Private schools in Korea, called “hagwon” in Korean, are privately run institutions that teach all of the core subjects including math, science, social studies, as well as specialized studies like art, sports, dance, and of course, English. Some hagwons teach all of these subjects while others are a bit more specialized and focus on just one or two subjects. Hagwons exist everywhere in Korea and have become a mainstay of Korean education. Children will often do the majority of their early schooling in a hagwon and move onto public school when they are a bit older. At around elementary age, students will typically begin their day at public school and then go to a hagwon in the afternoon/evening time for extra lessons. This explains the sometimes varied nature of hagwon teacher’s schedules.

Do you want to apply private school? If so, before you apply to private school, please read the following process timeline. It will help you prepare and better understand the process of applying for hagwons.

Step 1. Contact HandSKorea

Applicants must send their resume to main.hsk@hotmail.com. If the applicant is suitable, one of our recruiters will contact the applicant about an individual interview session to discuss the process of applying and document needs.

Step 2. Profiles Sent Out

After an applicant’s interview with HandSKorea, we will send out said applicant’s profile to schools to begin the interview process.

Step 3. Interview

Upon notifying the applicant of a school available, we will schedule an interview with said school and applicant. The results typically take anywhere between 1-4 business days.

Step 4. Contract

Once the private school has agreed to hire the applicant, the applicant will receive a contract via email. Depending on the urgency of the school’s deadline to hire an English teacher, the applicant may be requested to review and sign the contract ASAP. This can be processed in a few days or even on the same day, depending on the applicant’s decision.

Step 5. Documents to HandS Korea

Once all pages of the signed contract are scanned and sent via email to Hands Korea, the applicant will also need to send all the required documents stated in the Document Checklist using an express postal service (preferably FEDEX or DHL) to the HandS Korea office.  Please ask for a mail tracking number and send that via email to HandS Korea. These will get mailed to your school who will apply for your VCN.

Step 6. VCN (Visa confirmation number)

VCNs take about 10 business days to process. A VCN is essentially a pre-approval of your submitted documents which is released to you as a set of numbers and letters. During this time you are not required to do anything, so relax a bit, start packing and saying your goodbyes!

Step 7. Visa Application

As soon as a VCN is released we will send it to you via email. At this point you are ready to apply for your visa at your nearest Korean consulate/embassy. This can be done in person or via mail (with the former taking about 5 business days and the latter taking about 10 business days). The consulate will most likely give you a date to come back so please notify us when you apply and if they give you said date to return.

Step 8. Ticket Purchase

Upon obtaining your visa you are okay book a one-way ticket to South Korea. While the ticket’s cost must be paid upfront by the teacher, the airfare will be reimbursed by the school within 30 days upon arrival to Korea. The ticket must be approved by the school before being purchased.

Step 9. Start

Wow! Finally, YOU are officially a private academy teacher! Congratulations! You will gain great experiences from teaching in Korea!

Private schools in Korea, also called “hagwons”, are privately run institutions, that teach all of the core subjects, including Math, Science, Social Studies, as well as specialized studies, like art, sports, dance, and of course, English. Some hagwons teach all of these subjects, others are exclusive to one. If you are interviewing for a position with a private academy, make sure to find out if it’s a general education hagwon or an English hagwon.​ In a private academy, teachers are typically teaching by themselves, albeit with class sizes that are much smaller than public schools. Most hagwon classes are under 12 students. A course outline and syllabus are usually provided, as well as all the necessary teaching materials for the entire year, which means that very little time is needed for lesson planning. Most hagwon teachers are very busy however, as there are typically around 5-6 classes per day. There is usually a period at the beginning of each day where teachers will sit at their desk or office, and plan out the day, and after that, there is a full day of teaching, with 10 minute breaks in between classes. Although hagwon teachers are teaching more classes per week than their public school counterparts, one of the benefits of working at a hagwon is a much smaller class sizes, which makes it easier to interact with and get to know students. On average, hagwon students, possess a much higher level of English-speaking ability than general public school students, meaning that communication is less of a problem in the classroom. 

Contract Period

1 year contract

Working area

City areas

Working hours 

Monday – Friday,    2 PM-10 PM

Teaching & Working hours

30 hours teaching hours,  40 hours working hours (per week)

Time Detail