Altia Central Reviews | Glassdoor

Altia Central Reviews

Updated January 5, 2017
25 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

3.9
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
CEO
0 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Teaching English in the land of the rising sun."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Alternate Language Teacher in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Alternate Language Teacher in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Altia Central provides training and teaching materials as part of a week-long intensive training session. The Altia Central staff is helpful and supportive of their ALTs. Altia Central provides its ALTs with more than enough media and flashcards to assist with lesson planning, and entertaining a classroom of middle school or elementary school students.

    Cons

    Altia Central has an obligation to send you to a location based on the needs of the various boards or education in central Japan, so some rural positions are quite unappealing. Vehicles are not provided for some rural positions

    Advice to Management

    My advice to the management would be to spend more time assisting ALTs in rural places where public transportation is less reliable.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Great company"

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

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

    Pros

    Incredibly supportive - doctor's appointments can be arranged easily (which for Japan is not always easy). My supervisor called to check on my regularly, and when I was having a difficult time was genuinely interested in helping me get back on my feet. Professional development is taken seriously and the company tried its best to keep me comfortable. Pay and reimbursements are on time - each position is different, but I had 12 full months of pay, no deductions at all for summer, winter, or spring holidays, plus a small annual bonus. Great proprietary materials, and a management who care about teaching English, not about simply scoring big contracts. 10 weeks fully paid holiday a year and an honest, supportive company - I could not have asked for more. Oh, and they leased me a car to get to work for cheap!

    Cons

    Nothing that isn't typical of the industry (e.g. at any ALT company salary will not go up, promotions are few and far between, time off during the school year is nearly impossible).

    Advice to Management

    Altia has great supervisors and staff. Keep giving them the support they need to support the ALTs and I am positive your contracts and areas will keep expanding.


  3. "Good Company"

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

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

    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.


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


  5. Helpful (1)

    "As much as one could hope for..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher in Nagoya, Aichi (Japan)
    Former Employee - Assistant Language Teacher in Nagoya, Aichi (Japan)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    You get to live in Japan and they help you get set up and sponsor visas. They also have a lot of materials to help you in your schools. It's a good place to start your career/life in Japan.

    Cons

    Being an ALT isn't for everyone. I found it incredibly boring, the pay is way too low to actually live, you have to attend completely pointless monthly meetings where you are reviewed, and the coordinators occasionally micromanage. It's also a company run by Japan lifer-teachers, not necessarily good managers nor business people. That's just something to consider.

    Advice to Management

    Nothing, really. They're very open about who they are and what they're there for. I do think they need to do a better job of understanding this isn't a realistic lifetime thing for a vast, vast majority of their employees. The level of passion and enthusiasm they seem to expect isn't commensurate with the paltry salary. No one is going to just hang out for 10 extra hours a week at school if they aren't getting paid for it. No one wants to go to events on the weekend without pay. Again, they are pretty fair and do a pretty good job, but they are little bit living in a fantasy world.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "A good, caring company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Language Teacher in Nakatsugawa, Gifu (Japan)
    Current Employee - Assistant Language Teacher in Nakatsugawa, Gifu (Japan)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    - Full company support - you're never left to fend for yourself
    - Great consideration for your needs and placement requests
    - Salary better than most other companies
    - Paid summers (at least 50% if not full)
    - Materials and plan assistance provided
    - Full, effective and actually helpful training
    - Employees kept up to date as much as possible within the company
    - Opportunities for extracurricular experiences
    - Everyone, even the president, is friendly, approachable, and easy to talk to
    - Flexible car plans and/or reimbursed travel expenses for work purposes

    Cons

    - Communication between schools and company sometimes patchy (not always the fault of the company, however)


  7. Helpful (1)

    "ALT"

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

    Pros

    You can work and live in Japan.
    You can get health insurance and they contribute to the national pension scheme.
    The managers and other teachers are very nice.
    The summer vacations are paid.

    Cons

    I don't think the salary is enough to live on in Japan.
    I don't think the job is all that stable.
    Sometimes it seems like the rules are a little vague

    Advice to Management

    I think everyone at Altia is really trying their best. Any place is going to have good times and bad, I hope the best for the company.


  8. "Stellar Orientation Training"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Language Teacher
    Current Employee - Assistant Language Teacher
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The training at Altia Central is some of the best I've experienced.
    The trainers consist of regional supervisors and ALT "experts"; all of the trainers have worked as ALTs for years in all levels, so they know exactly how to approach training for us.

    The big plus that hit me straight away was their frankness and (sometimes brutal) honesty. They don't beat around the bush, speak in bureaucratic corporate terms, or hide the tough or nasty parts of the job. This is what I appreciated the most, since it was only 5 days, being direct with critiques is absolutely vital to create enough improvement in those 5 days to go from "totally lost" on Monday to "confident I can do it" on Friday.

    They are also incredibly knowledgeable and approachable. I would qualify myself as a more reserved, shy person with a load of self-doubt, but I felt comfortable approaching any one of the trainers to get advice. They all had different personalities and strategies as well, which meant you get different perspectives on the same topic to help you formulate your own ideas.

    The company President was also there every day and was engaging with us, watching us, and giving praise and generally brightening the room. It says a lot about a company when the highest up member takes the time to do that, it immediately gave me a sense that the company actually cared about its employees.

    There was also a nice balance struck between elementary and junior high school training, as some people were only ES, some only JHS, and some both. There was enough time dedicated to both to get a sense of what to expect, what to do, and how to do it.

    I also thought the company's method of teaching were very well thought out, and were always explained as to why they were done as opposed to "this is our way, do it". I could clearly see the philosophy and reasoning behind them, and not only that, they are successful.

    Unrelated to the training; the salary and benefits (depending on the contract you're offered) are standard for the industry (i.e. that number we all see floating around of 250,000/mo). The one note is that if you are on a full-time contract, which most are, you are immediately eligible for company shakai hoken. No waiting 6 months or what have you. I thought that was a very nice show of professionalism from the company, given how the current ALT landscape is rife with companies cutting corners and leaving their employees out to dry.

    Cons

    The biggest downside I suppose was the training was unpaid. Travel was reimbursed and hotel was provided, though, as was lunch, and we always were finished by 4:30 or 5. This wasn't ideal but was made up for in the quality of the training.

    Furthermore, as I said above, some of the feedback could be harsh. As in, you will get interrupted and given a critique on what you were doing. Sometimes this could throw off your groove as you're trying to process all of that, remember what you were presenting, and get back into it. But I understand the necessity of doing that because of time constraints.

    Also it might be difficult to get specific personal feedback directly after you give a practice demonstration again due to time constraints, but if you make a note to remember to ask later that issue can be resolved.

    Some ALTs might feel restricted as they have to follow very closely to the company's teaching method during training. Some of the experienced ALTs that did JET or other companies for example tried to do their method, but were corrected and told to do it the Altia way. The observation I took away from this is that the trainers did not say that they MUST do it this way once in school, but that to just try it and see how it goes, try using it in school, if you see your way gets a better reaction in class, do that. Never really got a sense that we were restricted to Altia's method, but instead that it was a learning opportunity based on cumulative years and years of ALT work.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. Keep showing you care about the employees. (Try to) keep the amazing trainers you have, they are invaluable.

    As said in the orientation, the company is growing quite a bit. Don't lose sight of what you have and how you do things as you grow. Try your best to keep that small company charm no matter how much you want to expand.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great ALT company for first-timers in Japan"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - ALT
    Former Employee - ALT
    Recommends

    I worked at Altia Central (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good orientation, training and cultural support for first timers in Japan. They provide lots of materials if you need it, and set employees up with a cellphone, and housing. Management and fellow ALTs are very friendly and usually like to have get-togethers outside of work. My schools were very nice I had no problems getting to and from my schools by bicycle (20 minutes tops). I recommend this company to anyone looking to try ALT work.

    Cons

    Sometimes the supervisors are a bit hard to get in contact with, by cellphone or email. I've heard of some ALTs getting a really difficult school as well. It is hit-or-miss. If you open about your job and really are passionate about assisting in teaching English, then you will probably have few problems.

    Advice to Management

    Let the ALTs have a little closer relationship to the teachers at the schools! I know it is protocol and to keep any cultural miscommunication from happening, but some schools really like having a more direct line of communication with their ALTs.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Maybe not a rotten as the other apples"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ALT in Kani (Japan)
    Former Employee - ALT in Kani (Japan)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Company staff are nice. They provide lots of material which are great if you are in a pinch.
    The training is good for new ALT's with no teaching experience.
    Company offers money to attend enkai with teachers.

    Cons

    Disorganized, took on more placements than they had staff which meant that supervisor was very difficult to get a hold of.
    Training focuses too much on Elementary, plus they try to make all teachers teach the Altia way with Altia materials (which are OK but experienced ALT's probably prefer their own materials)
    Many contracts are only 9 months long and thus pay no social benefits to teachers and they do not have sick days.
    Some management have some disgusting ideas and comments about working mothers which are not acceptable if Altia believes itself to be a progressive company.
    Unlikely to get a promotion.

    Advice to Management

    People want Full time year round contracts with benefits, especially as you target those teachers on spouse visas.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Hakken English Teacher"

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

    I worked at Altia Central (More than a year)

    Pros

    Really good support outside of work. I was in an accident on my way to work and they took care of everything I needed. They sent employees to check on me quite a few times during my stay at the hospital.

    Cons

    There was a lot of down time at the school I worked at, which wasn't the fault of Altia. The employee training was kind of ridiculous since they had the elementary school teachers training with the jr. high teachers. Too much singing during training. I sometimes felt that I was treated like a child when management came to observe my classes. They formed a blanket assessment of my teaching skills after watching a 30-45min class.

    Advice to Management

    Train the two groups of teachers at different times. Help the ALTs connect with the Japanese teachers. Although the constructive criticism was appreciated, it would be nice if it was dealt out more like a suggestion than a command.


Showing 25 of 31 reviews
Reset Filters