Category: Relocation

Teaching English With Aclipse: Hiring Process

The Dreaded Job Hunt

The job market is a grueling place. I had been job hunting for 3 months until one day, I found a job posting on Indeed about teaching English in Korea. The company was called “Aclipse” and I was immediately intrigued by the post. While teaching was one of my original career goals in high school and college, I began to give up on that dream once I joined the workforce. Stability in corporate America started to sound much more appealing than uprooting my life to South Korea to teach English.

 

Logo of Aclipse recruiting who hires college graduates to teach English in South Korea

I applied anyway even though I had some hesitations. Within a couple of days, I received an email to schedule a an interview with an Aclipse recruiter. The email detailed how to schedule the call and some of the benefits that Aclipse provides to teach English in Korea. As I mentioned before, I had been job searching for quite some time. Coming off of month-long waiting periods with no responses from other companies, I was pleasantly surprised by the swift response that Aclipse provided.

 

Interview & Mock Lesson

When the day came for my interview, I was nervous and excited at the same time. I had no idea what to expect. Once I entered the call and introduced myself, Nico (my recruiter) created a super welcoming and judgment-free space. I felt comfortable to ask any questions I had about teaching English and felt relaxed during the interview.

 

Aside from being a place for you to ask questions, the interview is also a place where the Aclipse recruiter can see if this role will be a great fit for you. Nico did this by conducting a mock English lesson. Although I had previous experience working with non-English speakers in university, I was still nervous to act out a scenario on-the-spot. The scene was set, I was given time to collect my thoughts, and we began our English teaching lesson scenario.

 

Doing the mock lesson was a little awkward at first, but went super well! It gave me a sense of how lesson structures are formulated, and it gave the recruiter a sense of how I would be as an instructor. Once we were done with the mock lesson, Nico gave me the green light that I had passed the interview!

 

Nico who is a recruiter at Aclipse to teach English in Korea
Aclipse Recruiter, Nico S.

Shortly after my screening call, I received an email regarding the next steps for the hiring process to begin teaching English in Korea.

  • These steps included: creating an introduction video, filling out important documents, requesting a school placement, and filing instructions for receiving a visa.
    • These important documents included: FBI fingerprint background checks, signed health statement forms, and scanned files of legal documents. 

This process seemed a bit daunting at first, but Nico helped me every step of the way. By sending me tutorials and examples of each required piece, I was able to complete all of these requirements by the end of that week. 

I received my school placement, employment contract, and saw the Embassy of South Korea all within a month of completing the steps listed above. This all happened in the blink of an eye!

 

Employment contract for a candidate to teach English in South Korea

There are many small details that can be overlooked throughout this process. My best piece of advice would be to NOT procrastinate on submitting what is required and consistently messaging your recruiter with updates, even if they seem small. 

I have officially signed my contract and am set to move in August 2024 to begin teaching English. Aclipse has helped me every step of the way and turned an extensive process into a smooth operation.

English Teacher in Korea, Gabriel Hall

Gabe White, English Teacher at Creverse

Gabriel (Gabe) White is a soon to be English teacher in South Korea. He is a Korean, Puerto Rican-American  from the Richmond, Virginia area and received a bachelor’s degree in English from Virginia Commonwealth University. Being involved in student organizations like Filipino Americans Coming Together at VCU (FACT@VCU) and VCU Globe during his college years, Gabe learned just how much he enjoys experiencing new cultures. In his free time, Gabe loves teaching local dance classes, spending quality time with his loved ones, exploring new cities, and watching nostalgic movies. 

Navigating Cultural Differences In Korea

Moving to a new country is always a mix of excitement and uncertainty. When I moved to Korea, I was eager to start my job as an English teacher and learn all about the beautiful culture. In my first few weeks, I quickly realized that understanding the nuances of Korean etiquette was going to be an important part of adapting and making the most of my new life. With an open mind and a little bit of key knowledge, you can navigate these cultural differences and fully enjoy your time in Korea.

 

Showing Respect

One aspect of Korean culture that I knew about from all the dramas I watched was the emphasis on respect and cultural hierarchies. In Korea, two different forms of the language are used depending on if you are speaking to someone older or younger. Polite language, (존댓말, jondaetmal) must be used when speaking to strangers and elders as a way to show respect. In addition, it’s customary to bow when you greet someone older and the depth of your bow should reflect the other person’s age and status compared to your own. These small nuances can go a long way in showing your respect and appreciation of Korean culture and will help you integrate into daily life. I have adapted so much to bowing that I can’t stop myself from bowing even when I travel back home to Canada which is a cute new quirk of my international life!

 

Dining Etiquette

Another way to show respect in Korea is at the dinner table. When eating with others, it’s polite to wait for the oldest person at the table to start eating before you do. If you’re offered food or drink, it’s best to accept it with both hands as a sign of respect. When pouring drinks for others, you should use two hands and pour for the eldest first, then serve the others. Everyone should wait until the eldest takes their drink and it is customary to turn your body away from the eldest while you drink as another way of showing respect.

 

Social Nuances

One part of the culture that surprised me at first was the different attitude towards personal space. Seoul is a mega city with millions of people so it’s not uncommon to find yourself in very close quarters with others in public transportation or markets. People can be pushy in these situations and seem to ignore your personal space but it is not a rude gesture, just a part of daily life here.

 

Another big difference I have noticed between Canada and Korea is the compliment culture. Back home, if someone told me that my haircut looked pretty, I would probably respond with “Thanks!” Koreans value modesty, so when receiving a compliment, it’s more likely that someone would try to avoid bragging and reject the compliment in order to show humility.

 

Embrace the Experience

Living in a new culture has its own challenges, but I have found that adapting to Korean culture is really rewarding. All of my Korean friends and coworkers are patient and understanding and have gone above and beyond trying to include me in their customs and to teach me the nuances of the culture. As you start your time teaching and living in Korea, don’t be shy to ask questions and to embrace the differences of Korean customs and etiquette. Not only will this help you integrate smoothly, but it will make your experience more meaningful!

 

English teacher, Michelle Duquette at Chungdahm Learning

Michelle Duquette, Marketing Assistant

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. 

10 Must-Pack Items When Moving To Korea

Back when I first arrived in Boseong—for my new role as a teacher—I immediately realized that packing wisely was key to making a smooth transition into the Korean teaching landscape. Below are 10 must-pack items for your Korean adventure!

 

1. Universal Power Adapter

It’s super helpful when you need to plug your devices onto their 220 volt system. I recommend getting a universal adapter so you can use it when you travel to other parts of Asia that don’t use 220 as well! Here’s a great post on the details of how the voltage system differs, and what kind of adapter you may want to get.

 

2. Multi-Functional Backpack

A versatile backpack to help stay organized even when you’re transitioning from the classroom to a night out in Korea.

 

3. Medication & Doctor’s Note

Include a doctor’s note for prescription medications and double-check Korea’s custom laws to guarantee a smooth transition into their healthcare system.

 

4. Shoes

Ensure you pack enough pairs of shoes—in your specific size—for various occasions. As larger shoe sizes in Korea can, at times, be difficult to find.

 

5. Layers for All Seasons

Prepare for the varying temperatures with versatile clothing suitable for different weather conditions.

 

6. One Formal Outfit

In case you get invited to a Korean wedding… or two.

 

7. Korean Phrasebook and Language Apps

A small phrasebook, or even a language app, can help you navigate communication in and out of the classroom. Here’s our blog on what apps you will need for Korea.

 

8. Practical Kitchen Essentials

A reusable water bottle… compact cookware… and familiar spices can make your new living space feel like home!

 

9. Extra Deodorant

Roll-on deodorants are readily available, but if you’re not used to them, then make sure to pack a few till you can find yours in foreign shops or online.

 

10. Copies of Important Documents

Having duplicate copies of passport, visa paperwork, and other crucial documents (physical and digital)—streamlines administrative processes and provides a safety net.

As you embark on this incredible teaching journey in Korea, these 10 must-pack items will ensure that you’re ready for many aspects of your adventure. Pack with purpose, stay open to new experiences, and may your time in the Land of Morning Calm be filled with transformative lessons, cultural discoveries, and lasting connections. Safe travels!


*For more detailed Packing Tips!

An English language teacher hiking in the mountains of South Korea on the weekend

Joe Achacoso, Aclipse Recruiter

Joe Achacoso first embarked on his ESL journey in 2010, to satiate his longing desire for travel! An opportunity intended for a year turned into a 10-year tenure—as an English teacher, faculty manager, instructor trainer and curriculum developer. His adventures in global education continued with a master’s, and it came full circle when he joined Aclipse’s recruiting team—hoping to help the like-minded achieve the same transformative experience.

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Teaching And Living In Ilsan

Where I'm From

I’m a beach girl who spent the last few years in big cities—from NYC to Madrid back to NYC. The moment I decided to pick up my life and move across the world to Korea, I knew I did not want to be in the big city anymore. I missed waking up to the sounds of nature, but I was also wise enough to know I had become accustomed to access. Access to variation and choices, which I wasn’t necessarily willing to give up. I held my breath. With little research and a lot of trust in my amazing recruiter, I ended up in a place that more than met my desires and even exceeded them! Here’s what it’s like living in Ilsan!

 

Where I'm At!

A few months before my departure from New York City, I was informed I would be placed in a city called Ilsan, or ‘a mountain’. Ilsan is about an hour northwest of Seoul in Goyang. I figured, in the worst-case scenario, I could always commute to Seoul on the weekends. However, it turned out that Ilsan is its own vibrant haven. Home to the biggest man-made lake in Asia, there is so much to do outside and many unique places to eat. You can rent bikes and coast for miles or have a picnic in the massive space that is Ilsan Lake Park during cherry blossom season. There are even multiple water parks in Ilsan

 

Endless Access

Ilsan is easy to walk, but it is also connected by endless bus lines and subways. I never feel isolated. The variety of things to do is something I least expected. Some days I get off late, and some days I’m off completely, so it’s nice to have activities that meet those time differences. There are dance studios, two huge open-street shopping malls (Western Dom and Lafesta), endless pochas, 24-hour spas in basements, movie theaters, and endless opportunities to do karaoke. 

While I am still exploring my new home and becoming accustomed to my surroundings, I am thankful to be in a place that feels extremely local and quaint yet well connected and accessible. I highly recommend considering teaching and working in Ilsan if you want to be in the center of nature, with full accessibility to the benefits of city life!

Jasmine Phillips is a wanderlust explorer currently living and teaching English in Ilsan, South Korea. Jasmine is originally from Virginia Beach, VA but has lived in many places, such as Berlin, Madrid and New York City. Her undergrad is in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in international social justice. Her hopes are to eventually continue her studies in Ethnomusicology in South Africa. When Jasmine isn’t working she is curled up with a heart-wrenching memoir, spending time with strangers or painting giant canvases.

Getting My F-4 Visa

My Heritage

I’ve wanted to experience living in South Korea since I was 11-years old. Some of my fondest childhood memories are watching my grandmother’s Korean variety shows while eating rolls on rolls of her fresh 김밥(Kimbap, Seaweed rice). 

 

An overseas Korean and his mother
A picture of me and my mother who is half Korean and half Puerto Rican.

In the summer of 2022 I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and this past spring 2024 I received an offer to teach in South Korea. In order to legally teach English in South Korea, a work visa is required. I was under the impression that I would be using a regular, 1-year, E-2 Teaching Visa (E-2 Visa Info); however, I was shocked to learn that I qualify for a 교포 (Gyopo, National), F-4 Visa (F-4 Visa Info). For context: a 교포 (Gyopo) is someone who is ethnically Korean, but has spent most of their life living outside of South Korea. 

 

Overseas Korean

To preface, I’m 25% Korean, 25% Puerto Rican, and 50% White. Aside from a few family friends,  I grew up in an extremely small town with little to no Asian culture. In 2012, I was exposed to the idea of teaching English overseas. Once I learned about this opportunity, it felt like I received a golden ticket to learning more about my Korean culture. 

 

Family picture of an overseas Korean family.
My Korean grandmother and Puerto Rican grandfather with my mother and her sisters.
An overseas Korean family.
My Korean Grandmother at the center of it all!

I qualified for the F-4 Visa due to my grandmother previously holding Korean citizenship. She moved to the United States in 1973 after marrying my Puerto Rican grandfather; therefore she was eventually naturalized as an American citizen. Here are some pictures of my grandparents!

 

F-4 Visa: Overseas Korean (Gyopo)

The F-4 Visa is reserved for someone who’s parents OR grandparents have previously held Korean nationality and withdrew their Korean citizenship; hence the word 교포 (Gyopo, National). This visa has more benefits than a traditional E-2 Teaching Visa such as:

  • not needing a job contract to move to South Korea.
  • being able to legally tutor students as a part-time job. (Must be registered with your local Ministry of Education Office.)
  • holding the visa for 2 years with easy renewal. (After first renewal, it is valid for 3 years.)
  • the ability to apply for the F-4 Visa for while in South Korea on a tourist visa.

While the F-4 Visa has some great benefits, much more documentation is needed to receive it from a Korean consulate. Each consulate office requires different documentation, so applicants must call their local consulate office to double check their requirements (List of all Korean Consulates in the USA). With that being said, here are the documents that I was asked to prepare for the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington DC:

 
  • FBI Background check specifically apostilled by the Department of State (Instructions on how to apostille documents)
  • Completed visa application from the Korean Embassy website
  • 2 x 2 printed color photo of the applicant
  • 2 x 2 printed color photo of the previous Korean national
  • A Korean family registry
  • The applicant’s passport and birth certificate
  • The previous Korean national’s passport, naturalization papers, etc.
  • The applicant’s mother’s proof of nationality (birth certificate, passport, naturalization papers, etc.)
  • The applicant’s father’s proof of nationality (birth certificate, passport, naturalization papers, etc.)
  • The applicant’s grandfather’s proof of nationality (birth certificate, passport, naturalization papers, etc.)
  • $55 cash

            When in doubt, bring everything you can to prove your family member previously held Korean citizenship and is no longer a Korean citizen. This can include: marriage licenses, death certificates, photographs, retirement documents, etc. The more legal documentation you can provide, the better chance you have of receiving the F-4 Visa as quickly as possible.

 

A record of an ethnic Korean's family tree
This is an example of an official Korean family registry.

To Be Continued..

Preparing all of the documentation listed above was a grueling process to say the least. With my turn-around time being only 2-3 months, I made sure to get started on finding these documents as soon as I finished my call with the Korean Embassy.

My meeting with the consulate is going to be in June. Stay tuned for an update on how my F-4 Visa meeting goes and the amount of time it takes to receive it!

 

Gabriel (Gabe) White is a soon to be English teacher in South Korea. He is a Korean, Puerto Rican-American  from the Richmond, Virginia area and received a bachelor’s degree in English from Virginia Commonwealth University. Being involved in student organizations like Filipino Americans Coming Together at VCU (FACT@VCU) and VCU Globe during his college years, Gabe learned just how much he enjoys experiencing new cultures. In his free time, Gabe loves teaching local dance classes, spending quality time with his loved ones, exploring new cities, and watching nostalgic movies. 

My First Weeks Teaching In Korea

Moving to a new country always comes with a mix of excitement and challenges. Teaching in Korea has brought on a whirlwind of new experiences and surprises that has made this one of the best choices I have ever made! Here’s what it’s been like so far living in Korea and teaching at April English in Cheonan, South Korea. 

 

Convenience Is King

One of the things that I noticed within my first week of living and teaching in Korea is the proximity of everything. Hailing from the Toronto area, I’m accustomed to relying on a car for even the most basic errands. Here in Korea, you will be surprised to find that most things (if not everything) you could possibly need is within walking distance. Before I moved to Korea I was really stressed out because I needed a haircut before my flight,  but it was too late to book one. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find a good salon close by, since I knew I wouldn’t have a car in Korea. 

 

I quickly realized it was a complete non-issue! There’s probably 5 hair salons within a 15-minute walk from my apartment. Everywhere I walk I see cozy cafes, and endless restaurants. There is also a convenience store on every corner of my street. So anytime I’m relaxing and watching some Netflix, I can just quickly run down to the convenience store to grab something if I need a snack or a drink. 

 

Easing In To My Apartment

My apartment came fully furnished, but I still needed to get plates, utensils, cups, bathroom essentials, cleaning supplies etc. Daiso is one of my favorite stores for that. Daiso is the Korean version of the dollar store. It has basically everything you could ever need or want for less than $5. On top of that, everything is so stylish and trendy, and the quality is amazing. You would never even guess that everything in my apartment is from the equivalent of a dollar store! 

 

Teaching And Training

Preparing to teach in a foreign country can be daunting, but the training week was a game changer and helped me to seamlessly transition into the classroom with confidence. When I landed in Korea my training started about 2 days after. The training was for one week. The training covered everything from the lesson plans, classroom management, expectations, and more. My trainer was super friendly and very helpful to me throughout my training week. 

 

The Little Things

One of the first things I tried when I got to Korea was pizza at a Korean chain called “Mr. Pizza.” It is definitely a new experience as Korean-style pizza as it is both a little sweet and extremely cheesy. I was also surprised to see you could order toppings like shrimp and sweet potato! While most people don’t move half way around the world to try Korean-style pizza, it was really fun to just experience something I never knew even existed! I definitely recommend trying it at least once. You can also find popular western chains such as Dominos or Papa Johns if Korean-style pizza isn’t your forte!

 

Moving to Korea was one of the decisions I ever made. From my bustling neighborhood to the convenience of everything, and the invaluable insights gained through training. Each experience has been a stepping stone towards embracing this new chapter of my life. 

Here’s to a year of exploration, learning, and laughter as I navigate the joys of teaching in Korea. I can’t wait to see where my adventure takes me!

 

Aisha Khan is from Brompton, Ontatio, Canada, and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from York University. She held roles in Account Management and Administration at companies like the the Bank of Montreal, TD Canada Trust,  and Air Canada but was looking for a new adventure. She found Aclipse, and decided to take the leap of faith and teach English abroad.

Why I Loved Teaching English In Korea

Applying To Teach On a Whim

My best friend in college is from Seoul, so I decided to visit her the summer before my senior year of College. I was only there for four days, and had no expectations, except to go to a Hello Kitty cafe and to eat a lot of beef. I had close to zero context for Korea, so what I experienced was a sort of reverse Paris Syndrome. Everything took me by surprise, and just felt nice. The crisp cold, the subway jingles, the pace, and the view of a mountain anywhere you looked. 

 

When it was time to look for jobs, I saw a posting on the university job board and applied to teach in Korea on a whim. The idea of finding a cushy corporate job in a big city in the states didn’t sound appealing. Moving abroad and starting over felt ideal. So without giving it much thought, I just did it. I moved in August and so many little things made sense. Having my own apartment with a view of the skyline, walking alone at midnight without worrying about safety, trying foods that not even LA Korean food could live up to. It’s so culturally, historically, aesthetically rich, and there’s such an eye to craft and care that you don’t see in the states. 

 

Moving To Korea

My homesickness dissipated very quickly. Just within training week, I met other teachers who became my best friends. It was surprisingly a lot easier to make friends than I anticipated. I was part of a lot of Facebook groups, but more often I was able to meet people just by being out and about at cafes or at clubs. I also met more and more teachers from other branches, which helped, as we were able to share anecdotes of the hilarious, sweet, and ridiculous things our students would say and do. I’ve maintained these friendships to this day. One just had a baby, another I just had dinner with in Seoul, and one who I video call every month, often to just reminisce about our years together teaching English in Korea. 

 

English teachers acting silly at a restaurant in Korea

My First Year

Within that first year, I traveled to Mongolia and the Philippines, got lasik eye surgery, tried live octopus, and was tour guide to my family and multiple friends from home. I quickly realized that it was very easy to save money, even with shopping, traveling, and eating out a bunch. Because of severance pay and receiving my pension contributions, I was able to save about 18,000 USD within the year, which let me travel abroad for two years after that. I went through so many places in Asia, Europe, and even lived in South Africa for a while. When I ran out of money, it was a no brainer, so I applied to teach in Korea again.

 

Round 2!

This time, I got even more from the experience. I taught with CDI, with the older students, which I loved because we were able to really engage with each other. I got asked to be a marketing assistant, which was so fun and easy, sharing details about my experience with prospective candidates. Shortly after, I also got recruited to be a trainer at the Training Center, showing the incoming teachers the ropes. Training was honestly just as fun as teaching, giving me extra income and a chance to meet even more new people. These opportunities came so seamlessly, and the jobs were so easy and enjoyable that I didn’t have to think too much about them. 

 

Korean middle school students acting silly in their English class at CDI.

Life After Korea

After that year, I felt a little bit antsy to travel elsewhere, so I ended up moving back to South Africa for a while. I had saved a lot that I didn’t have to worry about working, and delved into learning how to tattoo, and pursuing other creative interests. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without all the savings I had from teaching. I’ve since moved to New York, but I’m always fantasizing about what would’ve happened if I stayed. As silly as it sounds, I feel like making that decision to move to Korea really remedied any chances of me having a mid-life crisis. I spent my 20s doing exactly what I wanted, with a low-stress, fulfilling job, safe home environment, and ample time for hobbies. I experienced so many things that I wouldn’t have imagined I’d do throughout a lifetime. I bonded with my students, and still email with them to this day. I visited so many countries, met some of my best friends, and basically let my curiosity lead me wherever. Teaching in Korea allowed me to explore all my desires, and I have no regrets about how I’ve spent my time up to this point. 

 

When Aclipse reached out to me last fall about becoming a recruiter, it was an even easier decision. It feels like such a full circle moment, being on the opposite end of the process that I started all those years ago. Whenever candidates ask me for my honest opinion, I say just go. You really never know what is out there for you, and it will probably exceed what you can even imagine. 

 

Nico Salvador is from Los Angeles, California and graduated from Brown University with a degree in English. She planned to stay in Korea for one year after graduation, but ended up teaching on and off for five years. After travelling the world, Nico now lives in New York and works as a Recruiter for Aclipse while pursuing other new ventures. She has held several key roles at Creverse throughout her time teaching in Korea, and we can’t wait to see where her journey takes her next! 

Must-Join Facebook Groups In Korea

Must-Join Facebook Groups in Korea

Living abroad and navigating life in a new country and culture comes with its own set of challenges. Who is the best English-speaking doctor in your area? Where is the best place to buy new furniture? What nightlife events are happening this weekend? Fortunately, Facebook groups are a great resource for teachers in Korea looking for support, advice, and community. In this blog post, I will highlight some Facebook groups that I joined when I moved to Korea.

With nearly 100 thousand members, this is the go to Facebook group for navigating life in Korea. If you need advice on anything from finding the best deals on concert tickets to which ATM to use to avoid withdrawal fees, this group has you covered. Community members post and respond to questions daily. I joined this group the week I moved to Korea and have used it several times. This group helped me find a Korean tutor and I even found people that were going to the same EDM festival to meet up!

 

Don’t let the grammatically incorrect group name fool you! This is the biggest and best Facebook group for buying and selling items while living in Korea. You can find advertisements for people reselling phones, bikes, clothing, computers, and even cars. I recently purchased an Apple watch secondhand from this group and had an excellent experience communicating with the seller. Once they posted the item in the mail and sent me a picture of the proof of shipping, I transferred the funds directly to their account and my watch arrived the same day.

 

Korea has some of the world’s best tattoo artists and new studios are opening all the time. If you’re looking to commemorate your time living and teaching in Korea or just want to indulge your creativity and self-expression, check out this group for tattoo artist recommendations. You can also find detailed  information about where to get a specific style of tattoo. The thing I like most about this group is that shops will post promotions so you can make sure you get the best possible rates for your new ink.

This Facebook group is one of the best places to find delicious places to eat across Seoul. From the best street food stalls to Michelin star dining experiences, this group has recommendations for all types of cuisine. Since the group comprises mainly of foreigners, this is a great way to find the best Western and International restaurants in your area. Once you request to join the group, you’ll have access to posts about new and upcoming restaurants and the staple must-eat locations. If you’re a foodie then this is the group for you!

 

Facebook group restaurant buzz seoul highlighting Five guys restaurant

Joining Facebook groups tailored to foreigners in Korea has helped me to transition more smoothly and improved my experience overall. From finding practical advice to making new social connections, Facebook groups offer a supportive community that will make your time in Korea that much better.

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. 

Sending Money Home From Korea

Overseas Remittance

A huge concern some people have before moving abroad is finances. A major question I had was how I would get money to my bank account in the States. There are a couple of different ways you can send money home, regardless of your home country. First, you can do an overseas remittance at your bank. If this option isn’t ideal for you, you can also download a 3rd party app that will allow you to send money abroad. In this guide, you’ll find helpful tips and tricks for navigating both methods when sending money home.

 

Cell phone showing banking app of Wooribank in Korea

Using Your Korean Bank

In order to send money home directly from your Korean bank account, you’ll need to go in person to your bank. Most banks in Seoul and major cities have bank tellers who speak English, but I recommend asking a Korean friend to come with you if you’re in a small town. Once the remittance account is set up, you can easily send money home this way. There are really only two negatives to going directly through your Korean bank: First, there’s usually a fee associated with each transfer (I’ve seen anywhere between 8,000-20,000 won, which is about $6-15 USD). Second, it usually takes 1-2 days for the money to appear in your U.S. bank account. However, once you have it set up, this option is easy and can be done from your regular banking app!

Below are the basics of what information you need to have on hand when setting up a remittance account with your Korean bank. Most of the information for my bank account in the U.S. is easily accessible on my bank’s app, so look there first if you’re unsure about some of this information!

What you’ll need to give your Korean bank:

  • Your name
  • Address in Korea
  • Phone number in Korea
  • The recipient’s name
  • The recipient’s address
  • Their phone number
  • The international bank name
  • The bank address
  • The bank code
  • The account number

Apps For Sending Money

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of physically going into your bank in Korea to set up a remittance account, you can use an app for sending money home. After asking my friends who have used this option, there seem to be a few pros to this method: First, depending on the app you use, the fees associated with the transaction can be lower. Second, you can potentially get the money in your home bank account faster than by going through your Korean bank. Even if you initially set up overseas remittance with your bank, one of these apps is good to have on hand in case there is an emergency!

For most of these apps, you’ll need similar information to what your Korean bank will require for an overseas remittance. Some might differ or require more, but the setup process can be done entirely from the comfort of your phone. No in-person conversations necessary!

 

Below are a few options for apps that allow you to send money overseas:

  • WireBarley: One of my closest friends here in Seoul uses WireBarley, and she can personally vouch for how user-friendly it is. Plus, she says this is a great option for people looking to avoid expensive fees!
  • Wise: If you need to send money to Korea rather than to your home country, I’ve heard this is a particularly good app to do it with. Wise is also another great option if you’re worried about fees.
  • SentBe: SentBe is another popular app for sending money overseas! Just be careful with this one. Although it’s fast and reliable, it also has a transaction limit for a single transfer.

It’s been amazing getting to travel the world and earn money doing a job I love. There’s no reason you won’t be able to save money each month when you live in Korea. Knowing I have plenty of options for sending money home has given me such peace of mind. I hope this article helps you have a better idea of how you’ll send money home, so you can focus more on the life-changing adventure ahead of you!

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. 

Types Of English Teaching Jobs In Korea

English Education In South Korea

Considering how largely education is valued in South Korea, it comes with no surprise that it’s become a central hub for many current and aspiring educators. There are many different types of English teaching jobs in Korea. Below are a few pros and cons to consider when thinking about teaching in the peninsula.

 

Public Schools

A native English language teacher in a classroom for EPIK

Pro:

The English Program in Korea (also known as EPIK) is the best way to get your foot into Korea’s public school system. EPIK offers some flexibility regarding curriculum and teaching methods, as they typically cater to bigger class sizes. 

Con:

There’s some limitations regarding location preferences—one could end up in a very rural area. It’s common for one instructor to be assigned to each school so there will likely not be any foreign colleagues. Also, the pay may be less competitive—as pay caps within the public school system are precisely set.

 

Private Academies (Hagwons)

Pro:

For those preferring a more lucrative salary, hagwons or private academies might be the better route—as private academies tend to have more structured curriculums that allow educators to engage closely with students or on a more individualized level. The plus side of working in the afternoons frees up time in the morning for personal activities.

Con:

As hagwons are prominent nationwide, different reputations may vary—especially within the small, privately owned academies.

 

A group of English language teachers posing with awards in South Korea

International Schools

Pro:

International schools cater to a diverse student body including both local and expatriate learners. There might be some reassurance with the familiarities of teaching a Western curriculum.

Con:

Since they follow international curricula such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), international schools only hire certified teachers.

 

Universities

Pro:

For those with a masters or a doctorate, teaching positions at universities might be an option. These roles often involve conducting specific research topics alongside teaching responsibilities. It is a combination of contributing to the academic community while enjoying a higher level of autonomy in the classroom.

Con:

University positions tend to be extremely competitive—many require, at the very least, a master’s degree in a specialized field.

 

South Korea’s vibrant education landscape offers a multitude of teaching positions to suit various preferences and skill sets. Whether you’re drawn to the flexibility of public schools, the structure of hagwons, the global environment of international schools, or the academic rigor of universities, there’s a teaching role in South Korea waiting to be embraced. If you want help navigating the different types of teaching jobs in Korea, apply to Aclipse now!

Joe Achacoso first embarked on his ESL journey in 2010 to satiate his longing desire for travel. An opportunity intended to be a 1-year contract turned into a 10-year tenure—as an English teacher, faculty manager, instructor trainer and curriculum developer. His adventures in global education continued with a master’s, and it came full circle when he joined Aclipse’s recruiting team—hoping to help the like-minded achieve the same transformative experience!