Wow! What a journey this has been! I began working with SeoulESL in the beginning of 2020 to apply for jobs in South Korea… I was not expecting what came next! Even with a global pandemic SeoulESL has really done a wonderful job of supporting me throughout the full process : application, finding a school, applying for my visa, securing a plane ticket, etc. Without their help I definitely would not be here today!
Once you have gotten your visa and bought your ticket there are a few changes to the normal routine of international travel. You will need to get a negative covid test within 48 hours of your flight departure time. You will need to wear a mask at all times. I recommend packing a few extras so you can freshen up. I used about 4 in total. Once you arrive in Korea you will need to make any further domestic travel by designated train. This process is much easier than it seems! There are so many awesome and kind employees to guide you through the airport, to the bus that will take you from the airport to the train station, lead you to the train (and even to your specific carriage) and pick you up at your destination. Once I arrived in my city, I was disinfected along with my belongings by a government official and taken in an official government vehicle to my quarantine location! I was really exhausted from traveling at this point, but I was really excited to ride in the back of an ambulance! I got to live out some of my childhood dreams! Within 24 hours of arrival I was escorted by a government official to the local hospital to get a covid test. It took about 5 minutes! I got my results the next day and have been happily quarantining ever since. Every day you have to record your temperature but that is explained by the hospital staff! Before this quarantine I was really worried about being too bored, but I have found Korean Netflix! It has so many different shows than the US so when I am not preparing for my upcoming lessons I have been binge watching K-Dramas! It’s been great! I would recommend preparing converters for your mobile devices, laundry detergent (there is most likely a washing machine in your hotel room), and some extra snacks. If you have any extra worries or questions, your SeoulESL agent can always help you! You’re in great hands!
When I first decided to teach in South Korea, I knew that the transition would be difficult but I had no idea how difficult it would become in Spring 2020. Thankfully, Chloe from SeoulESL provided consistent support and information that eased the process. Chloe constantly updated me on changes made to the visa application process due to Covid-19 restrictions as well as what I could expect upon arriving in South Korea. Chloe provided step-by-step instructions on every section of my journey, from visa application to my arrival process and on the quarantine period. The consistent support gave me reassurance during an important transition in my life.
To future teachers, it may seem daunting to move to a new country, especially right now, but it is worth the process. I advise you to expect delays on everything including apostilles, documents, visas and the like. My first flight had to be rescheduled due to delays in the documentation but Chloe helped me with keeping my school updated on the constant changes. Also, expect a two week quarantine period upon arriving in South Korea as well as a Covid-19 test. The immigration process once you land is going to take much longer than normal due to the quarantine documentation process where you will sign many (many!) documents agreeing to the quarantine and will also download an app which you will use to check-in every day and report your temperature and symptoms. Many areas of the airport will also be sectioned off or closed down. For this reason, I was unable to get a SIM card when I landed meaning no Korean number. Thankfully, Chloe allowed for her number to be used on my documents which was verified by an official at the airport, making her my point of contact for the Dalseo Health Center which also required my temperature twice a day. I am grateful to Chloe and SeoulESL for their valuable information and consistent support and would highly recommend them to future teachers who might be nervous about moving during such an unprecedented time.
Quarantine Story from native English teacher in Gimpocity in Korea
I’m not sure what to write because quarantine is quarantine. They should get their exact address ahead of time and ship items/food to themselves, if they want something specific. I like the website iherb (over a certain price and the shipping is free). As soon as they arrive in their new place, they must have someone call the number given to say they’re in quarantine. I had to check into the app 2 times a day, morning and night, usually 9am and 9pm. The government will provide stickers that change color to show their body temperature. They need to write the color the sticker became in the blank box at the bottom, when checking-in on the app. Also, make sure to have a converter.
I hope that helps.