Altia Central

  www.altiacentral.com
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Altia Central Reviews

Updated July 31, 2014
Updated July 31, 2014
11 Reviews

3.7
11 Reviews
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Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - ALT
    Former Employee - ALT

    Pros

    They were very organized in terms of finding housing, meeting me at Tokyo airport, and getting a hotel for several days before moving to my town. Very good support overall throughout my time in Japan.

    Cons

    Not too much I can think of.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    Not bad, probably the best ALT job in Japan

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher  in  Hatsukaichi (Japan)
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher in Hatsukaichi (Japan)

    Pros

    I enjoyed the environment and felt connected with my supervisor. I like teaching, and didn't find the workload too heavy.

    Cons

    The occasional weekend training summits were useless, and the pay was low. Benefits were nonexistant and I wasn't offered any kind of raise for my second year. Enjoy being treated like the lowest of the low, but that comes with most ALT positions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need more incentives and benefits to stay with the company.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    Great ALT company for those new to Japan, with dodgy policies that hurt long-term prospects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - ALT  in  Gifu-shi (Japan)
    Current Employee - ALT in Gifu-shi (Japan)

    Pros

    There's a great training structure in place. There's some pretty in-depth teaching of how to actually be an ALT, which other competing companies and programmes lack dearly.

    Holidays are in line with the school year (Summer/Winter/Spring breaks), so there's plenty of time off throughout the year.

    Management generally stays out of your way and lets you do your job. I get the impression there's a level if ignorance that happens - the company is required to do certain things to say they've done them, then those policies are ignored in favour of what the individual Boards of Education or Schools want.

    Paid travel expenses.

    Cons

    The company treats employees like children, and after a while it's a painful experience. A lot of ALTs are not allowed to drive simply because they are foreigners, despite this being completely illegal.

    Holidays are fixed to the school year. In reality this isn't something that should be complained about in a School/Educational setting, but it's worth noting.

    There's an odd discrepancy between what the schools/BOEs think the ALT is paid and what the ALTs are actually paid. You're expected to work to the standard of a much higher salary than you are actually paid.

    Communication is appallingly sparse. Information is given with a monthly irrelevant newsletter that provides no real information other than basic common sense, and paperwork is often neglected. Important documents are often not followed up upon, and the administration doesn't seem to understand basic tax legislation - or, worse, is taking advantage of those not in the know.

    There's zero career opportunity. The contract is non-negotiable, and I feel if I was to try and negotiate it I'd lose the job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fix the underhand practices to avoid legal battles. I've consulted with lawyers and labour standards with advice to take things further, but it's realistically not worth it for such a low salary.

    You, as a company, do have a fantastic training program and provide a good opportunity to young newcomers to Japan but it's executed wrongly. Increase the pay, increase the quality of ALT and you could make a difference - as it stands, you offer a marginal allowance and expect the world's best teachers, with absolutely zero career prospects or ability to talk things further.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5.  

    Offering great support for aspiring language teachers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Language Teacher
    Current Employee - Assistant Language Teacher

    Pros

    +Give you ample training and support
    +Raises based on longevity and merit
    +Allowed the freedom to teach how you wish

    Cons

    -Teaching salary caps out fairly low

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to do more to support those in unfortunate/dangerous school placings.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6.  

    One of the better ALT companies in Japan.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher  in  Kōnan (Japan)
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher in Kōnan (Japan)

    Pros

    Reasonable starting salary compared to other ALT companies
    Transportation support in the form of company car usage
    Teaching support is good with lots of in house teaching materials

    Cons

    Recently decreasing compensation for long term teachers
    Inelgible for bonus payment in the case of early retirement before contract ends
    Placement in major cities doesn't come with a higher salary despite higher cost of living

  7.  

    One of the best companies in a dodgy job field

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    -Pay on time
    -Paperwork is processed promptly
    -Nice in-house resources for lessons
    -Easy job
    -Long holidays
    -If you lower your expectations and accept the McJob nature of ALT work, this is not a horrible way to make a living.

    Cons

    -Supervisers will often ignore emails with awkward questions. I worked at a junior high school and we had an outbreak of violence among the kids. I contacted my superviser to inform her and got zero reply. You're on your own.
    -The Japanese teachers are always right and the foreigner is always wrong. AC is a business and they want to keep clients happy. ALTs are a dime a dozen and...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hard to say, as these ALT companies are simply responding to the school boards' decisions to cut corners left and right and investment in foreign language teachers is a good example.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  8.  

    Straightforward, no messing employees around

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - ALT  in  Nagoya, Aichi (Japan)
    Current Employee - ALT in Nagoya, Aichi (Japan)

    Pros

    Great pay for Nagoya school year.
    Great vacation time.
    Nice supervisors.
    Fun work.

    Cons

    Low responsibility, high boredom.
    No promotions or salary increases.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Excellent Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - ALT  in  Toyota, Aichi (Japan)
    Current Employee - ALT in Toyota, Aichi (Japan)

    Pros

    There are many horror stories about working for ALT dispatch agencies in Japan, but Altia treats you well. You get excellent teaching materials, solid training, helpful feedback on your performance, and unlike every other dispatch agency I've heard of, Altia won't cut your pay for summer break, winter break, or spring break. My schools and students have been a delight and I've really enjoyed my time here. You also get great vacation (though no real flexibility with it...normal for the industry), close to 7 weeks in total including all government holidays, a month off in summer and two weeks for spring and winter. They also give you a good week and a half after training to get settled in before work starts, which is really very helpful. You even have some say in your placement, and the company is concerned with your professional development and overall workplace happiness. You are expected to know some Japanese with this company, and it really is advisable to do so.

    Cons

    The ALT job is quite stagnant. There's not much room for advancement, and while Altia does offer a yearly bonus that increases a bit with each year you're employed, you don't see yearly pay raises or anything of that like. This is a product of the industry. Also, I've yet to meet anyone who actually received their bonus on their first year (it is not guaranteed), though from the second year and onwards you should. Lastly, Altia generally hires people who have experience with living or working in Japan, and they will not hold your hand through getting settled. This means that even as a neophyte you will be on your own for setting up your bank account, getting your identification, finding your schools, internet, cell phone, etc. Find your local tourist center, make friends quickly, and for heaven's sake know some Japanese before you come. This will be invaluable. After the initial setup, things even out and the job itself is great.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please, please, PLEASE offer better support, maps and directions for finding your apartment and schools! Yes, we recognize that some of this confusion is a function of living in Japan, but when even multiple Japanese locals can't decipher the (Japanese) map you've been given, it can be very frustrating.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    A mild nightmare which was a constant reminder of how little you have control of your future in Japan

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher

    Pros

    There used to be decent holidays. about 10 years ago.
    One step above the other dispatch nightmare organizations that exist. It is a small step.

    Cons

    Another Dispatch company that indefinitely takes teachers salaries from Boards of Education (BOE), estimated at between 20% -50% of salary that direct hires could expect if they work directly for the BOE
    Along with other dispatch companies they have destroyed through low bidding on contracts to the teachers, which has been passed on to the teachers contracts. what could be a great experience where foreign residents could experience Japan and make a salary that would reflect the commitment of moving to Japan and becoming a part of the community, it has become quite the opposite. Japanese schools do not expect to build any relationship with a foreigner who is hired by a dispatch company, their experience has been as disappointing as the teachers.
    Strongly recommend that you are thinking about coming to Japan to work you rethink it, you will lose great career development time in your home country or another country, the salary here has been going down every year for the last 13 years, Altia Central and all other dispatch companies will welcome you with open arms but you will soon realize that you are not really wanted to continue after 2-3 years. You become a low rate foreign worker, if you wish to stay the opportunities to earn more and or do other work is severely restricted. I would suggest a country like Korea or China that is on a growth trend.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The fundamentals of your 'business' do not lend itself to EVER being a great place to work, nor are employees ever that, they are temporary hire talking heads that can only ever have one year of a committed salary and position. You take money as a temporary dispatch company but hold the contracts that the teachers work for in that teachers cannot move into a direct hire position and own their own future. Shame on all of you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11.  

    Good company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - ALT
    Former Employee - ALT

    Pros

    They give you independence and support when it is needed. They don't coddle as much as some companies in the business but that is a good thing! They encourage inter-employee problem solving, and have a good relationship with the local authorities - making your life that much easier.

    Cons

    As with this whole sector there is virtually no opportunity for advancement. Altia central also offered no professional development to staff.

    Recommends

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