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Fall 2019 Start - Coming with Spouse - Looking for Insight

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Joined: 17 Jul 2018
Location: Regensburg, Germany

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:28 am    Post subject: Fall 2019 Start - Coming with Spouse - Looking for Insight Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I wanted to put this message out there and gather some insight on my options and where to look in South Korea for a fall 2019 start. Knowing exactly where I stand at this point in my career is a little challenging, and I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and advice. I also apologize if some of my questions have already been answered.

Here’s some background information: I’m from the US, and I’ve been teaching English for more than ten years. I started out teaching in public school with the US Peace Corps in Azerbaijan, and I’ve taught in language centers, universities, and a migrant shelter, as well. I’ve taught all ages except kindergarten and pre-k, and I have experience with all proficiency levels. I’m currently a freelance English lecturer at a German university, and I’m also developing an e-learning course for international students who are interested in studying in Germany. I also have a CELTA and MA-TESOL.

My wife and I have enjoyed living and working in Germany. However, permanent work is hard to come by, and we wouldn’t mind experiencing a new place. A few friends have told me how much they enjoyed living in South Korea, and it seems teaching jobs are still plentiful. Those factors, among others, make South Korea appealing, and I’d like to see what opportunities are there.

Searching for jobs is a bit daunting, though, as so many of the ads seem to be geared towards people who are just starting out. I don’t have strict preferences on the types of places where I’d like to teach, but I would like to know what my options are and where I should look, considering my experience and credentials.

Also, I would be coming to Korea with my spouse. She has similar experience and credentials as I do, but she would like to take a brief pause from working. Therefore, I’m looking for opportunities where we’d be financially stable and insured, and it would be good if we got some assistance with travel and accommodation costs (Is this asking for too much?). Additionally, as we’ve been living in a smaller town in Germany, we’d like to relocate to Seoul or another large urban area.

If you all need any more information, or if anything is unclear, let me know. Thank you for your insight.

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Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You both would be qualified for university instructor positions as long you have proof of 2 years university teaching experience, but they generally hire from within Korea.

eep an eye on the job boards, though, and apply for any that come up, no matter the location. Figure that if you can get here and get your foot in the door, you can always jockey around for a better job in a better location after a year or so.

ONLY the person being hired will qualify for the flight over, and that's IF the university will pay it. You may be offered housing or you may be given a housing stipend. The stipend more than likely will NOT be enough to totally cover rent, especially in Seoul.

None of our business why your better half wants some time off, but you'd both be much better off if you could both get university positions. IF you fly here without a job, most universities will NOT pay for you to leave the country to get your work visa. And unless you plan on staying at a low, low budget inn and eating noodles and kimbap, you're going to burn through some serious coin here getting set up.

The other option would be to bite the bullet for a year and just work an institute (hagwon) job. They'll pay less, you'll teach more, and you won't get summers and winters off, but at least they'll ususally fly you here and provide housing or a stipend (ONLY for you, not your wife). Once you're here, immediately start looking for university job.

Good luck!
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Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take an entry level EFL job. It will get you an E2 and she can get an F3.
This would get you into the country, let you acclimatize to the way things work here (it is neither the US or Europe and things are VERY different).

If you are working for a government school you will both get covered with national health insurance.

If you get a job in a hagwon then you may or may not get national health insurance (even though it is a legal requirement).

Housing is usually supplied. PS housing is usually better than hagwon housing. The concept of renting your own is NOT an option for new comers to Korea. They may put you into a studio or a 1 bedroom. Don't expect more to begin with.

You can get by on one salary for your first year since your only expenses are utilities, food and entertainment. After you get settled your wife can choose to look for work or not. Jobs are not that hard to find.

You can look for university lecturer positions in your second year if you are so inclined. Personally, I prefer working in an elementary school; easier work, better benefits and much less stress.

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