TEFL Jobs: South Korean Job Hunting Tips

Posted: 2012-03-26

TEFL Jobs South Korea,Education Jobs,TEFL Jobs Abroad,TEFL in South KoreaAs far as TEFL jobs, South Korea has a good market and a high demand for teachers.  But what exactly should you look for to make sure you negotiate a good deal?  Every Asian country has slightly different conditions for education jobs.  Here’s what you can expect from a South Korean employer.

  1. Around two million South Korean won per month.  If you have had other TEFL jobs abroad or you have teaching certificates, you may be able to negotiate a higher salary.
  2. A 12-month renewable contract.  This is standard. You may also come across nine-month or six-month contracts occasionally (note that these are not required to pay severance pay--see #9 on this list).  Make sure you know if it’s renewable or not, and take the opportunity to ask what percent of teachers renew every year or how many teachers have been there for several years.
  3. Airfare.  Yes, it’s true.  It’s one of the big perks of TEFL jobs. South Korean schools will usually pay your airfare to get to South Korea.  Your return flight will be paid upon completion of the contract--it’s up to you to make sure all the details are spelled out either in the contract or in the verbal agreement you make with your employer.
  4. At least seven to ten paid holidays (apart from weekends and public holidays), and around 14 paid national holidays every year. Paid sick leave is not the norm in Korea, so make sure you know what your contract says about illnesses and medical emergencies.
  5. Free rent. Another major perk of South Korean TEFL jobs: South Korean schools provide accommodations.  You will need to find out if these will be shared or a studio apartment just for you.  Make sure you talk to a teacher at the school to ask about the condition of the apartments. 
  6. A 25- to 30-hour work week. Make sure the preparation time they expect of teachers is reasonable, and also ask about the hours you will be working. A 30-hour week is standard for many education jobs. 
  7. Visa sponsorship.  Of course, as with all TEFL jobs abroad, the school should sponsor your visa application, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure the details are spelled out in the contract. 
  8. 50% paid health insurance. The total premium for the national health insurance plan will be around 4% of your monthly salary, but your employer will pay half the premium, which means you end up paying only about 2% of your salary.
  9. Severance pay for all contracts of 12 months or longer. Although this is often called a “bonus” in ads for TEFL jobs, South Korean employers are required by law to pay one extra month’s salary at the end of a 12-month contract. That means you work for 12 months and get paid for 13!

As you can see, there are quite a few benefits to TEFL in South Korea. As with any work situation, there are employers who will try to take advantage of you, but foreigners in Korea can appeal to Korean Immigration department as well as the Korean Labor Office.  For more information on avoiding potential conflicts with employers, see the article “Do Your Research Before You Teach English: Korean Employment Guide” Also, you can find more questions to ask your prospective employer besides the ones mentioned here in the upcoming “Questions to Ask your prospective ESL employer or recruiter” article.

Keywords: TEFL Jobs South Korea,Education Jobs,TEFL Jobs Abroad,TEFL in South Korea

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