Saturday, January 09, 2010

Have a Clear Plan Before Going to Japan

I just talked to a friend of mine recently who went back to France last summer because he couldn't find a full-time job in Osaka. Now, ony after six months, he is already talking about going back there. It's a familiar feeling. Things always seem better on the other side of the fence. But if you want to make the stay worth your time, you should plan beforehand.

There are always good sides and bad sides to every country and city, and the choice can be difficult. But before going to Japan—or any foreign country, for that matter—it's important to be resolute about your objectives. If you decide to apply for a working holiday visa or enroll in the JET Program, you should have a clear objective in mind. Not just "I wanna go to Japan" or "I wanna teach English in Osaka". Those underlying desires are important, I don't deny that, but you should also create a practical plan for what you're going to do there.

If you decide to just wing it and fly there with a working holiday visa tucked in your passport, you might get lucky and land a job, but in most cases, you'll have to spend time looking for a job. That is why it is important for you to think about the steps that you're going to take after getting off the plane. You can do research beforehand. Use the Internet to look for opportunities. Send resumes beforehand (but tell the employer that you've already booked tickets for this particular date). Check GaijinPot. Try Et cetera. There's a lot you can do remotely.


Anonymous said...

Hello, I have just discovered your blog, and I find it very interesting.
I am a french student and I will go for one year for an exchange in Osaka University from September and your blog supplies a lot of information. I would like to rent an apartment on Osaka. Do you think it is easy to make investigations from a foreign countries ?
Thank you, good continuaton

Eric said...

Bonjour Christine!

Thanks for stopping by! It's nice to hear that you'll be going to Osaka as an exchange student. You'll definitely love it.

As for apartments, you can always check websites that display some of the rooms that are available. But the websites are all in Japanese, so it might be hard to grasp all the details.

Here are some real estate companies that let you check their apartments online: (Excellent service) (I had one of their apartments, and it was nice and clean.) (Pricier but their apartments are furnished)

If you're interested in cheap rooms, you should also take a look at gaijin houses. You can get a room for yourself for less than ¥40,000 without having to pay key money or any other intial fees. The downside is that you aren't allowed to invite friends. I had only good experiences with the gaijin house I used to live in. You can read more about it at

Osaka University is located in Suita, if I'm correct, so it's easily accessible from Umeda. But there are also a lot of cheap apartments in Suita and around Higashi-Yodogawa if you want to live near campus.

Where are you planning to live?

Anonymous said...

Merci beaucoup,
for all this information I am going to take time to dissect them by hoping to understand something!
At the moment I didn't plan where I would like to live, actually I don't know where is exactly the campus in Osaka. I make inquiries about the rent of apartments to know if I can afford it or if I have to take a room in the campus, but I prefer an apartment!

I still thank you for all this information.


Eric said...

The bad thing about staying in a school dorm is that they usually have curfews, so you have to be in by 11 p.m. or else the alarm goes off, and you'll be in trouble :)

You can find really cheap apartments (¥30,000) if you don't mind having a toilet and a shower in the same compartment, or if you're okay without a balcony. When I was an exchange student, I just rented a room in a gaijin house and then later moved to an ordinary apartment.

But if you decide to rent an apartment, you'll also need to buy furniture (futon, kitchenware, lamps, maybe a washing machine, et cetera). Gaijin houses, on the other hand, have already been furnished so you don't need to worry about buying all that stuff.

Let me know how it goes. And if you need any help, don't hesitate to ask.

Anonymous said...

Ok, thank you for helping me, then I'll not hesitate to contact you again.

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