Interac Reviews

Updated July 16, 2015
60 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  • Full-time
  • Part-time
Employment Status

Reset
2.6
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
CEO
0 Ratings

Pros
  • Get to live and work in Japan and experience the culture (not to be confused with the Western idea of Japanese culture) (in 4 reviews)

  • At least Interac (in most areas) will eventually pay you unlike some other dispatch companies (in 5 reviews)

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 (in 5 reviews)

  • Job was marketed as part-time 30sh hours; was expected to work 40 (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

60 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Helpful (2)

    You don't do this solely for the money.

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

    I worked at Interac full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Fair salary depending on your placement and work load at school. Ample amount of vacation time due to days off from school. Work that should be quite rewarding for you.

    Cons

    Placement and schools can certainly make or break the experience. You aren't doing this for a large salary, it's for the unique experience that comes with living and working in Japan.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Great experience, but not permanent

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

    I worked at Interac (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    - The company provides you with lots of supporting materials for lesson plans. While every school you're assigned to can be different, they do a decent job of preparing you. - Good vacation time and work/life balance. - They employ a wonderful team of English-speakers to assist you with appointments and necessary errands who are tremendously helpful. - I already spoke Japanese when I moved there, but my friends who had minimal Japanese language ability were still able to get by and enjoy their experience. - I worked at one large junior high, but other friends of mine had one junior high and multiple elementary schools. Your schedule is arranged by Interac and sent to you by email. I had 2-4 classes per day and had plenty of time to plan lessons and arrange materials. The majority of lessons I co-taught with the Japanese Teachers of English. Once you find your footing, the job comes really easy. - The students are incredibly fun to work with!

    Cons

    - You are paid for part-time work when you are actually there for 40 hours a week, thus you must pay the full cost of your health insurance. - There are minimal to no raises. - Some Japanese teachers of English may not speak English well. - You won't see your first paycheck until the end of the second month, so save a lot and conserve! - Be prepared for lots of downtime. Bring Japanese study materials or other things to read!

    Advice to Management

    I think that ALTs should either get proper compensation for their time, or that they should be allowed to leave when their work is done.


  3. Helpful (2)

    shafted at every turn

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

    I worked at Interac full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    easy to pass interview, easy to get into japan and obtain visa.

    Cons

    salary, (absence of) benefits, lack of communication and support from "management".

    Advice to Management

    be more stringent with your standards of hiring and less greedy with how much you take from the boe payout for the actual teachers.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (4)

    Leave your dignity at the door.

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

    I worked at Interac part-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    --You have some say in where you are placed. You are much less likely to end up in the middle of nowhere than you would be with JET. --LeoPalace Apartments are decent, and reasonably priced. --Easy way into Japan --They pretty much do all the immigration legwork for you.

    Cons

    --Toxic workplace culture. --They sell you on being a teacher, but you're not a teacher. You are a human tape recorder, and you WILL be told that you are not doing that simple task well enough. You will not be respected. You're a dancing monkey who will be discouraged from actually trying to teach. --I was bored to tears most of the time. Lots of sitting around in the teacher's room, and lot's of standing around in the classroom waiting for the JTE to tell you to repeat something. --Coworkers will tell you you're doing well, while complaining to Interac about you. --Deceptive salary information (probably the most egregious thing about the company). You are required to work over 40 hours a week, but only get paid for 29.5 hours, because they don't want to have to provide the free insurance. Not only is your salary prorated in August and December, but your first month's salary will be prorated without your knowledge, because you didn't work every weekday in that particular month. I am pretty sure their business practices are illegal, even in Japan.

    Advice to Management

    There's no advice I could really give them, because they're functioning exactly how they want to.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Glad I went with Interac when I became an ALT

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

    I worked at Interac full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great help setting up apartment, utilities, cellphone, bank account. Training was memorable and lengthy. Nice consistency in scheduling (you know your overall schedule at the start of every year for a year). Genuinely want you to have a good experience at your schools (which you are very integrated into). Facebook group that connects Interac ALTs all over Japan. Compared to experiences of friends from other ALT companies, mine at Interac seemed superior.

    Cons

    Team teaching is frowned upon, so you either have to do it on the down low or learn to teach completely on your own. Taking vacations outside of the appointed holidays in Japan is a touchy subject. Little assistance in the way of non-school/housing related happenings; you must do these things independently: home country taxes, visiting government offices for some forms (visa renewal, moving, etc) and moving back home (learn some Japanese for these situations).

    Advice to Management

    Dedicated translation service for non-Japanese speaking ALTs for documents, hospital visits, etc. Improvement on the usage of paid holidays.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Great time in Japan - a terrific experience working abroad

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

    I worked at Interac full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    - Interac hires Assistant Language Teachers and provides them with full support. I have heard of JET employees who felt like their liasons were distant and didn't provide them with much help when they were struggling. Interac assigns every ALT a bilingual IC (I still don't know what the acronym is for) who helps you with your initial apartment setup and school visits, and is then available for the remainder of your time with the company. Whenever you have a problem, you just call your IC, and they do their best to help you out. Mine gave me a vacuum cleaner and a rice cooker that her friend was getting rid of, helped me at the police station when I lost a wallet, and even took my girlfriend and me on a tour of a religious site in Nara over Christmas break. My friend had an IC who helped him with all sorts of car trouble. -They don't screen people out for capricious reasons like JET seems to do on occasion. - Your working hours are capped at 29.5 hours/week (at least they were when I was there) and you don't have to stay at school late. - Good vacation policy. - Management and training personnel were always supportive. - You get to teach in Japan! If that is a dream of yours, Interac can make it come true.

    Cons

    DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED BY THE LIST OF CONS BELOW. It looks longer than the pros above, but this is only because I felt more specificity was needed in explaining some cons than I did for the pros. - Salary is lower than JET. On the other hand, this is basically the reason boards of education are hiring ALTs through Interac in the first place. If this were not so, you wouldn't be getting a job and an amazing experience in Japan through Interac. - Supposedly the "Leo Palace" chain they set you up with for your apartment is overpriced, and there are rumors that Interac profits on the deal. I can't really substantiate these, but that was what I heard while living there. I've heard of people finding cheaper, more spacious apartments on their own and not going with the Leo Palace ones. - You don't get paid until the end of your second month teaching there. At the end of each month, you are paid for the *previous* month's work. This means during your first two months of teaching + two weeks of training and setup, you will have no income. There are fees associated with renting the apartment that are very expensive. A lot of friends were scraping by on ramen or writing/wiring home for money towards the end of the second month. I think the company recommends you bring $5000 with you when you come over; do it. - Interac wants you to go through them for everything. You are not supposed to deal directly with the administration of your school regarding scheduling or telling them when your contract is ending. This is usually not a problem. Interac does a good job making your schedule with the administration. However, when stuff comes up, it can be a little tricky not being able to deal with the administration. When I discovered, just before second period one day, that I had lost my wallet on my bike ride to school, I panicked and told the administration of my school, and they were very helpful and relieved me from my duties to go back and search for the wallet. Interac was later unhappy that I didn't call them instead of telling the school, but it wasn't a big deal--I wasn't in trouble or anything. They also failed to tell my schools when my contract was ending, and I wasn't allowed to tell the schools myself, but I finally had to because the misconceptions of people at some schools were just too large. On my last day at one school, teachers and students were saying things like, "See you next year!" and I had to break down and tell them I was sorry, I was leaving after my contract expired at the end of the month, and the company was supposed to inform them of this a while ago. The company wasn't upset when I did this, though, because it was their mistake. Bottom line: Try to abide by Interac's "Don't deal with the school yourself; we'll handle it" rule, but you won't be in trouble if you break it when necessary. The company really did appreciate my efforts to abide by the rule and even mentioned it positively in a letter of recommendation I got from them.

    Advice to Management

    If the delayed payment setup can be altered, do it. Otherwise, the company is a pleasure to work for.


  8. Assistant Language Teacher

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

    I worked at Interac (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Cool way to work & stay in Japan if you're a native English speaker with a degree. Totally enjoyed my time over there. Job was good, not brilliant, but nothing too bad either. Overall a very good experience considering everything I experienced being a Western expat in Japan.

    Cons

    They withhold your paycheck for an additional month, eg you get paid for January's work at the very end of February. So if you leave, for example, in December for another country you'll receive you November paycheck in January and because you're in another country the state taxes you at 'emergency' rates which are 50%


  9. They don't pay you enough to survive

    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ALT in Tokyo (Japan)
    Current Employee - ALT in Tokyo (Japan)

    I have been working at Interac

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    You get to work in a school as a slave laborer for almost nothing. You are forced to work with main Japanese teachers that have no idea how to teach English or anything.

    Cons

    They don't pay you enough to survive. It won't even cover the rent. No chance of moving up, whatsoever. No raises. Basically indentured servitude.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees something. Stop trying to recruit new people until you can actually pay your existing employees something.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Be aware for what your are signing up

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

    I have been working at Interac

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    There are people within the company and among your peers who genuinely care about helping educate Japanese people. It does help your get you to Japan and serves as a good launchpad for a new step

    Cons

    The way English is taught as mandated by the government is horribly broken. Interac takes advantage of loopholes in the educational system and labor laws to turn a profit. They also prey on people who want to visit Japan. Offering no real benefits and meager pay, the life of an Interac employee is not particularly stable. Many must take part time work to make ends meet. At the end of the day, Interac views it's foreign employees as a disposable resource.

    Advice to Management

    Screen your employees more thoroughly. Raise your own employment requirements (degree in education, instructor certification, etc). Once you have found qualified and mentally stable employees, treat them with respect. Offer better benefits and more than bare bones salary. At the very least, stop prorating the pay of your instructors.


  11. Helpful (1)

    It pays

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

    I worked at Interac

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    You get the summer off They pay on time They sponsor your visa

    Cons

    Don't pay Shakai houken (national health insurance) as they are required by law to do so though you are hired full time, they will claim you are part time so as not to pay insurance Though contract is renewed yearly, it does not continue, it is stopped so as to pay less in unemployment insurance Many more that can be found with a simple google search.

    Advice to Management

    None, they all eventually quit after a year or two. They are just doing their job, just like I was. Its not a career, its a dead end job like all English teaching gigs in Japan.



Showing 60 of 81 reviews
Reset Filters
RSS Feed </> Embed

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.