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Thread: The Unbiased Truth About Nova

  1. #26
    Manga Psychic PaulTB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooker
    Also, if you're not a drug user and they have no reason to suspect you of being one, why should you have to bother to take the test?
    Found the following on false positive rates.

    http://community.healthgate.com/GetC...gtest/drugtest

    "Approximately 30-50% of all positive results are false-positives, meaning that the test found the presence of illicit drugs even though none were taken."

    Frankly that's beyond normal suckage into the bloody stupid range.

  2. #27
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    I worked for Nova for a year, never heard of Union or drug testing. But OMG, some of the people should be screened for decency and sanity. You're right that the big city schools often have people who want to move up. And some are willing to "date" their way to the top. (I really wanna give names but that wouldn't be right wouldn it )

    They really are a business, and you are lucky if the people in charge are caring otherwise you get your job threaten if you call in sick. My school told me that my probation would be extended for another month, even though I was sick with the flu and the runs (which I got from a sick student).

    I want to go back to Japan, I would probably use Nova again, to get in and then get out as soon as possible it it got nasty again. The guy in charge of our group didn't even offer to renew my contract because I didn't get along with his chinese Aussie girlfriend who insulted every other teacher and spread lies and rumors and tried to make others feel bad. I stood up for the other teacher because they were good people from America and Australia and England and we all got along except for her. Oh well. I heard she dumped him for the head teacher.

    As far as drug test and false positive. I know of a poor young navy fellow who loved to eat the lemon poppy bagels from the morning vendor, and he tested positive for opiates or something. This poor guy was like the biggest "boy scout" and he was devastated. Lucky for him they figured it out, but now the vendor is not allowed to sell his lemon poppy bagels anymore, and they were the best!

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooker
    Blue 3 wrote....


    Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.



    The schools where I worked didn't offer the middle shift. Is that a new thing?

    As far as I know it's been around since 2001. That's when I started working for them. I also know it's company-wide because it was in the "Introduction to Nova" booklet that every new teacher gets upon employment.
    shoganai ne

  4. #29
    Anjin Brooker's Avatar
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    The first school I worked at was really small and that may be the reason why there were only two shifts. The second school was big, but I probably just wasn't paying any attention to any shift except mine.
    For information on the pros and cons of teaching at Nova English schools in Japan, check out

  5. #30
    Go to shopping PopCulturePooka's Avatar
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    I disagree with your section regarding the no interaction policy.


    Preventing teachers sexing students? Thats fine (although I would argue that its still imposing on the private lifes of teachers and I assmume adult students).

    Saying a teacher can't go to an english speaking dentist, or play basketball with a group of guys or talk too someone on the train or get help doing something really difficiult at the post office because the other person or people are NOVA students? Out right bollocks.

    Heh, not that it matters. The majority of teachers DO socialise with students to some degree. From basketball, gym buddies and dentists to dirty dirty bedroom gymnastics.

  6. #31
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstHousePooka
    I disagree with your section regarding the no interaction policy.


    Preventing teachers sexing students? Thats fine (although I would argue that its still imposing on the private lifes of teachers and I assmume adult students).

    Saying a teacher can't go to an english speaking dentist, or play basketball with a group of guys or talk too someone on the train or get help doing something really difficiult at the post office because the other person or people are NOVA students? Out right bollocks.
    I really don't think that the "no socialization" policy applies to this case. Nova hands out discount coupons for lessons for teachers' families every year. Does this mean that Nova wants to separate teachers from their families who are interested in studying English?

    I question most people's knowledge about the socialization policy before making judgements about it. Because it seems that nobody knows enough about it. It's true that teachers socialize with students. But i don't think they would get fired unless it leads to Nova having a bad image. As with any company from any country, image is a commodity. What would the implications of having a relationship with a student outside of NOVa be?

    If you worked for NOVA, weren't you told of the no socialization policy in orientation? Why wouldn't you quit if you didn't agree with it? At that point you would have had the Visa anyway. Couldn't you make friends outside of work?

    For the cases above, I'm sure that upon notifying the AAM about the case, I wouldn't think that the teacher would be in trouble. I wouldn't think that they would fire you just because you happen you didn't realize your friend's mom was a Nova student.

    And another thing, the policy doesn't just apply to Teachers. The staff are also discouraged to hook up with the teachers or students.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue 3
    I really don't think that the "no socialization" policy applies to this case. Nova hands out discount coupons for lessons for teachers' families every year. Does this mean that Nova wants to separate teachers from their families who are interested in studying English?

    I question most people's knowledge about the socialization policy before making judgements about it. Because it seems that nobody knows enough about it. It's true that teachers socialize with students. But i don't think they would get fired unless it leads to Nova having a bad image. As with any company from any country, image is a commodity. What would the implications of having a relationship with a student outside of NOVa be?

    If you worked for NOVA, weren't you told of the no socialization policy in orientation? Why wouldn't you quit if you didn't agree with it? At that point you would have had the Visa anyway. Couldn't you make friends outside of work?

    For the cases above, I'm sure that upon notifying the AAM about the case, I wouldn't think that the teacher would be in trouble. I wouldn't think that they would fire you just because you happen you didn't realize your friend's mom was a Nova student.

    And another thing, the policy doesn't just apply to Teachers. The staff are also discouraged to hook up with the teachers or students.
    Case in point. A student of ours is an ex-Judge. Very respected.

    He was getting conferred by the emperor and invited one of our teachers to the ceremony as she had helped him alot over the years. Like this is a BIG thing.
    The teaher was worried. Declining an invite such as this would be considered very rude, yet going would be a break of rules.
    She asked the branch AT what she should do. He told her she should tear up the invite and forget about it. She kinda hmmmmmm'ed at the idea and didn't bring it up again. Few days later the AAM calls her, saying she found out the teacher got an invite to this official thing. Then reminded the teacher of the rule and the penalties for breaking it.

    In the end the teacher decided it was much ruder to decline the invite then not.

    Now how was going to an event such as this threatening NOVA to the point where an AT got involved?


    Regarding making friends outside the classroom. Your young, you don't speak any Japanese (NOVA told you it wasn't needed), you're not a heavy party-goer etc. Where do you find friends who you can communicate with? Personal ads? Had bad experiences with them ones back home. The very few language exchanges I had seemed one sided. More english teaching than Nihongo, not really a friendship thing. Instead you have a place full of people you know can communicate well in english, some who want too be freinds.

    But you cant because of a rule that can't be fully justified.

    Sure you may not get fired the first time. But theres still diciplinary action too be had.

    I said somehwere here that I agree shagging students may be too far, but NOVA's rule is ZERO interaction. Why can't NOVA do what the other schools do? Have a socialisation rule that allows for friendship etc but requests teachers deal with students in a professional manner?

    Re: The fmaily vouchers. I saw them and I was confused. I asked the AT about it and he mumbled not knowing for sure but was pretty sure they were for staff only, not teachers.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by FirstHousePooka
    Case in point. A student of ours is an ex-Judge. Very respected.

    He was getting conferred by the emperor and invited one of our teachers to the ceremony as she had helped him alot over the years. Like this is a BIG thing.

    [edited]

    Now how was going to an event such as this threatening NOVA to the point where an AT got involved?
    So let's say that this teacher is allowed to go to this event. An invite, I'm assuming, was made within NOVA. And a teacher from the same school then get's invited by a student to coffee because the student has a crush on the teacher. And they fancy each other. How would this look? Should the first case be exempted just because "this is a Big Thing"?

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstHousePooka

    Regarding making friends outside the classroom. Your young, you don't speak any Japanese (NOVA told you it wasn't needed), you're not a heavy party-goer etc. Where do you find friends who you can communicate with? Personal ads? Had bad experiences with them ones back home. The very few language exchanges I had seemed one sided. More english teaching than Nihongo, not really a friendship thing. Instead you have a place full of people you know can communicate well in english, some who want too be freinds.
    Making friends is easy, finding good friends takes time. Let's not forget that other teachers make friends out of school all the time. Take one of the members here for example who just went out to a bar by herself and made a lot of friends at the end of it. I don't think that you would be fired or reprimanded if a friend you made outside of Nova ended up being a student. But you should cover your *** and tell your AAM.

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstHousePooka

    But you cant because of a rule that can't be fully justified.

    Sure you may not get fired the first time. But theres still diciplinary action too be had.

    I said somehwere here that I agree shagging students may be too far, but NOVA's rule is ZERO interaction. Why can't NOVA do what the other schools do? Have a socialisation rule that allows for friendship etc but requests teachers deal with students in a professional manner?
    I would really want some documentation on it because it seems to me that the rule is like the Bible being interpreted in so many ways. And different AAM's have different takes on it. And people are afraid to ask about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstHousePooka
    Re: The fmaily vouchers. I saw them and I was confused. I asked the AT about it and he mumbled not knowing for sure but was pretty sure they were for staff only, not teachers.
    I'll post a copy when I find one.

  9. #34
    Go to shopping PopCulturePooka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue 3
    So let's say that this teacher is allowed to go to this event. An invite, I'm assuming, was made within NOVA. And a teacher from the same school then get's invited by a student to coffee because the student has a crush on the teacher. And they fancy each other. How would this look? Should the first case be exempted just because "this is a Big Thing"?
    Who cares how it looks? They are consenting adults I assume and as long as its coffee and mainly harmless what right does NOVA have to tell teachers, and students, what they can and cant do in their spare time if its not breaking laws?

    However I think the two situations are different. One is a casual invite for coffee. One is a formal invite to a formal ceremony where a denial would look incredibly rude and I think impact for more negatively on NOVA then going would.


    Making friends is easy, finding good friends takes time. Let's not forget that other teachers make friends out of school all the time. Take one of the members here for example who just went out to a bar by herself and made a lot of friends at the end of it. I don't think that you would be fired or reprimanded if a friend you made outside of Nova ended up being a student. But you should cover your *** and tell your AAM.
    Like I said, if you're not a bar going type? Non-drinker?
    Granted I am, but then I'm also shy to the point where I don't go alone and find it very difficult to talk to people, especially when theres language barriers involved.
    If I go with my foreign friends, well they are... sukebe. Going out with them isn't too make friends, its to do dirty things to horny Japanese girls.

    Oh and If I do make a friend who HAPPENS to be a nova student elsewhere (or lapsed to a point) and tel my AAM all the will say is 'break of the friendship'. Knowing my AAM thats a given.

    Mind you I find the idea of banning interaction with any student regardless of what branch they go too even more ridiculous then the rest of NOVA's rule. How any bad can come of me going out with a student who goes to a school hours away from mine that I will step foot into is beyond me.



    I would really want some documentation on it because it seems to me that the rule is like the Bible being interpreted in so many ways. And different AAM's have different takes on it. And people are afraid to ask about it.
    Therein lies one of the problems. Its unfairly and unevenly applied. My friend must refuse official and important invites. Another teacher at another school gets told by her AT that she is being to social and friendly with students. That walking with them when she goes to get lunch is BAD and she must stop. Yet the same AT freely admits to drinking with a 19 year old student when he is approaching 50.



    I'll post a copy when I find one.
    cool

  10. #35
    Regular Member senseiman's Avatar
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    I agree with firsthousepooka. No matter what way you look at this rule, it is complete nonsense. Its also counterproductive both for teachers, students and NOVA. I've worked as a teacher in Japan for a little over four years, never with NOVA, and I've found that a lot of my best memories are of times spent with students outside of the class. It also gives the students extra opportunities to speak English, which increases their satisfaction and in turn increases the profitability of the school. In a sensibly run school (relatively speaking) everyone wins.

    But NOVA is run by assholes. The only reason NOVA has this stupid rule is because they have the biggest rip-off way of selling classes to students. Most other schools have structured courses and schedules and students sign up to take a specific course with a specific curriculum lasting a specific amount of time. But at NOVA they just sell tickets that can be used for any type of lesson the student wants at any time they want within a limited period of time. There is no curriculum to speak of, no real course of study for students to follow and most of the lessons just descend into free conversations completely devoid of any purpose. If they allowed teachers to interact with students in their free time, what would be the motivation for students to pay money to NOVA for 'free time conversation lessons' when they can get the same thing for free by making friends with the teachers? Most other schools attempt to offer something of educational value, but at NOVA they don't even seem to make any pretense that what they offer is of value. The reason they ban social interaction is so that they can monopolize it and turn it into a commodity they can sell to their students. All that bullshiit about not understanding each others cultures or wanting to avoid trouble is just laughable.

    NOVA is a crap company, completely rotten to the core.

  11. #36
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    I must admit, as a teacher, I never liked the no socialization policy. I wanted to be able to make friends with the students and I think I would have gotten more out of my time in Japan if I had.

    senseiman wrote....
    a lot of my best memories are of times spent with students outside of the class.
    On the other hand, I can understand why Nova would want to have that rule. It's true, Nova doesn't really care if you make friends while you're in Japan and for them there's less potential for problems if you don't socialize with students than there is if you do. And a huge company like Nova isn't going to want to bother to deal with these things case to case, it's so much easier for them to just make a blanket policy that you can't socialize with students under any circumstance.

    I'm not someone who would abuse being able to socialize with students, but I knew some gaijin who were in Japan to have sex with Japanese girls and a no socialization policy might slow them down a bit. Teachers aggressively hitting on students in class is just creepy. I know it doesn't always happen when teachers are allowed to socialize with students, but it does happen.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooker
    I'm not someone who would abuse being able to socialize with students, but I knew some gaijin who were in Japan to have sex with Japanese girls and a no socialization policy might slow them down a bit. Teachers aggressively hitting on students in class is just creepy. I know it doesn't always happen when teachers are allowed to socialize with students, but it does happen.
    Truse me, it happens anyway.

    All you need is a man to man with a student or to 'accidently' take the elevator with them and you have your window.

  13. #38
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    I found the unbiased truth article a little naive. You only need to read the Nova Union websight or to have been a victim of Nova management to know that it is not always a genki experience working for this language school. During the induction process you are warned that if anything goes wrong with a student and they accuse you of wrongdoing, that Nova will always side with the student. Fine, so they warn you. But when a psycho decides to accuse a teacher of something and you are transferred schools and not offered another contract, it really irritates you. It seems that students do not need to provide evidence supporting their claims, but can make accusations about teachers and get them sacked at will. A company with a backbone would at least give a teacher working in a foreign country the opportunity to appeal or view the evidence, but all they are concerned with is keeping things out of newspapers. I'm sorry, but could someone please write an article titled, 'The awful truth about Nova.'

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by davis2000
    I'm sorry, but could someone please write an article titled, 'The awful truth about Nova.'
    There are plenty of those out there, believe me. Most of the stuff you'll find about Nova on the internet is written by disgruntled former Nova teachers who are trying to get revenge for some unfortunate situation that happened to them. I wanted to write something that was neither FOR or AGAINST Nova. And, for me, my Nova experience was mostly positive, but I think that's in large part because I had the right attitude about the whole situation.

    But when a psycho decides to accuse a teacher of something and you are transferred schools and not offered another contract, it really irritates you.
    This happened to a coworker of mine (kind of). A student was stalking him and being really weird. He did all the right things, like informing the boss. When the head office heard about it, the order came down from one of the highest ranking people in the company to simply transfer him to another school to avoid any problems. He was not happy about it, but there was nothing he could do. I wasn't thinking about that when I wrote the article. However, I don't think you'd have to worry about not getting another contract. You'd have to repeatedly do something really wrong for that to happen.

    I guess the main point of my article was, "Nova isn't that great, but who cares?" For most people who work at Nova, it's not a career move, it's just a way to travel and live in Japan. And, for that, Nova did for me exactly what I wanted it to do. If teaching was my thing and I wanted to work for a quality company, I would have made more of an effort to get a job elsewhere.
    Last edited by Brooker; Nov 29, 2004 at 08:20.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooker
    However, I don't think you'd have to worry about not getting another contract. You'd have to repeatedly do something really wrong for that to happen.
    Wrong now man.

    In recent months many peoples contracts haven't been renewed. Many times with no reasons given.

    It seems uniform in that long term teachers who have been here 3 or so years have been getting ditched.

    Theres reports that some reasons given ar etrumped up severly and even when pushed by the Union NOVA refuses to provide proof or back up to their claims.

    In fact theres already a number of lawsuits coming up against nova for unfair dismissal and discrimination. Not too mention two breach of copyrights.

  16. #41
    Anjin Brooker's Avatar
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    I went to Japan in September and visited with some of my friends who are still working for Nova and they said Nova hasn't been getting enough new applicants and they're getting desperate. If that's the case, I doubt they'd start getting rid of more people.

    The only people I saw get fired or not have their contracts renewed while I was in Japan were the people who were constantly clashing with the company. If you fly below the radar and don't make a big issue over every little rule, they really aren't going to have any reason to get rid of you. The people who were clashing with the company all the time were unhappy enough that they just should have quit anyways.

  17. #42
    Go to shopping PopCulturePooka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooker
    I went to Japan in September and visited with some of my friends who are still working for Nova and they said Nova hasn't been getting enough new applicants and they're getting desperate. If that's the case, I doubt they'd start getting rid of more people.

    The only people I saw get fired or not have their contracts renewed while I was in Japan were the people who were constantly clashing with the company. If you fly below the radar and don't make a big issue over every little rule, they really aren't going to have any reason to get rid of you. The people who were clashing with the company all the time were unhappy enough that they just should have quit anyways.
    Dunno where your friends are man, all the stories I've heard are 100% the opposite.

    That NOVA is no longer the open doorway to Japan. That more and more applicants are failing. And again I reiterate, taht contracts are being cancelled with 'ne reason given'. That one happeed to a guy I know A popular and well liked teacher. Had a lot of good reports from students. He had one issue once with a stalker student, that was resolved. 8 months later his contract was not renewed. The official line was literally 'No reason given'. It was a big shock in the area and his AT raged against it and almost got canned for it. Rumour is he was canned because he knocked back an AT promotion.

    This story has been popping up a lot. Popular well liked teachers with GOOD records, so called AT material, are being dumped recently. Some of the court cases coming up are because the fired parties believe that so called 'student complaints' that are the reasons for dismissal are being trumped up and basically fabricated, as their is no proof or paper trail of any complaints against some teachers.

    It should be pointed out that most teachers who are finding themselves at the end of this treatment are long termers who have been here 3 years or more. Therefore some believe that NOVA is loosing money (maybe because of the copyright suits against them and the legions of students who quit when the horrible new lesson methods and textbook came in) and that long term teachers are too expensive. Heck the best teacher at our school has been here 3 years and makes 30,000 yen a month more than me. Is that worth it to NOVA when all the lessons can now be now by a cheap newbie of the plane in the exact same manner as you must follow a strict plan?

  18. #43
    Regular Member senseiman's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know for a fact that these Eikaiwas can simply not renew your contract for any reason they like without regard to your performance as a teacher. I worked for AEON for a couple of years and got engaged to another teacher who also worked for AEON. The very next day after we announced our engagement, the manager took me aside and basically said "Congratulations on the engagement, I'm not going to renew your contract." End of story.

    As it turned out, leaving AEON was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me, so I'm not at all upset about it now, though at the time I was majorly pissed off. Those companies are not to be trusted as employers. The people I really feel sorry for are the saps who have been working for them for 10 or 15 years and are basically too old to change careers but are still stuck doing work designed for 23 year olds with no qualifications whatsoever. If one of them gets the sack for no reason (as does happen) that can probably ruin their lives.

  19. #44
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    I'm not saying it's good or bad, but the reason they have you sign a new year long contract every year is obviously so they can not renew it if they decide they no longer want you. They're under no legal obligation to renew a contract. That should be obvious to anyone the first time they sign their first year long contract. I'm not saying it's right or wrong. But if you're having a problem with people not getting their contracts renewed, what you really should be complaining about is the fact that teachers are only given year long contracts to begin with, not that they're not being renewed. If my job now only gave me a year long contract, I'd tell `em where to stick it. But when I was working for Nova I didn't really intend on staying for more than three years anyways (as it turns out I stayed about half that long for unrelated reasons). I guess a lot of my perspective on my Nova experience stems from my intentions and expectations about the whole thing.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooker
    , but the reason they have you sign a new year long contract every year is obviously so they can not renew it if they decide they no longer want you. They're under no legal obligation to renew a contract.
    Actually you are wrong. After a number of contract renewals courts have ruled that yearly contract workers cannot just be non-renewed. For companies to "fire" the teachers they must have strong cause that fall under "socially acceptable reasons" as proscribed in Japanese Labor Law.

    Of course companies do still just non-renew but people individually and unions have won reinstatement or hefty financial payouts.

    www.generalunion.org

  21. #46
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    Hello,
    I am an Italian man and I am thinking about going to Japan next year in order to attend some Zen training.
    Since I am planning to stay in Japan for one or two years, I would like to find a job in Japan, like teaching English ( I am fluent in English ) or any other job that could leave enough time to do my Zen exercises when I do not work.
    I would like to ask you few questions about NOVA:
    1) Touristic visa in Japan is for a 3-month stay, nothing more. In the NOVA page they claim to offer their teachers a visa for Japan. Is that a working visa for Japan ? Does that mean that you can stay in Japan for more than three months without having to go out ( to Korea, for example ) and then back in Japan ?
    2) Is it difficult to be recruited ? Do you need to speak Japanese ? What kind of qualifications do they need ?

  22. #47
    Anjin Brooker's Avatar
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    Once you're hired by Nova they will sponsor you for a Visa that's good for three years. If you continue with the company they will renew your Visa for as long as you're with the company. So, once you get hired, you can stay for pretty much as long as you want.

    Contact Nova for an application. The only qualifications are that you're a native speaker and have a college degree in any subject. They may take issue with you not being a native speaker of English, so you may have to prove to them in some way that your English is fluent. There may also be opportunities to teach Italian in large cities. Speaking Japanese is not required as it's forbidden to speak Japanese in class. They want total immersion in English.

  23. #48
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    too add to brooker, "native" to them means you have letters that say you have 12 years of pre-college education taught in english, as well as a bachelors (or equivalent) taught in english. without the 12 years, no-can-do. but i think nova even has an italian section? maybe not. but i'd check it out. also there's places like berlitz.
    there's a certain pair of tea-tongs that need to calm down now...

  24. #49
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    Well, I worked in an English-speaking environment for about two years, did some University courses in the U. S. and preformed pretty well with the GMAT and TOEFL tests ( tests about your knowledge of English ).
    Maybe this will help.
    Let' s hope, otherwise, I will try to see if any school looks after Italian-speaking teachers

    Many thanks for the help.

    Is it better to send an application when you arrive in Japan or earlier ?

  25. #50
    Anjin Brooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matteo72
    Is it better to send an application when you arrive in Japan or earlier ?
    You MUST apply to Nova before you arrive in Japan. I don't think Nova will hire people who are already in Japan. Not sure why. You may have to travel (to England maybe) to do the interview. In my case, the closest Nova office was San Francisco, but my interview was in Seattle (where I live) because they sent an interviewer as many people in Seattle were applying. But they probably won't come to Italy. Good luck.

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