Blog Archives

Teaching Private Lessons in Korea and Japan

This is a topic many people are curious about before heading overseas to teach.

People have asked me, “Is it true that I can make a lot of money teaching private lessons in Korea and Japan?”

The answer is, “Yes and no.”

In Korea, a teacher can make quite a bit of money teaching private lessons after work or on the weekends, but there is an element of risk. In Korea, if you are working on an E2 or language teacher visa, you are legally, not allowed to teach private lessons. You are only allowed to earn income from your employer. many people do it of course. I even taught private lessons from time to time, but if you are ever caught by officials from immigration, and people are indeed busted, you could face deportation.

In Japan, the situation is quite a bit different. teaching visas are portable. Once a school sponsors you for your visa, you are allowed to moonlight teaching private lessons. Some schools might not like you doing it, but legally, there I nothing they can do. In Japan however, the appetite for English isn’t as strong as in Korea. Also, the pay may be lower.

Here is a video I made for my BusanKevin You Tube channel about the topic:


Podcasts on Korea

If you are planning to head to Japan or Korea to teach, you definitely have to spend some time researching. Packing up your life and moving half way across the world shouldn’t be an unplanned endeavour.

Obviously there are so many blogs and websites you can read. there are also many video bloggers You Tube who can help you learn a thing or two about your future home.

Another great way to research is by listening to podcasts. At the moment there are few active podcasts by teachers in Korea or Japan. A few years ago there were more, but as teachers come and go, so do the podcasts.

One great podcast that will help you learn more about South Korea and teaching there is the Qiranger Adventures Podcast by Steve Miller. Go check it out!

Here is a video I made about his podcast:

I of course cannot go without mentioning the Seoul Podcast. This one has been around for several years and takes a look at current news and social topics in Korea.

*NOTE*  I spent almost 8 hours in the past two days doing final proof reads on the book. I should be able to upload it t the Kindle Store early next week and then preview it and make any formatting changes necessary.

Negative Teachers in Japan and Korea

I made a video today because I wanted to share a little advice with people who are new to teaching or who are aspiring to teach.

When you move abroad for the first time to work in a school, you will meet people who really enjoy life in that country. You will meet people who like teaching, work hard at it and get a lot out of their situation.

You have been planning this move to Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, etc., for a really long time and have been so excited to move. You finally get there after months or even years of anticipation and when you arrive at your new school, you have a coworker who simply complains about everything around them.

We all have bad days.  I have been living abroad for almost ten years and I definitely get them from time to time. I have bouts of homesickness when I wish I was back in Canada teaching in a Canadian school. I also have days when I may complain about my job or other aspects of life in Japan. I have those days, but they don’t come often.

Some future coworkers may have days like that everyday. They always seem to be bitching negative. Their personalities make them seem like “human rain clouds.” They are almost like a cartoon character walking around with that little cloud above their heads at all time dumping rain and misery on them.

These are the people you need to try to avoid. If you cannot avoid them, take what they say with a grain of salt. People who are unhappy, for whatever reason seem to make their voices heard the most. Being unhappy about life abroad occasionally is normal. If someone is unhappy all the time, something is wrong. They are obviously not cut out for life abroad or life in the classroom!

You are starting your new adventure in the classroom and must be optomistic and enjoy it!

Check out my video on the topic:

The latest addition in my son’s toy collection. I though it appropriate to add to this blog! You won’t see a school bus like this in Korea or Japan, but kids do indeed have to take buses to their private schools.

Teaching in Asia: Disorganized Schools

When teaching in Asia, there can at times be risks. While many schools are managed well, have decent curriculums and are financially stable, some are anything but that!

This is a video I made about working at a very disorganized school in South Korea. I only worked at the school for one year and soon there after it went out of business. The owner was a very nice man, but certainly not a businessman!

I write about this story in Teaching in Asia: Tales and the Real Deal (available soon on the Amazon Kindle Store).