Enrich Your Career. Discover the Spirit of Japan.
79% Rating
(16 Reviews)

Enrich Your Career. Discover the Spirit of Japan.

Interac teachers enrich the lives of hundreds of thousands of school children every year by delivering interactive and exciting English lessons. Commonly known as ALTs, which stands for assistant language teacher, Interac’s teachers, working in the Japanese school system, enrich children’s lives by sharing their knowledge of English and communication skills and giving insights into other cultures.

As an ALT at Interac, you will work in elementary, junior high, and high schools throughout Japan. These are our clients. Your job is two-fold: language instructor and cultural ambassador. These two aspects are inseparable, and you, as a successful Interac ALT, will become an expert in both.

You can expect to teach classes on your own, with a Japanese teacher present to help manage the classroom. Although there are three types of Japanese schools, you can reasonably expect to teach in at least two.

Locations
Asia » Japan » Kyoto
Length
6-12 Months
1 Year+
Salary / Benefits
Your experience in Japan will set you apart from your peers. When you teach in Japan, you will find that there is much more to be gained than a regular paycheck. In fact, your experience will shape your future by providing you valuable career experience, experience living in a different culture, and the lifestyle of freedom and growth you have been waiting for. As a regular Interac ALT, you will most likely qualify for a gross salary of between 230,000 and 250,000 yen per calendar month.
Accommodation
Apartment
Currency
USD
Other Locations
Hiroshima, Nagoya, Chiba, Fukuoka, Hamamatsu, Osaka, Hitachi, Kawasaki, Hokkaido, Nagasaki, Niigata, Saitama, Sapporo, Shizuoka,

Questions & Answers

Hello, Allison. I'm a current ALT in the semi-rural northern stretch of Okayama Prefecture. Tay's situation is more or less accurate:rent is deducted from the paycheck, some branches may deduct utilities as well but not all, and they tend to either come in semi-furnished and unfurnished versions. The unfurnished version will be cheaper if you stay put for a longer period of time but if you're only...
On the Interac application, the surest way to get your application passed over is to start making requests or demands in any way, shape, or form, so to get hired it's best to say yes to everything. Once you're hired and they call you to offer a specific location in Japan, you have the option to turn that one down if it really sounds rough, but then you MUST accept the next position/placement they...
Interac accepts applications from outside Japan all year round. However, in general, Interac annually recruits from outside Japan during two seasons: spring and fall. These seasons coincide with the Japanese school year, which begins in April, and the end of the extended summer vacation which ends in late-August. Spring is by far the larger of the two recruiting seasons. Applications for this recr...
Thank you very much!

Program Reviews

  • Benefits
    76%
  • Support
    79%
  • Fun
    78%
  • Facilities
    80%
  • Safety
    81%

Program Reviews (16)

Default avatar
Maria
Female
33 years old
Japan
Other

My Experience with Interac

9/10

I worked with Interac for a year and a half. I found them by doing a google search. The application process went very smoothly and from the beginning to end, the staff were very friendly, optimistic, and supportive.

After accepting the position, they were very good at keeping me up to date in a timely manner, regarding my placement and schedule before arriving in Japan. The first week of training was a bit overwhelming, but the staff and trainers worked very hard to prepare us for our schools and living in Japan. They were also very accommodating when setting us up at our new destinations. I was placed in a small city within Ibaraki.

When I arrived, they had an English speaking assistant help me move in and set up my bank account, cell phone, and everything else in between. It was incredibly helpful as non-Japanese speaking foreigner, who was moving into a new town far away from Tokyo. I really appreciated all of the help and support the company gave me.

I ended up working at an amazing Junior High School, and I helped prepare my students for the Ibaraki interactive forum competition. For me this was the most rewarding and life changing experience for me, and I have Interac to thank for that.

Interac will continue to support you through ongoing training, online resources, and with a great team of people who will answer any questions you have about living in Japan.

I am very grateful for my experience with this company, who has opened many doors for me. They showed me that I was capable of doing amazing things and enriching people's lives.

How can this program be improved?

I think having more staff in each branch may help, as they can reach out to more people, and therefore have more chances to talk and communicate with each ALT. I also feel that they should really communicate with the ALT's in terms of finding the right type of school assignment that best fits their profile. I was transferred to an elementary school position, but I felt junior high school was a better fit for me. I think more thought needs to go into the process of assigning ALT's to their schools, so that they are satisfied with their assignments and therefore stay with the company longer.

Default avatar
Jon
Male
Minneapolis, Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Professional and reliable employer

9/10

I worked for Interac for 2 years. The salary and benefits are more than adequate because the cost of living is very low. The managers and staff at the Interac head office are extremely professional and helpful. My concerns were always addressed promptly. Working in the public schools in Japan was amazing. The kids are extremely polite and courteous and respectful, far more than kids in America (at least from what I recall from my days as a student).

The best part is making the kids laugh and being able to play sports or play on the playground with them. It's also rewarding being able to help tweak their pronunciation mistakes.

If you're looking for adventure before you start 4 decades in a corporate office, this is a good place to go. Interac is a huge company which is almost doubling it's teaching staff because of the upcoming Olympics. Very stable company, honest bosses. No surprises.

How can this program be improved?

Create an Interac employee social media website so everyone can get to know eachother and organize events.

Default avatar
Misael
Male
37 years old
Niigata

Stable company with many location opportunities

9/10

This is one of the biggest ALT dispatch companies in all of Japan. They have many contracts all over the countries and are likely to accommodate a specific location.

I've worked for this company for a few years now and have never had any major issues. They help their teachers settle in and provide a great deal of support after the initial training (car, housing, local area information, etc.)

Employees always have access to English speaking emergency contacts in case the need should arise and are never left alone without anyone to call.

Default avatar
Graham
Male
31 years old
Saint Louis, Missouri
University of Missouri- Saint Louis

Best Job I Ever Had

10/10

I worked with Interac for 1 and a half years and I can honestly say that it was the best job that I ever had. The staff and managers are friendly and exceptionally helpful, always willing to go the extra mile to help you with any concerns that you have.
Living and working in another country is a challenging experience but Interac endeavors to make the transition easy and comfortable. Interac helped me find an apartment and rent a car. When I first arrived in Japan I did not know much Japanese but I was placed in a school where I could speak English with the staff.
Every day was an exciting adventure and working with the kids was fun in itself. They always added to my day and made me laugh.
In my travels during my time off I was able to explore the culture of Japan. I participated in festivals and visited big cities and ancient shrines. I made many friends who I am still in contact with today. It was the adventure of a lifetime!
I thoroughly enjoyed my work and highly recommend Interac to anyone interested in teaching as an ALT.

How can this program be improved?

My experience with Interac was nothing but positive. I can't think of any faults to point out.

Default avatar
William
Male
33 years old
Okayama Prefecture, Japan
San Francisco State University

There When You Need Them

8/10

The interview and pre-departure process is probably a little nerve wracking for first-time expats since most communication will happen when there are developments on the Japanese side. They do, however, give fairly good information if one reads the materials provided. The hard part is managing expectations. Interac was pretty straight with me on the timeline they were working from once they decided when I should arrive. I still knew several months in advance when I would need to go and could make plans regarding my apartment and then-current employer.

As an Alternate Placement without an assigned placement on arrival in Japan, I went through the same training as the rest of my cohort and was kept in reserve. During that time, the staff of the branch I was temporarily assigned to helped me get settled as far as bank accounts, moving in papers, apartment setup, and the like went. (No one went with me to get a mobile phone but some of the other staff did give me some advice on contracts and a key vocabulary words so I could ask the carrier staff.)

My assignment came in mid-to-late December with a ticket on the Shinkansen to meet my MC and get a ride up into the mountains with one of our Japanese staff members. We only had enough daylight to go to a few of my schools for introductions and to get the keys for my apartment and car. Mr. H. made sure we had enough furnishings in my partial furnished flat to make sure I'd be fine until the weekend. Few things feel quite so lonely as looking outside your window at a town where you don't really know anyone and can only see about 50 feet out due to the snow (disclaimer: the San Francisco area doesn't get snow). If you can make it past that first night, it gets much better and quickly. Ms. I and some of the local ALTs met up with me over that weekend, helped me get my bearings, and how to contact folk in the area.

I'm in my early thirties and most of my ALT colleagues are in their twenties, so that does occasionally keep us separated. We do, however, tend to pass the word for an informal rendezvous or two each month. Due to the scheduling, our book club usually also has a chance to meet before the ongoing training sessions for our region. That being said, if you have a hobby or (school-appropriate) interest, you can find it helps as an ice breaker with some of the Japanese teachers, students and parents. (I was particularly flattered when the parents marked me as an honorary part of the baseball team after the end of the season.)

I'm currently living and working in a town that's very different (half the population, eight times the space) from my home town. There are some things where it's still largely the same, however, like transit time to major cities (trains are slower than highway buses or driving only due to the routes to my semi-rural town). There's not much for nightlife venues here but the town associations are good about having events every few weeks and most people are reasonably friendly.

How can this program be improved?

While definitely better than what my upperclassman remarked about on the JET program, initial training doesn't feel adequate for initially going into the classroom as far as facing real kids (not adults pretending to be kids) is concerned. It does get easier very quickly in the field but a little more demo practice as time allows probably would have been helpful. That, or an early observation to see how we're settling in and to correct early bad habits, could probably provide early reassurance we're on the right track.

Since I work at the Kindergarten, Elementary, and Junior High School levels, a list of suggested titles from the current year's curriculum (as far as it can be standardized) would have helped in knowing what to pack before coming to Japan for those assigned to those levels. ("The Very Hungry Caterpillar" or "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" for Kindergarten examples.)

Default avatar
Stephanie
Female
28 years old
Japan
University of Edinburgh

Experiences dependent on branch, school and BOE

9/10

I have an interesting perspective on this company. Overall my experience has been highly positive. The professionalism and support of the company staff is better than many other companies offering the same thing in Japan. I have no negatives in my situation but many of my friends do. If you have a regular 9-5 contract you're golden. But many BOEs(boards of education) want ALTs to work extra hours for different reasons. The BOE believes interac will compensate you and interac often skirts responsibility for extra hours. That is where many of the complaints I hear about stem from. I myself have a pretty standard contract and only worked a few weeks extra hours for a local speech contest. My school is lovely and the interac company even comes to drive me to places if I need to commute far for a meeting since I don't have a bike. I would highly recommend although I do also realize that my circumstances are quite lucky and standard. Deviation from the norm causes issues.

How can this program be improved?

I suppose the initial training and ongoing training could be improved upon. Also a larger ALT network for the sharing of ideas would be useful. Other than that everything has gone smoothly and most of any day to day problems you encounter are likely from your schools not from the company itself who, once you get settled, you may deal with seldom.

Mike
Male
38 years old
Aberdeen, Scotland
Other

I would do it again

9/10

I would definitely recommend working for Interac. I worked for the Tokyo Kito Kanto branch, based in Ibaraki prefecture. I found the branch staff could not do enough to help me whenever I had a problem. Since I didn't speak Japanese before going, I needed lots of support upon arrival to organise bank accounts and so forth. A gentleman from the office was appointed to me for two days to help me to organise all this. I could never have done this without that support. Throughout my year and a half there, I felt supported to the point of "looked after" by the branch staff. The assistance I required from them varied from having random mail translated for me, to the best place to buy a suit, to having medical notes translated into Japanese.

The age of the ALTs with whom I worked were considerably younger than I was (I was 34 when I arrived, most were early 20s). I did find the younger employees to be quite cliquey, but this was insignificant to me as I preferred to make friends locally to appreciate the culture better and learn the language. Nevertheless, had I been more of an early 20s "goer outer", I would not have been stuck for people to play with.

In terms of the work, I worked in a small town's junior high school (ages 12-15). I worked with all classes, including those with additional support needs. I was given the opportunity to coach the running team as well as the responsibility for preparing select students for the EIKEN tests and the English Interactive Forum (like a slightly diluted debating competition.) The day to day work was a lot of fun, most of the time. This is very much the kind of work where you have to be seen to be keen and willing if you want the job to be more than reading from a book (no one will ask you to do more, but the job becomes much more fun when you do.)

With regards living in Japan (despite the linguistic challenges it presented in the beginning) it is a fantastic place to live. Eating out is cheap (compared to the UK), the skiing is fantastic, the people are considerate and respectful, everywhere in the country is easily accessible (if you avoid the Shinkansen, buses are fantastically comfy and cheap cheap.)

I miss Japan terribly: it really gets under your skin. Before I moved to Japan I was working back home as a pharmacist. I planned to go back to pharmacy after a year or two out there. The experience in Japan, owing in no small part to Interac, whetted my apetite for teaching and as such I am back home doing a postgraduate course to become a primary school teacher. When I made the decision, I was completely supported by my branch manager, who (once again) couldn't do enough to help.

How can this program be improved?

If I had any criticisms of the company it would be to have a system of bonus in place. I worked very hard and took my job pretty seriously and as such I was rated highly in the company's assessment of me. As good as these ratings make one feel and as great as they look on the CV, being an ALT is a career for some, and I think that those who perform should be rewarded financially. That said, what I earned was plenty to live on, and save enough for ski trips, a trip to India during the summer holidays and my fare home.

Response from Interac Japan

Thanks for your comment and review, we are glad that you had a great experience with Interac. You touch on a lot of the points that help make an ALT's time in schools and in Japan worthwhile, and we are glad that you've taken up teaching as a profession. Teachers who have experiences like yours help the company live up to its Corporate Philosophy, particularly our fifth point, which reads: "We work as an educational organization, to realize the growth of our employee’s whole personality, so they are able to make great contributions to the world far and wide."
Regarding your suggestion for improvement, we are very aware of this point, and while we may not be able to financially reward teachers proportionally to their performance, we are introducing at the present a company-wide recognition program for teachers who do go the extra mile in their schools and communities. I spoke to your MC, and he would have loved to have recommended you for an award under the system we are rolling out starting in early 2016. Thanks again for your comment and for your work with Interac!

Default avatar
Tay
Female
35 years old
Toronto, Ontario

Serendipity

10/10

Japan is a beautiful country with many secrets and the culture is huge on politeness and being on time. If you cannot adapt to being an alien in a foreign land with all it's laws and social codes then you're in for rude awakening. My experience with Interac is summed in one word, serendipity. I had no idea what to expect and found myself in love with life as a Sensei, and Japanese resident.

From my first phone interview, I was pretty much hand held for the entire process up to my departure. Of course, I asked to be hand held because I'm not afraid to ask for help when I'm not confident and I always show gratitude to everyone that is patient with me and kind.

Before I filled out any applications, I did my research and read about the company and the culture so I would not be completely culture shocked. I even went to Japanese Exchange classes where they taught me the magic words in Japan. In Canada, the magic word is "please" but in Japan, they have more and they really are magical!

While there, I learned to document everything especially in an email. If something was unclear, I would ask other ALTs then call my office or set up a time to stop by, bring little snacks and have a face to face discussion. With resolving problems, it can be tricky but it is necessary. You must push your best to go in with a good attitude and various solutions to any problems you have expecting nothing. Some things cannot be helped but that should not deter you from wanting be a great teacher and person.

Many of my problems were common and yes, it's expensive to live in Japan but that's where you have to be creative like finding an awesome roommate or buying your own furniture if you're renting a futon, etc.

There are always disgruntal and unhappy people who can find anything to complain about and it's not easy to stay away from them without isolating yourself which is unhealthy social behavior. However, there was a handful of ALTs and Interac staff that were really supportive and willing to help. No matter where you are in the world, you can attract more bees with honey than you can with vinegar because the world owes us nothing.

I went to Japan with goals of enriching the lives of my students with positive leadership. I had Cedric as my trainer who speaks over 50 languages fluently and was one of the inspiring teachers I had ever met. I had no idea how much personal and professional growth teaching in Sendai, Miyagi with Interac would be. From my main school life at Miyagi Daiichi Koko to my very early morning starts at the Children's Hospital and my Special Needs school, my students and senseis taught me to fall in love with life each and every day.

I really had no idea what to expect but decided to keep an open mind. To my surprise, the opportunity and care Interac gave me as Sensei in Japan is an experience that I highly recommend and so grateful to have discovered.

Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu! \(*^^*)/

How can this program be improved?

If I had to change anything about the Interac experience, it would to be have an ALT recognition night or even a weekend. ALTs must be nominated by their school(s) with reasons from their senseis and/or students. It would be an annual event to get ALTs together with the founder giving a speech, have guest speakers that inspire, popular entertainers and awards given for various reasons such as community involvement for ALTs, outstanding work award for ALT &Interac staff, etc. It would be a semi-formal affair event that gives little gifts to the attendees. The costs could be subsidized for accommadations and half of travel but attendees can pay for their ticket to go. It would be a great oppoortunity for everyone at Interac to celebrate all the hard work, commitment and each other's achievements.

Default avatar
Mike
Male
33 years old
Shizuoka
University of California- Riverside

There's always good and bad

8/10

I came over in April of 2012. The recruiting process was pretty simple. A couple of applications, a couple of interviews, a trip down to the embassy for the visa paperwork. Nothing too extreme and the company was actually very helpful throughout the visa process. I did get bounced around a bit as far as placement. The first one didn't work out or something so I got shifted before I came over. The transition was seamless in the sense that all that changed was a place and its name.

When I got here, the support was pretty good. I asked to move into my apartment before training so I could drop my luggage off and retool for training and they accomodated my request. The training was good, and I learned a lot from it. The support was pretty decent too, with an IC to help get settled in. The car was also a blessing, though mixed once you realize that it's costing you about ¥30000 a month and the company's allowance is maybe ¥15000.

I'm still in the same place. I like my schools and my city so I don't feel like moving. That said there are some issues with the program. Primarily, the system is designed as a revolving door, such that you tend to feel undervalued if you stay on. A lot of the support that you get fades after you renew. Want to move out of the Interac steered apartment? They won't co-sign unless it's another leopalace, which are expensive. Want to get your own car to save money? They won't do a thing to help you, and you have to file all the paperwork with them and get insurance to their spec.That seemingly small NHS and pension payment you had in your first year when you had no taxation base will grow, but your pay won't and even if you're on campus and working longer than 30 hours a week, your contract and pay are based on 29.5 so they don't have to pay the half that they would if you were 30+.

How can this program be improved?

As mentioned above, there's no real incentive from the company to stay beyond the first year. It's only if you like your area and schools enough that it's not worth the risk to change for more money/support. There's no real room for advancement or growth as far as work/career is concerned. You can become a head teacher, but the increase in responsibility isn't remunerated with an equal increase in pay.

Default avatar
Greg
Male
31 years old
Waterloo, Ontario Canada
Brigham Young University

Got to Work With Great People and Had Great Experiences

10/10

Japan's hospitality is somewhat legendary and it's largely embodied at Interac from the support staff all the way up to the CEO (story to follow on that one). I have lived in Japan previously and speak and read well enough that I made my way through university doing Japanese sales support and translation. That does little to change the fact that when my plane touched down I was on the other side of the world with a couple of suit cases and not much cash to my name. That's a fairly intimidating prospect.

Interac makes the transition easy though. We had someone there to meet our group and show us to the hotel we'd be staying at during orientation and in the morning we had someone to show us how to get to the office. The main office staff is a mix of native Japanese and foreigners all of whom are friendly and helpful. Even beyond the initial orientation phase some of the people in the home office kept in touch with me and a few of the others that came in with me and we would all occasionally get together to go eat or do karaoke.

The orientation itself was pretty useful. Obviously a portion of it was dedicated to administrative issues like how your health insurance works and such. That portion is not exactly a barrel of laughs but it was reasonably concise and conveyed useful and necessary information. The majority of orientation was devoted to teaching. That part is really useful if, like me at the time, you have little experience with teaching in a classroom setting. Basically it's a team of Interac's highest rated and most experienced teachers giving you a quick crash course on the cultural expectations of Japanese classroom as well as how to prepare good lesson plans and such. Again, they managed to condense a lot of useful information into a relatively short time period.

As for my actual assignment, I enjoyed it very much though I think the specifics of my assignment may be atypical. I was with Interac on a short internship contract so rather than being permanently placed at a few schools, I was placed with one of the branch offices near Chiba. While there, I had an elementary school that I taught at two days a week and spent the rest of my time working in the office doing various translation jobs. For example if any of the ALTs in the area needed to see a doctor but didn't have the language skills to handle that I would meet them at the hospital to serve as an interpreter.

Now to wrap things up, I promised a story about the CEO of the company. One day while I was working in the office we found out that the CEO was going to be in town for a surprise inspection and people were running around frantically tidying up and trying to make sure everything is in order. As you might expect, Japanese companies hold their employees to some pretty high standards (for example even the people taking your order at McDonald's are expected to practice their smile in the mirror so they can greet customers properly). As a result people were really freaking out over this inspection. Some of the Japanese employees told me horror stories about inspections at other companies where the supervisor would see some violation of company protocols and dock the branch manager a month's pay.

Needless to say I built up an image of the CEO as one scary dude in my mind. When he finally got there he and his assistant (who I assume was probably a VP or something) looked around for a bit and then had a meeting with the branch manager. I have no idea how the meeting went and I didn't ask as I didn't see that as my business. When they got out of the meeting though my manager said the CEO wanted to see me.

Oh hell, what did I do, right? Well as it turns out the CEO just wanted to take me to lunch to ask me about my experiences as an ALT and make sure I was being properly looked after and the like. He was actually a really nice guy. Anyway, the point of that story is this: Interac realizes their ALTs are critically important to the success of the company and need to be treated accordingly and that attitude starts right at the very top and proceeds all the way down to the rank and file.

How can this program be improved?

The one thing I did not much care for was the placement process. The may be an artifact of the fact that I went on a short internship rotation rather than at the beginning of the school year but I did not know in advance where I was going to be placed. Sapporo and Okinawa are very different climates so its hard to plan what to bring when both extremes are on the table.

Default avatar
Dan
Male
36 years old
Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, Japan
Biola University

You're in good hands with Interac

10/10

I applied online, very soon after submitting the full application I was first given a basic phone interview with a very friendly woman out of the Utah Interac office, next I was given much online information to study. Then, a second phone interview was to quiz me on how much of the online information I had studied and remembered, which I passed fine. I was granted an in-person interview in Los Angeles with one of Interac's truly wonderful recruiters, Mr. Stephen Madsen. I brought my A+ game to the table and did my very best, somehow when I left there I knew that I had gotten the position! About 6 weeks later I received an email with an employment offer! It brought me to tears and I knew my life was about to change in a very big way. This was in early Spring 2013. I came to Japan in August that year and as soon as arriving in Okayama, Interac representatives were there meeting everyone with open arms and big smiles. I remember waiting by the big fountain by Okayama station alone before anybody had arrived, sort of worried. When the Interac people showed up and other future employees came one by one, I knew that I was in good hands and everything was going to be alright.

We had our one week intro training which I found very interesting and fun! Afterward, I was sent off to Maniwa City to begin my journey. Everything wet great in my schools and my Branch Manager Ryan was always just a phone call or email away. I was in contact with the office for anything I needed, and they were always there for me to send help or instructions. Even though I was a big city California boy and world traveler, I felt totally comfortable and taken care of in the middle of nowheresville, rural Japan.

Living in the countryside was very lonely at times but I found a nearby bus that went straight to Osaka so I would go there once every 3-4 weeks and have a very wild weekend! I could write a best selling book about my experiences in Japan (and I've only been here two years), but long story short, there are many English teaching companies in Japan but the one I would recommend most is Interac. There are so many companies that wouldn't think twice about ripping off a new employee but I have always seen Interac treat myself and others with extreme fairness. They all have big hearts and I really could not imagine being treated better by a company, especially as a newcomer to the education field.

Being in Japan has given me a chance to really dig in deep and learn about a TOTALLY different culture. I have descended completely into the world of Japanese competitive arm wrestling and it is a total rush. I may not be in Japan forever but if you're afraid of being alone or getting stranded in a foreign country, just make sure you're working for Interac because they have always got your back. If you do your job well and give what you're expected, you will always have a good time here. They are very fair.

The bad stuff: Japanese girls are only cute on the outside. They are as crazy as women anywhere else in the world so if you're coming here searching for love, pick another country. Japanese people in general have one HUGE social flaw: communication. I'm not saying don't come, just don't be surprised when people here aren't always genuine in what they will say to your face or when potential mates promise you the world and then disappear forever with no apparent cause. I have made some TRULY great Japanese friends in the strength world here and I consider most of them exceptions to this rule.

Food variety is pretty bad, there are two kinds of food in Japan: Japanese food and Japanese food. Say goodbye to steaks, real cheeseburgers, hot dogs (as you know them), pizza, philly cheese steaks... if I go on I will begin to weep.

If you're placed in a non-driving position, well, I hope you love walking! I'm a 315 lb power lifter, we do not enjoy long walks on the beach, we love sitting on a beach chair and eating meat! You will walk a LOT. In Okayama I had a company rental car (that Interac paid for! Some companies make the EMPLOYEE pay for those cars that are required for some positions, TOTALLY unfair. Interac takes the burden for that which is another proof that they are a great company).

Save your money and come try out Japan for a year! If you don't like it, you can return home with a whole new outlook on line and a priceless new set of life experiences. If you do like/love it, stay! If you never come, well, let's just say regret is one of the worst feelings in the world.

The Interac staff is very hard working but one thing I truly appreciate is how understanding and down to Earth they are. Whatever problems I've had, they have always been understanding and helpful, they have a great sense of humor too which really helps someone a little on the wild side like myself!

Response from Interac Japan

Dan,

Thanks for your review.

It certainly seems like you have had an incredible time in Japan!

You've been dealing with some of the superstars here at Interac, both Stephen and Ryan, so it's not a surprise that you felt like you were well-taken-care-of. The rest of our staff nationwide all do their best to give teachers the best care possible.

We can't really comment on the dietary needs of a 315 lb powerlifter or your experiences with the ladies, however, by watching your video it seems that you were not having any trouble getting enough nutrition to win championships or be popular with girls.

Thanks again for your review and for your time with Interac.

Regards,

Interac Head Office

Default avatar
Will
Male
37 years old
Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan
Weber State University

Interac ALT's have it pretty good

8/10

Look at any job website for teaching in Japan and you'll see that many companies don't provide visa support. This is a huge thing all by itself.
Some other companies promise a position and rent you a dorm room to stay in until they find you a position and also during training. If Interac says they found a place for you, then you can be assured that they'll place you. And they set me up in a hotel room for training.
They help you with getting an apartment and all the utilities connected.
This is another handful of huge hassles they help you avoid.
I remember one time the gas bill didn't come one month and the next month the gas company sent me a notice. I had no idea what to do. Certainly didn't want my gas turned off in the middle of winter. Called up the office and they took care of it really quickly.

All companies have a down side. You won't get paid for school vacation months for instance. Other than that I liked most of the people they hired to help me get set up. A couple took me out to lunch and brought me treats. I became good friends with the other ALT's.
I think Interact doesn't get enough credit for how decent they are and how much behind the scenes work they do

How can this program be improved?

Would have liked more training on running an English club.

Response from Interac Japan

Thanks for your review, Will. We are glad that you appreciated all the support and behind-the-scenes work that goes into running Interac's ALT program. All of our staff are committed to giving all ALTs the best support that we can.

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John
Male
27 years old
Liverpool, UK

Pretty decent, no major complaints

8/10

Had a pretty good time working for Interac. I got placed in a few good schools with a bunch of fun kids and a few troublemakers. Overall I feel like it was a year well spent. Biggest challenges were getting used to life in the school and obviously the language. Salary is good enough for living alone and other than the first month being a bit tight I was alright.

Not much to say about the management; I wasn't much in contact with managers, other than the occasional training sessions and notice e-mails, but then again when I did have issues they were usually handled fine. I got a lot out of the year but that was probably because I felt like I fit in well with the society and culture over here. Moved on to different ventures now but as an introduction to Japan I'd recommend Interac. Good way to get your foot in the door of Japan.

How can this program be improved?

Some more information on ALT concerns would be good. I think there are lots of issues and worries people have that could be cleared up with a bit more information. I think that's the largest cause of discontent among ALTs. Can't do anything about the schools really so not much to say there. Bit more money might be nice! Haha

Response from Interac Japan

Thank you for your comment, John. We are happy to hear that you feel like your year at Interac was a year well spent. We are very aware of the issues and worries that our ALTs have, and we are always striving to provide the appropriate information at the appropriate time. However, we know that that cannot always be the case with over 3,000 employees and their respective and unique nationalities, locations, schools, and lifestyles, and we try to provide the information that each ALT needs to do their job and be comfortable in Japan.

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Dave
Male
37 years old
Japan
Other

It's ok

7/10

It started off a bit uncertain but then it picked up and got way better afterwards. I worked with 3 different branches and they were always available when I needed help.

The pay is average, if you make a budget and plan wisely, everything should go well. Just stay out of trouble and try to be friendly with the teachers at the schools. I have mostly positive experiences with this company and it is a very good way to experience Japan.

How can this program be improved?

Clear up some of the uncertain stuff from the beginning, so that applicants are at least somewhat clear about what they are going to do and what is expected of them.

Response from Interac Japan

Dave,

Thanks for your review.

We are happy to hear that the branches that you worked with were there to support you. We are always doing our best to help all of the teachers across Japan, and their local branch is the first point of contact.

Regarding your suggestion for improvement, we are certainly aware that there are many ambiguous areas to living in Japan, and our training does the best we can do to help prepare teachers for this. We are of course constantly working to improve this at levels of the company, keeping the front-line teachers in mind always.

From the photos and video you've posted, it certainly looks like you had a good group of friends and were able to enjoy the outdoors in Japan. These kinds of experiences contribute to having a positive experience as an ALT with Interac.

Regards,

Interac Head Office

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Dave
Male
42 years old
florida
Other

Nightmare Place

1/10

Japanese staff can be great, but western staff recently tend to be terrible.
Wages, moral and support are bad.
Got stiffed with my wages and flat when I left, and manager was less that useless.
The list of their adaquecies in never-ending. If you want to meet bad management, poor structure and moral, and find a company that makes an easy job hard- before meeting bad teachers, apply here.

Response from Interac Japan

Dear Dave, thank you for your comments left here on Go Overseas. We are sorry for the experiences you have described in your comments. It is our hope that your overall Japan experience has been much more positive.

Some of your comments are prima facie and some of the things you touch upon are the bi-products of the type of business that we do - thousands of teachers doing thousands of assignments across thousands of different locations for the benefit of millions of students - everyday.

Saying that some of the things you touched upon are bi-products of our type of business is by no means an excuse for any sloppy systems or behavior of our team members though.

Without knowing your situation in detail, it is our assumption that any money deducted from your final salary for your apartment was for the purpose of fulfilling your contractual obligations for that apartment. That could have been money requested by the landlord for repair or cleaning, or could be the fees payable to the landlord if you vacated the apartment without the required notice period.

In the last few years considerable effort has been expended by the company to centralize many of our operations and use technology in a more effective manner. The outcome of this work includes enhancing the teacher experience as a key pillar. Good progress has been made so far with these systems but of course the efforts remain ongoing.

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Dan
Male
32 years old
New York, NY
Other

Awful company

1/10

Really terrible organization, they care very little about the people they place or working to place them. They will cancel your application without notice or reason, and give you a smart reply when you complain. They threaten to ban you if you put up much of a struggle. AVOID.

Response from Interac Japan

Dear Dan, thank you for your comments left here on Go Overseas. Every year we receive and process thousands of applications from talented candidates from all over the world. This translates into hundreds of men and women getting the chance of a lifetime to live and work in Japan.

It seems from your comments you have been unsatisfied with us during the recruiting process. We apologize for this.

The choice to advance an application that comes through our system rests with us as our recruiting is generally very competitive. We do carefully apply a systematic approach to assess and process all applications which are sent to us through our website.

It is our normal operating procedure to advise all candidates of the outcome of their application in the shortest possible time frame. This is usually done by email. It is also our policy not to provide any feedback about a candidate's application in cases where the application was not successful.

We have no means available to us to ban anyone from making an application. Our recruiters do however have a historical familiarity of candidates who are considered somewhat vexatious.

If you have any questions about the status of a previous application please do not hesitate to visit our website at interacnetwork.com and send a message through the contact form.

About The Provider

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Interac teachers enrich the lives of hundreds of thousands of school children every year by delivering interactive and exciting English lessons. Commonly known as ALTs, which stands for assistant language teacher, Interac’s teachers, working in the Japanese school system, enrich children’s lives by sharing their

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