What’s Next: After Getting a Job Offer to Teach in South Korea

Programs for this blog post

Teach In South Korea Program

Authored By:

Kyleah P.

YAYYY!! Congratulations! You got the job! I hope it is everything you hope for with shorter working hours, nice vacation time, decent pay, a nice apartment, and so much more! 


Well, now that we have celebrated a bit…time to get serious :| What’s next? 

What’s your plan? Do you have one? 

If you don’t, have no fear! I have been through this process before and I have some tips, advice, and good news to share with you!



So, you did your interviews and you got a job offer, now it is time to get your ducks in a row. First, you must accept your school’s offer and get all of your important documents ready to roll. The process may change in coming years and therefore the documents may also change so, just keep a close tabs on which documents you will need to complete your E-2 VISA process. Some of these documents may look like your bachelor's degree, a background check and identification documents like passports, SSN cards and birth certificates. 

When all of your pre-prep is complete based on a checklist for your specific process, you will be able to apply for  your VISA. VISA processes vary when it comes to wait time so do not stress too much during this waiting period.  


Preparations pt.2 

After you send off your VISA application, you can start working on your flight arrangements. Some private schools offer to book the flight for you while others allow you to do so yourself. If your school chooses the latter, usually there is a limit to how much they reimburse you for the flight. This should be written in your contract so you have an estimate of how much you will be reimbursed. Once you get your flight squared away and receive all of your documents back, then you’re free to sit back, relax and await the arrival of your departure day. 

Well, almost relax... Everyone's favorite part is next with packing your life away into two suitcases that will hopefully last you the full year or more if you decide to stay. (Be sure to leave space for any future purchases.) 


TEFL certification 

While you wait for that glorious day to arrive, you will be getting TEFL certified. CIEE helps you in the teaching abroad process by providing a quality TEFL program. This program lasts about 2 months and gives you 150 hours of experience. My program experience was online using the Canvas program. There were weekly meetings you could attend and if you attended most or all you were able to pass the course with basically honors. 

There were multiple modules with videos, chat rooms, and homework assignments to help the information stick. The modules were informative and not too long. The chats and discussion rooms were helpful because you could communicate with the other people in the course and see all of the different perspectives and approaches to different scenarios in the classroom. The homework assignment, which was basically creating your own lesson plans, was also helpful because you could see how others were setting up their classes and receive feedback from your peers. This was particularly helpful for me since I was fresh out of college with very little experience in education, but my peers were mostly experienced. 

After the course’s end, you have to complete a practicum at a school in your hometown. You can complete this at a school, community center, local library etc.  Some Korean private schools allow you to complete it at your school in South Korea, which is very helpful, but be sure to double check before making your decision. 

Now, I have been teaching abroad in South Korea for almost 2 years... I would say the TEFL program that the CIEE offers was a lot. I ended up not necessarily using most of what I learned in the course. However, I am grateful for the course because although I was not using what I learned… What I learned helped me adjust quickly and also allowed me to think better on my feet. In Korea, a lot of private schools change their minds the day before or the day of some events or special days. This can be stressful for a newcomer or inexperienced teacher. When I first arrived this happened to me often, where my co-teachers would change the plan 5 minutes before class. However, it was easier for me to change the lesson plan in my head because of what I learned in the TEFL course. I had games and warm-up activities on reserve which saved me many times. 


How CIEE helps

  • CIEE does not just help by providing you with a TEFL course. Although that is one of the main perks. 
  • CIEE also provides you with a free FEDEX label for shipping your documents abroad to South Korea for your VISA. 
  • They also provide you with a checklist and email updates about taking your next steps while you complete the pre- VISA process and the VISA application process. 
  • CIEE helps you communicate with your school with any questions or concerns you may have. 
  • They also help find and set up school interviews with vetted academies from CIEE Alumni. 
  • CIEE also helps with your flight arrangements if you want or need any. 
  • They also provide information on how to navigate from the airport to your accommodation. 
  • CIEE also offers an in-country event where you can meet other CIEE teachers that are currently in the country. This is nice because it is paid for by CIEE and it is a good way to get advice from people who have been through what you are about to go through. 
  • They also try their best to help with any issues that may arise with your school while in the country. 
  • CIEE also has hired ambassadors (like me!)  along with staff who can answer any of your questions or concerns about everyday living, red flags, green flags, best places to visit, food to try, finding a new job, etc. So feel free to reach out on the CIEE’s official email(teach@ciee.org) and social media handles as well as the ambassador’s personal ones :)



Now, I know that was a lot of information to throw at you all at one time, but for future reference the CIEE team follows you along on your journey and provides you with updates along the way as you complete each step. They also check in on your progress to make sure you complete the process fully and are able to make it to South Korea. 

However, for the sake of this blog, let me recap everything that I shared with you. 

1. Prepare your documents for the VISA and make copies!

2. VISA Time! Apply to your Korean consulate with your visa issuance number and all the documents you may need 

3. Book your flight and start packing 

4. Get TEFL certified by completing a 150 hour course and complete a practicum at a facility near you or check to see if you can wait until you arrive in South Korea. 

I hope this was helpful and allowed you to organize the process in your mind, easing some worries that arise when planning to make a big life change like moving abroad. Again if you need any assistance or help with your application or any questions or concerns, be sure to reach out to CIEE and take advantage of the ambassadors and the CIEE alumni :)  We have all most likely been in your shoes, even if your situation is unique I am sure at least one person in the community has been in at least a similar spot and can help you with some part of the situation. The process can be a little overwhelming, but one of the pros of going through CIEE is that you’re not alone in the process.