Last week, Chris posted this on my “about” page:
Any other tips or hints? I am looking to teach ESL in S. Korea. I have already contacted a recruiter and sent them my resume and photo. I have been contacted with a possible job in Ui Wang city which is close to Suwon. Email me if you have time…. Thank you in advance!
Well Chris, because I don’t really have too much to talk about, I’ll answer your question in a post!
Ok, here’s the thing. Getting your visa and contract to work in Korea starts off really slow but when the pieces fall together, things will go incredibly quickly. In my case, I bought my flight to Korea 6 hours after I got my visa in the mail and I was on the airplane less than 24 hours after that. I got my visa on Friday and I was working on a Monday. All this to say, you should be ready. Try to get your criminal record check as soon as possible (remember the vulnerable sector check!). A friend of mine lost a position because it was taking too long. You might also want to request your official university transcripts now. I know my school takes under a week before they process the application, but I feel like they’re exceptionally quick. You might as well get your diploma notarized too if you’ve got a spare morning (well, if you’re from Canada. I don’t know how it works in other places).
So, basically, once you know you want to go to Korea, you should get those things sorted out: criminal record check with vulnerable sector check, official transcripts (if you can, order 2 or 3) and notarized copy of your diploma. You’ll also need some passport size pictures, so maybe figure out where you can get those taken.
You’re right about Uiwang (의왕), it’s near Suwon. On the subway, it’s only one station closer to Seoul from the northernmost station in Suwon. I’ve only been there once for supper at a live cafe (a place where you can have supper and watch a concert from an old Korean artist. I hear many people have affairs in such establishments). It seems like a pretty quiet place. There’s a pretty nice lake there surrounded by live cafes.
The whole part of getting a good job is a total crap shoot. I got really luck with a good boss and a welcoming school, but some people aren’t so lucky. Obviously, you’ll want to do research on your school before signing a contract. If you plan on working at a private academy, here are a few helpful links to weed out the bad ones: a facebook group, one of the many threads on bad academies on Daves ESL cafe and two more traditional blacklist sites. Keep in mind when using these sites that academies tend to change owners fairly frequently and the negative reviews are based on individual experiences. So at the end of the day, it’s pretty much all up to luck (but luck favors the prepared).
I hope this helps you in your hunt for a job! Please let me know if you have any more questions.