English Teacher Brain Drain
Next to Japan sits Korea, known for hiring thousands of ESL teachers every year. However, with new strict visa procedures hiring teachers in Korea will be more difficult. For expatriates of some countries it will take over a month to organize the appropriate documents, i.e. Police Check, Medical History Check, University degree, transcripts and proof of alumni. Further, teachers who have not taught for more than 8 months are required to have an in-person interview at the nearest Korean embassy nearest to their hometown. Experienced teachers with years of teaching will unlikely want return to their home country and wait for anywhere from a week to a month or more for the appropriate documents. Few will also want to wait unemployed. Public schools and smaller private institutes will not be able to afford sending these experienced teachers to their native countries and pay for hotel or rent plus their monthly salaries. Schools will find it more feasible to let the experienced teachers leave and find new inexperienced teachers to replace them, or refuse to hire foreign teachers in general.
If you now look through the Internet online job boards you can see such a variation in teachers. However, one distinction that differs from just months ago, where people use to write “absolutely no China” or “Only Korea/Japan” you now see people requesting Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Taiwan and other countries. One teacher wrote in his application “Looking for work that will sponsor new visa process and salary over 3 million won.” Countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan may not pay as much in monthly salaries, however, teachers can find work without having to return to their home country and can easily change jobs if their employment becomes endangered.