Japan or Australia -- which is better to live temporarily?
Anyway, I have already confirmed from both British embassies in Tokyo and Canberra that I can apply for a YMS visa in either country as a Canadian citizen, so that is not really a problem. The problem is choosing which one. My head says "Australia" but my heart wants "Japan" so if anyone has lived in either country (or preferrably both), please let me know which you choose.
Here is a pros and cons in my case:
* Very different from Canada
* Fascinating culture and history
* Tokyo is my 2nd favorite city in the world that I have been to and I would love to experience living there
* There are several places in the country that I haven't been to that I would like to visit
* The cost of visa is free
* Proximity to South Korea, Taiwan, China, and SE Asia for more travel opportunities
* For some reason, I am considered attractive in Japan where I would get eye-fcuked by women several times a day (no e-brag)(not really a priority -- just throwing it out there)
* Feels overwhelming and lonely if you don't speak the language
* Despite being fluent in it, English is not my first language so getting a job teaching English would be really difficult
* Can be quite expensive living in Tokyo
* I took an intro class in Japanese and memorizing Hiragana was a pain (I can't even imagine memorizing Kanji)
* English-speaking so less difficult with the transition
* Easier to find a job in my career, plus I already have some contacts there for job opportunities
* Better weather, surfing in Bondi during weekends
* Somewhat similar to Canada with the shared language, history, culture (I may want something different)
* I have already lived there temporarily for 3 months (I may want something different)
* There's not a lot of places in Oz/NZ that I haven't been to that I want to visit
* Visa is quite expensive (about $200+) for something that I won't be able to fully use
* Job limitations like working for an employer for a maximum of 3 months
Or, the third option where I skip both countries and head straight to the UK.
Any advice from fellow booties?
London, particularly in the summer, for people who don't have kids and live near to the city centre maybe one of the best places in the world to live as far as things you can do. There is something for everyone going on all the time. On the downside, quality of life from a living standpoint isn't so great. Small, old, damp, moldy, etc places to live etc.
Tokyo is certainly the more exotic of the locations, but don't expect to be living and hanging out amongst the locals. If you are there for a short time and our focused on the travel aspects of Tokyo and the rest of Japan or enjoy spending time amongst the expats it certainly can be viable but a bit more lonely, less friendly than the other two.
A lot of it simply comes down to what you really want to get out of the next year or two of your life. If you want to live it up a bit go to London. If you want to relax, surf head to Australia. If you want to explore, be pushed culturally head to Tokyo.
What exactly did you do in Tokyo job-wise? Have you met any ESL teachers who weren't native English speakers? What other jobs did the foreigners you've met over there had?
I have been telling myself over and over that I am doing this for the life experience and not the job or money, but I seem to have a hard time throwing caution to the wind.
heymikey wrote:What exactly did you do in Tokyo job-wise?
My wife worked in finance and I could work from anywhere.
heymikey wrote:Have you met any ESL teachers who weren't native English speakers? What other jobs did the foreigners you've met over there had?
Most of the expats we knew were associated with the finance industry and even then we've never been much into spending time with other expats. So I can't really help you there. On this forum, I know Haci Richard taught English over there for a bit and JV was there for a while and worked quite a few odd jobs. For insight on that aspect, you might search through their old posts. For a blog, might have a look here. I am sure there are probably others. I have a few other links for Japan that I've long since forgotten but may help as well. A quick search should unearth them.
Anyways I'll prefer Sydney as it will at least doesn't feel like I am on strange land with no body to talk.
heymikey wrote:Have you met any ESL teachers who weren't native English speakers?
There were a lot of them in Hiroshima while I was there (2000-2005), but all of them came from predominantly English-speaking countries or the Philippines. In other words, the employer will be satisfied with the fact that you're from Canada unless you have an impenetrable accent. Also, the fact that you won't need a visa will definitely work in your favor.
"Suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either."
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