Finding English Teacher Jobs in South Korea
For an interview with an English teacher in South Korea, click here.
South Korea has become one of the best places to teach English.
Teachers in South Korea are expected to be professional, prepared, and enthusiastic. Students are eager and have quite a high regard for Westerners and for the English language. English class is a time for professional and social self-improvement. South Koreans tend to be very outgoing and fun-loving people. They are excellent students who aren't afraid to jump in and give it their best. English education starts in fifth grade, so most high school graduates are looking to improve their conversational skills. Their desire to learn conversational English revolves around university entrance exams, company promotions, and international commerce.
Korean wages are comparable to those in Japan, income taxes are minimal, and the cost of living is low, so you'll definitely save a fair amount of cash. Most teachers report saving around W1,287,625 (US$1,560) each month while enjoying a relaxed and entertaining lifestyle. The going rate for private tutoring is approximately W21,460 (US$26) per hour, but it's quite common to make more. Setting up house can be quite pricey, with move-in costs as high as six months' rent (for which you'll be reimbursed in the end), so you should take between US$2,500 and $3,000 with you.
If you're prone to homesickness, South Korea may be a good place for you since there is a large American military presence there (patrolling the Demilitarized Zone).
Korea has a rich tradition of culture and history, so it's a great place to learn about Asian traditions and customs. If you're looking for a way to experience a foreign culture and make money without too much hassle, South Korea is a safe choice. It's less formal than Japan and not quite as chaotic as Taiwan.
Since the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Koreans have been chasing their economic dream in full force. English has become a major tool for their international business success.
An increasing number of Westerners consider South Korea an ideal spot to teach English. The students are eager, Western teachers are still highly appreciated, and it's easier to find a really good job since the market isn't as saturated as Japan's. It's fairly easy to save at least US$1,000 per month if you don't binge on travel, shopping, and entertainment.
Most schools in Korea now require that you have a college degree and that you submit a resume and photo. If you can't interview by phone or in person, send a tape of yourself speaking. You might not be required to do this, but it could increase your chances of being hired.
For ESL books and teaching materials once you're in Korea, go to Kim & Jobnson in Seoul. It is next to Tower Records near the Kangnam subway stop.
KOTESOL is an independent affiliate of TESOL that was formed by the English teaching community in Korea. Their role is to promote cultural understanding and to act as an information resource. There are chapters in Seoul, Taejon, Pusan, Taegu, Kyongju, and Chongbuk province that hold monthly meetings and sponsor educational activities. The time, date, place, and topic of the meetings are announced in the English newspapers.