Proven search strategies to find an ESL teaching job in South Korea

Teaching English in South Korea is a great way to travel and gain some experience, save money, pay off debts and see a different part of the world. Most of us already have a friend or relative who has, or is currently, teaching English in South Korea. So, what’s the best way to get one of these jobs? There are a ton of ways, many good, some better, a few not recommended. This article will outline 10 common ways to go about find a job teaching English in Korea.

1. Get in touch with a Recruiting Company

A search for ESL recruiting companies for Korea will reveal that there is no shortage of organizations willing place you in a job. Most of the ones you will find will likely be able to meet your needs. Some cautions include that for Korea ESL jobs, you should not be paying the recruiter a fee for its services. Recruiters are paid by the school once they place you, if they want to charge you a fee, you may be better off to keep looking as there are many recruiters and the majority will not try to charge you any fees.

You certainly don’t need a recruiter, but why not? It costs you nothing and you get someone else’s expertise and experience to help you along the way. Here are two recruiter / recruiter related sites below. assists university degree holders from Canada, USA, Australia, UK, New Zealand, and South Africa find jobs teaching English in South Korea. Feel free to browse our information and resources on our Teach English in Korea section of our website. If you want to contact us with a question, we welcome the opportunity to help. We explain the application process in full. – our website has a ton of resources for ESL teachers and we have had a recruiting service since 2001, assisting many teachers to find a job in South Korea. On our website you can view tons of free, no obligation info about living and working in South Korea, as well as info about the job application process.


This is a good website which has developed wonderfully over the years. It has a lot of great info for the expat English teacher living in Korea, including job postings, we also recommend this site as a resource.

3. Ask Friends

Again, as everyone knows someone who has been to Korea to teach English, a good idea is to ask friends how they got their job. Also, if they like their job, ask them to see if they can get you hired. This will save the school a recruiting fee and reduce the risk of hiring someone that no one has vouched for, (assuming your friend will vouch for you). A pro to this strategy is that you may get some good advice. A con is that you may get horrible advice. As each teacher has a different experience, it is not uncommon for ‘jaded teachers to tell the rest of the world how horrible the experience is. In fact, there are literally thousands of westerners who have taught in Korea and loved it. A good time is to be had by anyone who wants to give it a try. No, it is not for everyone, but 99% of people who go there can have a good time if they want to make that their mission.

4. University employment offices

As a university degree is a pre-requisite to obtaining an E2 teaching visa to teach English in South Korea, many recruiters advertise at local university employment centers in order to get a direct line to new graduates who may be interested in teaching English in South Korea. In many cases, you will get good attention from these recruiters because just by going to the individual universities, they are obviously in search of more sincere candidates (unlike the type they will find on large websites which teachers apply to en-masse).

5. Local newspaper

This is also another place recruiters will seek out more sincere teachers. This local marketing strategy has proven a more reliable source, and costly, than other methods.


I found my first ESL teaching job in Korea using the Dave’s ESL Caf? website from the computer lab at Saint Mary’s University in my last year of undergrad in 1997. This website remains one of the biggest websites for ESL jobs on the internet. You will find a mix of schools posting jobs and recruiters posting jobs. The pro’s include a wide variety of jobs all in one place. The cons include high competition for jobs posted. I know for our recruiting service, when we post jobs there we get overwhelmed with resumes pretty much overnight

7. Just go and find a job

This is less common these days, but when I went to Korea originally, it was more common. It is pretty easy to get a job teaching English in South Korea, and it used to be even easier. If you are really adventurous, you could go there , get hired (at least you can interview in person) and then do the visa run. Beware, depending on where you are from, you may need a visa before you go there. Also, speak to the Korean consulate first becaue the visa process has changed over the years and you may be required to get yor first E2 English teaching visa in your own country (you may not be able to do the “visa run”)

8. Classifieds websites

There are lots of ESL teaching jobs advertised on classified websites such as Kijiji as well. Take care to investigate the reliability and legitimacy of the agency or school you find here, as it is a free advertising service.

9. Facebook it.

You can do a search on Facebook for Teach English in Korea. You will find lots of jobs and recruiting services there.

10. Google it.

Google has the answer for just about everything. If you don’t know where to start, this is a good place to get to know the lay of the land a bit. Again, be careful, Google doesn’t know what is good, and what isn’t good so use common sense regarding what you find and don’t send your personally identifiable information until you are sure it is safe to do so, and you have to make that decision for yourself.

CAUTION – Always use caution and common sense and before you send your resume and other information to a school or recruitment agency. Be sure that it is a reputable and legitimate organization you are applying to. We, do not endorse or warrant the accuracy or legitimacy of any websites linked to or discussed and the information provided is solely our opinion. It is up to the individual person accessing this information to do their own due diligence when following links and using services of any company or group found, especially on the internet.

To get more free information about teaching English in South Korea, visit,