International School Community Blog

Blogs of international school teachers: “Ichi, Ni, San…Go.”

Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?

Check out the experiences of another teacher from the moment they signed the contract to what they are writing about after a few years working abroad.

Our 4th blog that we would like to highlight is called “Ichi, Ni, San…Go.”   It has some great insight into how important the first few weeks are for new teachers during their orientation days to their new city and new school.  There is also much information to be learned what life is really like working at Fukuoka International School.

Entries we would like to highlight:

First Dinner with New Teachers:
“We went out to our first group dinner with the new teachers last night. As we walked into the restaurant Kumi (our Japanese hero) informed us that the specialty of Fukuoka was “cow’s guts.”

Yes.  The multitude of dinner parties and restaurant outings during your first few weeks are exciting.  You get to sample the food that you will most likely be eating (or not eating I suppose) for the next few years in your new country.  Going out to dinner/lunch is a good time to get to know your fellow coworkers.  It is also a good chance to get to know your new neighborhood/city.   Sometimes, there are dinners with director, maybe even at his/her house.

School Prep:
“While Robert was getting his class schedule, student list, parent/teacher handbook, and learning all the do’s/don’ts of working at FIS, I had to bike back to our little townhouse, so that they could install the upstairs AC unit (which took nearly 2 hours)….but it was entirely worth the wait.  I’m not sure I will ever get use to the heat and humidity here.”

I love how this international school teacher highlighted how there are many things that need to get done during your first few weeks in the new country.  Getting things set up in your house/apartment can definitely take up a lot of your time (and sometimes waste your time as you wait and wait for the workers/people to come to your place).  Installing the AC unit is just one of the many things you need to get ready in your new house.  Other things might include: telephone, internet, etc…  And dealing with the local service companies can be a bit of shock both with regards to cultural differences and language miscommunications.

First Day of School:
“Yesterday afternoon Linda (the Head of School) officially offered me the library position.  I was anticipating having to go to the Immigration Office to get my spousal work visa today, but I couldn’t because I have to wait for the school director to sign the contract (and he doesn’t get in until Friday night), so looks like I will be doing that on Monday instead.”

This is a good example of how many last minute things there are to deal with, and getting your work visa finalize and set is not fun.  It can be quite stressful knowing that you are without a work visa.  For sure things calm down a bit for new teachers once they get the work visa all squared away.  Good schools will definitely help to facilitate that process for you and try to make it as stress-free as possible.