Educator Virtual Welcome Packet

The Educator Virtual Welcome Packet focuses heavily on E2/E1 visa needs. However, the information included in the Virtual Welcome Packet may also remain relevant to educators on other visas as well.

How To Use the Virtual Welcome Packet

First, read the Intro to the Educator Virtual Welcome Packet link below. The article may assist you in understanding how volunteers compile the information for the Virtual Welcome Packet. This somewhat dry and boring introduction actually contains very useful information for getting the most out of the South of Seoul Blogs.

Second, move to the header which interests you. Below each header exists boxes of content organized by tabs. Click on each tab to discover articles for that sub-topic.

Defining the Educator Lens

The following blog post offers insight into the ‘Educator’ experience and how South of Seoul volunteers define the ‘Educator Lens’ in South Korea. Different bloggers, influencers, and community organizations may define the ‘Educator Lens’ in different ways depending on their experiences in South Korea. Such content creators may refer only to Korean public school EFL foreign teachers or others may be speaking about university professors.

Support Local Businesses and Local Ads

Navigating Tabbed Content Boxes

The ‘Educators Virtual Welcome Packet’ organizes information into tabbed content. Here is important information about how to use the tabbed content boxes:

  • Tabbed content boxes flow from left to right.
  • When viewing the tabbed content on a phone or mobile device you may not be able to see all tabbed content on the screen at one time.
  • To view the tabbed content tap on the tabs to move through them. The tab currently showing will be highlighted in orange.
  • Tabbed content boxes may contain links to blogs, videos, or pdf items depending on the topic being addressed.

Establishing Residency In Korea

Once you arrive in South Korea as an educator with an E2 or E1 visa you will need to accomplish a few basic tasks in order to establish residency in Korea. The process for E2 or E1 visa holders to establish residency in South Korea may take between 4-6 weeks to complete depending on the speed at which each step occurs.

The following organized tabs layout each step of the process for establishing residency in South Korea. The first step of the process is on the left and then progresses to the right.

As you start your life in South Korea it’s important to understand the new social system and how it has become digitally connected over time. A new country means learning about new social systems and structures. Such differences may feel uncomfortable and unnecessary when they don’t match your experiences from home.

The more you know about the Korean systems the less frustrating it may be as you learn to exist in them.

Your health check is your first step toward establishing Korean residency once you arrive in South Korea. Let’s take a deep dive into what getting your health check may look like.

Going to immigration to apply for your FRC (ARC) is your second step toward establishing Korean residency once you arrive in South Korea. Let’s take a deep dive into what getting your FRC may look like.

Getting a bank account may be your third or fourth step toward establishing Korean residency once you arrive in South Korea. Some new educators may get a phone before getting a bank account and others may get a bank account before getting a phone. Let’s take a deep dive into what getting a bank account. We have linked to 90DayKorean which offers many excellent articles and resources for educators.

Getting a smartphone may be your third or fourth step toward establishing Korean residency once you arrive in South Korea. Some new educators may get a phone before getting a bank account and others may get a bank account before getting a phone. Let’s take a deep dive into what getting a smartphone might be like.

Upon arriving in South Korea you may need to register your foreign COVID-19 vaccine. The process and timing or registering a foreign vaccine may change. However, the following information may be useful to some incoming residents.

Did you decide to stay in Korea for another year? Here is what you need to know for renewing your E2 visa.

Labor Law Resources

Educators often move to South Korea as migrant workers while others may decide to immigrate. While living and working in a foreign country without permanent residency or citizenship, you remain vulnerable. Therefore, the South Korean federal government and local governments continue to improve resources to support migrant workers and immigrants to advocate for their income and safety while living in South Korea.

Korea Legislation Research Institute provides all of the Korean Labor Laws translated into English. Reading the labor laws in English may help you ask informed questions.

Labor Law Hotline: 1350 ext. 4

The Ministry of Employment and Labor offers a free labor law consultation hotline. You can call with questions and concerns about your rights at work. They also have an English language website which may provide you with information you find useful.

The Ministry of Justice provides the “Village Lawyers for Foreigners Program” which offers free legal support to all foreign workers in South Korea.

Health and Wellness in South Korea

While working on each step to establishing residency you may find it helpful to become more familiar with the Korean health care system. Knowledge about Korea’s health care system and how it may differ from your own may allow you to better advocate for yourself.

Many educators in South Korea may have National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) managed by h-Well. However, some hagwon educators may have private health insurance. The following information relates to NHIS information. Private health insurance information will be provided by the employer.

NHIS Hotline: Main Number 1577-1000

The National Health Insurance System provides English language support for questions related to your health care in South Korea.

NHIS provides services for the language vulnerable class (such as foreigners and the hearing impaired) by giving counseling in English, Chinese, Vietnamese, and sign language.

Understanding the Korean health care system can empower you to find the health care that meets your needs.

Understanding Types of Mental Health Services in Korea

Psychiatry, therapy counseling, and life coaching are distinct yet often confused approaches to personal development and mental well-being. Navigating such distinctions among these terms and services can feel confusing if not frustrating, but you are not alone in that. To better understand these differences, we must grasp the fundamental definitions of each term. This blog…

Continue Reading Understanding Types of Mental Health Services in Korea

Where to Get a CPAP Device in Korea

Are you living with sleep apnea or another sleep-related breathing disorder in Korea? Chances are, you may be familiar with the common sleep apnea treatment of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Managing a chronic condition can be intimidating, especially in a country where the language and medical system may be unfamiliar. Read below for information on how to find a CPAP machine in Korea.

Continue Reading Where to Get a CPAP Device in Korea

Mammograms in Korea

Living in South Korea and needing a mammogram? Learn more about taking care of breast health and finding clinics in the following blog post. The following article contains actionable support for finding resources across Korea. Listen to the BlogCast Don’t want to read? Listen to the South of Seoul BlogCast which provides accessible content through…

Continue Reading Mammograms in Korea

Skin Cancer Screening at The Catholic University of Korea St. Vincent Hospital

Going to the doctor is not something many people look forward to. The unease associated with doctors’ visits can increase when you are concerned you may have a potentially serious diagnosis like skin cancer. Add in the uncomfortableness that comes with living in a new country where you may not know the language, customs, and…

Continue Reading Skin Cancer Screening at The Catholic University of Korea St. Vincent Hospital

SOS Public Health Maternal Health Survey Descriptive Analysis: Pregnancy and Childbirth in South Korea

Would you like to know more about pregnancy and childbirth in South Korea? The following blog post provides a descriptive analysis of the data gathered in the SOS Public Health Maternal Health Survey (2022 SOS PHMHS) The following data may so such things as 1) provide support and information for people considering childbirth in South Korea, 2) support additional research into the lived pregnancy and childbirth experiences of international residents living in South Korea, and 3) contribute to a better understanding of how international residents experience pregnancy and childbirth in South Korea.

Continue Reading SOS Public Health Maternal Health Survey Descriptive Analysis: Pregnancy and Childbirth in South Korea

2022 SOS Public Health Needs Assessment of International Residents in Korea

This Needs Assessment was conducted by graduate student Olivia Bowman as part of her practicum with SOS Public Health (SOSPH) in the Fall of 2022.  This needs assessment examines healthcare information access among the multinational English-speaking community living in South Korea, with a focus on the role that cultural dissonance may play in such access.

Continue Reading 2022 SOS Public Health Needs Assessment of International Residents in Korea

Understanding Types of Mental Health Services in Korea

Psychiatry, therapy counseling, and life coaching are distinct yet often confused approaches to personal development and mental well-being. Navigating such distinctions among these terms and services can feel confusing if not frustrating, but you are not alone in that. To better understand these differences, we must grasp the fundamental definitions of each term. This blog…

Continue Reading Understanding Types of Mental Health Services in Korea

Postpartum Care Experiences and Resources in Korea

Are you looking for postpartum care resources in Korea? Our volunteers have put together a list of resources to support English-speaking mothers who have recently given birth in South Korea. Listen to the BlogCast Don’t want to read? Listen to the South of Seoul BlogCast which provides accessible content through the use of AI technology. We don’t…

Continue Reading Postpartum Care Experiences and Resources in Korea

Skin Cancer Screening at The Catholic University of Korea St. Vincent Hospital

Going to the doctor is not something many people look forward to. The unease associated with doctors’ visits can increase when you are concerned you may have a potentially serious diagnosis like skin cancer. Add in the uncomfortableness that comes with living in a new country where you may not know the language, customs, and…

Continue Reading Skin Cancer Screening at The Catholic University of Korea St. Vincent Hospital

2022 SOS Public Health Needs Assessment of International Residents in Korea

This Needs Assessment was conducted by graduate student Olivia Bowman as part of her practicum with SOS Public Health (SOSPH) in the Fall of 2022.  This needs assessment examines healthcare information access among the multinational English-speaking community living in South Korea, with a focus on the role that cultural dissonance may play in such access.

Continue Reading 2022 SOS Public Health Needs Assessment of International Residents in Korea

Home and Living Information

Although your employer may provide you with your apartment, there remain a few details that you may need to take care of you on your own. Each employer may have different systems for helping educators pay for bills when they first arrive. However, after getting settled some educators may find it more comfortable to manage their own living needs.

South of Seoul provides information to empower educators to take control of their own personal affairs if they so desire.

Housing varies based on the employer and location of the job. The following article provides insight into what a provided apartment may look like and what it may contain. However, please remember that Korea is not all the same and there is no one standard for any experience.

HOUSING FOR TEACHERS IN SOUTH KOREA: MY KOREAN APARTMENT by Torn Tackies

Some employers may manage your utilities for you while others may have you manage them yourself. You will want to clarify who pays the utilities. It’s often easiest and less stressful to pay them yourself.

Managing Your Utility Expenses While Teaching in Korea by Aclipse

Recycling across South Korea follows the same general principles with some adjustments by region. Always find your local rules directly related to your administrative district. The following blog provides a general overview of the situation.

Garbage Guide in Korea by Hanyang University

Air quality in South Korea varies from perfect to apocalyptic. The following article may help you plan for caring for your lungs in your apartment and outside.

10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Pollution | Yellow Dust in Korea by 10 Mag

Due to the humidity, mold often occurs in apartments that have not been ventilated correctly or do not get enough light. Understanding how to keep mold may make apartment life a lot easier in South Korea.

Dealing with Mold in the Countryside by South of Seoul

EFL/ESL Teaching Resources

Korean National Curriculum Information

Korea has an over-arching National Curriculum which creates the foundation for the textbooks, methods, and classroom practices of educators across Korea. This includes the English language education which employs many international educators to help support the Communicative Language Teaching-based policies.

Benefits of Researching the Korean National Curriculum

Taking the time to become familiar with the National Curriculum policies, methodologies, and expectations for educators may create an easier transition into the classroom. Therefore, reading the following documents may help incoming and existing EFL/ESL educators. Such information may help new educators understand hidden expectations or implied expectations regarding their role in the co-taught classroom. Understanding such hidden expectations in advance may help new educators feel more confident over time.

Additionally, although the following information relates to the Korean public school system, the following information also may inform the Hagwon curriculum. Hagwon curriculum developers base their books off of the Korean National Curriculum in order to help students improve their test scores. In some cases, the private companies that develop books for the National Curriculum also use the same frameworks to also sell books to academies.

In short, reading the following information may positively impact English language educators working in South Korea.

Understanding the National Curriculum of Korea provides a foundational start for any educator teaching English in South Korea. Information regarding the history National Curriculum of Korea exists online and in English. The following information covers ALL of the curriculum policies in Korea and not only English.

The following document is in Korean, however, it remains very important to English language educators as it includes the vocabulary lists for each level of English from grade school through high school. Additionally, the document can be put through Papago or Google Translate to find important information regarding the National Curriculum as it relates to English education.

The following study looks at how English educators also become cultural educators through the Korean National Curriculum.

Reading research related to teaching English in South Korea and the hurdles faced in the classroom may help empower educators in the classroom. Therefore, the following research articles may provide useful insight for navigating an ESL/EFL career in South Korea.

The following academic paper provides a brief look at English language education in South Korea.

The following literature review covering 2009-2014 provides deep insight into English language teaching in South Korea.

A study of co-teaching in South Korean classrooms. This provides additional insight into how co-teachers may or may don’t work well together in the classroom.

Teaching English through English (TETE) remains an important aspect of the Communicative Language Teaching process encouraged in South Korea. However, reality does not always meet expectations. The following two academic papers look at TETE in South Korea.

Educators may struggle to implement Communicative Language Teaching in South Korean classrooms despite the fact it creates the foundation of the National Curriculum regarding English education.

Gaining insight into how students may perceive foreign educators may allow new educators some of the information needed to build stronger relationships by managing perceptions.

Resources for the Classroom

ESL/EFL educators hired under the E2 visa rules should focus on teaching English communication skills. This may mean that educators focus primarily on improving students’ speaking and listing skills. The following information should help you get started in the classroom. Additionally, the provided information may help you better research systems and tools to improve your teaching over time.

Introduction to Terminology

Understanding the history and evolution of language teaching methodologies may help new EFL/ESL educators understand what their co-teachers may expect of them and help in creating lesson plans and activities in the classroom.

Additionally, understanding the terminology used to talk about the EFL teaching process may allow you to ask more informed questions and search for more accurate information online. The following video walks you through the relationship of Teaching Approaches, Methods, Procedures, Techniques, and Strategies

Teaching Approach of the National Curriculum

The following video looks more deeply into Communicative Langauge Teaching which creates the foundation of the National Curriculum for English in South Korea. Understanding CLT may make understanding the Foreign Teacher’s role in the co-teaching classroom easier. Some people may view CLT as a method while others may refer to CLT as an approach.

Lesson planning may feel overwhelming to new educators who to not come from a teaching background. The following two videos walk you through creating lesson plans and make it easy for you to get started.

EFL Co-Teacher Experience

The term co-teacher means different things to different people and different organizations. Within the public school context, co-teacher often means two teacher’s in the same classroom negotiating shared teaching responsibilities. In the context of hagwons, co-teaching often means teachers who share the same students but teach separate classes.

Either way, defining and navigating the co-teaching relationship exists as one of the most complicated and important aspects of teaching. The following video looks at common co-working experiences to navigate.

The following video demonstrates co-teaching in a Korean public school classroom.

Action Research helps teachers know how to improve their teaching over time. Using Action Research in your classroom may help you gain confidence and improve as an educator.