If you are looking for a serious cultural experience, you might want to give Japan a try. While it's true that you won't get to spend your free time on the beach, you will get to experience a culture so different than anything you've likely known, that the memories are sure to last a lifetime.
Japan has an intricate and complex culture, and the language schools are no exception. For example, if you teach in a tiny school, it's quite possible that you will become good friends with your students. In addition you'll have some input with your lesson plans and get to use a little creativity. On the other hand, if you accept a position in a larger chain school, you'll be on a tight schedule with little or no chance for deviation in the lesson plans.
In the eighties and early nineties, there were rumors abound about the fantastic salaries being offered to ESL teachers. People believed that all you had to do was "show up," and you would soon be earning thousands of dollars per month. While the opportunities were great - they were also largely exaggerated!
Today, there are plenty of good jobs in Japan, and in all likelihood, you will be able to leave with a good amount of savings, but remember, you'll work hard for it! You'll need a certificate in most schools at a minimum, and Japanese immigration requires that you have a degree (in anything.)
If cherry blossom trees, sushi, trains, cities full of lights and people sound great to you, then you may be perfectly cut out for Japan!
By Michelle Simmons