Teach English in Korea TESL Teaching English in Korea



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If you're considering using your education and certification in teaching a second language abroad, teaching in Korea is a premiere destination.  Many native English speaking, University graduates are enjoying the Korean culture, travel and substantial savings ranging from 300,000 to 1,000,000 won every month. The 12,000 million population area is now a seller's market and you are afforded your choice of teaching location with the right planning.

If you are a native of the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa, with a degree in any accredited discipline and speak English as your native language, then you can apply for a working Visa.

Many positions are currently available in the popular, private "Hagwons" for elementary or Pre-school students.  University positions are available based on qualifications and experience which offer shorter hours and longer holidays.

When to Apply for Teaching Jobs in South Korea – School Start Dates
Some recruiters have jobs available monthly.  Jobs available are either in the private or public sector. 

Public schools hire for the start of each semester, March 1st and September 1st, each year.  It is best to submit your application at least six months in advance whether to the school or recruiter.

The ideal time to submit an application for the first semester (February) is between June and October of the previous year. Meaning if you’re interested in a February 2010 start date then submitting your application sometime between June and October of 2009 is ideal. Likewise, if you’re aiming for the September semester then submitting an application sometime between January and May is ideal.   From - Gone2Korea 
Private sector schools hire year round with the majority of positions available in January, February, July & August.
It is during the peak hiring season that you will find the best teaching opportunities.  Submit your application four to six months in advance. 

Depending on the season and your recruiter, you can be teaching in Korea in as little as four weeks.

Of course, you need to avoid the smaller ESL recruiting companies, inexperienced staff, or commission sales only representatives.

You can also apply directly to Korean schools of your choice. Make sure you can speak with other Western teachers at the school before commiting to a contract.
When it comes to applying to the schools directly, recruiting site Gone2Korea says:

"Something to consider: Many of the larger and more established schools in Korea prefer to use recruiters because of the guarantee we provide them with, and because they’re more selective with their staffing needs and are interested in reviewing multiple applications before making a decision. Additionally, many of these schools simply don’t have the time to find the teachers on their own, arrange interviews, provide documents, guide them through the visa process, organize airfare and airport pickup, etc."  
Should you use a ESL Recruiter?
List your specific requests for employment and narrow the number of companies you'll apply to. Avoid applying to, say, a dozen companies.   On the other hand, if you are much more flexible then apply to as many companies as you can.
Advantages of using an ESL recruiter (From Gone2Korea)
  •      Contract negotiations (private schools only)
  •      Informative documents
  •      First hand correspondence with other western                teachers currently teaching in Korea
  •      Travel arrangements
  •      Tips and advice before you depart
  •      Incheon Airport meet and greet
  •      Tips and advice after you arrive
  •      Additional help and assistance in the unlikely event       that you require guidance or assistance while                 in Korea
  •      Organized events and gatherings in Korea

Teaching in Korea - Legal

Did you know that recruiters are not legally responsible for contractual disputes between you (teacher) and the Korean employer?  Legal responsbility is shifted to you and your Korean employer when you sign off on the recruiter's contract.
Despite not being their legal responsibility, a good recruiting agency will enforce all necessary and possible to accomodate your contract and specified requests.

The recruiting agencies listed in this site are licensed businesses, been in business for several years, have trustworthy track records, have experience dealing with contractual disputes, and put the teacher first.

This means that several agencies have not been listed herein because they fell short of such reported qualities and qualifications.
Salaries and Benefits

Depending on personal cost of living, expense habits, and general area, teacher's commonly save $8,000 in a year while enjoying the teaching experience and country in general.  Most schools pay around 2 million won per month (about $1,500-$1,700). Take into account the free accommodations, free flights, low tax rate, and low cost of living and you have the spending power of most Western 30-something executives. (From - Gone2Korea)

An added perk is the "severance pay" of an extra month's salary upon completion of your contract.

If you've made up your mind to teach English in South Korea, have all required documentation ready, and have taken a TEFL/TESL (Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language), you will most likely be approached by recruiters.  These recruiters are paid well by Korean schools to recruit qualified teachers and facilitate your move to Korea and begin your contract as a teacher.

Although many Korean schools do not require TEFL certification, it's a practical introduction to teaching and networking with others who can get you the right teaching job in Korea.  Some TEFL certified schools are listed in the links menu at the top of this page.
When to Apply – Summary (From - Gone2Korea)
Public Schools - February Semester: 6-9 months prior to February is ideal, although 4-6 months is usually sufficient. (ASAP requests will be accommodated if jobs are still available) 

Private Schools -  4-6 months before your desired starting date is ideal. (ASAP requests will be accommodated whenever possible)