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Discovering the Freedom to Achieve Anything I Want — 15 Comments

  1. These were a great read! Good job to both of you!

    I have some questions for Alec, about your 3 years in Japan. How did applying for the work holiday go? Did you use any sort of internet “guide” to help you go through the process?

    Also how is it going to go, switching from a work holiday visa to a student bisa for language school, and then changing / renewing it for university? Is that whole thing already planned?

    I guess Id just like more detail on that whole paragraph haha. Thanks!

    • As long as you live in one of the countries that are part of the working holiday scheme, it’s fairly simple.
      You have to be 18-30 (I just made it), in full time employment and able to provide a bunch of things…
      You’ll need to provide an itinerary of your years stay in Japan, a personal history or C.V, a written letter stating your reason for the application and three months of bank statements showing you have over £3000 disposable income in your account or £1500 if you already booked your flight, which I did.
      For the itinerary I simply researched various activities to do all over Japan and broke them down in to a sort of calendar. I explained how I would find work (you’re not allowed to already have employment secured so I omitted that)where I was going to go and the route I would take. The itinerary should be one full side A4 and no more.
      All the requirements of the visa can be found on the Japanese consulate website.
      And yeah the language school is pre arranged, as I will start in 2017 I hope to be more or less fluent so it will be more of a buffer than anything. It’s also very straightforward and you can change your visa internally once in Japan. There’s a lot of paperwork and some lengthy visits at the embassy but you gotta do what you gotta do.
      Near the end of my second year I will be applying to Universities. Essentially this is relatively easy so long as you have the funds to support yourself and some form of education to show you’re eligible for the chosen course.
      Sorry I’m being so vague, but basically the extensions of visas aren’t that hard. After the fifth year…I don’t know. I assume I’ll be fluent by then so would hopefully find a company willing to employ me.
      Hope this helps!

      • Thats some crazy (in a good way) plan! So from the sounds of it you plan on doing ALL your university in Japan?? Man, you must need so much funding for all of those things you’ve mentioned haha, I’ve got a looooot of saving to do if I want to do something like that! How long have you been saving for all of that? Do oyu have a job that pays quite well, or do you just not spend much?

        Thanks for your answer!

        • I’m fortunate enough to have a job that pays very well. A year at language school is around £4000, university fees are a little more.
          It’s a combination of saving and calculating my earnings. Four years of study in Japan, and I’ve already graduated uni once haha.
          Gotta do what you gotta do!

          • Fair enough! I definitely couldnt afford to do uni on top of all of that, however I might be able to save for a language school on top of the work holiday, so I’ll definitely keep that in mind when I make some deeper planning.

            Do you have some sort of blog or social media that we can follow your journey in that? Id be very interesting in knowing how it goes over time!

            • Funny you should say that! I was gonna contact Adam about this. In the month prior to my departure I’ll be starting a blog/vlog following my studies, adjusting to Japanese life/working environment and generally my progress in all aspects.

          • Cant reply to your other comment because the chain is too long haha but I look forward to your blog then!

      • Alec, at 29 I gave up my job and moved to Japan, spent a year studying Japanese and then the next four years studying in a Japanese university. Ten years later I am still here and don’t regret it at all!

        Good luck on your journey!

        • Wow that sounds great!! Do you have any tips for someone in his very early twenties who thinks he wants to do this, but is scared to make sacrifices?

          • When my friend asked me if he should move to Paris, I told him this:
            Opportunities to move to and experience a new country are few and far apart. When you are presented the opportunity you have to take it. Because, it’s is very difficult to get there, but it is so easy to go back to what you already know.

            And he’s very happy in Paris.

            • I totally understand that, but when you have to work for 5 years and cut most spendings, just to get enough money, thats when its hard :P Just in a down period I guess, but these five years of “money grinding” will be worth it

          • You should visit Japan immediately. It’s really hard to know if you should prioritize living here without having ever been.

            • Spending time in Japan really changed my life. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard and taken such an enormous risk in order to bring something to fruition.
              Maybe I’ll see you next year.

            • I actually have been to Japan, but maybe I need to refresh my memories :p When I went it was my first time taking the plane, first time leaving north america, first time traveling alone, first time going in a country that I don’t speak the language, and on top of that I had extreme social anxiety. So I think if I go a second time with some basic knowledge of japanese, and not have all of these “firsts”, and for a longer time too haha maybe a month, it would probably tell me whether I really want to go for it, or just visit every few year.

        • I’m 30 and just made it! I’m taking my job with me luckily. That’s my plan too, at least four years study with a hope to attain a full working visa at the end. It’s totally possible with the right attitude and planning.
          Sounds like you have a great story to tell.

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