Interac - Japan

  www.interac.co.jp
  www.interac.co.jp

Interac - Japan Reviews

Updated July 31, 2014
Updated July 31, 2014
9 Reviews
2.2
9 Reviews
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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    As good as you can expect

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

    I worked at Interac - Japan

    Pros

    Of course it depends on which school(s) you get assigned to that makes the difference on your experience since it depends on how the school is run, the students, the other teachers, however, the company is easily contactable with any issues you may have and training was sufficient enough for me to handle pretty much anything despite no experience prior.

    Cons

    I had wished more materials had been provided. I was provided with plenty of things, but I searched for plans and ideas that I felt were better suited to my work and more realistic as well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More realistic lesson plans available. I felt that many activities or lesson plan guidelines would not and did not work very well in the classroom. They would take much less time, and the kids were generally uninterested.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not a bad job, but not a career.

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

    I have been working at Interac - Japan as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Potential for good work-life balance--ALTs aren't subject to the same 'voluntary overtime' that regular teachers are, and my workday was only usually 7 hours long, including lunch. I taught in two elementary schools in a large city, and in general it was a very positive experience. If there were any major problems, the company was willing to go to bat for the teacher to work things out with a school. The teachers at my schools were enthusiastic and helpful, but that is entirely dependent on the school. You make a living wage, although not an extravagant one, and it's a lot less work than an eikaiwa sort of situation. The Head Teacher and other ALTs in my area were great people, and even though we worked in different schools, we got together outside of work.

    Cons

    As a contract (read: not full time) employee, you have to pay the full cost of your own health insurance, which is mandatory in Japan. Employment is contract to contract, and there aren't opportunities to advance unless one is fluent in Japanese. Salaries do not change year-to-year, and there is no bonus for recontracting. The entire job experience varies based on what schools you are placed in, and it's very difficult to get moved out of a difficult school unless the school is dissatisfied with the teacher, not the other way around. Interac provides materials, but some schools have their own curricula, and some leave you more or less on your own to plan. At the elementary level, most teachers don't speak English, which can lead to communication issues. The company is interested in maintaining good relationships with the schools, so teachers are expected to bear with things like chronic sudden schedule changes, homeroom teachers not controlling their students, and etc. Interac does not provide or help teachers find housing, so unless you're already in the country you need to have several thousand dollars available to cover the costs of finding and furnishing an apartment. You are also only paid once a month, for the previous month's work, so if you start in March, your first paycheck doesn't hit your bank account until the end of April.

  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    A helping hand to get into Japan to experience and teach English, but a dead-end and nothing really more.

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

    I worked at Interac - Japan full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    They leave you alone for 90% of the contract, you feel like you're your own boss, pay for your transportation costs (surprisingly even in some special circumstances will pay for taxis), help you get settled into the country and your assigned schools, recognition and kind words for good work, opportunities to transfer within the company just about anywhere in Japan

    Cons

    After a month from being hired, employees are almost completely forgotten about and disregarded (unless they want/need something from you), very little support system, they do not nurture talent or skills (ALTs are considered disposable and easily replaceable), feelings of lack of trust to employees, very little mentoring, no promotion or growth opportunities, unfair and prejudiced semi-annual drug screening tests, no raises regardless or work excellence or time spent with the company, no subsidized housing—which brings me to my next point—they are Cheap.

    Interac will take any opportunity to save a dollar, they nickle and dime, make employees think they get paid $2,500 a month (and I heard they are paying a lower salary to new teachers every year). When the reality is four months out of the year they "pro-rate" your salary (because the schools aren't very busy during those times and they don't really need an ALT around to work) and pay you $1,500 instead. Interac is very strange and shady around money, period. They are hands down the cheapest company I have ever worked for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove pro-rated salaries Completely, hire more staff for specific duties around the office (don't have the MC do scheduler work and don't have the schedule do everything). This will in turn create a better support system for the ALTs. If Interac can learn and improve on being more generous with money/support/skill nurturing, the pros will far out way the imperfections greatly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Just awful

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

    I worked at Interac - Japan full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Some support (if they have time) getting settled in.
    Continued training in some locations.
    You work about 40 hours a week (you're only paid for 29 of those though).

    Cons

    Didn't respond at all to repeated reports of students being physically abused.
    Constantly meddle with your daily life.
    Unpaid vacations, so you are unpaid for FOUR MONTHS of the year. They quote a 230,000 yen a month salary, but over the year it works out as 153,333 yen per month. This is the lowest of any teaching job I've ever seen in ver 5 years in Japan.
    Emotionally abused staff at training, made people cry on stage in front of 400+ peers on multiple occasions.
    Low wages, you are paid less with this company than with others that are comparable.
    No health insurance/pension/unemployment insurance.
    Inefficient office staff at the branch offices, got people the wrong visas (so they were working illegally), didn't tell people about taxes, really big mistakes made as a matter of course.
    Humiliating medical checks with little to no privacy.
    Zero respect for their employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees with less contempt. Or none. Don't employ people you feel you can't trust and have to assume the worst of, instead look at making your recruitment process better. Be supportive and positive and your employees will be co-operative and grow into good teachers. You are operating on a deficit-model of your staff and that is why you have so many problems with them.

    Doesn't Recommend
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Quality varies location to location

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

    I have been working at Interac - Japan full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    good for a gap year, yearly contract renewal is almost always granted, good pay, weekends off, summer vacations, fulfilling, regular feedback from supervisors, support from local staff

    Cons

    limited upward mobility, high turnovers, limited location choices, culture shock. The biggest negative thing I've noticed is inconsistent management across areas. All the pros I listed above may not apply to another branch. I haven't had personal experience with these issues, but acquaintances have had issues with receiving time-sensitive documents or information necessary for the job. Also, like many ALT companies, Japanese experience is not necessary as Interac contracts local interpreters to help with non-work things. However, I found that being able to handle things (like visa renewals and hospital visits) in Japanese allowed much more independence (and privacy) as I didn't have to call HQ to schedule an interpreter.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Decent

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

    I have been working at Interac - Japan part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The job is very easy and for the most part not a lot is expected of you.

    Cons

    Because not a lot is expected of you, you may end up being very bored unless you create work for yourself. Management can seem like they have the same personality as car salesmen.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Low pay, no respect, no future.

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

    I worked at Interac - Japan part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Live in Japan. My family and I returned to Japan so our kids could be near their parents. Luckily with the family support and second and third jobs in the prefectural capitol we were able to maintain a decent lifestyle but it was not always easy.

    Cons

    No money to do anything with. Also this is not a full time paid job. You will NOT be compensated during breaks (about 2 months a year). If you want a social life or to return home once a year to visit you need a second and third job, provided you do not live in a rural area where there are none............. There is no future working for Interac, try JET or nothing. If you want to learn Japanese take an intensive Japanese program. Besides most Japanese companies in the States do not require Japanese language ability, unless they are smaller Tier 3 companies who do not hire many westerners. This could be a good job if you only go for one year and take a lot of cash with you. Don't expect too much.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better pay, pay during breaks and some actual local support.

    Doesn't Recommend
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Think twice

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

    I have been working at Interac - Japan as a contractor (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Living in Japan. Beyond that there are not many pros to working for Interac. If you are looking for an extended vacation it is great, just bring lots of money to live on, Japan is expensive and Interac does not pay that well. The only reason I stayed was it was close to the in-laws and I really loved my community.

    Cons

    Low pay and not a job for a career. They do not pay for your time during school breaks. Compared to JET they pay lousy. If it were not for my 2 side jobs I would not have been able to survive let alone thrive in Japan. Not to mention the treatment you get from Management.

    Doesn't Recommend
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    A decent place to work if you just want to go to Japan.

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

    I worked at Interac - Japan

    Pros

    - You get paid on time
    - The job itself is fun and enriching
    - They have a bilingual independent contractor help you set up important things when you get here
    - Ongoing training
    - The staff is nice usually
    - The interview is easy and it's overall an easy way to get to Japan on a VISA

    Cons

    - You work 40hrs a week but get paid for 29.5
    - They keep your hours at 29.5 so they are not required to provide health insurance
    - In Japan health insurance is required, and it's all on you
    - Everyone I know has had an issue with their final paycheck, and if you leave Japan right away you will probably never see it, or only get about half of it for no reason at all
    - Some times the training is a huge waste of time if not lead correctly. You have to travel a couple hours to the training location some times and not learn anything
    - The pay is low compared to other companies
    - They won't put you in touch with the previous ALT in the area so it's very difficult getting started as often you are the only English speaking person within hours of your town, so its on you to learn bus routes, shops, interesting things to see near-by, etc. and the towns can be so small you can't find any information about them online.
    - They don't help pay for travel to or from Japan
    - Overall shady practices that even the employees in the office don't seem to be aware of

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Have a solid lead trainer do the ongoing trainers. Yes there might be someone who knows everything about teaching children ABC's, but that doesn't mean they are good leaders at teaching other people what they do.
    - Don't make ALT's go to local conferences that are entirely in Japanese. Why waste their time with that? Nothing will be gained and the company has to waste money on paying them transportation.
    - If you take care of your employee's, they will take care of you. A happy employee will pass on their feelings to those around them, such as in the teachers office, and the schools will be more pleased with their ALT's and more likely to recontract.
    - Tighten up the interview process. It's too easy. I saw the weirdest people get in the company. If you want the schools to be pleased with their ALT's, stop hiring crazy people that just want to go to Japan.
    - Pay employees what they work for. 8:30-4:30, 5 days a week, is not 29.5hrs. Stop screwing people out of health care.

    Doesn't Recommend

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