getting a job

Are the “Glory Days” of Teaching ESL in Korea Over?

Teaching ESL is a mixed bag depending on what country you target. In some countries it’s a refined, streamlined endeavor where employers seek qualified and experienced teachers and the government has mandatory guidelines as well. To obtain a work visa in a certain country, a government may actually require a teacher have a TESOL certification and/or a certain amount of experience.

In other countries, this isn’t always the case. In China, it’s a little bit of both it seems.

There were once days in places like Korea and Japan where anyone could roll off a plane and be offered a teaching job on their way to their hotel. Those days are over in some countries, and many others are following suit.


Question from a reader: school gives bad references?

A reader writes in:

I’m having a problem. I’m trying to find a new job in [city redacted], but no hagwon owner will hire me without speaking to my previous school about why I left early. (They stopped paying me on time and I gave them notice and left 2 months before my contract was up. It was an amicable separation.) However, it seems that [hagwon name redacted] is giving me a bad reputation or something, because once I give the recruiter info on my school, I don’t hear back from the recruiter. And, I figure I can’t exactly lie and say I’ve never been to Korea, because they will see that I’ve been there before once I try to apply for a second visa.

Thanks for any advice!

[Anonymous]


Question from a reader: diagnosed with depression

A reader I’ll keep anonymous writes in:

My name is [redacted] I’m a returned Peace Corps Volunteer living here in [city redacted]. I came across your blog on a Google search for information about teaching English in Korea. I currently have to friends who are past PCV’s teaching with EPIK in Korea.


Question from a reader: the phone interview

I love questions from readers! Search my blog to see if your question has already been answered - if it hasn't, e-mail me at chrisinsouthkorea AT gmail DOT com.

A reader writes in asking about interviews:

Hi Chris,

I have really been enjoying your blog while I am going through the process of moving to South Korea for an ESL job myself.

When I searched your blog I couldn't find any info about how it went when you were interviewing with schools to get jobs.


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