Sunday, December 5, 2010

Still Waiting

Although there isn't much still going on on my end, I figured I would do a quick book review, since I mentioned I was reading them in my previous post.

Both books covered a lot of the same material about finding housing, health insurance, common problems, culture shock, etc., and they both had a lot of the same websites. There are also pro's and con's about each book. The book by ACCJ I found to be a joy to read. The writing was humorous while covering informational material (which isn't easy to do). The book all together was longer than the book by Moon and all together better organized. Some of the links in the book were non-existant or severely outdated as well (and this book was published last year). Another con (which I found to be true about the Moon book also) is that they both primarily focused on finding things in Tokyo (housing, furniture, etc.). I suppose that is good to most business people heading to Japan, but not really myself.

Both books do have a huge section at the end of the books to talk about the different regions though. The book written by Moon was like reading a history book (which was fine for me because I love history, but would probably just be boring for most). The first "chapter" was about the history of Japan and how it relates to nuances in Japanese society. I put chapter in quotes because I really hate the way the book is sectioned off. It had a lot of repeating information from one section to the next because it was poorly organized. The one thing I really did like about the book is that it had all of the urls, terminology, phrases, etc. in the back in a nice little section that was easy to find. The ACCJ book just had links at the end of eachchapter.

The bottom line is I wouldn't recommend one book over the other. So I suppose that is my book review... on another note, I was sent another letter from Interac giving me a general update. The letter introduced me to the staff and let me know they are processing my paperwork for my Certificate of Eligibility. As soon as that goes through, I will be contacted by someone in regards to placement. Right now, I'm hoping to be placed either near Nagoya, Niigata, or maybe even Utsunomiya. I'm hoping to be placed an hour or so outside a large city so I could do major shopping on weekends. I know it's ideal, but I really don't want to have to drive a car and I love Japanese public transportation. :D

I've also started reading two other books:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Waiting Game

The Tokyo office contacted me last night letting me know they received my paperwork and everything seemed to be in order. I'm assuming once that paperwork processes I will begin the Visa process.

As of right now, I'm still substitute teaching, studying "Genki" and working on some illustrative work. I'm also reading two books...

Living in Japan by the ACCJ:

I'm reading these two books to get a better understanding of Health Insurance, paying bills, taxes, living arrangements, bank accounts, etc. I'm the type of person who likes to be overly prepared for things. :P

If you've read either of these two books or you just want to give me any advice in general about living over in Japan for a year, I'd greatly appreciate it. This could be down to the little things of what to bring or what you wish you knew before leaving your country.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Paperwork and Study Sessions

There is a lot of paperwork when it comes to working overseas. It goes with the territory. I'm currently finishing up another load of paperwork to send to Interac to start my visa process. I know there will be more paperwork in the future as well as a TB test and a medical exam.

For now, I'm studying my Japanese again. I took Japanese 1 and 2 at a local university while I was in high school, but my knowledge of the language has been failing me since I have had no need to use it. I originally learned Japanese using the books "Japanese for Busy People," but for now I have decided to use the classic "Genki" books. My goal is to study for at least an hour daily until I leave in March.

Meanwhile, I'm substitute teaching and will probably be taking a part-time job at the local grocery store to make sure I have enough income to pay for starting expenses in Japan (plane ticket, rent, groceries, apartment supplies, key money, etc.)

Friday, October 29, 2010


Whenever I start a blog, I feel the need for an introduction. I suppose everything starts with a beginning; an introduction. I started this blog because I've just been accepted to be an ALT starting at the end of March with Interac.

With a little bit of snooping, you've probably noticed this is my 3rd blog, and my 2nd blog about Japan. This blog is going to be completely different from the other two, because it will primarily contain written content about my life. My other blogs are about art: my creative works (ongoing) and a collaborative photography blog about Japan vs Michigan (dead). Yeah, I LOVE TO CREATE. :D

Blogs aside, I'm a 22 year old recent graduate from the Ringling College of Art and Design (formerly known as RSAD). I majored in Illustration with a minor in Photography. Ever since I watched Sailor Moon on UPN when I was 6, I've found Japan interesting and wanted to know more about the country. My love of anime turned me onto Japanese music (J-pop, J-rock, VK, and J-Indies), which eventually led me to my first trip to Japan (summer 2006). At that time in my life I had just graduated high school, but I knew I wanted to return. I actually cried the day I left the country. In May 2009, I returned to Japan for a 3 month stay to take courses on Anime and Manga at Temple University. It was an excuse to go back and stay an extended time as well as a learning experience. After playing the role of the tourist and the student, I'm now going to be playing the role of the teacher and worker. It's truly the difference between being the onlooker vs being the participant.

I'm excited and scared to leave everything I'm accustomed to for a year, but I'm ready to take the next step to see if I really do want to live in Japan for the rest of my life. This is my beginning.