Your website is very basic. Shouldn’t there be more?
We like to keep things as short and sweet as possible. Nothing flashy is needed, and the program is simple: housing, airfare, and salary to teach abroad. Once a candidate is invited to the program, we deal with them one on one through e-mail/phone correspondence, so our website is more like a launching pad to share the fundamentals!
What are classes like?
Classes take place Monday through Friday, and are anywhere from 35 – 45 minutes each. The age of your students will likely range from 5 to 13, being Kindergarten and Elementary. The average class size is 6 students. The maximum number of students in a class is 10, and sometimes you’ll have as little as 1 or 2 students in a class. You will teach about 6 classes a day.
Anyone can be a teacher in South Korea or China that has a sense of creativity, a positive attitude, and an ability to adapt. You will be given the opportunity to observe other teachers, and most schools have a set curriculum about what and how to teach. Your academy will be more than willing to help you out in the beginning while you get your legs straight, and you’ll be able to learn your job quickly in a comfortable and friendly environment.
Your students don’t see many foreigners, and being taught by one every day will fascinate them. They will love you from the first time they meet you.
As long as you keep your lessons fun and interactive, keeping the students’ attention won’t be a problem. You’ll know if you really succeeded if you start having just as much fun as your students.
I don’t know anything about the Korean/Chinese language and I’m terrible at learning new languages.
That isn’t anything to worry about. Schools often insist that you refrain from using the native language in the classroom to maintain an immersion type of setting.
Many teachers take to learning basic Korean/Chinese for use outside of the classroom, but it is entirely possible to survive with no knowledge of the language whatsoever. Most citizens of the country will know some basic English and many are quite proficient, so you shouldn’t have any problems communicating.
Immersing yourself in the country and making Korean or Chinese friends is a great way to pick up the language.
Will I get many vacation days?
You’ll generally have 10 vacation days a year, plus an additional 10-15 days off for Korean/Chinese National Holidays. Many teachers use this as an opportunity to further explore the country or catch a quick and affordable flight to one of the many surrounding east-Asian countries.
How will my salary compare?
Being a teacher is a highly respected job in Asia, and as a foreigner traveling across the world to provide quality first-hand English education, you’re salary will typically be 25-30% higher than the native teachers at your school. (And that’s not including the free housing!) You’ll be able to live very comfortably and still save money for whatever future you have planned.
I don’t want to go alone, can a friend come with me?
Absolutely! We can work with your and your friend to find schools in the same neighborhood or schools that are looking for more than one teacher for you to both work at. Furthermore, some schools hire couples, so if your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse is also interested, sign them up too! Whether you’re looking to go it alone and make new friends, or to make new friends alongside your old friends, USA Teachers will help make it happen.
I’m nervous about moving to a foreign country.
If you’ve never traveled far from the West, South Korea/China is going to be a very different place. The moment you step off the plane, you are going to be immersed in a culture unlike anything you’ve experienced. The food, language, people, history…all of it will be new to you.
That is not something you need to fear, though. Rather, if teaching abroad is something that truly appeals to you, it should instill a sense of excitement, adventure and challenge. Moving away from everything you’ve ever known is not for the faint of heart, but it provides you with a golden opportunity and experience that you can’t get from anything else.
You will never be alone as a USA Teachers member. We will always be a phone call, Skype call or email away, and we have representatives available to assist you in South Korea and China. You are also very likely to be working at a school with at least one more foreign teacher (In Korea and China, you are foreign), and they will be more than happy to help a new teacher find their feet and give advice on how to get by in the country.
I have a criminal record, will this disqualify me?
When it comes to Immigration, they take a firm stance on denying visas to anyone with a blemish on their Federal Background Checks. Anything other than a clean criminal record will disqualify you from the program.
How safe will I be in Korea/China?
Korea and China are both extraordinarily safe countries to live in. You’ll be placed in the heart of your neighborhood, within walking distance to many stores, transportation hubs, and restaurants. The cliche “dangerous alleyways” of cities is non-existent here. In addition, closed circuit television is in use on nearly every street and in every building, furthering the level of safety.
What about the situation with North Korea?
Have no fear, despite what media in the U.S. might have you believe when there is nothing else to cover, North Korea’s antics are very much for show in attempts to garner more aid from the international community. Ask any local or expert on North Korea and they will put your mind at ease.
What will my living situation be? Will I have a roommate?
You’ll be provided with a single, furnished studio apartment within walking distance from your workplace, shops, grocery, and transportation (subway and bus stations). Typical furnishings include a bed, television, dresser, closet, table, air-conditioner and washing machine. You will also have your own bathroom and kitchen area. You will not have a roommate. You’ll be expected to leave the apartment as you found it, in a clean and undamaged state. Rent will be paid for, but you’ll be responsible for electricity and gas. Both of which will be under $10 a month for the majority of the year. During winter depending on how much heat you use, your gas price will rise.
I have student loans/other payments to make. What’s the cost of living, and will I be able to save?
The cost of living in South Korea/China is very low, comparable to a regular sized town in the U.S. It is much lower than what you’d find in an equal sized city such as New York or San Francisco. Teachers are able to come to Korea or China, eat out at restaurants with their friends a few times a week, enjoy their weekends having fun, travel on vacations and still save money.
Why should I apply to work with USA Teachers?
We know our stuff. Whether it’s schools, life abroad, or the intimidating amount of visa paperwork involved, we’re on top of it and our foreign consultants will work personally with you to ensure everything goes smoothly and correctly.