Frequency asked questions about teaching abroad
You may have several questions about teaching abroad. Hopefully, you will find the answers below. If not, please feel free ask your Edustar Recruiter after you apply!
What does Edustar do?
We help people land full-time English teaching jobs with schools in South Korea and China.
How can Edustar help me?
We will contact schools abroad and guide you through the job application process. This means setting up your interviews with the school hiring managers, helping you collect the proper documents, guiding you through the visa application process, organizing your airfare and airport pickup, and answering any questions you have along the way.
Who will be helping me?
You’ll be working with a dedicated, and highly experienced, Edustar Recruiter. All of our recruiters are former teachers, who understands the needs of new teachers.
How much does it cost to use Edustar service?
Our services are completely free. We will collect our fees from the school that hires you.
Is there any other cost involved?
Everything we offer you is 100% free. However, you’ll need to cover the costs of collecting the necessary documentation like your criminal record check and apostille authentications.
What is the main advantage Edustar has over other recruiting agencies?
Do I need to be certain nationality?
Yes. Korean/Chinese Immigration will only grant English teaching visas to candidates who have a valid passport from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand.
Do I need a bachelor’s degree to teach abroad?
Yes. A bachelor’s degree (or higher) from one of the countries listed above is required to apply for a teaching visa. All majors are accepted.
I’m in the process of completing by degree, but I haven’t graduated yet. Can I still apply?
Yes. If you haven't graduated yet, you can still apply and secure a job through us, as long as you are scheduled to graduate before your job begins.
Do I need teaching experience?
No. Most of the teachers in Korea started with zero classroom experience.
In China, you need two years of teaching experience OR a TEFL/TESOL certification to apply for a visa.
Do I need a TEFL or TESOL certification?
In Korea, you do not need any certification other than your bachelor’s degree to teach.
In China, you need a 120 hour TEFL or TESOL certification, if you do not have two years of teaching experience in order to apply for a visa.
Do I need to be a native English speaker?
Yes, you must be a native English speaker to teach in Korea or China. If you grew up in an English speaking country, but not born there, you will need to provide documentation that verifies your education was conducted in English from grade 7 through university.
What do I need to apply?
If you are eligible, simply fill in the online application form to get started. Your assigned Edustar Recruiter will contact you within two business days.
When is a good time to apply?
You can apply any time of the year. We work with many schools that will hire teachers all year around. However, the best time to start teaching is in March and September, which are beginning of the new school terms. This is the time where schools do most of their hiring. We recommend that you apply 3-4 months before your desired start date, although it is possible to find a placement for you in a shorter amount of time.
When will I start receiving interview requests / job offers?
Short answer, it varies. It depends on the time of the year, as stated above. It also depends on applicant’s qualification and experience. The timeline is simply different for everyone. However, your Edustar Recruiter will stay in contact and keep you updated throughout the application process.
How do interviews work?
When a school is interested in your resume, they will request an interview. Your Edustar Recruiter will send you information about the school. If there is mutual interest, we will schedule an interview. The interviews will usually be conducted over Skype. Some Chinese schools may prefer to use WeChat, which is easy to install on a computer. The interviewer could be a school director, or a faculty manager and it can last anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes. Prior to the interviews, we will give you some general tips on typical interview questions so you can be prepared.
What happens after the interview?
If the school is interested in making you an offer, they will usually send an employment contract within the next few days. We will review the offer and forward it to you. If the interview wasn’t a success then we continue to search for the next interviewing opportunity.
Can I apply as a couple (or with a friend)?
Yes of course! We work with many couples and friends wanting to teach abroad together. When your Edustar Recruiter contacts you for the first time, he/she will ask about your preferences. During this time, please note that
- Many schools will hire only one teacher that a time.
- It is possible for one person to interview and get a job offer before the other person.
Ideally, we will try to place you at the same school, if that is your preference. When this is not possible, we will place you at different schools, but in the same area/neighborhood. Please keep in mind that the more flexible you are, better chance we will have of finding a good fit for both of you.
What type of visa do I need?
For Korea, you will need to acquire an E2 visa. If your parents are Korean citizens, you may also qualify for a F4 visa. For China, you will need to acquire a Z visa.
How can I acquire the visa?
You will need to submit a group of documents to your employer (school), and they will apply for your visa sponsorship at the Immigration office. Once approved, you will receive a ‘visa issuance number’. Once you receive the issuance number, you will need to visit (or mail) the Korean Consulate in your region to acquire the actual visa.
Although it may seem complicated, your Edustar Recruiter will guide you through each step and make things very clear. For more detail, see our Acquiring Visa page.
How long does the visa application process take?
Acquiring the documents you need to apply for a visa typically takes 4-12 weeks. (Criminal Record Check being the one that usually takes the longest to acquire)
After your employer (school) applies for your visa sponsorship, the Immigration office will take 1-2 weeks to approve your visa.
How long will my visa be valid for?
Your visa will expire after 1 year. If you wish to stay longer and renew your contract, extending your visa is a very simple process that can be done within the host country.
What are my responsibilities as a teacher?
Your main responsibility is leading your students with fun and exciting English lessons. Specific responsibilities vary from school to school, but please read Teacher’s Responsibilities to get a clearer picture of what you will be doing on a daily basis.
Will I be the only foreign teacher at my school?
Typically no. Most schools we work with have multiple classes with several foreign teachers employed. During the job application process, your Edustar Recruiter will provide you with more detailed information about your potential employer, including the number of foreign teachers.
How many hours will I work?
You will work 5 days a week for about 6-9 hours each day. In Korea, you will be teaching about 22-30 hours per week. In China, you will be teaching about 15-25 hours per week. Your remaining time will be spent in the teacher’s office doing things like lesson preparation, marking and grading.
How much vacation time do I get?
It varies depending on the school, but typically, you will be entitled to 10 days of paid vacation plus the National Holidays off. For more details, check out our Holidays section for Korea and China.
Salary and Money
How much will I get paid?
First-time teachers with unrelated majors can expect to earn about $1700 - $2000 USD per month. You can expect to make significantly more with a related major and/or with teaching experiences.
How much can I save?
There’s opportunity to save a lot, but it really depends on your lifestyle. Typically, your employer will provide you with housing or give you a housing allowance. This means that your essential costs will only include food, utilities and transportation. Most teachers are able to save $10,000 USD in a year, some save substantially more while others save substantially less.
Will my salary have any deductions?
Yes. By law, income tax will be deducted from your monthly salary. Depending on where you work, there may be additional deductions things like health insurance and pension plan. For more details, check out our Salary & Taxes section for Korea and China.
Is Korea and China safe places to live?
A large majority of Edustar recruited teachers are placed in Seoul or Shanghai. The international travel advisories list these cities as safe travel destinations. Violent crime rates in these cities are much lower than the US, UK and other highly developed countries. Although there are some scams and petty crimes, these situations can easily be prevented if you take simple precautions. Safety is one of the reasons why many foreigners choose these cities as their ‘go-to’ teaching destination.
Is it true that I can’t access certain websites in China?
Yes, there are many blocked sites in China such as Google, Instagram and Netflix. However, they can be unblocked using a VPN. Ask your recruiter more about it if you wish to apply for a position in China.
What should I bring?
Money – We recommend you bring minimum of $800 USD to get through the first month (until your first pay day). Although it would be more convenient for you to exchange the money in advance, you could easily exchange it after you arrive as well.
Clothes – Pack for all four seasons.
Personal hygiene items – Although you can buy different brands, your favorite deodorant or toothpaste could be hard to find.
Laptop Computer / Tablet
Power Converter / Power Strip – Korea uses 220V 60Hz and China 220V 50Hz outlets.
Smartphone – You can bring your smartphone and put in a local SIM card.
Medication - You can bring up to 6 bottles of medication (for personal use) that do not contain any narcotics or amphetamines.
Who will pay for my flight?
Your school will pay for your flight. Some schools will book the flight for you, while others may ask you to book the flight then reimburse you after you arrive. In either case, your Edustar Recruiter will coordinate with you and the school to ensure your safe and timely arrival.
What happens when I arrive?
Your Edustar Recruiter will coordinate with the school to plan your arrival details with you before you depart. Depending where and when you are landing, we’ll have someone from the school pick you up or we’ll organize an airport pickup service (someone will be waiting for you at the arrival gate).
After that, you are set to start your adventure! Read more about what you can expect from our What It’s Like page.