- I've taught in 3 Asian countries (Japan, South Korean, and China) for the past 10 years. From my knowledge, if you're the adventurous sort, go with a recruitment agency. If you're more conservative, go with the JET program in Japan.
- In Asia, the government schools; i.e., the board of education) begin in April/May, then they take a couple of months off in the summer and then resume in September. Non-government runs school are open during the summer, the hours can be all over the map, and they hire at any time through out the year.
- I taught in Japan (6 years) and South Korea (1 year), and while the salary in Japan is higher than in South Korea, the cost of living is fairly high. I was able to save money in South Korea; but I lived a very comfortable life ($$) in Japan!
- Sounds to me as if the JET program would be your best bet. They offer accommodation, and it's a good program, or at least was last time I was in Japan --3 years ago. As for other schools, you'd be smart to ask the school if you can contact a few of their teachers so that you can gain a better idea of what the working and living conditions are like.
- I worked for a company in Nagoya called Altia. They are like JET: they place teachers in government schools, and most of my colleagues at the time (3 years ago) were ex-JETS.
- I liked working in both Japan and South Korea; the cultures are markedly different. From my experience, Japan is quiet, slow, calm, and you can feel somewhat alone at times; whereas South Korea is loud, fast, wild, and you never feel alone. Personally, I found teaching in South Korea more fulfilling--at least for the schools I taught for, as their view of English education is taken seriously. In Japan, I felt like an entertainer, not a teacher.
- You'll need teacher training, so get your TESOL. You won't be teaching English. You'll be teaching "people" English, so you'll need to learn how to do it. Classroom management is a skill that you'll need and just one of many that you'll thank yourself later for having learned before stepping into a classroom.
- The JET program offers language courses. Do your research. Contact them. If you're planning to live abroad, you'll pick up the language sooner or later because it's a matter of necessity / survival.