"I am about to finish my PhD in Cultural Anthropology
summer and plan to take a TEFL course in July. I have three years
university teaching experience within anthropology but
none of that time was spent in ESL. My plan is to apply for the uni
jobs that come out in March and start in September. Do you have any
tips? Does this sound like a feasible plan? I'm wondering if it would be
easier to take a hagwon job for a bit and try to
land a uni job once there."
It's not entirely clear if you plan to apply for uni jobs from abroad, or not, but I think that is what you're asking about. My answer:
It can be very difficult to get a Korean Uni Job
from abroad, but not impossible. I know a few people who've gotten hired through Skype interviews, but I'd say this is maybe 5-10% of the cases. Most unis have in-person interview requirements and no exceptions to this rule. You do have a big advantage because you'll have a PhD and even those unis with the no exception thing might be willing to make an exception in your case.
The other option is to come to Korea beforehand. If you come, but don't work and just hang around waiting for interview offers, you can burn through your money pretty quickly. But, you'd be very likely to get a job. If you want to start work in September, you'd have to start applying for jobs in March/April/May and then just be prepared to come over when you get an interview offer or two (probably in late May/early June) The other option is working. You suggest a hagwon. I think this would probably make anyone who is over the age of 30, with a Phd and "real" teaching experience absolutely insane so I don't necessarily recommend this. The other issue is that you'd have to sign a one year contract and then the school kinds of "owns" you. As in, it's not as simple to just switch jobs as it would be in your home country. It could in fact be a total nightmare.
Best option? I'd probably try for the Skype interviews and then plan to be in Korea for June/July/August if I didn't get a job offer before then.
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