How do I get a job teaching English in Korea?
Teaching English in South Korea has become increasingly popular over the last decade and it is no secret that the country offers some of the best salaries for foreign teachers to be found anywhere in the world. English teachers in Korea can expect to earn between $1,500 and $3,000 US per month and it is certainly possible to save up to half of this depending on your lifestyle. On top of the basic salary you can also expect other benefits such as paid airfares, free housing and an end of contract bonus.
Unsurprisingly, the high salaries and good benefits on offer have led to a high level of competition for the best jobs. If you have any teaching qualifications and experience in the classroom, you will find you have the pick of the available jobs. However, thanks to a continually high demand even those without experience will have little difficulty finding work as long as they meet certain criteria. Only native English speakers and passport holders of certain English speaking countries are eligible, namely the USA, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and South Africa. Applicants also need to hold a degree in any subject, as well as a TEFL certificate for those looking to work in a government school.
In order to recruit enough teachers for its many schools across the country, the Korean government runs the EPIK Program. This option can be an excellent way to find a guaranteed teaching position in a stable school before you leave your own country. Alternatively, you can find work in private language institutes, universities and even international schools. Whichever kind of school you choose, you will need to provide the following documents in order to gain a work visa: a criminal background check, an apostilled copy of your degree, sealed university transcripts, a copy of your signed contract and a personal health statement. It is worth noting that it can take some time to get the paperwork in order so you are advised to start the process several months ahead.
Although many people find jobs by simply applying to online adverts from within their own country or by travelling to Korea and applying to schools in person, another popular way to find a job is to register with a recruitment company. There are countless agencies and organizations that specialize in finding foreign teachers to fill positions in schools all over the country, all at no charge to the teacher! You also don’t need to stick to just one agent, contact several recruiters to ensure you get a wide selection of positions to choose from.
Whichever method you choose to find a job, you are certain to enjoy a great time living and working in South Korea. With good salaries and a low cost of living, you will be able to afford a comfortable lifestyle and save a good lump sum. However, there is much more to Korea than simply money. The country has grown rapidly in recent years to become one of the most developed in the region, but it is also fiercely proud of its long history and deep rooted culture. This fascinating mix of old and new provides the perfect playground for teachers to enjoy life to the full, away from the pressures of the classroom.