Korea Teach English

How to Get a Job Teaching English in South Korea

How to get a job teaching english in south korea

“How do I get a job teaching English in South Korea?”

This is one of the most common questions that I get asked by readers of my blog. It seems like a lot of people out there really want to pursue a career in ESL but aren’t sure where to start. It’s understandable. There’s so much information on the web that it can be overwhelming and you might not be sure exactly where to look or who to listen to. Plus, the teaching industry here has changed a lot over the past few years. If you’re looking for up to date, trustworthy advice about teaching English in South Korea, then you’ve come to the right place! I’ve tried to fit as much useful information as I can into this bumper post so, grab yourself a cuppa and let’s get stuck in!


One of the first things that people ask me about teaching English in South Korea is whether or not they need teaching experience and, to be honest, the answer is yes and no. Having some sort of experience isn’t necessarily required, but it will definitely make your application stand out from the crowd.

Before I came to Korea, I had done a placement working in a school for children with additional support needs. This experience was invaluable because it made me really consider becoming a teacher in The UK. I had always flirted with the idea…. but didn’t want to go back to university so quickly and instead spent a couple of years working in an office after I graduated. When I realised that I wasn’t on the right career path, memories of that experience spurred me to try teaching English in South Korea.
Working at a hagwon in Korea

When it came to actually applying for jobs, that experience ended up being useful for even more reasons. For starters, I had some sort of experience to talk about in my interviews. But, most importantly:

It made me realise that I actually like working with children.

A lot of people come to Korea, bright eyed, bushy tailed, ready to meet other expats and go on soju-fueled adventures. Then, they touch down and realise that they actually have to teach children.

As a teacher, you’ll be spending between 20 and 30 hours a week teaching for a full year. If you don’t like teaching or you don’t really have the right personality for the job, that is going to be hell, my friend!

My advice?

Look for volunteer groups in your local area to get a taste of teaching before you commit. Youth clubs and Scout groups are always looking for extra support. Even if you just volunteer once or twice a week for a month or 2, you’ll quickly realise if teaching is for you.

Hot pink-uh #myfaves #teacherspets

A photo posted by Nicole Arnott (@weegypsygirl) on

Get TEFL Certified

Much like having experience, getting TEFL certified isn’t exactly a must but it is useful. I got my first job here without having any TEFL certification. However, competition for jobs is becoming fiercer in Korea. There’s been a lot of government funding to English education in the last few years so vacancies are getting slimmer and slimmer. I ended up having to get my TEFL between contracts and most of the things that I learned on it would have been useful to have known in my first year.

If you want to shine and excel in your job, getting a TEFL is the best way to go.

Crazy zombie we made in class today #esl #teacher #happyhumpday #korea

A photo posted by Nicole Arnott (@weegypsygirl) on

I recommend doing your course with i-to-t TEFL. With an abundance of TEFL courses available on the web, it’s difficult to know which ones are reputable and which ones aren’t. i-to-i are a globally recognised name with hundreds of thousands of graduates. Recruiters will instantly know from seeing their name that you’ve had a high standard of training. Plus, their support team is awesome and they have training centres all around the world!

To book your TEFL course through i-to-i, click here!

University Degree

It should be noted that a B.A degree is required for all public teaching jobs in South Korea. This can be in any subject area and doesn’t necessarily have to be teaching. I studied music and ended up teaching grammar and phonics for a living!

Lovely portrait one of my wee ones drew of me!

A photo posted by Nicole Arnott (@weegypsygirl) on

Do you Want to Work at a Public or Private School in Korea?

Ah, the much-heated debate! To go public or private. I’ve done both and, to be honest, I much prefer working at a hagwon. Both jobs come with their pros and cons, though which I’ll go over.

Pros and Cons of Working at a Hagwon in South Korea


  • Smaller class sizes
  • Wide variety of material to teach
  • Can teach a mix of elementary, middle school and high school
  • It’s possible to find jobs teaching business English to adults
  • Pay is usually higher
  • Most hagwons have more than one foreign teacher, so it’s an easy way to make friends
  • Potential to work in big cities


  • Fewer holidays
  • Longer teaching hours
  • Less job security (there are a lot of shady hagwons operating in Korea. Do your homework before accepting any job!)
  • Some jobs require teachers to do a lot of admin on the side (although, I don’t see this as a con since you’re getting paid to do it)
  • Usually you’ll be teaching alone with no support from a Korean co-worker (Again, this isn’t really a con for most. I much prefer teaching independently but everyone is different!)

The starting salary for a first-time teacher is 2.1 million won. 

Pros and Cons of Working at a Public School in South Korea


  • Shorter teaching hours (but much longer office hours)
  • Much more job security since you’re working for the government
  • 4 weeks of paid holidays on top of public holidays
  • Have the support of a Korean co-worker (this can be good or bad. It’s not unusual for Korean co-teachers to take full control of the class and give you 4 minutes at the end to do your activity. If you don’t like doing a lot of work then this would definitely be good. If you actually care about teaching, this isn’t great.)
  • Very little admin work
  • Lots of deskwarming time. Again, this can be good or bad. I started this blog because of deskwarming so it’s not all bad. Some teachers finish online Masters degrees while working full-time thanks to deskwarming. Others binge watch the whole Netflix back catalogue. If you need your job to challenge you but aren’t very self-motivated, this could be soul destroying. If you can use your time productively, then it’s a nice way to get paid to pursue a hobby!


  • This is pretty subjective but, in my opinion, public school textbooks are boring, repetitive and unchallenging. For both students and teachers.
  • Much larger class sizes
  • Pay is often lower than hagwon jobs
  • Most public school jobs these days are for elementary as middle school and high school contracts have been cut in almost all provinces. They do exist, but they’re hard to find.
  • Expect the unexpected. Every school is different- you could have an amazing co-teacher or a terrible one. Your experience greatly depends on your school and your co-teachers.
  • Most public teaching contracts are in the rural areas of Korea. *Waves goodbye to Seoul and Busan*

The starting salary for a first-time teacher is 2 million won.

How to Find a Job

When you’ve decided what sort of teaching position you’d like to work in, the next step is to apply! I’m going to go over the different steps for each type of job, so keep reading.

Find a Job Teaching English at a Hagwon in South Korea

First things first, find a recruiter. I went through People Recruit and would recommend them. They were friendly, offered great advice, got me a bunch of interviews and ended up placing me at a really legit hagwon. There are lots of other great recruiters and some small ones who just deal with certain parts of the country. Some recruiters are good, some are bad. If you have friends teaching English in South Korea who are happy with their jobs, ask them who they went with.

Also, if there are any teachers in South Korea reading this who were happy with their recruiter, please leave their details in the comments!

Another great place to find jobs is on Facebook. If there’s a particular city that you’re interested in, it’s worthwhile seeing if they have a “Teacher’s Group” on Facebook and joining that. Usually, when teachers come to the end of their contracts, they’ll advertise their jobs on here if they were happy with their working conditions. Because let’s be honest, you’re not going to offer the hagwon from hell to your fellow expats! This can be a great way to find some of the best jobs from insider sources in South Korea. Ya know, the ones that get snapped up by the people already in the country!

Think I might explode with cuteness 🙂 <3 #peperoday #southkorea

A photo posted by Nicole Arnott (@weegypsygirl) on

The Interview

When your recruiter has matched you with a school, you’ll be asked to do a skype interview. Sometimes this will be with the owner of the academy but sometimes it will be with a current teacher.

I did a lot of interviews before I finally found a decent school that would take me and my sexy Scottish accent and was even asked in a few if English was first my language on more than one occasion! Funny fact- I ended up removing the word “Scotland” from my C.V and putting on an embarrassing American/ Downtown Abbey hybrid accent in the rest of my interviews before I started getting job offers. So, if you’re Scottish and want to work in Korea, maybe try to be a bit less Scottish for your interview…

As for the rest of you who don’t have to worry about masking your own identity, here are a few tips from a woman who has done many interviews.

The interviewer is, of course, going to want to hear about how you would manage a classroom so do a bit of research about behaviour management techniques and drop that into your answers. (Even if the thought of being in a classroom with children is petrifying, fake it till you make it!)

Most importantly, though, they want to know how you will fit in living in a new environment. One of the biggest fears for employers is that you will freak out and do a midnight run. Think of life experiences you’ve had that prove your adaptability. They also want to know why you want to get a job teaching English in South Korea so try to learn a few things about the country. I recommend bigging up their education system because, as educators, that’s something they’re pretty proud of! They will also be very excited if you tell them that you love kimchi so FYI- it’s spicy (and that’s ok with you), delicious and you’re a pro at eating it with chopsticks! You’ve pretty much landed the job if you can nail that last part.

Do Your Homework

After you’ve interviewed with a school and been made an offer, you need to do a background check. As I mentioned, shady hagwons are common in Korea, so this step is extra important. First, use the hagwon blacklist website to search for the school you’ve been offered a job with. Any horror stories will be here- but use with caution! A lot of hagwons in Korea operate as franchises and every branch is different. As an example, just because an ECC hagwon in Gyeongju is on the blacklist, doesn’t mean that the ECC in Daejeon is going to be the same.

Read about my friend, Laura from Willful and Wildhearted’s hellish hagwon situation here.

A better way to get inside info on your hagwon is, again, to use facebook groups. Most cities will have their own expat group- just type the city’s name and expats into google to find it. I recommend posting in there and asking if anyone knows about the hagwon and if it’s a good place to work. The likelihood is that you’ll end up talking to the current or previous teacher who will be pretty honest about the situation.

Spring has sprung! #cherryblossom #jinhae #korea

A photo posted by Nicole Arnott (@weegypsygirl) on

While your recruiter can put you in touch with the current teacher, I’d avoid doing that for a few reasons. For starters, that teacher now has the pressure of selling the job to you. The chances of them giving you an honest portrayal of the job might be slim. There’s also the chance that you’ll be made to speak to them over the phone on loudspeaker while their boss is in the room!

Application Timeline

As hagwon jobs recruit year round, the application process is quick! I interviewed for my job at the end of February 2014 and was on the ground teaching by April. This is great if you don’t want to be weighed down by regimented recruitment dates.

Friday selfie 🙂

A photo posted by Nicole Arnott (@weegypsygirl) on

Find a Job Teaching English at a Public School in South Korea


The most famous public school teaching programme in Korea is EPIK, although there are others.

To apply to EPIK, you can either apply independently through their website or through one of their approved recruiters.

Click here for more details on how to apply, or to check what recruiters they work with.

EPIK places teachers all around the country and applicants are asked to list the top 3 areas that they would like to work in. I should note that there is no guarantee over where you work with EPIK. You could be in the middle of Gangnam or you could be in the back of beyond.

The hiring period for EPIK is March and September and applicants are advised to apply between 2 and 7 months in advance. 

You’ll need to have a skype interview for public school jobs so scroll up to see my interview tips!

Click here to see the application timeline for EPIK.

Gyeongnam Office of Education

Personally, I chose to teach English through the Gyeongnam Office of Education. I had already been teaching at a hagwon in the Gyeongnam Provence and knew that I wanted to continue teaching in the same city.

I went through a small agency called MnJ who managed to get me the job, but their service wasn’t amazing. Much like EPIK, GOE only works with approved recruiters. You can see the list in this document: FirstTimeGOETeachers

The salary for GOE teachers is typically higher than that of EPIK teachers since most schools are in more rural locations. There’s also a bit more control over where you can teach since the programme is much smaller. I was able to list the top 3 available schools that I wanted to teach in so I knew that I could be in my preferred city. It’s also possible to apply all year round, although most (but not all) teaching contracts typically start around September and March.

My Thursday school for the next year 🙂 #bukmyeon #changwon #rural #countryside

A photo posted by Nicole Arnott (@weegypsygirl) on

Alternative Teaching Programmes in South Korea

Most people who come to Korea tend to either work in a hagwon or at a public school however, there are some other options.

For experienced teachers who have Master’s degrees, the absolute holy grail of teaching jobs are at universities. These are sometimes advertised through word of mouth, or on job boards like ESL Cafe. These jobs are highly sought after with their long holidays and short working hours.

Qualified teachers with a teaching permit have the option of working at international schools in Korea.

How to Spend a Day in Suwon

For undergraduates wanting to take a year out, there is also the possibility to work on the TALK programme. TALK is like EPIK’s little sister, and people on this programme work 15 hours a week teaching afterschool classes in public schools. You don’t need to have a degree to teach on TALK but you do need to have completed at least 2 years of university. TALK Teachers get paid a salary of 1.5 million won, which isn’t bad for 15 hours of work!

How to get a job teaching english in south korea

After Accepting your Offer to Teach English in South Korea

Get an E2 Visa

So, you’ve signed your contract. What next? You should then go through the visa procedure. I’m not going to go into too much detail about this here because it’s pretty lengthy and varies from nationality to nationality. Plus, it’s your recruiters duty to assist you with this part. You just made them a lot of money by accepting a job so the least they can do is help you out with your visa!


Now that you’ve got your job and your visa, you’re gonna need to get yourself out to South Korea. My first hagwon job paid for my flight upfront and some companies will do this for you if you ask. More commonly, though, you’ll need to pay for your flight yourself upfront and get reimbursed 6 months into your contract.

What to eat see drink do Jeonju

If you’re working for a public school, you’re responsible for booking your own flight. The good news is, however, when you arrive in South Korea you’ll get an entry allowance of 1.3 million won. I ended up finding a cheap flight from Barcelona to South Korea for 400,000 won in a flight sale so I was able to pocket pretty much all of that money!

I find the cheapest flights using Kiwi. Click here to find cheap flights to Seoul!


Almost every teaching contract in Korea comes with accommodation, and I would not work for a school who didn’t offer this benefit. Most apartments are 1 room studio flats but some teachers do luck out and get spacious apartments with separate bedrooms and living areas. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask about your apartment after you’ve been offered a job and before committing to your contract.

I hope this post has helped you make more sense of the steps that you need to take to get a job teaching English in South Korea. It might sound daunting, but honestly, it’s easier than you think when you get the ball rolling. If you have any more questions at all, please don’t hesitate to send me an email or leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Going to Korea soon? Don’t miss these posts!

Get a job teaching english in south korea

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own. 

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  • Reply
    Megan Indoe
    9th February 2017 at 10:34 am

    This is great Nicole! You had a great idea about volunteering to get a taste of teaching before you commit. Afterall it is kind of a lengthy process to get your visa and what not before coming for a year! We never got our TEFL because our plan wasn’t to teach more than one year. If we decided to continue teaching we would have committed to getting it! Hagwon jobs are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get! HAHA We were lucky to have a caramel chocolate our second year, haha okay enough with the dumb jokes. Anyways we had an awesome hagwon job and if we need to save a big chunk of money again or miss Korea enough (which we do actually miss it all the time) we can always go back!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      9th February 2017 at 10:50 am

      Thanks so much Megan, hahaha I also got a bit of a caramel chocolate in my first year but my public school was definitely a chocolate covered strawberry fondant (those are always the last left in boxes of chocolates in my house lol.) Although public school jobs are more reliable in that you’ll definitely get paid, you might not always luck out with co-workers (I certainly didn’t lol.) I wonder if I will miss Korea when I leave- you’re so right about being able to save a big chunk of money. If I am ever broke, I’ll be on the next plane back to Incheon!

  • Reply
    Rob Taylor
    9th February 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Truly, a fascinating way to become fully immersed in another culture. And definitely good to consider/realize the difference you’ll face between public and private schools. I’m curious about the difference for teachers in public/private schools here in the States…

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      13th February 2017 at 11:36 am

      Thanks Rob- I agree, I’ve learned so much more about Korea from my students than any museum or book could have taught me! The private schools here in Korea are more like afterschool cram schools. The students who attend them actually go to their regular school in the morning so, for students, it’s not really a one or the other situation. More a one or both situation! They are pretty busy kids!

  • Reply
    Mark Scrooby
    10th February 2017 at 9:07 am

    Extremely useful post! Great job on being honest about what to expect. I think a lot of people expect it to be a paid holiday to teach ESL.I also think Korea is extra tricky because it’s still so hierarchical and especially in hagwons the owners are like dictators at times! I’m currently working at a hagwon and my fiancee is at a public school. She’s a teacher back home and it has been pretty soul destroying for her. I on the other hand have had to dig deep some days and have had to learn so much! We often joke about how our job situation should have been reversed. On the upside we have absolutely loved our time in Korea and would recommend it to anybody!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      13th February 2017 at 11:41 am

      Thanks Mark, I agree that it definitely isn’t a working holiday! It’s funny how you ended up at a hagwon while you’re fiance is at public school. However, I bet you have learned a lot more from working at a hagwon- it was definitely a baptism of fire for me!

  • Reply
    11th February 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Super useful post – wish I had read something like this before we came out here! We were so lucky with our hagwon job but I know many who don’t have it as a good as us. I always think the whole hagwon thing is a difficult concept to explain to people who have never been to Korea! You’re right about the money too – I’m always surprised how we managed to save and still have so much fun here.

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      13th February 2017 at 11:42 am

      Thanks Rosie- I was also extremely lucky with my hagwon job but I have 3 close friends who have all done midnight runs! It is definitely a gamble. So glad your managing to save money AND enjoy your time here!

  • Reply
    12th February 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Amazing super-detailed post for those looking for teaching jobs in Korea. I love your advice about first getting a little experience teaching kids before deciding to come and ya know, teach kids. 😉 I’m not here to teach though, but I noticed you’re reading The Mountain Shadow right now? I ADORED Shantaram, devoured it in a week on the beaches of Goa, but waited anxiously for this to come out and then read a preview chapter and just could not get into it. How are you finding it?
    Shelley recently posted…Family Travel: Our Worst Moments in 2016My Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      13th February 2017 at 11:45 am

      Thanks so much Shelley- your comment actually reminded me that I’ve not updated my now reading widget since….. November? Ooops. Haha I loved Shantaram too and also read it on the beach in Goa- what a coincidence! I finished Mountain Shadow and found it pretty tedious but I’m glad I read it. There are a lot of parts that are worth reading it for but it’s no where near as good as Shantaram! A few loose ends do get tied up in it though, so I’d give it a go if you have time for another 900 pager!

  • Reply
    12th February 2017 at 9:45 pm

    What a great detailed post about getting a teaching job in Korea! I’m almost done my 2-year contract here and it’s going to be very sad when I leave in a couple weeks. I was with the EPIK program and it was a great experience! Wouldn’t have traded my school/apartment for anything!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      13th February 2017 at 11:47 am

      Aww, I’m also leaving in a couple weeks. What a weird feeling, eh! So glad that you’ve had such a positive experience with EPIK and I hope that your next venture is just as successful 🙂

  • Reply
    12th February 2017 at 11:30 pm

    Useful for those who want to teach here in South Korea. And yes, teachers should actually really that they need to teach and they will be teaching minors. Since Korea has become a very competitive venue for native english speakers, I am sure only the qualified ones are being hired now… not just because they look the part and they speak… English!
    Wendy recently posted…Send-Off Begins at a Sushi Belt RestoMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      13th February 2017 at 11:48 am

      Thanks Wendy, the recruitment process has definitely got a lot tougher recently and I think that the requirement for applicants to have TEFLs has meant there are a lot more serious teachers here.

  • Reply
    Rocio Cadena
    13th February 2017 at 10:27 am

    This was a really informative and accurate representation of what teaching is like in Korea. I’m on the public sector and love it. I couldn’t see myself teaching privately, but I love hearing other’s perspectives, especially yours because it seems you truly like teaching and enjoy the kids, whereas for most, I’d say is more of a temporary gig. I’ll make sure to share your article whenmy friends ask me for info about teaching here!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      13th February 2017 at 11:51 am

      Hey Rocio, thanks so much, I’d really appreciate that! I’m so glad to hear that you are enjoying teaching at public school. I think if my school had been different I would have felt the same but, to be honest, we just didn’t click. Nevermind!

  • Reply
    13th February 2017 at 11:31 am

    Great guide for newbies. It can be a bit daunting. This much info wasn’t even available ten years ago when I came. I just hopped a plane and got dang lucky at a YBM my first year. My biggest tip to people coming now is always to ask to speak to someone currently at the school especially if it’s a hagwon. Get in touch with a foreigner currently there to get the real low down because recruiters just want to make a buck and won’t be straight up about employers. My go to site is still Craigs list though. Been going strong for ten years and it’s still good while others have come and gone.
    Hallie recently posted…Comment on Nonsan Strawberry Festival: Eating In Strawberry Fields in Korea by 10 Spring Festivals You Shouldn’t MissMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      13th February 2017 at 12:04 pm

      That’s so funny Hallie, I also got on a plane and completely lucked out at a YBM academy- what a coincidence! Speaking to another teacher is the absolute best thing you could do- there are so many hagwon horror stories! Interesting advice to use Craigslist. I’ve never used it for anything myself but I’ll be sure to check it out if I ever come back!

  • Reply
    Nathan Anderson
    13th February 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Great tips in this post! I really found the recommendation to try your hand at teaching before taking the leap valuable. I came over ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ without having taught a day in my life. I got lucky and realized I loved teaching, but it could very easily have gone the other way. Thanks for the comprehensive list!
    Nathan Anderson recently posted…Doing a Visa Run from South Korea to FukuokaMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      14th February 2017 at 9:10 pm

      I was kind of the same and I was lucky too! Even though I had a bit of experience, I could easily have hated it because it was pretty different. Thanks very much Nathan!

  • Reply
    Star Lengas
    13th February 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I toyed with the idea of teaching English but could never find concrete information or a step by step guide. Nicole, this is defffffinetly it! I think you made a great point, that an individual should get into the profession because they like the kids or teaching, and not solely for the paycheck. I feel like that is the quickest way to burn out … which can apply to any type of career. All in all, this is a great resource, I’ll def be sharing to followers.

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      14th February 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Awww thanks so much Star! Kids will definitely burn you out whether or not you want to spend time with them lol so it’s best to be doing it because you definitely want to!

  • Reply
    Why you Should Consider Teaching English Abroad - Wee Gypsy Girl
    23rd February 2017 at 9:53 pm

    […] Want to know how to get a job teaching English in South Korea? Read my handy guide here! […]

  • Reply
    Emma H
    10th July 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Hi there!! Thank you so much for sharing, I’m so glad to find your blog!! I’m about to start Uni to teach English, and I really want to teach abroad (specifically South Korea!) so this is super helpful!! Also you’re awesome~~ Thank you!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      10th July 2017 at 9:24 pm

      Awww, thanks so much Emma! I’m so glad that my blog could be of some help to you and that you found me. Teaching abroad is an amazing experience and Korea is lots of fun- it’s a fantastic place to save money too. Good luck at uni, and get in touch if you ever need any help with anything re. teaching English abroad. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kathleen Calado
    12th July 2017 at 9:26 am

    Nicole, thank you for sharing such an amazing article! I myself am a online teacher for Japanese & Korean students here in the Philippines and I’m inspired deeply by your article. Great set of photos with the kids and the country itself! Hoping to see more of your blogs in the future!

  • Reply
    How Much Money Can you Save Teaching English in South Korea? - Wee Gypsy Girl
    30th July 2017 at 1:59 am

    […] Personally, I’d recommend any budding teachers to do their homework and find a good hagwon. You can read my guide on how to find a job teaching English in South Korea here. […]

  • Reply
    5th October 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Hi, how about person who is from Poland and moved in to UK to study Psychology, finished it and has done Master plus got UK citizenship, does that person still can apply for EPIK for example even if she doesn’t have primary, middle or high school background in UK??

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      12th October 2017 at 1:20 pm

      Hey Channie, I think because you have UK citizenship you’d be able to apply for the visa. Was your schooling in Polish or English? I know that for people from South Africa and Canada they need to prove that most of their education was in English and not Afrakaans or French. Maybe contact one of the recruiters or even one of the boards of education to check? Korvia are always helpful!

  • Reply
    Andrew Robson
    3rd November 2017 at 4:30 am

    Hey Nicole,

    Thanks for a really interesting post. There’s a lot of useful information that can help for sure.
    I’m 43, degree in Media Technology BSc with over 15 years experience working in schools/university as mentor, teaching assistant, design/av Technician, unqualified teacher in D&T, ICT, and a host of other subjects. I worked with kids with autism, challenging behaviour, cancer and other special needs. I LOVE TEACHING!!
    But working for schools in the U.K. has come to an end and I want to experience a completely different culture and lifestyle.
    I’m well into music (piano, electronic), sports and just being a kid and teaching a kid at the same time (a young 43 I am).

    I’m currently doing a 120hr TEFL and am thinking of working in Thailand but after reading your post, I really like the sound of South Korea..
    I want a great experience as well as a job, adventure, meeting new people (not necessarily western), save a bit of money and enjoy..
    If you have read this, are there any other tips/advice you have..
    It’s a big step so I guess I’m just trying to find out from people who have done stuff..

    Have a good day 😀


    Ps….great pics on Instagram

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      9th November 2017 at 12:42 am

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for getting in touch. With your experience, you’d be a great fit for teaching overseas. I was going to mention international schools, but on second look, I’m not sure you have your PGCE? If you have that certificate, then international schools really are the Holy Grail of teaching jobs. Thailand and Hong Kong are supposed to be the best markets for it.

      Otherwise, South Korea is the most lucrative place for teaching- either through an academy or a school. (Just follow my tips if you go down the academy route!) South Koreans are pretty open to having Western friends so it’s a good place to meet people- especially if you live in a big city like Seoul, Daegu or Busan where there are a lot of meet ups going on. For jobs in other countries, I’d consider looking at tefl.com as they curate really well paid teaching jobs around the world for people with a lot of experience, like you.

      I hope this helps!

      Nicole 🙂

  • Reply
    Andrew Robson
    3rd November 2017 at 4:31 am

    Hey Nicole,

    Thanks for a really interesting post. There’s a lot of useful information that can help for sure.
    I’m 43, degree in Media Technology BSc with over 15 years experience working in schools/university as mentor, teaching assistant, design/av Technician, unqualified teacher in D&T, ICT, and a host of other subjects. I worked with kids with autism, challenging behaviour, cancer and other special needs. I LOVE TEACHING!!
    But working for schools in the U.K. has come to an end and I want to experience a completely different culture and lifestyle.
    I’m well into music (piano, electronic), sports and just being a kid and teaching a kid at the same time (a young 43 I am).

    I’m currently doing a 120hr TEFL and am thinking of working in Thailand but after reading your post, I really like the sound of South Korea..
    I want a great experience as well as a job, adventure, meeting new people (not necessarily western), save a bit of money and enjoy..
    If you have read this, are there any other tips/advice you have..
    It’s a big step so I guess I’m just trying to find out from people who have done stuff..

    Have a good day 😀


    Ps….great pics on Instagram…I’m @aperobbo

  • Reply
    Sharon Priscilla
    3rd December 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Hey Nicole !! Thanks for the information you have provided. But I’m an Indian so would this become a barrier for me to become a teacher in South Korea ( since I’m a non-native English learner ) ?

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      10th December 2017 at 5:01 pm

      Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Sadly, to become an English teacher in South Korea, you need to have a passport from either UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand. It’s an annoying rule because I feel like a lot of non-native English speakers are more skilled at teaching things like grammar than we are. I know that, as an alternative to Korea, the JET programme in Japan takes on applicants from all around the world and has an amazing benefits system for teachers. Maybe have a look into that?

      Nicole 🙂

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