Moving to a Korea to teach English does not necessarily have to be a solo adventure. Oftentimes, people applying want to work alongside their friend from home or their significant other. However, finding such teaching positions can be a bit tricky…so if you’re in this position, there are a few things you should know if you want teach English in Korea as a couple or with a friend!
In this post, we will cover the following topics to answer any questions you may have about how to teach in Korea as a couple or with a friend:
- Why Schools Are Hesitant to Hire Couples
- Benefits of Teaching in Korea as a Couple
- Why Schools Are Hesitant to Hire Friends
- Pros of Teaching in Korea with a Friend
- Cons of Teaching in Korea with a Friend
- Teaching Jobs for Friends in Korea
Teach in Korea as a Couple or with a Friend
First, is it even possible?
YES! We certainly have schools that hire couples and friends and some that actually prefer hiring two teachers at once. In fact, we place numerous couples together ever year.
However, for several reasons these jobs can be more difficult to get than if you were just applying alone.
Why Schools Are Hesitant to Hire Couples
Many schools view hiring couples or close friends as a serious risk.
Whether it is the result of homesickness or a family emergency, teachers occasionally end their contracts early. This is even more problematic with couples because if this happens to one person, the significant other will more than likely leave as well. So the school loses two teachers, instead of one. A loss of two teachers at once can be so serious that it can cause a school to shut down because the remaining staff is not enough to teach all of the students.
Issues with the Housing Provided by the School
Many couples often say that they are fine working at different schools as long as they live in the same area and have shared accommodation.
However, this is almost impossible to make happen because it requires two schools in the exact same area needing a teacher at the exact same time. Especially for the urban areas like Seoul or Busan, schools in the same city might be an hour or two away from each other.
Even if that were to happen, there is still the issue of shared accommodation. Most schools continually lease apartments. When one teacher finishes a contract, they leave the apartment and the new teacher moves in. It can be difficult to procure shared accommodation because the directors do not want to give up their lease or waste money with no one living there.
Personal Emotions can be Carried over into the School
Let’s face it: couples fight. This is all well and good, but when personal emotions are carried over into the workplace, it can become a problem for everyone ranging from the co-teachers to the school’s management to the students.
The environment at any school is best when everyone gets along and this is what the owners and directors of schools do their best to achieve…and also to avoid.
Schools Primarily Looking for Female Teachers
Many of the teaching positions that our schools have are only available to female teachers as the parents are only comfortable having women teaching the younger students, namely those in kindergarten.
Even if a school is in need of two teachers at the same time, hiring a male teacher is sometimes not possible. This can limit the possibilities for some that are looking to teach in Korea as a couple or with a friend.
Benefits of Teaching in Korea as a Couple
If you are your better half are destined to be together forever, then it is likely you will have an excellent experience teaching English in Korea. There will also be benefits involved such as:
Saving more Money
Schools that are open to hiring two people together will have shared apartments for a couple. These are usually set up as a one bedroom apartment with a common living area. The apartment size is perfect for two people.
One of the benefits of living together is that you are sharing the cost of the bills for the apartment. While these are very affordable when you are living on your own, they are even less expensive when living together with your partner.
Sharing a Lifetime Experience
10 years down the road when you have two kids, a dog and a cat, you WILL STILL be talking about ‘that time when we taught English in Korea’. The memories from your year – or more – will stay with you forever.
And the best part about going to teach in Korea as a couple is that you get to not bore your partner with your own stories, but can instead reminisce over the stories that you created together!
Why Schools Are Hesitant to Hire Friends
As is the case with hiring couples, schools are often worried about hiring two friends in the case where one teacher leaves, the other is likely to follow, leaving the school without two teachers in the classroom.
This is one of the worst situations that a school can be in, as it takes about 3 months for a replacement teacher to gather all of the required documents to teach in Korea, go through the visa process and then to arrive at the school. This is a major reason schools will not even take the chance at hiring two friends; however, when schools are open to this type of situation, it usually works out fine.
Click for FAQ about teaching English in Korea
Pros of Teaching in Korea with a Friend
There are many benefits of teaching in Korea with a friend! The main one would be that you would be going through the entire visa process together, which can be a bit complicated at times. You would be able to help each other in collecting the necessary documents and also with planning your trip to Korea.
On top of this, you would be able to go through the first two weeks in Korea with someone you know and are comfortable with. From taking off on the plane together to exploring your new surroundings, you have the comfort that a good friend will bring.
Cons of Teaching in Korea with a Friend
There are other aspects to teaching in Korea with a friend that you may not have considered. Probably the most important being that going to Korea with a friend will certainly limit the number of new people that you will meet. While you will definitely meet new people, you will most likely be spending the majority of your time with your friend from home.
When people go to Korea on their own it can be a bit intimidating, but once you get over the hump, you realize that you are entering into a brand new life, one where you can be whoever you want to be. Maybe your friend won’t hinder that experience, but maybe they will.
Finding Teaching Jobs for friends in Korea
We do have many schools that are open to two hiring friends where they need two teachers at the same time. There are also situations where one teacher is needed one month and then another a month later.
Both are good options for two friends looking to teach in Korea together.
What we suggest if you really want to go to Korea with a friend, is working in two different schools and ideally in two different cities. But why?
If you are in two different schools, you will be forced to meet new people, which is a good thing! Making new friends from different countries is one of the best parts of the experience of teaching in Korea, so you don’t want to miss out on it.
If you are in two different cities, you can visit each other on weekends and explore each other’s new home. Along with this, you would also instantly inherit the group of friends that your friend from home has made – a real win win!
The point of this post isn’t to scare you! If you want to teach in Korea as a couple or with a friend, you definitely can. Of course you need to meet the requirements for teaching English in Korea, but after that, you still need to be open minded and have realistic expectations.
Couples’ positions are definitely harder to come by, so if your number one priority is being with your partner or friend, you should be more flexible with other variables like location or hours.
That being said, we regularly place couples in Korea so get ready for a great experience whether you’re single or in a relationship!