So, this is not happening immediately, or really any time soon, but in a few years (probably 3 at the most), I will probably be moving to Japan. I know this seems way in advance, but I am the kind of person who likes to have the next 10 years outlined. I am an English major, and until recently I was planning on getting my teaching degree in English. However, due to financial reasons, I changed that plan and added Japanese as a second major, while dropping the Pre-Education. It was a major change for me, as I've had the whole "going-to-be-a-teacher" persona for the past 6 years. However, I also love the Japanese language and anything related to Japan (mostly anyway), so I'm content with my decision. Someday soon, after we've saved enough money and such, my boyfriend (Justin) and I plan to move to Japan for a few years, probably between 3 to 5 years. Justin is also a Japanese major, and looking to go into translation work in the video game industry. We both want to be there to help secure jobs and become fluent. Neither of us is quite fluent yet, although I am better at the language than my boyfriend. I have stayed in Japan on a 4 month study abroad trip, and I taught English during that time. So I think that will be what I want to do when I am living there. (You don't really need a teaching degree for this.)
However, the problem is I have no idea where we should move, or how we should prepare for such a move. Justin should get a job where he can speak English, at least at first, until he gets more comfortable with the language. I don't know what kind of job that would be, or where he would find it. We also have cats that would have to come with us (non-negotiable), and I've heard it's quite expensive. Beside the expense, I don't even know how to get pets on a plane and across oceans.
So...I guess I am asking the JustBento community the following things:
-Are there any cities in Japan that are particularly friendly toward foreigners? Are there jobs available where you can speak English and be understood? I don't really want to live in Tokyo, but I am fine with Kyoto (<3), Osaka, etc. Do more rural areas have opportunities for foreigners? Because I'd love to live in Akita, which is where I studied abroad.
-What is the housing market like in Japan? (Not to buy, but to rent?) We need room for two cats. How does pricing work? Are all big cities expensive and small the way Tokyo is?
-Any tips for living in Japan as a foreigner?
-Have you ever moved to another country with pets? What is the process like, and how much did it cost? I heard Japan quarantines the pets for a while.
-We don't want to stay in Japan forever. Justin's work will probably have him working Stateside eventually. Any tips on putting a Japanese degree to use in the States? Or an English degree for that matter? (lol)
-Encouraging thoughts about making big changes (like switching your major) and steering your life into an entirely unforeseen direction?
It's fine if no one can really answer these questions. I am just throwing them out there to see if anyone has any advice. I don't really want to pester Maki about it, due to her condition, but I'd welcome her advice if she reads this. I know it seems like I'm jumping the gun, but I'm close to graduating, and I need a plan or else I will go crazy. Even if my plans change, they need to be there for me to have the motivation and momentum to make something out of my life. Changing my major was a huge leap of faith for me. I would love the comfort of a nice plan to prove that it was a good idea.
Thank you in advance!
Onaka ga suiteiru!