First off, I want to start out by saying that Footprints is a big placement company. They help place English teachers throughout Korea in public and private schools. Thus, every teacher is going to have a different experience because each teacher is placed in a different school.
With that being said, I was unhappy with the support I received from the Footprints team. Here's how it worked. I contacted them (with the advice of a friend who used them and said he liked Footprints), and long story short, they helped secure a job at a hagwon (private school) for me in Seoul in 2010. I was hoping Footprints would answer my questions about the U.S. visa process, but they were unable to do that, so I figured it out on my own. It can be a pretty confusing process.
Prior to going to Korea, there was very little communication from Footprints about what to expect when I arrived in the country. I was unprepared for the vastly different work environment and went through major culture shock. Not once did Footprints check in with me about how I was doing. And, my school ended up going out of business at the end of the year. Luckily, I saw all my money. The director of the school (GDA Junior in Seocho) was also very unprofessional and paranoid.
I know several teachers who have been very satisfied with Footprints, so perhaps I am an anomaly. I was just surprised that Footprints offered such little support to its teachers.
Outside of work, life in Seoul was awesome. I lived in a really tiny apartment in one of the best neighborhoods - Gangnam, which was close to great bars and restaurants. I joined a couple different gyms and took public transportation everywhere. Taxis were also really cheap. In general, Koreans are really friendly. I was able to make friends with some locals, and they taught me how to read Korean, while they practiced their English with me. Win-win!
My apartment was about an eight minute walk to work, which was also a big plus. I lived within walking distance of local markets as well.
As for a typical day at work: I taught super little kids (ages 3 and 4) in the morning and early afternoon. I got to work around 8:30-9 ish. My kids had zero English experience, so my first few months were super rough. I was given very little instruction and got a lot of criticism from my crazy boss on what to do, so it was a huge learning experience. After about five to six months, I finally felt comfortable in the classroom but felt like my boss was always watching me on the cameras (yes, there were cameras + audio in every classroom).
At this particular school, lunch was provided and taken out of our paycheck. At my second, much better school that I found through a friend the year after, lunch was free.
After the morning kids left around 2:30-3:00 ish, we had a 20-minute period to get ready for our afternoon classes, when we taught elementary school kids. My students had a higher English level in the afternoon, so it was way easier. Also, the curriculum was more set. I taught 3-4 different age groups and levels. Every teacher had a different schedule for this particular school. Some teachers were done around 4-5pm, and other teachers weren't finished until 6:50. Teaching takes a ton of energy since you're on your feet all day, so keep that in mind when thinking about working there.
A note on sick days: They are pretty much non-existant in Korea. I got sick a few times and lost my voice and still came in to teach. Teachers who had more than 2-3 sick days got money taken out of their paychecks.
Overall, my first year in Korea using Footprints was one massive lesson. I used what I learned about Korean work culture to have a great second year at a different school. My first year was a culture schock I wasn't expecting, but I'm glad that I experienced it in the long run.
Sorry to say it, but I do not recommend Footprints. I'd recommend teaching English in Korea to anyone, but do your research first about what to expect when you get there! Hierarchy and harmony are HUGE.