FAQ's

The frequently asked questions page is a good place to get answers to some of the most common questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woosong Frequently Asked QuestionsIt's natural to have questions when applying for new position and even more so when applying for a position in a foreign country.  Below is a list of the most common frequently asked questions, if you can't find an answer to your question, please feel free to contact us here.      

What are the minimum requirements for being a teacher?

Woosong is hiring applicants who meet the qualifications for an E-1 (professor) visa.

The requirements for an E-1 at Woosong University are as follows:

  • You must  hold a passport from Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa or the United States of America.
  • You must have a Master’s degree (English, linguistics, or education preferred) , and two calendar years of documented English teaching experience*, which has been accrued outside of time spent in pursuit of the degree**. Documented teaching experienced is proven in the form of Korean employment certificates, or signed letters of reference on employer letterhead from employers which list explicit dates of employment (to the day, if possible, but at least to the month).
  • If you have a PhD (any subject), English teaching experience is preferred but not required.
  • Criminal Record: Woosong requires a national level criminal background check from all new employees.
  • Factors that increase chances of an offer being made include: Fluency in the Korean language, current E-1 or F visa, relevant non-teaching experience (admin, organization, etc), academic research and publishing experience, TEFL or TESOL certification, other academic certificates.

 

* Experience must be full time, from the following positions: university, licensed public schools in your home country, in house corporate English teaching. Professional experience relating to programs taught at Woosong (e.g. accounting, culinary arts, graphic design) can also count. We cannot accept experience from private English academies, international public schools or Korean public schools (EPIK, SMOE etc).

**Degree must be from a two year program. If the program was one year, it is necessary to verify one additional year of experience.

 

What should I bring to Korea?

What to bring to Korea

CLOTHING:

Korea has four distinct seasons.  Spring and fall temperatures are moderate; summer is very

hot and humid, with a monsoon season in July; and winter is cold but without a lot of snow. The climate is similar to the midwestern states in the US. Some of the older school buildings are not centrally heated and you may find them cold and damp in winter.  You will want a wardrobe for all these conditions.

You may wish to mail off-season clothing.

 

Generally speaking, westerners have difficulty finding larger sizes and proper sleeve lengths

when shopping in Korea.  As in the west, the fashion industry is geared toward the young and

thin.  Women’s undergarments seem to fit differently, so bring lots from home.

 

You will be expected to dress professionally and conservatively in the classroom.  A suit, while not strictly necessary, is not a bad idea.  Dress shirts and pants are a must.

 

The following is from the Woosong dress code, from the policy handbook

 

Recommended

Men

Women

Suit Tailored Pant Skirt Suit
Short / Long Sleeved Dress Shirt Shirt / Blouse
Tie Tailored Dress
Closed Shoes Closed Shoes
Dress Socks Stockings (Optional)

Suitable

Jacket Jacket / Dressy Sweater
Short Sleeve Polo Shirt Nice Short Sleeve Top
Dress Pants Dress Pants
Neat Casual Pants(including jeans) Neat Casual Pants
Skirt / Culottes
Summer Dress with Sleeve or Jacket
Closed Shoes / Socks Dressy Sandal with Heel

Suits and shoes can be custom made.  It isn’t cheap, but the cost is close to the price of name brand designer clothing.

 

FOOTWEAR:

If you have large or wide feet, you may have difficulty buying shoes.  You are advised to bring

a  selection of conservative and comfortable shoes. Good shoes are not cheaper here than at home. Sports shoes are readily available.

It is the Korean custom to remove shoes at the door for homes, some restaurants and other businesses. Slip-on shoes are a lot more convenient in this situation.

 

TOILETRIES:

While you can buy most things in Korea, when you cannot speak / read the language, it is

sometimes difficult to communicate what you want.  Bring your favorite products to last several

months.  Antiperspirant, and vitamins are not readily available.

 

BEDDING / LINEN:

Korean bedding is a different style and is packaged in sets, therefore, bring at least one

pillow case and flat, double sheet.  If you have room for a sleeping bag, it could double as a

blanket and save you buying one here.  Your favorite bath towel / face cloth and a few

hand / tea towels / dish cloths will spare you some shopping on arrival as well.

 

ELECTRONIC APPLIANCES:

University housing has 220 volt outlets. Some off-campus housing has both 110 and 220 volts.

Converters are very cheap (under$10.00 US).  You can buy any appliance easily here except

answering machines (which they tend not to use) but they are a little more expensive than in

the US.

There are internet cafes everywhere in Korea and it is very cheap to use them.  You will also

have access to a computer in your office.  For these reasons, it is suggested that you not ship

computer equipment.  If you bring your lap-top, carry it with you.

 

KITCHEN UTENSILS ETC:

Your apartment is only semi-furnished and there are no dishes or pots / pans.  You may wish

to bring a knife, fork and spoon at least and a few kitchen utensils to save the trouble of buying

them.  You will not have an oven in your housing but can buy a toaster oven here.  You may wish to bring a small saucepan or kettle and a plastic mug or glass to use upon arrival. However, kitchen utensils can easily be obtained for a good price in Korea should you wish.

 

 

FOOD:

There is not a great selection of spices.  Bring your favorites with you.  Herbal teas are also

different.  Taco seasoning, gravy mix, etc are all good.  If you have a favorite dish, learn to cook it… it may be hard to find a restaurant that serves it here.  If it requires any uncommon ingredients, bring them with you (provided it isn’t restricted by border controls).

 

PHONES:

Chances are, your phone from home won’t work in Korea.  Once you have your ARC card, you will be able to get a phone with a Korean carrier.  Some people choose second hand phones, some choose new phones, which usually come as a package with a contract.  Contracts come in one and two year increments, with more benefits going to the two year package.

 

COMPUTERS:

Previous voltage warnings apply.  Mac support used to be hard to come by, but is becoming more common.  In general, computers are cheaper in your home country than they are here, especially Macs.  One more thing… internet banking is not supported on Macs here, so be aware of that.  The good news is that internet is blazing fast, relatively cheap, and easy to set up.  Upon arrival, you will be able to send emails either from your office, or from a PC café, which is very cheap.

 

MISCELLANEOUS:

Bring a travel alarm clock, sewing kit, razors.

 

PETS:

There is a no-pets policy in university housing.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

There are many resources available at the language institute for use in preparing lessons.  Major bookstores have English sections with a good variety of ESL books.  However, posters, pictures and visual teaching aids are not as easy to find.

 

MAILING PERSONAL ITEMS:

When mailing personal items, we suggest you use the term ‘used’ or ‘personal’ on customs forms. For higher priced things, bring your receipt with you.

 

You can mail your packages to:

 

Your name

c/o Woo Song Language Institute

196-5 Jayang-dong, Dong-gu

Daejeon 300-831

S. Korea

 

Make sure your family has this address, as they will be able to send packages there while you work at Woosong.  We will keep your packages in secure storage until your arrival.  If you plan on sending a large amount, please clear it with Woosong staff before doing so.  We do not recommend sending valuable items ahead, as we cannot take responsibility for them.

 

**We can not be responsible for any problems which you encounter with mail or other methods of

   shipping when forwarding your belongings to Korea.

 

 

 

If you have any concerns which are not addressed here, send them to hiring@woosong.org

Where and When Would I Teach?

You would teach at Woosong University, Woosong College, Woosong Technical College, onsite,  offsite or at Woosong Language Institute. A likely scenario is that you would be teaching at a variety of locations; Woosong University/Colleges (approximately 80-90%) and Woosong Language Institute (approximately 10–20%).

Classes are held between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. Your schedule is likely to have some classes blocked together and other classes that have multiple hour gaps between classes where you don’t teach. Although your schedule will be dictated by Woosong requirements, the scheduling coordinator will also take your schedule preferences into consideration.

What would I teach?

General English Language instructor teach a variety of credit and non-credit English classes. Generally they teach conversational English. There are requirements and opportunities to teach specialized subjects such as drama, business English, modern media, poetry, and various writing classes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What textbooks would I use?

We use a variety of the standard American and British ESL/EFL texts. In addition, teachers are encouraged to make use of their own activities which compliment the materials in the textbooks. Many of our teachers produce and share class materials through Google Drive, so there is no lack of teaching material for the classroom.

As an example, as of Spring 2014 most of our freshman conversation classes are using the Tactics for Listening series and Widgets, while most of our sophomore students are using Interchange and Speaking of Speech.

What resources are available to Woosong teachers?

Many of our classrooms are equipped with computers, Internet, projectors, and screens. Each Woosong teacher is assigned to a shared office, but has their own computer, which is linked to a common printer. Copy machines are also available, as are a color printer and laminating machine. There’s a basement library with many resources, such as teaching journals, methodology textbooks, classroom activity books, as well as novels for leisure. In addition, there are many digital resources available around campus should teachers wish to use additional resources for class preparation.  Woosong teachers make use of both Moodle and Google Apps to communicate and share information.

How big are the classes?

General English teachers teach a variety of classes. University and college classes may have as few as 15 students or as many as 40 students, but they usually average from 20 to 30 students. Language Institute classes range from 5 to 15 students.

How many hours per week am I required to teach?

Foreign Language Assistant Professors are contracted for a maximum of 20 teaching hours per week.  If you are involved in a project, you you be given some project hours in lieu of teaching hours. If your teaching schedule is below the 20 hours, you may be asked to contribute to faculty projects. In addition to your 20 teaching hours, you must complete four hours of office time each week. These office hours are selected by you and although students may visit you during your office hours occasionally most teachers use this time to prepare for their classes. You must also attend weekly Continuing Professional Development seminars to share ideas with other teachers and improve your pedagogy.

How much time is required to get to the different teaching sites?

The Woosong campus is in an urban setting. Class locations are all within 5-15 minutes walking distance from your office. Offsite classes’ travel expenses are compensated and the travel time is counted as part of your teaching schedule.

Do I have to teach children?

There are several institutions under the Woosong Educational Foundation at which General English Teachers are asked to teach.  One of these, the Woosong Language Institute, did offer Children’s classes. These will no longer be offered from Winter 2013 onward. Therefore, Woosong instructors do not teach children.

Are there opportunities to earn extra money?

You may request to teach 1 on 1 classes at WLI. These classes are voluntary and not part of your regular teaching schedule. If a student also requests a 1 on 1 class, WLI will arrange for the class and you would be compensated at a rate of 240,000 per 16 hours of teaching.  In addition, there are occasionally other opportunities offered through Woosong.  It is Woosong policy that teachers do not undertake outside teaching work.

When do I get paid?

Teachers are paid monthly. Without exception, your salary is directly deposited into your Korean bank account on the 20th of every month (in the case that the 20th falls on a weekend, the money will be deposited on the Friday preceding). Sometimes for extra work there may be a delay with payment due to processing, but your base salary is always paid on the 20th.

Will I have medical and dental insurance? A pension plan?

Woosong teachers enjoy the Korean government medical, which includes dental insurance and provides basic coverage. You will contribute approximately 5% of  your salary per month. There is a small fee (approximately 3000 – 4000 won) with each visit and sometimes certain procedures are not covered by insurance, but overall this is an excellent program that makes health-care very affordable. Korean doctors/dentists provide high-quality services.  There are several English speaking doctors and dentists around Daejeon.

Woosong teachers also benefit from participation in a mandatory private pension plan. Approximately 7% of your pay will be deducted every month from your account, with an approximate initial 10% contribution from Woosong. This contribution increases incrementally with length of service until you are fully vested after 5 years of contributions. When your employment is completed at Woosong and you are not renewing your contract, your pension reimbursement will be deposited or remitted into your bank account. This process takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks.

What is the housing like?

Housing is provided at several sites owned or rented by Woosong.

Location: Most apartments are walking distance from Woosong campuses.

Size: Woosong apartments conform to three standards: Family, Married, and Single.  Sizes vary according to exact location, but we do our best to ensure that employees have sufficient space.

Amenities: The apartments are semi-furnished with a refrigerator, a bed, gas range, but TV is not included. Most have heated floors, as is standard in Korean housing; some have external wall heaters.  All single and most married apartments have air conditioning. Some apartments have washing machines, while others share communal washing facilities. Tenants must supply their own bedding, dishes and cookware.

Allocation: Initially, the allocation of apartments is determined by what is available when new teachers arrive. Thereafter, all available housing is advertised and allocated on the basis of seniority, which is reset when a teacher chooses to move.

Utilities and etc: Utilities vary according to location.  In general, teachers are responsible for water, gas, Internet, and electricity.  There is a W300,000 housing deposit, which is withheld from your first pay check. Your housing deposit balance will be reimbursed via a bank deposit or remittance after you vacate your Woosong provided housing accommodation, providing it is left in the same condition you found it and your utility bills have been paid. Apartments are checked before you leave. Money needed to repair or clean the apartment (if the damage is caused by you) will be taken from the deposit, but more severe damage would incur higher charges.

Stipend: Should teachers choose to seek out their own housing, Woosong provides a monthly W400,000 (W500,000 for married teachers or families) stipend in lieu of housing.  Be advised that apartment contracts often require a deposit of anywhere from 3 to 10 million Won, which Woosong does not provide.

What documents does Woosong University need?

First Screening:

Your resume and cover letter.

Second Screening:

If you progress past the initial first screening you will be contacted for a telephone interview and you must submit via email scans of the following:

  • All relevant degrees, transcripts, etc.
  • Information/Photo page from your passport
  • Documentation that proves your teaching experience (in the form of a work certificate or scan of an official, employer signed letter detailing dates of employment)
  • Marriage certificate if you are requesting a married housing accommodation

In addition, we ask that you fill out and return the interview form that is attached with our contact email.

Second Interview:

If you progress past the initial interview you will be invited to a second interview to be conducted via Skype video interview. If this is not possible, a video introduction can be recorded by the applicant. Upon successful interview, candidate teachers typically receive an offer within one or two weeks after the interview.

Offer and Acceptance

If you accept an offer of employment with Woosong, scan and email the signed acceptance letter to Woosong. An accepted offer letter is a binding agreement that represents, at the very least, an ethical commitment between Woosong University and the applicant. It does not necessarily constitute a binding agreement to sign a contract sight unseen. It is important to us that new teachers read the contract closely and agree with its terms before signing.

In order to get an E1 visa, you will need to mail your original highest diploma, which will be returned to you upon arrival. You will also need to send a digital photo taken along the lines of a passport photo (close up, straight on, some space below the chin and above the top of the head, white background.) This photo will be used for your idea, compose it accordingly.

Woosong requires a criminal background check from the highest agency in your country (E.G. in the USA, FBI). Please make sure you have at least applied for this before coming.

What are the Woosong benefits?

  • Partially-Furnished Housing or W400,000/500,00 month stipend
  • National health/dental insurance
  • Private pension
  • Free Korean language classes
  • Discounted tuition for the TESOL MALL program
  • Professional development workshops
  • 6 weeks vacation
  • Contract completion bonus (after completion of second consecutive contract)
  • Airfare Reimbursement*

*Woosong offers 300,000 Won upon arrival, and 700,000 Won upon completion of contract, regardless of whether the teacher is re-signing or not.