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How to Get an English Teacher Job in South Korea?

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Did you know that over 20,000 foreign English teachers work in South Korea each year? Teaching English in South Korea offers many benefits. One major advantage is the cultural experience. Financial benefits are also significant. Teachers often receive competitive salaries, free housing, and reimbursed airfare.

There are two main ways to teach English in South Korea: in-person and online. In-person teaching involves working in public schools, private academies (hagwons), or universities. These positions offer a stable work environment and direct interaction with students.

Online teaching is also growing in popularity. This option offers flexibility. Teachers can work from anywhere with a reliable internet connection. Online platforms connect teachers with students across South Korea. This makes it easy to teach English without needing a visa or relocating.

In this article, we’ll explain it all. So, let’s get started!

Why Teach English in Korea?

Teaching English in Korea is great because it offers a unique blend of cultural immersion and financial benefits. Teachers can experience South Korea’s rich culture while earning a competitive salary. 

Many positions include free housing, reimbursed airfare, and health insurance, making it financially attractive. 

Additionally, the demand for English teachers is high, providing ample job opportunities in both public and private institutions. 

Whether you choose in-person or online teaching, you can enjoy a rewarding career while helping students improve their English skills.

How to Get an English Teacher Job in South Korea [Full Guide]

Here’s your full guide to getting an English teacher job in South Korea:

1. Meet Basic Qualifications

To teach English in South Korea, you need to meet some basic qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: You must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Native English Speaker: Most positions require you to be a native English speaker from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa.
  • Clean Criminal Record: You need to pass a criminal background check.
  • Health Check: A health check, including a drug test, may be required.

2. Get TEFL/TESOL Certification

A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification is highly recommended. It enhances your teaching skills and significantly improves your job prospects. Some employers may require it, especially for higher-paying positions.

3. Prepare Necessary Documents

You need to prepare the following documents too:

  • Apostilled Degree Copy: You need to obtain a notarized and apostilled copy of your bachelor’s degree. This ensures that your degree is legally recognized in South Korea.
  • Apostilled Criminal Background Check: You must acquire a national-level criminal background check, then have it notarized and apostilled. This confirms your clean record.
  • Passport Photos: Prepare several passport-sized photos, as they will be needed for various applications.
  • Resume and Cover Letter: Create a professional resume and a tailored cover letter highlighting your teaching qualifications and experience.

4. Search for Job Opportunities

In-Person Teaching Opportunities

Public Schools (EPIK, GEPIK, SMOE): Apply to teach in public schools through programs like EPIK (English Program in Korea), GEPIK (Gyeonggi English Program in Korea), or SMOE (Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education). These programs offer stable positions with benefits like housing and paid vacation.

Private Academies (Hagwons): Hagwons are private language academies that offer numerous teaching positions. These jobs often come with higher salaries but may have longer hours.

Recruitment Agencies: Use recruitment agencies that specialize in placing teachers in South Korea. They can help match you with suitable positions and guide you through the application process.

Job Listing Websites: Explore job listing websites such as Dave’s ESL Café, ESL Job Feed, and WorknPlay. These sites regularly post job openings for English teachers in South Korea.

Online Teaching Opportunities

Platforms for Online Teaching: Consider teaching 화상 영어 (online English) through platforms like AmazingTalker, VIPKid, iTalki, and Cambly. These platforms connect you with students from South Korea and around the world.

Requirements for Online Teaching: Online teaching typically requires a reliable internet connection, a computer with a webcam, and sometimes a TEFL/TESOL certification. Each platform has its own specific requirements.

5. Apply and Interview

For an in-person job, submit your application through the respective program (e.g., EPIK, GEPIK) or directly to Hagwons. Include required documents such as your resume, cover letter, apostilled degree, and criminal background check.

For an online job, apply directly through the online teaching platform’s website. Complete the application form and provide necessary documentation such as your resume, TEFL/TESOL certification (if required), and a brief introduction video.

Be prepared to answer questions about your teaching philosophy, classroom management techniques, and how you handle cultural differences. Expect questions tailored to your experience and qualifications.

6. Sign the Contract and Obtain a Visa

Carefully review the contract details including your salary, benefits (such as health insurance and pension contributions), working hours, and housing arrangements. Ensure all terms are clearly stated and agreed upon.

For in-person teaching positions, you’ll need to apply for an E-2 Visa. Required documents typically include your passport, original degree with apostille, criminal background check with apostille, health statement, and a signed contract from your employer.

7. Prepare for Departure

You should do a little research before booking your flight to South Korea. Check visa requirements and plan accordingly.

You should pack clothing suitable for the climate and professional attire for teaching. South Korea experiences four distinct seasons.

You should also bring essential teaching materials such as textbooks, lesson plans, and classroom aids. Some items may be available locally but having familiar resources can be helpful.

Moreover, you can include personal necessities like toiletries, medications, and any special items from home that will make your transition easier.

8. Arrive and Adjust

After arriving, you should participate in orientation programs provided by your employer or program (e.g., EPIK, hagwons). These sessions familiarize you with teaching expectations, cultural norms, and living arrangements.

Also, familiarize yourself with basic Korean greetings, expressions, and numbers. This can ease daily interactions and demonstrate respect for Korean culture.

Take time to explore your local surroundings. Visit local markets, historical sites, and cultural events to immerse yourself in Korean culture and community.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to speak Korean to teach English in South Korea?

No, but learning basic Korean can help with daily life and cultural integration.

Can I teach in South Korea without a TEFL/TESOL certification?

It’s possible, especially for public school programs, but having certification increases job prospects.

What is the typical salary for an English teacher in South Korea?

Salaries range from 2.0 to 2.7 million KRW per month for in-person positions, depending on experience and location. Online teaching rates vary by platform.

Are flights and housing included in the contract?

Many in-person contracts include housing and a flight allowance, but it’s important to confirm this with your employer.

What should I expect during the health check?

The health check typically includes a drug test, blood test, and a general physical examination.

Conclusion

Teaching English in South Korea offers a rewarding experience filled with cultural immersion and professional growth. You can choose to teach in person or opt for the flexibility of online teaching platforms like AmazingTalker. 

South Korea provides ample opportunities to make a meaningful impact on students’ lives. Teaching English in South Korea can be both financially rewarding and personally enriching.

AmazingTalker is recognized as an innovative online 영어 학원 (English academy). It facilitates global connections between teachers and students. You might be starting your career or seeking a new adventure. Teaching English in South Korea, with options like AmazingTalker, is truly worth considering.

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