GPod 10: Getting a University Job in Japan


Getting a university job in Japan is a goal for many teachers and yet the path to a tenured position at a Japanese university is not always clear. In this show I talk to Matthew T. Apple, who is an associate profession at Ritsumeikan University.

We discuss Matthew’s entry to Japan through the JET Programme and how teaching English in a small town taught him the skills he needed to pursue a career in higher education.

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Matthew also mentions the importance of networking in Japan. Personal relationships play a key role in many business decisions here and building those relationships in the beginning will lead to better opportunities down the road.

One of the organizations that Matthew recommends is Japan Association of Language Teachers (JALT). Check out the video below for more information about this great organization.

Also on the show is Elizabeth Tasker who is an assistant professor at Hokkaido University. Elizabeth is relatively new to Japan and she shares with us her experiences in working in a Japanese univerisity and how she is learning to cope with the six month of snow they regularly receive in Sapporo.

Anthony also talks about the importance of professionalism when searching for a new job. As a former employer he offers tips on how to make your resume stand out and what you can do to make a personal connection during the interview.

The bulk of the hiring in Japan is done in April and so now is a good time to log into the GaijinPot Job System and make sure your resume and cover letters are up to date.

We are also pleased to announce the winners of the Master Japanese: Learn Nihongo the Fun Way ebook. The winners are:


Host of the Speak Up Asia podcast.

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  • Bevan Jones says:

    Thanks for this great podcast! As a science PhD, I’ve long been curious about the routes into Japanese academia. While not as common as the ALT and eikaiwa jobs, it’s not that hard to find people who’ve transitioned to English teaching university positions, but it’s much rarer to stumble on a foreigner working in other areas of Japanese academia, and the route to these types of jobs is quite different from the English teaching path, requiring different skills and backgrounds, so I particularly appreciated Elizabeth’s segment.

    BTW, the nature of research tends to select for people with high tolerances for loneliness, and the smallness of the international community working on one’s particular specialty also habituates one to maintaining long distance relationships (via social media, email, or skype). So it’s possible this could make it easier to adapt to the somewhat isolated life of a foreigner living in Sapporo.

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