Teach in Japan and explore one of the richest cultures in the world!
Teaching in Japan is a chance of a lifetime to explore one of the richest cultures and enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere in the world. Japan has an ancient culture full of beautiful traditions and art, amazing food, and advanced technologies, offering teachers a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a one-of-a-kind country.
Greenheart Travel’s program is ideal if you:
Program at a Glance:
Teaching Placement + in-person TESOL certification course: $3,220
Teaching Placement + online TESOL certification course: $1,830
Ideal if you don’t have a TESOL yet, or don’t have classroom experience
Our Support and Services:
Add on a 4-week 120 hour online TESOL certification course, which you will complete before coming to Japan.
Why should you take the our TESOL course?
While we are happy to accept individuals who already have a TESOL/TEFL certification, if you do not yet have one, we highly recommend taking ours as this course is specially designed to prepare you to teach English in Japan and is customized for Japan’s unique education system.
This TESOL course is internationally accredited by the Online TESOL and TEFL Standards Agency (OTTSA). The course is audited quarterly by OTTSA staff, and will qualify you to teach anywhere in the world that requires or prefers a TEFL or TESOL certification. The certification lasts for the rest of your life!
In -person TEFL Course + Placement Program Start Dates:
|February 19th, 2024||Open|
|April 22nd, 2024||Open|
|June 24th, 2024||Open|
|August 26th, 2024||Open|
Our online TESOL starts on the first Monday of each month, so you will have plenty of chances to get your certification before coming to Japan.
Public vs Private School Hiring Dates
Private language centers in Japan (Eikaiwas) hire throughout the year. December and January tend to be quieter hiring times but otherwise eikaiwas hire year around. Hiring for eikaiwas happens around four months in advance of the start date.
Public schools have two main hiring times: March and September. Hiring for public schools happens around seven months in advance. This is a good opportunity for teachers that sign up and want to have a placement confirmed far ahead of time.
Public School Start Dates
|March 2024||September 2023|
|September 2024||March 2024|
Applications are taken until the program is full for that date, but contact us if you are interested in applying for a start date that is not listed above. Sometimes we are able to take very last minute applicants.
During your school orientation
Accommodation during your school orientation will be arranged, but you may be required to pay depending on the school. The cost is anywhere from 25 – 40 USD per day for shared accommodation for the orientation. Some schools will pay for the orientation accommodation, others do not. There is also the possibility that you would be immediately put in your permanent accommodation during this time as well.
In Your Placement City
Accommodation will be set up for the teacher, but teachers pay their own rent. Rent is generally between USD 500 and 800 per month, exclusive of electricity and water. Accommodation is either single occupancy, fairly basic, and typically efficiency/studio apartments or a private room in a larger shared house with shared facilities. In some instances, Internet is often provided in accommodation costs, however in some instances it must be purchased separately. Teachers are typically asked to pay 1-2 months deposit at the time of moving in to the apartment.
Placements are throughout the country in both urban and suburban areas however the majority of positions are in the suburban areas.
There are a wide range of teaching environments, from more advanced, modern classrooms with small class sizes and extensive technology in the classroom, to classrooms that are standard, and lacking in technology. Some placements will have assistant teachers in the classroom but many will not.
Yes, acceptance onto the program means placement is guaranteed. Placements for Japan are secured before entering the country.
In most schools you will most likely be the only teacher. However, it is very likely to have other teachers in your immediate area at other schools as well as plenty of others in the same region.
Japan is among the safest countries in the world with crime rates lower than any other industrialized countries.
While it is not required to speak any Japanese for this program, some schools will be more excited about an applicant with even the basics down.
Besides that, learning even just some Japanese will immensely improve your daily life, so best to start ASAP!
We cannot place couples or friends in the same location together. They must be open to teaching in different areas in Japan. The likelihood of being placed close to each other is as follows:
Same region: We will try our best, and the candidates would know at the same time that they are accepted on whether or not they will be in the same region
Same prefecture: Possible, but can’t be guaranteed and wouldn’t be known until much closer to arrival
Same area (city, etc. within the prefecture): Very unlikely and wouldn’t be known until much closer to arrival
Able to live together: Not possible
You will be covered by comprehensive international medical and accident insurance through Greenheart Travel for 1 YEAR as part of your program fee. This will cover you for most medical expenses you could incur, like prescriptions, ER visits, doctor visits, dental accidents, and hospitalizations. If you want to extend your coverage, we’ll provide the link to purchase additional coverage.
Our staff and in-country partners are also very welcoming and accepting of all gender identities. We can provide extra support if needed.
During the application process we are happy to provide information on the cultural norms of our destination countries and are prepared to advise you on the best programs based on your needs and interests.
It is required to have a TESOL/TEFL regardless of prior qualifications. You are allowed to obtain your TESOL/TEFL certificate elsewhere, but it is highly recommended to obtain yours through our program as our TESOL course is specially designed for teaching English in Japan.
For private schools, hiring takes place around 4 months prior to your start date, but even sooner is better.
For public schools, the process takes about 7 months. If you are interested in starting in March, individuals need to be signed up before the end of August. For individuals interested in starting in September, individuals need to be signed up before the end of February.
Your school will have your accommodation ready for you. Depending on the area, there may be 1-3 options available.
Our team in Japan does it all for you! After your initial documents are sent through, they immediately begin working on your visa and will guide you through the entire process.
Most schools will be glad to have you extend your contract as long as you do a good job! If you are interested in switching to a different location or a different country, please contact us and we can begin the process with you.
Greenheart Travel strongly recommends that travelers be vaccinated against COVID-19. A COVID-19 vaccine is no longer mandatory for placement. However, some schools still request it, so the teachers just need to be flexible in terms of placement location.
We recommend visiting your doctor or a local travel clinic for updated advice on recommended immunizations. You should visit a doctor a couple of months before your program.
Here is some health information for Japan:
These are the typical startup costs for our participants. This is on average for the first 1-1.5 months before they receive their first paycheck and after they arrive in Japan:
Yes! You will have a school representative pick you up at the airport. The exact details of this will be made known to you before you leave.
No, flights are the responsibility of participants.
Typically there will be a curriculum for you to follow, but the exact nature of this depends on the exact school. Required books are usually used, but this also depends on the school.
This is somewhat dependent on the age of the students. It’s best to assume it to be a bit lower than your initial expectations, as these schools are not normally in city centers.
In public schools you will be an assistant language teacher (ALT) in which you will be teaching alongside a Japanese teacher.
In private schools you will most likely be teaching alone (unless specified otherwise).
The dress code for Japanese schools is typically on the formal side (no sneakers, jeans, t-shirts, etc.). Every school varies depending on how much this is enforced, so it is best to show up dressed more formal and see what other teachers are dressing like once you get there.
Meals are not provided in this program.
Children and pets are not allowed on this program.
Japan has fantastic internet. In your apartment this will be either setup prior to your arrival or you will get assistance in setting it up after you arrive.
Public school teachers get approximately 1 month off of unpaid leave and all public holidays as paid leave.
Private school teachers do not get long-term paid or unpaid leave, but do get all public holidays off.
You will be paid in Japanese Yen. Salaries range from about $1,600-$1,900 USD per month. Because of the living cost in Japan, saving potential may not be as high as some other countries. The average savings per month is around $150-$400, but this will vary based on one’s personal spending habits.
Our optional orientation weekends happen in Nagoya and are designed to help participants to meet other teachers who are new to Japan. They will also help orientate participants to their new surroundings. In conjunction with classroom learning, participants will also take part in excursions to significant sites around Nagoya. These cultural orientation weekends happen twice per year. The excursions will be selected from the following, typically 2 excursions will be included in the weekends. Activities may include:
Nagoya Castle. Center of Nagoya. Famous ancient castle and home of one of the largest in Japan from the ancient period and at the time was one of the most important castles in Japan. Participants will go on guided tour of the castle and town.
Japanese Cooking Class. Learn how to make traditional skewered Yakitori Chicken and/or sushi. Participants will partake in amazing Japanese fare with our unique cooking class.
Walking Tour of Nagoya. We take participants on a guided tour of downtown Nagoya, including parks, viewpoints and even an anime shopping center!
The Tokugawa Art Museum. Learn about the ancient Samurai history and also the art of tea consumption during the empires of yesteryear on our trip to the Tokugawa Art Museum, which is also is based around a beautiful park that participants can explore.
The weekend will be provided from Nagoya and several times per year, not when participants initially arrive. One night hostel style accommodation and 1-2 days of activities will be provided, however transportation will not be provided to the site of the orientation Activities may include cooking class, Japanese language, meet-up party, karaoke evening, and trips to Nagoya historical and cultural sites. The specific dates and itinerary will be finalized at a later date.
Greenheart Travel has been helping travel-hungry adventurers for many years, and there are advantages of applying for this program through us:
We also have some unique offerings to our Greenheart Travel teachers and alumni!
Greenheart Grants are funds awarded to Greenheart Travel participants to use for community development projects in their host or home country. A Greenheart Grant is the opportunity to create, improve, or maintain an impactful, community-focused project abroad or at home. Grant funds could be applied to supporting women’s cooperatives, schools, community centers, or health clinics, for example. Grant winners will be featured on our website, social media, and blog. You can see our past winners on our blog here.
Greenheart Alumni Program
We created the Greenheart Travel Alumni Program to provide resources and a community to support alumni in their advancement as global leaders, and a way to celebrate and reward our participants for being ambitious, inspiring catalysts of cultural exchange!
Greenheart Global Leaders Conference
Each August Greenheart offers full ride scholarships to over 40 alumni to attend our annual conference in Washington, DC. Participants even get a chance to advocate for cultural exchange in a presentation to the US Department of State. You can see more about what GGLC is and what you could do at the conference here.
1. Start Your Application Here. You will be sent more information as well as the link to our application portal to begin your formal application.
2. Submit Basic Program Information: The first step in our application portal will be basic things like your chosen start date, etc.
3. Submit your Application Fee: A $300 fee is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your Application Fee in full.
4. Complete Application & Documents: Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts. You will also submit your documents (below) within your portal account.
5. Zoom Interview: Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application fee, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.
6. You’re Accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within 1-2 weeks of their interviews.
7. Commitment Payment: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment payment within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program. Once you submit your commitment payment you will unlock the acceptance portion of your portal, which includes things like pre-departure videos, travel and arrival information, the Greenheart Travel Atlas, and more.
After submitting your commitment payment you will move onto the document, visa, and job interview portion of the process:
Step 1: Once are approved, a member of our team in Japan will reach out to you to complete your profile to make the following:
Once this is complete, we begin marketing you to our school network in Japan.
Note: With some schools, there may be an additional requirement to provide two professional references.
Step 3: Our team will coordinate interviews with school partners. The interview process is generally anywhere from 1-3 calls with the school for placement. Most commonly, the interview comprises of a 1 to 1.5 hour formal interview. A teaching demonstration may be required (depending on the school) and if so, information will be provided in advance to help you prepare. No TESOL/TEFL is needed at the time of the demo. The schools just want to get an idea of your commitment to preparation and your tone and manner. We have instructors on hand to guide you in preparing for the demo lesson. Note that not all schools will require a teaching demo.
Step 4: Placement is offered by the school partner. We will send a letter to you confirming the placement offer and basic information. Typically placement location is not known at that time so it is not provided in the initial offer letter.
Step 5: A full teaching contract and visa application documents and guidelines to apply are sent you. Note that the contract does not typically include the actual location of the placement. In many cases this is only finalized near the time of arrival or once you arrive in country. You will then send the signed contract, Certificate of Eligibility application form and supporting documents to the school.
Step 6: Once the school receives your documents, you will apply for the visa paperwork from the Japan immigration department. This process typically takes 1-2 months to arrange. However in rare circumstances it can take up to three months for the COE to be issued. When the documents have been processed by immigration a Certificate of Eligibility will be issued and sent to you via post.
Step 7: Once the visa paperwork is sent to you, you then apply for your visa from your local Japanese embassy.
Step 8: Once the visa is granted and received from the Japanese Embassy, you are then free to buy your flight and travel to Japan.
Note that in some circumstances you must provide before arriving in Japan a doctor’s note stating that you are in good health. You may also be required to take a Tuberculosis test prior to arrival or during in-country orientation. This is only the case with some schools. These items are the only medical related items required for your application to teach through our school network in Japan.
Total timeline for placement only from signup until arrival in country is outlined in the table below. Please note that this an approximate time and conservative estimate. It could go over or be a bit less time. We estimate anywhere from 3 to 6 months from initial program signup until visa is in hand and you are ready to travel to Japan.
|Initial Signup||Day 1|
|Initial call||Day 7|
|Teacher profile completed||Day 21|
|Initial Interview||Day 30|
|Final interview||Day 37|
|Contract and supporting docs sent to participant and returned to school||Day 45|
|School applies for Certificate of Eligibility (COE)||Day 55|
|School receives COE; Participant applies for visa in home country||Day 105|
|Visa received, flight booked||Day 120|
Have questions or want to talk to program manager? Set up a time to have a phone call below.
Take a glimpse into life in Japan through some teacher’s photos. Make sure to also check out #greenhearttravel on Instagram for more!
We have partnered with a reputable Japanese language school to offer all teachers signed up for our program 4 free Japanese classes!
These include one live 80-minute class per week, plus weekly materials to be completed before the class.
These classes are designed for those who prefer to have weekly set classes to prepare for in order to stay on task and keep motivation high. This program consists of live language practice sessions which can be set 100% around your schedule. Below is a brief breakdown of the course components:
This is a great and engaging way to learn the language, taught by experienced and qualified Japanese language teachers in small groups with others who are looking to learn the language too.