Life in Nagoya - Working part-time during your studies at NUCB
Part-time work in Japan
A common question we are asked from prospective students is “Can I work part-time in Japan?”.
Japan offers a fantastic opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience whilst studying and it is a great way to earn some money to finance some of your living costs.
Unlike the USA for example, there is no waiting period and once students land, they get a stamp in their passport that allows them to work up to 28 hours per week during the semester and up to 40 hours per week during the breaks.
Approximately 76% of privately financed international students in Japan are working part-time. They earn about JPY 59,000 (US$518) per month on average.
Types of part-time job in which international students are employed
|Food & Beverage||42%|
|Sales & Marketing||29%|
|Teaching / Research Assistant||7%|
|Translation / Interpretation||7%|
Hourly rate for part-time job
|Hourly Rate||Ratio (Rounded)|
|Less than JPY 800||5%|
|JPY 800 to less than JPY 1,000||42%|
|JPY 1,000 to less than JPY 1,200||39%|
|JPY 1,200 to less than JPY 1,400||7%|
|JPY 1,400 or more||5%|
Part-time work for NUCB students
At NUCB, we offer two breaks during the year, from late January - April (Winter) and August (Summer). Also, due to the way we teach (one class lasts 200 minutes, and typically one class per day), there is plenty of time before or after class or even at weekends to conduct part-time work.
Whilst many employers require Japanese communication skills (fluency or at least conversational), it is not impossible to find employment without it.
Here we interview two current Global BBA students to learn more about their part-time work activities. Maho (Mexico), who came to us with business level Japanese (JLPT N2), and Rob (Indonesia/Scotland), who was a complete beginner.
Example Schedule for Global BBA Students
|Introduction to BBA||Introduction to Politics||Business Negotiation||Introduction to Business Law||Japanese Language|
|9:20 - 13:00||9:20 - 13:00||9:20 - 13:00||9:20 - 13:00||9:20 - 13:00|
Maho (Mexico), 3rd Year GBBA Student
During my first year, I had a scholarship and financial support from my parents, but I wanted to become more independent and to decrease the burden for my parents. Since I knew my scholarship was going to end and I didn’t know when I could get another one, I decided to start working to pay my rent and daily expenses by myself.
With a part-time job (and enough working hours) you can pay your rent and daily-life expenses while also being a student, and that is very convenient. In Mexico, you wouldn’t be able to become this independent with just a part-time job.
Doing part-time work I have definitely improved my Japanese skills and confidence. I’ve also gained teaching skills, translation skills, sales and promotion techniques, professional teamwork skills, etc.
How many part-time jobs have you had since joining NUCB?
June 2019 to December 2019: Staff at Family Mart
Hourly pay: ¥900 per hour
How did you find the job: A sign in the store and directly asking for the job.
Role: Customer service, checkout register, restocking shelves and fridges, cleaning, cooking, etc.
Japanese Required: At least N3 level. A good Japanese level is necessary to understand all the instructions given during orientation, to manage the register easily, and mostly to communicate with customers.
March 2020 – December 2020: Amazon Independent Driver
Hourly pay: ¥1,700
How did you find the job: Through friends, the application is done online.
Delivering Amazon packages by car (using my own car).
Japanese Level: Many people work here without speaking Japanese. Of course, knowing some Japanese will make it easier for you, since you might need to make a call to find the customer’s address or call the support center if you need something.
June 2020 – Current: English teacher at Kindergarten
Hourly pay: ¥2,000
How did you find the job: NUCB posted the offer in our GBBA Facebook group
Role: Teaching basic English vocabulary to kindergarten kids (4-5 years old), doing games and activities while using English.
Japanese Level: You will be an English Teacher so it is preferable that you speak in English with the kids all the time.
March 2021 – Current: Sales and Marketing Assistant at Consulting company
Hourly Pay: ¥1,000~
How did you find the job: After doing a 1-month internship at that company after contacting them directly.
Role: Develop and support the company’s marketing and promotion projects.
Japanese Level: I work in an international company with an international team, some people speak Japanese and some do not. In my position, I am usually required to create content both in Japanese and English, so having Japanese skills is a plus of course. Since the vocabulary used is more business-related, I think a Japanese level of N4 is required.
Rob (Indonesia/Scotland), 2nd Year GBBA Student
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit home (Indonesia), my parents weren't in a very stable financial position so I wanted to do my part and support them as best as I could.
I knew that they could support me but from what I understood I felt like I had a responsibility to try my best in supporting some part of my monthly costs in order to reduce their burden.
Since working in Japan I've noticed a couple of things. Punctuality and organization is super important. Showing up early is punctual, being on-time is late and being late is unacceptable! Working part-time I have learned a lot of persistence, mental toughness, and problem-solving - especially around the language barrier.
How many part-time jobs have you had since joining NUCB?
I've had four jobs, all required no Japanese ability: One English teaching job, one English conversation job, and a marketing consultant job. I've stopped two of them as I'm opting to focus more on school but they were great ways of networking as well as generating some income to keep myself afloat.
My one and only current job is the first one I mentioned, I work as a Saturday preschool teacher at a Nagoya-based Preschool.
My first job started with NIHS (the sister highschool of NUCB) - as an extracurricular English language / cultural partner in their 'English
Zone'. October 2019~ December 2019;
My next job (English Conversation / Eikaiwa) started in February 2020, from there I slowly added my preschool job in June 2020 and in September 2020 I joined my marketing work and stopped in February 2021.
How do you balance your work with the classes and coursework?
Maho: I like to use my time very efficiently, so I usually like to work right after class, maybe 3 or 4 times per week. By working right after class, I will have time after work to work on other things like homework, etc.
Currently, I am working on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3 to 7 PM, so I have time to get to my job after the morning class. I left Tuesdays and Fridays free so I can focus on doing assignments for the week. I teach English on Saturday mornings, which is great since I still have Saturday afternoons free.
Rob: I bought myself a diary and used Google Calendar and an app called Notion to my advantage. Plan and organize in advance. I'm not very organized so I had to adapt quickly and carefully when working.
Realistically, how much can a student earn per month? Would it be possible to finance tuition and living costs?
Maho: Honestly, financing tuition costs would be impossible as a student. With my Family Mart job, I used to make around ¥60,000 per month. I could pay for my groceries, other living expenses, and entertainment. I used to use my scholarship to pay the dormitory rent.
Currently, with my two jobs (English school and Consulting company) I make around ¥90,000. I can pay my rent, groceries, phone bill, medical expenses, car-related expenses, entertainment, etc. But I do not pay my tuition fees as I receive total support from my father to pay my school.
Rob: You can earn upwards of 100,000JPY a month if you put time and effort into it. Definitely enough for living costs but I'm not too sure about financing tuition.
Any recommendations for students who want to start a part-time job in Japan?
Maho: Go outside and look for job opportunities, take as many interviews as you can, and do not give up.
Work on improving your Japanese skills, preferably before coming to Japan, or in case you are here already, don’t wait until you get a job in order to start learning. Be open to doing any kind of job, since you can learn a lot from it no matter what you do.
You will have a lot of free time after classes, so use it wisely. Be organized so you don’t lose the balance between work and school.
Rob: Work if you need or want money. But don't let it consume you. Working is something that is all-consuming and you may find yourself, like I have, in times where work is everything and you don't have time to breathe or enjoy your time in Japan.
My recommendations. If you can, DO NOT work in your first semester, or preferably, your first year. Work on your Japanese, get used to Japan, and meet people. These will be the pillars that support your part-time search.