Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

Let's Do This: Applying to Teach in South Korea

Posted on Tue, Sep 10, 2013 @ 04:10 PM

Chungdahm is always looking for adventurous and qualified teachers. Many people are now starting the application process. It is extremely nerve-wracking to actually engage in this process all the while realizing you will be making the move abroad for a year. For any applicant, there’s always a bunch of questions that run through your head. I was in that same boat about two years ago. For this very reason, addressing these little issues and reassuring you that the process isn’t as scary as it may seem will help to relieve feelings of anxiety. In the end you will only see a fabulous potential opportunity before your eyes. 

is it really korea

  1. There is a 3 part interview process which comes down to the application (This will include general questions and it will be screened by Aclipse to see if you fit the role of an instructor.), the phone interview (You will then proceed to a phone interview where the company determines how your personality fits in with the job.), and the video and written application (This is the final step in the process which will determine which branch and where in Korea you will work, which is also based on availability and those teachers who are ending their contracts. It is a simple essay and introduction video to see how you speak.)
  2. Lots of paperwork – Be ready to get a lot of paperwork done. This takes the most time, and if you plan accordingly, you can get it done the quickest within 2 months. People underestimate the time it takes government officials to get this stuff together so do give yourself 3 months of time just to play it safe.
  3. Flight – You pay for your own flight before coming to Korea which you will be reimbursed for up to $1 million South Korean won within your first paycheck (The date of pay differs from branch to branch.).
  4. Training – This is probably what most people have questions and concerns about...
    • "I thought I was guaranteed a job?" – Yes, you make it through all the parts of the application process and you are officially a part of the team, but think of training as a drug test. Would you want someone on board who fails a drug test?
    • "I heard training is hard." – But with effort and practice, nothing is hard. There are plenty of people who pass training without much effort because of their natural skills and abilities, but for others, it takes practice, just like anything else in life. Remember, you’re here to work, not to party, so it wouldn’t be smart to get to Korea and and not take the first week of training seriously.
    • "I’ll get sent back if I fail." – This is not necessarily true. There have been videos about this (which I saw as well) and it totally freaked me out; almost discouraged me from even trying. But at the end of the day, I’m glad I did it. If you fail training, which I have witnessed, you aren’t kicked to the curb immediately. The team here actually gives you another shot.
    • I don’t need to study the material – This is where a lot of people go wrong, by not being prepared for the tests. Although it may seem fairly easy because “we speak English” as a native language, teaching is a whole different story. You have to be able to break down grammar points to students that are just learning and this requires you to understand how to teach and explain.
  5. Expenses – Do come with enough money to last you a month or 2. Every branch differs in the time they pay their employees which can have an effect on you. Korea is fairly cheap in regards to food and going out, but things do add up. Depending on your diet and lifestyle, there is no exact quote that can be made as to how much you should bring with you to last you until your first paycheck. Try to make a guess using your current monthly budget.
  6. Positive Energy – The process is a long process and it may seem that they’re not attentive to you because everything just takes quite a bit of time. There is a lot of work that goes on in the background that we are unaware of so do not start to freak out when you do not hear back immediately. No matter how much you follow up, there’s nothing that can be done.

Hopefully this addresses any of the problems that you may have with the application process. After getting through the 3 months of waiting and applying you will be on your way to a new exciting adventure!

Teach in Korea!

Graduating with a double major in Communications and Chinese from Rutgers University, it wasn’t long after working in the Big Apple that Cindy Ung decided to take a break from the cliché 9-5 lifestyle and move to Korea to teach English for CDI. Making the bold step to leave her comfortable, mapped out life in the States, she has fallen more in love with the Korean culture as each day passes.  With weekly mountain hikes, weekend road trips, discovering great foods and beauty products, constantly meeting new people, her life in Korea has been everything but mapped out.

Check out Cindy’s blog to get a glimpse of what Korea has to offer

Tags: a year in Korea, English teacher in Korea, America, tips, teaching at Chungdahm, application

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