Applying as joint applicants (husband & wife, boyfriend & girlfriend, or friends) is possible but coordinating jobs can be challenging when two people have very specific requests for locations, starting dates, age groups, etc.
A joint application refers to two or more people who plan on teaching together. For information on dependents (bringing someone else to Korea who won’t be working) please visit our taking dependents page.
The Korean Education Offices have a two-pronged policy for couples and friends. The first part of the policy is for legally married couples who can verify their relationship with a valid marriage license or certificate. Married couples can request shared housing in many locations across Korea, but there’s a limit on how many couples each Education Office is willing to accommodate so applying early is paramount.
Worth mentioning: The Education Offices only hire one western teacher per school; therefore, married couples are living together but working at separate schools. The schools are usually in the same area, although short commutes aren’t uncommon. Unfortunately, common law partnerships do not qualify for the same benefits as legally married couples.
The second part of the joint application policy is for couples who are not legally married, or people who apply with a friend. Assuming both candidates pass the initial interview stage, it’s possible to secure separate jobs and apartments in the same city or region. To be clear, the Education Offices will not offer shared accommodations to friends or couples.
Worth mentioning: The Education Offices will only go out of their way to accommodate a small number of non-married joint applicants each semester. As a result, it’s best for friends and couples to begin the application process early.
Private schools don’t have a coordinated policy for couples and friends (it’s at the discretion of individual schools to accommodate joints applicants). It’s fair to say a large portion of private schools are reluctant to offer shared housing and jobs to friends and couples. Reason being is because of the added risk involved. For example, if one person doesn’t like the job, country, culture, gets sick, has a family emergency back home, etc. and decides to leave early, there’s a strong chance the other person will leave early as well, leaving the school with the burden of replacing 2 teachers in the middle of the semester instead of one.
That being said, there are a decent number of private schools who can accommodate joint applicants. Likewise, the Gone2Korea team does their best to help as many joint applications as possible.
Worth mentioning: Couples are usually easier to accommodate than friends and 2 female joint applicants are typically easier to place than 2 male joint applicants.
This scenario’s possible but can be rather hard to arrange for several reasons. Firstly, separate schools usually aren’t willing to collectively invest in a shared apartment because there’s too much risk and work involved (additional contracts would be necessary, co-pay agreements need to be set up and so forth). Secondly, most Korean apartments are leased on 2-year terms and schools don’t want to get stuck with a two-person apartment (that has a shared leasing agreement with another school) in the second year, unless they plan on hiring another couple again.
This scenario’s possible with certain private school programs.
The reason why this option isn’t widely available is because most schools are stuck in long term leasing agreements with the realtors they rent from. As you can imagine, schools aren’t going to leave the apartments vacant for a year while simultaneously paying teachers a monthly housing allowance.
Just to be clear, we do our best to accommodate as many joint applicants as possible each semester! The best advice for friends and couples who are interested in experiencing Korea together ~ apply early 🙂