Korean English Teachers Question

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by O'Higgins, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. O'Higgins

    O'Higgins Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    My son who is a recent college grad has decided to teach in Korea for a year rather than immediately go to law school.
    What advice can you give him? He is pretty excited about the experience, and if I was 22 and single, I would go too.
     


  2. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

    Messages:
    14,457
    Likes Received:
    4,790
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    The Temple of Jawnz
    My son who is a recent college grad has decided to teach in Korea for a year rather than immediately go to law school.
    What advice can you give him? He is pretty excited about the experience, and if I was 22 and single, I would go too.


    huge can of worms. Can be somewhat pleasant, it can be a nightmare; it really depends on who you are, what you do, and where you do it. Most who do it, IME and IMHO, have no left here any better for it.
     


  3. nahneun

    nahneun Uncle Nephew

    Messages:
    8,392
    Likes Received:
    8,547
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    No one teaches English believing that it'll be a great resume booster (if they do, they're retarded). It's basically a year of making enough money to go around playing like a Korean: lots of drinking, clubbing, eating street vendor food, singing at karaoke, repeat ad nauseum. Some people dig that, others hate it. Basically, your son is going to Korea to play while sustaining himself with a half-decent job (decent in that it pays reasonably well if you are getting board + airfare, but the workload itself sucks for the amount you earn). You shouldn't expect any more than that.
     


  4. vaalbara

    vaalbara Senior member

    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    171
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    DC
    iirc this is what aeglus does. couldn't hurt to send him a pm about it.
     


  5. Pantisocrat

    Pantisocrat Senior member

    Messages:
    1,772
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Location:
    √Čtats-Unis
    I think living conditions are better in the Middle East or Latin America for the salary. Korea as a market is so inundated with English teachers that 1. your son will be treated like shit 2. he will barely have enough savings to come back to the states 3. it does nothing for law school, unless he happens to work for a reputable non-profit there, but Korea is not considered a third-world country. I taught English in Guatemala for one summer and I received more than enough "material" about poverty and diseases than I would have in any developed country when it comes time for those grad school essays.
     


  6. bck

    bck Senior member

    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    No one teaches English believing that it'll be a great resume booster (if they do, they're retarded). It's basically a year of making enough money to go around playing like a Korean: lots of drinking, clubbing, eating street vendor food, singing at karaoke, repeat ad nauseum. Some people dig that, others hate it. Basically, your son is going to Korea to play while sustaining himself with a half-decent job (decent in that it pays reasonably well if you are getting board + airfare, but the workload itself sucks for the amount you earn). You shouldn't expect any more than that.

    To the contrary, I've heard that the workload is very manageable (or close to being nonexistent), especially if you're teaching English to younger children. I know for a fact that most foreigners who teach English in Korea would NOT be certified to teach in English-speaking nations. Tells you a lot about the kind of work they do. TBH, all of the posters so far have been really negative and haven't given any real advice. They most likely have no idea WTF they're talking about. I also suggest that you try pming aeglus.

    One solid advice I can give your son is to get in touch with other Americans who are already teaching in Korea. He might as well start looking up contacts before he even departs for Korea. I know that a lot of foreigners sometimes get lonely and have a hard time adjusting to the completely different environment.

    One interesting video I dug up:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxizb...el_video_title

    Basically, there are a lot of people like this. If you look them up, you'll find them either thru youtube channels, blogs, etc. If I were you or your son, I would seek advice from those who've already experienced the whole shebang.
     


  7. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Likes Received:
    98
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    My view:

    For one year, it's acceptable thought it wouldn't be my first choice if I was him. Any longer than one year and it turns into a monumental waste of time and energy.

    If your kid is just looking to let loose for a year, he should work for 4 months and then travel for 8. If he's looking to do something productive, he should volunteer. TESLing is the worst of both worlds, in my opinion. Your workload is big enough that you don't have much time to travel but the work isn't substantial enough to look good on a resume. Having known several kids who TESLed abroad it has always seemed like a waste of what could have been a very productive year.
     


  8. nahneun

    nahneun Uncle Nephew

    Messages:
    8,392
    Likes Received:
    8,547
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    To the contrary, I've heard that the workload is very manageable (or close to being nonexistent), especially if you're teaching English to younger children. I know for a fact that most foreigners who teach English in Korea would NOT be certified to teach in English-speaking nations. Tells you a lot about the kind of work they do. TBH, all of the posters so far have been really negative and haven't given any real advice. They most likely have no idea WTF they're talking about. I also suggest that you try pming aeglus.

    One solid advice I can give your son is to get in touch with other Americans who are already teaching in Korea. He might as well start looking up contacts before he even departs for Korea. I know that a lot of foreigners sometimes get lonely and have a hard time adjusting to the completely different environment.

    One interesting video I dug up:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxizb...el_video_title

    Basically, there are a lot of people like this. If you look them up, you'll find them either thru youtube channels, blogs, etc. If I were you or your son, I would seek advice from those who've already experienced the whole shebang.


    And I will tell you that you are wrong and you are not speaking from experience. If he's going for the summer, he'll end up teaching middle/high school kids, where the work hours are the most intense. I've already done it for a summer and while the workload itself isn't heavy (it's fucking SAT level shit. not exactly what you'd call difficult, given the intelligence of the average American), the hours are. If you are being paid by the hour, you are only paid for the hours you teach, though you have to stay longer to grade and to hold office hours or parent-teacher conferences. I've had to go in at 7:30 AM even though I started teaching at 10, and though my classes ended at 3, I had to stay until 6. Because of lunch breaks, I ended up being paid for a total of about 4 hours per day. As for teaching little kids, that's probably no longer an option because it's likely that the prep schools have already recruited the teachers for that earlier in the year (plus the pay is worse).
     


  9. yjeezle

    yjeezle Senior member

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    My view:

    For one year, it's acceptable thought it wouldn't be my first choice if I was him. Any longer than one year and it turns into a monumental waste of time and energy.

    If your kid is just looking to let loose for a year, he should work for 4 months and then travel for 8. If he's looking to do something productive, he should volunteer. TESLing is the worst of both worlds, in my opinion. Your workload is big enough that you don't have much time to travel but the work isn't substantial enough to look good on a resume. Having known several kids who TESLed abroad it has always seemed like a waste of what could have been a very productive year.


    truth. not to build on the negativity but i have a few friends who did a similar program (to avoid the recession); they still don't have jobs.
     


  10. Benzito

    Benzito Senior member

    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Lake Oswego, Oregon
    If it gives your son an extra year to re-think law school, this is a win. There might be something to be said about taking a "gap" year to get the experience of a job (not for resume building, but to get in the groove of getting up, showing up on time, meeting a deadline, etc.).

    Coming from a lawyer who passed up a change to teach English in Prague between college and law school. Now I'm too fucking old. [​IMG]
     


  11. kimchikowboy

    kimchikowboy Senior member

    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    My son who is a recent college grad has decided to teach in Korea for a year rather than immediately go to law school.
    What advice can you give him? He is pretty excited about the experience, and if I was 22 and single, I would go too.


    He should do his research first. Check the teachers' boards (Dave's ESL Cafe, Waygook.org). Another possibility is to teach camps (summer or winter). Some schools fly you here and put you up for the duration, though for summer camps the time is short. Jobs can be found at Dave's, Englishspectrum, Craigslist Seoul, Worknplay, and Korean Jobpot, among others. Also, he can register with recruiters (the more, the better).
    If he wants to come for a year, he may be better off in a public school (EPIK, GEPIK programs) than at a cram school (hagwon). Also, he should begin getting his paperwork in order (transcripts, police checks, consulate interview). Details can be found through a search of the job forums.
    Finally, before he accepts a job, he should be sure to talk to some of the teachers already there.
    You can PM me if you like. I've been in Daegu for going on 10 years, and nearly four years in South America before that. Good luck to him.
     


  12. kimchikowboy

    kimchikowboy Senior member

    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    He may also want to consider an internship. He can search indeed.com (the Korean version). This would look better on a resume.
    Finally, the Korean government subsidizes foreign students here, so he could also do a year in uni or grad school. If he is going to law school, he should be able to research any/all of these options.
     


  13. lefty02guns

    lefty02guns Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    He'll either love it or hate it. Most people fall in the latter category and just suffer through their year in Korea. Like the other posters have mentioned, he should expect a heavy work load. The jobs people get in their first year in Korea tend to be horrible places.
     


  14. Eason

    Eason Bicurious Racist

    Messages:
    14,669
    Likes Received:
    1,901
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    Bangkok
    For me, I used my experience in Korea to boost my CV by running my own school part-time while I worked full-time with EPIK. However, it was actually China that helped me get my current gig (Lecturer/Program Manager at a community college in Hong Kong). China is an Orwellian cesspool, but you will get opportunities there you won't get in Korea (experience teaching at universities, which, once you get a masters, will help you get university jobs in real countries), and here's why:

    Korean schools are mostly just interested in hiring the lowest-common denominator so they can pay the least. Most job ads are like this: "Do you have a Bachelor's degree? COME ON OVER!" They don't even require a TEFL, it's shameful. Then there are the University jobs, which want a terminal degree (MATESOL/Applied Linguistics or PhD Eng/Lit) and 5+ years of experience w/ publications. There's basically nothing in between, so if you stay there for more than a year you'll likely find yourself in a professional dead-zone.

    Bottom line: If you want to make money and have a good time for a year, then it's a fun experience (as long as you don't join a slavery ring). If you're interested in being a ESL teacher in the USA/abroad, then it's a good place to get started (but not remain). If you want something that's valuable non-teaching work experience or a way to make good connections, then it's the complete wrong choice.

    FYI, he should probably do a government regulated program. He'll have a co-teacher and 9-4:30 hours M-F, with nothing but free time from 2pm or so.
     


  15. ThatGuy

    ThatGuy Senior member

    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Is your son good with girls at home?

    If not, he's not going to return to do law.

    He will be worshipped and won't be able to recalibrate his new found Royalty status if he returns... making it hard for him to assimilate back into US society.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by