One of the best benefits of being an ALT with ALTIA CENTRAL is the fully paid and lengthy summer and winter breaks, an increasingly rare benefit with other employers in this industry. The long periods of time when the ALT is not required to be in school, especially in summer and again over the winter break, helps to rejuvenate the ALT so they can continue to provide high quality classes on a consistent basis. Sundays, National Holidays and all but a few Saturdays are also given off in accordance with the Board of Education's yearly schedule.
The few Saturdays the ALT is required to work are in the cases of company Training Events, which you may have read about in the Job Description section. There is also the possibility of being asked to attend a school function, such as a Sports Festival or Parent's Day, on a Saturday or Sunday. In these cases the ALTs are generally given the preceding Friday or following Monday off in lieu of attendance at these events.
Since ALTs teach in the public school system, all working days are set in advance in accordance with the ALT's host institution and ALTIA CENTRAL's yearly academic schedule. ALTs are basically required to be in school from the opening to the closing ceremonies in each semester. With the 1st semester ending around the 25th or so of July, and school not back in until the start of September, this typically means some 4 or almost 5 weeks of summer break when the ALT is paid in full but not required to be in school. Add another 2 weeks or so during the winter break and about 1 week at the end of the school year during the spring break and it adds up to quite a few weeks of fully paid downtime in most all of our contracts.
In the area of accommodation assistance, for most contracts ALTIA CENTRAL will locate, secure, act as guarantor and cover all initial rental deposits (key money) for an ALTIA CENTRAL sponsored apartment. In many cases, this is one of the most difficult things for foreigners to do on their own in Japan, as many foreigners cannot find apartments or guarantors easily on their own. Securing an apartment can be expensive, and the business rate for the initial key money and rental deposits are still rather high, but in order to help the ALT get settled quickly and easily we feel it is a necessary expense.
Please note that ALTIA CENTRAL sponsored accommodations are chosen at the sole discretion of ALTIA CENTRAL and thus cannot be selected or inspected by the ALT prior to moving in. Location of course is most important and typically find apartments with easy access to the school(s) the ALT teaches at as well as trying to look at the convenience factor of the neighborhood as well if at all possible. ALTIA CENTRAL typically places new recruits into Leopalace apartments, which are already furnished with a table and chair, fridge, microwave, air conditioner, washing machine, and TV with instantly accessible internet as well. They are small and compact but very convenient and easy to move into and live in.
There is a management fee of 3500 yen per month which helps us to cover some of the overheads of the apartment such initial key money, fire insurance, reform fees etc. Moving costs and utilities are the responsibility of the ALT of course, and after receiving the first month's rent up front from the new recruit, subsequent months' rent will be deducted directly from the monthly salary and paid to the real estate agent by ALTIA CENTRAL.
Company Cars and Commuting Expenses
Travel to and from schools is also an issue ALTIA CENTRAL offers support with, by either supplying a company car, paying a stipend each month to use your own car, or reimbursing costs for public transportation. Typically, ALTIA CENTRAL can provide a car for travel to and from schools, school functions, Teacher's Meetings, etc. To have the privilege of using an ALTIA CENTRAL vehicle, the ALT must possess a current and valid driving license. International licenses are also acceptable, but can only be used for the first year you are in Japan and at some point during that first year, the ALT will need to secure a Japanese driving license to continue driving in Japan. Though not all positions require driving ability, many of them do. If you prefer, our company cars can also be used for limited personal use under one of our vehicle usage plans. Personal use of company vehicles is very rare in Japan but for an ALT it is an extremely useful benefit. If public transportation in necessary or required, we do in most cases cover this in full as well.
The base salary for an ALT position with ALTIA CENTRAL is 240,000 ~ 255,000 Japanese yen per month based on your teaching experience, qualifications and Japanese language ability. As mentioned above, your salary is paid in full each month in most all of our contracts, including August when there are no school days, and months like December, January and March when there are typically only 3 weeks of school. This is an increasingly rare benefit in this industry. And though it is not offered with your first contract, if you decide you would like to sign on for a second subsequent contract, a merit bonus may be offered and paid upon completion of your Employment Agreement. Other benefits such as a monetary gift for passing the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, help with paying for school related parties, lunch money at Orientation/Training, and fully reimbursed transportation costs to and from Follow-Up Training and Professional Development days are also available.