photo source here.the date is not really 2015, but i want this post to stay at the top.
regardless of where you were born, you are qualified to work in south korea if you hold a passport from AND earned your degree in the US, Canada, South Africa, UK, Ireland, Australia, or New Zeland. if you dont have a bachelors but do have two years of undergrad/associates, you can work for korea via the talk program. you do not need to know how to speak korean. you do not need any teaching experience.
in south korea, children go to public school during the day. after the regular school day, they go to after school private academies, also called hogwons. there are hogwons for every subject: math, science, music, art, etc, and of course, learning english. if you teach in south korea, you will work public (meaning public school) or private (meaning hogwons). if you have a masters degree, you may want to instead pursue work at a university or a uni-gwon.
commonalities for most soko jobs: you work under contract for one year. they will reimburse you for your plane ticket. you will have free furnished housing, you'll have medical insurance, you get a one month extra pay as severance at the end of your contract.
public school is a regular mon-fri gig, public holidays off, 9am-5pm or whatever hours they have you working. you will be the only non-korean in the school. you work as an assistant to your korean co-teacher. curriculum might be already prepared, or you may have to make it yourself or with the help of your co-teacher. class size is big, 20, 30, 40+ students per class. usually 45 min a class i think?
hogwon hours are afternoon to evening/night. usually mon-fri, maybe weekends too/instead, depending on the school. you are alone in the classroom and will be one of many non-koreans working at the school, depending on how big the school is. maybe they will have a set curriculum for you to teach, or maybe they give you a book and tell you to have a it.
think of hogwons like fast food joints. maybe you work for mcdonalds or burger king or carl's jr: all serve burgers, but are a little different in both name and location. ie: Sonic is the same everywhere, but you know that the one on Main Street is your favorite and the one you visited one time on Grand Ave was terrible. maybe you've heard great things about the mcdonalds Maharaja Mac, but they wont make it for you b/c it's only on the menu in mcdonalds india. dont swallow things you hear like, "i heard hogwons dont pay on time" or "i heard schools shut down and leave you stranded," or the like. Instead, just remember that you will always hear the negative & rarely hear the positive. case in point:Ive heard TERRIBLE things about the hogwan chain "Wonderland," but i met a girl who worked her first year there at a branch in seoul and she loved it and would've stayed/renewed her contract were it not for family things calling her back home.
are you ready? get your paperwork started. look at the job board on eslcafe. if you are black & nervous about coming, listen to this and read the discussion forums on the fb group. ready? break!