Teaching English in Seoul & South Korea (part 2)
The forms required by the Korean immigration office, in order to emit a working visa (subject to change so please check with the embassy or immigration office if possible, before you go), are:
- an employment contract
- a sponsorship guarantee form notarised by a notary public
- a copy of the employer’s business registration certificate
- the original diploma of your university degree, plus copies
- sealed university transcripts
- two photos (3.5 x 4.5cm) with a light background, taken within six months
- a visa fee
In order to apply for a Korean working visa, you must go to a Korean embassy abroad. You can even go to a nearby country, such as Japan, on a day trip.
Type of schools and institutes where you can teach languages in South Korea
Hagwans are a word you will hear often in Seoul, South Korea. Hogwans are not a type of noodle or spice. They are in fact private schools where children go after normal school hours, to learn further skills. If you teach in a Hagwan, you will be teaching children of different ages for about 30 hours a week
Public schools in Seoul, South Korea are another possibility for teaching languages in Korea. English is commonly taught.
Corporate in-house language programs are often run by big companies in Seoul, with in-house language programs for students. Teachers working in these programmes are paid quite well, but teachers may be required to work at strange hours, such as late in the evening or very early in the morning.
Schools teaching adults is possible in some Korean schools where you will be able to teach adults either in a class or on a one to one basis. Pay is good and you can have a chance to meet a lot of interesting and influential people, but you may be required to work late in the evening or very early in the morning. Some schools teaching adults are Pagoda or Direct English (specialised in teaching one to one).
Foreign language universities also often is a way of getting into teaching languages in Korea. University jobs are the most sought after job by foreigners living in South Korea. The job is well respected, wages are good, the working hours are low and the wage includes 2 to 4 months paid holiday a year. The chances of teaching in a university in South Korea are higher if you have been living in South Korea for a while, so you have the right experience and make the right contacts.
Benefits and taxation for foreign language teachers in South Korea
Accommodation - Korean schools often pay their foreign language teachers accommodation in addition to their wages. Accommodation can be paid entirely or partially; however, one thing schools should always provide is the deposit on the rent. The reason being that Korean landlords often require very high deposits (usually one year rent, based on the chunsee or the walsee systems) that on your own you would not be able to pay. Also, if dealing with a foreigner, a Korean landlord might try not to give the deposit back.
Wages – wages range from about 2.2 million won to about 2.6 million won.
Taxation – taxation for a language teacher in South Korea is about 5%
Air fares - some schools, especially if they employ you while you are in your home country, will pay you your return air ticket, but they will often refund this to you at the end of one year.