*** Please note this is from back in 2003-2004. If you are looking for current Nova information you’re in the wrong place ***
The opportunity for me to teach English in Japan seemed like a great experience. I have always wanted to go to Japan. I initially came into contact with Nova through my University and I held onto the information for years always thinking I should send them my resume. After spending a few months working 60 plus hours for an internet startup I applied for a job with Nova. After jumping through some hoops of interviewing and paperwork I was hired and had a confirmation date to go to Japan.
I quit my job in January and traveled in Central America for two months. I sold everything I owned in The United States. I came to Japan with a computer, surfboard and some clothes. Now I consider myself a pretty well traveled guy, I have backpacked through the US, drove a car from San Diego(hometown) to Costa Rica and moved to Hawaii with virtually no money and not knowing a soul. But nothing could compare me to the culture shock of Japan. Everything seemed so surreal when I first arrived, maybe it was because I hadn’t slept in two days or maybe it was me, but I was so glad to be greeted by Nova staff at the airport.
After being greeted at the airport the other teachers and I were taken by various trains to our apartments. I was slated to live near Yokohama in a town called Hiratsuka. Hiratsuka can best be described as a suburb of Yokohama. Living there reminded me of living in any other American suburb except everyone was Japanese and I couldn’t read the menu at my local restaurant. My apartment was nice especially considering I had just returned from Central America where I was living in a van or a tent so I was really happy to be provided a decent sized, furnished clean room. The apartment was also set up with a community TV, cookware and cleaning supplies (vacuum, brooms, mops etc.) so I was pretty happy not too have to buy that stuff.