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Texas ISD School Guide
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Travel, Teach, Live in Japan

How to Avoid Recruiting and Teaching Scams in Japan

There are several great companies that recruit people to teach English in Japan. However, before you sign a contract or pay any fees to become an ESL teacher you need to know how to identify recruiting scams. Follow these steps to protect yourself.

Know what fees are legitimate. If a recruiter approaches you with a list of fees to be placed as an English teacher in Japan you will know that this recruiter is trying to scam you. The company looking for teachers will pay the recruitment fees, not you.

Understand who is responsible for paying for visa processing fees. Again this fee is the responsibility of the company that hires you.

Review the recruiter's credentials before signing anything. Some of the things that you will want to verify include their contact information, their business license and their BBB rating. Look for inconsistencies, complaints filed against the recruiter and other hints that the recruiter isn't legitimate.

Know the difference between "teaching hours" and "office hours." Teaching hours are the time periods that you have direct contact with your students. During this time you will not be able to socialize with other teachers, use the restroom or check your email. Office hours, on the other hand, include all of the time that you spend at school. When reviewing your contract you will want to look for teaching hours between 22 and 25 hours per week.

Figure out how much you should be paid. Recruiters that are trying to scam you, or get you to sign an unfair contract, may try to underpay you for your teaching services. The minimum wage for sponsored ESL teachers in Japan is about 250,000 yen per month.

Know who to talk to in Japan if you discover that you have signed an unfair teaching contract. If you think that you have signed an unfair teaching contract then there are a couple of agencies in Japan that you can talk to. They are the General Union and the Labor Standards Office.

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