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Opportunities for Newcomers to Japan: Voices from Yaruki Switch

Get to know three employees as they talk about their transition from their home country to Japan working with Yaruki Switch Group.

By 6 min read

Working in Japan is a great chance to grow professionally. You’ll be able to improve your skill set, experience Japanese culture firsthand and meet new people from all over—even shift career paths if you want.

One of the biggest challenges of moving abroad is finding a company that can provide employment and help sponsor your work visa. Luckily, some employers do offer visa sponsorship, training and relocation services to make the transition as smooth as possible. Yaruki Switch Group is that kind of company.

Yaruki Switch Group is a Japanese educational company that offers private tutoring, English conversation schools, English-centered daycares and after-school programs across Japan. It hires year-round and is open to applicants of all experience levels. With over 500 native English instructors across 31 different nationalities, its employee pool is diverse. The company also has career advancement tracks, workshops and Japanese classes for its team.

If you’re looking to jumpstart a teaching career in Japan, Yaruki Switch may be a great place to start.

We interviewed three employees about their experiences moving to Japan with Yaruki Switch Group and how it’s been so far.

Rei Ramos: English teacher

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Rei Ramos applied to Yaruki Switch because of their approach to education.

Rei Ramos, from Canada, is an English teacher for Kids Duo and moved to Japan in 2015.

What made you apply to Yaruki Switch?
I applied for Yaruki Switch (specifically Kids Duo) because of their approach to education. Traditionally, education means studying hard, using textbooks and tests. However, Kids Duo focuses more on the side of entertainment and fun.

How was the application process?
I contacted a recruiter in Canada who recommended Kids Duo. The recruiter did most of the leg work by scheduling my online interview dates and time until I got my offer of employment.

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Ramos describes working at Yaruki Switch as hard work but meaningful and rewarding.

How would you describe the working culture at Yaruki Switch?
Working at Yaruki Switch is hard work but meaningful and rewarding. Because we deal with students directly and daily, we get immediate feedback from our customer experience. When we see our efforts positively affecting our students, it encourages us not only to keep our efforts consistent but also motivates us further.

What is the work-life balance like?
The work-life balance is pretty straightforward. Yaruki Switch strives to keep its schedule organized and punctual. Since I work a strictly eight-hour day, five days a week, I find it easy to manage a good balance between work and personal time.

Erin Graham: English teacher trainer

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Erin Graham chose to apply to Yaruki Switch because of their native assistance for those coming from abroad.

Erin Graham is a senior teacher trainer from America and has worked at Yaruki Switch for over three years. She is a senior teacher and a mentor for new instructors at Kids Duo.

What made you apply to Yaruki Switch?
What attracted me to Yaruki Switch was their native assistance for those coming from abroad. Moving to a new country can be scary, especially if you don’t speak the language. However, there’s a team dedicated to helping you move and adjust to living in Japan.

How was the application process?
When I applied, I was pleasantly surprised at how fast the hiring process was. Shortly after I submitted my application, someone from their recruitment division reached out. The interview procedure was very straightforward, and the results, if you passed or not, were quick. The only time-consuming part was waiting for my permits and visas to be approved.

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Graham is a senior teacher and mentor to new instructors at Kids Duo.

Describe a typical day at Yaruki Switch.
My usual day starts with greeting my coworkers before I get changed for work. Then I have my prep time to prepare for the day’s lessons. After that, it’s my lunchtime before the kids arrive. The rest of the day, I’m in class teaching or doing tasks for the school that we need to get done. Once the kids leave, we tidy up and prepare for the next day before heading home.

Any advice for future applicants?
As with any big life decision, you should always research and do what’s right for you. Everyone has a different experience, and it’s how you make it. Some days are hard, but I use those as motivators to improve myself to get better. I thoroughly love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Anssi Okkonen: Recruiter

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Anssi Okkonen was attracted by the company’s emphasis on creating a fun and stress-free environment for students

Anssi Okkonen is from Finland and has been in Japan for six years. He works as a recruiter though he first joined as an English teacher at Kids Duo International School. Later on, Anssi was given the opportunity to join the hiring team.

What made you apply to Yaruki Switch?
My previous jobs have primarily been in customer service, and I wanted to continue working with people. I applied to multiple companies around that time but what stood out to me about this company was the emphasis on creating a fun and stress-free environment for the students. They don’t require previous teaching experience and they provide training, making it attractive to a newcomer like me.

Describe a typical day at Yaruki Switch.
My typical day as a recruiter is going through applications, contacting candidates and conducting interviews. As a teacher, my day would begin by preparing the classroom and welcoming children to the school. After spending the day together doing different activities, I would clean the classroom and prepare for the next day before calling it a day.

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Okkonen was also attracted as a newcomer because the company provides training.

What is the work-life balance like?
I think the balance is good. The popular belief that Japanese companies have a lot of overtime doesn’t apply to Yaruki Switch Group. You also get a certain amount of paid holidays which you can use when needed, which certainly comes in handy.

Any advice for future applicants?
If you are considering applying for a teaching position, even if you don’t have any experience, don’t worry. Personality and an enjoyment of working with children are what count! The company does also help with getting your life started in Japan by assisting with finding accommodation and setting up a bank account, for example. Things can feel overwhelming initially, especially for new teachers, as there are many things to learn and remember, but it will get easier after a short while.

Yaruki Switch provides a steady career track for newcomers to Japan from instructor to curriculum director. It also provides regular training sessions and Japanese cultural immersion events for employees and new hires. Beyond a career, there’s also the unparalleled opportunity to move to a new country, make friends from around the world and expand your own personal development.

Just like Rei Ramos, Erin Graham and Anssi Okkonen have—you could start the next chapter in your life today.

Learn more about current open positions at Yaruki Switch Group.

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