I'm a year away from getting my undergrad degree in (computer) engineering, with a minor in Japanese. I never had the opportunity to do a study abroad due to the rigors of the major. As some probably know, the JET program is a program by which selected individuals move to Japan to teach English at public schools for a year (or two or three, but not more, I believe). I've always been very interested in doing something like this, but I have always assumed that doing so would ruin my chances of getting into a graduate program or landing a good job upon my return.
It wouldn't be like attending grad school before entering the industry or vice versa, in that I would be teaching English for a living, not studying or working in my field. I could still self study, and my field gives me the advantage of still being able to apply my skills working on personal projects and open-source software, but I would certainly be removed from the industry and academia, I would expect.
I feel like leave from the field would look bad to any prospective schools or employers. How accurate is my assumption? Would a leave of absence to do something like this reflect poorly on me in the eyes of potential schools or employers?