Documentation Required to Teach English in Korea
All English teachers in Korea must apply and interview for positions – this can be done through a variety of recruiters and government programs, as well as directly through language schools and institutes.
To legally teach English in Korea you must meet certain standards and be able to provide certain documentation. In many cases, documents must receive an international notarization known as an Apostille.
During the process of applying and interviewing for English teaching positions, and getting a visa processed at the consulate after signing a contract, prospective teachers should expect to be able to produce the following documents:
- Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree/diploma
- Sealed college or university transcript
- Original national level criminal background check (FBI in the U.S.)
- Passport photos
- Original contract (to be provided by your employer for visa processing at consulate)
- Original passport that is valid for at least one year
Requirements for Teaching English in Korean Public Schools
For some positions, particularly those in public schools and universities, English teachers in Korea may be required to provide the following:
- Proof of full-time teaching experience
- Copy of TEFL certificate (at least 100 hours of class time, either Online TEFL Class or In-Person TEFL Classes)
- Copy of teaching license or certificate
Teaching English in Korean public schools falls under the EPIK program. EPIK stands for English Program In Korea and is sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Education. Upon being accepted in the program, you will be placed in public school positions throughout the country.
Requirements for Teaching English in a Hagwon (Private Korean School)
Hagwons are Korea's for-profit private educational schools. They are distinct from the South Korean public school system and represent the majority of English teaching jobs in the country.
Because there are generally more jobs available at Hagwons than at public schools, it is somewhat easier to get a job at one of these for-profit schools than at a public school.
Note that the basic requirements are similar to public schools, but that individual hagwons may have their own requirements (if any specific examples of this can be provided, include them).
For more information on teaching English in South Korea, including job markets and finances, check out our South Korea Country Profile.
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