Testimonials

 

Testimonials

Why teach in Japan with NOVA? Let our instructors tell you!

Hokkaido

“It’s always difficult at first, starting a new job but it’s rewarding seeing students improving week-by-week and month-by-month, and that’s why we do it. After 5 years I can also see that we improve as well, becoming more flexible, using new approaches to teaching, for example thinking “What can I do differently to help people understand the language?”

Living in Japan has some parallels to teaching. While your first year can be a bit challenging, it’s a great opportunity to learn about a new culture, and to see and experience new places. I’ve been all over Hokkaido, to Okinawa, Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo. Although Japan is quite a large country, most places are only a short flight away. The northern parts of Japan are quite different from those in the south, from winter in Hokkaido to summer in Tokyo. The food varies a lot too from one area to another. It’s also the safest place I’ve ever been.”

- Tom, Sapporo
“Working at NOVA is great! I’ve met lots of people with interesting jobs and who’ve been all over the world. Helping them to develop their ability to express themselves is really rewarding and makes the discussions we have more interesting as they become more able to communicate what they have to say. It’s the most rewarding job that I’ve done because the language that they’re learning is practical, and also, the more you teach them, the more you know about your student’s hobbies, interests and English language goals, helping to tailor things to the student’s needs and interests, making lessons engaging, interactive, but most importantly, fun!

Life in Chitose is enjoyable, nice and convenient for everyday things like food and going out. So many places are just a bus, taxi or train ride away. There are lots of different things to do, from shopping in Tanuki Koji in Sapporo to nightclubbing in Susukino to hiking in the many natural areas Hokkaido offers. This is the best time I’ve had living independently. It’s naturally comfortable and livable, unlike when I was a university student and everything was so expensive, and despite the language barrier it’s not a problem getting around.”

- James, Chitose

Chugoku

“Working for NOVA is the most rewarding job I have ever had. I feel so much respect from my students and the staff. Being a native English speaker, I provide a unique and service in this country and am well regarded for it. Students are eager to learn and it challenges me to constantly improve my approach to teaching. I feel that I’m a valuable resource and not an easily replaceable cog in a machine. Every day is different and provides new opportunities and challenges.”

- Matthew, Okayama

Osaka

“Hello, I’m Martin. I’m based in Osaka and have been with Nova for about 2 months now.

Settling in to life in Japan has been remarkably easy. From meeting my manager on my first day in Osaka to ongoing help and assistance, Nova have made the move as smooth as possible. The training was fun and friendly and eased you into the Nova method whilst also preparing you for any unexpected teething problems. The longer serving teachers have all taken me under wing, providing useful tips in teaching different courses and lessons as well as where the best bars and restaurants are.

Regular evaluations, additional training and frequent friendly chats in branch have all helped me feel welcome and valued by the management and branch staff which has built my confidence and helped with adjusting to a new lifestyle. Working for Nova gives a great work/life balance too, meaning I have plenty of time to explore Japan. The teachers also organize a fair few social activities allowing you to get to know more people quickly and I’ve already enjoyed many evenings hanging out over several nama bīru and takoyaki.

The most important thing though is to get out into your local community and start to get to know your neighbours. My experience so far has shown me that the average Japanese person is much friendlier than is often reported and making a little effort to break the ice, find some common ground and, in the case of Osaka, speaking a little Osaka-ben can quickly gain you friends who open up a completely different side to life in Japan.”

- Martin Philips, Osaka

“Hello, my name is Papiso from Johannesburg, South Africa and I have been teaching at NOVA for 7 months. I am based in cosmopolitan Osaka.

With having no teaching experience or training prior to my relocation to Osaka, I was very nervous about starting my teaching journey and lacking extreme confidence in myself. There were so many high expectations that I had set for both myself and for the company that the thought of failing as an English Instructor was absolutely daunting. Rest assured that the trainers are well aware of this possible emotional roller-coaster ride that you might be experiencing and they will help you develop the necessary skills and teaching techniques in order for you to reach your full potential.

The training provided at Nova has been superb, comprehensive and highly enjoyable with a team of dedicated trainers who are passionate about equipping you with the confidence you will need in order to succeed. By the time you teach your first lesson, you would have had sufficient training and proper preparation that soon your mind will be at ease.

It can be exceptionally overwhelming when you start a new job and in a new country at that! So that’s why there is ongoing support and training provided to all instructors in order to enhance our teaching experience to provide excellent customer service. This in turn will aid in encouraging students to frequent your lessons and help them reach their respective personal goals when learning the communicative English language. The Nova managers have been very supportive and kind and always helping me to strive to be a better instructor by monitoring my progress as well as proving me with endless encouragement and praise to heighten my confidence.

Though at times quite challenging, it has been such an amazing experience living in Japan! Being so far away from home, I have learnt to embrace the culture and continue to learn new things every day. Try and immerse yourself in the culture as much as possible as it truly is wonderful. From the delicious food, to sightseeing around the country and visiting popular destinations like Osaka Castle, Himeji Castle and Nara Park. You will always be mesmerised by the beauty of this country.

The people I have met have been warm and generous are genuinely interested in making me feel welcomed. I was blown away at how efficient the transportation system is, as train schedules are almost always on time. This echoes the Japanese work ethic of always being reliable and hardworking. Nova offers Japanese lessons to instructors which make it easier for you to navigate through the challenging yet rewarding part of communicating with locals when exploring the country. I truly could not imagine being more happier with myself by taking this wonderful opportunity. If you are open-minded, curious and have a passion for travelling and experiencing new adventures, Japan is definitely the right destination for you and Nova is the perfect company to be part of!”

- Papiso, Osaka

“Living and working in Sakai City in Southern Osaka Prefecture has been a dream. I've loved every minute of it: exploring, eating, teaching and learning.

Having worked for a Japanese company previously, I was aware that I might have to deal with some irritating procedures and protocol, but NOVA was a very pleasant surprise. The daily duties are very easy and enjoyable; when I leave work for the day, I don't have to answer emails or calls from work--I am truly done for the day; and due to the conversational nature of the work, as long as you're a social person, it is utterly stress-free.

Sakai is outside of the big city, which I think allows for some great opportunities. At the expense of not having immediate access to whatever retail stores you like (Osaka City is just 25 minutes away), you gain a minor level of seclusion that fosters an appreciation for local life and, if you're interested, your Japanese ability.

Osakans are famous nationwide for their unparalleled friendliness, great banter, and unprecedented sense of humor. I guarantee you, if you have the wherewithal to get off your sofa and get to the music pubs in your neighborhood after work, or check out the local festivals, you will make tons of local friends and your Japanese will quickly skyrocket. This general geniality has had a great effect on my work life too. It's so much more enjoyable to teach someone who actually enjoys talking (chattiness is another Osakan quality).

Sakai is the perfect middle ground between big city and rural life, if you ask me. You can shoot up to Umeda for a day for fine dining, or down to a beach in Wakayama. Take a short train ride for shopping in Tennoji or take a hike up Kongo-san, the tallest mountain in the Kansai region. Everywhere you look there's potent and pure examples of culture, history and custom. I wouldn't live anywhere else.”

- Rab Davis, South Osaka

Hyogo

“I’m a 22-year-old from New Zealand currently living and working in Japan. Moving to Japan was a huge, scary step to take but it was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I chose Kansai as my area to work as I had heard that the food was great and the people were friendly. I have always wanted to come to Japan, it’s so rich with history and culture. I wanted something new and exciting. It was the perfect opportunity for me as a new graduate.

I live just outside of Osaka city, in a location convenient to Hyogo and Kyoto which makes days off fun and adventure-filled. Working for Nova has been a great experience, I love meeting new students everyday and all of my coworkers are great! I’ve made so many new friends from all over the world. I would recommend Nova to anyone looking to push their boundaries and try something new. I look forward to working with you.”

- Meredith, Hyogo
“My name is Thomas James and I am from Sydney, Australia. I have been a NOVA Instructor for the past 15 years and for much of this time, I have been based in schools in the Hyogo Prefecture but I have helped in other parts of the Kansai area as well.

I have lived in Nishinomiya City for all of my time in Japan. Nishinomiya is located halfway between Osaka and Kobe. It is a medium-sized city that is one of a few places in Japan that continues to grow. The reason for this is the convenience. Osaka and Kobe are both 10-15 minutes away and there are 3 trainlines to choose from. Nishinomiya also has the third biggest shopping center in Japan as well as many good schools for kids.

Living in Nishinomiya has meant that I could travel to most schools in Hyogo in 30-60 minutes. This has been good for my family as I am home to see them more often. As I mentioned, Nishinomiya is convenient and so living here has been comfortable and enjoyable. In addition, Nishinomiya has a famous private university as well as Koshien Stadium – the spiritual home of Japanese baseball. This means that Nishinomiya is a lively and interesting city to live in.

The number of schools that NOVA has, means that there will always be schools near you. NOVA has schools in busy city areas, in comfortable suburban areas, and in relaxing country areas. Each school therefore, has a different atmosphere to enjoy. If you want to see more of Japan, NOVA can help you there as well. My 15 years in Japan and with NOVA have been rewarding and interesting. I can genuinely recommend this experience to anyone who wants to stay a short time or a long time like me.”

- Thomas, Hyogo

Saitama

“Working at Nova is a great way to not only finance your japan experience but also get the inside information about where to go and what to see during your stay.

It’s also a great way to meet, work and make friends with people from all over the world in a truly mesmerizing country. Nova offers not only competitive remuneration, comprehensive training and a fixed schedule, but also provides a solid springboard for all your adventures into Japanese food, language, culture, and sightseeing, not to mention life-long friendships. I’m Australian, never thought I’d have friends in New York!

Saitama is an easy place to live and work in. I like the outdoors, in my time off, with all the rivers, cycling courses and mountain hiking courses there are always things to do, see and explore. It’s also just across the border from Tokyo, so it allows easy access to all the Tokyo sights with all the benefits of lower living costs and easier, less crowded commutes.”

- Chris, Ageo Instructor
“I’ve been living and working with Nova in Saitama for 15 years. I’ve always been happy to stay in Saitama and can recommend it confidently to anyone considering experiencing Japan. Being right next to Tokyo, you can head into the big city anytime you like, even before or after work. And while the rent costs in Tokyo can be outrageous, I’ve enjoyed some very reasonable and some downright cheap places to live in Saitama. As far as enjoying the rest of the country, that’s easy as well since you can just catch a bullet train from Omiya Station in Saitama or catch a flight from the very accessible Haneda or Narita Airports.

Nova will provide you with plenty of time to enjoy Japan. Not only will you get the chance to meet and communicate with lots of interesting students of all ages while you’re teaching, but you’ll also be able to take time off without any hassle to enjoy traveling around the country. The simple fact that I’ve stayed with the company and stayed in Saitama for 15 years should be testimonial enough, so, perhaps I could’ve stopped writing after the first sentence. But, I hope the other points were convincing for you as well. Enjoy Saitama!”

- Jonathan, Tokorozawa
“The gray clouds stream over the reddening valleys repine fueled by the gales of typhoon number nine. So, you find yourself working in a position in one of the most livable countries in the world for a progressive company that pioneered the idea of studying abroad in close proximity to a station. Life is good. What's better, you are working in Saitama.

Hi! I am Matt Anderson and I've been with Nova for 18 years. My family and I have been in Saitama for the duration. Life has been most kind. We know that the company and students put a lot of trust in us instructors. I trust that you have already come to this realization. Bottom line, Nova works. I've seen many a student walk away satisfied knowing that the English language has become a truly meaningful part of their lives.

You can make a true contribution to how our students interact with the world. I trust you will.

Getting back to Saitama, I mean to share four local gems with you. In spring, Inariyamakoen is a great place to have a cherry blossom viewing party. Full bloom hits sometime in April depending on the type of winter we've had. This station on the Seibu-Ikebukuro line is also the exit for Iruma Airbase. On November 4th, the annual Air Show is held. The skies are rocked by the dazzling Blue Impulse acrobatic team. It is quite the spectacle, believe you me. That serves as my autumn recommendation.

For summer, I implore you to give Nagatoro's fireworks display a go on August 15th, the end of O-Bon. Spectators take a seat on a rock bed in the middle of a river valley lined by lantern lit thickly forested hill sides. It is magical. In winter, you can't go wrong with Chichibu Night Festival. Held on December 2nd (preferable) and 3rd of 2018, it is one of the three biggest night festivals in Japan. The fireworks go on forever as do the battling parade floats in their boom boom drum-based duel rivaling the bang bang of the sky rockets overhead. ”

- Matt, Iruma

“If you are interested in working in Japan, why not at Nova in Saitama? The company has many branches, and they offer support for people just moving to the country (help with housing, phones, etc.), as well as for long-term residents (visas, tax paperwork, and such). You can work with instructors from a variety of places, and meet interesting students from all walks of life.

Furthermore, living in Saitama is incredibly convenient. It is only about an hour away from Tokyo by train, and there are many places to go shopping or sightseeing (Kawagoe is famous for its 'Little Edo,' and Chichibu is great for river rafting and hiking). Best of all, it's not crowded like Tokyo, and you don't have to ride a rush-hour train to get to work.

Try Nova in Saitama! It's a great experience, whether you like convenience or nature.”

- Andre, Shiki


Kanagawa

“Kanagawa combines the convenience of city life with the peace and quiet of the countryside. There is no shortage of exciting, urban areas to visit, such as Yokohama and Kawasaki. Nor is it lacking in serene getaways like Hakone. Tokyo is easily accessible via train and metro lines for further exploration of Japan. Public transportation is convenient, rent is very reasonable, and the diverse scenery compliments every lifestyle. English-speaking staff have become more and more common here in train stations and city offices as well, making for an easier experience. For me personally, there is nowhere in Japan I'd rather stay.”

- Caitlin, Kanagawa

“Kanagawa is great place to live and teach. Tokyo is only 25 to 35 minutes away by train. So, on my weekends I’ve often gone into Shibuya, Harajuku and Ikebukuro. If the big city isn’t to your liking, you could always head out the other way to Odawara, Hakone and Shonan beach. The cities of Kawasaki and Yokohama also have so much to offer in between the two extremes. Shopping, dining etc... Options abound. Finally, the variety of students you’ll teach in the larger schools make for interesting days. In the smaller schools, you’ll build closer tutor to pupil relationships. So as where Tokyo is full tilt energy; Kanagawa can give a nice mix of energy to calm.”

- Paul, Kanagawa


Tokyo

“Working in Tokyo is completely different to anywhere I have worked before. It`s a dynamo.

Being able to teach new and interesting people of all ages is exciting and extremely rewarding. The accessibility of Tokyo means getting from home to work is not an ordeal either. I'd recommend working for NOVA in Tokyo to anyone looking for an engaging, dynamic work-life.”

- Hamish, Tokyo
“Tokyo is such a vibrant city with an unbelievable amount of things to do. From visiting cozy cafes for the avid reader, to shopping in massive commercial centers, or dancing away in the nightclubs, Tokyo has it all.

Being such a unique city there are also loads of opportunities to get involved in various communities. Another thing that can't be understated is the range of delicious restaurants, including traditional Japanese, western fast food and everything in between. You might not expect it, but Tokyo Prefecture also has an abundance of nature. The further west you head in the Prefecture, the more you’ll find yourself among the mountains, with cities like Hachioji and Tachikawa having loads of parks and outdoor activities.

Working for NOVA is a great opportunity to come to Japan and experience all these wonders. No two lessons are ever the same as each student adds something different. I also enjoy that instructors get a discount on Japanese lessons, allowing you to develop some language skills on your off time. So, what are you waiting for? A new experience in Tokyo awaits!”

- Sean, Tokyo
“Hi, I'm Josh and I'd like to share with you my experience at Nova. A little bit about myself, I come from a small town in the U.S. where there are no trains and buses come only once an hour. I was looking for an exciting city that offers both safety and convenience. My search lead me to the pearl of Asia, Tokyo.

Aside from Tokyo's the world-class cuisine and exemplary customer service you can enjoy famous tourist spots like Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Tower all with just a short train ride from Narita Airport. After living here and working at Tokyo Nova for almost a year, I can say with confidence that choosing Nova was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I've made friends that are now like my brothers, the managers and staff are tremendously supportive, and the students are polite and eager to learn. If you're still on the fence about joining Nova just know that you'd be embarking on a journey of pleasant surprises and new discoveries all while teaching in a culturally-rich environment. Enjoy your life in Japan!”

- Josh, Tokyo

“I've been working for NOVA in Tokyo for about 3 years, and I've found it to be ridiculously rewarding. Given the size and population density of the city, you're able to meet people from all walks of life while learning a huge amount about Japan's culture and capital from the people who know them best. The students are generally incredibly pleasant and as eager to share their stories as they are to hear yours.

If you're even remotely interested in Japan or languages, you'll probably find the job to be consistently fun and frequently fascinating. For example, I had no idea how weird and flexible a language English was until I started working for NOVA. I've definitely learned as much as I've taught.

As for Tokyo, the city is amazing, and has more to see and do than is humanly possible. However long you're here, you're sure to get something out of it. Also, be sure to visit Burger Cafe Honohono in Kawagoe, A Pizza in Ikebukuro and Mori no Butchers in Jimbocho.”

- Ben, Narimasu Instructor

“Coming from a smaller city in England, Tokyo is by far the most convenient and exciting city I've been to or lived in. I'm really into anime and video games so being able to visit places like Akihabara whenever I like has been a dream come true, not to mention the numerous events held in the city throughout the year that I can go to.

I actually wasn't very confident with my ability to teach when I first started at Nova, but have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by great managers, helpful veteran instructors and understanding staff members, who have all helped tremendously in making me feel confident in my own abilities. Now, at 2 years as an instructor, I feel more comfortable teaching than I ever imagined I would, and look forward to seeing the familiar faces of my students every week.”

- Kristian, Shinjuku West

“Living and working in Tokyo has been a dream come true for me. There are countless things to see and do; whether it be visiting the shrines, temples or the palace, enjoying the delicious foods, or shopping; this city has something to please everyone. I have spent a lot of time travelling to hiking spots outside the metropolitan area to take in the breathtaking views and scenery. Okutama is a must-visit for this.

Nova has been an excellent company to work for. All the staff I have met have been very professional and lovely people. Many of which have become close friends of mine. The students have a passion for English and are eager to learn and develop their language skills, making teaching a real pleasure and very rewarding. All classes are different, comprising all age groups and abilities, ensuring there is never a dull moment. I would highly recommend Nova to anyone looking for a new experience that is sure to please the senses and soul.”

- Jonathan, Chofu Instructor

“If you're thinking about coming to Japan then my advice is to just take the plunge and do it! It's a decision you won't regret, and NOVA is a great company to do it with.

Living in Tokyo brings the opportunity to do just about anything you could ever wish to do. It's such a vibrant and lively city. Everyone finds a new hobby they didn't know they enjoyed until moving somewhere completely new; I, for example discovered hiking amongst the all the mountains on Tokyo's doorstep. As for teaching at NOVA, nothing thrills me more than helping people to achieve their goals and grow. NOVA having small class sizes really allows me to dig in and personally make a difference to like-minded and driven people who want to learn.”

- Chris, Tokyo

“I've been teaching at NOVA for over a year and I can say it has been an amazing experience. I was a bit nervous when I first came to live and work in Tokyo, but NOVA’s environment and care made me feel very comfortable from the start. I have been able to meet other incredible teachers from all over the world and the staff are always helpful. Of course, the most rewarding part of working at NOVA is teaching the students, and Tokyo has such a wide variety of people that each class is different. Not only have I had the chance to grow as a better English teacher, but I also get the opportunity to learn about Japanese daily life and culture from my students. I highly recommend applying to NOVA, as I have zero regrets since I made my decision to apply.”

- Michelle, Tokyo Instructor

“I came to Japan to become a stand-up comedian and a novelist. They were pretty good reasons to go anywhere, I thought. After a month here l found a job at NOVA, through the recommendation by a fellow stand-up comedian who taught English by day. Working here in bustling Tokyo allows me to meet an incredibly rich and diverse range of people who I can genuinely help, sharing my passion for words with them, all the while giving me the time to write and explore an endless city of endless stories and endless potential.

I thoroughly recommend trying it, if the horizons where you are feel too close.”

- Benjamin, Tokyo


Shikoku

“I’ve lived in Ehime, in both Imabari and Matsuyama, for over 6 years and I continue to find new things to love. From the great variety of stunning scenery, the peaceful pace of daily life, to the exciting nightlife with its multitude of bars and restaurants in Matsuyama, and the delicious food, there is something for everyone.

The fact that I can wake up and go eat a delicious lunch made with fresh local ingredients, explore one of the small islands along the coast of the Inland Sea, and get back to the city at night to enjoy a bustling izakaya, makes Matsuyama a truly special place to live. Coupled with the friendly, warm students I meet on a daily basis, it really feels like home. I would suggest giving Ehime a try to anyone with a deep love of and interest in Japan, who would like to experience something a bit different from the major cities. With its compact layout, convenient tram system, famous castle and the oldest hot spring in Japan and kind and welcoming people, it really is a unique and wonderful place to live.”

- David, Matsuyama

“I’ve been living here in Tokushima for just under two years now and working for Nova. I feel like the area has been very good for me. My colleagues were very welcoming, the students are a pleasure to teach and there’s plenty of good food to be found. My favorites have been Udon noodle dishes, Ramen, and Okonomiyaki – which is a kind of savory pancake. Local to the area they have really good sweet potatoes and Sudachi which are a cross between orange and lime – although more on the lime side really.

Other places I’ve enjoyed visiting a bit further afield have been the stunning countryside further into Tokushima, such as the beautiful Oboke gorge and taking a ferry ride over to Wakayama, and on to Osaka and Kyoto. On a day off there’s plenty to do in Tokushima, good bars and restaurants and Karaoke everywhere!”

- Tom, Tokushima

“Although the main cities are large and developed, Shikoku offers a huge amount of countryside. It’s a good base for hiking and birdwatching, and I’ve become much fitter since I moved here. The landscape changes dramatically with every few train stops you travel south, and becomes quite tropical, with access to beaches that draw surfers and turtle-spotters in the summer months.

Takamatsu and Tokushima are large enough to have varied social options, but small enough that people get to know one another, and the foreigner social scene has always been a friendly and broad mix of nationalities and professions. I’ve been here several years, and the pleasure of seeing the same students grow and improve over an extended time is highly rewarding, as is the positive impact that the job has had on my own understanding and use of language. Some people approach teaching in Japan as a one- or two-year experience, but for those who stay longer, there are always more layers to discover.”

- David, Kitajima

“I have been based as an instructor on Shikoku for just over a year now and I can unequivocally say my experience on this fair Island with Nova has been everything I hoped for and more. Shikoku is that idyllic oxymoron we should all strive to seek in life. That fine line between 'a blast to the past' and avant-garde living, she is tranquil and yet breathtaking. She is a cultural oasis, and yet a beacon of innovation and 21st century living. And her people are not only kind and welcoming. They are the very definition of beautiful and honest dreams. And it's a pleasure and joy to share in each other's happiness.

Don't allow the tag of the "smallest island" fool you. There is much you can do on Shikoku. Ride a bicycle across the 60-kilometer Shimanami Kaido and spend a few days on the gorgeous Islands of the Seto Sea? A must for both the casual and most avid cyclist. Hike Mount Ishizuchi, one of Japan's seven holy mountains and the tallest peak in Western Japan? Do you have to ask? Go to Kagawa or Ehime and relish the delectable tastes of Takamatsu Udon, Imabari Yakinuku or Saijo beer; bathe and unwind in the wholesome waters of Dogo, visit the numerous beautiful shrines and temples and join the many festivals and events throughout the year. This and so much more can be done on the wonderful Island of Shikoku.

For me – an avid soccer fan based in the upper western part of Shikoku – there is much for me to do here, such as play futsal in Toyo, or go to games and show my support for Ehime FC or FC Imabari. I can still get my daily mix of ‘real football’. But there is so much more here than soccer. There are numerous traditional clubs – kendo, karate, Kyudo, Japanese tea ceremony – which are are more than welcoming to newcomers. There are also many community organizations dedicated to making your experience and life on Shikoku as easygoing and rewarding as possible. Get ready for barbecues galore, mouthwatering seafood and many adventures. You are truly blessed by people's kindness and their grace of heart. Want something more modern? From karaoke and late-night shopping to white-water rafting Shikoku has it all.

As for Nova? It is an understatement when I say my experiences with Nova have been nothing but positive. Whatever my needs, Nova's staff – from top to bottom – have always been considerate, welcoming, and done their best to assist me in any way possible. Unlike other schools Nova strives to help you improve as a teacher through video, hands-on training and advice. The set curriculum really helps both you, the teacher, and the students, to understand the aims and goals. And the students? From the young child learning English for the first time, to the high school student who dreams of travelling or maybe living in the West; to the businessman or woman who wishes to improve themselves or to the grandparents who love to study English as a hobby – all respect and cherish the handwork you put in, They appreciate you're being there. And they choose to be there because of you. And as I said before, and I will say again, it is a pleasure to share in their growth with Nova.”

- Bernard, Imabari


Shizuoka

“Shizuoka is a beautiful place to live! It’s a huge prefecture with a variety of locations suited for everyone! One of our most famous local attractions are the local fish markets. The fresh tuna you can dine on is among the best in Japan! I love the peace and quiet living in Shizuoka too. My interactions with the local people make living here the best. At these schools, I build a close relationship with the students as they tell me all their stories. It brings a smile to my face to see them improve bit by bit.”

- Dicky, Shizuoka


Niigata

“Hi, my name is Steve and I’ve been teaching English in Japan for over twenty years. I’ve lived and worked in Kanagawa and Osaka, but for most of my time here (about 15 years) I’ve lived in Niigata City. It`s a great place to live. All the major shops are here, there are loads of bars and restaurants, and you can do all kinds of sports including ice skating at a new ice rink.

If you’re an outdoor person, there’s lots to do depending on the season. I love to go to the beach in summer, camping or hiking in autumn and especially skiing in winter. I’d never been skiing before coming to Niigata but now it’s become my passion. Some parts of Niigata prefecture get 3 or 4 meters of snow in winter, but fortunately, Niigata City doesn’t get anything like that. I can’t wait to get out in the snow this winter!

Teaching at NOVA is varied and interesting. We teach kids, school students, university students, professional people and pensioners, and a whole range of abilities. We teach many kinds of lessons, from regular conversation, exam English courses, business English, and travel lessons. It helps to keep the work day interesting to have this variety. Niigata school has quite a lot of level 9 (the highest level) students – as many of our students have been studying for ten years or more. I guess we must be doing something right for them to keep coming!”

- Steven, Niigata

Tochigi

“I really love the variety of students I meet and teach in Oyama, and the broad range I ages I encounter. Here, it’s typical on a daily basis to meet students of all ages and from all walks of life – kids, university students, working professionals, homemakers, and senior citizens – in a variety of regular and special lessons. All have different motivations for studying English and it really keeps me on my toes in delivering tailored lessons that perfectly suit the students’ needs. Living in Tochigi offers one just the right balance between urban convenience and access to recreational resources which makes it perfect for those individuals looking for lots of places to explore without the hassle of trying to get out of the big city first. In Tochigi, cultural spots and more traditional ways of Japanese life are at your doorstep.”

- Chuck, Oyama


Tohoku

“While it’s not quite like major metropolitan destinations, such as Tokyo or Osaka, that may come to mind when you think of Japan, the Tohoku area presents many charms that these areas don’t. The community is strong and very closely knit. It’s enjoyable to get to know my students well, and it’s fun to learn a thing or two from them too - perhaps about local specialties, travel spots, and hobbies. Lessons here have felt intimate and like getting to make good friends. I owe many thanks to the students of Sendai that my free time has been filled with amazing experiences and adventures. In some ways, I feel like I’ve become very involved with the local culture and I’m glad to have had this experience because of the fact I’m in the Tohoku area.”

- Robert, Sendai

“Working for Nova and living in Japan has been an amazing experience and opportunity. I love living here in Yamagata, enjoying small town life and exploring the mountains of the Tohoku region. Yamagata is a great place to experience Japanese culture. I love my job here with Nova, it has been a blast. Teaching English to Japanese students is a lot of fun and has been a very interesting and rewarding experience. Through my tenure with Nova I have been able to grow and mature as an instructor. I love my life here and I love teaching English with Nova. I look forward to many more years working for Nova and living in Yamagata.”

- Jason, Yamagata

“I work for NOVA in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture. I like working here because we are a smaller school, so we get to know our students really well, and we can track their progress over time and see them improve.

I like that life is more relaxed here than in a big city. I walk or bike to work every day, and my apartment is much bigger than those you would find in the big cities. The beach is close by, so the seafood is fresh and really delicious. There are also some great hiking trails nearby.

Although I’ve only been in Hachinohe for a short time, I’m really excited to experience all the seasonal activities - from the beautiful autumn leaves at Lake Towada, to the legendary ski fields in winter. Then it’s time for cherry blossoms in the spring before the summer festival season, with famous festivals being held all over Aomori Prefecture.”

- Charlotte, Hachinohe

“Life in Aomori is kind of quiet and definitely a slower pace than the busier cities down south, but there’s still a lot to see and do. In the area near Hachinohe, where I’m at, there are sports leagues, surfing competitions, hiking, beach/dirt bike racing, RC car and aircraft leagues, drift tracks and car shows and, of course skiing and snowboarding (the world famous Appi slopes are close enough to hit on a day trip). I’ve really enjoyed all the festivals throughout the area, and in the winter my family and I often go visit the hidden hot spring spots scattered around the mountains.

Here at the school I’ve had a lot of fun teaching my students. The other teachers and staff are friendly, and we get to travel to the other schools in the area from time to time. It’s always interesting to meet new students from around the region. Helping my students progress and seeing their confidence grow has been a rewarding experience over the last few years.”

- Mike, Hachinohe

“I have been living in Hirosaki for six months. It is a moderately sized city with all of the comforts of modern Japan. This area is known for apples, skiing, and cherry blossoms. Hirosaki is close to a larger city, Aomori, and everything is easily accessible within the town. Aomori prefecture features some impressive scenery as well as some authentic Japanese festivals. Hirosaki has some of the best cherry blossoms in Japan as well as other famous lantern festivals such as the lantern festival of Nebuta.”

- Kanoa, Hirosaki

“Although I've only lived in Japan for two years, I've had so many wonderful experiences already! Making a new home in a foreign country is truly the adventure of a lifetime. As with all adventures, I have had my fair share of adversity, and I am truly grateful for the support of my managers and "sempai" (role model teachers) at NOVA as I have come to be acclimated to this new and wonderful environment.Working and living in Nagoya is genuinely enjoyable!

Nagoya, which is located in central Japan, is most often praised for its proximity to major tourist destinations. But this laidback and easy-to-navigate city is far more than just a transporation hub: Nagoya has its fair share of landmarks, such as the eponymous Nagoya Castle and Osu KannonTemple, as well as a ton of delicious local cuisine (chief among them miso nikomi udon noodles and deep-fried pork miso katsu) and eye-opening, educational cultural events like the largest dance festival in the region, the Nippon Domannaka Festival. Since it can sometimes be hard for newcomers to find out information about the local special occasions, I encourage new teachers to talk to their predecessors for help joining in the fun. On a personal note, since coming to Nagoya I've taken up a new hobby, candle making. At first, it was difficult to put myself out there and search for a studio that was able to accommodate someone like me, who was both a non-native speaker and also a total beginner at the craft. But with a little effort, I was able to find a fantastic and understanding studio. Whatever your Japanese level might be, I'm sure you'll find someone willing to lend you a helping hand, especially among your colleagues at NOVA.

From the very first day that I arrived in Japan until today, I've always felt fully supported by my superiors and colleagues at NOVA. Whether it was setting up my bank account or recieving advice about how to handle tough classes, someone was always there to give me the advice I needed. One important aspect of being an English teacher is explaining how to effectively communicate with others, and I feel that every member of the NOVA team truly has great communication skills. My coworkers, managers, and myself all genuinely want to help people communicate in English in a variety of different situations, be it for business, travel, or anything in between. And as we work at teaching our students how to articulate themselves in a new language, we also actively connect to each other to create a professional and supportive environment that is welcoming to all. While I couldn't possibly list all of the many times someone in the NOVA has reached out to help me, I hope that this short personal testimonial is able to express how happy I am to be a part of this community.”

- Jessica, Tokai

“Hi! My name is Nick. I came to Japan 3 years ago right out of university in America to work at NOVA. I was a bit nervous at first, but I soon found that its lots of fun and that every day brings something different. I get to work with people of all ages, from kids and adults. All of my students are really motivated to learn and work really hard to improve their English. The fact that my students always work hard and that I get to be the one pointing them in the right direction makes my job very rewarding. That moment when I’m explaining a difficult grammar point to a student and then it suddenly just clicks is one of the most satisfying feelings I’ve experienced, and the more I teach, the more often moments like these occur. But it’s not all hard work teaching; My favorite part of the day is the first few minutes of each lesson where I get to catch up with my students and ask what they’ve been up to since the last time we talked.

Until now I have only lived in the Aichi area. When I first started at NOVA, I lived in small city called Inuyama. Inuyama is an absolutely gorgeous city! The air is clean, the people are friendly, and in spring the entire city is filled with cherry blossoms! On some days if you wake up early enough, you can even hear the howling of monkeys from the mountain in the distance! A short walk west from station in the middle of the city is the historical town. The most prominent part of the historical town is Inuyama Castle, an amazing 15th century wood castle and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While there is plenty to do in the center of the city, a 20 minute walk to the east would put you in the middle of the countryside, surrounded by rice paddies. One of my favorite things to do was to wake up at sunrise and take a walk through the countryside ending at the castle!

I currently live in the city of Nagoya, the 4th largest city in Japan. If Inuyama was beautiful, then Nagoya is both energetic and convenient! The downtown area is filled with shopping and restaurants. Moving around the city is very convenient as well. A quick ride on the subway takes me anywhere I want to go in the city! However, my favorite part of the city is definitely the cuisine. If you enjoy savory food, then you’ll love Nagoya. Miso-katsu (fried pork cutlet topped with red miso sauce), Tebasaki (peppered chicken wings), and hitsumabushi (grilled eel on rice) are among some of the dishes which Nagoya is famous for. I’m definitely glad I ended up in in Aichi!”

- Nick, Tokai

“I knew before I joined Nova that I had wanted to live and work in Japan. While on a visit to Tokyo I was introduced by a friend to someone who was working at Nova. I hadn’t heard of Nova before, so I bombarded her with a variety of questions about the company, the two contract options they offered and her personal experience. After doing some more research I had decided to apply. I was fortunate enough to get an interview and soon after, an offer to join the company. After accepting the offer, I began the process of moving to Japan. Thankfully, Nova had organised an apartment with necessities such as a refrigerator, microwave and washing machine before I arrived. The area I was set up in was extremely convenient, something I admit I was worried about before arriving. It was located in a quiet housing area, not 10 minutes from the train station, which was also the train line to my various work locations. There was also a large shopping centre and park not too far. It was such a nice place to live that when I decided to move apartments I chose to stay in the same area.

It has been some time now since I started working at Nova and it has been an enjoyable experience. It has giving me opportunities and confidence I didn’t always have, as well as the chance to meet some interesting people of various ages and occupations. It has been rewarding watching individuals improve and become more confident over time; not only in their language ability but in themselves.”

- Stephanie, Tokai

“I studied Japanese in university and had dreamed of living in Japan since I was a boy. My first experience living in Japan was when I did a year abroad at a university in Tokyo. After I went home and graduated, shortly afterwards I got a job teaching at public schools in Yamanashi Prefecture. In 2015, I wanted to get married and move to my wife’s hometown, Nagoya. In the following three years I worked at schools in Aichi, Mie, Gifu, and Ishikawa prefectures.

While I had many memorable experiences as a public school teacher, I was unhappy with the limited role it provided. I decided to join NOVA in the spring of 2018. I was attracted to NOVA because of the clearly-defined responsibilities it asks of its teachers. I enjoy conversation and getting to know my students well, as opposed to being busy making lesson plans for the massive amount of students you have at public schools. With NOVA I know where I will be teaching and I know that I can come home every night to my wife and son. When I was a public school teacher my schools often changed and I had to even live separately from my family for periods.

I really like the Tokai area. I have never met an “old-timer” in Tokai who’s said that they would rather be living in another region. Tokai has it all: it’s centrally located, making it easy to travel east or west. Over 10 million people live here, and in places like near Nagoya Station (“Mei-eki”), Sakae, or Kanayama, it feels very much like a “World City”. Meanwhile, you are only an hour away from the mountains of Gifu or the beaches of the Chita Peninsula. I’m telling you... Tokai is where it’s at!”

- Mark, Tokai