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In order to teach in Korea, each applicant must meet the minimum qualification requirements. These requirements are implemented by the Korean immigration office and not by the schools. Any school that hires a teacher who does not meet the qualifications, is doing so illegally, so it's important to know and understand the requirements.

Bachelor Degree

A Bachelor degree or higher is a strict requirement. College degrees and incomplete degrees are not sufficient.

Native Speaker

Applicants must be a native English speaker and hold a passport from the US, Canada, UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand or Ireland.

Criminal Record

Applicants must provide a "clean" nation-wide criminal record check. (ie. FBI, RCMP)


ESL courses are not a strict requirement for private schools, but they are for public schools. However, most schools prefer to hire teachers with a TEFL/CELTA.

Other Factors:

The requirements above are the minimum requirements set out by immigration to qualify for a teaching - E2 Visa. However, there are additional ways to ensure that your job hunt is successful and that you stand out among other candidates. Here are just a few ways to improve your application:

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Girl Using Laptop

First Impressions

Schools in Korea do not have the chance to meet applicants until after they arrive in Korea. A short video will help them chose the right applicant and will give you the opportunity to show who you are.

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Be Flexible


By being open to locations, your job hunt will expand and more opportunities will come up. Explore different cities and don't limit yourself to just one location, especially cities such as Seoul and Busan, which are overwhelmed with applicants.


Less is More

A resume should be simple and highlight the type of experience that would be applicable to teaching or working with students. Schools want to hire teachers who can take a leadership role.

Be Ready


Schools in Korea still have a hard time planning ahead and are often looking for teachers to start at the last minute. By having all documents in hand, you will have an advantage on other applicants who may take weeks to be ready.

Remote Office
Be Present


Once you are active in your job hunt, things can happen rather quickly. Be sure to answer quickly and clearly to all interview request and follow ups. Schools will move on if they are kept waiting too long.

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Job Interview
Be Prepared


Most schools will conduct an interview over Skype. Make sure to be prepared and adjust your tone and language. Dress appropriately and handle yourself professionally. Be prepared to answer questions.

Don't have a TEFL?

A TEFL course can not only help you secure a position in Korea, but it will also prepare you for the classroom if you have never taught before. A well-designed course can be a great confidence booster for first time teachers and help them get familiar with lesson planning, grammar and how to approach problems that come up in the classroom.  We have selected some well reviewed and competitively priced TEFL courses to help you get started. 

Haven't taught before?

Teaching can feel intimidating at first, and while taking a TEFL course can be a great introduction to being an ESL teacher, nothing is as valuable as hands-on experience. You can gain this experience by teaching online first. Online classes are an effective way to ease your way into the ESL world, by teaching students one on one and setting your own schedule. Follow the link below to learn more about online teaching opportunities and to apply

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