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Tefl in South Korea

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Comments

  • #2


    Thanks for that! We're thinking of heading over in October! We are looking for a life changing experience and are sick of the same ol ding-dong at home here! In terms of social life, is there many other english speaking people or irish people out there to mingle with?

    Thanks again!


  • #2


    chipsbebo wrote:
    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 getting a Montessori position or Tefl job. She'd prefer Montessori as thats her passion.
    3. What is the standard of living over there for a TEFL teacher?
    4. How much money would one need going over there?
    Would love to hear if anyone can answer any of the above for me!

    Thanks

    1. Very easy to get a job with just a degree, it was all I needed as I didn't do a TEFL course. I had a little experience of teaching kids and adults in college but that was it.

    2. Yes their are Montessori position in Korea, but at that age they would only speak Korean. The Hagwon I work in do a lot of that.

    3. The standard of living varies between schools, but from what I have been told and my own experience it is very good.

    4. Very minimum is €700, me and my gf had quite a bit more just to cover every eventuality. In the end we got paid quicker than we taught we would and living over here for the first month only cost us about €800 for the two of us.

    I would really recommend going to Seoul to teach English for a year. So far we have found it really good. Their are the odd time we are asked to work a little over time like yesterday when we had to go on a field trip to the zoo. Quite stressful with about 50 kids, but really good fun and free dinner and beer that evening is always a good incentive :D

    Their are plenty of things to do over here, the amount of English speaking people you meet really depends on where you live. If you live in the center of Seoul you will have the chance to meet quite a few [but very few Irish from looking at some Korean stats their are only about 500 - 1000 Irish in the entire country, but the last thing I wanted was a mini Ireland like what Australia has turned into]. If you are looking to mingle with as many non Korean people as possible than look to get a job somewhere near Itaewon, it is the center of all things non Korean here as its is where the American military base is, so you would be the first nuked by the DPRK :P.
    We are working and living a good bit away from the center of Seoul so we see very few English speaking people and to be honest it make it more fun, you can play spot the foreigner while out and about. Even tho we live well out of the center for Seoul we can get to it in about 40 minutes on the subway so it is the best of both worlds.

    As I posted earlier get the visa process started as early as possible and get in contact with a recruitment agency if you don't fancy doing all the leg work yourself, their is a good Irish one if you google it.


  • #2


    Thanks argentine,

    I'll get cracking on the visa process right away! Think i kno quite a lot now! If I have any further queries i'll PM you.


  • #2


    My girlfriend and I are planning on going this September or so over to South Korea. The only snag is that she is in her last year at Trinity this year and so won't be graduating until November. She gets her results in June and is effectively finished from then save for recieving that one document. Is there any loophole that would enable her to travel before before November or would she have to resign herself to have to wait until after she recieves her degree certificate. Would there be any prospects of securing a teaching role in November even?

    I graduated last year and had my ceremony at the begining of July. This seems to be the much more sensible time for graduations. Why the need for such a delay?


  • #2


    No she will need the degree certificate to get the E2 working visa for Korea.

    She could travel but would not be able to work in Korea, also she would most lightly have to pay for her own air fair if traveling before getting a job [€600 - €700 one way].

    You can also not get the E2 visa while in Korea, so you would need to leave Korea and get the visa issued from the nearest Korean embassy [Japan].

    You need to get your degree cert apostilled by the department of foreign affairs. So it is best to wait in Ireland until she has the cert.


  • #2


    Yeah, thanks for the confirmation. I thought as much to be honest. It would probably be a lot more difficult to get a job around that time of year too, wouldn't it?


  • #2


    I'm dyin to go to Korea!!! Every thing i'm hearing is so positive, is there any negatives i should be aware of?


  • #2


    Hi guys,

    I was offered a contract last night for a job in Korea with Gone2Korea - Canadian company. I have a Degree, but no TEFL cert so I'm sure I have been offere the minimum wages, which I don't really mind. The hours are 09:00-18:00 Monday to Friday. Is that normal, or a little excessive? It's a school (public) with an amazing 800 students from the ages of 4-7. They have given me the e-mail address of a guy working there to get in touch with, so waiting for a reply. It's in Gwangju too - is it a nice city? I have until tomorrow night to accept or decline....


  • #2


    chipsbebo wrote: »
    I'm dyin to go to Korea!!! Every thing i'm hearing is so positive, is there any negatives i should be aware of?

    I have completed 6 interviews and I still havent accepted a job.

    Its not all positive. Many schools are just for babysitting very young kids. Many private schools try to screw you to make a profit.


  • #2


    Hi guys,

    I was offered a contract last night for a job in Korea with Gone2Korea - Canadian company. I have a Degree, but no TEFL cert so I'm sure I have been offere the minimum wages, which I don't really mind. The hours are 09:00-18:00 Monday to Friday. Is that normal, or a little excessive? It's a school (public) with an amazing 800 students from the ages of 4-7. They have given me the e-mail address of a guy working there to get in touch with, so waiting for a reply. It's in Gwangju too - is it a nice city? I have until tomorrow night to accept or decline....

    Look at the terms and conditions.

    How many hours are you working a week?

    Email that current teacher and google the school name.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwangju


  • #2


    Hi guys,

    I was offered a contract last night for a job in Korea with Gone2Korea - Canadian company. I have a Degree, but no TEFL cert so I'm sure I have been offere the minimum wages, which I don't really mind. The hours are 09:00-18:00 Monday to Friday. Is that normal, or a little excessive? It's a school (public) with an amazing 800 students from the ages of 4-7. They have given me the e-mail address of a guy working there to get in touch with, so waiting for a reply. It's in Gwangju too - is it a nice city? I have until tomorrow night to accept or decline....


    9- 6 is a bit much...and the kids are so young. It would be very tiring I think. I wouldn't accept it. Also Gwangju is a pretty small city and far away from Seoul.. which is probably where you will end up going on most weekends. If you are looking to live in the deep countryside, a place very traditional and a LOT LESS modern than Seoul..then you could consider Gwangju.. Choosing the right place to live in Korea is as or more important than the actual place you will be working at.. I haven't actually lived there but I know some people who have and the impression is not great. Be sure to ask people that work there as much as you can about Gwangju....then 9-6 is 9 hours a day..The average work day would be around 7.

    I would let that place slip by.. Its your choice though of course..

    You don't need a TEFL Cert..

    Here is a nice job...I think!!

    Position:
    English Teacher

    A public high school located in AnYang City (30 mins form Seoul) invites applications for a native English teacher.

    Job Description: Provide basic, intermediate English language instruction to Korean high school students. Position includes preparing new teaching materials.
    Eligibility(Applicants must)
    - Be a citizen of a country where the national language is English.
    * Ethnic Koreans with legal residencies are also eligible.
    - Have a bachelors’ degree
    - Teaching experience preferred.

    Benefits
    1. Salary range: 2.2 million KRW ~2.4 million KRW
    2. Accommodation (a studio-type room)
    3. Round-trip Airfare
    4. Health insurance cover
    To Apply : Please submit your resume ([email protected])
    A detailed updated CV identifying language skills
    A cover letter highlighting key qualifications and relevant teaching experience
    Information regarding earliest availability
    Citizenship and place of birth
    Names and contact information
    If you have any questions regarding the job position please reply.



    Check out www.worknplay.co.kr or www.eslcafe.com/jobs/korea/


    Hundreds of jobs on here..


  • #2


    Out of curiosity Arginite, how long do people generally spend teaching with Tiger English? Is it viewed as a thing to do on a year out, or are there more long-term prospects?

    In addition, considering what you earn and your everyday expenses over there, are you able to live very well, or is it a bit of a struggle towards the end of the month?

    Finally, during your year of teaching, how possible is it to get a job in the private sector (say, working with a company as a researcher, editor, someone who communicates with other English-speakers for them in the course of their business dealings) after your teaching contract has expired?

    Thanks.


  • #2


    Furet wrote: »
    Out of curiosity Arginite, how long do people generally spend teaching with Tiger English? Is it viewed as a thing to do on a year out, or are there more long-term prospects?

    I would guess it really depends on the person and how long you want to spend teaching. Their are both types of teachers out here, Tiger English is just a recruiter and you can renew your contract at the end of the year normally with any school [as long as they are happy with your performance, etc]
    Furet wrote: »
    In addition, considering what you earn and your everyday expenses over there, are you able to live very well, or is it a bit of a struggle towards the end of the month?

    Definitely not a struggle for me, but I am quite sensible with my spending. But as long as your not going mad then I would not see it being a problem.
    Furet wrote: »
    Finally, during your year of teaching, how possible is it to get a job in the private sector (say, working with a company as a researcher, editor, someone who communicates with other English-speakers for them in the course of their business dealings) after your teaching contract has expired?

    Thanks.

    I would think it would be pretty hard as you can get deported for teaching out side of the school [giving private lessons]. It would really require a new visa [not the E2 visa that is for teaching English only] before they would even consider giving you a taught. Also all adds I have seen for jobs all require some level of Korean.


  • #2


    Hey, I've done quite a bit of research on this but I seem to be getting conflicting info everywhere.

    Some people say that the i to i weekend/online courses are quite adequate for teaching abroad if your not planning on doing it for a career and yet others say, that the courses are close to worthless and that their qualifications don't make your application much more attractive.

    I want to go teach in Seoul for the year, I doubt Id stay any longer to be honest but am just in a bit of a quandry as to what route to go down.

    The Celta qualification seems like a great qualification to have but the four weeks of classroom required and the 1,000 plus euro required seem a bit hefty when you can also get a qualification in one single weekend. This seems to good to be true so im assuming it is.

    I would be very adamant that I want to teach in Seoul (or as close as possible to it) so would I be safer off getting the CELTA qualification as im sure competition in the hagwons is much stiffer there than elsewhere in Korea and perhaps, that qualification would be your best bet of getting a job.

    Thanks guys.


  • #2


    Sabastien wrote: »
    Hey, I've done quite a bit of research on this but I seem to be getting conflicting info everywhere.

    Some people say that the i to i weekend/online courses are quite adequate for teaching abroad if your not planning on doing it for a career and yet others say, that the courses are close to worthless and that their qualifications don't make your application much more attractive.

    I want to go teach in Seoul for the year, I doubt Id stay any longer to be honest but am just in a bit of a quandry as to what route to go down.

    The Celta qualification seems like a great qualification to have but the four weeks of classroom required and the 1,000 plus euro required seem a bit hefty when you can also get a qualification in one single weekend. This seems to good to be true so im assuming it is.

    I would be very adamant that I want to teach in Seoul (or as close as possible to it) so would I be safer off getting the CELTA qualification as im sure competition in the hagwons is much stiffer there than elsewhere in Korea and perhaps, that qualification would be your best bet of getting a job.

    Thanks guys.

    Getting a job in a hagwon in Seoul seems pretty easy to me. Their seems to be plenty of jobs on all the ESL communities that I have signed up to. If I was going to do any of the courses I would do the Celta one or none at all. As the i-to-i one seem like they are not worth the paper they are written on from my own research.

    Best of luck with the search.


  • #2


    Anyone know any good links for teaching jobs in busan? Busan seems like a good spot to go...


  • #2


    chipsbebo wrote: »
    Anyone know any good links for teaching jobs in busan? Busan seems like a good spot to go...

    http://www.worknplay.co.kr/jobseeker/jobSearchList.php
    Type Busan into the search engine here and you will see jobs advertised for Busan.

    Also this one http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/korea/index.cgi?search
    Again type Busan in here and there you go...

    Here is a thread about a shortage of jobs in Busan...(well everywhere in Korea these days). http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/viewtopic.php?t=155300
    Browse around and go for what you like!


  • #2


    Heya! Hows everything going for everyone?? Im after applying on tigerenglish myself had an interview with a school from Daegu and hopefully will get a contract offer from there! was talking to and american whose been teaching there 4 yrs and he seemed like a gas man!
    Has anyone had any experience of (SLS sunflower language School)Daegu?? Ive also got an interview for Child U school Gwangju, Gyeonggi anyone know or heard anything about these!
    Looking forward to getting out of Ireland again was teachin in the UAE last year had a great time except for the teaching!! messing I love work!


  • #2


    Your best bet would be to google the names of the schools and see what is turned up. Their is a website that gives details of schools other teachers have had problems with but I just can't find the link I had to it right now, I will give a better look a little later.


  • #2


    Try to read as much as possible about the school you are going to and talk to one of the teachers there, don't email them, talk to them first. If you can't talk to them, for example the school says they have nobody there or they are busy then this isn't a good sign. It's amazing how many people I have come across who are in a terrible school because they 1) signed the contract in a rush, 2) didn't talk to the current teacher 3) signed the contract before coming to Korea.

    Nothing wrong with coming to Korea as a tourist and then spending a month looking for a decent job, getting a feel for the place and checking out what the school if like. A picture is a thousand words. Just bring all your documents with you and the school that you sign with will pay for a Visa trip to Japan or China and away you go in a couple of days.

    A good few places will want you to start right away and then start your Visa process. This is illegal but it's very common here. Just another option to think about.

    A couple of people are talking about Pusan. For those of you outside of Korea please check the map to see how far it is from the International Airport and from Seoul. However living near one of the most popular beaches in Korea can be an interesting experience with the sun and sand this summer.


  • #2


    Hey guys,

    My GF and I want to teach english in South Korea but are unsure how exactly to go about it. I have been looking up various online forums and some people are saying that getting a job through agencies such as tigerenglish is the best route whilst others are saying you are better off going over to Korea and arranging a job when you get there. Was just looking for other peoples experiences and advice.
    Thanks guys!!


  • #2


    If you don't know Korean or anybody in Korean then going through an agency is an easier and safe bet. Also you will have your visa taken car of before leaving your home country.

    My GF and I went through TG and we recommend them highly. Five months into the contract and I am still in contact with them about odds and sods, they are really help full.


  • #2


    Thanks Argentine,
    Do you mind me asking what are your hours like and do you see yourself staying with the school for a year? I hear the contracts are difficult to get out of.


  • #2


    Lads, some facts.

    Childrens Hagwons (Private schools) All you need is a degree. Full stop. TEFL/CELTA is great for YOU, the school however could not care less unless its one of the few top class ones who pay a lot. Then it may make a difference.

    Public schools are great. Again, a degree and a pulse and your in.

    After school program. This is kind of public school but its after normal classes and its ran by a private company paid by the government. Most of these go to people with residents visa's, spousal visa's etc.

    University -> They ask for a PHD or at least a Masters. Its quite possible to get in with a BS. Just be in the right place at the right time.

    Adult hagwons (Adult private schools) little more picky but a degree + a pulse is usually fine.

    My advice:

    I personally would never go back to a childrens hagwon after my first year. Its not the kids, its the working hours for relatively crap money + the late finishes. (middle/highschool kids)

    So if your going to go teaching in a kids hagwon make sure its one of the good ones.

    e.g > Your not working 9 hours a day for the same money some other guy is working 6 hours a day for.

    Recruiters ? I wouldn't be overly fond of them. They'll stick you into any hole.

    So basically I would recommend teaching adults.

    Look for adult schools like Pagoda.

    jobpagoda.com

    Also check out www.worknplay.co.kr for jobs.


  • #2


    랴연 wrote: »
    Lads, some facts.

    Childrens Hagwons (Private schools) All you need is a degree. Full stop. TEFL/CELTA is great for YOU, the school however could not care less unless its one of the few top class ones who pay a lot. Then it may make a difference.

    Public schools are great. Again, a degree and a pulse and your in.

    After school program. This is kind of public school but its after normal classes and its ran by a private company paid by the government. Most of these go to people with residents visa's, spousal visa's etc.

    University -> They ask for a PHD or at least a Masters. Its quite possible to get in with a BS. Just be in the right place at the right time.

    Adult hagwons (Adult private schools) little more picky but a degree + a pulse is usually fine.

    My advice:

    I personally would never go back to a childrens hagwon after my first year. Its not the kids, its the working hours for relatively crap money + the late finishes. (middle/highschool kids)

    So if your going to go teaching in a kids hagwon make sure its one of the good ones.

    e.g > Your not working 9 hours a day for the same money some other guy is working 6 hours a day for.

    Recruiters ? I wouldn't be overly fond of them. They'll stick you into any hole.

    So basically I would recommend teaching adults.

    Look for adult schools like Pagoda.

    jobpagoda.com

    Also check out www.worknplay.co.kr for jobs.

    Some very sound advice. I would like to add some more for the couples...

    Going as a couple can be great but be prepared to have some difficulties in finding schools that hire you. Just a couple of weeks ago, the university I work in hired 20 people. There were 200 applicants and it narrowed it down to 60 who were interviewed. One couple were asked if one would work there if only one was picked and they said no. They weren't picked.

    Also many places don't want to pick couples because 1) they don't have a big enough house for two people and 2) if one is unhappy with the job then very possibly both will quit but some places will look for couples because 1) they are cheaper then hiring two single people 2) they can be used easily, "your bf/gf said yes to these classes already."

    I knew one couple who took a job position and turns out that the school didn't have enough work for both of them so they ended working one job between them meaning that they only got one salary and didn't work the same hours or at the same time. One had mornings and the other had evenings. Just because you are hired as a couple doesn't mean you are going to work at the same time, have lunch at the same time, etc. Could be completely different schedules changed easily by the boss.

    So you should really think about working as a couple. I think working in two different places, and having one house would be the best way. Living and working together can be great but also you need some time apart at times.


  • #2


    Thanks so much guys,
    Just joined Boards and it's amazing how helpful the advice can be. If anyone else has some helpful advice for a couple teaching in Korea I would be very greatful!!
    Thanks again guys :D


  • #2


    Geezy wrote: »
    Thanks so much guys,
    Just joined Boards and it's amazing how helpful the advice can be. If anyone else has some helpful advice for a couple teaching in Korea I would be very greatful!!
    Thanks again guys :D

    Don't try and get a job togeather.

    My advice.

    Step 1 - Bring the relevant documents, get on a plane and come here. (I don't know the new rules, do you have to take an interview in the Korean embassy in Ireland these days ? )

    Step 2 - One of you get a job in Seoul or one of the other major areas.

    Step 3 - Other one apply for jobs in the same-ish area and bum off the other one until you get sorted.

    The advantages to this are;

    - You can have a look around and see what your getting into, schools, area's etc.

    - One of you can get a job as a single, they will provide an apartment so the other can bum around looking for a good job and when they do get that job they can tell the employer they don't need an apartment in the deal so instead of providing an apartment they will give you more money. (not a huge amount but enough to make a difference)


  • #2


    랴연 wrote: »
    Don't try and get a job togeather.

    My advice.

    Step 1 - Bring the relevant documents, get on a plane and come here. (I don't know the new rules, do you have to take an interview in the Korean embassy in Ireland these days ? )

    Step 2 - One of you get a job in Seoul or one of the other major areas.

    Step 3 - Other one apply for jobs in the same-ish area and bum off the other one until you get sorted.

    The advantages to this are;

    - You can have a look around and see what your getting into, schools, area's etc.

    - One of you can get a job as a single, they will provide an apartment so the other can bum around looking for a good job and when they do get that job they can tell the employer they don't need an apartment in the deal so instead of providing an apartment they will give you more money. (not a huge amount but enough to make a difference)

    Cool thanks for the heads up,
    I know that they are quite strict in their contracts over there but is there much they can do if you only fulfill say 6 months of your 12 month contract? And also way if we were to last the whole year, would we not save a fortune on plane fares as most companies? (e.g. tigerenglish) pay for your flights


  • #2


    Geezy wrote: »
    Cool thanks for the heads up,
    I know that they are quite strict in their contracts over there but is there much they can do if you only fulfill say 6 months of your 12 month contract? And also way if we were to last the whole year, would we not save a fortune on plane fares as most companies? (e.g. tigerenglish) pay for your flights

    If you only stay with the school for 6 months then they will not pay for your flights home, flights back to Ireland are expensive.
    Also your E2 visa is tied to the school that you start working with in Korea, to move school would require a new visa I think.

    If you last the year you would get your return flights paid for and also a bonus, normally about one months pay.

    Tigerenglish do not pay for your flights, it is the school that pay.


  • #2


    Generally it's one visa per school except if your boss agrees that you can work another place to fill in your hours. If that is the case then you must get another stamp on your visa but that is rare. When you quit your job your school may not cancel your visa meaning that you have to wait until your visa year is up. A co-worker of mine quit after one month because he got offered a job in a women's university, did a runner without telling the school and was all angry, trrying to sue when he couldn't get a new visa for the university job. Rules are there for idiots like that.

    By law the bonus is the average of what you make in the last three months so if you work some overtime that is factored into your bonus. A lot of people don't know this.

    Also about the flights, it's standard procedure that if you don't finish your contract then you will have to pay for your own way home and also may not get imbursed for the flight arriving to Korea (which a lot of employeers bay back soon after you arrive to Korea, depending on your contract).

    Seriously if you are going to break your contract then make sure you know the implications of your actions.


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