Eligibility and Qualifications

Find out about the qualifications required and the legal requirements that must be met in order to teach English as a foreign language in South Korea...

Who is Eligible?

Only citizens of the following countries are eligible to teach English legally in South Korea:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom
  • United States


The minimum qualification required to secure a teaching job is a bachelor’s degree.  The degree can be in any field, but English, Linguistics, Education, and ESL/EFL is preferred.

Many schools and teacher placement agencies may want to see TESOL qualifications along with proof of experience and higher levels of qualifications such as a master’s degree or even higher may be required. For public schools, a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate proving a minimum of 100 studying hours is required.

All bachelor’s and/or graduate degrees must have an Apostille.

  • For information about how to Apostille documents: Click here

The applicant must have proof from their home country of a clean criminal record. This must be less than six months old from the hiring date. Documents and fees for background checks vary from country to country. In some countries, it takes quite a few months to collect and notarise all the appropriate documents.  These documents must have an Apostille.

It is highly recommended to get all of the required documents in advance. They often take a long time to obtain, which can delay hiring. Having them ready beforehand will greatly increase chances of securing a job.