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about me

I am one of the many teaching English in Japan. I do it in a new and interesting way. My name is Derek Maeckelburg and I am the owner of the Smith's School of English franchise school in Tsukaguchi, located in Amagasaki, Hyogo, Japan. I have owned my franchise since July 2001. I'm from Quebec, Canada and 30 years old.

I first came to Japan on a working holiday visa from Canada in 1997, arriving in Osaka. Having known some Japanese people in Canada who were from the Yamaguchi prefecture in western Japan, I wanted to work there. I soon found English teaching work there through the Working Holiday Center, located in Osaka. After working there for about 7 months I moved to Tokyo, looking for change. I worked there for a little less than a year. I then went traveling in Western Europe for a few months. After my travels, I came back to Japan and decided to teach English in Tokyo again for one year. Next, I went back to Canada for a while, first school and then a little work. There wasn't much happening in Canada and all of my friends were complaining about their future prospects. That was when I came back to Japan and soon entered the Smith's franchise school system. I have been in the Smith's School Of English system since spring 2001.


the purpose of this site

The main objective of this site is to give you, the reader, an idea of what to expect if you buy a Smith's School of English franchise school, based on my own experiences. I have also included some brief information on living in Japan.

I hope it will prove helpful to you.


Derek Maeckelburg,
Tsukaguchi franchise school owner