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Living Conditions/Supporting a Family

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Living Conditions/Supporting a Family

Postby CAPiTUL » Wed 03.08.2006 12:52 pm

Do you think it is possible to earn enough yen, on a student VISA, to support my family (I have a 4 year old girl) at a level that is somewhat comparable to the levels we currently enjoy here in the States (I teach Geography, 7th grade)?
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RE: Living Conditions/Supporting a Family

Postby AJBryant » Wed 03.08.2006 1:14 pm

No.

Not even remotely.

On a student visa, you can only work part time, like 20 hours a week. One person can barely keep alive that way.

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RE: Living Conditions/Supporting a Family

Postby CAPiTUL » Wed 03.08.2006 3:48 pm

Thank you for your honesty. I may have to reconsider this student route.

Originally, I wanted to get a job there. But then my friends mother, who lives in Nagoya, said I'd be better served coming on a student VISA to learn the language, rather than be thrown into the middle of the ocean. She keeps assuring me that I'll make enough money, but honestly - something just isn't gelling right. I make a fairly decent salary as a teacher now and have declared to her, on numerous counts, that I must make something comparable or else it isn't worth it. As much as I'd love to go to JP, I need to provide for my family first and foremost. So money has been a HUGE concern.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get any straight answers. The only thing I've been told is that the school I would be attending will also send me to various places to tutor. I haven't anything concrete on the subject - no guarantee of how much money I'd be making, where exactly I'd be working, etc. My friend keeps telling me to trust his mother, because she doesn't want to lose face. But that's pretty hard to do when I have to think about my little one.

Hence - my questions to try and receive some straight forward answer. . . much like the one you have given. Thank you AJ.
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RE: Living Conditions/Supporting a Family

Postby AJBryant » Wed 03.08.2006 4:28 pm

I make a fairly decent salary as a teacher now and have declared to her, on numerous counts, that I must make something comparable or else it isn't worth it.


You also have to take into account where you would live (what city, etc.).

I paid more for a one-room apartment 40 mins *out* of Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo than I did when renting a three bedroom house in Gainesville. Everything is more expensive. Go to Amazon.co.jp and see the prices for videos, DVDs, CDs, and books.

When you live in Tokyo, you think nothing of seeing something on a menu for \1800 that should be about seven bucks on a menu "back home." Remember commute times -- you'll have no car, and will be at the mercy of an (increasingly expensive) train system.

Also, consider the rent of the apartment, and multiply that by five just to move in -- and you'll never see any of that money again.


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RE: Living Conditions/Supporting a Family

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 03.08.2006 7:53 pm

I completely agree with what Tony says. On a student Visa, there's no way that you'd be able to keep your family fed. Even one person would be difficult.

From my own experience, even "well-paying" english teaching jobs like JET (god forbid Aeon or Nova) are not enough to comfortably support a family on. I work 40 hours a week, and JET pays the best wages out of most AET placement agencies, but there are still very few months when I can add more than 200 dollars to my bank account.
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RE: Living Conditions/Supporting a Family

Postby keatonatron » Thu 03.09.2006 12:07 pm

A student visa is really for exchange students; people who only have to worry about supporting themselves and are usually aided by a somewhat wealthy family back home. You can only work 19 hours a week and if you're going to school full time anyway you'll be pretty busy.

Where would your daughter be during this? Would she be moving with you? You'd have to get her a visa as well, and a student visa wouldn't cut it if she wasn't attending the school too :D
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RE: Living Conditions/Supporting a Family

Postby Mukade » Mon 03.13.2006 9:47 pm

nikoniko1975 wrote:
Even if you give up the idea of a student visa and decide to pursue full-time employment, you may find it difficult to locate a program that will accept you with a child. I believe you'd need permanent residency before you could bring family with you on a long-term basis, unless some company or organization is willing to sponsor your special case.


This isn't true. I came over with a child and was given a working visa and full-time employment. My having a family was never an issue. In fact, quite the opposite: the organization that hired me was very interested in my family, and even went as far as helping us find a place that would be big enough to accomodate us.
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RE: Living Conditions/Supporting a Family

Postby Mukade » Thu 03.16.2006 3:54 am

nikoniko1975 wrote:
Maybe you have some advice that you could pass on here that might help others.


I don't know that I have any advice to give, since there was never an issue.

But when I think about why there might be two very different experiences, I can try to postulate a theory.

Japanese CVs have a set format, and the final section requires that you list the names, ages and relations of the members in your family. I sent a CV off to three different schools, and all three offered me a job, never once claiming my wife and child as an issue.

Now, I was dealing with standard, private elementary, junior and senior high schools, not eikaiwa. Eikaiwa are typically reticent to hand out sponsorship for visas, especially to people who don't fit a certain mold. The reason is that, according to Japanese law, anyone offering sponsorship for an individual are financially responsible for that individual (i.e., they must show that they have the finances to fully support that individual). This could be why your friend encountered such difficulty.

The private schools I was dealing with, on the other hand, were offering sponsorship for one person (eikaiwa, on the other hand, are sponsoring thousands of people nationwide), and so they were not as nervous to do so, even though I had a wife and child to support.

Ultimately, I don't think it was the family, per se, that caused difficulty, but the visa.
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