Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Reader Question....looking for an ESL job in Korea

These ones from Lucas:

"I'm a phd student looking to teach English in Korea while finishing my dissertation. I've been looking through various ads on craigslist. Do you know if this is a good method for finding a job or will I probably end up being taken advantage of? Could you recommend any other better sites for finding recent job postings?"

The best site for ESL Jobs in Korea is ESL Cafe.  It's actually better than all the other smaller ones combined.  I think it's because it's actually quite expensive for schools to post an ad, as opposed to Craigslist which is free, so only schools that are serious about hiring will post on ESL Cafe.

And basically, most people get ripped off in their first year in Korea.  It's all just a matter of degrees.  If you end up in really crappy housing, but get all your money, then you can count yourself lucky.  If you get ripped off on bonus pay/ticket home, well, then you're not so lucky.  Forced to work the occasional Saturday with no pay?  Well, it's not great but it could be worse.  It's only by spending a year in Korea that you get smart about the ways of the Korean ESL world, make connections and use those connections to get a prime job in your second and subsequent years.

I always tell people that if they want to only teach ESL for one year, then Korea is not the place for them.  Most people don't have an amazing first year.  However, if you plan to stay for a few years, you for sure can work your way up the ladder to get a fabulous job with high pay, good vacation, decent housing and low number of working hours.  And since you have a Masters degree, uni jobs will be open to you, which is the best option in Korea.  However, it's not that easy to get them from overseas since you usually have to do in-person interviews. 

1 comment:

English Classes said...

Hi, I teach at a korean university. And you are right, it takes years of the crappy jobs + education until you get a decent Uni job. I'd like to recommend applying in December if you want a March position. And check out I don't recommend you use University housing, they will give you enough money to get your own. I'm looking into going back to the states to do some adjunct faculty teaching. Do you know the best time of year for applying there? Please email me back at