Teach English in Korea!

Your Number One Resource on Teaching English in South Korea!

Want to find out about teaching in Korea? Read on for more info!

Our goal is to provide you with current, up to date and relevant sources on what is necessary to teach English in South Korea. Please feel free to check out our site and the links provided. Teaching English in Seoul is easier than you think. With the help of Teach English in Seoul, you will be on your way before you know it!

I previously was teaching English in Korea. I was based in Seoul with my partner. You will find my vast knowledge of teaching English right on this website! Read about my current experience on my blog, The Daily Kimchi!

Read below to get a glimpse of what you can expect, or if you want more information, check out these pages:

Korea general info

- Culture, food, things to do, holidays, etc.

Korean visa info

- Types of visas required to work or visit Korea.

Why teach English in Korea?

- Korea is a wonderful country with distinct culture and history. Seoul is a world destination city, with a population of approximately 10 million people. It is foreigner-friendly and has one of the world's best rated airports, along with a superior subway system. You will experience delicious Korean food, culture, arts and sports.

What are the requirements?

- Most companies require a university degree in order to obtain a Korean work visa. However, many others will accept a TESL or TEFL or any certified English teaching certificate in combination with English teaching experience. If you have the credentials, they will come! Be sure to get your English certificates!

What benefits are available?

- There is a HUGE demand right now for native English speakers in Korea. The demand and competition is so fierce that most private companies will provide airfare and furnished accomodation, along with a reasonable salary, ranging from 1.8- 2.4 million won (depending on experience and education). Also, most companies will provide a health insurance plan and offer training as well. If you factor in paid accomodation ($500-900US/month roughly), you will be making good money in a low tax environment. Throw in cheap and delicious Korean cuisine and you will be in good standing. Seoul was recently rated as the world's SECOND most expensive city, next to Moscow--but that's only if you have to pay rent!

This sounds great, where do I start?

- The first resource to check out for Korea jobs is Dave's ESL Cafe Head over to the website and look under the Korean job postings. There are hundreds of jobs available, but all job seekers must keep one thing in mind: DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Do the research to find a reputable company and post in forums for primary info. Take all information with a grain of salt. You do not want to fall prey to dishonest companies. I got my job through asking around online forums and emailing companies. Your hard work will be rewarded! Other highly recommended websites are the companies advertised on this website as well. Check them out for more information.

Can I go over with my girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, etc?

- The short answer is YES! I was able to get accomodation with my girlfriend and work at the same company. So anything is possible. Most companies like to hire couples or friends as it makes the stay in Korea easier. You are their investment and it would not be in their interest to have you go home due to culture shock or from being homesick. Ask questions!

OK, I got a job offer with a written contract. What do I do?

- First thing is to read over the contract carefully. Double check to ensure that what they promised will be included. Read over it twice. Do remember that you can negotiate your salary and the benefits. Most people don't do this, but these companies want to make you happy and come over to Korea, so make sure you be firm but fair in asking for what YOU want! Most places will furnished accomodation for you--make sure this also includes A/C as summers in Korea are hot and humid.

How much money can I save in Korea?

I get emails all the time about how much money can one really make in Korea. Well, the answer to that lies in how much work you want to put into your time there. Depending on your work visa, you may be able to do some private tutoring on the side. However, if you have a standard visa issued by your employer, it is ILLEGAL to teach privates.

However, currently in Korea there is a huge demand for teaching English so this under the table cash job tutoring exists everywhere. Be warned though, getting caught can lead to fines and deportation from the country--even possible jail time. So don't do it because you can land yourself into some hot water!

What about teaching TEFL elsewhere, other than Korea?

The world is a large place! There are many places to visit and teach in. The hard part is choosing where! I had a friend who learned the hard way about teaching and making money overseas via TEFL. He didn't have the adequate training or experience, and had a very difficult time adjusting. But recently he discovered a few secrets that have led to his job being much easier--giving him more time to travel! He is now very happy and enjoying his time teaching English overseas. To read more about his TEFL secrets, visit here!

I'm about to hop on an airplane to Korea--what should I pack?

- bring a WARM winter jacket (my North Face jacket was a blessing); it gets very cold here
- if your feet are over size 9 for men, I would bring a pair of shoes. I had a hard time finding size 11 here--I bought two pairs of shoes in Dubai instead. ;)
- I brought one sweater with me for winter and a light zipper sweater to wear at school.
- bring summer clothes...shorts, tshirts, etc
- bring underwear (ladies: bring your thongs as they don't sell them here; they are hard to find)
- bring a couple towels for showers (the ones here are hand towel sized--thanks anonymous)
- bring a single-sized sheet set; pillow cases too (thanks anonymous)

Personal Care:
- DEODORANT...bring a year's supply. It can be found here if you search hard enough, but you'll pay a premium. For example, the mark up on a stick of Old Spice High Endurance is double what you'll pay at home!
- bring your favorite cologne--it'll be expensive here
- bring your favorite gel;
- bring your favorite floss;
- bring a travel bottle of Purell along with a larger refill; there is a spray hand sanitizer that can be purchased at Watson's here
- bring your favorite toothpaste, unless you want to try out 2080 or Perioe
- bar soap, shampoo can be purchased here but the selection is limited...Dove, Ivory, and Pantene ProV...unless you must have your brand, bring it! I would recommend going to Watson's and Olive Young to find personal care items
- Qtips can be found here
- if you are used to your OWN brand of a certain thing, bring lots of it!
- Bring lots of bras (they don't sell big bras here...good luck finding C or D cup)
====from anonymous in the comments:
- If you are a woman bring tampons. It's not widely used in Korea.
- Good, moderately priced shampoo in Korea- Elastine/Kerasys/Mise'en scene brands are good as well as Shiseido(Aquair).Unless you absolutely need a certain brand, I think you could use that space to pack other things.
- They have many higher-priced/luxury hair product lines.
- The Body Shop has many stores in Seoul
- L'Occitane and Lush have stores in Seoul as well
- Neutrogena,Nivea, Clean and Clear products are also widely available
- You can find lots of products and foods not in dept. stores on the Namdaemun "black market" on the street behind Shinsegae (main store-near MyungDong)

- plug converters can be found here for cheap, but you might want to bring a couple with you to get started
- leave the cellphone at home; cellphones from back home won't work here; we bought a used phone for $50 at Yongsan and are paying $10/month on a pay as you go plan
- I brought my laptop from home; it's been our entertainment center thanks to the internet; you can buy a laptop here, but Windows will be in Korean
- use Skype or Windows Live Messenger/Yahoo! Messenger (thanks John) to call home from PC to landline for dirt cheap (Skype costs me 2 cents/minute to call Canada)

Food stuff:
- bring spices from back home if you want to cook lots
- bring honey (it's bloody expensive), maple syrup (bling bling), and your favorite spices if you want to cook; you can find spices and such at the Hyundai Department Store, but prices are very expensive
- bring a box of your favorite gum...you can find Dentyne Ice at Watson's, Juicy Fruit can be found at Homever, but the majority of gum here is XYLITOL (Lotte)!
- bring some of your favorite chocolate: Snickers, Twix, and M&Ms are here, along with anything cacao-based.
- bring a couple boxes of your favorite tea (thanks lao-ocean-girl)

Drugs, Drugs, and MORE DRUGS!
- you will get sick at one point or another...so it's best to be prepared
- bring some Tylenol/Advil
- bring Dimedapp cough syrup
- bring some allergy medicine if you suffer from allergies
- they have Halls candy here along with Ricola
- bring a big tub of multivitamins (go to Costco if you can)

Anyways, this is what I can think of right now. If anyone else has suggestions on what to bring, please feel free to post them in the comments and I will add them to this post. If you want a more extensive list of things to bring, check out this page from Footprints Recruiting.

Ready for more Korean Info? Read below:

Korea general info

- Culture, food, things to do, holidays, etc.

Korean visa info

- Types of visas required to work or visit Korea.

FAQ's via email answered

- my answers to YOUR questions

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