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Working in Japan :)

After almost a whole year of being in Japan, I was finally able to acquire my Japanese Visa, and start working! Yesssss, what an accomplishment hahaha! It was an extensive, time consuming process, and I feel so lucky due to certain circumstances that allowed me to get a working visa in Japan in an easier way than many others. While most of the time, I think of the events of the last year in a negative viewpoint, and while seeing that countries borders closed, and quarantine everywhere has been such a difficult thing to deal with, it’s been the only reason I’ve been allowed to stay in Japan this long, long enough to start working and building a life in a new country. However difficult it is, I guess it’s good to look for the positive side to any situation.

I know that working abroad is a dream for so many people, and as it should be! Imagine yourself in the last place you went on vacation... and now imagine yourself living there. Never having to leave, and getting to explore your favorite place everyday! Sounds amazing, right? You can learn so much more about different cultures by fully immersing yourself in the lifestyle, and working along with others who live there, in the same situation as you! It can be difficult to figure out and get started, but it’s also so rewarding. So, as they say, "follow your dreams!" Choose your dream country, and let's get started.

1: Figure out a Visa

Whether you’re wanting to live in Japan, France, Australia, Italy, or anywhere, the first thing you’ll have to do is figure out how to achieve a visa for living in that country. The visa is something that goes in your passport, or is a card that allows you to live and work in a foreign country. This is probably the most stressful and difficult part, but once you do some research and figure out your situation, it makes it seem a little bit more achievable. A lot of countries will require you to have a college degree before you can go and work and get a visa, but there are always exceptions with different visas and different jobs. Do as much research as you can. Literally just research on google “how to live in France” or “how to get a visa to work in Japan without a college degree” etc. There’s always people with answers and experience. The internet is your best friend and best teacher. Hahaha.

There are also some countries that offer Working Holiday Visas. The Working Holiday Visa is the perfect opportunity for younger people to work and travel abroad. These visas allow young students to travel to a country for a certain amount of time, to work and experience the country. Working Holiday Visas are often used on gap years from school for college students, but can also be used in other situations. However, the amount of countries that offer these visas are very limited, and each have different requirements and qualifications to obtain a working holiday visa.

If you’re a US citizen you can currently get a working holiday to visit Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Korea, or Ireland. I’ve attached this link for a little bit more information on the working holiday visa!

Honestly, I had a really difficult time figuring out how to get a visa to live and work in Japan, and really didn't think I would be able to stay. As Japan currently requires anyone to have a Bachelors Degree or working experience to obtain a visa, I was pretty low on options. Luckily, due to my personal situations, I was able to get a visa that included the ability to work! It can be difficult and stressful to figure out, but I really believe that if it’s something you really want, you’ll be able to figure out how to do it! Think outside the box, ask for others advice, and do what you think is the best!

In a lot of situations, it’s best to look for a job first, which can help sponsor you for a working visa. In this case, join some Facebook groups, or look for country-specific websites that contain jobs for foreigners in that country. A really common and great job for working abroad is as an English teacher! This is something anyone can do, and it's so much fun!

2- Book a flight and go!

Once you’ve secured your working visa, and have a job waiting for you in your new country, you’re ready to go! This is such an exciting adventure, and you’ll grow and learn so much.

When you get to your new home, you have a lot to prepare. It’s similar to being a 15 year old, getting your very first job again. You’ll have to start from scratch, setting up your bank account, getting all the paperwork filled out, registering at government buildings, etc. It’s a lot to take in, but luckily, there should be people at your new workplace who are there to help you! Especially if you’re in a country where you can’t speak the language, it really helps to have someone to help you. Or you can have trusty google translate there to help you get by.

3- Get to work!

Aaand then, you’ll finally get to start working. You’ll probably have to figure out new modes of transportation, and will most likely start learning how to work at your new job. This can be so overwhelming, with so much new information, and being in a new place. The first few weeks will be quite busy, and you might have no idea what you’re doing, but you’ll get into the swing of things, and feel better in no time.

I just finished my first month of working in Japan, and I can say it’s been quite the experience! But, for being here almost a whole year, I’ve definitely learned the most in this past month. I’ve been able to meet so many new people, and experience and learn so much more of a new culture. I highly recommend this experience to anyone and everyone. It’s something so challenging, but rewarding for so many reasons. And, it’s always so fun to try something new!


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