This is topic Teaching English in Korea in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
Hey all, it's been a while. I graduate university this year, and I'm interested in taking a year or two to teach English abroad. (With the general goal of winding up in Barcelona or Milano for the long haul.)

A girl I'm dating turned me on to the idea of teaching in Korea, since it can be lucrative (sort of), immersion in an entirely new culture, and the chance to pick up a new language. Google turns up plenty of hits, but nothing that looks particularly reputable -- does anyone know any particular institutions I should look into? Have any Mormons here worked in Korea?

I'd also be just fine with Japan or the Pacific Islands, but the general idea is to go East for a while. Has anyone here tried anything like this?
Posted by Valentine014 (Member # 5981) on :
Just to clarify, are you looking to work or volunteer?
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
To work, preferably on the university level. I volunteer enough, and I need to save up for law/grad school.
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
I am currently in Prague looking for a teaching job. I am just finishing my teaching course today, in fact.

There are plenty of jobs in Korea for the getting, but you will not get a university teaching job- just forget about that. You'd need 3 years experience plus a TESOL diploma to teach at any university. I am also thinking about Barcelona for next year, but what you should do first is get a teaching certificate, either the Trinity college cert, or the Cambridge one are best- don't go to a non-externally moderated program, because they don't carry much weight.

Edit: Also, you should forget about teaching as a way of socking away money. You'd never make enough to save meaningfully for anything like law school- and getting started will cost you more than you'll make for a while.
Posted by Zhil (Member # 10504) on :
Orincoro's right, teaching english abroad (at least in S. Korea) won't get you the money you want. Also, depending on how lucky you are, it can be a terrible job with bratty kids that enjoy shoving their fingers up your butt.

I'm not joking.
Posted by Foust (Member # 3043) on :
This is my second year in Korea, and the job has treated me well.

My first year was 2005-2006, and after flying for home Christmas and buying a laptop, I saved about $12000, Canadian. I spent quite liberally during that year, too.

I'm earning a great deal more in terms of Korean Won this year, but it won't translate into a huge increase in Canadian dollars because the Korean Won is tanking.

About university jobs. I've got a few friends doing them, and they tend to want 2 years of teaching experience. They also pay less than private or middle schools; however, the vacation is 2 or three months long, and it is paid. You can work under the table elsewhere for that time.

I've always recommended this to all my friends.
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
For clarification, are you talking about teaching children or adults? Or do you have any preference?

ETA: My husband taught English in Taiwan completely freelance. It wasn't any more difficult than meeting people and mentioning his services. But it helped that he already had an American friend to live with when he got there, and I think that the timing would be crucial in Japan. (Get there before the school year starts, which is in the spring.) I don't know anything about Korea, though. Sorry.
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
Foust, who do you work for in Korea, and do they all pay so much?
Posted by Foust (Member # 3043) on :
I work for a small private school, part of a chain called Jungchul. My salary appears to be average for people teaching elementary and high school students in private schools.

English teachers in public schools make a little less, but their workload is non-existent and they have great holidays.

The *real* money is in teaching adults. A friend of mine earned about twice as much as I did this past month. The catches: you have to work split shifts for adults. 6 am to 12, 6 to 9. His salary is not much higher than mine - all the extra money comes from tutoring adults outside class. He makes a ton of money, but certainly works for it.
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
Lalo, Dave's ESL Cafe was the place to go for this kind of info when I was doing ESL in the late 90s. Looking at the site, it looks like it continues to be a valuable resource.
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
seconded- it's still a great resource.
Posted by Foust (Member # 3043) on :
Orincoro, I'd really like to hear about teaching in Prague. What is the pay like?

I don't have a tesol or anything like that, just an undergrad degree. Would two years of experience in Korea make up for any certificate shortcomings?
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
I just finished my tesol today, so I am not yet working. There are no set requirements for schools, but generally an undergrad is required, and tesol is a plus. However, if you already have 2 years experience, that stands you in good stead as far as I know. And a tesol course only takes 5 weeks, which gives you time to get set up and find a place to live, meet employers, and put out your resume. I have interviews, but no job yet- I'll let you know how it turns out.

Since there are many teachers here, the pay starts low- around 25,000 kc (about 1,200 USD) a month. Rents are anywhere from 7,000, to 12,000 kc a month, and location is everything- flats are big and often nice everywhere you go. It's an easy city to live in, generally.

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