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  • lobotronic
  • Veteran

    • 128

    • November 25, 2011, 05:42:08 am
    • South Korea
Re: How Can I Work Permanently in Korea?
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2013, 09:04:12 am »
I will eventually get a permanent resident visa after I marry my boyfriend, but that won't be for a couple more years. I don't want to give up my Canadian citizienship though. Must I have Korean citizenship to become a permanent government employee?

Before I get permanent residency, is there any other steps I need to take? I assume I need additional schooling and I may need to take the test all other Korean teachers take. I am worried that they only offer a Korean test and no English version which means I may need to be fluent in Korean.

Nothing is impossible if you set your goal.  :wink:

I'm pretty sure the test is in Korean.  Even Koreans have hard time passing it so they end up taking it several times to pass it.  Here is what I think you should do:

1.  Learn Korean
2.  Get a masters degree in education
3.  Get Korean citizenship.  You'll be a dual citizen.
4.  Study for the exam, take the test, pass the test
5.  Become a Korean teacher making coffee for senior teachers, VP, and principal.  And doing all the dirty work that other teachers don't want to do.

Good luck.

solid advice.

but OP, remember: studying Korean and taking the TOPIK is not easy. In order to be anywhere near proficient enough for an MA in Korea (assuming you'll do it all in Korean), you'll need minimum level 5 (out of a possible 6).

The test to become a licensed teacher is HARD. Student Teachers study like crazy for it. The test is always in Korean and it is not. easy. at. all. Ask your co-teachers.

You CAN do it, but you're looking at maybe 3 years language schooling, 2 years MA, and one more year to prep for the test. I assume you'll continue working full-time as an NET during this process....so it'll take longer. You can do an online MA, possibly, but that requires more research into good programs.

GOOD LUCK!


Re: How Can I Work Permanently in Korea?
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2013, 09:47:28 am »

You don't get a permanent residency visa when you marry.  You get a F-6 visa.  After a number of years you can apply for a permanent residency visa.

AFAIK, there is no such thing as a permanent teacher who only teaches English.  Some permanent teachers teach English, but that's only their assignment for a given year.  If you're out to only teach English, you'll be on one year contracts.  There are Koreans (including lots who teach English) who are in this situation.  It's not a stable job and it doesn't pay well.

Eh? You mean in elementary school, right? Junior high and high school absolutely have permanent teachers who only teach English (and who also manage a homeroom class).

My advice to the OP is to consider other options as well. You're probably going to have to learn Korean one way or another, or at least it would be for the best. In which case you could work as a translator. If you've got the marriage visa, you could also give private lessons. You could get a job in the English media, or with any number of marketing opportunities. You still have to deal with renewing a visa every now and then, because you're a foreigner and that's the deal, unless you become a permanent resident. But teaching English isn't your only option.

http://news.nate.com/view/20120308n01499&mid=n0403&cid=334299

Here's a story from a while back about a foreigner who became a homeroom teacher, if that helps.


Re: How Can I Work Permanently in Korea?
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2013, 10:45:31 am »
You're right, my bad :-[.  My mind is so stuck in elementary school I completely forgot about the high school (and middle school?) system.
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.


  • grajoker
  • Expert Waygook

    • 501

    • October 08, 2010, 09:02:27 am
    • yeoju korea
Re: How Can I Work Permanently in Korea?
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2013, 09:19:54 am »
I suggest you reconsider this plan and keep your options open. When you get married you will have duel citizenship anyway. Canadian citizenship has way more priviledges ,don't you agree?


Re: How Can I Work Permanently in Korea?
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2013, 10:09:35 am »
If I were you, I'd get my teaching certs. (from Canada, the US, etc) and then try your hand  at getting a job at an international school. The bigger schools are well-established and have many long time teachers. The benefits are very good and the pay is far and away better than any Korean public school and most hagwons.

I have considered this but I really don't want to go back to Canada for two years. My boyfriend and I were in a long distance relationship for three years and I don't want to do it again!

A quick google search renders no online Professional Development Program (the way to get teaching certification in Canada) in my home university. Does anyone know if/where I can get teaching certification online and if that's acceptable for an international school in Canada? Or would an online MA be just as sufficient? I heard that online MAs are falling out of favor. Is that the same as online teaching certifications, such as a PDP?

I also assume that getting a teaching certificate in Korea would not be acceptable at an international school in Korea?

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Check out teacherready.org

Several of my Canadian friends have gone through this alternative certs program to obtain their teaching certs. It's nine months long and you would only have to leave the country to take the required tests to become certified.

Good luck!

This mentions Florida.  Does it work for Canada.  I think you get a Florida certification. 


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5346

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: How Can I Work Permanently in Korea?
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2013, 10:12:33 am »
Lead a life of perfect virtue: give to charity, help the disabled, promote Hallyu.
Be reincarnated as a Korean citizen (Karma level required: over 9000).
Presto! Work permanently in Korea!

 :smiley:


Re: How Can I Work Permanently in Korea?
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2013, 10:25:57 am »
I actually agree that it would be near impossible for a non-Korean to become a Korean public school teacher (not an NET).  I say this because visa & citizenship aside, the actual process of becoming a teacher would be difficult. Even people who are fluent in Korean, have gone through 4 years of schooling specifically for education, and have had experience in teaching in the classroom fail the teacher's exam. Taking the teacher's exam (at least for elementary) and passing it would allow you to become a homeroom teacher and you could potentially teach all subjects from Korean to Korean History to science, obviously all in Korean. Passing TOPIK 6 is not even close to the amount of Korean you need to pass the teacher's exam. Although if you manage to pass the exam, you wouldn't need to go through the process of finding a school to hire you because once you pass the exam, you will be placed at a school through the district office and since you will be a civil servant you are pretty much tenured and don't have to worry about job stability.

Like everyone else said, I would also recommend the international school route or university. If you really are determined to stay at a public school another possible (and more feasible route) is becoming an 영어전문회화강사 which is basically the Korean equivalent of a NET in that you don't have to take the teacher's exam but your still on a yearly contract with fewer benefits.


Re: How Can I Work Permanently in Korea?
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2013, 11:49:55 am »
I actually agree that it would be near impossible for a non-Korean to become a Korean public school teacher (not an NET).  I say this because visa & citizenship aside, the actual process of becoming a teacher would be difficult. Even people who are fluent in Korean, have gone through 4 years of schooling specifically for education, and have had experience in teaching in the classroom fail the teacher's exam. Taking the teacher's exam (at least for elementary) and passing it would allow you to become a homeroom teacher and you could potentially teach all subjects from Korean to Korean History to science, obviously all in Korean. Passing TOPIK 6 is not even close to the amount of Korean you need to pass the teacher's exam. Although if you manage to pass the exam, you wouldn't need to go through the process of finding a school to hire you because once you pass the exam, you will be placed at a school through the district office and since you will be a civil servant you are pretty much tenured and don't have to worry about job stability.

Like everyone else said, I would also recommend the international school route or university. If you really are determined to stay at a public school another possible (and more feasible route) is becoming an 영어전문회화강사 which is basically the Korean equivalent of a NET in that you don't have to take the teacher's exam but your still on a yearly contract with fewer benefits.

What's the advantage of being a 영어전문회화강사?  (There is none).  As long as there are NET jobs; there's no reason to be a 영어전문회화강사.  They maybe get a little more vacation, that's it.  Lower pay, more responsibilities and one-year contracts.  Not to mention they're at the bottom of the heap in the school (as NETs, we're kind of outside of it).

Why do you say TOPIK level 6 is not even close?
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.


Re: How Can I Work Permanently in Korea?
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2013, 12:55:33 pm »

What's the advantage of being a 영어전문회화강사?  (There is none).  As long as there are NET jobs; there's no reason to be a 영어전문회화강사.  They maybe get a little more vacation, that's it.  Lower pay, more responsibilities and one-year contracts.  Not to mention they're at the bottom of the heap in the school (as NETs, we're kind of outside of it).

Why do you say TOPIK level 6 is not even close?

I agree that there's no advantage. It was more of a suggestion of a more plausible option if she wanted to stay in public schools. And I'm not sure but I heard that it gets harder to fire contract teachers after 2 years (not including NETS).

As for TOPIK level 6, personally I figure that passing level 6 indicates proficiency rather than fluency. Just because you can get a high score on test doesn't prove fluency in a language. (I hold this to be true for Koreans learning English as well. Just because they score well on TOEFL/TOEIC doesn't prove to me they're fluent in English or are capable of teaching English in English.) TOPIK doesn't check for pronunciation or natural speaking abillity in a conversation since it doesn't test speaking which is a key component of fluency and one that's necessary for teaching. Plus I don't think that TOPIK is specific enough to test vocabulary specific to history, science, art, music, etc which are all necessary if you plan to teach elementary curriculum.