Working For A Chain: AEON In Japan
If you’re thinking about working for a chain, you have probably come across AEON, which operates in Japan. I don’t have any personal experience with (or connection to) AEON – what follows is a summary of what they offer and how they work based on information on their website and comments from the Japan message board at Dave’s ESL Café. Use this post as a guide, but know that you need to do your own research before making a decision.
AEON has over 800 teachers in 300+ branch schools, and also includes a separate division called Amity which focuses on teaching kids’ classes. The website does stress that there is a one-year commitment to the job, and participants should be prepared to adapt and not just give up or quit if things don’t go exactly as they’d hoped or expected, which is sound advice for any job in TEFL.
AEON requires a Bachelor’s degree and provides one week of training. They recommend applying two to six months before the desired start date, and hold interviews year-round in many English-speaking countries. Find a list of the next interview dates here .
Conditions include a 36 hour work week, generally in the afternoons and evenings, with a requirement that teachers work only for AEON, as well as a salary of 270, 000 Yen per month and the possibility of a bonus. A single furnished apartment is provided; the teacher pays the first 55,000 Yen of the rent and the school covers the rest. During placement, a teacher’s preference for location is taken into account but not guaranteed.
Comments on the Japan message board Japan message boards of Dave’s ESL Café don’t reveal anyone truly angry at AEON, which is a good thing. People’s experiences seem to vary, which is only normal; one person posting said that AEON’s competitor, NOVA, offered more flexibility with vacation days, and a few others referred to some kind of non-teaching company work that was required in addition to the teaching hours, so these may be good points to ask about if they are important to you.
Overall, many people seem to point out that there are pros and cons to any chain or even TEFL job, so it mainly comes down to personal preference and what you are comfortable with.
Come back to the TEFL Logue soon for profiles of other EFL chains such as NOVA and INTERAC in Japan, and International House, Berlitz and English First internationally.