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QUICK SLICE: 5 GREAT Recruiting Companies to Teach English in Korea

I wanna tell you a quick story. When I decided to teach English in Korea few years ago, I was super excited. A new country, new food, new sights to see, and new people to meet. I thought it would be rainbows and butterflies. I was wrong.

Turns out I had major culture shock at work. I didn’t know how to act. I offended the Korean staff, and they offended me. It was pretty much a nightmare, and I almost went home. I never thought I’d ever get culture shock because I had never experienced it before. In hindsight, I should have read more about the work culture and should have done more research when choosing a recruiting agency. Good recruiting agencies help you prepare for what lies ahead.

So, I’m going to do you a favor and save you some research. After talking to lots of English teachers in Korea (and being a former teacher there myself for two years), I have narrowed down the top five recruiting companies. Keep in mind that these picks are based solely on my own informational interviews. Time and time again, these names have popped up, so I decided that they needed a shout-out.

A note on recruiters: If you have never been to Korea before, getting a job through a recruiting company will relieve a lot of stress for you, IF you choose a company that is honest and will help you prepare for your new transition.

Here are the top recruiters:

1) Adventure Teaching (Korea specific) – Adventure Teaching has a fantastic “Let’s Be Frank” section on their website highlighting “What others don’t tell you” and “What to expect at work.”  I believe that all recruiting companies need to have something like this on their websites to show what it’s really like and how to overcome language and cultural barriers.


2) Appletree Global Recruiting (Korea specific) - Appletree has been mentioned to me a bunch, but they don’t seem to be on social media.

3) Reach to Teach (recruits for many countries)


4) Teach Away (recruits for many countries)


5) WorknPlay (Korea specific) – One of the biggest recruiting companies for ESL teachers in Korea. They have no social media accounts either.

BONUS: Get the Edge Up – A new study + teach + volunteer abroad organization. While they don’t have programs in Korea yet, they are awesome and unique because they focus on personally assisting and mentoring you before and during your time abroad — Something that teachers really need when they make the move abroad!

Do you know of any other recuiting agencies that you think should be on the list? Let me know!


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  • Around the World in 80 Jobs

    good resources. This sounds like an awesome experience. I just interview Naomi, from and her experience sounds sweet. . I might try to do this job:)

  • Bruce Jones

    Great article! It’s always best to an opinion of someone who’s “been there and done that” and learn from their experiences. A good recruiting company does that times 100 as they are the “middle man” of the 2 cultures and can prepare you.

    The other part to have a good experience teaching English abroad is to be prepared to teach the class effectively and that is done through a TEFL certification school. Take a look at one of the largest in the world, International TEFL Academy and you can be certified to teach in Korea and all around the world.

    • Alexa Hart

      Indeed, Bruce! Being prepared to teach is a must. Also, another good teaching program I forgot to mention was CIEE.

  • Brittany Rouille

    Great post! My fiancé and I are trying to figure out what recruitment agency to use for moving to So Ko to teach at the beginning of the new year, this will definitely help with our research efforts – thanks! Our site is :)

  • ESLinsider

    There are a lot of recruiters in Korea… BUT…

    Your best bet is to deal directly with the school.

    Some people have fine experiences with recruiters and others do not.

    They are middle men and often have never been to the school.