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Tefl in South Korea

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 14 ✭✭✭ lordwilmore


    Hi!
    Does anyone have advice about teaching in South Korea?
    At the moment I am in Australia and would like to teach in Korea.
    I have the relevant qualifications to work in Korea.
    what i really want to know is what exactly i have to do? i.e. garda checks, university correspondents detailing my degree results.
    Its slightly more difficult for myself on account of being in oz. all the relevant things i need are back home.
    any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated, whether it be, what to avoid or what agency to use. What pitfalls should i be aware of?
    thanks in advance.


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Comments

  • #2


    What documentation do you need ? That depends on the mood of the immigration officer, the alignment of the planets and which side of the bed you got out of that morning.

    Gardaí check -> not difficult to get. Got mine in a few days, had a mate whose took a month though.
    Degree -> Bring original, you can get a copy but its a lot of hassle to certify the copy.
    Transcripts of your results -> Their usually bastards about these, you need at least 2 copies, in a sealed university envelope, stamped and signed on the seam of the envelope.
    Health check -> (You download a pdf statement online, answer a few questions and sign it. You will need a health check when u get here though in a hospital.)
    Interview in korean embassy (if this is your first trip) -> I'm not sure about this, I've meet people who didn't have to do it, I've met people who did. Maybe its not necessary.

    Check out this page.

    http://www.esljobproject.com/esl_info/visa_korea.html
    Does anyone have advice about teaching in South Korea?

    Only go for public school positions or hagwons (private institutes) that are part of a chain.
    What pitfalls should i be aware of?

    Dodgy ****ing hagwon owners.

    Heres a website to look for jobs. http://www.worknplay.co.kr/

    Heres a recruiter based in waterford. http://www.tigerenglish.com/

    I wouldn't go anywhere but Seoul If I were you.


  • #2


    cheers for all the help.
    what has been your own experience with tiger english been like? are they a reputable outfit?
    have already signed up with them.


  • #2


    Gardaí check -> not difficult to get. Got mine in a few days. +1

    Degree -> Original or copy they have to be apposled by the Department of foreign affairs. Costs €20 per document.

    Transcripts of your results -> I only needed one copy, but as stated the envelope needed to be stamped and signed across the opening.

    Health check -> (You download a pdf statement online, answer a few questions and sign it. You will need a health check when u get here though in a hospital.)

    Interview in korean embassy -> Yes it has to be done, not really an interview as such just a few very simple questions and your visa and passport are returned to you in a few days. Remember to bring copies of degrees and all required documentation. Embassy is open for interviews Tuesday and Thursdays between 2 and 4. Need to make an appointment before going. Cost of visa €50 per person.
    what has been your own experience with tiger English been like? are they a reputable outfit?
    Super helpful would recommend them to anyone. The girlfriend and I signed up with them in December and are of to Korea on the 26th of February to start teaching in Seoul.

    If you need further information send me a pm and I can answer all questions.

    If any one is interested, I will stick the entire process I had to go through to get a teaching job in Korea in a post later today. Must finish thesis first tho.


  • #2


    ARGINITE wrote: »

    If any one is interested, I will stick the entire process I had to go through to get a teaching job in Korea in a post later today. Must finish thesis first tho.


    Hi Arginite,

    It would be great if you could share the process you had to go through in getting everything sorted for Korea! I have also registered with Tigerenglish with a view to head off asap for a year or so with the girlfriend. Lord knows how worse things will get here at home so I guess there isn't really a better time to evade all this bleakness that we are being drowned with here :(:(:(

    Best of luck with the thesis - thank god I have that over and done with :D

    Cheers!


  • #2


    In the middle of another chapter so ill give this a start and get back to it later if not finished now.

    How I got my E2 visa:
    1. I applied for our garda clearance certs at the local garda station. I received then about a week after applying, included a S.A.E. to speed things up a little.

    2. I then went to my college and got a copy of all years of my exam results, these must be put into an envelope, then envelope needs to be sealed, then the college need to stamped across the seal and signed by the person who stamped it.

    3. You need to get your degree and garda clearance certs apostilled by the department of foreign affairs, info here.

    4. Get a copy of your passport and four passport photos.

    5. Apply for a job or in our case we were contacted by Tiger English and they found us a job.

    6. Do the interview for the job, ours lasted about five or ten minutes. But it really wasn't a difficult interview and was more about why you wanted to teach in Korea. We were asked about relative teaching experience that we had. Nothing to stressful.

    7. Once your job has been secured Tiger English will forward you on the medical history forum and a copy of your contract. Fill out the both and email back the signed contract page.

    8. You will then need to send on all of the documentation to Korea [Copy of passport, Original contract you signed, Original degree scroll or notarised degree with Apostille stamp, Transcript sealed stamped and signed, 4 passport photos, Medical History form, Police Check + Apostille stamp] by courier. This part cost about €75 by DHL and they had it in five days.

    9. You will be issued visa numbers which Tiger English will email on to you. You will then need to arrange a meeting with the Korean embassy in Ireland and have a quick interview with them. You should be issued your visa a week or so later [they will need to holds on to your passports for a week or so, if you live a fair bit out side Dublin like me best to bring a registered S.A.E.]. Your visa is valid for entry into Korea for a three month period. So its ok if your start date at the school changes a bit. Costs of visa €50 each.

    10. Once your visa is secured you will be given the name, phone number and email address for a travel agent. You will book your flights through them (depending on your contract, you may have to pay for them and be reimbursed when you get to Korea). At this stage it is also a good idea to look for pictures of your accommodation and may be an email address of phone number for current teachers in the school. It worth getting their views on the experience.

    11. Once you have the flights booked its pretty much wait for your departure date. Their will be someone to meet you at the air port from either Tiger English or the school.

    One final thing, accommodation in Korea is not like Ireland. The apartments are small normally just one room, I am also going with my GF this has caused one little problem. I snore like a train so we had to get two separate apartments :(
    Other than that everything else is excellent and Tiger English have been very helpful.

    Have you been contacted by Tiger English?


  • #2


    Many thanks for the prompt reply Arginite!!

    Looks like a fairly thorough process in terms of getting the visa sorted but I guess that's Immigration/Emmigration for you!! I've spent the last year following my Masters Degree on an internship in New York and it's pretty much the same set up when getting the visa... By the way, what's a "notarised degree"?

    Yes I have heard back from Tiger English and they are currently on the lookout for two positions for us so hopefully something will turn up soon with them. Are you going to be based in Seoul?

    Best of luck with it all. You might throw us a post to let us know how things go initially with the school and the apartment over there. Bit of a bummer about having to get two apartments - ha, you could always check out some of that wacky medication floating around the place for snoring!!

    All the best!!


  • #2


    A notarised degree is a copy of a degree that has been made by the institute it came from and stamped by the institute.

    Yes we will be based in Seoul.
    Yep I will keep you informed of our experience when we get their, 23 days left. I don't intending on trying the local medicine but I will give the dog soup a go :D


  • #2


    Has the economic slowdown affected the amount of teaching jobs? I've only done a small bit of research into this but I'm thinking of looking for a job once I've gone over there. Any advice?


  • #2


    Has the economic slowdown affected the amount of teaching jobs? I've only done a small bit of research into this but I'm thinking of looking for a job once I've gone over there. Any advice?

    A
    B
    C


  • #2


    ARGINITE wrote: »
    A notarised degree is a copy of a degree that has been made by the institute it came from and stamped by the institute.

    Yes we will be based in Seoul.
    Yep I will keep you informed of our experience when we get their, 23 days left. I don't intending on trying the local medicine but I will give the dog soup a go :D

    Hello

    I am interested in teaching in Seoul but I want to start soon as I am between jobs at the minute.

    How quicly can I get a job? Could I be working in march?

    Thank you


  • #2


    Has the economic slowdown affected the amount of teaching jobs? I've only done a small bit of research into this but I'm thinking of looking for a job once I've gone over there. Any advice?

    To be honest I don't think it has. If you have only done a small bit of research then I think that would be a bad idea.
    MrMiyagi wrote:
    How quicly can I get a job? Could I be working in march?

    Yes you could secure a job by then but it takes a while to get the visa sorted out. So I don't think you could be working by March.


  • #2


    A lot of EFL teachers fled Korea when the Won tanked so I think it's fair to say the recession has impacted on the job market over there. The vacuum this exodus created has meant a lowering in both the qualifications required to gain employment and the salaries on offer. Research very carefully! Do not accept a position without speaking to a former employee (preferably two). Ask as many questions as you can. Contracts are viewed quite differently in Korea than here at home so be sure to adjust your expectations accordingly.


  • #2


    Tristram wrote: »
    A lot of EFL teachers fled Korea when the Won tanked so I think it's fair to say the recession has impacted on the job market over there. The vacuum this exodus created has meant a lowering in both the qualifications required to gain employment and the salaries on offer. Research very carefully! Do not accept a position without speaking to a former employee (preferably two). Ask as many questions as you can. Contracts are viewed quite differently in Korea than here at home so be sure to adjust your expectations accordingly.

    Thanks Tristram


  • #2


    Tristram wrote: »
    A lot of EFL teachers fled Korea when the Won tanked so I think it's fair to say the recession has impacted on the job market over there. The vacuum this exodus created has meant a lowering in both the qualifications required to gain employment and the salaries on offer. Research very carefully! Do not accept a position without speaking to a former employee (preferably two). Ask as many questions as you can. Contracts are viewed quite differently in Korea than here at home so be sure to adjust your expectations accordingly.

    Hello,

    Does having a Celt/Celta qualification effect your earnings in Korea?

    Thank you


  • #2


    It could effect your pay, if you have previous TEFL experience/Masters degree they can also effect it to.


  • #2


    ARGINITE wrote: »
    It could effect your pay, if you have previous TEFL experience/Masters degree they can also effect it to.

    Hello,

    Thanks for all your advice regarding South Korea.

    Did you get one of those culture smart books to learn about S Korea?

    Watch out for angry Korean men and also the Korean police, check out what it says on wikitravel

    http://wikitravel.org/en/South_Korea#Stay_safe

    I am going to do the Celt course to give me confidence as I am going on my own and I havent taught before.


  • #2


    The only thing we got about South Korea was a lonely planet guide as a Christmas present. But for reading things on line I don't really have to many worries in that regard.

    The CELT course sounds like a good idea, I have never taught English [have done quite a bit of teaching/lecturing, just not of the English language] before so I am a bit worried in that regard.


  • #2


    ARGINITE wrote: »
    The CELT course sounds like a good idea, I have never taught English [have done quite a bit of teaching/lecturing, just not of the English language] before so I am a bit worried in that regard.

    Hello,

    When I did the i to i TEFL a couple of weekends ago the tutor said the "culture smart" series of books were good for prepation for going teaching in a different culture. She had been in the middle east, turkey etc

    The CELT course is good cause you get alot of practical experience and certificate rating you as a teacher.

    Thank you


  • #2


    Hi. I'm looking to do the teaching in S.Korea as well.
    I have been asked to get all the documents (Degree, Results, Garda letter) but i have also been asked to get an '' Apostille''

    Can someone explain to me what this is as the email instructions are not very clear

    Thanks


  • #2


    ARGINITE wrote: »
    3. You need to get your degree and garda clearance certs apostilled by the department of foreign affairs, info here.

    Try that.


  • #2


    ARGINITE wrote: »
    Try that.

    Hello,

    What is Seoul Like?

    I am nearly finished a TEFL course and I am interested in going to Korea.

    Thank you


  • #2


    MrMiyagi wrote: »
    Hello,

    Does having a Celt/Celta qualification effect your earnings in Korea?

    Thank you

    Try 'affect' if you want to teach English. :)


  • #2


    pierrot wrote: »
    Try 'affect' if you want to teach English. :)

    Nice one :(


  • #2


    Anyway, to answer your question, I don't know much about Seoul but I have taught TEFL in Japan and would definitely recommend it. The JET interviews have passed, but you could try Peppy Kids Club or Interac.
    And the courses and culture books are all well and good, but the best thing is to jump in feet first, and after a few weeks you'll work out for yourself what works and what doesn't. Once you get that experience, you'll be flying it after a couple of months, and you'll actually see yourself becoming quite a good teacher after half a year.
    The kids over there are quite well behaved and eager in general, and you can make a bit of extra spending money doing private lessons on the side.
    They say Korea is like the black sheep of Asia, more 'European' I guess, and any Koreans I have met have been very friendly and genuine. Good luck.


  • #2


    Seoul is going really well, bit of a lack of English speaking people in my part and you have to adjust to the odd stare for the Koreans. Other wise its really good, the Koreans are really nice people, a bit weird at times tho.

    If you have any other questions post them up and ill do my best.

    Just finished work so kinda tired, hence the rubbish reply.


  • #2


    pierrot wrote: »
    Anyway, to answer your question, I don't know much about Seoul but I have taught TEFL in Japan and would definitely recommend it. The JET interviews have passed, but you could try Peppy Kids Club or Interac.
    I think Japan might be a more interesting place to teach than South Korea but I get the impression that Koreans are more friendly and open. Does it take longer to set up a teaching job in Japan?

    pierrot wrote: »
    you'll actually see yourself becoming quite a good teacher after half a year.
    Hopefully


  • #2


    ARGINITE wrote: »
    Seoul is going really well, bit of a lack of English speaking people in my part and you have to adjust to the odd stare for the Koreans. Other wise its really good, the Koreans are really nice people, a bit weird at times tho.

    If you have any other questions post them up and ill do my best.

    Just finished work so kinda tired, hence the rubbish reply.

    Thanks for your reply.

    I think I better pick up a "Teach yourself Korean" series. I have met some Koreans and I found them to be very friendly and fun.

    So is Seoul a fun city, do you think it would keep someone entertained for a year?

    thank you.


  • #2


    MrMiyagi wrote: »

    So is Seoul a fun city, do you think it would keep someone entertained for a year?

    Seoul absolutely rocks.. Plenty of bars (including Irish pubs), All kinds of restaurants (very cheap too), clubs, concerts, parties, singing rooms, mountains..hot springs, bathing houses great shopping districts...casinos.....whatever your taste..

    There is more than enough there to keep you entertained for a year. I ended up staying there 3 years and am seriously considering heading back again...soon!


  • #2


    Hi guys,

    Argentine, i'd be interested to hear from you on this. Myself and my gf are seriously considering going to seoul in october wit a view of taking a TEFL position for a year (or maybe more if all goes well!). Few questions:
    1. I have a Uni degree in English and have done 120 hours of TEFL, what are my chances of getting a job over there?
    2. My gf has will be finished a degree in Montessori Teaching and has done a TEFL course and has loads of teaching exp. What are the chances of her gettin a Montessori position or Tefl job. She'd prefer Montessori as thats her passion.
    3. What is the standard of livin over there for a TEFL teacher?
    4. How much money would 1 need going over there?
    Would love to hear if any1 can answer any of the above for me!

    Thanks


  • #2


    Hello,

    I am also looking for work in Korea. I will have a go at answering your questions based on my experience and advice recieved from people on boards etc.
    chipsbebo wrote: »
    I have a Uni degree in English and have done 120 hours of TEFL, what are my chances of getting a job over there?
    A degree in English is good and this will help you get a job. The 120 hour TEFL course isnt great but it will make a small difference. If you want to get a job straight away you can get a job in a Hagwon (private school) or wait till August for a public school job. Try to get a job in Seoul, outside Seoul is a non event.

    chipsbebo wrote: »
    My gf has will be finished a degree in Montessori Teaching and has done a TEFL course and has loads of teaching exp. What are the chances of her gettin a Montessori position or Tefl job. She'd prefer Montessori as thats her passion.
    Teaching experience will improve her pay and most of the work in Korea is teaching kids so her experience is valuable. I dont know if there are Montessori schools in Korea. Try and get a job in the same school.

    chipsbebo wrote: »
    What is the standard of livin over there for a TEFL teacher?
    Good, but if you get a bad Hagwon you could end up working alot of additional hours and or living in a bad appartment. It is important to talk to current teachers. Google the name of your school to find out about before signing. Dont consider small Hagwons with a few schools. Use websites like http://www.eslcafe.com/ to find out about schools. Here is a look at the cost of living http://www.parkenglish.com/bbs/bbs_view.php?bbsID=Information&num=9.

    chipsbebo wrote: »
    How much money would 1 need going over there?

    You will need at least €700 each and I woul say nearer to €1000 for emergencies.


    Good luck with the search. But be cautious when picking a school.

    Start this process now:
    How I got my E2 visa:
    1. I applied for our garda clearance certs at the local garda station. I received then about a week after applying, included a S.A.E. to speed things up a little.

    2. I then went to my college and got a copy of all years of my exam results, these must be put into an envelope, then envelope needs to be sealed, then the college need to stamped across the seal and signed by the person who stamped it.

    3. You need to get your degree and garda clearance certs apostilled by the department of foreign affairs, info here.

    4. Get a copy of your passport and four passport photos.

    5. Apply for a job or in our case we were contacted by Tiger English and they found us a job.

    6. Do the interview for the job, ours lasted about five or ten minutes. But it really wasn't a difficult interview and was more about why you wanted to teach in Korea. We were asked about relative teaching experience that we had. Nothing to stressful.

    7. Once your job has been secured Tiger English will forward you on the medical history forum and a copy of your contract. Fill out the both and email back the signed contract page.

    8. You will then need to send on all of the documentation to Korea [Copy of passport, Original contract you signed, Original degree scroll or notarised degree with Apostille stamp, Transcript sealed stamped and signed, 4 passport photos, Medical History form, Police Check + Apostille stamp] by courier. This part cost about €75 by DHL and they had it in five days.

    9. You will be issued visa numbers which Tiger English will email on to you. You will then need to arrange a meeting with the Korean embassy in Ireland and have a quick interview with them. You should be issued your visa a week or so later [they will need to holds on to your passports for a week or so, if you live a fair bit out side Dublin like me best to bring a registered S.A.E.]. Your visa is valid for entry into Korea for a three month period. So its ok if your start date at the school changes a bit. Costs of visa €50 each.

    10. Once your visa is secured you will be given the name, phone number and email address for a travel agent. You will book your flights through them (depending on your contract, you may have to pay for them and be reimbursed when you get to Korea). At this stage it is also a good idea to look for pictures of your accommodation and may be an email address of phone number for current teachers in the school. It worth getting their views on the experience.

    11. Once you have the flights booked its pretty much wait for your departure date. Their will be someone to meet you at the air port from either Tiger English or the school.


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