Saturday, November 12, 2011

A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower (Henshall)

In preparation for Japan, and hopefully in an effort to avoid culture shock, I've decided on a collection of books to help me understand the country in which I'll hopefully be spending the next several years of my life.  I narrowed the important aspects of Japan down to only four:  History, Culture, Etiquette, and Politics.

For history, I chose Henshall's brief book A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower.  I needed a book with a good balance between detail and brevity, and Henshall seemed to fit the bill!  After finishing, I had a good understanding of Japan (probably as good as any Japanese major remembers a few years out of school, heh).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Interac Deferral: The Aftermath

The new count down has started--and this one will be a long one, I'm sure!  I just got an e-mail from Interac asking if I am still interesting in working for them in the Spring 2012 semester.  I obviously accepted!  You can check this post from time to time for changes as I will update this with every major milestone.

So if you accepted a job with Interac but got deferred, here's what you'll be looking at!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Sushi Complex

The Sushi Complex: I am a foreigner. And according to one of my second grade students I am from Foreign. To him, Foreign is a country because all that exists...
A little one off update to anyone who may stumble across this page: My good friend Lauren recently set up her own blog. Not only has she already spent a year teaching in Korea, she has now moved on to Japan! I find her to be insightful and hilarious, so you might want to visit her blog until I move to Japan in March!

Happy reading!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Interac Deferral

Received Monday July 25, 2011 at 4:21am EST
Dear ALT,

We appreciate that you have been waiting patiently now for news of your relocation to Japan. So it is with regret that we are writing to advise you of your current status with Interac Group, and your available placement options and what this means for you now and in the future.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Permanent Resident Living Abroad

For those who don't know, I'm a U.K. citizen living in the U.S. as a permanent resident.  I have a greencard which allows me to live and work here.  Unfortunately, I never became a U.S. citizen so I've faced quite a few hurdles in order to get myself to Japan.  I'd like to cover some of these for anyone who may be in a similar situation.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Interac Application and Interview Process

After getting an offer from both Gaba and Interac, I chose Interac in order to be a larger part of the community.  I mentioned this at the interview and it seemed to go over well :)  It's also something I fully believe in.  I didn't want to be another eikaiwa monkey, I honestly wanted to embed myself into this new environment.  Since I'm working for Interac, I'd rather not spill the beans on the whole process, but I can provide a timeline for other anxious Interac applicants, and some general advice.

Monday, June 6, 2011

AEON Application and Interview Process

I've applied for AEON (pronounced "ee-on", don't get it wrong at the seminar!) twice; the first time was just to see what would happen.  AEON is an eikaiwa as well, focusing on teaching small groups (5-10) of various ages depending on the group.  I probably know the most about this company given that I applied twice.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gaba Application and Interview Process

For those of you who wish to work for Gaba, you must understand what the company is about.  Gaba is an eikaiwa based primarily around Tokyo.  Each instructor teaches one student at a time, usually an adult, in basically 50 minute segments.  Gaba specializes in customization; instructors must be able to customize lessons to a student's interests and career.  If you prove you can do this, you're a BIG step toward getting an offer.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Start the Countdown!

Hello boys and girls!  You may or may not know me; My name is Ben Brannan and teaching in Japan is my dream!  This blog is meant to document my journey to, and through, Japan.  I also hope to inspire and help others who wish to do the same!  I will be working as an ALT and teaching English--anyone else looking to do this can definitely learn from my coming experience!  But how did a rogue computer scientist end up getting a job in Japan?