Teaching in South Korea

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English: area map of Busan

English: area map of Busan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Teaching in South Korea: How I Got Here

I was living in Las Vegas, selling franchises, when the  bottom went out of the economy in Vegas. I was without a job for five months, and I don’t do unemployed well. I had been resistant to teaching because my mother was a teacher, despite many people telling me I would be good at it. I love explaining things and helping people, and I absolutely love kids and young people. So, I decided to look into teaching as a substitute teacher, but I had trouble getting in. So, I was  looking at ads for jobs online, and found an ad for an agency placing people in teaching positions in South Korea. I got on a plane a few weeks later. That was four years ago, and I’m still here!

I currently live in Busan, South Korea, a beautiful coastal city. After first teaching elementary kids in an after-school academy and several years teaching high school, now I teach college. I work part time hours for full time pay. I also get a housing allowance.Since I have some time on my hands, I decided to go back and get my master’s degree in education and bilingual education.

If you want to come here, too

If you are considering teaching here, there are several things you should know. First, if you are coming for any other reason than teaching, stay home. If you want to backpack around Southeast Asia, you should work as a bartender instead. These are really great kids that deserve people that want to be teachers to teach them. (Yes, I have done my share of backpacking. I’ve seen the Terracotta Army in China, ridden an elephant in Thailand, snorkeled in Malaysia, and I’ve seen Angkor Wat twice in Cambodia. The beaches in Southeast Asia are fantastic!)

Second, you will need a bachelor’s degree (not necessarily in education, but one in English or education is desired). If you want to teach at the college level, you must have a master’s degree (mine is in business administration).
Third, if you have a criminal history, you can’t get a job here. You must have an FBI background check.
If you want to teach, love kids, can handle culture shock (it will happen, trust me), and can handle cold Korean winters, try South Korea! You can find jobs advertised online at Dave’s ESL Cafe.com and Seriousteachers.org.
Busan Professor X. Pat