I originally applied to the EPIK program through another recruiter. Unfortunately, EPIK rejected me, and when my previously enthusiastic and "dedicated" recruiter found out, he dropped me like a hot potato and told me, "Have a nice life". To say I was devastated, was an understatement. I worked very hard to prepare myself for the EPIK application process and the possibility of moving to another country.
I was determined to find a teaching position in Korea. I knew there were other possible outlets. I just needed a reputable recruiter to help me explore those options. So I applied to Korvia Consulting! I was paired with Sarah as my recruiter, and I can tell you that she has been such a great support through my entire process.
When I applied to Korvia, my application was pre-screened, then I was offered an interview with a recruiter (Sarah). This interview was maybe 15 minutes total. I believe the purpose of this email is to decipher individuals who are truly passionate about wanting to teach in Korea, from those who are looking for a free vacation. My advice is to be prepared when entering this interview. Know why you want to teach, and how you plan to teach. What is your teaching style (again, do your research if you do not know)? Where do you want to teach? I would suggest that you be pretty flexible with your options, mainly because Seoul is one of the hardest places to find a position now-a-days due to the lack of funding. Maybe consider the GEPIK program. Many locations in Gyeonggi-do are within an hour subway metro ride to Seoul. Either way, even if you are not placed anywhere near Seoul, the experience of living in another country and immersing yourself in a different culture should be a great opportunity all together.
I would say that this portion of the job process was the longest. Although Sarah was my official recruiter, all of the Korvia recruiters will send you descriptions of job openings. I could get 1 or 2 everyday. It was my duty to respond to these emails and tell the recruiters whether I was interested or not. If I was interested, then the recruiter would send my information (application and introduction video) to the school. It was at that point the school would decided whether they wanted to have an interview with me or not. Though this process sounds pretty easy, it was hard finding a school that wanted to interview me. I went 4 months without any interviews. The first an only school to interview me, ended up being the school that hired me!
DOCUMENTS, DOCUMENTS, DOCUMENTS!
As I mentioned early, be prepared. Already have your documents done, or in the process of being done. As for me, I had my documents done VERY early (August 2014). Therefore my background check expired (it only lasts 6 months). So once I received my job placement, I had to basically travel the entire United States to have my background check submitted, certified, and apostilled (I literally flew to Washington D.C. to have my background check apostilled in person).
Anyways, despite how crazily hectic everything was, Sarah and Ann Park stood by my side and reassured me continuously along the way. They were very organized. Once they received my documents in the mail they informed me right away. They made sure that things went smoothly despite my situation.
One of the main reasons I chose to apply through Korvia,is because of the services they provide you.
When my plane arrived in Korea, Korvia had a driver meet me at the airport and drive me directly to my apartment.
They also provided me with a preloaded Korean SIM phone card so I was able to communicate with people here in Korea and at home. The SIM card has about 30 minutes preloaded on it, but you can add more time and internet data if you want.
Since I was denied by EPIK, my next option was to apply through GEPIK, so my placement is located in Namyangju, Korea (about an hour east of Seoul). What I can say, is that despite it being considered "rural", it is still a pretty hustling town. I cannot say that your town will be similar to mine, but I can say that, you will be within a 30-45 minute distance of an Emart or shopping area (what I have deduced from other teachers working and living in the Gyeonggi-do area). I was stringent about wanting to teach at a public school, and I was awarded just that. From what I understand, private schools are quickly becoming the route to go because of reduced funding for the native teachers. I am happy with my school, co-teachers, students, and location.
Korvia is trying to bridge together their teachers through parties during the spring, summer, and fall. I was able to attend the Spring 2015 party, and was able to meet many teachers who have become good friends. I really appreciate this step they are taking, because this is one of the only times I get to interact with other foreigners in a open and comfortable environment, other than the GEPIK orientation.
All-in-all I was extremely satisfied with my experience through Korvia Consulting. I would HIGHLY recommend them if you are considering teaching English here in South Korea!