How to Get a Job Teaching English in Korea

I know from experience that when you first start thinking about coming to Korea to teach English, it can be a bit overwhelming and confusing.  Watching all the videos, reading all the blogs builds up the anticipation and excitement of this endeavor.  On top of all that, there is a huge void of how to really get started, what you need to do, when to do it – basically how to get the job teaching in Korea.

I honestly think that I would hold the title for having watched the most videos and read the most blogs during the whole time from when I decided to when I actually got here.  When I arrived I started blogging and vlogging and I received many questions about the application process and what to expect through it all.  I made a few videos and responded to many emails to try and answer questions as they came in, but I couldn’t really answer them all.  I finally decided to do this video detailing the process from start to finish, explaining the required documentation and how to get it.  It’s very cut and dried.  I don’t overly detail everything, it’s more of an outline and a timeline for the process of getting the job.  It could be a whole lot longer for sure if each point was discussed, but that wouldn’t be useful.  Each experience will be different, but everyone still needs the same documents.

When preparing for this video, I made an outline of the process based on both my experience and the information contained in my application packet from my recruiter.  I’ve inserted the outline below for your reference.  I really hope it’s helpful to anyone interested in getting a job to teach English in Korea.

How to Get a Job Teaching English in Korea

1.       Decide you want to go to Korea to teach English
2.       Contact a Recruiter.
a.       Use sites such as:
                                                               i.      Dave’s ESL
                                                             ii.      Waygook
                                                            iii.      Koreabridge
3.       Immediately begin obtaining the following documents:
a.       CRC (Criminal Record Check)
b.      College transcripts (3 copies)
c.       Passport, photos, fingerprints (at City Hall)
d.      IRS Residency Verification (for tax exemption)
e.      Contact 2-3 references and create templates for them to complete and sign
4.       Complete application documents (including but not limited to summary forms, evaluation forms, couples, with kids, etc.)
5.       Submit following documents electronically to qualify for an interview:
a.       Application (including personal essay and personal medical assessment)
b.      Electronic photo attached to application
c.       Electronic/scanned reference letters
d.      Scanned copy of passport
6.       Interview with EPIK via phone or webcam (Skype)
7.       While the above are taking place, notarize and send CRC and a copy of diploma to state for apostille
8.       Create document package (documents listed below) and make copies.  Mail to recruiter for verification before they are sent to EPIK.
***NOTE: Make 2 copies of all documents except for college transcript (originals and 1 copy go to EPIK, 1 copy goes to recruiter)
a.       Completed application with photo attached
b.      Medical assessment
c.       Personal essay
d.      Photocopy of passport
e.      Apostilled CRC
f.        Apostilled copy of diploma
g.       Official college transcripts
h.      2 signed letters of recommendation (originals)
i.         Photocopy of TESOL certification, if applicable
j.        Photocopy of Master’s diploma (no apostille req’d), if applicable
k.       Master’s degree transcript, if applicable
l.         Photocopy of teacher’s license/certification (not TESOL), if applicable
9.       Payment for mailing document packages to EPIK (approximately $70-80 USD) – these are sent to EPIK by the recruiter
10.   EPIK verifies the documentation
11.   EPIK sends you Notice of Appointment (NOA) and contract
12.   Apply for E-2 visa
13.   Make flight arrangements (will be reimbursed once you arrive in Korea)
14.   Arrive for orientation
15.   Have fun in Korea like me!


  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Can you please let us know exactly which IRS form you used to claim the IRS Residency Verfication or can you explain this — how it works. I'm applying now and having looked online, I see many different forms that might apply to this situation after googling it. Thanks.

  2. I love you site and you tube videos! However, I have a question, I am in the process of applying for jobs, but I am curious about the TAX part. If I plan to teach longer than a year in Korea, am I expected to pay taxes in Korea and in the US?


    • Thank you. For US citizens, you are exempt from paying taxes in both Korea and the US. You will, however, need to file a tax form in the US each year even though you won’t be paying taxes.

  3. Hi, my husband and I are very interested in working in Korea as ESL teachers. But I think our situation might be a little unique.

    I have a 4 year bachelors degree while my husband only has some college courses under his belt. The twist is that he is half-Korean and has heard from his Korean mother that it is possible to teach english in Korea without a degree. It might be entirely possible that her information is outdated, but would it be possible if he acquired a TESOL certificate and applied to work at a private school, he would be considered?

    • Hi. Things are really changing rapidly not only in Korea but in ESL around the world. Quickly vanishing are the days where one could teach without a degree. At least, teach in a legitimate capacity. Korea is particularly stringent about this. My advice would be to be very careful of anyone looking to hire without a degree because it is actually against the law. That is, to receive a visa for teaching it is my understanding that a bachelor’s degree is mandatory. You can look into it some more, but your best bet is to knock out the degree first so you’ll have smooth sailing.

  4. Avatar Yvonne C says:

    Just wondering, I have a Bachelor’s degree in English and a specialization in Professional Writing. I would like to get either a TEFL or a TESOL but I’m now sure about the difference or if one if valued more over the other. Are there any places you would recommend getting either certification?

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