NOVA (Japan) Reviews | Glassdoor

NOVA (Japan) Reviews

Updated April 28, 2017
35 reviews

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2.1
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35 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "NOVA"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Administrative in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at NOVA (Japan) part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Its great place to work.

    Cons

    hard to move up in the college

    Advice to Management

    look out for lower level first


  2. Helpful (8)

    "G.Taste Nova"

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

    Pros

    Salaried position. High salary for Eikaiwa job, about 30,000 USD depending on a 1:100 exchange rate. Intensive training for adult classes: cover theory in one day, then application over 2 days where you have an experienced teacher give you tips. The lessons and everything are given to you. It's all actually easy to get into the flow. Employees, even trainers, are every open and honest in my experience, you could tell when they had to say something was company policy because they made it clear that was the rule.

    Cons

    Kinds training is about 5 times more than adult lesson training and has a ton of prep material, plus is a hectic room, so no hands on training is not good. The work is intensive and you are under a tight 10 minute to wrap up a lesson, change material, log notes, open up next student info, plan a lesson they aren't doing that day, and get to the room whilst doing any lobby service/talking if needed. Plus no snacking time, little chance to use toilets, shorter than average lunch break (prob 40 minutes here depending on class prep time you want) or get water make for a very draining day if you need those. This can be very exhausting work and will probably drain you more than you expect which is a hurdle at the beginning as a constant thereafter. And yes class prep time is needed because the students will review you and if you do good you get a bonus, if you do bad you're probably not going to hear about it (branch staff must tell you) or if you do it will be without constructive criticism.

    Advice to Management

    Allow more leniency if someone gets sick. Provide break rooms for staff to eat or drink so they don't have to in front of students which looks bad. Little things like those will improve morale.


  3. "Great place to start"

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

    I worked at NOVA (Japan) (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Paid training, help you to relocate, sponsor your visa, referral bonus for signing up new teachers, great for on the side/ extra cash/

    Cons

    Advertising on the street, need more kids training. Must work full time for sponsorship/ visa.

    Advice to Management

    offer more kids training or regular workshops/ optional opportunities for kids lesson planning.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Nova will never change"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at NOVA (Japan) full-time

    Pros

    I really couldn't say to be honest

    Cons

    They can't get their act together.
    1) the hiring paperwork comes sporadically and when it does come they want it completed and returned the next day.
    2) I got several calls from the office coordinator after 10:30 pm.
    3) The office coordinator called me a week before, several days before, the night before and the morning of my first day of work to make sure I knew how to get to the school.
    3) Extremely passive aggressive work environment.
    4) The top manager answered the "what do you want?".......
    5) overall NOVA isn't professional in any sense of the word.
    6) "Teacher training" was a joke. Training lasted about 1/2 day. All new teachers were required to bring in a couple lessons so they could add them to the school's database.

    Advice to Management

    Find a new career. The world needs ditch diggers too.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Good job if you're single and don't want to travel"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructor
    Current Employee - Instructor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at NOVA (Japan) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Working at NOVA awards you the standard English teaching salary of roughly 250000yen per month, full time. Part time depends on number of students taught. The lessons require little thought to teach and, for some, it's a stress-free job. Company provides you with students, materials and venue.

    Cons

    My biggest problems with this company are:
    - Long/late hours. Final lesson finishes at 9.30pm. Often getting home around 11pm.
    - No vacation time (apart for the 10 days legally required)
    - Management makes some strange decisions
    - The Japanese staff are paid much less and are treated much more harshly than foreign teachers.
    - After some time on the job, lessons become incredibly repetitive and they don't allow custom lesson plans.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your workers with more respect and improve the office environment.


  7. "Nova"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Instructor in Sakai, Osaka (Japan)
    Former Employee - English Instructor in Sakai, Osaka (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at NOVA (Japan) full-time

    Pros

    Easy to get a job, training is very basic , you can meet some cool teachers and students.

    Cons

    Work hours kill your social life, support staff are not interested in helping you arrange time off etc. Ongoing training is cringe worthy


  8. "Good staff, good students and good times"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Language Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)
    Former Employee - English Language Instructor in Tokyo (Japan)
    Recommends

    I worked at NOVA (Japan) (More than a year)

    Pros

    The job is fun and rewarding. Management leave you alone if you just do what is asked of you. I had a great time teaching there. Everyone was fair and honest with me. I know some teachers will complain about everything even when its not a big deal. Maybe a work ethic issue for them.

    Cons

    Pay was pretty low sometimes and you may have to spend some time traveling to work depending where you live.

    Advice to Management

    Having to pay for time off makes it easy to be flexible but it hurts teachers finanicially.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Nova is No good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at NOVA (Japan) full-time

    Pros

    They give you a visa if you can make a coherent sentence and have a pulse

    Some students were interesting

    The other instructors are great

    ....That's about it though

    Cons

    Geez where do I start? I think it's easier to make a list

    1) This company blatantly doesn't care about its teachers. It's purely focused of hiring as many teachers as they can cause turnover rate is extremely high. It's turn and burn baby. You're easily dispensable. In fact most instructors walk away from the job before they even finish their contract. Seriously it's that bad

    2) They impose expensive fees on teachers. Lates, absences, days off? You have to pay Nova. We're human and mistakes do happen. So of course Nova wants to benefit as much as possible. These penalties really hurt the paycheck too. Which brings me to my next point...

    3) The pay is garbage. On top of the almost illegal fees and contracts, Nova pays just enough to live. You won't starve, but traveling and saving is not going to happen. They try to spin this as "You earn your pay based on amount of students". But unless you're a REALLY popular teacher or willing to work 6 days a week don't expect to make much

    4) Your NOVA experience will highly depend on the Japanese staff you work with. Good staff made nova less painful. But bad staff will make your experience miserable.
    Unfortunately there's more bad staff than good. I don't blame the staff though. 95% of them are young Japanese girls trained to follow Nova's idiotic rules without thinking for themselves. They're simply robots. But if you’re lucky enough to work with one who is capable of thinking for herself, your nova experience will be....tolerable.

    5) Much like the japanese staff the managers (called IM/ISM) are also robots. Often they are overworked and underpaid too like the staff. Yet somehow most of them love the company so much they completely turn a blind eye to the obvious abuses of the company. It's pathetic...I almost feel bad for them.

    6) You're teaching a very basic watered down English. The training gives you the bare minimum to "teach". The low level lessons are too easy for most students and don't have enough material last the whole 40 minutes. Often you can finish in 15 minutes and then get stuck awkwardly sitting there with a person you have nothing in common with for another 20 minutes. It sucks

    7) The current contracts they offer are barely legal. In fact Nova's contracts are being challenged in court by the Kansai workers bureau! They basically lock instructors into these terrible contracts with no vacation days, no tax help, no pension help, and to top it off severe penalties that i stated in #2. This company would have been sued like crazy if it were in America, Canada, UK etc. But because Japan's labor union is pathetic, parasite companies like this have been allowed to survive.

    8) The job will become painfully boring. Japanese people are shy and don't like to express opinions often. Sometimes getting them to speak is like trying to pull teeth. Most students will eventually blend into a bland generic person who has nothing to say about anything relevant. After months of seeing the same students expects conversations like: "it's cold/hot today" "I didn't do anything this weekend" "I went shopping". It can drive you crazy. Towards the end lessons began to feel like I was a zoo animal trapped in a cage. Expected to English for 40 minutes...8 times a day...5 days a week....while nova pays me in peanuts.

    Okay i'm tired of typing. I could go on but the list would be infinite. Long story short Nova is a bad company. They've already been caught doing illegal and unethical acts in the past and nothing has changed. I knew a teacher who noted every lesson and checked their paycheck to find there was always a mistake to Nova's benefit. I also had big mistake on my paycheck once. Guess who benefited? Well you already know by now....
    This job is way too much work for the little pay. Avoid the whole Eikaiwa industry if you can, but especially avoid Nova. Nova is No good

    Advice to Management

    I have no respect for the upper management of this company. You guys are literally the worst.

    For the lower management IM/ISM get out of this awful company!


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Be warned! NOVA's track record hasn't changed!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Instructor in Kurashiki, Okayama (Japan)
    Former Employee - English Instructor in Kurashiki, Okayama (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I would like to say something positive about this company, however, after working for them for several years, in not able to think up Antony positive about their company with all the negative experiences they've given me.

    Cons

    This company is extremely under performed which is shocking once you learn the astronomical amounts of money they charge their clients for a single forty minute lesson ranging just below eight thousand yen. Despite overcharging their clients, they make no efforts to making a better work environment for their foreign staff. They throw four or more of us big teachers in a room small enough to be suffocating and that's not an exaggeration at all. We are given dozens of rules and on top of that, we are under trained. That's right. This company uses the utmost smallest amount of effort and resources to train their foreign staff. The time they do end up setting you up for a 40 minute training will be done over their computer network system that connects to all the different branches in Japan. During the first ten to fifteen minutes of the vital forty minute lesson, expect to have technical difficulties ranging from audio, video and a range of other problems. During the rest of your training, the trainer will attempt to breeze through the lesson and in the end you will always leave feeling of what a waste and pointless training session that was. It's not like that just once in a while. Expect it to be every time because that's how Nova is. After working there for years, Nova has continued to follow the well known traditional Japanese Philosophy. "If it's not broken, don't fix it." The problem with that is that it's actually a real broken system and they choose to ignore the obvious regardless. Because of these things, it makes for a very bad teaching experience and working environment for native speakers working for this backwards company. No matter what you say or what advice you may have to improve something, they will look at you as if you weren't even there. Your opinion or thought in any matter will never matter. That goes especially for your classes with the students. If for example you always teach students A, B and C and student B always has difficulty in that class but you know that he or she would benefit greater by changing to a different class, you can just forget it. At Nova your experience or teaching credentials don't matter. Everything goes back to the parent and they follow what the parent says her child should be in as if the Japanese parent would have a god damn clue of which class her child will benefit from the most instead of asking the qualified native English speaker who directly works with the child.
    There are a ton of other negative but truthful facts about Nova that I could spend a lot of more time on here but I would much rather warn you to simply stay far away from this terrible company. Despite their history of abuse with their foreign staff, they have not changed. They've also been known to wait until said persons contract is to expire and notify him or her that they won't renew the contract leaving the teacher in a very difficult situation. You've been forewarned!

    Advice to Management

    To upper management I'd say you need to change your work philosophy and start taking care of your foreign staff better by properly training us.
    To lower management I say, quit. Each of you are pathetic and robotic just like the Japanese staff. You go through your daily chores and ignore the obvious and stick with the same broken ideas and system that doesn't allow for any improvement for the company, clients or the staff.


  11. "Great place to use as a stepping stone into Japan"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher/Level Tester in Namba (Japan)
    Former Employee - Teacher/Level Tester in Namba (Japan)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Learned a lot about the English language and met a lot of people from all over the world. Unique place :)

    Cons

    Japan can be lonely at times, Big culture differences, and need a lot of patience. The company need to do more to understand foreigners.

    Advice to Management

    Stay positive and try to meet as many new people as you can


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