How it works
What's the deal?
All of our contract are one year in duration. They are all in South Korea and only available for those who have completed or are about to complete a 4-year degree.
We hire teachers for private schools, public schools and some university jobs. Most jobs have less than 40 hours per week, some have low teaching hours but require you to be at the school for a full shift.
Are you qualified?
- To teach English in Korea you should be from one of the following countries
- America, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa
- You should have a clean or 'mostly clean' criminal background
- You must have a degree from a 4-year university (any major)
- You must be able to pass a health screening after you enter the country
- Includes drug screening and HIV test
- You must be able to fly and commit to a one-year contract
- Your age should be somewhere between 21-70
If you meet the above criteria, then you are qualified to pass to the interviewing stage. If you succeed in the interview with the school, then you are hired.
Things that make you well qualified - English or related degree, teaching experience, TEFL, TESOL, other language related certificate, working with children, knowledge of the Korean language or culture.
Are we experienced?
Yes. We have placed thousands of teachers in jobs all over South Korea. We are recognized by the Korean government (most recruiters are not). You can check out some of our testimonials to see what others have said.
What is the pay?
The average salary for our contracts is 2.2 million Korean won per month. (As of May 2013 that is USD $1,969 or CDN $2,020 or GBP 1,289)
Teachers with experience, an English related degree or a teaching certificate get paid a little more and newcomers can get a little less. (plus or minus ~10%)
In addition to the monthly salary, there are more benefits.
Free Housing! - your school will pay for your apartment the entire yime you are in Korea. All you must pay are the utilities
Free Round Trip Flight! - From your hometown or closest major airport
Completion Bonus! - Get a bonus equal to one month's salary with your last paycheck
Pension - During your year you will pay into a pension system (varies but around $100 a month). Your school matches your payment and at the end of the year when you leave the contry you get all of the pension money back (your contribution plus your school's matching contribution).
Looks great on a resume
You get to travel the world
How much is USD $2,000 in Korea?
When I came to Korea I took a slight pay cut. I had been working a tech job and my paychecks shrunk just a bit when I came to Korea. In America, my $500 per week check was sufficient to have an apartment with a friend, go out to eat on occasion, go out for some drinks from time to time, buy a new tech gadget every now and then, pay for my health insurance, student loans, car insurance, car payment, cell phone, groceries and the trips or events that happen. At the end of the month I usually had only a few dollars left that went into my bank account. I lived like this for a few years and my bank account swelled to a few thousand dollars after a few years.
I was surprised with how much farther that same money stretched in Korea. Sure, I didn't have a car or the payments and money that are tied up in gas and repairs, but I did not miss my car (very much). Here is what a month salary can look like: I will use the payment of 2,000,000 Korean Won (USD 1,790) for simplicity sake.
|Thrifty Person||Average person||big spender|
Food (eats free lunch at school, cooks at home, eats at cheap $3-4 places) 150,000
Transportation costs (subway or bus twice a day) 60,000
Apartment maintenance and utilities (can really vary, more in winter for heating) 100,000
Phone (cheap phone with minutes added as needed) 20,000
Internet (using neighbor's free wifi) 0
Health Insurance 10,000
Food (free lunch at school if its delicious, eats out often at a vairety of places) 250,000
Transportation costs (some taxis too) 100,000
Apartment maintenance 100,000
Phone (on a montly plan with internet, plenty of talk time) 40,000
Internet (own high speed connection) 25,000
Health Insurance 10,000
Go out for drinks once or twice a week 150,000
Misc spending (clothes, toys, books, etc) 200,000
Food (eats out often) 400,000
Transportation (loving taxis) 150,000
Apartment Maintenance 100,000
Phone (Newest smart phone, on plan) 70,000
Health Insurance 10,000
Weekly Massages 175,000
Weekly Acupuncture 20,000
Gym Membership 50,000
New clothes 200,000
Drinks (likes to buy rounds) 300,000
Weekend trips 200,000
Misc spending 300,000
|Monthly Spending: 340,000 (almost 20 million in savings)||Monthly Spending: 875,000 (13.5 million in savings)||Monthly Spending: 2,000,000 (0 savings)|
The table above can give you a very rough idea of what your finances can be like. Of course there are always things that are unexpected, but you can see that you can live very comfortably. In the case of the "Big Spender" they would leave Korea with $5,000. But how? They have no savings!
You typically get your last monthly paycheck around the time you leave (2 million). You also get that nice one-month bonus (2 million). And the pension (1.8 million). And the security deposit (.2 million was taken from your first three paychecks in case you trashed your apartment .6 million) So, that is roughly 6+ million won (more than $5,000) and you have a free ticket home (some schools may be willing to book you to a destination of your choice)
In this scenario, the big spender even leaves Korea with some big money. How did the Thrifty hermit do? 25 million (USD $22,450) in the bank.
While these numbers are just a rough estimate, I do know people who have banked almost 20 million in a year - and I know people who banked nothing but lived like a king and took home their last payments with a big smile on their face. I think most people fall somewhere into the middle. It doesn't take much effort to save 10 million in a year, 15 million you must be good at managing your money and 20 million required you to spend a lof of time in your apartment and to count every penny spent.
What's the process and how much does it cost?
The process of getting hired goes a little like this: Send us your info (Register and add resume on this site or send resume and picture to firstname.lastname@example.org) >> We contact you and do an informal Skype session together >> We find a school that is a good match for you >> You have a formal Skype interview with that school >> If that school is interested, we make the contract and you come to Korea. If that school is not interested, we find another school to interview with >> Repeat until you are hired >> Come to Korea and teach.
The entire process can take from 1 month (someone with all documents ready) to 4 months.
This is a very simplified process, if you are looking for a very detailed one look at this page http://www.eicohr.com/process-detailed
EICO never charges you anything. We make our money getting recruitment fees from schools finding them qualified teachers. You will however need some money to get all of your documents in order and buy your flight to Korea (You are reimbursed by your school after you start).
The documents you need to get are: notorized diploma, a few sets of sealed transcripts and criminal background check. We assume that you already have a valid passport. By far, the document that requires the most time is the criminal background check (CBC). For Americans, the process can take 3+ months. We recommend getting the CBC now, even if you are unsure if you want to work abroad. It costs only $18 to get one and it can save headaches and avoid time crunches later on. We have a detailed list of all the documents you need.
Aside from buying your ticket and getting reimbursed later on, you will be required to spend your own money on some things. Criminal background check, transcripts, notorizations, apostilles, postal fees, driving to a Korean Embassy for visa, health check once in Korea, visa fee, and random fees will cost something in the ballpark of $500. Doing things in advance will save you money. I know people who have had to overnight documents around the world, and yes it is expensive. Don't cost yourself extra money by not getting your documents in order in a timely manner.
What is the culture like?
We have created a 'Lounge' area on our website that explains the culture and customs of South Korea.
What if I don't like it?
Most of the people who come have a great experience, but once in a while it does not work out for some people. In these cases, individuals can break contract and fly home. If this is done, you can lose out on wages and may have to buy your ticket home. It's not a good scenario for anyone (schools invest a lot, recruiter loses recruitment fee, teacher loses money and time invested) but it can be done. One thing to remember is that it is 52 weeks and the rewards for sticking it out are substantial.
What about North Korea?
North Korea has been a threat to South Korea (and the world) since the Korean War came to a standstill in 1953. You might have a hard time believing there is any threat if you are living in South Korea. The Global Media (especially USA) makes a much bigger deal of the situation that South Korea itself does! While war could break out, it is highly unlikely. There is always the Midnight Run if you must leave Korea in a hurry.
The people in South Korea aren't too worried, so why should you be?
More Questions? We would love to answer them.