Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

Do schools prefer F-2s over E-2s?

with 3 comments

Thanks to asmith for posing this question on this blog. I’ll give you the answer from my perspective but it’s pretty much the general consensus of schools that wish to go this route.

You’re right. F-visa holders are definitely the pickiest and arguably ‘hard to control’ by schools. However, IMO, I would say that F-2 holders (married to Korean) are definitely more pickier than F-4 holders (overseas Korean-gyopo). The former, because they are married, they are usually confined to a specific locale as they probably already have housing. Furthermore, if you are married to a Korean, in all likelihood, you’ve been here for a long time. You have a good idea of the market, what you want to teach, how you want to teach, and where you want to teach. Lastly, you’re not bound by silly visa laws that require you to work for only one place so you likely have a lot of side gigs (I know that most contracts, regardless of visas, don’t allow you to work elsewhere but honestly, who cares).

That being said, if a school is able to land a decent F-2 holder as opposed to an E-2 and can satisfy all their job requirements, it’s much better for the school. Why? The number one reason is that it’s cheaper. They don’t have to pay for a flight but more importantly, they don’t have to pay for housing (usually).

You may ask, then why don’t they just hire an F-4 holder? Lots of schools actually prefer F-4 holders but some want that ‘foreign look’ (hey I’m just stating what’s true). Because F-2s fit the mold of a ‘native-looking’ instructor but don’t come with the red-tape and cost of an E-2, they would rather go this route.

To answer your last question, F-2s aren’t necessarily confined to Seoul; it’s just that that’s where most of the F-2 instructors are but there are lots elsewhere as well. Also, keep in mind that most F-2 visa holders in Korea are housewives originating from southeast Asian countries living in rural Korea.


Written by recruiterinkorea

November 24, 2009 at 10:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. This is off topic but I figured it’s worth an ask:

    would being in Korea already be a major benefit to a recruiter?

    for example, after my first year contract expires in Jan, and 2 weeks back in the UK, I’ll be returning to Seoul on a flight I’ve booked already.

    I will have all the necessary documents ready and figured it’d be better off looking here rather than from the UK (plus a school wouldn’t have to shell out for my flight).

    Any idea if this is a semi-decent idea or would make me more marketable?


    November 24, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    • Being in Korea does make it easier for you to go in person to interviews and be more proactive rather than just clicking ad after ad on the internet. The problem that many recruiters have with domestic candidates is that they usually want to start work immediately after their current contract (and they’re also more pickier now that they have the one year under their belt). Therefore, the timing has to be somewhat perfect.

      In your case however, you’ll be going back home after your current contract so your return time is somewhat more flexible. It’s definitely a lot more advantageous if you start your search while you’re here rather than searching when you’re back home. If schools could, they would prefer to see you in person which would give you an edge over a candidate with just a resume and photo to go by.


      November 24, 2009 at 1:46 pm

  2. […] True.  Schools that recruit a lot would prefer newbies over domestic guys with experience.  Why?  Cheaper for the most part.  Of course there are some schools that specifically want experienced instructors in Korea, namely the ’boutique’ hagwons.  Also, guys with F-series visas. […]

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