Sunday, September 12, 2004

Summer - Fall 2004: The decision

Over the Summer, I hemmed and hawed about which country\region I wanted to teach in.

At the top of the list was Taiwan, followed by Hong Kong and Japan. As I did more and more research on Taiwan it became less and less attractive an option. The contracts I received seemed shady, the schools didn't seem to want to bother actually interviewing me before hiring me, basically left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Add to this the apparent imminent threat of invasion from China, who has been conducting monthly invasion drills with their amphibious forces, and I chose to disregard Taiwan as a destination. Hong Kong also went to the wayside for some of the same reasons.

I then started looking seriously into Japan and found it to be rather interesting. Despite its mostly temperate weather, Japan is home to some of the best skiing in the world. Over 80% of the country is covered by mountains and in the Nagano Prefecture* alone, there are over 100 ski resorts. Add to that the higher rate of pay, the fact that the larger Japanese schools cover travel and some living expenses, and I decided to apply to Japanese schools.

*Prefectures: Japan's version of provinces, there are 47 prefecture spread out in 8 regions of Japan.

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