Frequently Asked Questions

1.    What visa do I need to become an Interac ALT?
2.    Can I be an Interac ALT with a Specialist in Humanities / International Services status of residence?
3.    Can I be an Interac ALT with a Working Holiday visa?
4.    Where will I be placed?
5.    I can’t speak any Japanese. Can I still become an Interac ALT?
6.    I have never taught before. Can I still become an Interac ALT?
7.    When should I apply?
8.    I am a non-native-level speaker of English. Can I still apply?
9.    How many people work for Interac?
10.    I need to talk to someone by phone. What should I do?
11.    I have completed my online application. Now what happens?
12.    Should I provide references?
13.    What health insurance is available?
14.    What is the dress standard?
15.    What kind of schools can I teach at?
16.    How will I travel to my schools?
17.    What are the working hours?
18.    How many lessons will I teach each week?
19.    What training and resources will be available to me?
20.    When are the vacation periods?
21.    How long are the positions for?
22.    How many schools will I visit?
23.    What are the ages of the students?
24.    What is the monthly salary?
25.    When is payday?
26.    What is the initial orientation and training program like?
27.    Do I need to pay taxes while I live and work in Japan?
28.    Are advancement opportunities available within the company?
 


1.    What visa do I need to become an Interac ALT?

If you currently reside in Japan you must hold a valid residence/visa status that allows you to live and work in Japan. The main status of residence required to be an Interac ALT is Instructor, however you can also work if you hold a Permanent Resident, Spouse or Child of a Japanese National, Spouse or Child of a Permanent Resident, Special Permanent Resident, and Long Term Resident status. You can find details of our requirements by clicking here.

 

2.    Can I be an Interac ALT with a Specialist in Humanities / International Services status of residence?

The Specialist in Humanities / Interanational Services status of residence does not permit you to engage in language instruction in the Japanese school system. If you hold this status of residence you can still apply to become an ALT if you meet all of the other criteria. It is possible for us, if you are offered employment, to provide you with the necessary documentation and support to change your status of residence to Instructor.

 

3.    Can I be an Interac ALT with a Working Holiday visa?

If you currently reside in Japan and hold a Working Holiday visa, we may be able to consider your application to become an Interac ALT. Our main concerns are that you meet the criteria for the Instructor status of residence and that there is a possibility to change your status to Instructor.

 

4.    Where will I be placed?

Generally if you are recruited from within Japan you will be placed in a position near to where you currently reside if one is available. If you wish to be considered for another location, or you have a flexibility to relocate, please indicate this in your application.

 

5.    I can’t speak any Japanese. Can I still become an Interac ALT?

Yes, but if you currently reside in Japan there is an increasing expectation that you will have some Japanese language ability.

 

6.    I have never taught before. Can I still become an Interac ALT?

There is an increasing expectation that people we hire within Japan will have had some teaching experience, nonetheless this is not a strict requirement. We will give you all of the knowledge and skills you need to become a great ALT.

 

7.    When should I apply?

Interac accepts applications from within Japan all year round. However, we have a significant number of openings throughout Japan during two seasons: spring and fall. These seasons coincide with the Japanese school year, which begins in April. Click here for more information about our recruiting process.

 

8.    I am a non-native-level speaker of English. Can I still apply?

Unless specifically stated, the details on our requirements page are not flexible. Click here to review these requirements.

 

9.    How many people work for Interac?

Interac employs nearly 3,000 staff in Japan across a network of 13 offices. Around 2,750 of these employees are non-Japanese.

 

10.    I need to talk to someone by phone. What should I do?

You will find the most comprehensive information about becoming an Interac ALT on this website. To find something specific, we invite you to use the search function on the top right side of this page.

We encourage you to also connect with us through social media. You can find links to us for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn at the top of every page.

If you must contact us with a question, we advise you to call us by phone. Click here for our global contact details. Email is not an efficient method for contacting us.

 

11.    I have completed my online application. Now what happens?

If you pass the initial application screening, a recruiter will contact you for a phone screening to find out more about you and ask some questions regarding your work history, education, and interest in working and living in Japan. If the recruiter feels you have potential, you will be invited to a face-to-face interview. In the final stage, the files of recommended candidates will be evaluated by Interac’s Global Resource Management Division in Tokyo and/or the relevant branch, who will make the final decision as to whether or not to offer employment.

 

12.    Should I provide references?

Interac requires two references before you can be considered for a position. We recommend that you provide the email addresses and phone numbers of three or more references in case one is not able to respond in a timely manner. We usually begin contacting your references after you pass the phone interview. Please inform your references that we will be contacting them and check that they are able to give a reference.

Some companies are willing to confirm dates of employment but will not give an actual reference. In such cases you will need to provide an alternative reference. Checking with the person or organization beforehand will ensure you do not encounter this situation.

Your references need to be someone with a supervisory position over you. This would include a supervisor or manager, a professor, or the leader of a volunteer group. We prefer that work references are from someone you work or worked under directly. Often, an immediate supervisor is better than a manager with whom you have or had little contact. For professors or teachers, please choose someone who has worked with you recently or has worked with you enough to be able to give us sufficient information. If you have teaching experience, especially if you have taught abroad, a reference from the school(s) you taught at is highly recommended.

 

13.    What health insurance is available?

You are required by law to enroll in a health insurance plan recognized by the Japanese government. Generally all Interac ALTs will be able to enroll in the National Health Insurance (NHI) system. More details regarding insurance will be given at the interview or can be found by clicking here.

 

14.    What is the dress standard?

Interac ALTs must wear business attire during initial orientation and training, on all teaching assignments, or when visiting the office.

For men, a dress shirt, tie, and business-style pants are required.

For women, smart, professional attire, which includes skirts below the knees or business-style suits, is required on all Interac-related business.

Tattoos in Japan are associated with persons involved in organized crime, and are definitely not in line with the image and expectations of a teacher or sensei. As an ALT, there is an expectation that you will take part in school festivals and sports/club activities. In these activities, you may be required to wear shorts and t-shirts, and therefore any visible tattoo must be covered. In addition, living in the communities where you work will require that your tattoos are covered at all times. Therefore, living and working in Japan will prove to be a significant challenge if you have tattoos.

 

15.    What kind of schools can I teach at?

Interac ALTs work in Japanese government schools. Most ALT assignments include a combination of elementary and junior high schools. In certain circumstances, you may have the opportunity to teach at a high school. Some Interac ALTs will also teach at special needs schools or work with special needs students.

Please note that there are a limited number of high school placements available. Candidates interested in a high school placement will need to be extremely flexible with location and be prepared to teach at another school level if no high school placements are available.

 

16.    How will I travel to my schools?

In urban areas Interac ALTs generally travel to school by bicycle, train, or bus. All Interac ALTs are reimbursed for work-related transportation expenses. Most of the positions offered in rural areas of Japan require driving. It is likely you will need to hold a Japanese driver's license in order to legally drive in Japan. Click here for more information on transportation.

 

17.    What are the working hours?

While Interac ALTs may be at school for up to 40 hours per week, their assigned working time will be 29.5 hours or less. The exact number of working hours will be determined by the placement the Interac ALT is assigned to. General hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Apart from attendance at special school events, weekends and public holidays are generally days off. Click here for more information about your schedule.

 

18.    How many lessons will I teach each week?

Most Interac ALTs teach approximately 20 to 25 lessons per week, depending on the school. The remainder of their assigned work time includes preparing lessons and participating in designated activities with students, such as eating school lunch together. Depending on their school, Interac ALTs may lead the class for the entire lesson time or for a portion of the lesson. During this time, there may be minimal input from the Japanese teacher of English. Click here for our more information about your schedule.

 

19.    What training and resources will be available to me?

All new Interac ALTs are offered a comprehensive initial orientation and training program in which they receive information on teaching and working in the schools. Interac maintains a website where lesson plans, flash cards, and other classroom tools are made available. Ongoing training and periodic observations allow trainers and experienced teachers to give further tips and advice to newer teachers.

 

20.    When are the vacation periods?

Most Interac ALTs enjoy approximately three weeks of summer holiday break in August. There is also a two week break from the end of December until early January for the Christmas and New Year period that starts around December 23rd and goes until around January 4th. Actual dates for all holiday periods will be determined by your schedule. Compensation for the month of August will be at 50% of your monthly salary, and December will be paid at 75% of your monthly salary.

Within your contract, you are also entitled to 5 personal days after the first 90 days of continuous employment. In Japan, we recommend that these days are used to cover days when you are sick.

 

21.    How long are the positions for?

Most Interac ALT positions start in early April or late August and last until March the following year. Only applicants who are able to commit to the full term of the assignment are considered eligible for employment. Click here for more details about the duration of each contract.

 

22.    How many schools will I visit?

Most Interac ALTs teach at one main “base” school and visit a number of other schools. The average assignment is between three to five schools. Depending on the Board of Education (BOE), some ALTs may work in ten schools or more. The actual school assignment schedule is usually not determined until close to the start of the academic year in April. It is not usual to visit more than one school in a single day.

 

23.    What are the ages of the students?

Elementary school students are between 6 and 12 years old. Junior high school students are between 12 and 15 years old. High school students are between 15 to 18 years old.

 

24.    What is the monthly salary?

Interac offers a salary ranging from 230,000 to 250,000 yen per calendar month depending on the position requirements. More details on Interac’s salary structure will be available to those invited to an interview.

 

25.    When is payday?

You will receive a monthly salary. In line with Japanese business practices, your salary is deposited into your account on the last day of the following month. For example, your April salary is paid at the end of May. When payday falls on a weekend or national holiday, the salary is deposited into the account on the previous business trading day. Depending on the starting date, the first salary will be received approximately six to eight weeks after you start employment.

 

26.    What is the initial orientation and training program like?

You will be offered a comprehensive initial orientation and training program before you begin teaching. This will help you learn about Japanese schools and the company. Sessions include an introduction to the Japanese school system, school activities, and working in elementary schools.

 

27.    Do I need to pay taxes while I live and work in Japan?

The simple answer is yes. Click here for more details regarding taxes in Japan.

 

28.    Are advancement opportunities available within the company?

Advancement opportunities are available from time to time. These positions will come with a suitable remuneration.