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Could a non-native English speaker find a job in Korea?
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Copilash



Joined: 28 Jan 2013

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:46 am    Post subject: Could a non-native English speaker find a job in Korea? Reply with quote

Hello guys,

I'm from Romania ( where English is not the official language ) and I'm looking for months for a job in South Korea. I have been told that I'm not eligible to get a teaching visa. I also received some answers like: "I'm very interested in you." and they haven't replied. To tell you the truth, going to Korea is my dream. I have been searching for long term volunteering programs at first, but, since I'm not American, I can't apply, and now, I guess I could do whatever ( legally, of course ) to live there. I have told my family and friends, even my boss, that I'm going to Korea very soon and I can't seem to find a way to do so.

Is there any way I can find a job in South Korea?
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In order to get legal work in Korea you need 3 things:
1) Passport from one of: USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.

2) Degree from a legitimate university in one of: USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.

3) Clean criminal background check from one of: USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.

If you meet all 3 requirements you can get a job in Korea as an English teacher.

IF you do NOT meet all 3 requirements you cannot get a job in Korea as an English teacher.

There is no maybe. There is no way around it. There is no loophole. There is no chance.

You can however find work in Thailand, Cambodia or China as a non-native speaker PROVIDED you have an English competency score (TOEIC-600, IELTS 5.5, TOEFL, etc) and a legitimate bachelor's degree. Having a CELTA or other recognized TEFL/TESOL course would also be a benefit.

.
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michpottier



Joined: 03 May 2010

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While ttompatz is correct, there are visa options you may be interested in. Here is the list of visas for Romanians.

http://rou.mofat.go.kr/english/eu/rom/visa/issuance/index.jsp

Fun fact, it is possible for you to get an E-2 visa, but just not to teach English (as ttompatz pointed out). You would have to gt a job teaching your native language, which unfortunately is rare in Korea. I would suggest contacting the Korean embassy near you just to get their opinion.

All the best.
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are lots of options but being an English teacher is not one of them.

DDD work in a factory (D3 - industrial trainee). Specializations (E7 - Designated activities), technology transfer (E4), research (E3).

Gaining a visa for one of the others will depend on his academic qualifications, experience and ability to find a sponsoring employer.

.
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Seoul_newbie



Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you really want to come here, why not come as a student first? You can learn the language, make connections and have a job lined up by the time you graduate. [/i]
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zpeanut



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Location: Pohang, Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seoul_newbie wrote:
If you really want to come here, why not come as a student first? You can learn the language, make connections and have a job lined up by the time you graduate. [/i]


This is true..

although what kind of job really depends on your connections and qualifications.

If you're after an English teaching job they'll probably still ask for what they're asking for now. You could do private tutoring but I don't know which visa would allow you to do that for a living.

Also, being a student is rather expensive in Korea, especially at the SKY universities (where a lot of the connections are). It's nothing compared to studying in the US or Australia but it still costs a fair bit if you consider school fees and housing. But yeah, if there's really no other way, language school might be the answer.
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Konglishman



Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Location: Nanjing

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew one guy from eastern Europe (it might have been Romania or maybe it was Bulgaria) who had done it somehow. Due to getting his degree from Canada and some EU treaty between Europe and Canada, he was able to come over and teach English in Korea.
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Seoul_newbie



Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are scholarships for international students doing their masters. Who knows? He may qualify for one. Also, I get the impression that he's only interested in ESL as a way of staying in Korea. So why not try this route?
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Copilash



Joined: 28 Jan 2013

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey....

I wouldn't have hoped to receive so many replies. Thank you!


Ttompatz you're harsh, but I understand I could never teach English in Korea. Then again why, even today, I received an email from a recruiter saying to send all the documents? I mean, shouldn't I receive nothing but negative answers? Perhaps there are schools hiring not legally or they probably think Romania is perhaps in the States. How I wish it was... To tell you the truth, at first I thought that these conditions were given by the employers or recruiters, and I thought that since there are going to be empty places not filled by native speakers, they would hire non-native also. When I found out it's a Government policy...my entire just built world collapsed.

Michpottier, thank you for the information! Teaching Romanian in Korea I don't think is rare, it's nonexistent, but thanks. I am a member of the Romanian-Korean Intercultural Association and the Korean Embassy is not really supportive. I don't know what to say about it, but it is also true that I haven't payed them a visit. I will definitely do it.

Soeul_newbie I already have an MBA and I never considered a PhD, honestly. But you are probably right, perhaps this is my only chance in fulfilling my dream. But, unless I find a scholarship that will provide me "house and meal" like we say, I can't even do that. I will look up for scholarships and benefits. Thanks!

Zpeanut I have a Masters Degree in Business Administration and notting to do with it in Romania. I'm not going to stress you out with my country's problems, but leaving Romania is my next planned step. And I want to go to Korea for many reasons (also don't want to make a fuss about that). I don't think I could find a job with my qualification (or can I?), and I also, don't have the resources to go to Korea first and then find an employer who would help me with my visa and everything else.

Konglishman I am already 25 and feel like I don't have much time to spare. My chances of getting a degree from Canada are almost impossible. I first wanted to find a long term volunteering program in Korea, and then finding a job and stay there. But no Romanians are allowed to enroll in any of the organizations that do volunteering stages is Korea, also European Union has no link with Korea what so ever. So, my plan number one was destroyed.

So, from what I understand I will never be able to teach English in South Korea and I can only get there by studying, first...
Do you all teach English? Have you even done something else there?
I don't want to give up my dream. I don't want to believe that the world is unfair and curse more the fact that I was born in Romania. I am not the girl who just gets married, has kids and just...live. I want to see the world!
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Seoul_newbie



Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have an MBA, try for at least a business internship that pays for room and board.
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Copilash



Joined: 28 Jan 2013

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where can I find an internship like that, Seoul_newbie?
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Seoul_newbie



Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That, my friend, is your responsibility.
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Copilash wrote:

Ttompatz you're harsh, but I understand I could never teach English in Korea. Then again why, even today, I received an email from a recruiter saying to send all the documents? I mean, shouldn't I receive nothing but negative answers? Perhaps there are schools hiring not legally or they probably think Romania is perhaps in the States. How I wish it was... To tell you the truth, at first I thought that these conditions were given by the employers or recruiters, and I thought that since there are going to be empty places not filled by native speakers, they would hire non-native also. When I found out it's a Government policy...my entire just built world collapsed.


I think that if you take a look at the last 16,000 or so posts that I have made you won't find much malice in them. Just facts and little in the way of opinion.

There was no malice in the post I made to you. Just honesty and realistic options.

With an MBA (as compared to a graduate degree in Engineering) you are unlikely (but not unheard of) to find work in Korea.

Do a TOEIC/IELTS/TOEFL test (proof of English competency by an independent source) and you CAN find decent paying work (as an English teacher or in business) in a large part of eastern and southeast Asia (exclusions being Korea, and Taiwan).

If you want to get your foot in the door then be in Thailand in mid April with resume, degree, transcripts, police clearance and TOEIC score and you will be working by May 15.

There will be a large recruiting period for Chinese schools in April - June for Sept. starts.

Your passport not being from an anglophone country is a hindrance but not a complete block (with a few exceptions like Korea) to employment either as a teacher or in your field (business administration).

If Korea is your goal then your road will be very difficult due to your passport.
If teaching outside of your home country and making some money is your goal then pick a new country and get on with it.

.


Last edited by ttompatz on Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dodge7



Joined: 21 Oct 2011

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttompatz wasn't being mean at all. Maybe this goes back to English not being your first first language and you misinterpreting what he said?
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Copilash



Joined: 28 Jan 2013

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always believed that only words are not enough expressing your thoughts and feelings. I wasn't blaming ttompatz and, perhaps I didn't find the right word at the moment, my reason to say it being because of "There is no maybe. There is no way around it. There is no loophole. There is no chance." He was a little strict, but I know he was honest and realistic. Sometimes reality hurts, that's all. Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful for the information he gave me and also for every reply from you, guys.

ttompatz I'm stubborn, my goal being Korea, since it's so difficult to work there, but I'll try some more. I don't usually give up so fast. I understand it's difficult. Thank you!

Dodge7 I might have mistakes in expressing my ideas, since English is not my first language, but I wasn't misinterpreting what he said. Smile
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