Coolest Technology Innovations In Korea

Exploring the Coolest Tech Innovations In Korea

One thing many people know about Korea, besides K-Pop and K-Dramas, is that Korea has seamlessly integrated technology into everyday life. From robot coffee shops to futuristic bus stops, Korea is pioneering new innovations that make your daily life as a teacher more convenient. Let me tell you about some of the coolest technology innovations in Korea I use or see almost every day!

 

Smart Bus Stops

People standing in an enclosed Smart bus stop in South Korea

Waiting for the bus is usually uneventful, but my daily commute has never been more enjoyable thanks to smart bus stops. These high-tech shelters have interactive touchscreens that provide real-time bus schedules and weather updates. Another feature I love is that there are built-in WiFi and USB charging ports so you don’t have to use your data while waiting for the bus. These shelters even have heated seats so you can stay warm in the winter.

Smart touch screen at a smart bus stop in Korea
Charging ports and hand sanitizers at smart Bus Stop in Korea

Umbrella Dryers

A man following directions on a standing sign on how to use the eco friendly umbrella dryer.

There is nothing worse than lugging around a wet umbrella, especially during the rainy season. However, Korea’s umbrella dryers have got you covered. Dryers are located outside of most subway stations and corporate buildings. They use a combination of air and UV light to quickly dry your umbrella. The dryer is really user-friendly, and is one of the most practical and appreciated bits of technology. Innovations like this makes my life in Korea more comfortable.

 

Robot Coffee Shops

Have you ever had your coffee made by an AI barista? In Korea, robot coffee shops are popping up all over and make for a fun and unique cafe experience. These automated cafes not only serve up delicious beverages but also showcase the latest advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence. The cafes are really cool to experience, and have different drink options available.

 

People waiting for coffee to be made at a robot coffee shop

VR Cafes

Inside a VR Cafe in South Korea

Another cool place to grab a coffee and unwind after a busy week of teaching is a VR cafe. Korea is home to some of the world’s most advanced VR cafes where visitors can immerse themselves in virtual worlds and experiences. The cafes offer a bunch of different immersive games to play on your own or with friends. I recommend you check out VR Plus Cafe in Gangnam located near Gangnam Station Exit 1.

 

In conclusion, these technology innovations have transformed the way I live, work, and play. If you’re looking to change up your present life and teach in Korea, one thing is clear: the future is already here, and it’s super cool!

Michelle Duquette is from Toronto, Canada and moved to South Korea in 2015. She has a Bachelors in English literature and a Masters in ESL Education. Michelle has taught at Creverse campuses in Gangneung, Songpa, and Mokdong and currently works as a CDI and April Trainer. Michelle never set out to be a teacher but fell in love with Korean culture and the excitement of being in the classroom. Michelle lives in Seoul with her partner and two cats, Cherry and Frost. re she works at one of Creverse’s April Institutes. When Diana isn’t working, she loves exploring Korea, drinking warm cups of tea, and scaring away her friends with her karaoke performances. 

Tips For Learning Korean

Tips For Learning Korean

Before I moved to Korea, I didn’t know what to expect with the language barrier. Would I love it? Hate it? Struggle with it? Now six months into living in South Korea, I can honestly say one of my favorite parts of living here is the language. Not only is Korean beautiful but the language barrier has pushed me to try something I never thought I would: learn a second language. While big cities like Seoul are English-friendly, the challenge of reading and speaking in Korean has been one of the most rewarding parts of this whole experience! It’s given me a deeper appreciation for communication and more passion for teaching my own language! Here are all my best tips for learning Korean.

 

English teacher standing in front of a mountain and Han River in South Korea

Learn To Read Hangul

Learning Hangul, the Korean alphabet, has to be your first step. It’s easy to fall into the habit of searching online for the Romanized pronunciation of Korean words, but in the long run, this is only going to hold you back. Korean sounds and English sounds are not one-to-one, so save yourself the trouble and learn Hangul before anything else. I didn’t learn to read Hangul until my second month in Korea, but once I did, I felt so empowered!

Ask Your Students For Help

Of course, don’t ask them to teach you during class time, but I’ve found my Korean students love teaching me Korean before class and during break times! Adults have a tendency to overcomplicate things, but kids usually give the simplest answer. This can really help when it comes to Korean, especially if you’re a beginner! Plus, letting your kids teach you little phrases can go a long way in class. It helps them know you’re approachable and just as passionate about their language as you are about English!

Take A Class

I took a two month Korean class, and I can’t recommend it enough. It gave me structure and helped me develop my confidence speaking the language in a safe space before using it out and about in Korea! Sometimes, the hardest part is starting, and a class is the perfect way to kick-start your Korean journey! Here’s a brief look at a few different options.

  • Hagwons: Hagwons are private learning academies, and Korea has everything from science and math to English and Korean hagwons! This was the option I went with, and I’m so glad I did. It gave me a great foundation for understanding the language. Also, since I teach at a hagwon, it gave me insight into what my students are experiencing when they come to class each day!
  • Free Courses: There are plenty of free resources online as well as community centers in Korea that offer free classes to foreigners. Some of my friends have done this option and have loved it. Free courses tend to have bigger class sizes, but of course, you don’t have to pay for them! Here is an online class on Coursera by one of the top Universities in Korea.
  • Online Tutor: Learn Korean from the comfort of your apartment! I’ve met with an online Korean tutor a few times, and the best part is the one-on-one attention. Just like my students, sometimes it’s hard to ask questions in front of my peers. This option allows you to focus on your own personal shortcomings as a student and specialize your learning based on your interests and needs! But the best part? You can start learning now with an online tutor and not have to wait until you’ve moved to Korea.

Listen To K-Pop & Watch K-Dramas

Everyone I know who has spent time watching k-dramas and listening to k-pop has had a significant advantage when it comes to learning Korean. Immersing yourself in Korean entertainment is a fun way to absorb the language. While you probably won’t become fluent this way, it’ll definitely help you get a sense for the language! Netflix is great because they have English subtitles.

Don’t Get Lazy & Don’t Get Discouraged

In cities like Seoul, it’s easy to get complacent when it comes to learning Korean because Seoul is so English-friendly, but I’ve found locals really appreciate it when foreigners speak Korean. The best way to learn a language is to use it as much as possible, so even when you’d rather just switch to English, challenge yourself to use your Korean! Most importantly, don’t get discouraged! Learning a language doesn’t happen overnight. Making mistakes is all a part of the learning process, so don’t be afraid and don’t beat yourself up over it. Learning Korean has been so much fun for me – and trust me, I don’t have a natural affinity towards language learning – so I know it can be for you too! Hopefully some of these tips for learning Korean will help your own your journey!

 

Diana Richtman is a writer and ESL teacher living in Seoul, South Korea. Originally from Savannah, Georgia in the United States, Diana holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in English & Women’s Studies. After receiving her TEFL certification, Diana moved to South Korea where she works at one of Creverse’s April Institutes. When Diana isn’t working, she loves exploring Korea, drinking warm cups of tea, and scaring away her friends with her karaoke performances. 

My First Two Weeks Teaching English In Korea

Teaching English In Korea

Leading up to my big move across the world, I was beyond nervous. I had a lot of doubts, fears, and uncertainty. As someone who loves adventure while simultaneously struggles with facing the unknown, I felt like I was about to leap into a big, dark pit. Let me tell you about my first two weeks teaching English in Korea/

Landing In Busan, South Korea

As soon as I landed in Busan, South Korea, some of my fears started to melt away one by one. I’m extremely thankful for Aclipse and staff at my branch who helped me make this move more seamless. A couple of foreign teachers from my branch met me at the Busan airport and took me to my new apartment. They helped me get settled and eased some of my anxiety. 

View of the Ocean with the City of Busan, South Korea in the background.

Having lived in Busan for a month earlier in the year, I was somewhat familiar with life in Korea, but having just made such a big move, it was very comforting having such kind people welcome me with open arms. The Korean staff at my branch were also a huge help, and took me to apply for my Alien Registration Card and get my required health check. They’re such kind people that really care about the wellbeing of their teachers.

 

Training Week

I arrived in Busan on a Saturday, so I had that Sunday to settle in before I had to begin training week. Luckily, I was able to complete training online from the comfort of my apartment, which allowed me to continue to get settled. Training week was quite intense, as we had to retain a lot of information in such a short time. However, the other trainees in my group were all so nice, and we all benefited a lot from our group study sessions together. Although challenging, I do feel like training week definitely helped me get familiar with the methodology of how to teach April classes.

Getting Out And About

My first full weekend in Busan after training week allowed me to explore a bit more of my area. I’m a big nature lover, so scoping out some peaceful places to recharge was a priority for me. Busan’s winters are fairly mild, so despite arriving in mid November, I’ve been able to get outside some on the weekends. I love spending time at beaches here, and exploring the nearby parks like Busan Citizens Park

 

People walking in Busan Citizens Park in South Korea with a pagoda in the background.

Officially Teaching In The Classroom

I began teaching at the start of my second week in South Korea. I was definitely nervous at first, as that was my first time teaching English as a foreign language. I really cared about doing a good job, and with the combination of meeting all my students, remembering the methodology of the lessons, and managing the behavior in the classroom, I felt a bit overwhelmed. Luckily, I have a very kind headteacher who really helped make sure I was on the right track, keeping up with the admin work, and answered all my questions. 

After a full week of teaching, I definitely started to understand the structure and flow of my lessons more. My students started getting more comfortable with me as well! I have 90 students a week, and by my second week of teaching, I surprised myself by learning a good majority of their names!

 

A Wonderful Journey

Looking back on my first two weeks teaching English in Korea, I feel quite proud of my ability to deal with change and roll with the punches. I’ve been living here for almost 3 months now, and while I still face challenges, things continue to get more familiar and comfortable. I’ve joined a language exchange program that has led to many great friendships. I’ve eaten lots of great food, spent time in beautiful cafes, and seen only a small fraction of the beauty Korea has to offer! 

Taking on such a big life change always comes with its fair share of ups and downs. Remembering to find small joys every day and finding home in myself has been extremely important to my journey so far. I’m excited to see how I continue to grow this year and grateful I have this opportunity of a lifetime!

 

A group of English teachers and Korean staff at a dinner after classes are over.

Springtime in Korea is full of vibrant experiences for you to enjoy while teaching and living in Korea. I encourage you to embrace the beauty of the season and create unforgettable memories that will last you a lifetime! (Below is a great VLOG done by an April English teacher at Creverse! It’s not me, but hope it helps you get a better feel for what’s to come! )

 

Best Experiences For English Teachers In Spring

The Best Experiences for English Teachers In Spring

Springtime in Korea is a magical season with no shortage of cultural events, outdoor excursions and seasonal foods to enjoy. The season showcases a lot of what Korea has to offer and is one of the best times of year to be living and teaching abroad. So, let’s explore some of the best experiences for English teachers in Spring!

Picnic at Seoul Forest

Seoul Forest is one of my favorite places in the city to enjoy a picnic and spend time with friends. If you are looking to make the most of the weather, consider bringing some food and enjoying the lakeside area. It’s definitely one of the best spots in Seoul with a lot of shady tree coverage. I recommend ordering delivery chicken right to your picnic blanket!

Women holding a camera having a lakeside picnic at Seoul Forest Park in Seoul Korea

Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon

As a runner, this event is one of my top suggestions for the spring season! This scenic race weaves through the historic and charming streets of Gyeongju which are lined with cherry blossom trees. It is one of the coolest ways to enjoy the dreamy spring flowers, see the city, and get in a good workout! You can participate in 5K and 10K distances, as well as half and full marathon courses. If you are a runner, this is definitely a bucket list experience you don’t want to miss!

Sign up for the race here!

Taean Tulip Festival

Taean Tulip Festival occurs from March to April, and is perhaps the most colorful Spring festival you can find in Korea. It’s famous for its stunning tulips which come in nearly every rainbow color imaginable. Recognized as one of the five World Tulip Summit festivals, it is a world-class event that includes performances from Korean singers and a fireworks display at night!

 

Taean tulip festival field in south Korea

Feast on Seasonal Jjukkumi

Jjukkumi, which literally translates to spicy baby octopuses, are not actually octopi babies but are called this due to their tiny size! Spring is the best season to eat them as they emerge from the deep waters on Korea’s west coast. Additionally, during the Spring their head is filled with eggs which makes this dish taste even more delicious and fresh! There are several ways to eat Jjukkumi, but my favorite way is Jjukkumi Samgyeopsal. It consists of eating baby octopuses with pork belly drizzled with a spicy red sauce. You can even add chewy rice cake to mellow out the heat!

Buddha's Birthday

One of my favorite parts of spring in Korea is experiencing the spiritual and cultural significance of Buddha’s Birthday. Celebrated nationally on May 6th, this holiday is an ideal time to enjoy the beautiful lanterns and relaxing incense at a traditional temple. I also recommend trying out a temple stay to enjoy a traditional Buddhist ceremony and some fresh and healthy vegan temple food. My first temple stay was one of my most memorable experiences in Korea so far.

Dragon lantern at night on Buddha's birthday in Korea
Traditional Buddhist temple food in South Korea

Strawberry Picking

Spring is a peak season for strawberry farming and Korean strawberries are especially big and juicy this time of year! There are many different strawberry fields around the country that can be visited and enjoyed once spring begins but I suggest you check out Seongyeon Strawberry Farm Experience (성연딸기체험농장). It’s accessible via Daehwa Station of Subway Line 3 which takes around an hour from Seoul.

 

English teachers enjoying some freshly picked strawberries in South Korea
English teachers enjoying some freshly picked strawberries in South Korea

Springtime in Korea is full of vibrant experiences for you to enjoy while teaching and living in Korea. I encourage you to embrace the beauty of the season and create unforgettable memories that will last you a lifetime!

Michelle Duquette is from Toronto, Canada and moved to South Korea in 2015. She has a Bachelors in English literature and a Masters in ESL Education. Michelle has taught at Creverse campuses in Gangneung, Songpa, and Mokdong and currently works as a CDI and April Trainer. Michelle never set out to be a teacher but fell in love with Korean culture and the excitement of being in the classroom. Michelle lives in Seoul with her partner and two cats, Cherry and Frost. 

A Gourmet Expedition into Korean BBQ

What Do You Really Know About Korean BBQ?

Fire up the grill! Korea has no shortage of amazing food but Korean BBQ is one of the best culinary experiences you can have. From traditional charcoal grilling to marinated short ribs and bulgogi, KBBQ is a delicious and fun experience that allows you to grill and eat right at your table. Being able to indulge in the many forms of traditional Korean BBQ is just one of the many perks of teaching English in South Korea. Let me take you on a gourmet expedition into Korean BBQ!

 

Is Korean BBQ Always Beef?

Traditionally, KBBQ restaurants serve different cuts of beef. Pork and chicken are other common KBBQ meats but if you are adventurous, why not try:

  • Gopchang (beef or pork intestines)
  • Gyutan (beef tongue)
  • Makchang (beef stomach)

Gopchang is my personal favorite! The rich and flavorful taste of gopchang pairs perfectly with the smoky char from the grill, creating a unique dining experience.

 

Dry-Aged Meat

Dry-aged BBQ is a sophisticated twist to traditional grilling. Cuts of beef like ribeye and sirloin undergo a dry-aging process that can take several weeks or even months before being served. This aging process allows for more complex, umami flavors to develop and gives the beef an intense, flavor-packed taste. The richness and tenderness of aged meat is the best way to elevate your KBBQ experience.

Wet-Aged Meat

Unlike dry-aged BBQ, wet-aged BBQ relies on soaking the meat in a mouth-watering marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sugar, and various spices before grilling. Wet-aged BBQ is especially tender and is usually cooked on a flat, table-top grill. I recommend that you enjoy it with Makgeoli, as the sweet, tangy flavor is the perfect pairing! One of my favorite places to eat wet-aged KBBQ is Yeonnamseo Sikdang.

 Address: 189-7 Yeonhui-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul South Korea

 

Hanwoo (Korean Beef)

Hanwoo, or Korean beef, is a breed of cattle native to South Korea and renowned for its deep marbling and premium quality. Hanwoo is often compared to other high-end varieties of beef like Wagyu and Kobe. Hanwoo barbeque is great for special occasions but can be enjoyed anytime. Typically, Hanwoo is cooked over a charcoal flame for flavor. I  recommend pairing with a fruity red wine, such as a Malbec, to compliment the robust flavors. You can even choose the beef at certain restaurants, which they then grill tableside. Or, you can take out Hanwoo to cook at home!

 

Seafood Grill

If red meat isn’t your thing, then why not indulge in seafood BBQ? Switch gears and enjoy succulent oysters, shrimp, calamari, and all sorts of fish. Seafood adds a fresh, coastal twist to the traditional KBBQ experience and can be a more affordable option. My favorite place to enjoy all the different seafood varieties is in Busan.

 

Now you’re ready to enjoy all that KBBQ has to offer when you teach English in Korea! Happy grilling!

Michelle Duquette is from Toronto, Canada and moved to South Korea in 2015. She has a Bachelors in English literature and a Masters in ESL Education. Michelle has taught at Creverse campuses in Gangneung, Songpa, and Mokdong and currently works as a CDI and April Trainer. Michelle never set out to be a teacher but fell in love with Korean culture and the excitement of being in the classroom. Michelle lives in Seoul with her partner and two cats, Cherry and Frost. 

A Guide to Buying Furniture in Korea

Furnishing Your New Adventure

You’ve made the move to Korea and you’re ready to dive into the vibrant culture, amazing food and new adventures. An international move can present challenges and furnishing your apartment is likely at the top of your to do list. But where do you begin with finding the perfect furniture at a reasonable price? Let’s explore the best options to buying furniture in Korea.

 

Ikea in Seoul

If you’re a fan of Scandinavian design and budget-friendly options, the Ikea in Seoul is the first place to check out. Ikea is great for DIY furniture that suits small spaces and a modest budget. Weekdays are generally less crowded and allow for a more relaxed shopping experience. The store is located just outside of the city center and is easy to get to with public transportation. If you don’t want to visit the store, you can shop online and have your items delivered. And yes, they have Swedish meatballs!

 

Carrot Market

Carrot Market (당근) is a popular reselling app where locals sell everything from furniture to clothes and electronics. New listings are posted daily and you can search for amazing deals on pre-loved furniture in your area. Not only will you save money, but you can often find unique items that match with your personal style. The app is in Korean but is easy to navigate and has English search capabilities.

Facebook Finds

Facebook is one of the first places I always check when searching for furniture items. Groups, such as “Expat Furniture Seoul” or “Korea Furniture Exchange,” are gold mines as many teachers leaving the country often sell their furniture at reduced prices or even give it away for free. Make sure to check the groups often as new items are popping up daily!

 

Modern-House

Modern-House is famous in Korea for their wide variety of furniture at a reasonable price. They are a one-stop shop where you can buy everything you need to make your space feel cozy and put together. Their furniture has a clean, minimalist style and would suit most interior design styles. The online shop is easy to navigate and they often run sales on things like kitchen goods and linens.

 

Furnishing a new space is never a small task, but between the in store and online options you will be sure to find pieces that fit your needs and transform your space. Before you start shopping, it’s a good idea to take measurements of your space and read all product descriptions to ensure you’re making the right choices.  Happy furniture hunting!

Michelle Duquette is from Toronto, Canada and moved to South Korea in 2015. She has a Bachelors in English literature and a Masters in ESL Education. Michelle has taught at Creverse campuses in Gangneung, Songpa, and Mokdong and currently works as a CDI and April Trainer. Michelle never set out to be a teacher but fell in love with Korean culture and the excitement of being in the classroom. Michelle lives in Seoul with her partner and two cats, Cherry and Frost. 

Best Things To Do In Jeonju

The Place To Be

Jeonju is an idyllic city known for its traditional architecture, culture, and cuisine. It is a popular tourist destination, even among Koreans. And, for good reason! If you decide to teach English in Korea, make sure to strongly consider spending a year in this amazing city. Here are the best things to do in Jeonju.

Eat More Bibimbap

In Korean, “bibim” means mixing, and “bap” means cooked rice. This traditional dish often features egg, various vegetables, and sometimes cooked or raw meat! Jeonju is famous for its bibimbap, so don’t pass up the opportunity to try it. While you eat, go ahead and order Jeonju’s variation of makgeolli, a traditional rice wine! I had it when I visited Jeonju, and it was absolutely delicious.

Three people cheering Makgeolli, a traditional Korean rice wine in Keonju South Korea

Rent Hanboks

Hanboks are the traditional style of dress in Korea, but they’ve become more popular in recent years. Even though social media often shows only women wearing them, there are hanboks for men, women, and children! It’s super common in Seoul as well as other cities to see people wearing them for special occasions and around hanok villages and palaces. In Jeonju, we payed about ₩17,000 to wear our hanboks all day. Wearing a hanbok while exploring Jeonju is one of the coolest (and most fashionable!) cultural experiences I’ve had in Korea!

 

Women wearing traditional Korean hanboks walk the streets of Jeonju South Korea

Visit A Traditional Hanok Village

Now that you’ve got your hanbok, there’s no better place to go than Jeonju’s Hanok Village. A hanok is a traditional Korean building that features a wooden framework and often intricate, beautiful designs on the walls. This is the perfect place to soak up Korea’s rich history and feel like you’ve been transported back in time!

Jeonju Hanok Village Shops in South Korea
A traditional accomodation called Laon Hanok Gguliam in Jeonju South Korea

Visit Jeondong Cathedral

Right across the street from Jeonju Hanok Village is Jeondong Cathedral! This beautiful religious building was built in 1908 and is a must see when visiting Jeonju.

Head on shot of Jeonju Cathedral in South Korea
Inside of Jeonju Cathedral in South Korea

Indulge In Street Food

Korea has some of the best street food in the world, and there’s a little something for anything. What’s one you absolutely have to try in Jeonju? Korean coin bread. Imagine a waffle and a grilled cheese on a stick. That’s coin bread. Shaped like a coin, this street food is a perfect sweet and savory snack to end your day in the beautiful Korean city of Jeonju.

 

A steret food stall in Jeonju., South Korea

Diana Richtman is a writer and ESL teacher living in Seoul, South Korea. Originally from Savannah, Georgia in the United States, Diana holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in English & Women’s Studies. After receiving her TEFL certification, Diana moved to South Korea where she works at one of Creverse’s April Institutes. When Diana isn’t working, she loves exploring Korea, drinking warm cups of tea, and scaring away her friends with her karaoke performances. 

Timeline To Teach English In South Korea

An Experience of a Lifetime

Are you dreaming of an exciting adventure in South Korea? If so, you might be curious what steps you need to take. Here is an in-depth timeline of the process from submitting your application to landing in South Korea in only a matter of months! Without further adieu, here is the exact timeline to teach English in South Korea.

 

Month 1: Application & Interview

  • Day 1: Emma, our excited and adventurous teacher, takes the first step and applies to teach English in January for a start date in May!
  • Day 3: Then, an Aclipse Recruiter reaches out and they arrange a day and time to speak- either for information purposes or for an interview.
  • Day 6: After she completes an interview with our Aclipse Recruiter, Emma is now ready for the next steps. The excitement is building!
  • Day 7: Emma has passed her initial interview with flying colors and submits the application items. Now, she waits to hear back from her Aclipse Recruiter to find out her application results with schools in Korea!
  • Day 11: Great news! Emma receives the initial offer letter from the school! Her Aclipse Recruiter checks in to congratulate her and to schedule a follow-up call.
  • Day 13: Then, Emma and her Aclipse Recruiter have a phone call to review any questions on her initial offer and to discuss next steps, which is prepping her documents for the E2 Visa.
  • Day 14: Emma accepts her offer and signs a Memorandum of Understand (MOU). This is an intermediate agreement before a final contract is signed with a specific location.
  • Day 15 to 24: In the meantime, she works diligently on gathering her documents for the E2 Visa. Her Aclipse Recruiter checks in to support her and answers any questions that arise.
  • Day 25: Emma submits the required documents for her E2 visa and her Aclipse Recruiter reviews them for accuracy.
  • Day 26: To make sure everything’s in line, Emma’s documents are looked over by an Aclipse E-2 documents expert before she mails them to South Korea.
  • Day 30: Once verified, the Aclipse documents expert ships her documents to HQ in South Korea and Emma receives a confirmation email to let her know. Things are starting to feel extra real now!

Month 2 and 3: Visa & Location Placement

  • Day 33: In just a couple days, Emma’s documents arrive at headquarters in South Korea.
  • Day 34 to 49: Meanwhile, Emma is engaged regularly by her Aclipse Recruiter, to start preparing the logistics for her upcoming adventure!
  • Day 50: The placement process beings and Emma is given a heads up by her Aclipse Recruiter.
  • Day 57: Emma strikes gold!! She receives her contract in the first week of the placement process! She asks her Aclipse recruiter any questions about the contract and sets up an official welcome call with HQ in South Korea
  • Day 60: Emma is excited to speak with HQ and is able to ask any remaining questions that might remain.
  • Day 64: Now that she feels 100% secure about all the details, she sends her signed contract back to her Aclipse Recruiter.
  • Day 69: Emma’s E-2 visa documents (along with her signed contract), arrive at Korean Immigration office so they can process a “visa code” to finalize the visa. Processing times usually take between 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Day 83: Now that everything is being officially processed by Immigration, Emma receives her final pre-departure information from her Aclipse Recruiter and they review together.
  • Day 84: Meanwhile, Emma’s visa code is ready!
  • Day 85: She then submits her FINAL E2 Visa application to Korean Immigration and informs her Aclipse Recruiter.

Month 4: Departure & Arrival!

  • Day 98: Emma’s visa has been put in her passport, and she explores her different flight options!
  • Day 99: Then, she quickly books her flight and informs her Aclipse Recruiter.
  • Day 100 – 114: In the weeks leading up to leaving, Emma and her Aclipse Recruiter have a lot of communication. They discuss her arrival and provide details on what will happen when she gets off the plane. Her Aclipse Recruiter sends Emma final reminders and tips for training and settling in, ensuring a smooth transition! Emma feels very prepared for her upcoming teaching adventure.
  • Day 115: And, finally, Emma arrives in South Korea – she’s done it!

You’ve Made it! You’re in South Korea!

From applying to booking your flight, taking the proper steps to teach English in Korea with Aclipse is quite an adventure in and of itself! Luckily, the countdowns, check-ins, and celebrations with your recruiter make it as stress free and efficient an experience as it can be. You can be rest assured that nothing will be missed and you will land in South Korea as fast as you possibly can. Apply today!

Bethany Coquelle, growing up and living in both the east and west coasts of Canada, serves as an Overseas Recruiter specializing in South Korea placements since 2017! With a multicultural family and a passion for cultural exchange, she understands the transformative power of connecting people from diverse backgrounds. Inspired by the impact teachers can have on students’ lives, Bethany is dedicated to linking educators with their ideal positions abroad. Whether guiding through the intricacies of teaching in South Korea or providing a compassionate ear, she is committed to supporting your educational journey.

What It Takes To Teach English In Korea

Teaching English In Korea

Teaching English in Korea is personally and professionally rewarding. If you are considering applying for a position you’ll need to demonstrate you have what it takes to be a successful ESL teacher. Here are some characteristics and qualifications that are sought after and can help you succeed as an English teacher with Creverse Inc.

 

A Native English teacher in a classroom with Korean middle school students in South Korea

English Language Proficiency

Clear communication and superior English skills are vital for teaching. You must be able to explain concepts in a way that is easily understood and caters to the language ability of your students. Being comfortable and confident in your role as a language model is also necessary to earn the students’ trust and respect.

 

Enthusiastic & Passionate

Students learn best and succeed when their teachers are passionate and enthusiastic. A positive and energetic demeanor helps to motivate and inspire students. Effective teachers are friendly, yet firm; connect well with students, cater to their needs and interests making lessons relevant, relatable and fun.

 

Professional

Teachers need to be punctual, responsible, and committed to providing high level instruction. Demonstrating a strong work ethic is important in any professional setting. Teachers should be open to accepting and implementing constructive feedback and strive to be the best teacher possible.

 

Team Player

Teachers work in collaboration with each other and Korean staff. Being supportive and contributing positively to the workplace is highly valued. Your colleagues are your initial support group and social network…and will be excited to show you the ropes. Establishing a positive rapport from your arrival goes a long way in making the experience mutually beneficial.

 

Adaptable & Culturally Sensitive

Adapting to new environments, teaching methods, and cultural norms is essential. Understanding and respecting Korean culture is integral to adjusting well. Being open-minded and flexible will help you integrate into the local community and work effectively with students and colleagues. It’s important to consider strategies that will help you to have a positive year living and teaching in Korea.

 

Teaching Certification/Experience:

While not required, a CELTA certification will earn you a higher salary. Completing a TEFL or TESOL course may help you feel more prepared and confident in the English teacher role. While formal teaching experience is also not required, those with full-time classroom experience will benefit with a higher salary offer.

 

Visa Requirements

A sample alien registration card required for all foreigners in Korea

Ensure that you meet the requirements to work in Korea. This includes obtaining the necessary documents for a visa and fulfilling immigration requirements. To be eligible you must have at least the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree – any major, however, English and Education majors are highly valued.
  • Background check – with no charges, dismissed or otherwise

Have you got what it takes? Take the next step and submit your resume to find out!!

Colette Neville hailing from Ontario, Canada embarked upon the adventure of a lifetime and taught English in Japan for 5 years after graduating with a Bachelor’s in Kinesiology and a Bachelor’s in Education! While overseas she honed her teaching skills, advanced professionally to trainer, area manager, curriculum specialist and enjoyed the many riches of Japanese culture. Her love of travel led her to explore many of Japan’s neighbouring countries, including South Korea! Upon return to Canada, she landed a job with Aclipse recruiting and now enjoys sharing her experiences and guiding candidates through the steps to secure the perfect overseas placement! Upon reflection, she believes her experience teaching abroad was a very meaningful and life changing event….and is certain it will be for others too! 

5 Reasons Why I Prefer Living In Korea

Here are the top 5 reasons Why I Prefer Living in Korea!

1. Transportation (High Tech Bus Stops)

Korea is often ranked one of the best public transportation systems on the planet. Let’s start with the buses, which can take you anywhere you want in major cities as well as across the country. In the winter, Korea has heated bus stop seats as well as heated waiting room areas at some locations. Not only that but some bus stops provide free phone charging stations, and all buses have public Wi-Fi. The bus system is convenient and affordable for anyone looking to get around quickly and comfortable. This is one of the main reasons I prefer living in Korea over the States.

 

A heated bus stop bench with free wirless charging in Korea
Heated Bench and Wireless Charging
Woman waits for a bus inside a glass-covered bus stop in Seoul, Korea.

The subway is fast, safe, and easy to use. All signs and announcements are made in both Korean as well as English. If you want to leave your city and explore another part of Korea, there are regular trains for the stop-and-smell-the roses type of passenger as well as the KTX bullet trains for those looking to get places fast. All of the options are affordable and give you the opportunity to view the beautiful Korean countryside.

2. Online Banking (Sending Money)

Forget Venmo and PayPal. In Korea, you can make easy and safe bank transfers online with your bank. This means you can pay people and businesses as well as receive funds in seconds. No more waiting 2-3 days to see funds show up in your bank account. In Korea, you can have your money instantly. (By the way, they’ve been doing it this way for almost 20 years! For better context, they never used a paper checking system.)

 

A row of ATMs of the top 5 most popular banks in Korea.
A row of ATMs of the top 4 banks
Smart phone app for a Korean bank to allow instantaneous transfer of money to other bank accounts.
Mobile App for Woori Bank

3. Public Safety (No Theft Or Guns)

With strict gun laws, it’s difficult to gain access to weapons in Korea. Between this and Korea’s CCTV coverage, South Korea is an extremely safe country to live in. When compared with other industrialized countries, South Korea has a very low crime rate, and in 2021, they saw their lowest crime rate in ten years. You may not realize it until you are here, but living in Korea made me realize how much unnecessary stress I frequently dealt with worrying about keeping myself and my belongings safe.  

 

4. Cheap Meals (Delicious & Healthy, too!)

The cost of a delicious, nutritious meal in Korea can be as cheap as ₩7,000, which is roughly $5.50 USD. Not only is eating out affordable, but there are plenty of delicious foods to try from. Korea has everything from bibimbap and tteokbokki to pizza and burgers. Oh, and a huge bonus you probably didn’t think was even a possibility. There is NO TIPPING in Korea! Whether you dine out or take a cab, tipping is not a part of the culture. It is a huge savings and makes life so much easier.   

Assorted fish, kimchi stew, and side dishes at a traditional restaurant in Korea

5. Skin Care (The Mecca for All Your Needs)

Koreans love skin care. With a huge market for it, you can find the exact right combination of products for your skin type. Due to its popularity, there’s a wide variety of options, and they are relatively affordable in comparison to American brands. In addition, Korea has many great spa options if pampering is your favorite method of self-care.  And it’s not just for us girls! Men all across the world are starting to take better care of their skin, and Korea has all the products you can think of.  

 

 

Diana Richtman is a writer and ESL teacher living in Seoul, South Korea. Originally from Savannah, Georgia in the United States, Diana holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in English & Women’s Studies. After receiving her TEFL certification, Diana moved to South Korea where she works at one of Creverse’s April Institutes. When Diana isn’t working, she loves exploring Korea, drinking warm cups of tea, and scaring away her friends with her karaoke performances.