Review: Korean Horizons
Back when I was doing my research about what it takes to start teaching in South Korea, one of the suggestions I kept coming across was to use a recruiter. There are many recruiters out there and depending on what you’re looking for, different ones will be the right fit for you. I chose to go with Korean Horizons.
Doing my research on the company didn’t really prove to be too fruitful because there weren’t many reviews and the ones I did find were from back in 2013 and they weren’t entirely positive reviews. But looking through the Korean Horizons website, I liked what they offered and so I took a chance. And let me say that I am glad I did!
Korean Horizons is a legally recognized recruitment agency in South Korea and has been in business for many years. The company is run by a man named Alistair Wery. I was placed in contact with him through the TEFL program that I completed so I did not apply through the application on the KH website (the website now looks much different than when I was applying to the EPIK program only a year ago).
Korean Horizons offers much more than the other recruitment agencies in my opinion. Alistair is very detailed in telling you about the items you will need when applying to teach in Korea and he keeps you updated every single step of the way. If you have questions or do not understand something, just email him and he will get back to you usually within 24 hours. I still have no idea how he can respond so quickly when he is dealing with so many other applicants.
After all materials are submitted to EPIK through Alistair and you are accepted for an interview, Alistair offers to have a practice interview with you. So we went through the interview as if it was the real thing and afterwards he told me of any things that needed to be corrected and was very thorough and detailed about what the EPIK interviewers were looking for and what I should wear for the final interview. He was also very honest and told me that of all the teachers he has helped with the EPIK process throughout the years, only one person did not pass the interview. That’s a pretty darn good percentage if you ask me.
After passing the interview, Alistair asked me to send him my flight information as soon as it was booked so that he can make plans to meet me at the airport as well as whoever else was landing around that time.
Korean Horizons asks you to land in Korea one day before your EPIK orientation and offers to pick you up from the airport. KH also provides a place to sleep for the night (at no cost to you) so that you can recover from the flight and get proper rest before the week long EPIK orientation. Other recruiting companies that I researched didn’t do this; once you pass the EPIK interview, you’re on your own. KH also gives you a goody bag of sorts that contains a map, a travel phrase book, and one of those adapter chargers which I was happy for because the one I had purchased before coming wasn’t that great.
The day I landed, dinner was taken care of by Alistair and the next morning, breakfast was taken care of too. The rooms provided to us were simple, clean rooms that put you in the mind of a hotel/dorm. Then, the next day, Alistair dropped me and the other KH teachers back off at the airport so that we could meet with the EPIK coordinators that were taking us to the orientation site. This is where you officially part ways with Alistair. At this time, I was actually quite sad because he really does hold your hand through the entire process, so the feeling is similar to how kids feel when their mom or dad drops them off at daycare lol.
But not to fret! As a perk of using Korean Horizons, you are able to keep in contact with Alistair throughout your contract period with any questions you might have and again, he is prompt with getting back to you. As a KH recruit, you are also allowed to order anything you might need to get set up in your new place from Gmarket. Just make a list of what you need (cooking supplies, bathroom supplies, bedding, etc), give it to Alistair, and he will purchase it and have it sent to your apartment. The only thing you need to do is pay him back after you get your first paycheck, at no interest rate!
This was absolutely golden for someone like me who was placed in a brand new apartment with absolutely nothing in it besides what was stated in the contract. Some people get lucky and get placed in the apartment the previous foreign teacher was living in who will often leave behind many useful things. I wasn’t so lucky. I had no cooking utensils, no bedding, no cleaning supplies, nothing. So using this service was a huge help and I was very grateful for it.
Overall I loved being able to use Korean Horizons to get me to Korea. I don’t know if I would have made it here without Alistair’s help. So if you are researching recruiting agencies, I suggest Korean Horizons. I am sure you won’t regret it.