Recruiting Process

Public schools in Korea hire English teachers two times a year. The first application period starts from September 1. This application period is for the positions where the teachers would arrive in late February in Korea to start the new school year in March. The second application period begins on March 1. This application period is for the positions where the teachers would arrive in late August in Korea to start the second semester in September. The application periods are open until all positions are filled.

TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificates are now mandatory for all applicants who do not have a Bachelor’s or Master’s in Education OR a teaching license OR graduated with a major in Education (Physical Education, Math Education etc.)

  • Rules of Thumb for Public School Application

1. Apply for FBI check in Feb/Mar or Aug/Sep.
2. Prepare application materials right after FBI check application.
3. Submit application materials directly to EPIK before March 1 or September 1.

  • Apply for FBI check early. It takes about 4 weeks to receive your Apostilled FBI check through an expedited process. Please apply for your FBI check at least a month before public school application starts.

Step 1. Application Submission

– This begins on March 1 or September 1 and lasts until positions are filled.

– What to submit:

1. A completed EPIK Application Form
2. Two Recommendation Letters (from academic or professional sources)
3. Optional: 3 additional forms (only needed if you select Seoul)

– How to submit: Send your completed public school application form (saved in MS word format) and two (2) letters of recommendation (scanned in PDF format) + 3 additional forms if you select Seoul (saved in MS word format) to ESL Job Link via email.

Step 2. Interview Process

– After submitting Step 1 documents, an interview with public schools will be set up in a couple of weeks. The interview will be held either by telephone or Skype, but public schools prefer to conduct webcam interviews via Skype. Please consult ESL Job Link to prepare for the interview.

– After completion of the interview, results will be given in 3-7 business days.

Step 3. Document Submission

– Once you pass the interview, please collect the following documents as soon as possible to send to Korea. Public schools work on a first come first serve basis when filling positions. To obtain your preferred locations that you have chosen on the application form, it is best to send in your documents as soon as possible.

– Please note that public schools will secure your position ONLY after submitting your required documents successfully.

– Express mail (FedEx, DHL or EMS) all of the document hardcopies shown below to Korea and provide ESL Job Link with the package tracking number.

1. EPIK Application Form
2. Apostilled FBI Criminal Record Check
3. Apostilled Copy of your Bachelor’s Degree
4. One Officially Sealed Academic Transcript
5. Two Letters of Recommendation (Original copies)
6. Photocopy of your Passport Profile Page
7. Send legible photocopies of your EPIK application form, Apostilled FBI check, Apostilled degree, recommendation letters & passport (these photo copies are in addition to your original documents and/or notarized documents).
8. Optional: Send copy of teaching certificate, Apostilled copy of master’s degree & transcripts, proof letter for full time teaching experience, certificate (TESOL/TEFL/TESL/CELTA).
9. Seoul Applicants Only – send Seoul attachment form, SMOE contract, and SMOE addendum.

Step 4. School Contract and Notice of Appointment (NOA)

– A signed copy of School Contract and a Notice of Appointment (NOA) and will be mailed to your mailing address listed on your application. Note: Public schools do not release contracts and NOA’s until 5-8 weeks before the contract starting date. The location you secured employment in POE will be on the NOA and school contract. The package will also include orientation information.

Step 5. Visa Application to the Korean Consulate

– After you receive your NOA and contract, it will be your responsibility to submit required E-2 visa documents to the nearest Korean consulate. The Korean consulate will return your passport and visa in approx. 6 business days.

For EPIK applicant (E-2 Visa)

1. Valid Passport and 1 copy of its personal data page
2. Completed Visa Application Form
3. A passport picture (3.5cm x 4.5cm in full color) attached to application
4. Visa Fee: $45 * Money order only – Pay to: Korean Consulate General
5. Original Notice of Appointment and 1 copy
6. Employment Contract
7. Self-addressed, pre-paid Overnight Express or Fedex Priority envelope

– Enclose pre-paid and self-addressed FedEx Priority or Post Office Overnight Express envelope for faster and safer return of your passport and visa by mail.

– (For a FedEx envelope, you should make your own FedEx account online. Don’t pay for it with your credit card)

– Please let us know if you don’t live in Minnesota now or plan to move to another state in the near future. You may send your documents to another Korean consulate.

The following is the address of the Korean Consulate General in Chicago:

Korean Consulate General
(Visa Department)
NBC Tower Suite 2700
455 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Phone: (312) 822-9485
Fax: (312) 822-0413

Jurisdiction: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

Step 6. Flight Booking and Orientation

– Flight Booking

If you included a pre-paid self-addressed envelope, the Korean consulate will return your passport and visa via mail in 6 business days. Your Korean work visa (E2 visa) will be attached to one of your passport pages.

ESL Job Link will provide you with the proper arrival instructions and orientation information. Note that your school reimburses your flights at the end of the first month of the contract.

– Orientation

Once you arrive in Korea, you will head off to one of the orientation venues where you will stay for 8 – 9 days. Orientation takes place with hundreds of other western teachers. After the orientation is completed, you’ll be taken to your designated school.

Orientation is mandatory for all public school teachers. If teachers are not present at the orientation, they will not be eligible for employment.