FAQ

Q: What qualifications do I need to teach English in Korea?

You need to have an undergraduate university degree in any subject to teach English in Korea. You must also be from an English-speaking country (UK, US, Canada, Australia, NZ, South Africa).

Q: Do I need any teaching experience to teach in Korea?

Although it is not necessary to have teaching experience, it is highly desirable that you do as it is a very competitive market these days.

Q: Do I need the TESOL certificate to work in Korea?

Although it is not necessary, it will definitely make you more marketable if you are lacking in teaching experience. It will also teach you skills and provide you with knowledge that will help you adjust and be effective in the classroom.

Q: Will I get a free flight to Korea?

Yes, We have all our schools provide flight tickets upfront, and a return ticket upon completion of your contract. We will book your flight for you and arrange your pick up itinerary.

Q: Are accommodations free?

Yes, all of our positions come with furnished, single studio housing provided by the school free of charge (teachers are responsible for utilities).

Q: Do you have any positions for couples?

Yes, we do have positions for couples. They are not as common as other positions, so it always a good idea to be fairly open to locations. Couple positions also come with housing for two.

Q: Will my apartment be close to the school?

Yes, your apartment will be within 10-15 minutes walking distance to the school.

Q: What is the salary range?

Foreign teachers in Korea get paid anywhere from 2.0 m to 2.8 m won per month. The standard is 2.1-2.2, and anything over 2.3 is only in special cases which usually require a heavier work-load, and require higher qualifications.

Q: How often will I get paid?

Teachers are paid once a month.

Q: What is the overtime rate?

The overtime rate is 18,000 to 25,000 won. Overtime is optional with our schools, unless specified.

Q: How long are the contracts in Korea?

Contracts are for a duration of one year.

Q: Will I get a bonus when I complete my contract?

As stipulated by Korean law, teachers will receive an additional month’s salary upon completion of their contract.

Q: How many hours will I teach a week?

Teaching hours are on average 30 hrs. / month, not including prep time.

Q: What age of students will I teach?

Most schools have kindergarten and elementary students (day shift), but some schools have elementary and middle school students only (afternoon – evening shift). The latter is not as common, especially in the bigger cities.

Q: Do the schools have a set curriculum?

Yes, schools have organized curriculum. Adding to your curriculum is always a good idea though, as it allows you customize your classes and make them more fun or effective for your students.

Q: How many classes will I teach a day?

Teachers teach six hours a day, Monday to Friday.

Q: Will I get training before I teach?

Yes, new teachers get an orientation and training for a few days before you teach.

Q: Will I get full health care in Korea?

Yes, you will pay 50% of the cost and your employer will pay the other 50%. It can range from $20-$30/US per mth.

Q: How long is prep time?

All teachers are required to plan their lessons, make their photocopies etc.. This can take from 30 min. to 1 hour per day.

Q. Is there a certain dress code?

Most schools do not follow a rigid dress code requiring a suit and tie. In most cases, smart casual should suffice e.g. clean slacks, khakis and button down shirts or clean t-shirts. Be careful not to wear clothes that are torn or ripped excessively, or bearing offensive language or design. Clean jeans should also be adequate in most cases, while intimidating tattoos or piercings may be asked to be covered or removed during class times by the school. Shorts are not recommended in most schools as with revealing clothing. You may also wish to ask the particular school about their dress code if any. For more ideas, read the FAQ: What should I bring to Korea?

Q: What is the income-tax rate in Korea

The tax rate for teachers in Korea is about 5%.

Q: Can I pay off student loans in Korea?

Yes. We paid off our loans in Korea! On average, teachers can save $800-$1,000 US/month, while

Q: How much money should I bring with me to Korea?

We suggest bringing $600 – $700 US to ensure that you have no financial issue before you get your first pay deposit

Q: Will I get to meet other ESL teachers?

All of our schools have other foreign teachers already working there. In addition, Facebook and other networking sites will give you ample opportunity to meet others in your area, as well as Koreans looking to make foreign friends.

Q: Do you have jobs for certified teachers?

Certified teachers can secure nice jobs and optimum salaries in Korea. We have some specialty positions for applicants with these qualifications.

Q: Can I teach in Korea if I have a criminal record?

No, immigration will not accept applicants with criminal records.

Q: Can I teach private English lessons in Korea?

Not in Korea. You can only teach at your school, unless an agreement is make between you and your director. Teaching private English lessons outside of your school is considered illegal. You will risk being fired or deported… so be wise!

Q: What do teachers do for fun in Korea?

There is plenty to do: eating out, singing karaoke, frequenting pubs and traveling domestically are all cheap and popular options.

Q: Where can I use the internet in Korea?

Korea has arguably the best infrastructure for internet in the world. Internet cafes are ubiquitous and cheap (about 1.50/hr). However, if you like to have it at home, you can order it as you would in your home country.

Q: Can I get a phone hooked up in my apartment?

Yes you can. Although most teachers prefer to get themselves a cellphone after they get settled.

Q: Will I have to take a drug test when I get to Korea?

Yes! If you are tested positive for drugs, you will be deported from Korea, so be wise.

Q: What are some interview tips with the school director?

School directors are looking for energetic, enthusiastic applicants who love to teach and love children. If you can communicate this during the interview, there is a good chance you will be hired.

Q: When is a good time to apply to work in Korea?

With thousands of ESL schools and institutes, practically any time is right for applying to Korea. However, we recommend that you apply at least 2 months in advance before your intended departure date to Korea to secure the time needed for E-2 visa process, and for KORJOB to screen and secure the ideal position for you. For recent graduates, remember that the original diploma and sealed official transcripts are necessary for the visa application. Therefore, recent graduates should take into account when the actual diploma can be issued by their university or college prior to selecting a departure date to Korea. For a detailed breakdown of the E-2 application process, please refer to the KORJOB E-2 visa guide (upon request). However, our website provides an overview for you as well.

Q. Can I choose where and when I want to work in Korea?

We at KORJOB CANADA RECRUITING accept specific location requests as well as a host of other preferences. Be sure to state what you prefer and require, and we will do our best to match your needs with a host of positions from our collective databank. We work with a number of different schools offering a multitude of positions, and will provide the applicant with the relevant information and consulting prior to making the final decision. This has been very successful in ensuring that our new teachers enjoy the area where they are placed to live and work while in Korea. The country also has an extensive public transportation network, allowing one to easily travel across the peninsula. 

What is the cost of living like in Korea? 

The cost of living can be low or high depending on the habits of the individual. In terms of food, it is quite cheap to eat out at about 5000 won (about 5 dollars) for most regular meals. Starbucks and McDonalds prices are about the same as you’d find back home, and clothing and regular hygiene products may cost less. Transportation is very cheap with subways and buses costing between one to two dollars and taxis starting from about two dollars. Overall, cost of living should not be a problem and if you budget accordingly to save, many instructors have been able to take back a sizable sum of money home.

Q. What are the living conditions like?

Most standard contracts in Korea, with a few rare exceptions, includes a semi- to fully-furnished accommodations provided by the employer, with the teacher paying the utilities usually between $30-$70 US per month depending on seasonal usage. The accommodation is usually in the form of a single studio or one bedroom apartments. It can be single residence or shared (you can state your preference when filling out the online application) and is usually within walking distance of the school. Semi-furnished usually means essentials such as a refrigerator, air conditioner, gas stove, washing machine, bed and bedding, TV, table and chair and basic kitchen utilities. However, the above is not the general rule and may vary. Cellular phones and Internet hook ups are about $10-$20 and $20-$30 USD per month, respectively, and can be obtained with the Alien Registration Card and the assistance of the school. Internet cafes, or PC rooms as they’re called here, are dotted on practically each and every block and open 24 hours. The hourly rate of usage is about $1-$2 US per hour and offers perhaps the fastest Internet service in the world. 24-hour convenience stores are usually located very close to the residence as well as a host of other needful establishments and restaurants. 

Q. How do Koreans view foreigners?

Koreans are generally friendly towards foreigners and will go out of their way to accommodate or assist them. Many foreign teachers will attest to the highly friendly nature of Koreans, but by culture, Koreans are more reserved with displays of affection until formally introduced or acquainted. Smiling upon eye contact, as is common in the Western societies, is not as common as Koreans think it is rude to look someone in the eye when speaking. Once acquainted, however, most find that Koreans are very engaging and sincere. The level of English is generally better among the younger generation from teens to university students, who are used to the western food and concepts over the past decade.

Q. How much money should I bring with me first?

We recommend at least $300 to $500 US or equivalent upon arriving in Korea to exchange at the airport. This money is to tide you over until your first payday, and perhaps prepare for unforeseen circumstances or any little items you may wish to purchase shortly upon arrival. The employer should have your accommodation prepared in most cases, and you may also wish to buy some items to personalize it. In most cases, employers may also oblige in providing a small advance on your first pay as well. 

Q. What should I bring to Korea?

As many people are surprised to find out, Korea has a plethora of goods and services that in many cases are superior to those found back home. However, as we assume that you may wish to save some money during your employment in Korea and not live from paycheck to paycheck, we suggest that you consider bringing some of the items below as suggested by previous teachers who have worked and lived in Korea.

Clothing

Purchasing clothes in Korea is quite affordable and is available in abundant quantities. For the more fashion-conscious, however, it can also be quite costly for the more recognizable luxury brands. We recommend a light amount of clothing for each of the four seasons, including:

  • Business work casual such as khaki pants, button shirts, and ties for men; slacks or skirts for women)
  • Winter jacket and sweater
  • T-shirts and shorts, socks and underwear, sweat pants and sweat shirts
  • Shoes for work, athletic shoes/ hiking boots
  • Towels and swim suit

Cosmetics and toiletries

Bring your favorites. Although there is an excellent selection of imported and local cosmetics brands, your preferred choices may not be available or hard to find. If you have any allergies or sensitive skin, make sure you have an adequate supply of your special products. Items below were regularly recommended by past instructors.

  • Deodorant such as speed stick (Koreans generally do not use western deodorant)
  • Types of toothpaste and shampoo you prefer back home
  • Types of feminine products you prefer back home
  • Supply of prescription medication you may require

Miscellaneous
Items that may help you ease your daily life in Korea.

  • Eyeglasses, contact lenses, sunglasses and watch (available in Korea)
  • Digital camera, portable CD player and CDs
  • Books on Korean culture, Korean language, and travel guide
  • Korean-English pocket dictionary (available in Korea)
  • Novels (available in Korea in limited quantities or through online suppliers such as Amazon, Barnes & Nobles)
  • Small backpack and/or fanny-pack
  • Laptop computer

**NOTE**: Using or smuggling illegal drugs in Korea is prohibited and carries a heavy fine and imprisonment sentence. Please do not take the risk!

Q. Finally, will my Korean experience be a good one?

This question rests entirely upon you! From our experience, 19 out of 20 teachers love the new environment and have been eager to experience and explore their new surroundings and people. However, there are also those who find it hard to adjust to the new country and culture, and insist on things being as they’re accustomed to back home. This mentality can undoubtedly limit the experience that can be had in Korea, and for this reason, we ask that you consider all factors carefully before agreeing to teach in Korea.