Benefits of learning Japanese with GenkiJACS

Posted on January 31, 2010 | evankirby

We just put up a page listing some of the benefits of studying Japanese with GenkiJACS. We're always happy to hear of students who want to learn Japanese because they love the culture, and of course the language itself, but for other students, improving their Japanese has concrete benefits. GenkiJACS is currently working on ways to increase those benefits, to make your study with us even more worthwhile. We have some big programs we'll announce shortly, so till then, if there's anything we can do to help you achieve your goals, please feel free to ask!

Students Staying in Japan Longer and Longer!

Posted on January 31, 2010 | evankirby

We hate to pat ourselves on the back too much, but there's been a rash of students extending their stay with us recently. So much so that the average length of study for students with us right now is 3 months! This is great for us, but also great for students. We see a lot of people come for two weeks at a time, and while they may not have a choice (work commitments, etc.), it's really just not long enough to improve your Japanese ability significantly. So we're really happy to have so many students staying with us for the long term, as it means they're going to end up with great Japanese!
Helping students to study for the long term is also why we started offering student visa courses with our partner school. The first intake of visa course students is with us now, and will switch to our partner school in April. We're excited for them, and hope this leads to them staying in Japan for the long term!

Finally, two students were hired to work in Kyushu this week! We hope to have reports from both of them shortly, but both will start work soon in English-teaching-related jobs around Kyushu island. We're always incredibly happy when people manage to fulfill their dream of staying in Japan, so to have two in the same week is wonderful news! Ganbare, Katie-san and Vicky-san!

How Cold Is It?

Posted on January 28, 2010 | evankirby

A screencap from the other day’s weather report:
Weather report

I love the way they’ve illustrated their graphics! Not just the iceman with 冬(“fuyu”, winter) written on his kabuto helmet, or the pink girl with 春 (“haru”, spring) in her hair, but the examples of how cold it is. They’ve chosen to illustrate the degrees of cold by what kind of drink freezes at each temperature. So, 水 (water) freezes in the pipes at about -5 degrees, ビール (beer) freezes at -10, and お酒 (sake) freezes at -15. Good to know!

Upcoming GenkiJACS events

Posted on January 27, 2010 | evankirby

A slew of upcoming events at GenkiJACS!

Today, Thursday 1/28: Visit Yuusentei Japanese gardens; learn hanafuda Japanese cards at school
Friday 1/29: Karaoke party
Saturday 1/30: Sushi eating and Round 1 game center tour
Tuesday 2/2: Free city tour; “ehoumaki” sushi roll making class
Wednesday 2/3: Visit Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine
Thursday 2/4: Visit Kushida shrine; watch Japanese movie at school
Friday 2/5: Trip to onsen (hot springs; Friday night party

Students will be busy!

Over 1000 Facebook Fans!

Posted on January 21, 2010 | evankirby

Woah! The Facebook page we started in November 2009 has already grown to over 1000 fans, and is increasing all the time! 信じられない! It's lovely to hear from so many people who studied with us, and who want to study with us in the future. If you want to join the group, the link is here. Here's to a great 2010!

Working in Japan

Posted on January 04, 2010 | evankirby

Former student Vicky is now working in Japan, and we asked her to share the story of how she found a job, in the hope that it would help other students interested in making a career here! She was kind enough to agree, so here is what she wrote:

Learning Japanese and Teaching English

Last summer I decided to take a break and a year out in Japan. I knew that the only (or easiest) way for me to enter the Japanese labour market would be to teach English. So I quit my job, obtained the CELTA teacher training certificate and looked for a language school to learn some Japanese. I chose GenkiJACS because it was one of the few schools that offers a beginner‘s course every month. I tried applying for positions from overseas but was not successful. So I entered Japan on a tourist visa and gave myself three months to find a job. I studied Japanese to structure my day and, of course, to exchange with other people. There were some people at GenkiJACS doing similar things. And the atmosphere was very energetic and motivating – which was supportive to my endeavour.
In the evenings I researched job listings, the JALT website, the Ohayoo Sensei Newsletter and the blogs of other English teachers. There’s loads of experience posted out there, although some stories are a little discouraging – I tried to ignore them. In general, I followed a simple rule: To do something every day: research, send a few applications, rephrase my CV or the cover letter. Some applications took 15 minutes, others 3 hours. Another strategy was to always have a few applications in the pipeline – so I was never just waiting for one school to answer. Most places I applied to I never heard back from. Here I reminded myself that I only need one job, not all the jobs I was applying for. However, after 3 weeks of little response I decided to set up a backup plan – teaching in China. So I also started applying to English Schools in China. I received encouraging feedback which lifted my spirits – I knew I could always find a job there. And then a lovely English Language School invited me for an interview and offered me a job. I am now settling down in Kumamoto – just over an hour from Fukuoka.

When to come: The academic year starts in April and most teachers are hired in Jan/Feb/March.
Must have’s: A bachelor degree, being a native speaker and a diploma in teaching (CELTA or TESOL). Oh, and some stamina.