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Thinking about teaching in Korea? Here are some insights from a Canadian recruiter!

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What’s next after receiving that well-earned (albeit expensive) piece of paper certifying your degree? For many Canadians, teaching in Korea has become a popular step post-grad. While information on different job postings, personal experiences and what-to-expect articles are readily available online, it is rare to come across a piece that addresses what exactly recruiters are looking for.

So I’ve reached out to English Beyond Borders (“EBB”), a Canadian recruiting organization based in Ontario that has been around for six years. EBB was started by Canadians who have not only specialized in International Business and Human Resources, but have also taught in Korea. In particular, EBB hires teachers for short-term English Camp contracts. Each contract is approximately 2-4 weeks and provides roundtrip airfare, meals, accommodation and a stipend.

Below are some insights and tips from EBB – good luck!

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1. As a recruiter, what does EBB look for in an application? 

We look for committed candidates. Applying for a job within the same city is different from applying for a job half way around the world. We have a competitive process and one of the main things we look for is a complete application. We do not contact candidates that do not submit a complete application. Commitment of completing the application is important , and it shows if the candidate is committed to pursuing the opportunity. Part of the application process is to submit a cover letter, resume, photos of degrees (B.Ed) and a questionnaire (approx. 20 questions) that requires candidates to take some time to review and answer the questions. We look for top committed candidates especially when we are sending teachers representing Canada to teach children in South Korea.

2. What are the top three characteristics/traits/skills than an employer looks for?

In addition to teaching experience and classroom management, we look for the following:

  • Adaptability – Ability to adapt to the culture and work environment 
  • Commitment – Committed in the interest of the children and the school/camp 
  • Good Character – Hardworking, positive attitude, willingness to help others, has an interest to gain valuable teaching experience, etc.

3. How competitive is the application process?

We generally get about 40-50 applications each time we post (depending if it’s for winter or summer camp); however, only 50% of the candidates meet the minimum criteria. As mentioned before, even though it is a short-term contract (2-4 weeks), we have a competitive application process to ensure we hire the best candidates. We prefer hiring teachers from Toronto (GTA) because documents required for a work visa and the application process are a lot quicker than other cities in Canada. In addition to new applications, we have a number of teachers returning each year and recommending their friends and colleagues to the opportunity.

4. How competitive is the teaching market in Korea right now? Is the demand for teachers increasing or decreasing?

The demand for English camp teachers has declined due to the new law in South Korea. Universities/schools must be either sponsored by a government party or company to run the English camps. University/schools can no longer host private English camps.

5. Biggest faux pas that applicants make?

Inappropriate photo submitted with their application. Getting our company English Beyond Border’s name wrong (we’re not English without borders!).

6. Any advice/tips for applicants?

  • Minimum of a Bachelors of Bachelors of Education – Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT), district school board teacher, and teaching ESL experience is an asset
  • Successfully pass and obtain a criminal background check and provide documentation for work visa application 
  • Flexibility with location, work schedule, and hours
  • Interested in working with children of all ages (8-17 primarily)

Follow EBB on Facebook for updates!

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8 replies »

  1. This is really interesting. I didn’t know that such short contracts exist. Great “test-trail” for those on the edge about applying to work in Korea for a longer period of time!

  2. Great article – I am currently looking into teaching opportunities in South Korea and will make really make sure my application is complete!

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