If you are a recent graduate or someone who is simply tired of their job and are looking to teach English in Korea for the summer or fall, now is the time to get started making preparations.
If you have made the decision to teach in Korea, you want to first make sure that you meet the requirements needed in order to be granted a working visa. Once you have done that, you want to be sure that you understand the process and documents involved in obtaining a working visa.
If you are uncertain that Korea is the right place for you to teach, you can do some further research on the different cities that you can teach and also some of the popular things to do in Korea.
Once you have made the decision that Korea is right for you, you will need to apply to us, after which time you will be contacted for an interview.
If you have any questions you can send us an email at: email@example.com
Spring has arrived, or is trying to at least and now is the time to get out and start enjoying what Korea has to offer!
Adventure Korea is a wonderful resource for weekend away options or taking some adventures without the worry of planning (that is what teaching is for!):
Here are 3 upcoming festivals to check out:
Daegaya Kingdom Festival:
This festival brings about the opportunity for you to experience a bit of Korea’s history, dating back to the Daegaya Kingdom. At this festival you can enjoy many experiences, like making bows and armor similar to those used at this time, dressing up in authentic costumes of warriors, pottery making, and/or visit the some 200 tombs in this area.
If you are a lover of nature, here you will have the opportunity to watch real butterflies hatching before your eyes. There are thousands of butterflies and other insects on display and flying around the various pavilions.
We are currently looking for 3 Korean American or Korean Canadian teachers for one of our schools near Seoul. The positions start in July and the school is looking for people who have degrees in Education or in Teaching.
The size of the apartment that you will be given to stay in while you are teaching in Korea will depend on the city and area where you are working. Below is a video by an English teacher who is working and living in the northern part of Seoul. The apartment is an ‘Office-tel’, which have a living area on the main level with the sleeping area on the second level. These Office-tels are also used for businesses as a cheap alternative to a full office. Check out the video below:
Experts who have written about culture shock have identified four distinct phases that anyone going to live abroad passes through; the amount of time it takes for a person to get through each phase can vary with the individual, but in general, each phase will last longer than the preceding one. The four phases are:
Fascination: an initial period when everything is new and exciting where there are seemingly few problems since everyone is being extremely accommodating. The predominant feeling during this period is one of exhilaration at finally being abroad after a long period of anticipation.
Friendship: immediately following the initial excitement comes the stage where the need to structure a new social support system to replace the one that was left behind at home becomes very important. At this time there is an understandable, but potentially dangerous tendency to find people from the same part of the world for friendship. The problem is that relationships created at this stage could turn into a ‘we-they’ scenario.
Frustration: After enough time has elapsed to become familiar with the new surroundings, as well as to become familiar with the requirements of the new job, a stage of depression begins. The result is that hostility towards anyone in your new life becomes the prominent feeling. It seems that every situation, no matter how big or small, turns into something that becomes overly frustrating. This is the period where frustration is at a level where the entire experience is seen as a mistake.
Fulfillment:Although the previous stage is very difficult to overcome, the good news is that the next period is one where the entire experience of teaching overseas becomes fulfilling and rewarding. The understanding of the new surroundings and the people that are interacted with daily now become interesting. Compromises are made which lead to a realization that conflicts can be worked out.
As with any new experience in life, it is what you make of it.
When you hear about Korea, a few things may come to mind: The bustling sprawling capital city of Seoul; the mountains providing the backdrop for cities such as Daegu; or perhaps Buddhist Temples of Tongdosa. Wherever your mind wanders when you think about what you will see and experience in your journey teaching English in Korea, you may be surprised as to the other many fascinating sights and scenes available to you.
As you are preparing for your trip to become an ESL teacher in Korea, you are most likely concerned with things like getting your documents all prepared for your working visa or making last minute plans to see your friends and family one last time before you go on your way for a year or more. You are probably also thinking about what you will do in your first day of class or what your co-teachers will be like or are possibly scrambling to finish up the remaining hours of your TEFL certification course.
When all is said and done, and you are as prepared as you can be, stop for a minute and think about what’s ahead. You are on your way to a whole new world, one that most travelers of South east Asia do not bother to stop and check out. Korea will now be your home, and one that you will soon get adapted to. Whether you come from Canada, or the US, you will be entering a world that boasts some of the most beautiful scenes and ancient treasures that Asia has to offer. And the best part is, that all of these are just a few hours away from you.
People tend to forget that there is more to life in Korea than having a good time with your friends at the bars on the weekends, or exploring the crazy all night shopping malls in Dongdaemun Seoul. While there is nothing wrong with making friends and getting a little bit crazy on the weekends, do consider coming home from the bar early on a Friday night so that you can get up and make that train to the ancient tombs in Gyeongju or to the Jinju Castle. It will be well worth it.
Transportation in Korea is very inexpensive and also very convenient. If your apartment is not close to a train station for example, there will surely be a bus close to you that will get you there; if you arrive at your destination but are not sure where to go from there, ask a local taxi driver who will either take you there or show you the way. If you get lost anywhere in Korea, just ask someone if they speak English and are able to help you. You might get lucky and find someone who has confidence in their English, or you might find someone that is a little bit shy, but even they will have some knowledge of English and should be able to assist you. In either case, Koreans are very friendly people and are more than willing to help foreigners when they can. They are also a very proud people, so as long as you make an attempt to first speak in Korean to them (a simple anyounghasayo!), then you will get the reception that you are looking for.
While learning a few Korean words and phrases will definitely help you in your daily life, speaking Korean is not necessary to teach English in Korea.
A lot of foreigners mistakenly relate the Korean language to Chinese, and think that Korean has thousands of characters, but this is not actually the case. Hangul (the Korean language), has only 24 characters which are made up of 14 consonants and 10 vowels. Each character block will have a combination of at least 2 of the 24 Hangul letters, which are known as Jamo. Hangul was originally created so that every Korean citizen, regardless of economical or social status would be fully literate. It therefore takes a surprisingly short time to learn how to read and write Hangul; one could literally learn the basics on how to do so in a few hours.
If you are interested in getting the basics down, here are a few websites that will help you get started:
Offering material that is free to download. Also included are software bundles that are offered for a reasonable price. The BYKI software is great for visualization as well as pronunciation, as it comes complete with flashcards with audio to go along with each word.
This is a great website that starts with the basics of learning the characters of the Korean alphabet. The site describes how to read and use the Korean characters and how to combine them in order to form words.
1) Be open-minded. It is important to remember that you are not only moving abroad to teach English, but also living in a country that is completely different from your own. Do not expect things to be the same as home, because they will not be. Bring an open mind and you will adjust faster
2) Prepare. You need to realize that you are not going to find all of the comforts of home, so you will have to be ready to adjust. When you get to Korea, look for stores that carry the foods you are looking for; even something as simple as finding the cereal that you like will make you feel a little closer to home while you are in your adjustment phase
3) Enjoy a simpler life. There will only be a certain number of channels on TV that will be in English, so if you are a big TV watcher, you will have to find other ways to spend your time. Explore your new city, and find things that will occupy you in your free time
4) Try to meet as many people as possible. Meeting new people and creating friendships is one of the best benefits that teaching abroad can offer, so take advantage of it. Everyone you meet will be doing the same thing as you, so you will have that in common. It is also important not to be too quick to judge people when you first meet them; you will find that some of your new friends will be very different from the people you usually hang out with back home, but this is a good thing
5) Don’t be too judgemental. You will inevitably notice things that Koreans will do things that will not make sense to you whatsoever; don’t hold this against them but try and understand the reasoning behind it. You don’t have to agree, but understanding is better than being annoyed
6) Stay as long as you can. Most people plan their return home before they even leave to teach in Korea. While this is a natural thing to do, don’t limit yourself to a deadline. You have no idea what is in store for you, so the best advice is to go with the flow and see where the journey takes you
For anyone working as an English teacher overseas in Korea, you may want to take a look at the ATEK website to gain more knowledge of your rights while you are in Korea teaching English, as well as the various ways in which you can contribute to the advancement of English education in Korea.
ATEK was created to give ESL teachers in Korea a voice. Here is their mission statement:
The mission of the Association for Teachers of English in Korea shall be to:
·establish the Association for Teachers of English in Korea as the voice of English instructors employed in the Republic of Korea;
·advance English education as a science, art, and profession;
·advocate for and represent Members to all levels of stakeholders in English education;
·improve the living and working conditions of Members;
·improve the usefulness of English teachers through high standards of ethics and conduct and provision of advice related to the same;
·increase and spread best practices in education through meetings, professional contacts, reports, papers, discussions, publications, and online forums; and
.provide a community where English teachers can come together in a spirit of mutual collaboration to advance their common goals.
If you are teaching in Korea already, and would like to join ATEK, you can obtain your membership here
David Dutton is a director who supports independent art and music presence both locally and worldwide. Take a look at his short film on South Korea to give you an idea of what you will be experiencing when you get there to begin your job teaching English.
There is so much more to this great opportunity than the rewards that you get alone from teaching English in Korea. Be open to travelling around Korea, to the food and the culture or you will surely be missing out on a lot.