Simon it's nice that you had a good experience there. However, I am surprised to hear it. That school has a long standing negative reputation among English teachers in Fukui. Perhaps it is because you are male you had some favour, but many of the women that have worked at the school have had difficulties with its owner, who has a reputation for being manipulative. One woman's parents flew in from overseas to retrieve her from the school. Anyone finding this post in later years hopefully will find work somewhere else. There are much safer companies to work for in Fukui.
After reading a negative review of Hello Institute written several months ago by the previous English teacher, I would like to add my own, to counter-balance the other, so that future teachers who research this language school can compare different teachers' experiences (in keeping with ESL Teachers Board ReadMe notes, found here, http://www.eslteachersboard.com/s/disclaimer.htm)
I have been working full-time for Hello Institute in Fukui City, Japan since May 2014 and in these early days have only positive recommendations to make about the director, Mrs Kimie Otani, and the functioning of the Institute.
Hello Institute has been running for 40 years and has a good reputation in Fukui, and in countries in which exchanges have taken place. I applied to teach here after Kimie Otani was recommended to me by a school teacher friend from New Zealand.
The language school is fairly small, personal, and family-run. Kimie places emphasis on preparing students (who range in age from 5 to 60) for speaking and interacting in the real world, as a pose to only accumulating head-knowledge, hence the English teacher's role is primarily conversation-focused.
Kimie is energetic, caring, and I have found her to be honest about her expectations and transparent in regards to our professional relationship. I took a risk in paying my own airfare from NZ to Japan, without work Visa or signed contract, as I had talked to Kimie several times by phone and Skype, and felt that I could trust her to come through with these after my arrival. I should mention that while researching Hello Institute before buying airline tickets from NZ, I came across the negative review posted on this website, but after talking to Kimie myself, and hearing other people's personal recommendations, I chose to give it a chance.
I'm glad I did! Several weeks after arriving in Japan, my work Visa was ready, I am receiving a regular salary and striking up good relationships with the students.
Fukui City itself is a bit of a concrete jungle at first, but given a bike, and a few weeks of exploring, there are many things to be seen in the neighborhood, including Eiheiji temple, Mikuni, Echizen coast, Katsuyama town with it's castle and temple, Hachiman forest shrine, and many good bike rides and mountain/forest hikes, waterfalls and mountain streams to swim in. That's if you like nature. If you're into city life, there are some nice cafes, jazz bars, but best refer to the FJET webpage on Fukui City for more details.
If anyone now or in the future desires more information about Fukui or Hello Institute, feel free to make contact and ask me!