As an ESL instructor, there are several different places you can work: hagwon, public school, international school, and university. Each place has its own perks, and teachers have their own reasons and qualifications for the places they decide to work at.
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We are currently only hiring for Hagwons but once you finish your contract you can search for other teaching jobs as well. Students will attend their public schools during the day, and following that they will also attend schools called Hagwons pronounced more so hog-wons , which are in essence private institutions. Most new teachers arriving in Korea will be employed at a Hagwon because that is where the most demand is for English teachers.
All hagwons have predetermined programs and books, so there is no full class planning. It would be wise to do a little extra planning around the books that you have already been provided just to make the class more dynamic and fun for students. The perks that were listed to English teachers above are most standard for teachers at hagwons.
Hagwons vary in terms of hours, and also the age of students. At most places you will work six to eight hours a day, but there is no set work time. I know some teachers who looked for jobs in the afternoons, so they would start at or and end at or I had a job where I worked in the morning, then had a 2. So in the mornings I taught young children, ages 4 to 6, and in the afternoon I started with the youngest to older students ages 8 to 13 roughly. Most hagwons are set up this way where teachers will have the youngest students earlier and older students later on in the day.
When you have your first interview, make sure to have a list of questions ready for the potential employer. There are several reasons for this, but most people I know like working at public schools because the schedule suits their needs, and the pay is good. Unfortunately, in the last five to ten years the Korean government has been reducing the number of English teachers it allows to teach at public schools, and most teachers are now replaced with Korean equivalents.
Although teaching in the public school may be ideal, for a first job choice, it would be wise to look for a Hagwon to first gain experience, and then search for a job in a public school. International schools are really only for those who have a specified degree in teaching. International schools are the highest caliber of teaching in Korea, and therefore, teachers MUST have appropriate teaching qualifications.
I would highly recommend applying to an international school if you are a qualified teacher. Teaching at an international school is not only a great opportunity, but it also goes towards teaching experience on your resume. My experience teaching at a university is different from most of my friends who also taught at universities. I have a post-graduate degree, which qualified me to apply for positions that were not considered ESL courses, but the students were Korean and took the course in English which presented its own challenges.
I taught a course in the International Studies department, Human Rights and Democracy, which was for students in their last year of university. Some places can also be specific about the type of degree you have, and what your previous experience is. English teachers have the opportunity to teach full-time or part-time.
For first time teachers, a full-time contract when first entering the country is definitely the way to go. Not only will you receive the airfare to get to Korea, but it also gives some sense of stability and gives you an opportunity to adjust to living in a new country. When I first moved to Korea I took a full-time contract, and completed it with bonus and all. You just need to find a sponsor.
I found a part-time job that sponsored my visa, and took other part-time jobs.
I enjoyed going to different schools, and meeting so many different students. Not only that, but I worked with wide range of age groups I might not have been able to otherwise. In the end, I still worked full-time hours, they were just spread out to different places. For this reason, I was also able to make a lot more money than if I had worked one job.
I knew there were tons of expats in Korea, I just had to find them! I started going online, using Facebook and Google to find different groups in Busan, and started going to these events to meet new people. But where I really ended up finding my friend group was when I joined a bowling league! Haha, I know, it sounds funny—bowling?! But yes, in Busan there was an expat bowling league and we bowled once a week. I mostly do freelance and part time work.
Make sure u you end up in a city you want to be and a position to you like. Wow over ten years! You must love it there! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your advice with our readers Andrew : , appreciate it! Hey Duke, Thanks for this post.
It was a lot of soju and a very unprofessional hagwan. I got a masters in education and ended up moving up the career ladder getting into international schools. A lot more mature and more focused I was able to get fast tracked into a good career in the international schools. I lived in Busan and Changwon. Your email address will not be published.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive offers sent straight to your inbox. Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to primary sidebar Skip to footer. Tell us about yourself and how you got into teaching English in Korea? What are the requirements for teaching English in Korea? What does teaching English in Korea actually look like?
Did you find it difficult to relate to the students you were working with due to cultural differences or language barriers? How much money can one make teaching English in Korea and which teaching job are the best? How does one get a job teaching English in Korea?
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Jobs have dried up there in the last two years and they have a real preference for young teachers they value youth over experience. If you have subject experience not just ESL you can make good money in the public school system.
For older people, jobs are harder to get but not impossible. I taught with many retirees in Thailand. Hi there, I am very new to this industry. I volunteered with a number of retirees through a program called Angloville. They offer programs in Hungary, Poland and Romania. Hey Matt. I wonder if there is a possibility to teach english without being an English native speaker. Do you know anything about this?
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Most places will require a degree and will only want native English speakers US and Canada preferred. Would it be possible for me to teach English as an year-old high school grad? Imagine 3-year old Chinese kids in a Dublin accent! It all depends on your approach and the like.
Best way to get offers is still esl cafe. While not technically ESL, it is possible to teach English in Singapore without a teaching qualification. Please inform me where you can make USD a month in China. That would be amazing! Yeah, that has to be a typo. Yeah that was a typo. The reason I ask is I will be 29 when I graduate from school with a bachelors yes, I started college late in life and I was thinking of maybe doing some teaching in Korea when I finished. They rarely renew a contract more than twice, but nothing stops you from contacting recruiters for your next job here.
There are many FB pages dedicated to jobs in South Korea. South Korea can be inexpensive, but Cambodia, Indonesia, and Bolivia are dirt cheap. I actually would agree with Stephen on this. The expenses of groceries, bills, and transport have all risen significantly in the last few years. So many people come here thinking they can pay off everything in just one year and save bags of money but it seems to happen less and less now.
ESL Salaries are not People making more are teaching privates on the side which is illegal…and yes they occasionally do find people doing it and send them home or fine then big.
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Also, prices are roughly the same as city prices in the states. I was working for a well-known American car brand in Shanghai meaning: huge budgets and even then most of the people on my team experienced Americans, Brits, Canadians etc. The workload is very reasonable compared to teaching back home in Canada, and I get plenty of time to plan and mark during working hours. To be honest, I was very overwhelmed my first few days, but it gets better each day. The food here is unbelievable and the lifestyle really grows on you. I used to teach in Japan, and it was a very rewarding and interesting experience.
I would highly recommend it! Does anyone know about teacher requirements? Generally speaking, do you have to have a degree to get these jobs? Can I still find jobs without any experience or a degree? You can find some job in places like China without a degree. Will any degree suffice or do you usually have to have a teaching degree? I have an associates degree in liberal arts. So do you have to be ESL certified to teach overseas? Are there opportunities where just a bachelors degree will suffice? Some countries require it for visa purposes. I was teaching English in Cambodia for 6 months and I loved it.
You can come a long way with ambitions and a will to learn. Dear matias, possible to share on how you found a teaching job there? I am planning to teach there but I have no idea how to. I am a Singaporean and I do not have a teaching certificate. I have to disagree with a lot of the South Korea section. I have been wanting to teach overseas for probably 15 years and just never made the opportunity. I really feel that the opportunity is here for me within the next year. I just had a few concerns. I am African-American and I know that Caucasians are looked upon more favorably from most of the Asian countries than I would be and I am a bigger guy and I am Do you know of African-Americans who have taught overseas and what has their experiences been like and how likely would it be that someone would hire me.
Hey Stefan! But my advice is to not let that deter you. There are places looking to give their students exposure to people of ALL backgrounds. My place of employment was very open to hiring me; they looked at my credentials rather than my appearance. If teaching in Asia is something you want to do, I would say go for it! It can be done. Good luck on your journey!
What qualification do I need to teach in Korea? CELTA, TESOL, and TEFL explained
Stefan, try China or Vietnam, the demand in those two countries are high at the moment. I recommend Vietnam since the cost of living is so low there. Do you know of any specific organizations?
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