Why did you decide to get TEFL certified through ITTT in Tokyo?
Cody: I am afflicted with the wonderful disease known as wanderlust. I am also unfortunately plagued with a well paying job in the oilfields of North Dakota.
I usually work an average of 80-120 hours a week and am completely miserable. Every couple months the company I work for allows me to take vacation and I always go to a new country.
While I'm there I really like to learn the local culture and customs. I almost always end up volunteering at a school and the thing they usually want to learn is English.
I have such a love of languages that I understand their desire to learn English 100%, and actually have a lot of fun imparting my knowledge onto them.
I have always wanted to go to Tokyo, and I figured that some training would probably help me when I travel and volunteer.
It was really an opportunity for me to kill two birds with one stone.
What made this teach abroad experience unique and special?
Cody: The teachers most definitely made this learning/teaching experience special for me. Larry and Dave were extremely knowledgeable, understanding and patient with each and every one of the students in the class. They created an enjoyable and fun atmosphere that made you forget that you were learning about things like grammar, and educational theory. They were helpful both in and out of the classroom offering advice on local language, cuisine, and customs. I really don't think that my time in Japan would have been as incredible without the guidance and support of these two amazing mentors.
How has this experience impacted your future? (Personally, professionally, academically, etc.)
Cody: I have fallen in love with Japan. It is my first visit to country where I did not speak the language, and it was by far my most positive experience to date. I made friends that I know will last a lifetime. I will be back in January to visit for a couple of weeks.
Professionally and academically this experience has made me look at my future. I am in a position right now where I can afford the ridiculous cost of education in the United States, and have the time (while working) to pursue it. To be granted a visa to teach in Japan I have been informed you are required to hold a bachelor's degree so that is the direction I will be taking. Like I said, I have fallen in love with Japan.
What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering teaching abroad in Japan?
I would urge you to begin looking for a job as soon as you arrive and start taking the class. Some of my fellow classmates arrived on 90 day tourist visas and waited to begin looking for a job until after the course had concluded. Unfortunately they are going to have to return to their home countries because they did not have enough time remaining on their visas by the time they found a company to work for to get a visa that would allow them to work in the country. Start looking for a job right away, and tell them when the course will be finished and you will be available to work.