So, you’ve decided you want to travel to a foreign country and teach English? Sounds exciting, but it can also be a little daunting if you don’t fully prepare yourself for the adventure.
Finding English teaching jobs in Korea is not difficult, but there are several things you need to consider and do first, before you make that final commitment.
1. Take It Seriously
Forget anything you might have heard about English teaching jobs in Korea being nothing more than a glorified babysitting job where you simply play games with the children all day. The Koreans take education very seriously, which is why they go to great lengths to recruit native English speakers to teach English, rather than employ their own teachers. Teaching in Korea is the same as teaching in any other country. It is a proper job demanding your full commitment and skill.
2. Be Qualified
The Korean Government requires that you are a native English speaker, holding a passport from the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. You also need a Bachelor’s degree (not necessarily in Education) from a University in one of those countries. To public school applicants, getting TEFL certified for more than 100 hours is mandatory requirement. At private schools, getting real-time teaching experience is considered more important to get a job offer.
3. Have a Clean Record
The Immigration Office will do thorough criminal background checks before issuing you with a visa. While minor traffic violations, (such as speeding fines and parking tickets) will not count against you, more serious offences, such as DUIs or DWIs, will result in your application being declined. Please be aware that you should have no criminal record on your background check to apply for teaching jobs in South Korea.
4. Be Healthy
You will have to complete a Korean Immigration Health Questionnaire before applying for your visa, and will also have to have a health examination at a medical clinic when you arrive. If they find that any information on your questionnaire was incorrect, immigration will assume this was a deliberate attempt to secure a visa fraudulently, and will send you home at your own expense.
5. Take Time to Prepare a Proper Resume
Make sure your resume is professionally typed, and free of typing and grammatical errors. If you don’t have any formal teaching qualifications, remember to include any related experience, such as mentoring, coaching, baby sitting etc.