FAQs - Top 22 FAQs

1) When should I apply for a job in Korea?

You can apply as soon as you would like, even if your estimated start date is months away. This allows time to review any questions, gather all necessary documents, and make arrangements for all of your belongings.

Please understand that Korean schools do not generally plan as far in advance as we might expect. We usually start reviewing actual contracts with teachers about 2-3 months before the start date.

2) When are most of the jobs available?

The busiest times of year are July, August and September, as well as February and March. This is also when the largest supply of teachers are available, so, we normally have very high demand for teachers during Nov/Dec and April as well.

The reason you can start at any time of the year, even though they follow semesters in Korea is because the majority of the jobs are at hogwans, where there is always change happening. Teachers may have had different start/finish dates, for reasons such as delayed at the beginning of a contract because of the E2 process, or because they extended for a period of time to save some extra money before going home. You will replace a current teacher, so you will start as soon as theyre finished (likely even taking over their apartment).

3) How soon can I start teaching?
The very soonest you can start, is 4-5 weeks after you have all documents in hand. You should apply right away though, since we can start the job hunt once we review your application, resume, city/school choices and E2 visa documents with you, as long as we look at jobs that work with your earliest available start date.
4) How can I send my money home, so I can pay my bills?
You will always get paid into your Korean bank account. You can wire this money to your home bank account whenever you would like.
5) Can I really save $500 to $1,000 USD each month?
Yes. The combination of free rent, very low taxes, and low costs of living make this very easy to accomplish, even while enjoying everything that Korea has to offer.
6) How can I teach in Korea, if I dont speak any Korean?
Even if you could speak Korean, you would be asked not to. You are being hired as a native English speaker for your pronunciation, and accent. You will always follow a series of textbooks, and receive guidance from your school.
7) What documents do I need to get ready (now)?
  • Updated resume
  • JPG photo, in color, with you smiling
  • Valid Passport
  • Original university degree
  • 3 sets of sealed university transcripts
  • Clean criminal record check (that has been apostilled, in all countries except Canada)
  • 2 letters of reference just in case you decide you want to work with any of the public schools

***Please send in application before ordering documents, so we can review everything with you, to ensure you are on the right track.

8) Do I need to send my original university degree?

We recommend this, since it is easier, and it is returned as soon as you arrive in Korea.

Or, you can ask your university if they will print you another copy.

If this doesnt work, you can have a color copy of your degree made, then have it notarized, and then verified at the Korean consulate. (** Some consulates are not verifying the degrees anymore. This means you need to get it apostilled. See www.apostilleinfo.com)

9) OK, so I think Im really excited about teaching in Korea, what happens next?
  • You complete our online application form
  • We will send you some key information to review, and confirm a time for an interview with your personal Teacher Rep (Dan, Shawna, or Michelle).
  • Your Teacher Rep will call you to review your application in detail.
  • Your Teacher Rep will work with you, to match you with the job that will help you enjoy your Korean experience the most.
  • You will have an interview with a school.
  • Once you decide on the job, Aggie will take over your file for the entire E2 visa process.
  • We also put you in contact with our network of teachers in Korea, your city, or maybe even your school.
  • 10) What age of students will I teach?
    You can decide! There are jobs teaching all ages in Korea.
    More info: Types of Jobs
    11) I have only heard of Seoul, is that where I will teach?
    We deal with schools all over Korea. Most of our teachers are in major cities, with at least 1,000,000 people. Our suggestion is to try and think of it in terms of type of city, to make sure you are experiencing what is the most important to you in Korea.
    12) Will I be able to meet (English speaking) people easily in Korea?
    Yes! One very important thing to remember is that the vast majority of the other teachers in Korea have also left behind their best friends, so theyre more open to meeting new people. Also, the teachers in Korea are all university educated, like to travel, have the personality to make such a bold move, and are looking forward to meeting people from all over the world. The veterans (can be from 4 months to 10+ yrs in Korea) will understand you need help learning the ropes as well.
    13) Will someone meet me at the airport?
    • If you will be teaching in the greater Seoul area, someone from your school, or our company, will likely be meeting you at the Incheon International Airport.
    • If you will be teaching more than one hour from the airport, you will take a bus from the airport (this is very easy), to your city where you will be met by someone from your school.
    14) Can my friend/boyfriend/girlfriend and I, be placed at the same school, or at least in the same city?

    If you plan in advance, and are a little bit flexible, we should be able to comfortably place you in the same city. At Teach ESL Korea, I think we help a much larger percentage of couples than other companies, since my wife and I went to Korea together, so we relate to the couples were helping.

    Some schools shy away from hiring couples/friends, for a few reasons: They dont have a proper couple-sized apartment, they worry if a couple breaks up the school risks losing two teachers at the same time, the school might only have 1 native teacher, and some worry two people might be more demanding.

    Couples who want to share an apartment:

    • For hogwan jobs - you would need to work at the same school. Different schools try and avoid working together to share the cost of an apartment, since in Korea renting a larger apartment is harder than it should be.
    • Public school jobs, in Gyeong-gi do - you will always teach at 2 different schools, but always provided with a couple sized apartment.
    15) Can I apply if I do not have a teaching degree, English degree, or any type of TESOL certificate?

    Yes!!! If you have at least a 3 or 4 year university degree, in any major, you qualify for any E2 visa job in Korea.

    ***There have been some brand new jobs just opened up, called Internship jobs. They are through the Korean government, and designed specially for college grads, or even people who have completed only 2 years of their university degree. The salary is $300 less each month, and you only teach 22 classes each week!

    16) Will they hire me if Im African-American (or Asian American)?

    Public school jobs Yes, at least for the public school jobs in Gyeong-gi do province (GEPIK).

    Hogwan jobs PLEASE understand this is not a policy of Teach ESL Korea, but that of the private schools in Korea: Most schools lean very heavily toward Caucasian teachers. Some schools are more open-minded than others, but it does limit our options.

    17) Am I too old to get a job in Korea?

    If you are older than 60 years old, it would be very challenging to find you a job in Korea.

    If you are older than 40, some hogwans will be hesitant, but the public schools will not.

    18) Do I have to pay for my plane ticket in advance?
    With about 90% of our schools, this will be arranged, and paid, in advance for you.
    19) What will my apartment be like?
    It will be a moderately-furnished, private, studio apartment, usually within walking distance to your school.
    20) Whats the medical coverage like?
    It covers doctors visits, prescriptions, and most treatments, but does not cover dental or eye-care (which are both a fraction of the cost as they are in North America)
    21) What if I really dont like it, and want to go home?

    Your contract will require you to give 2 months notice.

    We understand it is not for everyone, and if you really need to leave, we must very seriously ask for your consideration in this area, and let us know in advance if you think you need to break your contract. If you leave without warning, it will take at least 2 months to find a replacement, which could bankrupt a small school.

    22) Is it safe in Korea?


    • No guns if you own a gun, you store it at the police station
    • No drugs - in Korean population
    • No gangs see no guns or no drugs
    • Crime statistics are among some of the lowest in the world
    • The majority of the crime in Korea is white collar crime, involving government officials, or high-level businessmen.

    teacher spotlight

    Hannah and Brady Q
    Hannah and Brady Q., USA
    Public schools - EPIK
    Sarah, UK
    Sarah, UK
    Hogwan in Pyeongchon
    Colby Charles, Cdn
    Colby C, Cdn
    Hogwan in Gwangju city
    Ben K, USA
    Ben K, USA
    Hogwan in Gwangmyeong
    Keri, USA
    Keri, USA
    EPIK in Jeju
    Logan Monday, USA
    Logan Monday, USA
    TEK Alumni - now in Macedonia
    Blog 1   Blog 2