Common Seoul Questions
There are new full-time positions available all year long. However, February/March and August/September are the two peak hiring periods, commonly described as the spring and fall hiring sessions. As you’ve probably guessed, these hiring periods are aligned with the school semesters.
There isn’t a yes or no answer to this question, what you do or don’t need really depends on the job you want to pursue (public or private) and your other teaching credentials, or lack thereof. Having a TEFL certification that consists of 120 course hours or greater, is mandatory for all public school jobs; unless you have an education major or valid teaching license. Being TEFL certified is not mandatory for private school jobs, although it’s definitely worth having on your resume because Korean schools take it into consideration when they’re reviewing applicants. In short, having a TEFL certification will make your application more competitive. If you’re thinking about get your TEFL then we recommend TEFL Source – it’s a comparison site where you can find lots of accredited courses with competitive enrollment prices.
Because of tuition laws, teacher salaries in Seoul are comparable to salaries in other parts of the country. Teachers with no formal teaching experience can expect to make somewhere between 2.0 – 2.3 million KRW a month for 110 – 120 hours of classroom teaching. Education majors and licensed teachers can expect to make a little more, typically in the 2.3 – 2.7 million KRW a month range. There are some jobs that pay 2.8 and higher, but it’s not very common.
Seoul proper, is it’s own independent city and the capital of Korea. The Seoul metropolitan area, also known as the Capital Region, Greater Seoul or Gyeonggi, is the urban area surrounding Seoul. The Seoul metropolitan area constitutes all the satellite cities on the outskirts of Seoul such as Suwon, Ansan, Anyang, Bucheon, Bundang, Ilsan, Suji, and Yongin. When combined, this area has an astounding population of more than 25 million people, making it one of largest and most densely populated urban areas on the planet.
This obviously depends on your preferences, both options have their positives and negatives. Seoul is definitely more entertaining although it’s also more expensive, more polluted and extremely crowded.
If you speak to people who live downtown then they’ll likely tell you it’s the place to be. Likewise, if you speak to people living in the satellite cities they’ll likely tell you it’s better to live there and travel downtown by subway when needed. Either way, both locations offer an exciting teaching experience in one of the world’s most amazing urban areas. It’s worth noting that the entire Seoul Metropolitan Area is connected by the Seoul Metro Subway System and traveling between districts is simple and painless.
Competition in the greater Seoul region is less competitive than the central area. If you request central Seoul, but we’re unable to help, then considering options in the metropolitan area is an excellent alternative.