Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions2018-04-19T19:58:58+09:00
Do I have to take a TEFL course to teach English in Korea?2015-06-06T23:05:47+09:00

A TEFL course of 100-hours or more is required to teach at a public school, with some programs such as GOE and Busan EPIK requiring a TEFL certification with an in-class component as well. Private Institutes and Hagwons do currently not require a TEFL certificate.

Can I still apply if I have not finished taking a TEFL course?2015-06-06T23:05:47+09:00

You can still apply to Korvia even if you have not finished taking a TEFL course, however we recommend that before applying that applicants are at least enrolled in a course and mention so on their application.

When should I start taking a TEFL course?2015-06-06T23:05:47+09:00

Prospective applicants should take a TEFL course at their earliest convenience. While not required, Korvia recommends completing your course prior to applying to come teach in South Korea.

Do I need to take a TEFL course with an in-class component?2019-09-26T11:24:24+09:00

A TEFL course with an in-class component is currently not required to teach with the EPIK, GEPIK, or SMOE program. Only those wishing to teach in the GOE program (20-hour in-class component requirement) and the city of Busan via EPIK (50-hour in-class component) are required to complete an in-class component. The in-class component for those programs along with the online portion still must total 100-hours or more.

How do I prove my TEFL course had an in-class component?2015-06-06T23:05:47+09:00

TEFL courses that have an in-class component must mention it on the certificate itself as well as the amount of hours it was comprised of. If there certificate contains no mention of the component, the applicant will need to provide a letter from the TEFL institution stating that the course included a TEFL in-class component as well as the amount of hours it was comprised of.

Can I still get a job if I don’t have any prior full-time/part-time teaching experience?2015-06-06T23:05:47+09:00

Of course you can! Previous full or part-time teaching experience is not a requirement by most ESL programs in Korea, however it can make you stick out from other applicants.

Can having tattoos affect my chances of obtaining a position?2015-06-06T23:05:47+09:00

Public schools generally do not prefer individuals with tattoos. However if the tattoo is totally coverable the school may make an exception. Candidates have to agree though that their tattoos will be covered at all times during work and not be visible to students or faculty.

Will I have a co-teacher?2015-06-06T23:05:47+09:00

Having a co-teacher depends on what kind of position it is. Public school teaching programs in Korea are designed for the co-teaching relationship, however in private schools and private academies native English teachers will usually teach alone.

Should I bring a gift for my school faculty/co-teacher?2015-06-06T23:05:47+09:00

While bringing a gift is not mandatory, gift giving is a common part a Korean culture. Therefore if you would like to, we recommend that teachers bring an inexpensive small gift for their school such as tea, traditional cookies, or a small ornament.

How many students are there on average per class in primary schools?2015-06-06T23:05:47+09:00

Public school classes will range from 25-35 students while private academies will usually have less than 12 students per class.

How early should I arrive in Korea?2015-06-06T23:05:47+09:00

Each school will inform the exact arrival date to a teacher. It is usually 1~3 days before the contract start date as you will move in a house after the current NET moves out.

What should I prepare for the my first week of school?2015-06-06T23:05:47+09:00

As new teachers will not know the textbook series they will be using or the set curriculum, Korvia recommends that all teachers prepare an introduction powerpoint presentation about themselves. This presentation should be between 3-5 minutes long and be visually appealing as age as well as English comprehension will range from school to school and class to class.

Can I bring my smartphone to Korea with me?2015-06-06T23:05:48+09:00

Yes, in fact Korvia recommends it. Even if your smartphone is not compatible with a Korean carrier’s SIM, you will be able to use it at the various locations around your city that have free wifi.

Will I be able to transfer money from my Korean bank account to my US bank account?2015-06-06T23:05:48+09:00

Yes. This is called remittance and can be set up once you arrive and choose a bank. To be able to set up remittance, please bring your home bank’s SWIFT code, your account number and routing number, and your bank’s corporate headquarters address and contact information.

Can I use a channeler to obtain my FBI Identity History Summary Check2018-02-22T10:10:53+09:00

Yes. As of 2014, both Immigration offices and educational offices in Korea have started to accept FBI Identity History Summary Checks issued from an official FBI-approved channeler. Korvia recommends using Accurate Biometrics and has a special partnership set up with them to make sure you obtain the right type of channeled FBI IHSC. For more information please visit the Accurate Biometrics Korvia Process Page.

When should I apply for my Criminal Background Check?2015-08-26T09:14:25+09:00

Your criminal background check is only valid for 6 months from its issuance date and must be still valid when you submit your documents to Korean immigration. Therefore if you are applying for a September 1st start date, we recommend having your criminal record check in your hands by no earlier than April. If you are applying for a March 1st start, we recommend having your criminal record check in your hands by no earlier than in September. Please consult with your issuing CBC authority as to current processing times.

How can I apply for a criminal background check?2015-06-06T23:05:48+09:00

For more information on how to apply for a criminal background check, please visit the Criminal Background Check Korvia Guide.

What are schools looking for in the introduction video?2018-04-19T20:01:16+09:00

When schools watch a candidate’s introduction video they are looking to see your personality, energy, and way of speaking. [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Should I smile in my passport photo or should I have a straight face?2015-06-06T23:05:48+09:00

Smiling in your passport photo is preferred. The majority of ESL teaching positions in Korea are to teach students from kindergarten through grade 6. A friendly smile can leave a good impression on these types of employers.

What is the difference between a public school and a private academy (hagwon)?2015-06-06T23:05:48+09:00

There are many differences between working at a public school vs. a private academy (hagwon) in Korea. The biggest difference interested individuals need to know is that a Hagwon is primarily a business while a public school is a standard school. The following also tends to be the biggest differences: Working hours – Hagwons teachers work from the afternoon until night time while public school teachers work in the morning until late afternoon. Salary – Hagwon teachers usually enjoy higher salaries and potential for raises. Vacation – Public school teachers enjoy around 20 days of paid vacation while hagwon teachers usually have around 5-10 days of paid vacation.

Can I apply for EPIK, GEPIK, SMOE, and GOE at the same time?2015-06-01T16:11:33+09:00

As SMOE is part of EPIK, if you are interested in applying to SMOE you will have to apply to EPIK. You can apply to EPIK, GEPIK, GOE at the same time however each program will require you to submit a set of documents when securing a position.

Can I apply for several different positions at the same time?2018-04-19T20:01:16+09:00

Yes. Recruiters will always be looking for positions you qualify for and that match your prefernces to present you to clients to secure an interview. [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Can I start midway through the semester in the EPIK, GEPIK, SMOE, or GOE program?2015-06-01T16:11:02+09:00

For EPIK and SMOE, there are only two term start dates each year: March & September. For GEPIK this also applies, however some schools are able to hire individuals later or earlier than the aforementioned starting dates. The GOE program hires individuals each month.

If I can’t obtain a job this semester, can I apply again for the following semester?2015-06-01T16:10:29+09:00

Certainly! If you cannot obtain a position you may apply to Korvia again the following semester. Korvia will do it’s very best to help you obtain a position or apply to a different program again.

How long do I have to decide to accept an offer from a school?2015-06-01T16:10:00+09:00

Candidates will usually have about 3 days to respond to an offer. Schools in Korea schedule an interview assuming you will be willing to accept the job offer if granted. It’s best to only apply for positions that you would like to work at rather than would only consider.

Can I speak to the current native English teacher at the school?2015-06-01T16:09:29+09:00

This is at the school’s discretion. In most case however, only a teacher who receives a final job offer will be allowed by the school to contact the current NET. This is for teacher privacy reasons.

How can I increase my chances of getting a position?2018-04-19T20:01:16+09:00

It is important to be reminded that you are applying for professional work which involves educating young children in a foreign country. PREPARE yourself by being open and adaptable to a different culture and working environment. FIND & PRESENT your selling point on your resume and in your introduction video. What makes you different than all the other teachers applying? UPDATE your status with your recruiter as much as possible. And finally, RESEARCH about the ESL teaching environment in Korea.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Can I arrive in Korea before my contract starts?2015-06-01T16:08:53+09:00

This will depend on what program you will be teaching with. Some contracts have conditions that in order for teachers to receive their flight reimbursement or allowance they must arrive in Korea within a certain number of days form their contract’s starting date. It is best to double-check with your recruiting specialist at Korvia to see what your contract stipulates.

What’s the difference between applying to Korvia and applying for a specific program?2015-06-01T15:55:46+09:00

Due to the amount of applications we receive, individuals wishing to use Korvia as their recruiting service must apply to Korvia in order to be able to be matched with one of our recruiting specialists. Once you become a Korvia recruit, you will be able to apply to the various teaching programs that Korvia recruits teachers for.

What programs and kinds of positions does Korvia recruit for?2015-06-01T15:57:13+09:00

Korvia recruits for a variety of different programs and positions including public school programs, private academies (hagwons), private schools, as well as English centers.

How can I apply for the Korvia Featured Positions I see posted on Facebook and

If you see a Korvia Featured Position you are interested in, please send your recruiter an email with the job reference number included in the post. Korvia Featured Positions are currently only available to current Korvia recruits.

What happens after I apply to Korvia?2015-06-01T15:59:51+09:00

After applying and going through Korvia’s screening process, you will be matched with a recruiter who will conduct an interview with you to discuss your preferences as well as give you more information about available programs.

What should I prepare for my interview with a Korvia Recruiter?2015-06-01T16:00:05+09:00

Recruiters will check your basic information as well as what your strengths are as a teacher so that they can present you to employers for the initial interview. So we recommend that applicants prepare for how they can present themselves to a school.

What happens after my interview with a Korvia Recruiter?2015-06-01T16:00:22+09:00

After your interview with Korvia recruiter, you will be able to choose which program suits your qualifications and preferences the best and then get further guidelines about information about applying to that specific program.