After teaching in Korea for one year with ChungDahm Learning you may find yourself yearning to stay longer. This should not be shocking as English teachers living in Korea tend to stay in the country for up to two years. With Asia right on your doorstep, teachers prefer to travel in their first year and save in the second. With efficient transport, cheap banking and low costs of living, Korea is a desirable ESL destination to enjoy for more than one year.
If you do a great job in your first year at ChungDahm Learning then contract renewal is possible. It is a great company to work for, and the students make the work environment an enjoyable one. The main reasons CDL instructors renew their contracts are because they get paid on time, and instructors get a lot of in house training which helps them improve their teaching skills. Another reason teachers renew their contracts is because of their fellow teachers. There is a diverse mix of foreigners from all over the world that will grow to become very friendly with.
What is the Process of Getting a Contract Renewal?
Contract renewal in Korea is super easy. You will be shocked how quickly you can go in and out of immigration, with a minor payment and a tiny printed extension date on your ARC card.
First, you will meet with your BM (Branch Manager) at ChungDahm to discuss your past year's performance, then you will optimistically be offered a new contact. Once you have agreed to the terms of your new contract, you will set up an interview date at the immigration office online.
On the day of the interview you have to take 30,000 KRW, your new contract, a business registration number, and Korean tax forms. Also, you should have your passport and ARC cards as well, along with your housing contract and any new information that has changed over the past year. The interview time takes about 15 minutes, minus any problems you may run into, and then you wait about 5 minutes for your ARC card to finish printing.
It is likely that the education office requires you to go for another health check-up, however this may not necessarily be required.
What are the Benefits of Staying in Korea?
There are plenty of reasons why foreigners choose to stay another year living and teaching English in Korea. The number one motive would be saving money. With a low cost of living and an inexpensive lifestyle, it is possible to send about 1,500,000W per month back home. Annually, you would be able to save between $15,000 - $17,000. Of course this depends on where you choose to live and what lifestyle you are willing to budget, but for the most part, saving money in Korea as an ESL teacher is rather easy.
Another reason people decide to stay for another year is advancement. As a ChungDahm instructor, where you tend to work in the late afternoon and evening, you will have some downtime during the day to try various activities that can help you advance professionally. ChungDahm instructors that I know have utilized their mornings to study a language, study for the GRE’s, apply to grad school and work on future enterprises. At my academy, 3 teachers just graduated from their basic Korean class that they attended at the Global Centre in Seoul. They used their Tuesday and Thursday mornings to study Korean extensively, with other native speakers from all over the world.
As for myself, I spend my mornings working on my photography and videography website, along with planning a wedding abroad, and studying German with my fiance. I am also able to still manage to find time to do yoga and swimming classes.
Finally, it is possible that you could get promoted at ChungDahm Learning into a managerial position or an international position like CDL Vietnam. For those teachers who want to strengthen their resume and gain more skills while saving money, then this would be even more of a reason to stay on in Korea.
Why Did I Renew My Contract?
I decided to renew my contract because I wanted to strengthen my future goals. I am a Team Manager at the Songpa Branch in Seoul and I have been able to improve my management skills every day. I feel that there is still more to learn about the job and I would like to continue living abroad as well as growing professionally.
I have also been able to partake in countless opportunities with the company. For instance, last year I worked at the World Knowledge Forum and got to report live on pressing issues. I was also a photography lecturer and helped prep students for the International HAFFS writing competition.
Also, I am focused on having a stable amount of savings. I try to save as much money as possible every month so that I can start my own business when I leave Korea. Finally, moving back home is very difficult and having enough savings is vital for a smooth transition when applying for jobs and finding an apartment.
It is no surprise that Tijana Huysamen, a South African born Capetownian, avid traveler and travel journalist, fell in love with South Korea and its people. After Tijana arrived in South Korea in 2010, she had the opportunity to live in the heart of the Korean countryside. During her time spent in Chungnam province she learned to speak Korean, prepare Korean food and experience the humble nature of the countryside people. After a year break in New York, Tijana jumped at the opportunity to return to Korea again, and is currently working at the CDI Jamsil Branch, in Jamsil, Seoul. Read Tijana’s Aclipse blog to gain a unique perspective on Korea and her shared experiences and adventures both in a major city and in the countryside. Follow Tijana on Twitter @TeeAnni or email [email protected] to request more information on teaching in Korea!