Now, without going too off topic, allow me to explain what I want, know, and wish to know. And there will be a tl;dr I promise. Currently I am a 25 y/o War vet who was discharged from the military for marijuana use/Medically Disabled (went through a lot of dark periods after deployment). I have bad credit, no job (worth mentioning), and no land. Most of my close family is either deceased or out of state. I have no kids, pets, and am divorced. I make most of my living income off of VA disability (can only do office jobs, but can't find one). I need something new. My life, interests, hobbies, everything has grown stale, bleak, and gray. I need a change of scenery, and I think it needs it be a drastic one. Of course, move to a new country. I chose Japan not because of typical "Anime comes from there" fantasies (to each his own, this just isn't sound for deciding the rest of your life to me).
I chose it because I think I would enjoy the work ethic, group mentality, structure, and culture (always been a electronic/video game addict. Techy devices and such that may just be a waste of money are my favorite things to discover. I enjoy the compact living spaces and subsequently shorter travel distances to get to anything. i enjoy the idea of city lights, lighted streets and sidewalks to navigate at 3am when I need something late. On top of that, I feel safer in their economy than I do here (leave this one be, it's not a political debate).
I want to do it, I want to go from 0 prep now, to starting new in Japan, whatever it takes. My plan right now is this. Start school in a tech field with courses for Japanese. Work up to and earn bachelors degree, get VISA to work as English Teacher, integrate from there and live on. Now, that's all I have. people say teaching English is about it if you want a liveable salary (despite how low it is). I don't know what this means in regards to the VA and my disability claim (could care less if I lose them if I have job anyway). I don't know what timeframe is realistic, I know nothing else. Are there any good resources to check? Any services that help with this? Any help is appreciated. I know in terms of criminal background, I have nothing, so I know that's fine. But does bad credit inhibit getting a VISA? I dunno.
tl;dr: Need to know, with no college at 25, what I need to do to move to Japan.
I don't think that taking Japanese courses in college will prove too useful to be honest. When I was in school I took some introductory courses but it became apparent pretty quickly that teaching it to yourself would be just as effective. Perhaps the only real benefit to being in a class was that there were other people with whom I could actually try to converse with in Japanese, but considering the nature of college it isn't difficult to find someone to talk to (it's as simple as going to a language club) to practice speaking. If you're actually as motivated as you make yourself out to be, then teaching it to yourself will likely be the best course of action especially considering that from a financial perspective you will be less burdened.
Couldn't really figure a better spot. I thought maybe /b/, but I figured anyone who has traveled or lived abroad there would probably be lurking here. And I think it is still on topic? If not in an unorthodox way. If I'm wrong than my bad. I'll take whatever modding is needed.
Given I adhere to a reasonable schedule, how long do you think I should work on this before visiting Japan (I plan to actually take a trip there a few times a year once I get the ball rolling, to acquaint myself, help me learn the culture and language, and to put it on a resume when I need to gain employment for the move.
My first instinct is to be snarky but I actually feel bad for you anon.
In all seriousness, ignoring the practical issues specific to Japan, I wouldn't contemplate moving to /any/ foreign country anytime soon in your situation - if you can't get your life in order and achieve personal and financial stability in a country where you have the advantages of citizenship, language fluency, and benefits from prior military service, you certainly won't be able to do so in a foreign environment where there will only be more barriers to overcome.
Maybe Japan will be your long-term goal, and that's okay, but for the immediate future don't let that distract you from becoming self-sufficient and finding a healthy way of living that starts today.
Obviously the rate of learning a language will vary from person to person, so I'm not sure how meaningful my answer to this will be. But speaking from experience, a lot of the students that I took courses with learned enough by the end of one semester to be able to communicate at a level such that pretty much any native adult would not have too much difficulty trying to understand what was meant. So maybe a reasonable expectation is that if you put in an hour or two every day for 3 to 5 months, you will be at a level where you can get by enough to survive. The thing that will require the most time commitment is learning to read, especially as far as Kanji is concerned. That's a whole other beast, but in terms of day to day verbal communication, as I have already said a few hours daily for no more than half a year should suffice.
I hear you. these are things I have contemplated heavily. Everywhere from how will I function socially, mentally, and so on. A lot of my financial turbulence came from the divorce. It was very nasty, and had a lot of legal walk arounds to attack me any way she could. I am stable for the most part (I have a house to sleep in, bed to make, clothes to wear), I just feel I need to reboot in a large way. Now, also note, my plans are to get to Japan relatively quick. I will not do so without first having visited the area I intend to live in, lining up a job, and lining up a living space. Now of course there are a million things to also consider and do. but I feel this is what I want. who knows, maybe it goes south, and I come back with my tail between my legs. But as it stands now, I've kind of become a guy with nothing to lose. And somehow that has lit a fire under my ass.
Uhhhhh... You may want to analyze the sociopolitical and socioeconomic situation in Japan before you commit to this. I don't want to start a political debate in this thread but not everything is peachy over there.
That being said you don't need to be a fluent Japanese speaker to become a teacher overseas. Obviously having some skills relative to the language is a plus but it isn't strictly necessary.
I get that. That's part of the reason I wanted to merely visit few times a year to be closer to the info, and see what I am in for. While I don't fully understand their full situation, I know enough I want to give this thing a serious shot. I'm trying to plan ways I could stop this process, and go back to the old plan of living the American Dream. It seems college is the best way to do this for me.
But while we're at it, American living in Japan here (Osaka.) It's a really great place to live, a really terrible place to come running from your problems. Any problems you face where you are will follow you here, added to the stresses of moving to a new country. Sort your shit out before you consider relocating.
I'm in upper management myself, so it's all shits and giggles for me. But as an English teacher you will have to be wary of exploitative Eikawas, and bear in mind that the salary will not afford you a place in the center of the city where all the "techy" stuff is. Your best bet is the JET program to get a flavor of the country before you commit.
Rural Japan is a nice bet.
I lived in Kyoto for a while and escaping to the northern end of the prefecture was always a delight.
I feel so bad for the techy folk who come to Japan and realise just how shallow that side of the country is.