Taking a Child or Spouse to Korea
Generally speaking, Korean employers view candidates who have dependents (non-working spouse and/or children) as high risk. We apologize for the discouraging news but as recruiters we can only present schools and programs with applicants to consider; it’s the Korean employers and hiring managers who make the actual job offers. Note: We’re not saying it’s impossible to find employment in Korea if you have dependents; it’s just difficult when you’re competing against many other applicants who are applying as individuals – which schools tend to prefer.
Private schools tend to view people that are coming with non-working family members as ‘high risk’ because they’re always worried that if your spouse or child can’t adjust to Korean culture, get sick, can’t find suitable education facilities, etc. then chances are you’ll leave the country before your contract term has been completed. Therefore, when a private school has the choice between an individual teacher, or someone with dependents, they usually choose the individual. Furthermore, most schools have housing contracts for ‘studio style’ apartments which aren’t suitable for families.
Public schools allow teachers with dependents to apply but they will need a signed ‘Statement of Intent’ before a job offer is presented. The statement of intent requires applicants to state what their dependent(s) plan on doing for the full year; what your spouse will do if he/she isn’t working, where and how your children will continue their education, etc. Accommodations are also problematic because public schools do not offer housing assistance for families, therefore, candidates would need to find suitable housing on their own.
Can my children attend the school I will be working at?
In most cases this scenario isn’t possible unless the teacher is working at an international school that’s willing to offer free enrollment. Public schools teach all subjects in Korean (aside from their English class) and foreigners are not allowed to attend these schools unless they’re registered citizens or have the proper type of visa which is very hard to obtain if you’re only on a 12 month E2 visa. Private schools on the other hand are essentially English language institutes; meaning, they don’t teach math, science, geography, etc. so your child wouldn’t receive the education they require.
It’s usually quite difficult for our coordinators to find suitable placements for applicants with dependents. We do our best to accommodate people when we can but the final decisions ultimately come from the schools so our influence is limited. If you plan on bringing dependents to Korea then we advise contacting multiple recruiting agents in order to maximize your chances.