Checking it off

The application process to teach at a public school in S. Korea is quite extensive.  And you have to do all of these steps – and you don’t even have a job offer yet.  They can’t offer you a job until they know you can legally obtain a VISA, have the official documentation that you are who you say you are, graduated college, etc. 

And it is recommended to get all the paperwork sent in ASAP so that you can get a job in the city you want.  And since Micah and I need to be in the same city – and there aren’t endless number of jobs…well, we’ve been busy checking off the required items.


  • Fill out official application (includes all the schools you attended from elementary to college, medical history, and you have to select the top three cities you want to live/teach in)
  • Personal statement/essay – easy
  • 4 copies of passport photos ~$20
  • Notarized criminal background record check – went to Seattle Police Dept to get this ~$23
  • Copies of the info/pic page of our passports: easy enough
  • Notarized copies of our original college degrees: have the copies, just need to get them notarized, which is free at our bank, normally $5 per document (nice!)
  • 3 sealed university transcripts (cost me $15, but Micah’s were free)
  • (Micah only) proof of teaching experience: sealed letter from his former elementary school principal specifying exactly when/where he taught (this gives Micah a higher salary – yea!)


  • Send notarized copy of college degree and criminal record check to the state for an apostille certification. (I had no idea what this was, but basically it’s a higher level certification by the state and they only certify notified documents).  $15 per document.
  • Letter of reference – from a former employer or professor, must obtain 2 signed copies
  • Courier a specific list of these docs to someone in S. Korea
    • The documents have to be in a specific order and will cost $40-$80


  • Once the documents are received in S. Korea, they will be forwarded on to EPIK (the public school agency we are going with). 
  • If you’ve done everything right and they want to offer you a position, they will send over an official contract
  • You then have to go to the Korean consulate nearest us (luckily, ours is right in downtown Seattle) to apply for your E-2 VISA (which is another set of copies of this and that, and fill out more application forms)
  • Ideally, we would get our VISAs issued the next day – and then…we wait to hear when we should book our flight!!!

4 Responses to “Checking it off”

  1. 1 Dave April 18, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    This is stressful just readling about all the hoops to jump though to teach in Korea. You could add a disclaimer at the start of posts like this that suggests getting a beer before reading on.

    Are you in Hawaii now? Hopefully you’re not having to work too hard and are getting some time on the beach.

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  1. 1 Ready for some Korean adventure? Apply now. « Much Ado About Lisa Trackback on March 26, 2010 at 5:01 am

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