*5 minutes that may change you

What would you say if an organization in another part of the world offered you a job with pay well above the average income earner that would allow you to save as much as 50% of your gross income?

What if the organization was even ready to cover your travel and accommodation costs, and offer you a full month bonus at the end of your contract? What if that job required 25-30 hours a week of your sincere attention and commitment, and enabled you to spend more time doing things you enjoy: - Travel around the country or to nearby destinations? - Fitness? - Take a cooking or martial arts course? - Engage or get yourself back into a part-time hobby? - Make new friends and gain a totally new cultural experience? Would that interest you?

And what if...you could be on a plane next month, ready to start your new job overseas? Sounds too good to be true? Well, it is possible, and in fact, the odds are in your favor! South Korea needs thousands of English language teachers each year to help Koreans learn and practice using the English language. You don't need any experience to be qualified...please see the FAQ below! or Apply now!

Skeptical? We understand. That's why we've gathered hundreds of testimonials over the years. See them here.


Click Play to Listen to a 50-minute intro on teaching in Korea

Teach. Learn. Prosper.

Access South Korea Now Inc.
Application form to teach in South Korea
Please fill in all fields in the following form.
An ASK Now representative will contact you soon.
Please note that if you are not from one of the countries listed,
you cannot qualify for a teaching visa.

While we appreciate your application,
only those chosen for an interview will be contacted.
Name (First & Last):
Phone Number:
Alternate number or Skype ID:
Best time to call:
University or College you attended:
Degree and Major:
Year of Graduation:
Current Age:
Year and Month Available (ex. March 2008):
Passport Status:
Original Degree:
Co-Applicant (must fill out their own form):
Where would you like to live?:
How did you hear about us?:
Please Specify (ex. city, search engine used, specific site etc):
On a scale of 1-10, how serious are you about this?:
Additional Comments:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the pay?

The pay ranges from about 1.9 million to 2.1 million won on average per month.  We sometimes have positions with a higher salary range for those with excellent education and experience, but the average is as stated above. 

To see what exactly this translates into, you can visit this link: http://finance.yahoo.com/currency?u  You can plug in the won, and then choose to change it into the denomination used in your country for a current exchange rate. 

Over the last couple of years, this would translate into about $2000 USD a month, or about $2400 CDN a month. 

Beyond that, you should factor in your apartment.  Depending on where you live, that could be a savings of about $500-$1000 a month that you will no longer have to pay for. 

Also, at the end of the one year contract, you receive a bonus of another month’s pay, which means another $2000-$2400. 

One of the best parts is that the taxes are so low, around 4%.  So, you can save what you earn.  To clear as much as you can in Korea, you would have to make substantially more money in Canada or the U.S.A.  Simply put, it is quite easy to save over $1000 every month in your pocket, while still leading an enjoyable lifestyle.  To do that back home would take a high salary.

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What are the apartments like?

The apartment you live in will be small, but comfortable.  For the most part, schools these days have single, bachelor style apartments for their teachers. 

That means you would expect to have a kitchen, a bathroom, and a bedroom/living room open-concept. 

It will be furnished for you with a bed, dresser, TV, likely a VCR or DVD player, hot plate, dishes, a washing machine, and other such items.  Many places also feature air conditioning. 

You will not be placed in a dorm.  You will be living in an apartment, just like a local Korean person would.  The apartment should be located close to your school. 

There is more detailed info in our guidebook, Taking You from Here to There, which you will receive after your application has been accepted.

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Do I have to pay for the flight?

No, you don’t pay for the flight.  We will arrange for payment of the flight along with the school that hires you. 

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What nationality to I have to be to obtain a visa?

The teaching visa is known as the E2 visa.  To obtain this visa, you must be a passport holder from one of these countries: Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., or South Africa. 

There are absolutely no exceptions.  Please do not bother to apply if you are not from one of these countries, regardless of education, English skill, or experience.  These are the rules set forth by South Korean immigration, and they are not bent.

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Why am I not getting hired?

Have you sent all the requested information (resume, picture, application form etc…)?

There could be several reasons why you are not receiving job offers.  First, if you did not meet the qualifications of the visa, you will certainly not be hired.

However, if you do meet these qualifications, and are still not getting offers, it may be the following:  does your picture look friendly?  Does your resume highlight your qualifications well?  If you’ve had an interview, were you enthusiastic?

Beyond this, perhaps you are not meeting the image that the schools are currently looking for.  You can think of it as a movie audition.  The schools have cast a role, and are looking for someone to fill it.  If they are looking for a female teacher, and you’re male, they may not be interested.  If they are looking for a 20 something recent grad, and you are 40 something, they may pass you over.  If they are looking for a Caucasian blonde-haired male, and you are a black-haired female of Asian ancestry, you may not get an interview.

At times it is frustrating for both ASK Now and our clients, but the schools base a large part of their hiring decision on the image of the teacher.  They are operating a business, and the parents who send their children to the English academies have a certain image of what they want in a teacher.  This is slowly changing, but for now, it’s the reality we have to deal with.

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Why have I not heard from you?

There may be times when you don’t hear from us for a while.  Don’t worry too much about this.  There is always something going on in the background.  However, if you are applying now for a position 4 months from now, there is not much that will be done right away.

Typically, schools start the hiring process about a month to a month and a half from the day they require a new teacher.  So, until this time, you may not hear from us. 

Just be confident that when the time comes, we will be contacting you and that we haven’t forgotten about you.  We have an excellent tracking system, so even if you apply now for a job in two years from now, we’ll be contacting you then. 

If during the quiet time, you do have any questions, please feel free to contact us, or refer to this document for answers to your questions. 

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Am I too old or too young?

There are no real restrictions on issuing a visa when it comes to age.  The only restriction is from the school doing the hiring.

The trend is to hire those from about 22-35 years of age.  Those over this age do still find employment in Korea, but it sometimes takes longer.  So, if you are within this age range, you will be a prime candidate.

If you are in your forties, fifties, or sixties, you are still more than welcome to apply.  We have had success in placing your peers.  However, your patience will be required in finding a suitable position.

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I really want to go, even though I don’t have a university degree.  Can I?

Basically, no.  Again, this falls under Korean Immigration and the E2 visa requirements.  The minimum education requirements are a BA or BS equivalent or higher. 

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Can I work for 6 months, or 8 months, or just for the summer?

The contracts are for 12 months.  The reason for this is that it costs a school a lot of money to hire a teacher.  Between the flight, visa process, training, and human resource fees, they put quite an investment in every teacher they hire. 

Therefore, it would not make financial sense for them to hire someone for a short term, only to have to turn around and do it all over again.

At this time, we hire strictly for 12 month positions.  If any other short-term opportunities become available, we will advertise them on our site.

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Can my husband/wife come with me?

Yes, your spouse can accompany you.  Preferably, if they qualify to teach as well, they can also work with you.  However, if they do not qualify for the E2 visa, they are still able to travel with you.

They will have to obtain an F3 visa, which is designated as a visa for dependent family members of those holding an E2 visa.  For more info on different types of visas, visit this site: http://www.moj.go.kr/

Of course, if they are not working, they will have to provide their own flight.  However, they will be able to stay with you in your apartment.

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I have kids, can they come?

As per the above question regarding bringing a husband or wife, your children would also qualify under the F3 visa as a dependent of an E2 visa holder (you).

Beyond this, there are other considerations.  Will you be home schooling?  Will you be sending them to a private school (expensive)?  Will you want to arrange daycare for them? 

It can be a wonderful learning experience for a child to live in another country.  It will give them an advantage over other children who have never seen much beyond their own town.  But, you must prepare well and be sure you have all your bases covered.

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How often do I get paid?

You will get paid monthly.  Usually, most schools have their payday around the first week of every month. 

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Does my nationality matter?

Yes, it does.  As stated above, you must have a passport from one of the countries listed.

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Why do you need my picture?

When hiring, the school does not have the chance to meet you in person to do an interview.  Therefore, the only way to get an impression of what you look like is via a photo. 

This is very important, as they will base a lot on what it looks like.  That’s not to say that you have to be handsome/beautiful, but more importantly, presentable, professional, and happy.

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What kind of picture should I send?

You should not send a passport photo.  You should send a recent photo.  It should show you in a good mood.  When looking at the photo, the director of the school will be wondering, “Would I want this person in front of my students?”  So, it should reflect that you are a positive person, and that they would be proud to have any parents of the students meet you.

It should be clear, and not too far away.  We would prefer you be alone in the picture, although if the only photo you are comfortable sending includes others, go ahead and send it.  We can crop out the others. 

If you have a couple of pictures you think might be good, feel free to send more than one.  Remember, this is your first impression, so consider it part of your job interview.

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What’s the catch?

We know, it “sounds too good to be true.”  We’ve heard it a hundred times.  What’s the catch, when are you going to ask for money?  When am I going to find out that it’s a scam?

It’s not, and you won’t.  The reason for the great benefits, the free flight, and the high availability of jobs all lies in the law of supply and demand.

There is a huge demand for English learning in South Korea.  The economy is continuously growing, and the world uses English to communicate.

In order to enter good universities, students must do well in English.  In order to do business internationally, people must be able to work in English. 

Furthermore, they want to learn to speak properly, with correct accent and pronunciation.  So, they require native English teachers such as you.

Go ahead and ask around, see how many people you know who are willing and able to hop on a plane and leave for a year, living in a foreign land.  For you, it may seem like the adventure of a lifetime, but for most people, it scares them.

So, we have the task of finding those who are qualified, willing, and able to go.  Demand is higher than supply.  So, we’re always busy. 

No catch.

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What is the cost of your service?

To you, the teacher, nothing.  We are paid by the schools to advertise, search out, educate,  pre-screen, and assist candidates who are willing to consider the opportunity.

As you can probably imagine, it is very time and resource consuming to do so.  That’s why they would rather pay us to do it.  Like in any area, it’s best to stick to what you know best.

The directors of schools know how to run a school, provide educational programs, and deal with parents.

We know what it’s like for foreigners to teach and live in Korea.  We also know the process of what it takes to get there.  That’s our specialty, so we spend our time doing it, and you benefit by receiving our expertise for free. 

Is it safe?

Very much so.  Research shows that incidents of violent crime are substantially lower in
South Korea than they are in other Western countries such as Canada and the U.S.

Of course, as in any major city, you always want to be aware of your surroundings.  You certainly don’t want to invite trouble by being careless.

However, you will find very quickly that you are surprised at how safe you can feel walking around such large cities.  It’s quite a contrast from what you are probably used to.

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What should I bring?

There are several things that you are going to want to bring with you.  Although just about everything that is available at home can be found in South Korea, there are some things that cost more, or that are harder to track down.

We have included a list of these items in our guidebook, Taking You From Here to There, and you will receive that after your successful application.

You can also visit our shopping page for some ideas such as luggage, a digital camera, and travel pillows etc...

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How much money do I need to bring?  How long before I get paid?

First of all, the schools in Korea pay on a monthly basis.  It's generally within the first 10 days of the month.  For example, many schools will have their payday on the 10th of every month.  So, if you arrive on the 10th, you know the next payday is one month away.  That's the longest possible wait for payment.

So, what is required for a month?  I would say that a minimum of $500 would be appropriate.  This will allow you to get settled in with a few necessities, keep yourself well-fed, and perhaps even venture out a few times on some mini-excursions in your area. 

If you do have a credit card available in case of emergency, or impulse shopping, that's always good.

If your goal is to purchase a new digital camera and MP3 player, the latest cell phone, and to travel every weekend, then of course, more cash will be required.

So, if possible, a minimum of $500, and anything beyond that will be a bonus.  Some people like to decorate their new apartment to their liking, or buy new clothes etc… It is up to the individual.

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Do I need vaccinations?

There are no required vaccinations.  It is completely up to you, depending on what kind of activities you plan to engage in.

If you plan to have lots of contact with animals, spend most of your time in the forest, and have unprotected sex, you may want to visit your health clinic.

However, if you are planning on leading a health-conscious lifestyle, you would be basically following the same guidelines as you do in your home country.

For more detailed info on available vaccinations, and who should consider them, you can visit this page: http://www.mdtravelhealth.com/destinations/asia/south_Korea.html

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Where do I send my documents?

Once a contract is signed, and everyone is comfortable with the conditions, you will be sending your documents to the school for processing. 

When the time comes to do this, you will be requested to send them via courier.

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What’s the interview like?

There are usually two interviews.  ASK Now Inc. will do an initial interview.  This is general and asks questions you would expect to hear, such as those asking why you are interested, what qualities you have, example of how you show patience etc…

Then, you will also have a brief phone interview with the school.  This is usually informal, and more of a chance to get to know each other a bit.  It’s also an opportunity for you to ask specific questions about the neighborhood, the apartment, other teachers etc…

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Why are there so many jobs?

The demand for English is very high.  There is also a constant turnover.  Since contracts are for 12 months, every month of the year there are hundreds, and even thousands of contracts ending. 

So, there must be new teachers taking the place of those going on holidays, returning home, or changing locations.  It is a constant cycle, so we have consistent openings.

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I’m not a recent grad, can I go?

Yes, technically there is nothing wrong with this.  As noted earlier, most schools prefer to hire those up to the age of 35.  However, there are still opportunities for those in their forties and beyond.  It just may take more time.

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I’m from the Philippines, can I go?

No, unfortunately not.  We seem to get a high amount of applicants from the Philippines.  While we appreciate your enthusiasm, we cannot change the rules of the Korean Immigration department.

We wish you luck in your job search.

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I have a Canadian passport, but I have an accent, can I go?

No, the schools are looking for native English speakers.  If there is any accent detected in the interview, you will not be hired.  So, please be honest with yourself and admit whether or not English is your first language.  If your accent is not flawless, please do not continue with the application.  It will only take up your time for nothing.  We wish you luck in your job search.

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Is there medical insurance?

Yes, there is medical insurance.  It is split with the employer.  There are various basic plans, depending on the school you teach with.  If medical insurance is a big concern, you may want to look into additional coverage through a private company in your home country.  If you are healthy, this should not be overly expensive. Check out our insurance partner, Travel Guard International, on our shopping page for additional coverage.

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What do I have to pay for?

You do not pay for our service, as mentioned earlier.  You must cover the cost of your passport if you don’t already have one.  You are also responsible for mailing your documents to South Korea when the time comes to do so.

There is also a fee you must pay at the Korean consulate in your home country when you go to get your passport stamped with the E2 visa.  This is generally around $50-
$70, depending on your local Korean Embassy. 

The guidebook includes contact info for the embassies, so you will be able to contact your local area to find out the exact cost.

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Can I find _____________ in Korea?

Chances are, whatever it is you are looking for, you will be able to find it, or something similar, in Korea.  There are plenty of foreigners in Korea, so the market for Western goods is quite prominent.

And, with the Internet, you have access to just about anything through e-commerce.

If it’s an activity or sport that you are curious about, chances are that it’s happening somewhere in Korea.

Basically, whatever your hobbies, interests, or desires may be, you should be able to access them in Korea.

We are trying to build up a good shopping page to cover all your needs before you leave for Korea, and for your time there. Visit our shopping page.

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Do I have to know how to speak Korean?

No, you don’t have to know how to speak Korean.  You can get by during your time in Korea without every learning to speak any Korean.  There will always be someone willing to help, and people are quite patient.

However, if you do pick up on some of the language, you will probably enjoy yourself even more.  Korean people are very impressed when foreigners learn their language.  It shows that you respect the country and the culture. 

Learn more about Korean language products here.
Visit the Book Store for Korean books.

You can be a real crowd pleaser if you know even just a few Korean phrases.  Our guidebook, Taking You From Here to There, covers the basics, and will supply you with lots of phrases to impress your new friends.

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Do I have to be a teacher?

No, you do not have to be a certified teacher at home in order to teach in Korea.  Graduates of any major are able to qualify.

If you are a certified teacher, that’s great.  But if not, don’t let it prevent you from applying. 

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Do I need a TESOL/TEFL certificate?

No, you don’t need any additional certificates to teach in South Korea.  Many companies will try to give you the impression that if you take their training, you can get a job teaching in Korea.

The fact is, even without their training, you can get a job in Korea if you meet the requirements of education and nationality.

Now, on the other hand, ASK Now Inc. is a big believer in education, and by no means do we think it is a bad thing to take these programs.  There is a lot you can learn through them.  Just be aware that they are not required. Also, you can check out our book store, there are some great books there for those who are interested in learning more about ESL teaching. http://www.asknow.ca/bookstore.aspx

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Why do I have to send my degree and transcripts?

Those documents are required by South Korean Immigration.  When issuing the E2 visa, they will need to inspect these documents in order to validate their authenticity.

Your transcripts should be in a sealed envelope from your university. 

There have been many cases recently of people without university education buying fake diplomas and passing them off as the real thing.  Immigration is cracking down on this, and they are being more careful not to be fooled by false documents. 

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What if I have to leave early (death, illness of family member etc…)?

There are some things over which we have no control.  Any such instance would be treated as an individual case.  For example, if you had to return home for a funeral half way through your contract, but planned to return after a week, there would likely be some arrangements made to accommodate this.

If you had to leave after one month, and were not going to return, you would obviously not expect to have your return flight paid for. 

It all depends on what the circumstances are, and what your plans are.  Your employers are people too, and we all understand that an emergency is an emergency.

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Can I stay longer than 1 year?

Yes, if you are enjoying yourself and want to remain longer, you can do so.  In fact, you can stay for as long as you want, so long as you continue to renew your visa.

If you want to stay at the same school, and both parties are in agreement, that can be easily arranged.  If you are looking at exploring other cities and would like to move after your first year, we can assist you in finding a new position.

After one year, you will be required to exit and re-enter Korea.  This is in order to renew the visa.  So, basically, you will have to take at least a short vacation to another country.  We know, you’re so disappointed!

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The school wants me to leave right away, what’s up with that?

Sometimes schools have positions available immediately.  Perhaps their school is expanding rapidly, or perhaps one of their teachers had an emergency and had to return home right away.  There can be a variety of reasons.

In this case, the school may request that you board the plane quickly, along with your documents, and depart for Korea right away.

Of course, this option is only for those who are flexible and ready for immediate travel.  It would not apply to those applicants who are applying for a couple of months down the road. 

In this case, you would do what is known as a “Japan visa-run”.  Japan is the next closest country to South Korea that you can go to in order to procure the E2 visa.

So, when you first enter Korea, it will be on a tourist visa.  You will then get settled into your school and apartment, and your employer will take your diploma, transcripts, and photos directly to Immigration.  They will then issue the E2 visa.  You will have to spend a day or two in Japan, have your passport stamped, and return as an E2 visa holder.

The process in Japan is quite easy, and is done daily by many foreigners.  You will likely meet up with others doing the same trip.  Actually, it’s a great way to get to see another country. 

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I’m Asian, can I go?

If you are of Asian ancestry, but were born in one of the countries listed and are a native English speaker, then yes, you can go.

However, you will face obstacles.  As mentioned elsewhere, it is difficult for non-Caucasian people to find employment teaching in Korea.  There is an image that most schools have in their head of who they want to hire. 

ASK Now Inc. does not support this type of hiring practice.  We know that it does not matter what someone looks like, but how they perform that matters.  However, we have no control over the criteria set out by those doing the hiring. 

We are striving to see change in this area.  It is our belief that it is changing slowly, and will continue to change.  There are some progressive schools that do not seem to worry about the look of a teacher, but more about their talent.  We will continue to try to find and deal with such schools.

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I’m black, can I go?

Please see the above comments relating to Asian applicants. 

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Can I speak to some of your clients?

We receive this request from plenty of applicants.  Instead of bombarding our clients with multiple e-mails, we request their feedback and then post it on our site.  You can find this at http://www.asknow.ca/testimonials.aspx

We will try to continue updating this page with new comments as they come in.  When it comes to the point of your application that a school wants to hire you, and you are interested in working for that school, you may at that point wish to request contact with teachers who are currently at that school.

This is certainly a fair request.  We will accommodate such requests for applicants who are serious about going, and are well into the application. 

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When do you hire for?

The schools run 12 months of the year.  They are institutes run outside of normal public school hours.  Therefore, they run throughout the year.

That being said, there are also positions available 12 months of the year.  There is continuous turnover, as there are always people whose contracts are expiring.  So, the vacancies they leave need to be filled.

Regardless of what month you want to apply for, there will be openings for qualified candidates.

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Will someone meet me at the airport?

Yes, you will not be left alone to fend for yourself, unless of course you want to.  Someone will be there holding a sign with your name, just like in the movies.

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I have a PhD, MA, 20 years of experience, can I get a big raise?

The law of supply and demand comes into play once again.  The problem here is that some applicants will price themselves right out of the market. 

The fact is, a PhD in micro-biology is not a requirement to teach conversational English in South Korea.  Therefore, a school will not be willing to pay someone a 30% higher salary when the job does not demand that particular skill.

So, although advanced education and experience are very much desired by the employers, there is only so much flexibility in compensation before it becomes financially unviable to continue increasing pay.

If you are accustomed to a high salary, but are curious about this job, perhaps you may want to look at it from a different angle.  It may offer you a chance to learn new things, to study via correspondence, to research and write a paper or book, or to start a business.

Since you have plenty of free time, there is lots you can do to be productive.

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I don’t know how to teach, is there training?

Yes, there is some training provided upon your arrival.  You will spend some time shadowing other teachers and observing their classes.  This will give you a good idea of what to expect.

The teaching itself is not too difficult once you develop your own style.  Consistency is key.  You can learn a lot about different styles and techniques in our guidebook, Taking You From Here to There. 

You can also visit our links page: http://www.asknow.ca/links.aspx as there are links to sites with teaching material and advice.

Another option would be to purchase some books on teaching ESL through our bookstore: http://www.www.asknow.ca/bookstore.aspx

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How much stuff can I bring?

This can vary slightly from airline to airline, however it is pretty consistent.  On Air Canada’s website, they advise that you are able to take two bags of 70lbs (32 Kg) each, along with a carry-on.  The dimension of the bags should not exceed 62 inches, or 158 cm.

Carry on baggage should be a maximum of 22lbs or 10 Kg, and fit within these dimensions: 23cm x 40cm x 55 cm or 9” x 15.5” x 21.5”

Visit this site for more info:


If you would like to send more stuff, you will have to either contact the airline for specific fees, or you can send it by ship privately etc…

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Can I bring my dog or cat?

Yes, you can.  Dogs are quite popular as pets in Korea, although cats are not as popular.

You must make sure that your pet has been vaccinated and has received its rabies shot at least 30 days before arriving in Korea. 

There is also a fee charged by the airline, and certain restrictions may apply.  Most airlines have a section on pets on their site.For example:


Also, you can visit this link for detailed info on the vaccines and process required for bringing your pet to Korea:

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Is there Internet access?

South Korea has one of the highest, if not the highest, percentages of Internet use per capita.  No matter where you are, you are probably not more than 5 minutes away from an Internet café.

High speed Internet connections are available at these locations at a cost of between fifty cents to $1 per hour.  It’s cheap, and it’s fast.

If you have a notebook, or plan to bring/buy a computer, you can also get high-speed access in your apartment.  Your school will help you set this up.

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What’s the difference between cities?

Seoul is the largest city in South Korea.  Its population is close to 15,000,000.  It’s one of the most populated cities in the world.  The pace is fast, and there is lots to do.

Other “smaller cities” such as Daegu, Busan, Daejeon, Kwangju and others have populations of 1-2 million or more.  Here, the pace is also quick, and while there is not as much to see as in Seoul, you will constantly have new things to do.

There are also plenty of satellite cities of Seoul, such as Bundang, Ilsan, Suwon, and others.  They are still connected via subway to Seoul, but are more like suburbs of the main city.  However, don’t be fooled into imagining a suburb in the West.  There are still plenty of high-rise buildings, and the bustle is still noticeable.

There are also small towns spread out between the major centers.  The pace is slower, and Western influence is much harder to find. 

All of these areas have their pros and cons; it’s more a matter of individual preference.

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Is it expensive to call home?

Not anymore.  It used to be expensive to keep in touch with friends and family, but now with the Internet, VoIP phones, and long distance phone cards, you can stay in touch with little pain to your wallet.

Visit our phone services page to learn more about cheap and free calling.

It depends on how often you want to contact home. You have the option of using MSN Messenger which allows voice and video chat. (most Internet cafés in Korea have webcams available)

You can buy phone cards that allow you plenty of talk time, and the great thing is, you won’t have any surprise phone bills at the end.

Another option is to get a VoIP phone through a company such as Vonage This will allow you to have unlimited calling in North America for about $40 a month if set up properly. 

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If I go alone, is it easy to make friends?

Yes, it is.  If you decide to take on this adventure alone as many do, you will quickly find that there are social opportunities that are easy to get involved with. 

There will be a lot of people with similar interests as you, since you are all the type of people who enjoy travel, are independent, and are adventurous.

Before long, you will develop a new circle of friends and will enjoy going out with them regularly. 

We also suggest not only getting to know other foreigners, but also getting to know the locals.  You can meet people from your own country back home, so why not get to know those who have a totally different life experience, and learn from them?

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Will I have a roommate, or will I live alone?

For the most part, it is likely that you will be living alone.  Back a few years ago, the norm was to be living with a roommate.  However, it is changing.  These days, most schools are offering single accommodations for their teachers. 

Although there is a chance that the school you apply with have two-bedroom apartments, you will most likely live alone.  Don’t worry; you will be fully aware of the living arrangements before signing a contract.

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Can I buy a car, motorcycle, or moped?

Yes, all these means of transportation are readily available to you.  Many English teachers decide to buy a vehicle. 

However, it is far from necessary.  Public transportation is clean, cheap, quick, easy, and always available.  The same applies to taxis.

Another note: you will notice pretty quickly that driving in Korea can be a little aggressive.  If you do decide to join the multitude of vehicles on the road, be sure to consider your safety as your number one concern. 

Even if you think you may just rent a car for the weekend for a road trip, you should be sure to get an international driver’s license.  Otherwise, you cannot drive legally in South Korea.  To obtain this license is quite easy, all you have to do is bring your license to be inspected and get a couple of photos taken.  This is done at home before leaving.  Contact CAA or AAA, or your local license bureau to find out where you can apply near home. 

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Will there be English-speaking people at my school?

Yes, all schools have fluently bilingual staff.  For the most part, your director should be bilingual.  If not, there will always be someone there to translate and assist. 

You will not be stranded with no one to talk to. If you want to learn Korean, visit our shopping page with Korean products or visit the book store.

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Will I need a Korean bank account?

Yes, unless you want to keep thousands of dollars under your mattress (bad idea).  Most schools will directly deposit your pay into your account.  When you first arrive, someone from your school will go to the bank with you and help you set up your account.

This will allow you to save money, have access to bank machines, and send money home at regular intervals.

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What are the hours like?

Most classes are geared towards elementary students after there regular school.  So, classes run from mid-afternoon into the evening.  Some schools have kindergarten or adult classes in the morning as well.

The hours will be set out in your contract, so you will have a good idea of what to expect before committing. 

As for monthly hours, the average is 120 hours a month, which is 30 hours per week.  This ends up being less at some schools, as they consider a 40-50 minute class as one hour.  Again, your contract will specify.

You will also have an average of about an hour a day of prepping, photocopying, or correcting to do.

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Will I have free time to travel?

Yes, you will have a lot of time to travel.  Korea has many National holidays, plus you have weekends and your vacation days.

Since Korea is geographically small, it is easy to hop on a bus or train on the weekend and get to various destinations. 

So, if travel is your goal, your time in Korea should allow you to see plenty of different sites.

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Do the kids speak English?

There is a variety of English fluency levels.  The students are grouped by age and skill level.  Some classes may be at the beginner level, while others will be able to speak much more fluently.

Most schools have all levels of students.  Since you teach a lot of different groups, you will be exposed to various skill levels. 

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Can I teach in a certain city of my choice?

Although we try to cater as much as possible to your desires, it is not always possible to have immediate openings in the city of your choice.

However, if you do have a certain city that you would like to teach in because you have a friend there etc… Please let us know and we will do our best to place you in that area.

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I can’t go until next year, should I apply now?

Yes, you should apply now.  Even if you don’t graduate for a couple of years, but you know that this is something that you want to do, you should apply right away.

Lots can happen, and you may forget our website address etc… But, if you fill out the online application now, you will be contacted by us at the date you specify.

We have a great tracking system, and if you tell us that you will be ready to go in June two years hence, we will contact you mid-April, a month and a half before that day. 

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I graduated from a university in a country other than the ones listed as being the required nationality. Can I still get a visa?

Unfortunately, no. If you are American but you went to university in Spain, you cannot receive an E2 visa. The university has to be in one of the countries that qualify for a visa.

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I completed my BA in 3 years, should I apply?

Yes, you should. Although for a while the immigration department was being very specific about 4 years, they have been accepting BA's finished in 3 years. Particularly, areas like the U.K. almost always have 3-year BA's. So, please, go ahead and apply.

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What's the book store all about?

We have included some books that would be relevant to those living and teaching in Korea. We are partnered with amazon.com and they take care of the payment and shipping of all books. All you have to do is just click on the title you're interested in, and follow the instructions.

You can also purchase any other books, CD's, DVD's and other stuff that is not listed. Just click on the banner at the top of the page, and it will bring you to amazon.com

Here's the link: http://www.asknow.ca/bookstore.aspx

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What is the breakdown of taxes and deductions that I have to pay?

1. Income Tax
Approximate rate of 1.44% of income

2. Pension
Approximate rate of 4.5% (with possibility of being refunded twice that amount at completion of contract, depending on nationality)

3. Health Insurance
Approximate rate of 2.24%

Are you analytical? Need to know more? Click here to get detailed deduction info

What are some of the differences between private schools and public schools?

Both private schools and public schools have their pros and cons. The main draw for public schools is that you are working for the government, or the local education board. People like that these positions have the financial backing of a government agency. For experienced teachers or those with higher levels of education, the pay packages can be competitive.

On the other hand, there are some drawbacks when dealing with a public school job. The main ones are as follows: Location can be an issue. Most public school jobs are in rural areas. Whereas most teachers would prefer to teach in a decent sized city, most public school jobs are in more remote areas. Also, since that is the case, you would also expect to be the only foreigner at the school. For most people, they would prefer to be in an environment with other foreigners, as you would have at a private school. It can be a bit isolating to be the only foreigner in an otherwise Korean school.

Another issue would be class sizes. In a private school, the classes usually range from 8 to a maximum of 12 students. However, public schools will involve teaching 35 + students per class. One thing that can be a pro or a con, depending on the teacher, is that public schools usually have a co-teacher, meaning a Korean teacher in the class with you at all times. Personally, I would not be a fan of this at all.

Public school jobs were harder to come by a few years ago, but are becoming more common. However, the requirements tend to be more strict, as outlined in an example below. Also, at the lower levels, the pay is lower than average entry-level private school jobs:

First Level ELI

In addition to the basic requirements, a 1st Level ELI must have one of the following:

-A Teacher's Certificate, for Elementary or Secondary school, with at least two years of full time teaching experience at accredited institutions or a Teacher's Certificate with 100 weeks experience with Korean public school system.

-A TESOL/TEFL Certificate comprised of a minimum of 100 course hours with at least two years of full time teaching experience at accredited institutions or a TESOL/TEFL Certificate comprised of a minimum of 100 course hours with 100 weeks experience with Korean public school system.

-A Master's degree with at least two years full time teaching experience at accredited institutions or a Master's degree with 100 weeks experience with Korean public school system.

Second Level ELI

In addition to the basic requirements, a 2nd Level ELI must have one of the following:

-A Teacher's certificate for Elementary or Secondary School.

-A TESOL/TEFL Certificate comprised of a minimum of 100 course hours. A Master's degree.

-A Bachelor's degree with at least one year of full time English teaching experience at accredited institutions or a Bachelor's degree with 50 weeks experience with Korean public school system.

Third Level ELI

A 3rd Level ELI must have basic qualifications listed at the beginning of this section.


Salaries will be paid in Korean currency corresponding to the appropriate levels of employment;

First Level ELI : 2,200,000 won per month. Plus 100,000 allowance

Second Level ELI: 1,900,000 won per month. Plus 100,000 allowance

Third Level ELI: 1,700,000 won per month. Plus 100,000 allowances.


I have another question that you haven’t answered here, can I get an answer? 

Sure, just e-mail us at:info emailand we will send you an answer.  We can then also post the new question to the site. 

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