I’m a Singaporean who’s interested in becoming an ALT and had some questions.
As I understand it, you became an ALT in Japan but not through the JET programme. May I know if it was through another of those companies you have mentioned before, such as Interac? I’ve been corresponding with someone who’s a current ALT, who applied through Interac, but he’s an American and I wanted a Singaporean perspective. Does Interac accept Singaporean applicants? Their website doesn’t mention Singapore, as far as I’ve seen, so I decided to ask.
Thank you so much for reading! Yours is one of the few Singaporean ALT blogs around, and it’s truly a valuable resource. Hope to hear from you soon!
Thank you for writing in. Yes, I was initially employed by Cosmo in Nagoya in the middle of the academic year and assigned to teach at Ichinomiya City. But as luck would have it, they lost the contract to Interac 6 months later at the end of the school year and I found myself another ALT job with ALTIA to teach in Nagoya City. However, before school started, I also received an offer from the Okazaki City Board of Education (BoE). Since the BoE offers better remuneration and stability, I turned down ALTIA and went for the BoE position.
I did apply to Interac as well though I’ve never heard back from them ever, so I can’t really comment on whether they would hire Singaporeans as ALTs. But if my memory didn’t fail me, I believe one of my Singaporean readers was hired by Interac to teach at a high school in Hokkaido. As a side note, I also applied to Borderlink and heard back from them before I came to Japan. That was in 2009. But the odd thing was, they required me to submit proof that I was educated in English for at least 12 years, totally disregarding the fact that I topped my CELTA course administered by Cambridge ESOL. I checked with the Ministry of Education in Singapore (MOE) who responded that they do not provide such written proof but the Medium of Instruction is explicitly stated on their website. After I explained the matter to Borderlink and shared with them the link to the MOE page, they never replied to me which I think wasn’t very professional.
I would suggest you send out applications to all available resources that offers something acceptable to you. Even if there weren’t any Singaporeans before you, that doesn’t mean you can’t be employed. You could be the first one, and if you are, please let me know so I can share your story with others who might want to follow in your footsteps.