Life as an ALT in Japan, exploring it and sharing advice.
This is just an average day in the life of an ALT living in the countryside in Japan. It is not any specific day, rather just a summation of what you can expect a normal weekday to be like (based on my personal experience) if you become an ALT in Japan and are stationed in the country.
As of October 2012 (or there abouts) the laws in Japan changed slightly but with significant impact for many netizens using music and video downloaders.
Downloading, though it was always illegal, has now become a criminal act. Previously, you could get sued. Now, you get fined and go to jail! So if you are a downloader, be aware of this new risk! DO NOT TORRENT!
Here is a list of ways to make money online in Japan. If you are an ALT in Japan, you may have a lot of free time and you may want to make a little extra cash. There are some opportunities to make a little extra money offline as an ALT, generally through conversation lessons. However, if you want to make money online in Japan, here are some ideas.
If you are wondering how to use the trains in Japan, it is in theory quite simple. However, catching a train in Japan can be a bit tricky for those of us who aren't able to read and speak Japanese. Here you will find some tips and information on how to use the trains in Japan.
The JLPT or the Japanese Language Proficiency Test is one of the most recognized and accepted tests to show your proficiency in the Japanese Language. This test is taken in Japan and around the world once or twice a year (depending where you are) in either June or December. The JLPT test, since 2011, has 5 levels.
The levels are designated N5 to N1, with N1 being the most difficult. Prior to 2011 it was a 4 level system with a large jump between Level 3 and Level 2. The new system has added a level that fits between the old Level 3 and Level 2.
Every level test sits at the same time on the same day so it is impossible to do 2 different tests during one testing period. For this reason it is important to choose the test level you wish to do carefully.
This guide to setting up an apartment in Japan can help you save time and money. Not everything you take for granted back home is available here but on the flip side, there are other conveniences only available here. Tips for ALT's new to Japan or for anyone moving into their first apartment in Japan.
If you are coming to Japan as an ALT then you will need an apartment. Luckily most ALT's will have assistance finding an apartment or won't even have to give it a second thought as either the company you are coming with will organize it for you or the board of education will have an apartment for you.
If you aren't in this group and have to organize an apartment yourself then here are some tips and information to help you know what to expect.