My name is Cash. I am from Massachusetts and I have a big family that I love spending time with every chance I get. I recently graduated from Elon University with a degree in Finance and two minors in Spanish and Latin American Studies. I now live in Bucheon, South Korea (pictured below) ,which is about 16 miles west of Seoul, and work for ChungDahm at one of their April Institutes. This blog will be a two-part blog series which will first focus on the recruitment process, followed by a blog about what life has been like since I moved to Korea in August. I hope through this blog series that I can help people interested in teaching in Korea get a better idea about the various steps in the recruitment process and how to adjust to life living and teaching abroad.
I chose to apply to teach in Korea because I have many close Korean friends and I have always wanted to visit them. Furthermore, Korea is Americanized with a large expat population along with a welcoming, safe society. Finally, Korea pays their English teachers more than other countries I researched.
Why Chungdahm Learning (CDL):
I chose CDL for a few reasons.
- They do not require a TEFL/ESL certification (which may cost $1,000+)
- Basic living standards were guaranteed and the contract benefits appealed to me
- They have a Glassdoor Page!
- I was very impressed by the professionalism of their staffing agency, Aclipse Recruiting.
I discovered Chungdahm Learning through an ad on my school’s career website placed by Aclipse recruiting, CDL’s North American recruiting partner. What impressed me the most about Aclipse was the professionalism of their staff and the speed at which they responded to my questions. I really appreciated how forthcoming Aclipse was with information compared to other companies.
Some basic conditions of the contract that I can personally validate:
- Paid vacation
- 50/50 contribution for the medical insurance & pension contribution
- Up to 1 million KRW provided for flight reimbursement
- Severance pay
- Training and ongoing support
- Lesson plans provided along with advanced teaching tools
- Small class sizes (8-12 students / class on average)
- Working alongside other foreign teachers
After submitting my resume and completing a short reading comprehension quiz, I was scheduled for a phone interview. The Interview was straightforward and addressed:
- Why Korea?
- Why teaching?
- What experiences/skills can you apply on the job?
- A Mock-teaching activity that I prepared before hand
- Any questions that I had for my recruiter, Colette
The initial offer - Memorandum of Understanding (MOU):
I passed the interview and received an initial offer - called a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). By signing this document, I accepted the salary offer and affirmed my desire to work for Chungdahm Learning (CDL). The MOU was helpful in explaining what documents I needed for the visa process and provided valuable information to prepare me for teaching at CDL..
If you’ll be entering on an E2 visa the following documents are required:
- 2 Apostilled Criminal Background Checks
- 2 Apostilled College Diploma (Bachelor’s Degree)
- 1 Degree verification letter
- 2 Passport Photos
Receiving a Contract:
After you received all the required documents you will be eligible to be able to receive job offers from one of ChungDahm’s 180+ branches.
Once You Have received your visa code you may purchase your flight ticket, do the pre-training, and finish any other last minute items you need to do prior to your departure. Also, to make your life easier upon your arrival and during your first few weeks in Korea I suggest packing the items listed below:
- 500,000 Korean Won and an International credit card (These seriously helped me survive in Korea until my first paycheck.)
- Your favorite deodorant and toothpaste
- A nice pair of slacks
- Printed out itinerary with addresses in Korean.
- Some good books (perhaps a kindle?)
- A book on how to learn Korean (I’ve been practicing Korean daily)
- Power converters
I hope this blog gave you a better idea about the recruitment process to teach in Korea and provided you with some tips to make you better prepared. Be on the lookout in the near future for my second blog where I will talk about what my life has been like since I arrived in Korea.