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Created: 07 April 2002   Last Edited: 21 September 2003

Teaching and Living in Korea

"Once you ride upon the tiger, you can never get off..."

What's This Website All About?

BoRaeAm mountaintop temple, Namhae-Do

Welcome to the Teaching and Living in Korea website. This is one man's humble attempt at trying to make some sense out of finding teaching jobs and preparing for life (and culture shock) in Korea. It is also my first crack at website design, so there may be broken links or other mistakes here and there. Any further advice, suggestions, links, questions, criticisms, comments, and complaints from you are welcome.

Primarily, I wanted to create an on-line resourse for people who are thinking about going to Korea to teach. The forums at Dave's ESL Cafe and both provide a valuable service where people can ask questions and, hopefully, get good advice from people in the know, but the transient nature of the discussion forums got me thinking that it would be helpful to have a more permanent on-line website where commonly asked questions and issues could be addressed. To that end, I have created a few pages which will hopefully provide some information to those in need, to educate people as to what kinds of questions they should ask of their prospective employers, and to help people get the most out of their expatriate (ex-pat) experience.

Who is This Website For?

It's for the newbies, the rookies, and the Korea-wanna-be's. It's for the people who don't know yet what they need to know. It's for people who don't know how to get started looking for jobs in Korea. If you're a vet, you probably won't find too much practical information here for you, but feel free to walk around the grounds and let me know if there's anything I've missed or gotten wrong.

And Just Who Are You, Anyway?

I'm really just a guy who had too much time on his hands and was looking for a way to share some of my experiences and thoughts on Korea to anyone willing to listen. After working in Korea for two years during 1999 - 2001, I went home to Canada to find the job market not as exciting nor as accessible as promised during my university years. Eventually I decided that returning to Korea was probably in my best interests for the moment, so I made some calls and started packing. I returned at the end of August of 2002, and have no regrets (aside from not being here during the World Cup, that is...)

I have tried to be as neutral as possible, so you will not find any blacklists or whitelists here (the people at the aforementioned forums can refer you to those if you wish). I am not here to tell you that Hagwon X is any better or any worse than Hagwon Y. I am not a recruiter, nor do I have any personal experience with recruiters; thus I will not be recommending nor speaking out against any schools or recruiters by name - it's up to you to do your own homework (see the Research page).

This website is merely designed to give you the ammunition you need to get out there and start hunting for jobs effectively, and to help you make the decisions that are right for you.

The advice given here comes from many sources: from advice I received from others who were kind enough to share; from my own personal experiences, and from observing and sharing in the experiences of people with whom I both worked and played.

Going to Korea can be a risky proposition. Despite however carefully you plan and prepare, despite all the research that you do, despite however many questions you ask, and despite contacting schools and teachers personally - there is still a chance that you may end up in a bad situation. You can, however, minimize that risk, and that really is the purpose of all these pages.

There ARE good schools (hagwons) out there to work for, but you'll have to do some research to find them. But before you jump headfirst into the job hunt, you should probably start at the beginning.

(Vegetarians and people with food allergies are urged to check out the tips page.)


TALIK home   Getting Started   How Do I Go About the Job Search?   Housing: What Can I Expect?
What Do I Need To Know About My School?   Where Do I Want to Live?   What is Life in Korea REALLY Like?
Canadians and Taxes   Random Musings & Other Tips   More Pictures

Helpful Links

Dave's ESL Cafe Satisfy your ESL hunger. Still need more ESL in your life?
Korean National Tourism Organisation The name says it all.
On-Line Currency Exchange Calculator How much are you REALLY making?
Korea Net An english guide to goings-on in Korea, with with many valuable links. (Government-sponsored)
Korean Ministry of Labour Find the "Labour Standards Act" (among other things) here.
The Korea Times and The Korea Herald English language newspapers.
Seoul Culture & Tourism Things to see and do in Seoul.
Life in Korea "Everything You Need" (or close to it).

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Contact the TALIK webmaster!


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I am not a recruiter, nor do I receive any funds for this website. I do not recommend institutions by name, I do not offer personal references, nor do I receive any kind of bonuses or renumeration for any services rendered.