As an ALT, you will find yourself helping Japan connect its present to the future. It is an amazing chance to be part of a big transition, assisting the country’s future generation to acquire the universal language. You will be helping them to prepare for the ever-globalizing world.
Living in Japan will open your eyes to a fascinating array of new customs, traditions, and more. But fear not, adjusting to life here can be a surprisingly smooth ride. Traveling in Japan can be incredibly easy. Its high-tech train network is arguably the best in the entire world. Once you get the hang of it you become a bird with a set of full-fledged wings, ready to explore your new surroundings.
From an outside perspective, the language barrier might appear to be the most challenging factor. Yet, as an ALT, your fellow Japanese teachers and your students will be glad to assist you since they will be very eager to learn about your country's culture.
The teachers and students are also an invaluable resource for learning Japanese, and are almost always willing to answer any questions. Lunchtime spent with your students is a great time for them to practice English, and for you to learn about Japanese cultures and customs.
The ALT work schedule will give you lots of options to design your life here. With many national holidays and breaks, you will be afforded with lots of free time to explore your new home.
From Hokkaido to Okinawa, you will never run out of beautiful and fascinating places to visit. As for more local leisure activities, sports enthusiasts and outdoorsy types will have a lot of options close to home. If you are a hiker, you will find no shortage of great trails in this country's pristine national parks. Runners can take advantage of everything from a school marathon to an organized race through the streets of the nearest city. Those who prefer a more sedentary approach to life might be just as content having a picnic under a cherry blossom tree in the spring, or snacking on manju underneath a full moon in the fall.