay well in Japan (just as there are lousy jobs elsewhere that pay crap).

If you are at a good university in Japan, the pay, benefits and research funding available is much more generous than it is in Europe or most North American universities.
Perhaps my comments were misinterpreted. Was not meaning to gloat or have a go at anybody - I worked for Nova and in the sham that is corporate training and appreciate how difficult/crap it is. My mate is still at Nova (used to be a trainer making 400k and now takes home under 200k after shakai hoken). He is over 50 and cannot get anything better. Feel sorry for the likes of him and feel very lucky to have the job I have.

allblacks

Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by allblacks » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:29 pm

I dont think anyone took what you said the wrong way. If there are any misgivings they can take it up with me by pm! LOL

I also do not mean to gloat either. Feel very lucky to be in the position I am at this stage in my life. Being home when my kids get home is wonderful.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by JD9 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:25 am

allblacks wrote:I finished in 2007 I guess. After a long stretch in a Japanese exporter/freight forwader I am on my own. Its working out so far. All I can say is DIE NZD DIE!
Congrats! Is the self employment deal still in the exporter industry?
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:45 am

Japandy wrote: Perhaps my comments were misinterpreted. Was not meaning to gloat or have a go at anybody - I worked for Nova and in the sham that is corporate training and appreciate how difficult/crap it is. My mate is still at Nova (used to be a trainer making 400k and now takes home under 200k after shakai hoken). He is over 50 and cannot get anything better. Feel sorry for the likes of him and feel very lucky to have the job I have.
My comment might have been misinterpeted too, no worries :cheers:

I know exactly what you are saying, I feel sorry for the folks stuck in Eikaiwa at that age. I could see myself headed in that direction which is why I thankfully got out of it while I was still in my 20s.
祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響あり。娑羅雙樹の花の色、盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。おごれる人も久しからず、唯春の夜の夢のごとし。たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by asilenthope » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:51 am

Hi guys - long time no see!

Well, it's been almost three years since I left. Feels like much longer. I only spent three years (approximately in eikawa).

It was nice living in Japan, and like RalphWiggum and senseiman wrote, moving back there is sort of in the back of my mind.

I think to myself, if only I could have my current job that I have now, but living in Japan - that'd be nice.

I am making a significant amount more now... went back to Japan for the first time in December since I left.

I have a decent job now, with opportunities for promotion or a career. I think if I had spent 10 years in Japan, I'd be hard-pressed to find something but who knows. Most of the people I knew at ECC left by means of graduate school, so I guess that would've been an option.

Surprisingly, I've applied to two graduate schools here (mostly paid for by my job if I get accepted).

Living in Japan was a great experience (well, in Tokyo, and for me). I'd recommend it to other people.

Don't really know where this post is going, but if any of you get to NYC look me up!
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Japandy » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:03 pm

Is this a reasonable opinion of what is going on at the moment?:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2 ... vXwUJrivIV

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Junken Master » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:11 pm

Been almost 3 years now since I returned to British shores after 5 years in Japan.

Worked at a couple of private Eikaiwa's out there - the first was rather dodgy (to say the least) but the second my wife and I effectively ran together over a four year period. It was stressful being responsible for keeping the student numbers up but it was definitely worth it overall. Seeing the kids grow up over the four years was definitely a highlight.

Coming out with the wife I do regret not being able to experience the single life out there, although I did have a wicked year out travelling in South-East Asia / Australasia a couple of years beforehand. (Luckily I met my wife towards the end of my travells, rather than the beginning!)

Back in the UK and its been a rollercoaster. Got a Masters in TESOL and DELTA but even after that I struggled to get full time work in the UK. Decided to do something else (recruitment) for a few months but wasn't really suitable. Luckily I had a mate working in a senior position in one of the big schools in UK and I am now working full time - on decent money, and would you believe it there's even a pension scheme thrown in. So after about a year out I'm back in the game again....

Wifey is doing very well back in the UK - she's head nurse at a local dental practice. All in all, things going OK.

And good luck to those still out there 'avin it!

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:18 am

Japandy wrote:Is this a reasonable opinion of what is going on at the moment?:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2 ... vXwUJrivIV
Reads a lot like a list of random bad stuff about Eikaiwa.

I`m not so sure how accurate some of it was - is the pay really that bad now? When I worked at GEOS I started at 250,000 a month and I was able to get by pretty well on that and save a fair amount that year. I know some schools like Gaba probably pay less than that, but what about AEON, ECC, Berlitz, new-NOVa and new-GEOS? I figure they probably pay about the same as they used to.

The glass ceiling thing is very true and the main reason Eikaiwa isn`t a long term thing unless you plan on starting your own school. But that is old news by now.
祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響あり。娑羅雙樹の花の色、盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。おごれる人も久しからず、唯春の夜の夢のごとし。たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by allblacks » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:25 am

JD9 wrote:
allblacks wrote:I finished in 2007 I guess. After a long stretch in a Japanese exporter/freight forwader I am on my own. Its working out so far. All I can say is DIE NZD DIE!
Congrats! Is the self employment deal still in the exporter industry?
Yes mate. But recently import side of things is taking off. Next month will be the biggest amount we have imported ever.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by BergKatse » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:49 am

allblacks wrote:
JD9 wrote:
allblacks wrote:I finished in 2007 I guess. After a long stretch in a Japanese exporter/freight forwader I am on my own. Its working out so far. All I can say is DIE NZD DIE!
Congrats! Is the self employment deal still in the exporter industry?
Yes mate. But recently import side of things is taking off. Next month will be the biggest amount we have imported ever.
If you don't mind my asking, what kind of stuff do you import?

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by JD9 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:50 pm

allblacks wrote:
JD9 wrote:
allblacks wrote:I finished in 2007 I guess. After a long stretch in a Japanese exporter/freight forwader I am on my own. Its working out so far. All I can say is DIE NZD DIE!
Congrats! Is the self employment deal still in the exporter industry?
Yes mate. But recently import side of things is taking off. Next month will be the biggest amount we have imported ever.
Well if you're still going to be doing car exports in April next year, sign me up!
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by JD9 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:55 pm

senseiman wrote:
Japandy wrote:Is this a reasonable opinion of what is going on at the moment?:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2 ... vXwUJrivIV
Reads a lot like a list of random bad stuff about Eikaiwa.

I`m not so sure how accurate some of it was - is the pay really that bad now? When I worked at GEOS I started at 250,000 a month and I was able to get by pretty well on that and save a fair amount that year. I know some schools like Gaba probably pay less than that, but what about AEON, ECC, Berlitz, new-NOVa and new-GEOS? I figure they probably pay about the same as they used to.

The glass ceiling thing is very true and the main reason Eikaiwa isn`t a long term thing unless you plan on starting your own school. But that is old news by now.
From what I've seen / heard about etc. starting salaries are more like 220,000 for a 'good' FOTB gig and anywhere down to 160,000 for desperate crumbs. That's for smaller operators though, I've no idea what the big places are paying these days but my guess is that they'd be very similar.
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:27 am

JD9 wrote:
From what I've seen / heard about etc. starting salaries are more like 220,000 for a 'good' FOTB gig and anywhere down to 160,000 for desperate crumbs. That's for smaller operators though, I've no idea what the big places are paying these days but my guess is that they'd be very similar.
OK, that does suck, especially if people in Tokyo have to get by on that much. No wonder there are so few newbies posting on here!

Anyway, reminiscing again here - it was pretty awesome to get by on 250,000 a month back in the day. I was 23 years old and invested most of that money in beer at bars, oh the good old days.
祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響あり。娑羅雙樹の花の色、盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。おごれる人も久しからず、唯春の夜の夢のごとし。たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by inflames » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:44 pm

AEON and ECC pay the same as before but new Nova is apparently shit - like 200k, at most, for new people. One of my friends quit there for Interac and said he was making more at Interac with a lot less stress and bs.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by scanman » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 am

I guess Nova has really changed since the days of Saruhashi/Sahashi, pre-bankruptcy and the take over by the new organization. A different kettle of fish. Yes, I heard that wages have really gone down under the new set up. The days of whine and roses are over.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by allblacks » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:50 pm

scanman wrote: The days of whine and roses are over.
Lol. Good one.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by MacGyver » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:07 am

I left eikaiwa in May 2001 when I got a job as a translator. Quit that to take a job as a technical writer at a US IT company in 2005, and now I'm back translating (freelance) after the US company laid me off in July last year.

Moved down to the wife's hometown in January last year. Funnily enough, a Kiwi mate of mine who lives down here and I've known for almost a decade runs his own English school and does company classes on the side. Well, he doesn't do the classes himself as he has a school to run/teach at so he gets someone else to do it. The guy he usually uses has other commitments this year so he's asked me to do it. So after a 13 year absence, I'll be teaching English again twice a week, 3 hours a week for the next 8 months! Pretty apprehensive about the whole thing as I never really enjoyed teaching English back in the day but it's only twice a week, it gets me out of the house, it's close, and the money is fairly good. My mate has also been dealing with this company for over a decade and assures me they are easy going so fingers crossed it shouldn't be too painful. :luck:
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by wilde_oscar » Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Good luck, mate.

It'll be interesting to hear how you go after being out of eikaiwa for so long.

I was recently in Shanghai and saw an eikaiwa shopfront(I think it was ‘English First’) in a large upmarket shopping mall and looked through the glass briefly to see the drones shuffling about and the customers looking as demanding as ever. Funny to look at after so long not even thinking about those sort of places. I felt pretty much no sense of nostalgia whatsoever.

That said, I’d do it again if I had to, but not by choice…
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by scanman » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:23 am

I left eikaiwa a number of years ago and miss the comaradarie, banter and being addressed as sensei. Money wasn't bad, to be honest. But it was always a fairly insecure job. Never really made it to seishain; a real company employee. No pension; no annual bonuses, no sick pay, no real toilet paper. But, I didn't have to lick any asses to receive those non benefits.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:01 pm

scanman wrote:I left eikaiwa a number of years ago and miss the comaradarie, banter and being addressed as sensei. Money wasn't bad, to be honest. But it was always a fairly insecure job. Never really made it to seishain; a real company employee. No pension; no annual bonuses, no sick pay, no real toilet paper. But, I didn't have to lick any asses to receive those non benefits.
I do miss that comraderie a bit too. I`ve spent more than 10 years living in Japan and the friendships I made during the first three years when I was working for big Eikaiwa remain some of the closest I`ve made here.

If it hadn`t been for the constant insecurity, coupled with the micromanagement, it might have been a decent job.
祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響あり。娑羅雙樹の花の色、盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。おごれる人も久しからず、唯春の夜の夢のごとし。たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

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