Monday, October 10, 2011

Reader Question...Can I get a Uni Job?

"I'm 42, black, female and have a BA in Business and a MS in Organizational Development. I just got a TEFL certification and I want to work at a University in Korea.

I applied to EPIK out of desperation but I would love to work at a college instead. Ewha's Womans University doesn't take online applications and wants my degree apostilled in the mail but I can't do it since it's the only one I have and won't send it without an actually offer.

I put my age and race in because one recruiter said he and others don't like working with blacks because companies don't think of us as Westerners and don't want us to have "Black Talk"."

My answer:

1. Black people have an EXTREMELY HARD time finding a job in Korea.  And now that there are so many economic refugees from North America, it's even more competitive.  I've heard stories lately of blond haired and blue eyed ladies having a hard time finding a prime job.   My uni has hired a couple black people over the years, so there is some hope.

2. Not that I'm really in the know about immigration policies, etc, but I'm pretty sure that you have to Apostillise (how do you spell that anyway?!) a COPY of your diploma, not the actual thing.  It's something to check out.  I personally would never get some stamps on my University Diploma. 

You have a lot of things going against you and will probably not find a uni job.  You are black, a bit older than desired, not in the country for interviews, seem to have no prior ESL or teaching experience, haven't lived in Korea before, and don't seem that well-informed about what is required for the visa.

You never know though, some people have gotten uni jobs where I never would have thought it was possible.  A more realistic scenario would be to come to Korea and work at a hagwon or public school for a year, make connections and then be in country to interview for uni jobs the following year.


JIW said...

Yes you will need the a copy of your degree with the apostille on it. Plus an FBI check that has an apostille on it.

Even though the job market is tough here..I would try anyways for any kind of job and see what you get. Best to get your foot in the door, make good recommendations and then shoot for what you want.

Brian said...

I would be very surprised if Ewha University---considered one of the best in the country---would hire a fortysomething with no experience and a no-name TEFL certification. It's good to have goals, but an applicant like her would be going up against teachers with years of in-country experience and more formidable qualifications.

Start smaller:
* Adult hagwon. Make connections, get a feel for teaching adults.

* Lesser-known universities. These may move you out of Seoul, but you'll gain university experience that you may eventually apply at a larger school.

* Unigwon. The derisive name for language institutes affiliated with universities that put their teachers with students of all ages.