NOVA (Japan) Reviews | Glassdoor

NOVA (Japan) Reviews

Updated December 13, 2017
39 reviews

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Pros
  • interesting students/ co-workers (in 5 reviews)

  • If your branch staff are nice, they will gladly help you with everyday life in Japan (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • The Japanese staff are paid much less and are treated much more harshly than foreign teachers (in 6 reviews)

  • no benefits (no health insurance or retirement plan (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Gateway to Japan"

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

    I worked at NOVA (Japan) full-time

    Pros

    Get to meet interesting students. Gives you a working visa.

    Cons

    It's affectionately known as the McDonald's of English Schools.


  2. Helpful (10)

    "G.Taste Nova"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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. Helpful (3)

    "NOVA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  4. "Rewarding Job"

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

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

    Pros

    The opportunity to really help people learn a new skill, meeting new people and learning new skills for yourself. Long breaks and very very fair treatment. Schools are located in easy convenient places

    Cons

    Unable to provide any cons at this stage, I have been treated very well thus far. The only thing I can say is if you are a party animal or think you will come to Japan to do more play then work this is not the job for you, as any job it takes dedication and effort to really benefit from it.

    Advice to Management

    So far so good.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Nova English teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    I loved working with Nova kids

    Cons

    I did not like the hours


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Crapshoot"

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

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

    Pros

    The lesson material is decent and has been recently updated. The managers are friendly and always willing to help, but not perfect. The students are generally terrific: always interested, always on time, and always open and understanding.

    Cons

    Who you end up working with is the crapshoot. Often times comments made by my co-workers were vulgar and upsetting. When I made the difficult decision to approach management my concerns did not appear to be taken too seriously. Instead, the situation became much worse. Once the staff learned of my complaint I became a target for harassment which ultimately led to my resignation. I still wonder if I could have handled the situation better. But I think Nova could have done a better job too. I really wish it had not come to this, but it did.

    Advice to Management

    If you intend to address concerns with co-workers, do so delicately, and with a sensitivity to the fact that we will all have to work together on a continuing basis. In my estimation, relationship management is a key factor in the success or failure of every Nova branch office. This was not something that was working well, even in the slightest, at my branch.


  7. "Great to start, awful long-term"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Teacher
    Former Employee - English Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    You will get a visa, a company apartment and a flight reimbursement
    The lessons are easy to the point you can do it auto-pilot
    Many students dislike the lessons and just want to chat to foreigners
    The salary is decent for your FIRST year (more on that later)
    Most students are polite and fun to teach

    Cons

    The salary is pathetic after year one because NOVA don't pay your health insurance and pension + they overcharge you for rent
    You will do at least 1 hour of unpaid overtime a day (they class the 10 minutes between lessons as 'lunch breaks')
    You don't get paid for vacations, even if they're mandatory (you'll be poor or working crazy overtime during Christmas, Golden Week and Obon as that's 1 weeks missing salary)
    Certain contracts don't get any paid holidays
    You will be pressured to take unpaid lunch breaks if you have an empty slot or your student doesn't show up
    The staff have a power complex and will treat you like dirt regardless of how many favors you do for them
    The lesson resources are generally terrible and often force you to imagine 50% of the lesson or stall for time
    Working hours are unsociable

    Advice to Management

    You seem very proud that Nova is doing well for itself financially, so you should invest that money in supporting your teachers instead of treating them as disposable. Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Toxic Company"

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

    Pros

    They hire anyone. If you have a degree, a pulse, and haven't been deported from Japan before you can get the job.

    Cons

    Everything else

    No benefits , you actually have to pay the company if you get sick, even when you have a note from a doctor saying you shouldn't come in to work

    Management will constantly ask or force employees (depending on contract type) to change locations and hours

    Expected pay is reduced by things like a "facilities charge" and a "training fee"

    The company blames employees for every small complaint from students even if the complaints are things like "the material (in the NOVA textbooks) is too easy/hard/uninteresting ."

    Late fees or absences can result in fines so high that in one case an instructor actually received a negative paycheck for a month's work.

    Independent contractors receive no help in filing taxes, receiving insurance, renewing visa status, or anything else. HR literally told me that they cannot "sign or issue any paperwork on behalf of the independent contractor."

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees and independent contractors like they're real people, turnover rates at Nova are so high because the company acts like its teachers are expendable .


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to start"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Nova will never change"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


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