The happiest of people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything they have. – Author Unknown
Continuing on my previous topic of ways to replenish funds from battered bank accounts while committing to long-term budget travel, I’ve decided to share more specifically how I have been able to financially provide for myself as I take a short hiatus from the arduous dealings of moving from place to place–country to country–as I know many people have been curious and have asked me several detailed questions regarding how and where to begin. South Korea offers an enormous advantage for those from native English speaking countries the ability to earn money with minimal requirements. Typically you will need a bachelor’s degree and those that have an education background, such as myself with Journalism and English Literature, will have more negotiating power when it comes to salaries or private tutoring rates.
FINDING STUDENTS: This can be done through a variety of methods. I have found most of my students through posting on Craigslist surprisingly. If you would like to view my post that I continue to keep recent feel free to check it out here. I have also gained some students through friends that are teachers and other Korean adoptees (KADs) that are currently living in Seoul. Posting flyers in areas that are permitted such as coffee shops and around Universities is also beneficial.
NEGOTIATING RATES AND SCHEDULES: Personally, I feel that the minimum rate should be determined through such variablesas; commuting time, transportation costs, and lesson preparation time. I use a simple formula to determine my hourly rate. Students and those English Teachers tutoring should first be aware of LEGAL and ILLEGAL tutoring. I personally do not like hearing of other foreigners taking advantage of tutoring without the proper visa to do so, because others often already have preferential treatment when applying for English teaching jobs. Most schools want their English teacher to look the part, meaning a Caucasian individual, often a female over that of a male.
PROBLEMS AND DIFFICULTIES: Being an English tutor is not as easy as you may expect, and the number one problem I tend to have is the lack of consistency of students committing to schedules. This is primarily due to the arduous work schedule that is part of the Korean society for professionals. So as much as you are running the math in your head thinking, wow, I could be earning close to 50K a year, it’s not that simple. Finding students that would like to meet during the day is quite rare.
THE REWARDS: Besides providing a monetary income for myself that allows for savings, I do really take it upon myself to have a passion for my students in wanting to see them to improve and feel more confident in learning. I take great pride in going to an extra effort for my students and I feel that this is important and separates those that do private tutoring for money versus those that also have a genuine passion for their students.
My first three weeks back in Korea after making the decision to stay and live for a while I have decided to discuss my experience with G.O.A.L. (Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link) in assisting me with my F4 Visa and the negative experience that was full of empty promises and, what I feel are questionable practices. I know many other adoptees may have had good experiences and so I don’t want to entirely discourage those that did have those, but I think that people should be aware of the various organizations and to feel comfortable in either supporting them or utilizing their services.
Seoul Immigration Office
319-2, Sinjeong 6 (yuk)-dong, Yangcheon-gu,
Directions: Seoul Subway: At Omokgyo (Mok-dong Stadium) Station exit 7. Go straight for about 10 minutes. (Seoul Subway interactive map)
For other immigration offices in Korea please click here.