Many people start the teaching process on their own and while I commend you, I also think that going through a recuiter can save you time and a future headache. The recruiter I am going to talk about is Korvia, and as they are the only one I have contact with, they are the only recruiter I can give accurate information on. That being said there are more than one channel/recruiter to go through and I would advise you research which one is the best fit for you.
Korvia Consulting is a recruiting company based in Seoul, South Korea that helps to place native English speakers into both private and public school as an ESL teachers. Korvia has connections to EPIK, GEPIK, and SMOE and as such you get the chance to decide which one to apply for. One of the big reasons I picked Korvia was the fact that they have access to both private AND public schools, they help with the Visa process when you are matched with a school, and will get you from the airport when you arrive.
Now onto the specifics~ the time from when I applied to when I was contacted by a recruiter was about a day and a half. Which is a very fast turn-around time if I might add! Anyway, from there I scheduled a skype interview for a couple days later. I had my interview with a recruiter named Victoria Bae and although the alloted time for the interview was 30 minutes, we talked for about an hour.
Before I went into the interview I googled what types of questions would be asked and what it was like. Overall the reviews were across the board, with some people saying it seemed unprofessional and there were other voices in the background, etc. Yes, I could here voices in the background but it never took away from the conversation and it didn’t bug me in any way. Victoria went over my resume and asked my clarifying question on things she wanted to understand better, if I was healthy enough to work in another country (Korea wants drug-free, healthy teachers in their schools), and why I wanted to go to Korea. This interview was more or less a talk about myself and why I thought I should be a teacher. It was a straight-forward interview and from there I got the green light to continue on.
The continuation consisted of obtaining 1~2 letters of recommendation, creating an introductory video (will be discussed in a following post), and making sure I had the right timing to get my FBI background check done and sent in.
Stay tuned for Friday’s post about creating an introductory video!
So you want to teach in Korea? Well there are several things to take into considerations~
One of the most important things to understand is that if your major is not an approved one, such as Linguistics, you will need to obtain a TESOL/TEFL certificate in order to teach. You can get such a certificate through the American TESOL institute, as I did for mine, or other approved one in your country. Secondly, you will need to hold citizenship in a country where English is an official langauge or primary langauge and you can find more information about this on South Korea’s education website (http://english.moe.go.kr/main.do?s=english).
Once you’ve taken care of that you’ll need to think private versus public schools. The pay is different, the hours are different, the amount of vacation is different and so on. The pay is usually a higher starting salary in the private schools, called Hagwons, and this type of school is more along the lines of a cram school that students attend after their normal school hours. That being said the hours can be later in the day, lets say maybe from 14:00-22:00, and you will be teaching a variety of levels. These private schools also have less vacation time and from what my recruiter said vacation time is usually assigned by the owner of the school. Very different right? Also important to note is that private schools DO NOT recieve government funding, so in the event that the business fails you may find yourself without a job.
The similarities are that both provide housing, reimbursement for flights and usually 50% of medical. I personally will be looking to the private schools as the recruiter that I went through felt that will the little experience I had teaching I would be most qualified for a Hagwon. I would recommend that anyone who wishes to teach go through a company like KorVia (http://www.korvia.com/) because it makes the process less confusing and you have someone who can help match you to a school, private or public, help you with the required paperwork and the visa process. Plus a lot of these companies will pick you up from the airport and help you get to your place!
If you have more questions feel free to comment!
Picture from http://thenews-chronicle.com/south-korea-turns-off-propaganda-after-north-expresses-regret-for-mine-attack/
Having titled my first post “The Leap”, I found myself stuck in the awkward and scary phase after that metaphorical jump. I have no idea where these next 5 months of preparation will take me as I transition from a college student to a full time working adult and being new to blogging, closer to word vomit on a page if you ask me, I find the prospect daunting. Very daunting. 5 months may seem too early to start writing about this material but I thinks its a good way of getting my thoughts out and to document things (the process) as it happens.
To begin I have always known that I wanted to teach English abroad and throughout my time in University I have researched the steps to get to the final destination. To start I decided early on that with its rich culture, beautiful language and history South Korea was the place for me. There are several different government programs to go through to teach English and I will go into more detail on those in a subsequent post. That being said, the two main tracts are public school and private institutions called Hagwons (more like cram schools) in which an English teacher can be placed. Based on my experience (English Major, 2 TESOL certificates, no teaching experience), the company I went through, KorVia, thought that I would be most comfortable and more qualified for a position at a Hagwon (학원).
With that crucial interview decided there are 5 things remaining for me to do. Create an introductory video, obtain a background check, obtain 3 letters of recommendation, get a medical evaluation and most importantly, graduate from College. Oh and then once that is all done I need to find a place at one of the schools.
So much to do but thankfully I have time. Next time I’ll go into more detail about getting a TESOL or TEFL certification, the company I went through, and the difference between public and private schools in South Korea.