Here are some testimonials from teachers who have benefited from our services.
I am extremely happy that I enrolled with the Colombia Bilingue programme through ESLstarter. As well as being friendly and helpful they were also highly professional and made my application an easy experience. I am now working in Palmira, a small city close to Cali and I am really enjoying the work here. The students are lovely and the school has been so welcoming. Thanks to the programme my dream of living and working abroad is now a reality. The programme is well organised and is supported by the Ministry of Education here. I am especially happy to be helping less well-off Colombian students to learn English. The orientation and help with obtaining visa and bank account was a real bonus for someone newly arrived in a strange country. If you are thinking of applying for a job teaching English in South America, especially if this is your first role, I can heartily recommend ESLstarter and the Colombia Bilingue programme.
Simon Whitehouse, Colombia
My name is Jess, I am 22 years old and currently live in Chengdu, Sichuan teaching English to university students. I am over half way into my semester in China and I love it. The lifestyle in Chengdu is so relaxed, the locals are friendly and Sichuan food really is delicious! I fell in love with Asia last year when my boyfriend and I spent 2 months travelling South East Asia, so I’m thrilled to be back. This is my first time teaching and ESLstarter have made it so easy and have given me the opportunity to work and travel whilst living in an amazing part of the world. The teaching is great; my students are so enthusiastic and kind. I would 100% recommend ESLstarter to anyone who is looking to teach in a foreign country - they are always on hand to help, no matter how big or small your problem may be.
Jessica Pickup, Teach & Learn China
As cliche as it sounds, deciding to come to China as an ESL teacher was a spur of the moment decision. I never expected to enjoy the work as much as I do, let alone fall in love with China and her people. The challenges presented by the differences in language and culture only make the experience more authentic, and these challenges have tested me in ways that I have never thought possible. Learning to cope and appreciate the difference has not only taught me more about China than I could ever have learnt from South Africa, it has also taught me more about myself than I have imagined. If there's one piece of advice that I will take away from this experience, it is that every person should try to live in Asia at least once during their lives!
Emma Brady, Teach & Learn China
After I had finished my degree I knew I wanted to earn money while travelling and when I found out about the Teach and Learn Program in Sichuan, China I jumped at the opportunity. Phil and his team were extremely helpful and efficient in answering any questions I had regarding visas and preparing me for life in China. Our orientation week in Chengdu was also sufficient in providing us with the necessary tools to thrive in China and deal with the inevitable “Culture Shock” before we all spit up to our various schools and universities. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity and although I have only been here for nearly three months the time is simply flying by! I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to gain some teaching experience while seeing what the East has to offer.
Lauren Bennett, Teach & Learn China
It's not easy to find a job abroad if you are a non-native English-speaking teacher (NNEST), but it is possible with the help of ESLstarter! Phil was very helpful, he answered all my questions and provided necessary support. I have been placed at a university in Deyang and I absolutely love teaching here. I would not hesitate to recommend ESLstarter to anyone interested in teaching in China.
Mariana Ganusiak, Teach & Learn China
The halfway point of our China Teach & Discover internship is next week, it’s a cliché but I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone! For some of my students I was the first foreigner they had ever met, they were so excited and were eager to learn about Britain. I’ve become good friends with one student in particular, Alex – the guy next to me in the picture, his fluency is starting to show real signs of improvement and this is really rewarding for me. The experience has lived up to my expectations, I’m enjoying my life here in China. Credit goes to ESLstarter and their contacts out here, they’ve made the whole thing hassle-free. I’m already looking at their other internships and jobs for my next adventure!
Thomas Galliford, Teach & Learn China
I never considered teaching as I never envisaged myself working with children. Teaching in China has completely changed my mind. No matter what mood I wake up in my students immediately put mine in a better one. I am finally doing something that doesn't have me counting down the days until Friday or dreading those Monday blues. My orientation group was amazing. I have met so many likeminded people and made some great new friends. We are there to give each other advice and support one another along the way. Teaching in China is both challenging and rewarding in equal measure. I now could not imagine doing anything else!
Abi Disney, Teach & Learn China
Two words. Choose China. I've only been her for two and a half months and it already feels like home. Chengdu is a brilliant (and not to mention very clean) city with so much to offer. Transportation is easy to navigate, the nightlife is exciting, the food will be the best you've ever had, the people are insanely friendly and open, and there is a perfect balance between modern and traditional culture. There are also cute fluffy pandas here! My school has a very egalitarian feel to it, like one big family. My students have already stolen my heart (cheesy but true!) and their charismatic little personalities give me so much happiness. Teaching and learning with this program has been an exciting adventure so far, and if you speak Chinese like me, then you'll get better at it with every day that passes. You will also be well looked after here by the program coordinators Leo and Aimee. They have become close friends with all of the interns and we couldn't have survived the first week without them. Choose China .This is an opportunity you just can't miss.
Hikurangi Allison-Tuhura, Teach & Learn China
My name is Ross. I am from South Africa and have been living in Sichuan province, China, since February 16, 2016. Since being here I have enjoyed many things about this wonderful place, the great concrete jungle of Chengdu with all of its different shops and interesting landmarks - The narrow-wide alley, not to mention the Panda bears (did you know that there are actually two?). I am currently teaching at a university in Deyang which is only a train; taxi or bus ride away from Chengdu - it is really easy to get around China! There are a lot of expats wherever you go so finding new places or getting tips on how to live in China is not a problem, because you will always have some sort of local support system. The locals are friendly and try help out as much as they can - mind you their English is not always the best ;) If you are wanting to try tasty food, barter with the locals or simply learn a bit about the language and Chinese culture you won't be disappointed :)
Ross Grunder, Teach & Learn China
Born and bred in Jo'burg I have a new appreciation for crazy cities since arriving in Sichuan in February this year. I'm 26 this year decided to drop the horrendous office job I had been trapped in and hop on a plane. No regrets! People here are fascinated by westerners and have a talent for hospitality; you will eat more than you need to almost daily and you will start to pick up Mandarin within the first two weeks if you're open to letting people teach you. I have had the time of my life thus far and I'm not aching to get back to SA like I thought I may. China is beautiful; scenery, architecture and most definitely people! If you like the idea of being somewhere most people haven't been and seeing things most people will never see, come. Phil and Leo are the best! Whatever I need they're an email away. I love my school, my kids are insanely smart and adorable, my flatmates are beautiful people from different sides of the globe and the best fresh cut noodles in the world are right down the road! Best decision I've made in years.
Anthina Von Ruben, Teach & Learn China
ESLstarter helped to make teaching English in South America a reality for me. Phil and the team were very helpful and informative from start to finish in the application process, and with facilitating all of the necessary steps that went before arriving to Colombia. And whilst I have been here they have remained on-hand with support, often checking in to see how I'm getting on, which is greatly appreciated! I love living and teaching in Colombia; it is all at once the most thrilling, challenging, varied and rewarding experience I have ever had. The people here are the warmest I have ever met, and the landscapes are breath-taking. For anyone considering teaching abroad I'd highly recommend ESLstarter as an agency to go out with, and the experience in general... it's life-changing.
Gideon Woldeslassie, Colombia
In late 2015, I decided to apply for a program called Teach in Colombia that tries to address education inequality throughout Colombia. I used ESLstarter throughout this process. Phil, from ESLtarter, was very helpful throughout the bureaucratic process and always replied promptly to e-mails / questions. I currently work in Mosquera (30 minutes outside of Bogota). I highly recommend using the professional staff at ESLstarter if you are interested in pursuing work abroad. Buena suerte en 2016.
Bryan Gaskins, Colombia
I have just completed my 3 months teaching placement in a small rural town in Northern Thailand. A town that I had never heard of or would never have come to if it weren't for the Teaching in Thailand Internship and it is now a place I do not want to leave. The whole town, the teachers and most importantly the students have welcomed me from the start and I have had the best experience. I am so grateful to Claire for all her support and guidance. From the application process to my arrival in Thailand it was stress free and I have been supported throughout. I recommend anyone who has been thinking about teaching abroad to take this opportunity through ESLstarter. I would definitely recommend Thailand as your first experience of teaching. It was been the best decision I ever made.
Ceri Lennon, Thailand
Colombia – ¡Que Chévere! When you first hear the words 'Teach English in Colombia' the response most people have is What? Where? Isn’t it dangerous? Of course there are some dangerous parts like most places in the world but it is definitely a country worth exploring. A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit a few places in Colombia and stumbled across a few of its hidden treasures. So when I saw the ad from ESLstarter about an exciting new initiative by the Colombian Ministry of Education to teach English I jumped at the chance. Fast forward four months and I’m here in Colombia.
I’ve been teaching for nearly six weeks and ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I truly adore the school the program has placed me in, both the pupils and the teachers have welcomed me with open arms. In fact, I would say it’s a bit like being a Rockstar – constantly being stopped in the street by parents and pupils trying to speak English, offered local food to try, receiving various invitations, giving out fist pumps, hi-fives and hugs, answering millions of questions about where I’m from and not to mention the endless taking of ‘selfies’. The best thing about teaching here is that I enjoy it so much that it doesn't really feel like work. There have been early mornings starts (because here school starts at 6.30 a.m), preparing lessons, doing various grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary activities, role plays, oral presentations, facilitating Oxford exams, marking and writing reports. All of which have been done with a huge smile on my face. I would like to say a big thanks to Phil for all his help in making my dream of becoming an inspiration teacher in the sun a reality. ESLstarter’s professionalism, detailed program information, application process, orientation and local support network reassured close family members and friends that Colombia was a safe place to go. I would personally recommend anyone who wants an adventure of a lifetime teaching and inspiring local Colombia children to come here, the place of magical realism.
Annie Laryea, Colombia
After graduating I decided I wanted experience working abroad. I wanted to improve my Spanish and also I hope to work in a human rights related field in the future so I wanted to do something relevant. Through ESLstarter I found the ‘Colombia Bilingue’ programme, a teaching programme focussing on improving education in public schools in Colombia, run by the Colombian ministry of education along with leading Colombian NGO’s. ESL starter, and in particular Phil, was incredibly helpful throughout the entire application process. He answered all my questions and was very patient with helping me sort out all the paperwork! He also kept in close contact with my future employers in Colombia to make sure everything went smoothly. I am now teaching in Monteria, Colombia and enjoying every moment. My job is challenging, exciting and fulfilling. Thank you ESLstarter for helping me with this great opportunity!
Naomi Gillespie, Colombia
I worked in an office for 3 years and had very little experience teaching. I wanted to travel and experience a different culture. ESLstarter gave me a wonderful opportunity to come live and teach in Thailand, something I've always really wanted to do. I'm teaching in a small school in Chon Buri. I really do love it! The teachers and the kids are fantastic and the overall atmosphere is very relaxed. There were a few challenges along the way but that's to be expected. Claire was very attentive and helpful and ESLstarter is a great company to get you on your way to an exciting adventure and maybe a new career.
Alex Ronan, Chonburi, Thailand
ESLstarter did an amazing job helping me enter the ETF program in Colombia. Their extensive knowledge combined with their prompt responses to all of my questions made the whole process incredibly smooth. Now I'm in Colombia enjoying the classroom and the coffee
Tim Read, Colombia
After leaving university I knew I wanted to teach abroad, when I saw the job opportunity to do a 3 week course in Bangkok and then teach in a school, so I just went for it. I’ve been In Chonburi a little over 2 months and I love it here, I've been placed in a small school and I'm the only one who speaks English so it can be challenging at first but I couldn't ask for better support from ESLstarter, who were there for every step of the way supporting and making sure that I had all of the answers I needed.
Stacey Dyke, Chonburi, Thailand
ESLstarter really made my dreams come true of teaching English overseas! When I first contacted them, I had a lot of questions and worries and didn't quite know where to start with the process of getting overseas to teach. Claire was patient with me the whole way and answered every single question I had! She continually checked in on me during the months up until I left and once I arrived. She was extremely helpful and I can't thank her enough for that! Even when I was in Thailand teaching, she was available to talk to about any issues or worries that arose. ESLstarter is a great organization and I recommend it to anyone wanting to teach abroad!
Kelsey Kalinski, Chumphon, Thailand
Once I'd completed my degree I couldn't decide whether to apply for a job in teaching or go and travel. Teaching abroad really does allows you to have the best of both worlds! I did the online TEFL course, which worked best for me as it meant I could work and save up whilst attaining the qualification. During the run up to me leaving everything and moving to Thailand, I had queries about everything from the course, to Thailand itself; ESLstarter were able to give me the answers I needed and within good time too! Now that I am here I can actually say I made the best decision ever. I work in small town in a beautiful school and use my weekends to explore the country with all the friends I have made.
Grace Rennison, Sisaket, Thailand
I had little teaching experience before I arrived in China and was hesitant if working abroad was for me. However, I would highly recommend the Teach and Learn China programme with ESL Starter if you have not worked abroad before. You are well looked after during your orientation week and it is a great way to meet the other interns! I found it well planned and if I need help or assistance it is always there! Going to work and study abroad can be a daunting thought but I can reassure anyone who is hesitant that ESL Starter is both reliable and supportive. It is one of the best decisions I have made so far. The programme certainly gives you an insight into a rich culture and the chance to work and study Mandarin in a vibrant environment.
Iain Walker, Teach & Learn China
I'm now seven weeks into my Teach and Learn experience in China and I could not be happier. ESLstarter helped make sure I was prepared for the experience and saved me from the 'culture shock' everyone warned me about. I would recommend doing your own research and take others opinions with a pinch of salt - everyone is different! I'm having an amazing time in the college I've been placed in and the people could not be friendlier or more helpful. China continues to surprise and entertain me every day. I highly recommend this programme if you're looking for adventure and the unexpected, you'll have the best time.
Kelsey Mayhew, Teach & Learn China
I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching at a university in Mianyang, Sichuan Province for the past six weeks. So much so that I'm seriously considering going with eslstarter again for a second semester. I didn't think I'd be saying that before I left home!
The support from eslstarter before leaving the UK was second to none, with all my questions responded to and sorted really quickly. From being picked up with some other interns at the airport, the staff at orientation week were brilliant. The week was both super informative and a great chance to get to know other teacher interns. I'd really recommend eslstarter and this programme to anyone wanting to feel supported in getting their foot in the TEFL door whilst living and working in a relatively unexplored area of China.
Kerry Corley, Teach & Learn China
I'm sorry I meant to reply but I guess I'm enjoying myself so much that I forgot to :) Thank you for this opportunity. Everything has been so good right from the start. The orientation was very interesting and a good way to begin my first experience in China.I love Chengdu and my college and teaching. Thanks again!
Kristy Ruhland, Teach & Learn China
I am thoroughly enjoying my experience with Teach and Learn. Superb support and advice from when I first registered an interest in an internship in China, with 24/7 assistance available if needed whilst in China.
Excellent orientation activities, that provided invaluable insight into Chinese teaching culture and your role as a Teacher. This Included presentations from current English teachers in China on what to expect, and what is expected of you as a teacher! also orientation gave an introduction to the language, culture and a wonderful welcome banquet to sample the vast array of amazing food to expect.
The students, teachers and university are a delight and it really hits home how you can change lives and peoples outlooks through education. Great challenge but a rewarding one. Regardless if you are a seasoned traveller and experienced teacher or a first time traveller with no classroom experience, that is looking for a new experience but stuck in 2 minds. My advice is to go for it! You are guaranteed a rewarding challenge, will make new friends and will change lives, maybe even your own!
Grant Patrick, Teach & Learn China
So far my experience in china has been very good. I have enjoyed teaching Chinese children as they are very interactive and overall my experience with the program has been good as whenever I require help with anything they have assisted me promptly. I feel that ESLstarter is a great program to link with for teaching.
Neil Dempsey, Teach & Learn China
I have been extremely happy with my decision to give up my job and try the TEFL experience. I'm 29 and currently hold no degree so was a bit worried, however, all of the help and support offered from Phil @ ESLstarter as well as the support network available in China have been second to none. The Teach and Learn China program really is an excellent first step into a TEFL career and I would urge anyone considering this to give it a try!
David Taylor, Teach & Learn China
Teach and Learn China is the perfect program for you if you're trying to figure out if teaching in China is right for you. Since you're only teaching a maximum of 15 hours a week you have plenty of time to work on lesson planning and no stress while traveling on the weekends! They carefully place you in the school and location that fits your interests and where they think you'll be most successful. Anytime you have questions it is easy to get in contact with the program and they do their best to resolve your problem quickly! Overall I'd recommend the Teach and Learn China Program :)
Shannon Fox, Teach & Learn China
ESLstarter did such a great job helping me out from the very beginning. Phil, Gloria and the people welcoming us in Chengdu were great, very dedicated and always willing to help. Special mention to Leo who, always with a smile on his face, took care of 50 "annoying" foreigners in Chengdu and made our first week in China much easier.
Enrique Jimenez, Teach & Learn China
Great program and very helpful coordinators in both the U.K. and China, who are always available to answer any questions you might have. Well organised orientation and cultural trips as well. The orientation made settling into life in China much easier and it was lovely to meet a group of like-minded people there. I'd highly recommend ESLstarter and the Teach & Learn China program for anyone looking to experience this fascinating country.
James Burrell, Teach & Learn China
Thanks to Eslstarter I have just completed a 5 month semester teaching in Thailand. First and foremost I would like to thank Claire and the ESLstarter team for helping me to make my dream a reality! I have wanted to teach abroad for many years but wasn’t sure how to go about it. After researching several companies I decided to take the leap forward with ESLstarter.
Every time I had a question (which was very often!) I was emailed back immediately with the information and support I needed. As promised I was given help finding an apartment when I arrived in Thailand which was a huge help!! Throughout my experience I have had the full support of the ESLteam! Without ESLstarter and all of their encouragement and support I would never have had such an amazing and life changing experience. Thankyou so much to the ESLstarter team!!!
Pascal Stanford-Francis, Sakeo, Thailand
I was looking for way that I could do some travelling while making a bit of money and when I came across the Teach and Learn China internship it seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. I have always wanted to get a taste of what life in China is like and joining this program has turned out to be a fantastic decision. The program has made coming out here easy and I am loving the life and work out here! ESLstarter were excellent at answering my questions and helping with the practicalities of making the move out here. Phil was great at giving me the information I needed and thanks to these guys I am having an amazing experience in a remarkable country.
Colin Affleck, Teach & Learn China
ESLstarter have been nothing short of fantastic. Having never travelled abroad before, I was quite nervous about packing my bags and living on the other side of the world for 5 months but Philip really helped to put my mind at rest so I was nothing but excited when I headed for Heathrow. Philip answered all my emails very promptly and he was always friendly considering he had to put up with my really annoying and what must have seemed trivial questions. He made sure every step of the process was clear and simple so there was virtually no stress at all.
Living here in Chengdu has been a wonderful experience so far. I have felt well-looked after and everyone is so friendly. If you're not sure what to do with your TEFL, I can assure you that with Teach and Learn China, you will have a brilliant and very rewarding time. As for what I'll do next, I'm not sure but I would definitely consider going through ESLstarter again.
Lucy Avery, Teach & Learn China
I cannot recommend ESLstarter highly enough. They help you through every step of the process, from getting the visa to booking flights. The Teach and Learn program has been amazing; we were met at the airport and taken back to the university for an amazing orientation week where we learned Mandarin, teaching methodology and some do's and don'ts. Every single person working on this program was so kind, helpful and generous. I recommend this Teach and Learn program for anyone who hasn't taught before and maybe is a little bit nervous - you will be treated so well! In my placement I work in different primary schools where I'm regularly brought out for dinners and welcoming receptions by the staff who are so kind and hospitable. If you are thinking of doing this program - or any ESLstarter program - just do it! It has been the best experience of my life.
Paula Gahan, Teach & Learn China
I had been slaving away working soulless temporary office jobs around the UK for a year or so after finishing university and really felt like I had nothing to offer at times. I had been day-dreaming at my desk for hours in-between administration tasks of getting away, jumping on a plane and never looking back. Then to my surprise I stumbled across an advert from ESLstarter offering internship teaching placements in China. At first the offer looked too good to be true. However, I decided to enquire as anything had to be better than working the next 40 years of my life tied to a desk gasping for fresh air in between my coffee breaks. Thankfully ESLstarter turned out to be really helpful. I received a reply to my email the same day and before I knew it I was applying!
With their help I have been able to begin a new journey, one that I hope will lead to even better and greater things. They were there every step of the way until I arrived here in China. I would like to say thanks in particular to Philip for his kind help and advise during the application process. It seemed a little daunting to start with but I am so glad that I chose ESLstarter. Now I am living in Suzhou, China enjoying everyday of this amazing experience. Living in China is both rewarding and challenging, but it's a challenge worth persevering with. I would say to anyone dreaming about leaving that desk job and making the jump into teaching abroad to just do it! What you got to lose? ESLstarter is a great way to turn that dream into a reality.
Matthew Wells, Teach & Learn China
First and foremost I would like to thank Philip and the ESLstarter team for the excellent organisation and communication service. China was a new venture for me, searching through many organisations, I came across ESLstarter and I must say it was the wisest and most safest choice I had made. From swift responses to detailed emails, Philip did not only keep up with all my questions but made me feel secure about my choice with the China internship programme. So if you are still searching and confused, please stop your searches and choose ESLstarter. I will recommend this to everyone and anyone. Once again, thank you so much for all the support and help... Another thing to mention, you are never alone even when in China, I had constant emails from Philip to check up on me! I believe communication is essential! Lastly... "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step"..: thanks ESLstarter for this beautiful journey! X
Sonia Sokhi, Teach & Learn China
Having wanted to teach abroad for quite some time, I decided to take the leap forward with ESLstarter. I discovered the agency by chance and from there it was a smooth transition from England all the way to China. I have been living in Chengdu for the past month now and can easily say that it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. With the help of Phil and the rest of his team, I was able to collect and prepare all of the appropriate documentation and was informed on a regular basis of the progress in my applications. If you asked me 3 years ago whether I believed I could be a teacher the answer would have been a resounding “no”. However, now I am here and I have settled into life as a TEFL teacher I can happily say that I am having the time of my life. Would I recommend ESLstarter? I would every single time.
Sean Lee, Teach & Learn China
My experience with ESLstarter has been nothing but positive. Phil is great to work with and really went the extra mile to make the application process as simple as possible. Moving to the other side of the world is pretty scary, but it made all the difference to know that Phil was there to offer advice at any time. He provided much needed reassurance in my times of panic and was always quick to answer my questions, no matter how trivial they may have been. Contacting ESLstarter was one of the best decisions I have ever made - I love teaching here in China and I can't thank Phil and the team enough for their support!
Mary Riley, Teach & Learn China
It was ESLstarter that found me! One day I have received an email encouraging to participate in Teach and Learn program in China. It only took a few days to sort out my interview and an invitation letter and... here I am, doing what I really love - teaching, learning, getting to know another culture and enjoying lovely Sichuan food!! I'm loving the apartment the school has provided for me and I'm pleased with the fact that we only spend our monthly allowance for travelling and enjoying our time here. All my Chinese co-workers and students are wonderful and make me feel so important and needed. The group I came here with has also been really lovely, we're all becoming close friends and enjoying our time off all together! I'm sure I will always remember my stay in China as one of the nicest experiences of my life. Thanks Philip and ESLstarter for such great opportunity and for dealing so well with all my enquiries!
Patrycja Oledska, Teach & Learn China
I completed my TEFL Express International course in 2012 so was sitting on it for a few years. I finally decided to put it to use a few months ago and applied for the Sichuan internship. To be honest I was nervous as I'd heard a few horror stories about overseas teaching placements turning out badly, but so far I've not the one bad experience to report.
Regarding ESLstarter, Philip was always incredibly helpful and got back to me quickly. The whole application and interview process was nice and relaxed. Arriving in China we were all very well looked after. I was placed at a College and have now been teaching for three weeks. I absolutely love it. I have the freedom to plan lessons how I like, but the guidance of a textbook if I need it. The students, although shy, are mostly engaged and interested in learning about western culture. My fellow foreign teachers and I have truly been welcomed with open arms into the Chinese culture by our colleagues and students. I'm so happy to call Chengdu my second home!
Shannon Swainston, Teach & Learn China
When inquiring about ESL opportunities online, ESLstarter was the organization who responded immediately with thorough responses to all of my questions The staff guided me through the entire process of applying to the program, gathering the required documents, provided an affordable option for getting my ESL Certificate in a timely manner, advised me on prep for the Skype interview I had with the country education officials, securing my visa, information about health/travel insurance, and insights about my destination country. I am happy to announce that I am now teaching in China and it is incredible! ESL Starter ensured our contacts were available to pick us up at the airport in China, throughout orientation, and even checked back with us once we had settled into our host schools. If you have any questions about any ESL programs, I encourage you to contact ESLstarter.
Remah Brunning, Teach & Learn China
After finishing University the thing I wanted to do most was travel and learn a second language. I stumbled across ESLstarter which offered me the perfect internship, an affordable program abroad that allowed me to get the full cultural experience I was looking for. They even arranged an intensive course in Spanish for when I arrived! Prior to my arrival in Argentina ESLstarter were so useful, most days I would bombard them with emails and questions about the program and process (I think Claire must have got tired of seeing my email address pop up!) But I always received a quick, friendly and helpful response. I signed up to the program very late but despite this Claire and the rest of the ESL Team found me a family to stay with, a school and organized everything very efficiently to which I am grateful! So far my experience in Argentina has been incredible, my Spanish is improving, the sights are beautiful, the people are amazing and I am eating my weight in steak! thank you ESLstarter!!!
Hannah Kinghorn, Cordoba, Argentina
While searching online for opportunities to teach English abroad, ESLstarter stood out amongst the other organisations I has considered. Their website was nicely laid out and contained pretty much all the information I could need, plus the programme fees seemed more reasonable than those I had seen previously. I had a choice of teaching in China or Nepal, and I opted for the latter. I am now almost at the conclusion of my four week teaching placement here and my feedback of ESLstarter is full of positives. Claire was quick to respond to any queries I had while preparing for my trip and made sure to check that I was ready to go! If you're looking to teach English as a foreign language, ESLstarter are an easy recommendation.
Sami Abdul-Razzak, Thecho, Nepal
Before I came to Korea, I knew nothing of the language and barely more of the culture. Growing up in the Appalachians, you are rather removed from the events in your own country—let alone halfway around the globe. Seeking to improve my limited understanding, I read everything I could get my hands on in preparation for coming to Korea. There was absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for the strange sense of Déjà vu as soon as I stepped off the plane. Maybe it was the fatigue and maybe it was hunger pains, but it was strangely... the same as back home. Just the atmosphere, and yet there were overtones... different. I’d never left my home before, other than a few trips to Canada which is like the States but more laid back. I was unprepared and excited. I had no idea what to expect and I am so glad that I came here with few if no assumptions. But, after nearly a year there are a few things I can tell you.
One: Korea is a complex and dynamic place. You can find everything but exactly what you are looking for, and things you didn’t know you were looking for, in the cities. The countryside is quite picturesque. It’s a modern country but the little things will be different. The everyday things you take for granted. Peanut butter is an expensive import, but you can find a Hershey bar quite cheap at almost any convenience store. However, operating the heating system and the washing machine will take some finesse and learning your way around town? That’s an adventure all on it’s own. Even if you don’t speak Korean, you can get around fine. Speaking even a smattering of Korean will help you leave a lasting impression with people. Smiling and being friendly makes friends with the people selling their goods on the side of the road—which is not to be underestimated when seasonal fruits are being sold or you get lost. You are going to be one of the, if not only, foreigners around; people are not going to forget you.
ESLstarter is a place I have recommended to classmates and friends seeking experience teaching in EFL/ESL. Any time I have had a question it is always answered. If I need help, I know where to go! Everything went extremely smoothly during the process of applying and since I came here as well. Korea is a wonderful place. Keeping an open heart and an open mind will help you make memories that will last a lifetime.
Qiana Anderson, EPIK, Busan
These past years in Korea have been some of my best yet and I will always be so grateful to ESLstarter for all the support during the application process and making themselves available throughout and beyond the adjustment phase. It was a great help and made all the difference. I've since met many teachers who came over through other agencies and did not have as good an experience, but I have never heard the same complaints of ESLstarter, so I've recommended the agency to numerous hopeful applicants and will continue to do so.
Cassandra Naidoo, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
For Phil and ESLstarter I haven't got enough superlatives to describe them! Right from the moment I applied until the day I left the UK he has been on hand to answer all my questions, no matter how trivial they were and has always got back to me within twenty four hours, even if it was only to say he was still waiting on information for me. Phil also made it clear that he was available to help me with any problems I encountered in Ecuador and the support didn't end the moment I stepped foot on the plane. Having met numerous other volunteers during my time here I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have found ESLstarter. I have heard stories of people paying for programmes that didn't exist or being asked to pay money above and beyond the programme fees on arrival. Phil was always clear on what my programme would entail and the associated costs and I have never had anything but clear and accurate information from him. To anyone thinking about volunteering in the Galapagos, do it and don't look back!
Laura Wood, Galapagos, Ecuador
ESLstarter was recommended to by a friend who had also gone through them and also taught in Korea. I sent them an email with a few questions and I was delighted to receive a reply to my questions that very day. All my questions were answered and a phone call was setup at a time that suited me. From here onwards the process began. What I have to highlight is the process is long, but Phil from ESLstarter made my life really easy. The only thing I had to do was fill out my forms and gather the necessary documents for the admission. I then sent them off to Phil and that was that. When something else was needed I was contacted my Phil and I followed the steps and once again he did the rest. The entire process was rather effortless and I am eternally grateful for the assistance I received from ESLstarter. I am currently teaching in Korea and loving every second. Thanks Phil and the ESLstarter Team.
Ryan Louw, EPIK, Busan
I’ve been in Daegu, Korea for almost 2 months now. Thanks to ESLstarter, my experience here in Korea has been a dream come true. I would like to give my thanks to everyone in ESLstarter and especially Phil, who has helped me tremendously from start to finish. Phil was very helpful, informative and made the whole application process simple and smooth. I would highly recommend ESLstarter to anyone who is considering and hoping to teach in Korea.
Maykim To, EPIK, Daegu
ESLstarter help make all the stuff you need to do before arriving in Thailand much, much easier. If you are not experienced in moving to, and finding work in a country like Thailand, then having someone with knowledge to answer questions and negotiate the whole thing is essential. ESLstarter do this job really well! Totally recommended! I've been at my school a month, while definitely challenging at times, I'm the only English speaker, which wouldn't suit everyone but I quite like. The students make it all worthwhile, more fun than you can possibly handle!
David Blair, Chonburi, Thailand
During the studying for my TEFL I began searching for teaching jobs abroad and putting my CV out there. I was quickly contacted by ESLstarter who told me about the fantastic opportunities to teach with the EPIK program. The application process was lengthy and very complicated but Phil was able to guide me through it step-by-step. I have no doubt that without the help from ESLstarter, applying for the EPIK program would have been very difficult and stressful. I would recommend ESLstarter to anybody looking to teach in Korea or SE Asia.
Ed Rance, EPIK, Daegu
What can I say? From the moment I first thought about teaching in Korea with EPIK, ESLstarter has always been there to help. Phil was always quick to reply with any questions I emailed him and I even had a chat on the phone about the different options and to again answer any questions I had. They guided me safely through the application process, from first submitting my application to the long awaited ‘congratulations’ email. They reassured me during the long waits between each stage of the process, I think without Phil’s help I may have given up and looked at doing something else. If I had done so, it would no doubt have been a major regret! Here I am just approaching 2 months in Korea and I’m having an absolute ball teaching English to Elementary School students in the city of Sangju. I can only say good things about ESLstarter and would recommend anybody to use them.
Rob Proudfoot, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
I wanted to experience teaching in Korea. A friend suggested I contact ESLstarter. Initially I applied through two agencies. I decided to follow through with ESLstarter because I felt more comfortable working with Phil. He always answered my questions on time and I felt he was truthful person. I worked with Phil throughout the entire application process. Phil was an excellent help and gave good advice when I was preparing my application. He knew small details in the application process that that came in handy. Also, it was good to have support and someone to email when I was going through the process. I would recommend ESLstarter to anyone interested in teaching English overseas.
Josh McDonald, EPIK, Jeonbuk
I have been teaching on the EPIK programme in Daegu, South Korea, for four months now and the only word I can use to describe the experience so far is amazing! Applying for EPIK can be daunting at first, the application form can seem long and the Visa process can sometimes get confusing. I was therefore incredibly lucky to apply through ESLstarter, where both Phil and Claire were able to guide me through the process step by step and help with any questions I had throughout the process, making me so much more relaxed. It was also very reassuring when I got off the plane and Phil was there to greet the new arrivals. So far my experience of school life and Korean culture has been great, the students are really friendly and people here love interacting with foreign teachers. There are so many other English teachers here as well that it is easy to make friends and meet people, which was my biggest concern before making the move. There is so much to do in Korea, enough to suit anybody's tastes. Teaching in Korea is also a great opportunity to see Asia, and I already have trips to Thailand and Japan organised in the school holidays!
Rhys Williams, EPIK, Daegu
Just over two months into my year teaching ESL in Busan and I am still having an amazing time and feeling privileged to be here every day. I came here with the intentions of travel, professional development, learning about myself and a new culture, and experiencing new things and people, and so far have not been disappointed. I don't know how I would have managed to navigate through the lengthy and rather daunting application process if I hadn't had Phil from ESLstarter to help me along every step of the way. With Phil's help, I was able to prepare the necessary items and documents, and to gain insight and answers to my many questions with regards to this life-changing decision! It's hard to believe that just a few months ago I was reading about the EPIK program for the first time and considering the possibility of going. I can't emphasize enough how happy I am here and what a positive experience this has been so far, as well as how thankful I am to Phil and ESLstarter for helping me make it happen (and for free, too!!!). Yes, the idea of applying and moving to a foreign country and continent is intimidating, but with the help of the people at ESLstarter.... you can do it, and, at least for me, it has been sooooo worth it! :)
Kate Elperin, EPIK, Busan
I stumbled upon ESLstarter after initially applying to another recruiter. I wasn't overly pleased with the speed in which the other recruiter got back to me plus the person I spoke to there wasn't very enthusiastic about anything. As soon as I emailed ESLstarter, Phil suggested we chat and straight away I knew these were the guys to use. I was living in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia at the time of applying and throughout the entire process Phil and his team were on the ball constantly and always there to help. I had issues with some documents being missing due to an error at my university, but these were all sorted out by ESLstarter. Emails were always replied to in quick time and the service was very personable. If you are considering using a recruiter I wouldn't hesitate to recommend you to use ESLstarter. I've been in Korea now for just over a month and am loving it. It's hard work but great fun. Good luck to future applicants!
Nathan Spence, EPIK, Gangwon
Planning to move to the other side of the world sounds like the most exciting adventure ever. Trust me, it truly is BUT it is also very daunting! Moving to a country where you will stick out like a sore thumb, then there is the culture shock/language barrier, the stress of packing your “life” into two suitcases, leaving your family and friends, oh and let’s not forget about the main reason why you have moved abroad: to work! So much going on and so little time to fully comprehend that this is one of the biggest commitments you have made in life thus far! So where does ESLstarter fit into this equation? For me, the very beginning of the process (the thinking stage: should I or should I not apply?) and six months in they are still involved and checking up on me. If you’re planning to move to South Korea, seriously consider ESLstarter. They have been the biggest support system throughout my journey to South Korea. They have answered ALL of my questions efficiently (I had many), kept me updated with my application status and put all my worries at rest. I seriously recommend anyone who has the passion and adventurous nature to teach abroad to consider ESLstarter! To put it simply signing up with ESLstarter was the greatest thing I did in 2013! Thank you Phill!
Rachel Pinnock, EPIK, Seoul
I am currently teaching Kindergarten in a North Eastern province in Thailand called Sisaket. ESLstarter were extremely helpful in helping me with preparation for my travels, in particular Claire, who answered every question I asked with efficiency and told me everything that I needed to know and do. I have been in Thailand now for around a month, and it's an incredible place and the people are some of the friendliest I've met. Time has genuinely flown so far and I believe the remaining will to. I would recommend ESLstarter to anyone reading this text or to anyone of my friends that were contemplating a similar journey. I have to say also, for someone who has never travelled before I was very calm and relaxed about coming out here on my own, ESLstarter and Claire undoubtedly contributed towards this.
Max Hope, Sisaket, Thailand
After finishing college, I had the desire to go travelling, but did not know how to go about it. I wanted to experience and indulge in another culture, but not just as part of a short term holiday. ESLstarter offered internships to Argentina which was a part of the world I could never see myself getting to without this opportunity. Not only can you sustain a living and get valuable teaching experience but one is completely emerged in Latin American culture including language, food and general lifestyle. I could not be more grateful for this experience especially to Claire who quickly and patiently responded to all my enquiries. This is easily one of the best experiences of my life and it would not be possible without Claire and the ESLstarter programme. I urge anyone looking to travel and experience a cultural and lifetime experience to consider this programme as a viable option!!!!!
Joanne O’Sullivan, Cordoba, Argentina
After countless times of doubting myself about if I could really live and teach overseas I finally grasp the courage to do so. It has always been my dream to teach overseas, as a result graduated in the field of education, however insecurties still overwhelmed me. I wanted to apply to the EPIK program but I needed help guidence and reassurance that I was doing things correctly. That’s when I found ESLstarter. Claire provided me with DETAILED step by step procedures to help me in the process of application for EPIK. She even read through all my paperwork and told me what needed to be redone or corrected. Do you know what the really amazing thing that ESLsstarters’ recruters do? Anytime, I mean ANYTIME, if I needed to speak with her (my recrutier) she would call me on the designated time!! Pretty freaking awesome right? I mean working with hunderds of other applicants they still make the effort to take the time and call you. Not only that, but when I first spoke to my recrutier (Clarie) she encouraged me and made me aware that I am highly capable of doing the job. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life….why? Because just like some of you sitting there reading this, I felt incapable of moving on with my life scared to face the unknown. Eventhough this is what I always wanted, ironic right? (Hahaha) However, I did it I faced it head on and went for it! Though, I could not have done it so easliy without ESLstarter to help me along the way. So stop looking and debating if you should choose them just do it! I promise you, you will not regret it! See you soon!
Princalena Hyde (Lena), EPIK, Daegu
Teaching English abroad has always seemed like a good opportunity to understand and become part of another culture. ESLstarter gave me that opportunity and helped me to move to Cambodia where I am enjoying every second. I would never have ended up here and would have missed out on the chance to live and work in this fantastic city. Many thanks to Claire and the ESL team!! Cheers
Louis Gray, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
This is my second time using ESLstarter as my recruiting agency. The first time was for EPIK in Korea where I stayed for 3 years. This time around I decided to go south of the equator to Argentina. Teaching in Argentina has many rewards and challenges. Thanks to Claire helping me every step of the way I was able to enter the program and land in the location of my choice. She connected me with my host family and host coordinators. Everything Claire presented was clear, helpful, and timely. All the documents were in order and there was no confusion. I even had flight delays and changes due to weather which she helped notify my program about. I would and hopefully I will use ESLstarter again. Whenever anyone asks me about a recruiting agency I always usher them to this company. Hasta Luego from Argentina! WomackCreates.tumblr.com
Jessica Womack, Los Cardales, Argentina
Deciding to quit my job and teach English abroad was not a decision I took lightly. I weighed up all the pros and cons and I considered a number of potential opportunities before I settled for the ESLstarter programme. I'm so glad I did. Without a doubt, it has been the best decision I've ever made in my life. If you're sat at home reading this and thinking 'Should I... Could I?' then don't hesitate any longer! You are so lucky to have found yourself on the website of ESLstarter for they are truly the most fantastic agency and I cannot praise them highly enough. Claire answered all my questions straight away, no matter how frequent or trivial they were. I was provided with all the necessary information when I needed it which took the stress out of such a tremendous decision and made the process run as smoothly as possible. Thank you ESLstarter for making my dream a reality!
Emma Harding, Tandil, Argentina
After completing my tefl course a couple of years ago it has always been my dream to teach English abroad. After researching online many agencies, ESLStarter and teaching in Thailand looked like the perfect combination for me. Claire answered every question I had (very quickly) and led me through every step of the process including my application, getting my visa and arriving in Thailand, which went as smooth as possible. Her experience meant that I never felt stressed or unsure of anything! I have been in Thailand for over a month now and I love it! I would not be here without Claire or ESLStarter, thank you!
Lydia Draper, Mukdahan, Thailand
Teaching English abroad has been a dream for me for many years and wanted to go with a trusted company to live my dream. I heard many good reviews about ESL starter so decided to go with them. From the beginning till I left for Thailand I was guided step by step through every stage of the process needed to be able to teach there. Claire answered all my questions and queries and helped me with everything and now I am teaching in a primary school in Chanthaburi, north east Thailand and loving every minute of it. It is the most challenging but rewarding experience and definitely the best thing I have ever done and would recommend using ESL starter if you want to teach abroad and have an amazing experience.
Natalie Williams, Chantaburi, Thailand
Having graduated university and worked for 2 years I was unaware as to what I wanted to do with my life. I had thought about TEFL for a while but never had the courage to do it. I really liked the idea of Thailand and having expressed an interest online I spoke with Phil and took the plunge a few days later. Both Phil and Claire were honest, informative and gave clear instructions on what I needed to do. Having been in Thailand just over a month it is hands down the best decision I have ever made in my life. I've met dozens of other teachers who took the step through ESL starter and they all speak very highly of them. Having come from a recruitment background and with a knowledge of the industry I can vouch for ESL Starter as an agency of a platinum standard when it comes to getting involved with TEFL. Currently living in Bangkok teaching high school I've never been happier... Do it! Go through ESL and experience something amazing.
David Pierpoint, Bangkok, Thailand
I had the ambition to teach in Korea and became frustrated with the EPIK application process and the poor help I was receiving from another recruiter. I turned to ESLstarter and found what I was looking for. Claire was helpful and patient with me, answering any questions I had, and she also did her due diligence to check up on me and make sure I was coming along smoothly with EPIK's many required documents. Claire/ESLstarter did what a good recruiter should do and I felt well taken care of. I recommend them to anyone wanting to teach in Korea, or in any location where a good recruiter is needed.
Dustin Lilleskov, EPIK, Busan
I have been living in Korean for almost 2 months now, and I have loved every second of it, I could not thank ESL Starter enough for helping to make this opportunity possible. Right from the very beginning of the application process, Claire helped me with whatever I required, and always responded to my questions and queries very promptly. I felt very at ease with ESL Stater dealing with my application; all the information I requested was always given and the whole process was very transparent, something which I have not found with other recruitment agencies, especially those recruiting TEFL teachers. When it came to arriving in South Korea, ESL Starter continued to be of assistance, and arranged for Phil to meet those arriving at Incheon Airport and ensure that we all knew where to go to greet the EPIK staff. I would highly recommend using ESL Starter if you are looking to teach abroad, they are the best, and most genuine recruitment agency that I have come across.
Laura Robbins, EPIK, Gwangju
From the first time I contacted ESL Starter and got a quick and friendly response from Claire, I knew I was in good hands. ESL Starter were absolutely fantastic throughout the whole process and are still checking in on me and helping me and I have been in Korea now over a month. They are super professional at all times and I have found them to be consistent, supportive, honest, encouraging and incredibly efficient. I always received a prompt response and always felt that they developed a personal manner while still remaining professional and really on top of the work and the process. They certainly made the whole application process very easy and I was always kept in the loop of my application status and what the next step would be. It really was reassuring and gave me a lot more time to research Korea and prepare myself rather than being totally caught up in the application process all the time. The process can be a little daunting alongside the challenge of moving away and starting a new job in a foreign country so I was very grateful to have ESL starter guiding me. They really are the best at what they do. I would absolutely recommend anyone who is considering teaching abroad to contact the ESL Starter team. You won’t regret it, that I can guarantee. Thanks again for everything Claire, Phil and the ESL starter team.
Karen Prendergast, EPIK, Seoul
From the copious amount of steak and wine to the countless new friends and faces I have come across, my time teaching English in Argentina has been a fantastic experience. The classes have been thoroughly entertaining with locals being very keen to learn from a native speaker and the experience of moving to a country on the other side of the world has been both challenging and exciting. ESLstarter were very helpful in the organising of the program and were always readily available to answer any questions or queries I had. If anyone is looking to do something to broaden their horizons or discover something new, working abroad is a great way to do that and ESLstarter is a great starting point for achieving that!
Dave Stengel, Mar del Plata, Argentina
When I first decided to apply to teach English in South Korea, the application process seemed rather daunting with all the documentation needed as well the interview. After contacting and speaking to Claire from ESL though, it just seemed much less stressful. Claire constantly checked in and updated me throughout the entire process and was just so kind and helpful. I would recommend ESL starter to anyone thinking about embarking on an ESL journey. They offer a professional and efficient service and really do go the extra mile.
Candice Ruiters, EPIK, Daegu
I had heard mixed reviews about going through recruiters when I first decided to go to South Korea, but I can fullheartedly say that working with ESLstarter was one of the best decisions I've made. Having started applications with a couple of different recruiting services, ESLstarter was by far the best, responding quickly to my e-mails, and guiding me through the application process every step of the way. The staff at ESLstarter are great. Everyone I talked to was very kind, and I feel they genuinely wanted to help me. They have gone above and beyond anything I could have hoped for, staying in contact with me after I've settled in Korea, and even sending a representative to meet me at the airport to make sure I knew where to go. I will always be thankful to everyone at ESLstarter for the help they have given me, and I cannot recommend them enough to anyone who is even slightly curious about teaching abroad.
Andrew Goetschius, EPIK, Daegu
I have now completed two months of teaching in Argentina and I am really enjoying the experience, and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for ESLstarter. I was very impressed with the information supplied on the website, and the teaching programs stood out for me as they offered the opportunity to live with a family and also no teaching experience was needed. After talking to Claire about the Argentina program I felt confident I would be well looked after and I wouldn't be pressured into making a decision. The program in Argentina began this year so I was unsure what to expect, but the application process was very easy and I was given all the help I needed, including being put in touch with one of the first teachers on the program who gave me lots of great advice. In my opinion teaching English abroad is a great way to try a fun new career, learn a new language and experience a new way of life, and I have ESLstarter to thank for convincing me take the opportunity!
Ben Tollington, Mar del Plata, Argentina
After graduating, I was struggling to find a job in England. I signed up to many recruitment websites and one day I received an e-mail advertising ESLstarter and the EPIK programme. I had thought about teaching English before but didn't know where to start. I'm glad I chose ESLstarter as my recruitment agency. I was initially worried about going through a recruiter rather than applying direct as I wasn't sure how quick their communications would be but Claire was great in responding. You also find out information such as interview results, placement acceptance etc in a timely manner. I've now been in South Korea for a month now and I am enjoying every moment. EPIK is definitely the best thing I've ever decided to do and ESLstarter made the whole process very smooth. Thanks ESLstarter!
Jennifer Cheung, EPIK, Chungbuk
It has been the most amazing month in South Korea and it’s all because of ESLStarter. They are the reason that my dreams are coming true! Upon my initial conversation with Claire, I knew that I was making the right decision about teaching in South Korea. She explained everything with great enthusiasm and detail. While others left wondering when their recruiter would reply to their messages, Claire always answered immediately. I'd send an email before I went to bed and wake up with a response. I always felt that Claire and ESLStarter had my best interest at heart. They made the process so much easier and much faster. I am so indebted to Claire and ESLStarter for their punctuality, organization, and hardwork. Never did I doubt that I would make to South Korea with ESLStarter as my recruiter.
Chantal Mpezo, EPIK, Daegu
The whole process of moving to Thailand and getting a job is made really simple with ESL starter. You meet so many nice people at the seminars. When you get placed at your school, it's scary because you have no idea where you're going, but all the Thai teachers at the school will do so much to help you settle in. For me the best part of the job is the kids. They are so funny and make every day so much fun. There's also loads of time to travel about and you get to see Thailand in a way you never would unless you lived here.
Kate McKean-Tinker, near Bangkok, Thailand
I've been in South Korea for exactly a month now and I can honestly say this is one of the best decisions I've ever made. I spent roughly 9 months studying, planning and preparing to move to South Korea, all with the help of ESLStarter. Claire and Phil were both incredibly helpful in answering all my questions, no matter how obvious they seemed, and putting my mind to rest throughout the entire process. I know everyone says it, but without them, I honestly might not have made it here. I'm teaching and living in the north of Seoul and have loved every single day so far. The teaching is fun, all my new friends are amazing and Seoul is a great place to live! If you are considering the move, my advice is 'Just do it!
Pete Christie, EPIK, Seoul
The Korean application process can be overwhelming, but undoubtedly the entire procedure was made far less intimidating thanks to the diligent efforts of Phil! I could literally ask him anything and I would receive an informative and professional reply promptly. I have been in Korea for three weeks and have truly enjoyed every minute so far, I love my co teachers and the Korean way of life and I am excited for the year to come!
Sam Igoe, EPIK, Seoul
I’ve been in Seoul, South Korea for just over two months now and I’m having the time of my life. Who can I thank for all of this happiness? Why Phil and ESL Starter of course. Moving to another country is a huge decision to make. But once you’ve decided to move away the actual process of moving is at best, unbelievably stressful. But with Phil on your side you really can’t go wrong. Any questions or queries I had were usually answered the next day and Phil walked me through the application process step by step so once I got started, it was a breeze. But the help doesn’t stop there. Once I arrived in Korea there he was, waiting at the airport to make sure I didn’t get lost. And even now, any time I have any questions I still email Phil and get a reply pretty much the next day. So ESL Starter, thank you for everything, you guys are amazing!
Anum Nadeem, EPIK, Seoul
I would definitely recommend ESLstarter to anyone who needs to be pointed in the right direction. I am so glad they found me. I don't think I could have handled the application process without Phil's help, he explained everything so clearly and always answered my questions promptly and patiently. I have been teaching in Yangyang for two months now and it still feels like I'm on holiday. This is without a doubt the best job I have ever had!
JoAnne Donegan, EPIK, Gangwon
I stumbled across the ESLstarter website when applying to the EPIK program in Korea. I filled out the application and it went from there. Phil contacted me the following day and explained step by step what was required to be a successful applicant. He pointed me in the right direction and responded to all of my queries, no matter how small, promptly. Having someone at hand to answer any questions and offer advice made the whole process so much easier. I would highly recommend them to anyone who plans to begin an ESL career! Thank you.
Donal Dunne, EPIK, Chungbuk
Thanks to ESL Starter I've now been in Korea for a month and am loving every minute of it. I'm in a great school with great people, doing a job I love, all thanks to ESL Starter and the EPIK programme. Ever since I first enquired, Phil's been there every step of the way to answer questions, to give me advice about my paperwork/documents and to let me know where the application process is at. It all runs so smoothly. Everything is so personal and professional and I really can't recommend them enough. If you're thinking about teaching English abroad, speak to these guys - they can make it happen!
Andrew Edge, EPIK, Daejeon
ESLstarter is the best decision I could have made! Without deciding to go with them, I don't think I'd be able to be where I am today, happily teaching in Korea. I want to say thanks to everyone at ESLstarter but of course a very, very special thanks to Phil. He was so helpful and made the whole application process so easy and smooth. I was honestly so hesitant applying to EPIK, no matter how much I wanted it, because it seemed like such a daunting process. But I guarantee going with Phil, and everyone at ESLstarter can only make your life easier. They are seriously the best, I wouldn't recommend anyone else!
Grace Song, EPIK, Seoul
Applying for the EPIK program is a daunting task that requires months of preparation. Applications to fill out, documents to mail, forms to sign --- I must admit I was a little overwhelmed at the start. ESL Starter made the process manageable, and Phil was always ready and willing to answer any questions I had. He was even there to greet me at the airport when I arrived in Seoul. It is easy for me to recommend ESL Starter to anyone considering teaching in Korea or anywhere else. Exceptional!
Greg Meier, EPIK, Gangwon
My decision to teach in South Korea started as a bluff, to my family and friends, that became a reality. ESL Starter made it my reality. I stumbled across the website made an inquiry and several steps later I boarded a plane. I've never used any other recruiters so I can't compare but it was an easy process. All the information I received was clear and concise and I knew exactly when and what I had to prepare for my application, interview and visa documentation. Phil always responded to my inquiries quickly and efficiently with a helpful and friendly manner. They were a tremendous help throughout and I have already recommended ESL Starter to a friend.
Jessica-Marie Burbury, EPIK, Gwangju
I had the dream of coming to Korea for a while now, and I finally acted on it about 6 months ago; I'm glad I chose ESLstarter for this journey. From the beginning, Phil and Claire have been incredibly helpful, and have made the entire long and arduous application process so much easier and clearer. I am so happy that I chose ESLstarter for assisting me with all the paperwork, interviews, and requirements. To anyone looking to come to Korea...just do it! And do it with these guys! You will absolutely not regret it. I have now been here for a month (which is absolute insanity, time flies...) and I am loving every moment of this new chapter of my life.
Steve Rehak, EPIK, Chungbuk
Upon planning to come to Korea in May 2012, I found great difficulty in arranging all of the required documents on my own as I was not assisted by an agency. The following year, after being recommended to ESL Starter, they assisted me from beginning to end with my EPIK application. They were completely understanding of my individual circumstances and plans for my stay in Korea and as a result helped me through every step of the application process. One main advantage of ESL Starter is that you deal with predominantly one contact so information does not need relaying over and over again. I am extremely happy with my career situation and would definitely recommend ESL Starter. Many Thanks, Yan
Ian Jenn, EPIK, Chungbuk
I have been in my placement in the north of Seoul for only a few weeks but already I am having a great time! All my co-teachers are really sweet and life is going well so far. I have made so many new friends, both other teachers I met at Orientation as well as the locals (word of advice try to learn at least a few things in Korean, Korean people really appreciate the effort and you will make so many new friends that way). I am so very grateful to ESLstarter for all the help and advice they gave. No question was too small for Phil to answer. Plus his relies were prompt and informative. The application process for EPIK seemed so daunting when I first looked into it, but Phil broke it all down into manageable pieces to ease the process. Thank you to ESLstarter for guiding me so brilliantly.
Renny Clark, EPIK, Seoul
I have just passed the three month mark since I started teaching in Korea. For me and it has been a great adventure! Not only was the process of applying though ESLstarter quick, simple and easy; they also have the most friendliest and helpful staff ever! I owe this amazing opportunity to the wonderful people at ESLstarter who I came across after finishing my TEFL course. Their professionalism and commitment to help those who want to teach abroad holds no bound. I would not hesitate a second in recommending ESLstarter to anyone who wants to have an adventure of a lifetime. You can’t go wrong with these guys! Thank you again ESLstarter for this wonderful opportunity!
Tak Jeng Lau, EPIK, Chungbuk
I came into contact with ESLstarter when applying for the EPIK program in South Korea. At every stage I found Claire to be incredibly helpful and reassuring which made the transition much easier. Everything from answering questions to giving invaluable tips were provided in a really friendly and personal way. I could not recommend ESL starter highly enough, thank you so much.
Matthew Scott, EPIK, Gangwon
After completing a TEFL couse on teflexpress.co.uk the job available in South Korea sounded very appealing. Shortly after applying I was contacted by Claire who helped me every step of the way. Whatever problems I had, whether it was concerning the application process or general worries she would get back to me straight away and made me feel very reassured. Due to Claire's experience of teaching in South Korea I felt I could rely on her advice. I am now teaching in Yangyang and Sokcho and very happy with my placement! Big thanks to ESLstarter!
Frances Carr, EPIK, Gangwon
To be completely honest I didn't choose ESLstarter, it simply fell into place. I had been researching online many different recruitment agencies and pathways to get into Korea, but I had absolutely no idea which were reputable as I had read many horror stories as well as wonderfully positive ones. I was stumped. One day I was talking to a mate at my local cafe about my thoughts of teaching in Korea but not knowing how to go about it. He knew someone in Mexico who had worked in Korea years ago. He put me in touch with her. She said I should teach public not private and put me in touch with Hayley from ESLstarter. And it rolled on from there. Hayley was so helpful and really quick with her replies, which was especially good as I started the application process quite late and close to the deadline. Afterwards I spoke to Claire and continued on the road to EPIK. All my questions were answered quickly (and some of them, in hindsight, were pretty silly questions that I could've spent time looking up but they still had patience and answered me). Claire kept me up to date on how my application was going, which reduced my stress while waiting. It was a long process, but Claire and Hayley made it as easy as it could possibly be. I am now in Korea while writing this and it has been a fantastic experience. EPIK is an incredibly well thought through program with a huge support network. I couldn't imagine a better way to start the adventure of ESL teaching. Thanks Hayley, Claire and ESLstarter.
Timothy Quirk, EPIK, Gwangju
Ok, I want to start off by saying, these guys are amazing! I tried talking to other recruiters and they were all so slow and unhelpful, unlike ESLstarter. They were also crazy patient and put up with emails from me for LITERALLY A YEAR! I'm sorry Claire!! But despite that, they were so nice every time I had a stupid question or a mini-freak out about something. I also had no experience teaching and had been told that it was very very unlikely I would get into Seoul by other recruiters, but Claire thought I could do it and here I am!
Karina Dimech, EPIK, Seoul
Before finding ESLstarter I had tried to use another recruiter and thought they were horrible. Once I got in contact with Phil he helped me get everything I need to start teaching through EPIK in South Korea. He always returned my emails within a day (usually less) and answered the questions in a way that made me feel comfortable putting my future teaching English across the world in his (and the rest of the ESLstarter team’s) hands. I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone thinking about teaching in South Korea or anywhere else in the world.
Craig Batson, EPIK, Gwangju
Anyeong Hasseyo from Korea! In January I was looking for teaching jobs overseas and I chanced upon ESL Starter. I was eager to leave as soon as possible and by the end of March I was on a plane to Korea. I was impressed at how helpful Claire and the ESLstarter team were, when I got confused by the application process Claire rung me in NZ to explain everything. I am now having an amazing time teaching in an elementary school and experiencing all the weird and wonderful things that Korea has to offer. Thanks again ESLstarter! "
Sadie Preval, EPIK, Gangwon
After graduating from university, I knew teaching English abroad was something I really wanted to do. Actually making it happen was where I felt lost. I spent a lot of time online looking into different programs, but it wasn’t until I contacted ESLstarter that I really felt confident in my choice to live and teach abroad. Claire was always quick to respond to the (many) questions I had and her friendly demeanor put me at ease during what could have been a very stressful time. She was very direct and informative, which made the long process of applying much easier. I am now into my second month of living and teaching English in South Korea and I have never been happier. I owe much thanks to Claire and ESLstarter for helping me to get where I am now --- thank you!!
Caitlin Mullady , EPIK, Chungbuk
It's hard to wake up after 7 years of building a career and realise that it may not be the right thing for you after all. Or at the very least, not the right thing for you at that particular moment in your life. The decision to pack up my life, put my graphic design career on hold, and move to an entirely new country to do a job I wasn't 100% sure was right for me, was not an easy one. However, after coming into contact with Claire and the ESLstarter team I became far more reassured about my decision. I had so many questions and all the requirements looked so incredibly daunting but Claire was able to walk me through it all step by step. She put me in contact with a fantastic TEFL course and helped me with obtaining my documents and filling out all the necessary forms. She was even there in my Inbox the day before my interview to wish me luck. I have been in South Korea for just over a month and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. On top of that I still get emails from Claire to see how I am settling in and I know she is there if I ever have any queries. That kind of support is hard to come by and I am most grateful. Thank you Claire and ESLstarter for helping me realise where I needed to be in life! For anyone who is unsure about the decision to teach abroad, I would highly recommend ESLstarter and believe that if you file the application, it's a decision you will not regret!
Lauren Jarman, EPIK, Daegu
ESLstarter was the most helpful and fundamental resource I had during my EPIK application process. My recruiter, Claire, was extremely prompt and I could always count on her to give accurate information. I had an amazing experience working with ESLstarter and will definitely keep in touch for any future job placements!
Hannah Hansen, EPIK, Chungbuk
ESLstarter did for me exactly what the name suggests - got me started teaching ESL - and in a very short space of time. They helped me find a great introductory TEFL certificate course, and paired me with a school in Korea, in just over two months. More than anything, I appreciated the help they gave me sorting out my legal documentation - visa, etc. I would recommend them to anyone else looking to get TEFL certified and/or wanting to start teaching ESL abroad.
Benett Freeman, EPIK, Daegu
ESLstarter were fantastic throughout the whole application process. Admittedly at the start of the application process in can appear very complicated, even daunting. Especially when you consider the rather lengthy application form, having to get a range of documents apostilled, and then actually applying for a working visa. This process however was simplified by the help and support of the staff at ESLstarter, especially Phil. Indeed, I can’t praise them highly enough. They answered every question, no matter how stupid, promptly. In fact, in some cases Phil replied within the hour. Further, they were always friendly so much so that I felt extremely at ease contacting them. I am now teaching in a High School in Daegu, South Korea and I can honestly say that I would not be here without the help and support of ESLstarter. Thanks a lot!
Ryan McNally, EPIK, Daegu
I want to thank ESLstarter for making my journey into teaching in South Korea a smooth and easy experience. They are knowledgeable, prompt, and eager to assist you with any inquiries you may have. Trust me -- I was emailing them almost every day and they just kept on answering questions! Cheers ESLstarter!
Jeffrey Wong, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
ESLstarter offer nothing but professionalism and support throughout the often stressful and confusing EPIK application process. Last year, I found myself sat at my desk job; disillusioned, bored and realised that sitting in an office (longing for the weekend) is not what I want to do. I wanted to explore and I wanted to work with people - which led me to google TEFL jobs abroad. I stumbled across ESLstarter and I can assure you that I never looked back.
Throughout the process I worked with Phil. He is knowledgeable and patient and always provides a speedy response. No question was left unanswered and no question was too stupid (trust me, a few times I needed a '100% clarification check') and he guided me to where I am now - loving my life in Daegu, South Korea. I've almost completed my first full month at school; I love teaching, my colleagues are a pleasure to work with and the students make me smile every day. All I have to say is: Do it - you won't regret it.
Emma Williams, EPIK, Daegu
A few years ago I would have never thought that I would describe myself in the following way: an elementary school English teacher in South Korea. Well, here I am doing exactly that. It still surprises me. After all, I am a recent law graduate who ‘should’ instead be looking for a training contract. I am now one month into my journey and I don’t have any regrets. I feel that what I have decided to undertake is amazing and life changing. Each day is so very different, filled with new and exciting challenges. I came to South Korea to teach, but I have already learned so much along the way. I am extremely happy to have chosen ESLstarter to help me throughout my application process. They have continuously helped me, reassured me and answered all of my questions. I am very grateful for all of their help.
Greta Jankauskaite, Seoul, South Korea
I found out about ESLstarter when I first started thinking about applying to teach in Korea. Phil was incredibly helpful and made everything very straightforward. Whenever I had any questions, either about the application itself or about living in Korea, he always responded to me quickly. He even emailed me after I’d been in Korea a couple of weeks to check how I was settling in. Without his help and experience I wouldn’t be here now, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend ESLstarter to anyone who is considering teaching in Korea.
Sam Kenny, EPIK, Seoul
In the run up to graduation I was feeling a little bit lost and unsure about what I wanted to do with my life when I received an email about teaching abroad. In all honesty, it was something I’d never considered but the more I looked into it the more I realised it was exactly what I wanted. I read so many horror stories and knew that choosing the right people to help me was imperative. I’m so happy I went with ESLstarter. During the uncomfortable EPIK waiting period that felt like forever, Phil and the team were always there to reassure me and calm my irrational fears! I’m now working at an all girls High School in Daegu and could not be happier. It would have been so easy to stay at home as I landed (what I thought was) my dream job in online marketing and social media shortly after sending my application to ESLstarter, but after being here for only a month I know I made the right decision. The entire process would definitely not have been as smooth if it hadn’t been for these guys and it’s really nice knowing you have someone who’s got your back throughout. I’m incredibly thankful to everyone at ESLstarter and couldn’t recommend them any higher.
Martha Davies, EPIK, Daegu
ESL Starter have been absolutely fantastic! I’ve just taught my first couple of weeks in Daegu, South Korea and I couldn’t be happier here. Phil at ESLstarter has been amazing and so helpful. He was always available and answered all my questions really quickly. He provided me with any information and help that I needed and helped make my application much less daunting and stressful by explaining all the steps of the process and guiding me along the way. He was at the airport in South Korea to greet us all after our gruelling flight over and was super friendly and chatted away to all the new recruits putting us at ease. He has also emailed me after I arrived in my city to ensure I was settled and if I needed any further information or help. I’d highly recommend using ESLstarter and I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again myself.
Gemma de Sanctis, EPIK, Daegu
ESLstarter were brilliant from the very beginning. They made sure I knew what to expect and what to do in order to make my transition as smooth as possible. I felt well informed and supported throughout the application process even after arriving in Korea. The co-ordinator who helped me through all the red tape before leaving home, was the same person who met me on the other side to welcome me to this great country. I can't recommend them enough. Coming here is the best decision I ever made and I'd like to thank ESLstarter for all their reassuring expertise that encouraged me to take this step.
Carrie Dummond, EPIK Seoul
After realising pretty soon after starting my degree that I wanted to teach ESL, I scoured the internet looking for a way in. After reading blog after blog on ESL teaching, I realised the best bet would be to apply through a recruiter. It would be my first time teaching abroad and I knew the knowledge a recruiter would bring to the application process would be vital. I found ESLstarter online, they were highly recommended by bloggers and by a few friends of mine who were already teaching abroad, so I dropped them an e-mail.
From the beginning they have been informative, supportive and always willing to help. Even in their busy periods they managed to get back to my sometimes worried or stressed e-mails promptly and were constantly reassuring. I’m writing now from my desk in my new school in Daegu. I’ve been here only a few weeks but already I feel at home. With limited teaching experience I’ve managed to battle through my first few weeks, which although challenging, have also been incredibly fun. I’m looking forward so much to the rest of the year. Thank you ESLstarter!
Joanne Drew, EPIK, Daegu
I found the prospect of applying to work and live in Korea both an exciting and terrifying thought. There were so many ifs and buts that seemed to cloud every step. ESLstarter assisted in alleviating the fears I had before and during the application process enabling me to concentrate more on what is was that excited me about the job. The EPIK application for Korea can be very long and confusing, but ESLstarter helped break it down into clear and informative stages and this made a usually stressful process very manageable. Phil was always available to answer my questions with informative and quick replies, and it is this efficiency and friendliness that embodies this recruitment agency.
I cannot recommend highly enough working as a teacher in a foreign country (especially Korea) and with ESLstarter's help I hope to see some more friendly faces in Korea.
Aaron Priestley, EPIK, Gwangju
The idea of applying for a teaching position in a country which uses a completely different script and language felt daunting. In fact simply the idea of moving halfway across the world was frightening. I wasn’t all that sure and decided to contact ESLstarter just to get an idea of the options. Phil called me back almost immediately and was super helpful throughout the process. His responses to my queries were answered almost instantaneously and I felt like I was the only recruit he was assisting. Phil’s friendly nature and efficient service made my transition into my new role so much easier and if I had to do it again I wouldn’t change a thing!"
Shabnam Maharaj, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
From the very beginning I received nothing but sincerity and professionalism from ESLstarter. It really is so helpful to have someone guide you through such a grueling, complex process. And while I'm sure they had their hands full at all times, our communication always felt personal and genuine. Phil was aware of my preference from the start, and he worked hard to make sure I'd be happy with my placement. If any of my friends back home want to teach English abroad, I will gladly put them in touch with ESLstarter. Thanks so much guys.
Jared Berg, EPIK, Seoul
A friend from university pointed me in the direction of ESLstarter about a year before I made my big move from Ireland. South Korea had always been an intended destination and I can honestly say that I am so glad to have followed her advice. The agency has been fantastic in providing me with a seamless transition in what is an otherwise hectic and daunting challenge of moving abroad. Phil, in particular, assisted me with all of my persistent questioning with reassuring speed and patience while the fact that they flew to Incheon Airport to have a remarkably brief meet and greet with their applicants said it all for their utmost professionalism. ESLstarter is definitely a safe choice.
David Caulfield, EPIK, Seoul
With the help of ESLstarter and especially Phil, I have managed to exchange my small town existence in South Africa for a new life in a bustling South Korea. I have been meaning to do this for two years, but found the process overwhelming and just too daunting. It was not until I stumbled upon ESLstarter by accident (via another recruitment agency) that this life-changing journey seemed possible. I was EXTREMELY scared of what this decision might entail, but Phil, with his professionalism and speedy, calming replies to frantic emails managed to make me feel like this is not the end of the world, but the start of something GRAND. I stressed about my new life in Korea, but never about how to get there, for the assistance given to me left me with no doubt that South Korea is on the cards. They even fly to the airport just to say “Hi” when you arrive in South Korea! I encourage every foreigner looking for an adventure to make use of ESLstarter, for they WILL ensure a stress free ticket to an exciting new world! Thank you so much, Phil for making this possible. I definitely could not have done this without you!
Nicolene Badenhorst, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
The EPIK process is a long and often hard journey. Luckily, ESLstarter were there from day one to help with any problems and answer any questions (even silly ones). I felt my application was in safe hands and because of this, I am sat at my desk in Daegu, South Korea right now. I would like to thank ESLstarter for all of their help and enthusiasm. They were great and I recommend that anyone planning the move to Korea goes through ESLstarter! Thanks again.
Kieran Prout, EPIK, Daegu
I had no idea how lucky I was to be recruited for Korea's EPIK program through ESLstarter. Through and through they are organized, and they communicate and coordinate well with the EPIK office (a challenge in itself!). Regarding emails, they are fast to reply, knowledgeable, and ever willing to answer even the smallest of questions. Thank you ESLstarter!
Amaryllis Sum, EPIK, Jeonbuk
I had the great fortune of working with ESLstarter when I was applying to teach English in Korea through EPIK. Claire guided me through the numerous steps of the admissions process, provided advice and support, and answered my emails promptly. I received great service from ESLstarter. Once I was accepted to teach in Korea, they sent a lot of helpful information for getting to Korea and having everything I needed once I got there. It was also very nice to have representatives from ESLstarter meet me at the airport when I arrived in Seoul. It has been a wonderful experience working with ESLstarter!
Cara Gluck, EPIK, Chungnam
One year ago I started the process of trying to find a teaching job in South Korea. After five months of intense research, aimless effort, and little real progress ESLstarter was recommended to me as a high quality recruiter for the EPIK program in South Korea (and the only accepted recruiter for the program from the UK). I immediately started to feel my progress accelerating and despite the intense pace of the application process ESLstarter helped to keep me focused and calm. At every stage ESLstarter (and in my particular case, Claire) was on hand to provide guidance, advice, and occasionally someone to lay my paranoia to rest! Claire was great at answering all of my questions promptly and was very patient with any delays and unforeseen problems on my end, with her advice absolutely essential to finding the most appropriate resolution for any issue. With ESLstarter’s help I was able to secure a place on the EPIK program, and in my preferred location. I would not hesitate to recommend ESLstarter to anyone wanting to apply for a teaching position in one of their placement countries – especially those who have never done so before.
I write this now from my desk at my school in South Korea, and would like to thank Claire (and ESLstarter) once again for all of their help in getting me here. Thank you!
Benjamin Lucini, EPIK, Daejeon
I am currently working as an English teacher at a middle school in Busan, South Korea. I went through ESLstarter (who work with the EPIK Program) and I would genuinely like to recommend their services. ESLstarter are efficient and extremely helpful, but more than that, put my mind at ease by rapidly answering my stream of questions each time I e-mailed them. This agency definitely helped to make the transition to life in Korea a smooth and pleasant one!
Kristen Helberg, EPIK, Busan
As I get ready to go into work this morning, I think about how I got here and where I was 6 months ago. Six short months ago this was all just a dream I had. I knew I wanted to do something different. So I did my research and decided teaching in South Korea would be just the change I needed. None of this would be possible, however, without the help of ESLstarter. They helped me every step of the way and it is because of Claire and ESLstarter that I am living my dream. It was all such a smooth process that sometimes I still can't believe I'm here. For anyone planning to teach abroad I would definitely recommend going with ESLstarter. They will take care of you.
Shannon Allen, EPIK, Chungbuk
Although ESLstarter was not my original recruiter (Reach to Teach sent me to them when EPIK downsized), they've certainly not treated me like I was a cast off from another agency. Claire has been there through all the stupid little questions I've asked - always with a friendly and prompt answer. ESLstarter was great while getting through the tough and lengthy application process with EPIK, and especially good with remind e-mails and making sure I booked the right flight. I'm not sure about other agencies out there, but ESLstarter definitely does recruitment right!
Kaitlyn Chambers, EPIK, Ulsan
My husband and I had the privilege of using ESLstarter as our agent for working in Korea. We were both blown away by their efficiency and incredible levels of communication throughout the process. The process of applying to teach in Korea, through EPIK, can be very tiresome, however ESLstarter helped to make this a much more manageable and less stressful time for us. I would highly recommend using ESLstarter’s services and personally would like to thank Claire for her efficient and informative replies to my numerous emails.
Caitlyn De Beer, EPIK, Gwangju
I sort of stumbled into ESLstarter while exploring my options for gaining teaching abroad. Since my first enquiry, I was given lots of friendly and useful guidance without which I may never have got this far; they put up with lots of questioning from me and gave step-by-step advice for my initial application, job interview and visa application. They were always very willing to help, there on demand and they were even there to meet me at the airport when I finally arrived in Korea. I'm very happy with my experience through ESLstarter and warmly recommend their services to anyone! Happy adventuring!
David Toft, EPIK, Chungbuk
The amount of paperwork was the only real thing which put me off when I was looking for teaching work in Korea. Aside from not knowing what "Apostille" meant, and spending a long time trying to work out which type of Criminal Record Check was required, I was not sure about how to get the documents I already had together in the right way. A swift look on ESLstarter helped me out, and, a couple of months later, Claire was able to send me a series of blogs and other useful resources which helped me compartmentalise the process, and take it one step at a time. And now I live in Korea!!! Which was what I wanted!
Huw Jones, EPIK, Jeju
Deciding to come to South Korea was such a drastic change for me. I wanted to experience something different and this wonderful country with people who still never cease to amaze me with their intelligence and work ethic. I’m enjoying my job with EPIK and working at an elementary school in Seoul. I’ve truly been blessed to be given this opportunity. The application process can be tedious and frustrating. I honestly don’t think I could have done it without the help of ESLstarter. It’s been such a pleasure working with Claire. I’m grateful for all the wonderful support. I sincerely do not know how this transition into the unknown would have been if it wasn’t for Claire holding my hand every step of the way.
Pedro Windvogel, EPIK, Seoul
I had graduated from university with a degree majoring in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and minoring in Japanese language. I had started the tedious task of job hunting, which meant combing the internet for available jobs in various countries. This was usually a long process involving long application forms and documents. Eventually it came down to two companies, one being for a teaching position in Japan and the other being a teaching position in Korea through ESLstarter. Both interviews went well and I was offered places for both countries. However, in the end I decided on going to Korea through ESLstarter due to the picture painted through various testimonials and the positive feelings and help I got from the staff. I am now in the English teachers’ office at my school in Korea, Seoul, and I have finished my teaching for today. Although I feel tired, I do however, also feel happy and content with the school, area, students and co-workers I have the pleasure of working with and this is all thanks to ESLstarter.
Robert Hutchinson, EPIK, Seoul
I had a fantastic experience with ESLstarter. Claire was always very prompt with responses to emails and was able to answer all questions I asked her. I was kept thoroughly updated throughout the application process and was never left wondering what my status was. I would highly recommend using ESLstarter to all people interested in teaching English abroad.
Bradford Moore, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
A very big thank you to ESLstarter for all their help in making the long application process pain and stress free. After university and travelling abroad for a year I decided to teach English in Korea with EPIK. I had heard about ESLstarter through a friend and after sending them my details I was contacted the next day! I have never looked back! Claire has been with me since that call and has helped me through the very long and very demanding application process.
We did it in small stages in order to make sure that each form was correct. Some of my friends told me they have had to send the same forms off three times to EPIK because they were incorrectly filled in. Lucky for me, Claire was there to make sure it was all sorted on the first attempt. Everything was handled professionally and efficiently, and even though I asked a million questions throughout the application, from start to acceptance-no question was too big or too small for Claire to answer. She was a real champion. I am settled into my new school, my new apartment and my new life in the very fast and grand city of Daegu. I commend ESLstarter to anyone wishing to teach abroad and start a fresh chapter in their lives. I have made life long friends here in Korea and I am excited to start this new adventure. The rest-as they say-is history.
Olivia Rissik, EPIK, Daegu
This was my 3rd recruiter and at first I was nervous but Claire and Phill help me secure two positions: one in Europe and one in Asia. I was very happy and pleased with their prompt responses and heavy lifting. It was easy and they indeed are the best. I have already recommended them to my friends. They're THAT awesome. Thanks again guys!
Candice Johnson, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
At the early stages of my paperwork I was still in Spain and was beginning to worry that my trip would interfere with my participation in the EPIK program through ESLstarter. Instead, I was met with a great amount of patience and understanding, even when some of my documents arrived much later than I had anticipated. Through the entire process my coordinator from ESLstarter answered my numerous questions and lo and behold today I find myself in South Korea as a result of their efforts.
Derek Olson, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
I had looked into the idea of teaching overseas a few times, but I never had any real success with getting the factual information that I needed to make that dream happen. Then I found ESLstarter. Not only did they have all of the most up to date information on the country I was interested in, but they were so quick to answer any of my questions all the way from across the pond. When you apply through ESLstarter you are no longer wandering blindly through applications and government red tape. (Which there is a lot of) You are given an advisor who is there to hold your hand through every step of the process. I was blessed with Claire to help me along the way.
I received quick answers to my emails, friendly reminders, helpful tips, and even a personal phone call from her to answer any and all questions that I might have. Not only was she a major help to me, but she was also willing to exchange emails with my father, who was less than pleased that his youngest daughter was going to be living on the other side of the world. The care and dedication that they put into each applicant is unrivaled.
I don’t know what you were doing at 6pm on Christmas Eve, but Claire was sitting at her desk emailing me to let me know that I had gotten the final approval to teach with the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education. What a great Christmas present! My only regret is that I was not able to meet her alongside the other ESLstarter advisors when I arrived in Korea. (But that is only because she was seven months pregnant!) I can’t imagine getting better customer service with a process that can be so difficult and confusing. Oh, and did I mention it’s free? Thank you again for all of you help, and I hope you have a happy and healthy new baby!
Gretchen Wright, EPIK, Seoul
ESLstarter has been an absolutely essential part for my work abroad experience. I would like to thank my personal advisor Claire and the entire staff for placing me in my ideal location to teach. They made the, seemingly, overwhelming process of working abroad simple and, through daily emails, outlined the step by step process that was necessary for me to begin my experience. After my experience in Argentina, I may surely use the services of ESLstarter again, and again. Muchas Gracias por todos!
Nikolas LaPelusa, Mar del Plata, Argentina
In the age of recession, limited job opportunities and hundreds of international volunteer placements, It is really hard to know and choose what the next steps will be after studying at University. ESLstarter not only provides brilliant service with great support, but a recognised TEFL certificate whilst having a life enriching experience. This can be achieved without extortionate costs with a company that understands cultural sensitivity whilst supporting underprivileged institutions and communities. As cheesy as it sounds my home stay became like family and I was so humbled by their kindness. I was not a qualified teacher, just someone who wanted to experience another culture and contribute to a really worthwhile project and I have received so much from this experience that has encouraged me to keep volunteering, teaching and get involved in many charities in Nepal. I am forever thankful to ESLstarter.
Jasmin White, Kathmandu, Nepal
Today is Christmas day and I am attending the school's Christmas party. Whilst writing this, I am sitting under a perfect blue sky, enjoying tropical temperatures. I look around at the children and smile at how happy they are. I love teaching in Thailand. I feel both blessed and privileged. However, I would not be here if it wasn't for ESL Starter, most particularly Claire. Like many people, I was unsure of what to do when leaving University. ESLstarter was able to point me in the right direction, help me attain my TEFL qualification and assist me in my new teaching journey. Claire was brilliant in every step of the process. She helped me secure my Non-Immigrant B stamp, sent me all the relevant documentation and even helped me to find cheap flights to Thailand! She was brilliant and I am thankful for the opportunity she has given to me. Thank you Claire! I am so lucky to enjoy Christmas in Thailand.
I sincerely urge you to go with ESLstarter. You will meet amazing people, make fantastic memories and you will also carve yourself a future career in working as a language teacher. You only live once so go for it! Go ESLstarter!
Lea Mason, Nonthai, Thailand
With the help of the professional and dedicated staff at ESLstarter, I went from browsing my computer looking for overseas teaching options, to a surprisingly hasty placement in my new Thai school. Although I was a little afraid of all of the details that went into moving overseas, Claire's concise details alleviated all of my fears and made the entire process easy. Thanks ESLstarter
Tarik Kerzabi, Sisaket, Thailand
ESLstarter have been great throughout what was often a pretty overwhelming time of leaving everything behind in the UK and going out to teach English in an area of Thailand I wouldn't even find out about till I got there. Claire was great in answering my many, many questions and also made the whole visa process seem very straight forward indeed. Many thanks!
Will Mason-Jebb, Long, Thailand
You may often hear people say "I never thought I would be here, this is so amazing, etc. etc." If you're like me, you brush it off an think "what an idiot." That was until I became that idiot. I'm here to say "I never thought I would be here, and it IS so amazing." Yet, there is no way i would be where I am today, without the endless supply of help from ESLstarter. At times, the process will get overwhelming, that's inevitable, but when you’re going through an organization such as ESLstarter you know you're in good hands. They are with you every step of the way, and are readily available if you have any questions. Trust me on that, I had several... Think of it this way, if you're going to fly around the globe to live in a place you've more than likely never been, to teach kids you've never met, wouldn't you want help from someone that has actually been in your shoes?
Reid Guidry, Nan, Thailand
ESLstarter was a great bridge to my dream and goal to live and teach in another country. Being inexperienced in how to go about making this dream a reality ESLstarter was a great resource every step of the way. My advisor Claire answered all my questions and eased me into the process. I am now a month in living in Thailand and already have had so many unique experiences that will last me a lifetime. I am excited to see how my life as a teacher abroad will unfold.
Ashley Pileggi, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
Hooking up with ESLstarter was without a doubt one of best decisions I have ever made for my career. I always wanted to travel the world but I never had the resources or guidance to help me pursue this dream. After talking with Claire all my question were answered and she was able to help me get the best teaching job EVER!! I'm working in Bangkok, Thailand at one of the most reputable schools in the country. The students are amazing and my day is never dull! Working with ESLstarter also provides you a great opportunity to meet other teachers who share the same passion as you. If your reading this deciding on whether or not to teach abroad. All I can say is DO IT NOW and talk to Claire!!!!!
Blake McIntosh, Bangkok, Thailand
A big thank you to ESLstarter. My aim was to gain a qualification & experience in TEFL teaching to facilitate my travel & teaching around the world. In October I undertook the 3 weeks course in Bangkok. Although I had confidence in myself, I had little teaching experience on my CV. They were able to point me in the right direction in terms of visa requirements, & any queries I needed answering. There was a guarantee of a paid placement, upon successful completion of the course, which put my mind at ease. For somebody in my position it was without doubt value for money.
During the 3 weeks in Bangkok I was able to learn a great deal. We tested what we had learnt on novice monks and police on field trips. The teaching staff were great. I was amongst a group of around of 30 participants, who bonded well & were able to enjoy the sights, attractions, & culture of the city. In November 2012 I began my first placement in a small town named Than Po, in the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. I am placed with 3 other English speaking teachers. The school & the local community have welcomed us with open arms. Life is good. Thanks again to Claire & Phil at ESLstarter!
Darren Westwood, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand
After graduating from uni, I'd toyed with the idea of ESL teaching, but never quite knew how to go about getting into it. However, after I found ESLstarter and spoke to Claire, the whole process became so simple I was absolutely kicking myself for not doing it earlier! I've received nothing but help and support from day one, and was really impressed with the speed and efficiency with which everything was sorted, as well as the excellent service I received from Claire and the team. I don't remember a single question left unanswered or email left with no reply, and at every step of the process the guidance was absolutely spot on. I'd thoroughly recommend ESLstarter to anyone wanting to get into teaching abroad, and have to give them huge credit and thanks for the major role they've played in helping me into what has been an amazing experience!
Jack Smith, Khukhan, Thailand
I'd been backwards and forwards about the decision to teach abroad for ages, but when I finally got in touch with ESLstarter they helped me to realise that not only was I making the right decision but one I'd never regret. Clare was so helpful and very reassuring with her professional and in-depth knowledge on the TEFL life. I am now teaching in Thailand and wondering why I ever hesitated to do something so unique and rewarding.
Mike Brennan, Chumphon, Thailand.
ESLstarter made it much easier to make the decision to move abroad as they were able to answer any questions I had. They arranged the TEFL course and helped me to get the required visa, when I would have had no idea where to start. They made the process so much more simple and much less daunting than if I'd been doing it all on my own. Even now that I'm here, they are still willing to help with any queries I have. Also, helping with teaching ideas. If you're thinking of teaching abroad then I definitely reccommend ESLstarter.
Rhian Nicoll, Bangkok, Thailand
Like many, I was stuck with what to do next after finishing university. I stumbled across ESL Starter on the web and haven't looked back since. ESLstarter, Claire especially, have been at my beck and call, answering my every question within 24 hours. Claire really helped put any anxieties I had before at ease. I've been teaching for 4 weeks in Satun, Thailand, and I can't see myself leaving any time soon. I would recommend ESLstarter to anyone looking for a swift and easy way into TEFL, without any hassle at all.
Oliver Amos, Satun, Thailand
After graduating from University, I decided that it was the right time to pack my bags and fulfil a personal ambition to travel to another country to teach English and experience a new way of life. After deciding Thailand was my preferred option, i contacted ESLstarter through their website and the following day I received an email from Claire, who explained and addressed any issues or queries about the application. Throughout the whole process Claire was a brilliant help and made my journey to Thailand effortless, I just read and followed her clear instructions and I now find myself having a fantastic time living and teaching in Thailand. I would highly recommend ESLstarter and believe if you have the opportunity to join the application then its a decision you will not regret!
I work and live in a Town called Sisaket, which is in the East of Thailand, the locals are very friendly, the food is great and most importantly the School where I teach is fantastic. As i sit in my School office writing this short testimonal, with the sun blazing outside, I would like to say a big thank you to ESLstarter and especially to Claire who was a massive help and made my ambiton of teaching abroad a reality!
Robert Staples, Sisaket, Thailand
ESLstarter have been brilliant. I was desperate to travel and immerse myself in a new culture, but couldn't justify dropping all responsibilities and just upping sticks. Their 'Teach English in Thailand' program was the perfect answer, and now I'm settled in a new country with a challenging but rewarding job, and time to travel and take in the rest of South East Asia. ESLstarter and Claire in particular were very helpful, always available and quick to answer questions and provide any help they could. I wouldn't hesitate to go through them again.
Luke Robinson, Lopburi, Thailand
When I graduated from university, I began searching for TEFL jobs to do, as teaching and travelling were particularly appealing to me. ESLstarter helped me secure my first teaching position, working as a volunteer in the wonderfully interesting Nepal. Claire from ESLstarter went out of her way to guide me carefully and efficiently through the application process, but also she put me at ease and answered all my questions in not just a capable way, but importantly in a friendly way too. Applying for jobs abroad in teaching can be very daunting, especially if it is your first time as teaching or in an exotic far away land such as Nepal, many organisations are simply too intimidating and overwhelm you, but ESLstarter eased you into the process bit by bit, with regular emails to help. Furthermore the website is presented very well, with all the core information that an applicant needs from the outset, to know whether the position is right for them. Too many organisations don't reveal prices or length of contracts until much later, and ESLstarter is a welcome change from such companies. I would highly recommend working through ESLstarter, a thoroughly efficient and friendly organisation. I would like to thank them and Claire in particular for helping me secure my first teaching position in Nepal, which was such a success.
Samuel Corney, Kathmandu, Nepal
I have had the pleasure of being an ESL Alumni, I would recommend ESLstarter services to anyone considering teaching abroad. I have received nothing but efficiency and professionalism from Phil at all times. Even after the application process and placement has been completed, I still receive quality service far exceeding my expectations from an agency I do not pay for. Thank you and keep up the good work.
Asanda Ndabisa, EPIK, Daegu
Three months ago I had no idea I'd be where I am today. With a ton of help from ESLstarter, I am now teaching in a small city in Georgia. I spend my working hours working with motivated students, and I spend my free time interacting with locals, learning Georgian and Russian, and taking trips across Georgia. If you have any inclination towards teaching English, look into ESLstarter!
David Stys, Borjomi, Georgia
I have really enjoyed working with ESLstarter. They have done an excellent job at providing me with information and answering any questions I have had regarding: my preparations, my travel, and my time Georgia. TLG provided an intense week long training that provided a general idea of what to expect once I joined my host family and school. They have a 24 hour hotline available to help with translation confusion or random questions. Both ESLstarter and TLG do their best to make the volunteer’s experience as stress-free as possible, allowing us to really focus on enjoying our time teaching and learning Georgia.
Daylene Gustafson, Tsitelkhevi, Georgia
I was lucky to stumble upon ESLstarter... I mean, who would have ever dreamed of moving to Georgia? Upon requesting information, it was not long before I was connected with TLG and the application process was in full swing. Everything was sent to me within days, and the team at ESLstarter were unbelievably helpful. For someone with a lot of questions, I can confidently say that all of them were answered in a very timely fashion. Living in Georgia has been fantastic; it is certainly a country unlike any other I've traveled to. I am extremely happy with my decision to sign on for one year in Georgia, and hope that ESL starter can continue to send English teachers abroad help connect the world.
Julia Pons, Poti, Georgia
I knew I was interested in working in South Korea and had previously been in touch with other similar recruitment agencies. However, none were as clear and helpful as ESLstarter who I decided to stick with as soon as I first spoke to Phil on the phone. From then on the application process which initially sounds complicated and lengthy became easy to manage. ESLstarter not only help set you up with a possible job, but also act as a step by step guide to getting you there. They keep in touch from the moment you show an interest in a job abroad to when you're actually over there and working! Also, when moving abroad you are going to have A LOT of questions. I found no question was too silly to ask and always got a speedy response from Phil by email. ESLstarter made the whole thing a lot simpler and I'm now absolutely loving it in Korea! :)
Grace Finney, EPIK, Daegu
I studied abroad in Hong Kong during my undergrad and I knew that I wanted to go back to Asia. I did a lot of research and I decided that Korea would be the best place for me. ESLstarter helped me from the very beginning to the very end of my application process (and beyond). It's hard to determine which recruiters are legitimate and which ones are scams. I was given individual attention by ESLstarter from the very start. They replied to all my emails within a day and they helped me through the complicated visa process. ESLstarter even met me at the airport when I arrived in Korea. I would recommend using ESLstarter to anyone who is interested in teaching abroad. I had a lot of questions and they made the process extremely easy for me.
Dominique Joyner, EPIK, Gangwon
I had always found the idea of teaching abroad very appealing, but never thought it was something that I would actually do myself. At the beginning of 2012 I decided that I wanted to try something new, which naturally led me to thinking of becoming a TEFL teacher. I wasn’t fully committed to the idea straight away, but thought a little research might help me to make up my mind. The only problem was that I had no idea where to start! Which country? Which program? How do I even begin to apply to teach?
A quick Google search brought me to ESLstarter. I read through their selection of programs and before I knew it I found myself signing up for an application form to teach in South Korea. I hadn’t signed any contracts, I still wasn’t dead set on the idea, but thought I’d get the ball rolling and see where it got me. A couple of hours later I was exchanging emails with Phil, who was extremely helpful and friendly from the start. Every step of the application process was clearly explained and any questions I’d send were quickly answered – a relief especially when there is something that is worrying you! I was ticking things off my ‘to-do’ list at a rate of knots – my initial ‘get the ball rolling’ email was smoothly turning into a TEFL reality thanks to ESLstarter. Now, just a few months later, I’m sitting in South Korea as a teacher with the EPIK program, and I’m happy to say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.
So a big thanks to ESLstarter, who really took out any of the stress or confusion of applying to teach abroad. They are there every step of the way (Claire and Phil were even meeting and greeting the Korean intake at Incheon airport!) and offer to help once you are in country. I can’t see how they could have done a better job, and it didn’t cost me a penny. I would highly recommend ESLstarter to anyone considering TEFL, you wouldn’t regret it!
Bradley Clayton, EPIK, Chungbuk
ESLstarter was great throughout the whole application process. They always replied quickly to all my emails and were willing to answer any of my questions. It was nice to have someone guide me through the process and make everything a little less scary. They were willing to offer advice and made sure to check in with me at every step. I would definitely recommend anyone thinking about teaching abroad to choose ESLstarter.
Ari Chessen, EPIK, Daegu
I applied to teach in South Korea through ESLstarter. I did not know what to expect, but I found both Phil and Claire to be extremely efficient, organised and helpful in assisting me with my job application. Their communication was brilliant and they took great care to keep me informed at every point in the application process. I was well prepared to move to Korea, mainly as a result of ESLstarter providing me with all of the necessary information I needed to make my transition into Korean life as smooth as possible. Overall I was exceptionally pleased that I chose to use ESLstarter to help me get the job I've always wanted - they provided an outstanding service and they are thoroughly nice people. Thank you ESLstarter!
Kimberley East, EPIK, Chungbuk
There are two ways you can apply to be an English teacher here in Korea. 1, you can apply directly to EPIK or 2, you apply through ESLstarter. I chose to apply through ESLstarter and I am glad I did. The people at ESLstarter are friendly, professional and really well informed. Not to mention they are quick and really good at what they do. I believe communication is the most important in any field; ESLstarter is spot on when it comes to communication, from providing the necessary information, ensuring you have all the correct documents at specific time and also they were able to respond to all my emails very quickly. I was never left sitting there waiting and wondering about what is going on or what the next step is. I applied for the position at a very early date and I was expecting silence till a closer date, but this wasn’t the case. Phil I must mentioned was always updating me on what was going on and made sure I didn’t miss out.
So, I decided I wanted to be a teacher at a very early stage, at that time I had no idea what I was getting myself into (so many questions needed to be answered). ESLstarter not only answered those questions but also provided information on things that I didn’t even think of. Don’t worry there is always support from both ESLstarter and the EPIK program once you’re here in Korea. All your questions will be answered. I can go on into more details, but I’d be writing an essay so all I can say is if you are thinking of being an ESL teacher in Argentina, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Nepal, Thailand or Vietnam then look no further. ESLstarter will take fantastic care of you and make sure that the process leading up to your arrival is the easiest and most calming experience ever. Well done.
Kevin Chia, EPIK, Seoul
When I finally made my mind up to start applying to teach in South Korea, I really did not have much of an idea where to start but glad that I made the decision to use ESLstarter! Phil helped every step off the way and was always on hand to offer advice and guidance when needed. Choosing to move aboard is a big enough decision in itself and gives you a lot to think about so not to have to worry about the application process is a major help and knowing what to do and when makes life so much easier. I am now living in South Korea and loving every second off it and have Phil and the team to thank.
Christopher Tubby, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
When I was planning to go to South Korea, I was nervous about completing all of the paperwork and adjusting to life in another country. ESLstarter was very helpful at every level. They clearly explained the necessary steps and provided me with the information that I needed. It was a much easier process than attempting to apply on my own. Now I am in South Korea and the transition has been very smooth, much due to the help of ESLstarter.
Aaron Dummer, EPIK, Seoul
I once believed that leaving a comfortable life in my home country to move to Korea would be the most daunting experience of my life, but thanks to Phil and the team at ESLstarter, it has been the most rewarding experience of my life. When I was first considering the application for a teaching position in South Korea I was overwhelmed by the application process, however, a friend told me about ESLstarter and they made the application process completely stress free. They called me on a number of occasions to talk me through the process step by step and Phil was always a pillar of support, helping me with my documents during application and being at the airport in Incheon when I arrived to welcome me face to face. I would strongly recommend life in Korea to anyone who is considering the move, but, most importantly, I would strongly recommend that you contact the ESLstarter team and allow them to make your new, wonderful adventure the best it can possibly be.
David Slattery, EPIK, Daegu
Working with ESLstarter to apply to teach English in South Korea was a great experience! My recruiter was very knowledgeable about the application process and very attentive to me as we worked through it together. He always answered my emails quickly and regularly checked in with how I was doing. He even met me at the airport when I got in country to welcome me. I'm so glad I chose to use ESLstarter to help kick start this new adventure I'm on.
Beth Ann Williams, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
Working with ESLstarter made the EPIK application process extremely simple; there was no question left unanswered from Phil and Claire. As former teachers, it was also very easy to trust their judgment and professionalism. From the initial phone interview to meeting us at the airport I would recommend the company in a heartbeat for seasoned teachers or newbie ESL teachers like myself. Thanks guys!
Amanda Copen, EPIK, Busan
Teaching English in Georgia has been one of the most unique and rewarding experiences of my life. The people, their culture and the landscape are like something out of a beautiful fairytale. We may be there to teach English but I think Georgia in its turn has so much to teach us too. Thank you so much to ESLstarter for making it all possible.
Jason Visser, Salibauri, Georgia
ESLstarter has been awesome assisting me with teaching abroad. Earlier this year, I had no idea I would actually be living in the beautiful country of Georgia and getting totally immersed in this exotic culture. Phil made my transition as smooth as it could possibly be. I had many questions before I left my home country and Phil was prompt, patient and thorough about answering each one of them. Now that I'm settled in he still follows up to make sure things are going well. I would recommend this organization time and time again for anyone considering teaching abroad. They're the best!!!
Marica Tedder, Samtredia, Georgia
I used ESLstarter when I applied for the Teach and Learn with Georgia volunteer program. I honestly never waited longer than 20 minutes for a reply on an e-mail and if I had to do it all over, I would definitely apply through them again. They make the hassle of the application process their problem.
Sonja Boshoff, Acharisagmarti, Georgia
I would recommend ESLstarter to anyone that would like an easy and smooth transition into their new careers teaching abroad. Claire was extremely helpful and answered all of my questions promptly! Even when I was a little scared about the move, Claire was there to answer my questions and definitely was the reassuring voice that I needed. I am enjoying my experience in South Korea so much and could not be more fulfilled in my new career!
Breanne Wilkinson, EPIK, Chungbuk
With ESLstarter, the EPIK application process was a smooth and painless one. I received prompt email responses to the questions I sent and was quickly informed about any missing documents or problems with such items as the passport photo. ESLstarter kept the stress of what could have been a complicated, red tape ordeal low. The agency has checked in with me from time to time even a month after my arrival to ensure that the transition is just as smooth and painless as the application process. I would recommend ESLstarter to any newcomer interested in teaching English in S. Korea.
Kristen Luft, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
I had actually chosen a different recruiter to handle my EPIK application. Halfway through the process, EPIK cut down on the number of recruiters and transferred my application to ESLstarter. I thought my other recruiter was handling the process well, but when I was transferred, I saw how much more excellently ESLstarter was! I wish I would have chosen them from the beginning. I talked with Claire and she was the singlemost helpful person I had during the entire process. She made it seem easy even though the application process has a reputation for being long and tedious. Even though ESLstarter is based in the UK and I live in the US, communication was not a problem because she was always prompt with e-mails and phone calls! She is very nice and encouraging and always knows the answer to any question I may have (no matter how small). She is really knowledgable about the entire application process! I would recommend ESLstarter to anyone wishing to teach with EPIK. The application process was surprisingly smooth. I expected the worst but ended up with the best at ESLstarter! 10/10!
Kellianne Bennett, EPIK, Seoul
Traveling to another country can be overwhelming, but traveling to live AND work in another country can intensify any overwhelming thoughts, feelings and/or concerns. This is why I am grateful for experiencing such an awesome recruiting agency to help ease my "overseas anxiety." ESLstarter is filled with caring and helpful people. All of my emails and calls were responded to and done so in a quick response time. This definitely helped make for a smooth transition into this new chapter in my life! Last but not least, I loved how Claire welcomed me - by name - when we met at the airport. That was super cool!
Nailah Harvey, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
The process of moving to a foreign country can be very intimidating. Sometimes, just trying to obtain all of the right documentation was so overwhelming that I wanted to give up. That is why it is so important to have a person who can help and guide you along the way. My ESLstarter recruiter Claire was that wonderful person. She was so helpful to me during every step of the way. She helped review my application, gave me tips about moving to South Korea, and even met me at the airport in Incheon. I was so excited to see somebody that I recognized, it was very reassuring. Claire was always so quick to reply to my emails and answer my questions, no matter how trivial they seemed. If you are thinking about teaching abroad in Korea, you should do it. I love my kids, my school, and my coteachers. I am really enjoying my experience here in Yeonghae. If you decide to teach abroad, then I really recommend getting help from an awesome recruiter like Claire.
Tiffany Molynue, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
ESLstarter is simply one of the best agencies I've ever come across. I received prompt, clear feedback and guidance from Claire throughout the entire process of my application to teach English in Korea through the 'EPIK' program. I initially had thought I wouldn't need a recruiter, but having been through the extended process I am overwhelmingly glad that I did and that I chose ESLstarter. Claire was there every step of the way, even meeting me at the airport! I've never seen or heard of professionalism like this before. I have no idea how ESLstarter is so amazing, but I am extremely thankful!
Christian Clampitt, EPIK, Chungbuk
Landing a teaching job in a foreign country requires a lot of paperwork and preparation. Important dates and deadlines must be met on time if you want to secure a position abroad. Having a competent advisor is essential. I used ESLstarter and got the job and placement I wanted. They answered my emails immediately and made sure I was meeting deadlines. I've been in Korea for a month now at a public school and am very happy I had a recruiter that knew the ins and outs of the Korean government and its processes (they are very particular).
Andrew Codner, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
ESLstarter is staffed by well organized people who genuinely care about your future. I’m the kind of person who asks a million questions before understanding the fine details of how something works or needs to be executed. ESLstarter (CLAIRE!!!) answered all one million and made me feel comfortable to ask another million if I needed more answers. I didn’t feel embarrassed! When I met Claire at the Incheon Airport, I apologized for asking so many questions and she said, “That’s why I’m here!!!” Though it sounds cliché, you can be fully assured that she truly mean it and did it!
Jorge Medrano, EPIK, Daegu
When my wife and I were considering teaching in Korea (EPIK), my initial web search brought me to the ESLstarter website. After reviewing the other feedback I decided to make initial enquiries. I can not speak highly enough of ESLstarter and specifically Claire. From my initial enquiry, right through to be being placed by EPIK, Claire was was there throughout the process. Claire guided my wife and I through the process, which can be time consuming and tedious, and always responded swiftly to any queries. In hindsight, I definitely made the right choice choosing ESLstarter.
Gerard Coll, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
It wasn't until I had been graduated from university for a few months that I realised I wanted to teach abroad! However what with my student loan repayments starting and pressure from the parents to "get a proper job, we're in a recession" I ended up working a 9-5 in England for a couple of years. As such when I finally decided to make the "leap of faith" i was out of touch and pretty much going in blind! To say ESLstarter were brilliant is an understatement!
From the off they Claire and Phil answered all my e-mails, usually within hours and even took the time to call me at my convenience, which must have been at their inconvenience! The process can be somewhat laboured at times, what with all the international paperwork and hoops to jump through, but everyone at ESLstarter made sure I knew exactly what was required and when!
They even put up with a host of my questions without the slightest sign of irritation and were there at the airport to greet me. Since I've been in Korea I have spoken with a number of people and heard what they had to say about the application process and their recruiters, and I can safely say that by going with ESL starter I made the right choice!
Rob Dawber, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
The EPIK application process can be very confusing and involved. I couldn't have imagined going through it without Claire's help. She is very knowledgeable about the process and really made sure all of my documents were correct and in order. As issues and uncertainties tend to arise, Claire keeps you informed throughout the entire process and answers all your questions immediately. I highly recommend ESLstarter as an EPIK recruiter. I am now in Daegu and loving life! Couldn't have done it without them.
Brandon Gillis, EPIK, Daegu
ESLstarter prepared me fully for my teaching experience in South Korea. Claire made the application process very smooth! She was quick to respond, easy to speak with, and very kind! I would highly recommend ESLstarter to anyone who is thinking about teaching abroad. Teaching abroad is a life changing experience, and ESLstarter made the transition of getting to South Korea an easy one!
Tim Stambaugh, EPIK, Daejeon
Deciding to find employment in Korea through ESLstarter was one of the best decisions I made. From the early days, where I needed someone to talk through my queries and questions about life in Korea, ESLstarter was a reliable and friendly source of information. To say that I got here (yes, I'm here in Busan now) through a recruiter still feels strange. Claire offers a friendly welcome and it's very hard to not feel familiar from a very early stage. Phone calls and emails were a constant source of reassurance and I was always swiftly responded to whenever I had burning questions. There are a lot of things to consider when moving abroad, and ESLstarter has experience with them all. I would highly recommend this recruiter. At the airport, ESLstarter were there with open arms - I knew then that this was a recruiter that cares!
Jaime Wilkin, EPIK, Busan
It is safe to say that ESLstarter changed my life. I consider myself a fairly savvy traveler. However, during my first very thorough attempt to apply to work in Korea, I unceremoniously missed the application deadline by misinterpreting the instructions. Devastated, my hope of starting a new life in Korea seemed about a million light years away.
I stumbled onto ESLstarter by accident on the EPIK website and after about a 10 minute conversation with Claire, I was gently and swiftly placed back on course!
There is no good way to capture in words just what the experience of being guided step by step through the paperwork, hiring, visa, and even the arrival process meant. The application process was completely demystified as a result of Claire’s quick response to emails, her clear instructions, and her amazing diligence!
Starting a new life in another country is daunting at best, but with ESLstarter, you’ve got on your side, genuinely good good people, working hard to provide a genuinely good service.
A rare gem in this day and age!!! Thank you so very very much for being in the business of changing lives...!
Shalina Akins, EPIK, Seoul
When I first started applying for the Teach in Asia program I did not know what I was getting myself into, I mean I liked the idea of leaving South Africa and going to live and teach English abroad for a couple of months even a couple of years but then again I thought like most internet jobs it was a scam if not human trafficking. ESLstarter were always a click away, they were quick to reply to my emails, gave me all the information I required without any delays, guiding me along the way of processing my application that is when I actually decided to hold off for a couple of weeks; Let’s face it our number one worry is human trafficking then scams that we should be all extra cautious about. So I began my research about ESLstarter and their programs Google being the best way to kick start it. I don’t know if I was happy or disappointed with the results – they seemed legit, too clean and just too good to be true. So I did what anyone in my position would do, I relaxed and took my time with the application at the end I decided to trust my guts and trust ESLstarter then I proceeded with my application. Here I am today, two days from now I will be celebrating one month in Georgia and I love my stay here, can’t stop thanking ESLstarter for being genuine and giving people this amazing opportunity to be safe and feel welcome in a different country. Not a day goes by that I regret being here. This was the best decision I made, ESLstarter is not too good to be true but just truthfully good. Take it from me this is just a beginning of my journey, it does not end here. Thank you ESLstarter.
Siyanda Maphisa, Nabedhlavi Georgia
Teaching in Georgia has been an excellent experience, the country and its scenery is unbelievable, thank you to ESL starter I am living this dream and knowing new places and people, It took me less than a month to travel to Georgia thanks to Phil and Claire who were very friendly and fast in answering every mail, giving me clear instructions of the paper work that I needed and guiding me through the whole process. Thank you guys, You rock. and whoever reads this see you in Georgia.
Mario Zepeda, Chxkaura, Georgia
I think back to September 2011, when the thought of teaching abroad hadn't even crossed my mind. Then I stumbled across the ESL Starter website, had a look at the EPIK program, and decided to request an application form, while in the back of my mind still thinking that going to live abroad was something I would continue to dream about but ultimately never achieve. Then a few weeks after I received the form, Phil sent me an e-mail asking me if I was still interested in applying for the EPIK Program. I decided to give it a go, and I'm glad I did! It's the best decision I have ever made.
I would highly recommend ESL Starter to anyone who is considering teaching abroad. Through every step of the process, Phil was fantastic. He made what is actually a long, tedious and quite complicated process seem incredibly easy, and had very useful answers for any questions which I threw his way. His role didn't simply stop once I got the job; he has still been there to answer any queries which I have had, and always gets back to me within 24 hours. If you want to apply through a very professional agency with top quality staff, then ESL Starter is for you!
Robert Chesworth, EPIK, Gangwon
Applying for a job in another country can be complicated and intimidating but ESLstarter made the process extremely simple. I was grateful to have Claire and Hayley at the other end of an email to help with any questions I had. They were always helpful and replied to all of my questions in full and very quickly too. I've settled into my new job comfortably and knowing I could contact ESLstarter at anytime has made the transition much easier. From filling in the initial application form to arriving at the airport ESLstarter has been a great support to have on every step of the way.
Lauriane Woollatt, EPIK, Gwangju
The whole process of getting a job and all of the necessary requirements to work in Thailand was made so easy thanks to Claire. It was made so simple and saved any problems i might have had doing it myself, so I would advise anyone thinking about it to use Claire at ESLstarter. She was great!
Anthony Owens, Tak, Thailand
Claire and the team at ESLstarter have made moving to Thailand, something that could easily be so stressful, completely painless. I'm now happily settled in the Satun province of Thailand ready to start my first semester and I'd strongly recommend these guys if you're thinking of doing the same thing. A big thanks to Claire in particular for being so helpful at every step!
Jamie Speakman, Satun, Thailand
Big thanks to ESLstarter for making the road to Thailand as smooth as possible. I was travelling between my previous post and Thailand so ESLstarter were not only on hand 24/7 but made arrangements to put everything in place before I left - one less thing to worry about! ESLstarter were recommended by friends and I have not been disappointed
Clare Wrintmore, Chonburi, Thailand
I would like to commend ESLStarter for a job well done. Right from the start, they were professional and friendly. Their system works well, where they record a video or audio of you from your interview with them. This is to be seen by the recruiters in Georgia. The process took around a week, which is very quick. All information provided by them I have found to be accurate. They also reply to your emails in the space of 24hours. Thank you Claire and Phil, for getting me my job, I have settled in well, and I am, thanks to you, happy in my new job!
Sherif Gad, Chanchati, Georgia
A few months ago, teaching abroad was just a tentative thought, and it still feels somewhat surreal to be writing this from my bedroom, in a small village in Georgia, where my days are spent teaching enthusiastic children, mingling through the village with the warmest most humble people, eating dangerously delicious home made meals and exploring the beautiful surroundings of a country steeped in culture and history. Using ESLstarter was the best decision I made, and they were a great help in assisting me in my daunting decision to pack up and leave home. Phil was always really prompt in replying to any queries/questions and the answers were always helpful, and also provided me with detailed information on all the steps and procedures. It's reassuring to deal with a competent and efficient recruitment agency, who you can trust and I would recommend ESLstarter to anyone wanting to have the experience of a lifetime!
Megan Connaway, Ruisi, Georgia
I used www.eslstarter.com to find a job both in South Korea and the Republic of Georgia. Both of the recruiters, Phil and Claire, who helped me get my jobs were extremely helpful, quick to reply to any questions I had during the application process, and even continued to help me while I was living overseas with anything I needed. I have recommended them to anyone that tells me that they are interested in teaching overseas and I will continue to do so.
Andrew Delavan, Kontuati, Georgia
Put quite simply ESLstarter is the go-to-place if you have ever thought about, considered or dreamed to teach English abroad. A huge help throughout the entire process, they were always on hand with helpful and prompt replies to those endless questions you may or may not have. Without their assistance, I would probably be back in the UK miserably twiddling my fingers, but instead I'm enjoying and experiencing the Republic of Georgia through TLG, which I also highly endorse. In the future I may look at ESL positions in South Korea and Thailand, and if I do, my first port of call will be these guys at ESLstarter.
John Entwistle, near Batumi, Georgia
I came across ESL starter via a friend and I chose the Georgia placement. Phil was very helpful and always answered my questions with a swift response. I would highly recommend going through ESL if you want to teach abroad as there is no hassle and all the information was accurate. I am nearly at the end of my placement now and have enjoyed it thoroughly meeting a variety of people; the students have been amazing as well.
Simon Yates, Surami, Georgia
Nobody at any organisation I have ever dealt with has been as prompt and efficient as Phil at ESLstarter. No matter how small the question I sent to him, I ALWAYS had an answer the very next day. His clear commitment helped make the application process as easy as possible and now I'm settled in Korea, I couldn't be happier. To anyone out there looking to make the move to teach abroad, it's the guys at ESLstarter who you want to help you.
Zach Thomas, EPIK, Daejeon
ESLstarter have been a fantastic agency in sorting my dream to teach abroad. They helped me through every step during my application to teach in South Korea. Without their help I think it would of been a real struggle. 10/10.
Adam Brophy, EPIK, Daejeon
ESLstarter made applying for a public school position in South Korea as easy and stress-free as possible. It can be a complicated and daunting process, but Phil was great at keeping things simple and clear, and sending reminders when necessary! I received quick, helpful and friendly responses to any query I had, no matter how small. It was so reassuring to know that there was someone experienced helping me through the EPIK application. I would recommend ESLstarter to anyone looking for a teaching position abroad.
Georgina Bawden, EPIK, Busan
I chose ESLstarter as my recruiter for the Spring 2012 EPIK intake and am so glad I made this decision! Phil described every step of the application process in detail, was always there to answer any questions I had along the way and genuinely cared about my application. He also helped me to get my documents in as early as possible, ensuring that I got my first choice of placement in Busan! I would recommend ESLstarter to anybody thinking of applying for ESL jobs in Korea, China, Thailand, Georgia or India...although I can only personally vouch for their help with EPIK, I am certain that they offer fantastic service wherever you want to go!
Caroline Quick, EPIK, Busan
I applied to teach in Korea through ESLstarter beause they were highly recommended by a friend who had previously used them. I was equally nervous and excited about the prospect of teaching in another country but all the information on the website put my mind at ease. I have to commend Phil on his dedication, commitment and reliability. Every question that I had about the application process, Korea, flights, times etc were answered straight away. Even when I thought I was emailing Phil too much with questions he always remained highly knowledgeable, professional and considerate. If you decide you want to teach English in another country I can highly recommend ESLstarter, they made the long and sometimes tiring application process less stressful and when you do finally arrive in Korea, or another country you know it was all worth. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the ESLstarter team especially Phil so thank you very much. I am having the best time of my life.
Mark Hulme, EPIK, Chungbuk
When deciding on where to teach abroad it's often difficult to disambiguate between the websites selling you a farce, and the ones genuinely wanting to give you the best possible placement abroad. ESL Starter unquestionably falls into the latter category. The professionalism and sincere care shown towards their clients is, quite simply, unparalleld. I would recomend ESLstarter without hesitation to anyone interested in teaching English abroad.
Charlie Flint, EPIK, Busan
I wanted to teach English in Korea as my wife is Korean. I came across the ESLstarter website when I was living in London and decided to apply for work through them. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Phil and his colleagues made the application process so easy and were always willing to help with any questions I had. I have been placed in a great school in Seoul and I am really enjoying my job. ESLstarter are a really reliable and professional group of people. Thanks for everything guys!
Richard, EPIK, Seoul
Phil has been incredibly supportive and informative throughout my application process to Teach and Learn with Georgia. All my emails were always replied within 24 hours. Not only from submitting documents to receiving flight tickets, but also after my arrival in Georgia! Friendly, punctual and professional are the words that I would use to describe ESLstarter. I have been teaching in Georgia for a month now and I love it! It would have been impossible without ESLstarter.
Tsz Kiu Yeung, Zestaphoni, Georgia
I would recommend going with ESLstarter for anyone who is considering teaching abroad. Phil was very helpful and always got back to me with any enquiry within 24 hours. He was there every step of the way. ESLstarter were helpful and friendly and would strongly recommend this recruitment programme.
Sinead Clerkin, EPIK, Gangwon
From start to finish, ESLstarter hands down helped me throughout the whole process of my EPIK application. Phil, my recruiter, always answered my questions promptly and with patience, despite the billions of questions I always had. No matter how simple or how bothersome I thought some questions were, Phil was always happy to answer. Him and his wife even met with me in person at Incheon airport and guided me to the EPIK booth. ESLstarter gave me every detail I needed into order to complete my process, and in the end I'm here now sitting here in my school office in Seoul, Korea.
Seton Chiang, EPIK, Seoul
Chances are if you're reading this, you've already taken a glance at the application procedure and thought: hmm this is gona take some major effort. I'm going to be honest- that's exactly what i thought! And then you'll do what is very natural and go back to the search engine to see if there's an easier way around to becoming an EPIK teacher. There isn't. Take my advice, stick with ESLstarter (and before you start screaming WHY? read on). I've never liked paperwork, who does? Sure it's a long procedure, and you'll have to: apply for, pay for, gather and send documents left right and centre and across the world. Then there's an interview at what will most probably be an inconvenient time; but if you're looking for an adventure of a lifetime then ESLstarter will set the boat sailing for you, catch the wind and even steer the rudder. I never felt alone in my application and that's thanks to Phil and the team at ESLstarter. At every step of the way Phil was there: a combination of speedy emails, quick updates and polite reminders was really what made the transition to Korea so smooth. The professionalism at ESLstarter is text book.
They have experience in dealing with every possible scenario and will reply to every question with an unparalleled understanding of what you're going through. My excitement built up as I progressed through each stage, and then finally arriving at Incheon Airport and meeting Phil in person was the iceing on the cake. Having thanked him for everything, he modestly smiled, shrugged his shoulders and said "That's what i'm here for." Truth is, you could go at this alone or, you could make things a million times more comfortable with help from ESLstarter. Phil was happy to help with everything from the sharing of general information, to checking my individual flight details... and he does that for everyone! That level of personal dedication will be difficult to match anywhere else. And so now i've been in Korea for just over 2 weeks. I still can't believe it. My school is great, the people are lovely and my apartment is in the middle of downtown Masan City! I'm sat here in a PeeShee Bang (that's internet cafe to you and me) with a complimentary iced coffee and surrounded by Koreans playing computer games, I could never have done this alone. I'll be heading to a local bar later, it's the weekend and there's a thriving nightlife here. Phil, the first one is dedicated to you! Kon.Bae!
Anass Al Salih, EPIK, Gyeongnam
ESLstarter was a huge help to me throughout the whole process of applying for my ESL job, and navigating the tricky visa application requirements. They were very prompt with responding to any questions I had (and I had many), and were incredibly kind through all the stressed and worried emails I sent their way. I would highly recommend anyone wanting to apply for a job in Korea to go through ESLstarter.
Sara Landrey, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
If you're looking to teach English in Korea ESLstarter is the company to go with. They are immensely supportive and efficient. They will really prepare you for your travels from providing travel information to TEFL courses. They're a great company.
Niyi Ajuwon, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
I was recommended ESLstarter by my previous hagwon recruiter. From the first contact, ESLstarter were friendly and super helpful. The website is comprehensive and any other questions I had were answered promptly by Phil. Upon arrival to Korea, it was lovely to meet Phil & Claire, and quite reassuring to have an English speaker pointing us in the right direction! Great service from start to placement, making the seemingly large task of working abroad a doddle. Comes highly recommended!
Keir Thomas & Emily Bell, EPIK, Daegu
Highly recommended. The expert help and guidance that Claire gave me was priceless. I felt I had time to concentrate on tying up loose ends back at home rather than stressing out about what document needed to be sent next or where I could find a reliable Notary.
James Linley, EPIK, Busan
There are many avenues one could take to become a teacher in South Korea. Hence the endeavour becomes quite overwhelming as one is spoilt for choice. To have options is relieving, but choosing the right support channel is comforting, satisfying, and rewarding. ESLstarter was my first choice and I'm truly glad it was such. From the onset of submitting my first application draft till the confirmation of the work permit and consequent arrival in Korea, I received support of a very high standard much to my satisfaction. The assistance was prompt, the feedback constructive, and the turnaround time efficient. Thus making the first step of a new journey, even though still in my own country, all the more enjoyable, and set the tone for new and exciting experiences to come. Claire was great in her efforts guiding me all the way and I'm really grateful that it has worked so smoothly. The employment is credible and the contract honourable without any hidden agendas. Thereby giving one the peace of mind that the decision made was the right one. In doing so, you will have another great story to tell with a smile on your face.
Muhammad Mia, EPIK, Chungbuk
With so many agencies out there and everyone having an opinion, I wasn't at all sure who I should go with. After having a phone call with Claire, I immediately knew that going with ESLstarter would be a great choice. Since then, they've gone above and beyond my expectations and played a major role in getting me through the application process. Claire's support made it run much more smoothly than what a lot of my friends had to go through and she was incredibly patient with every question I could fire at her. I always felt reassured after hearing her informative and supportive responses. ESLstarter been fantastic from the moment I first made contact when it was all just an idea in my head right up to the moment it became reality when they meet me at the airport in Korea. Even beyond that, Claire still helps with any enquiries I have. I'm now having the best time ever in South Korea and I regularly recommend ESLstarter to people thinking about applying.
Ronny Southwood, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
I applied to teach English in South Korea as part of the EPIK programme and ESLstarter could not have been more helpful. Right from the very beginning of the process they provided me with guidance regarding what it takes to be an EPIK teacher, information on gathering the relevant documentation and preparing me for the necessary interviews. Claire especially was incredible, she was only an email or phone call away whenever I had any queries or encountered any bumps in the road. I am delighted to have been offered my first choice in location, in South Korea, and I am very much looking forward to an excellent year here. I couldn't have done this without ESLstarter and I've already recommended them to my friends.
Sarah Shipley, EPIK, Busan
ESLstarter was responsible for letting me know that such a program of TLG's type existed. After reading about it, I corresponded with Claire, and she was extremely helpful and timely in providing me with information and assistance. ESLstarter helped me reach my goal of teaching abroad with nothing but ease. Thank you.
Stephen Silber, TLG, Georgia
Mark and I are just finishing our first month teaching in Daejeon, South Korea and we are loving life over here! The week long EPIK Orientation makes sure you make lots of friends and prepares you for the ESL classroom and life in Korea. Our schools and co-teachers are great and there is always something to do in Daejeon so we are never bored! I would recommend Claire and ESLstarter to anyone, she secured Mark and I our first choice of city and age preference for teaching, as well as getting us placed 10 minutes walk from each other. She always replied to emails within 24 hours, giving helpful and calming advice for someone terrified of going overseas. Her phonecalls were always friendly and made me very excited to start this journey. If you are thinking of going overseas to teach English - look no further then this website and ESLstarter!
Steffi Collett, EPIK, Daejeon
I've never taught, or even really travelled, in my life. So the prospect of going to South Korea to teach was pretty daunting. However, going with ESLstarter as my recruiter for EPIK was one of the best decisions I made during this hectic time. Claire couldn't have been more helpful, responding to my (frequent!) emails within a day, and calling me before the interview process to give me as much information as she could, despite being thousands of miles away. Every piece of paper I needed to get ready was checked and re-checked, I felt supported through every stage of the process. This is a hell of an organised company. And now, settled in the city of Pohang, Gyeongsangbuk-do, I'm having the time of my life. And I still get emails from Claire, asking how things are going. I wholly recommend ESLstarter to anyone looking to travel to Korea, or anywhere else! I"m unendingly grateful for the support, and I couldn't be happier in my new home.
Helen Staton, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
ESLstarter, were brilliant for us. My wife and I applied for teaching positions in Korea and despite setbacks out of our control their support staff remained patient and willing to help us at every turn. We're grateful at how attentive they are to our questions and how speedy they are with responses. It's been an immense pleasure to work with them and without a doubt I'm sure they'll give us a lot of support in the future as we continue our ESL careers.
Joshua Sokolow, EPIK, Busan
I am very pleased with how helpful ESLstarter was in my move to South Korea. Claire was always available to answer any questions that I had and she made the process so easy. She made sure that everything was where it needed to be, when it needed to be there. I would definitely recommend using ESLstarter because of how easy they make it for you and how informed they keep you. I am very happy I went through them and wouldn't hesitate to use them again in my next move!
Kalie Sokolow, EPIK, Busan
Truthfully i know most people stop reading at the first line so here is the only thing you need to know when considering ESLstarter: THEY ARE AWESOME! For all the others that read on Claire helped me through every single stage of the process and the website had links that helped and advised me when considering EPIK in Korea. I can honestly say that although the application process is long and daunting for new applicants you can not get better help than ESLstarter, send them an e-mail and before you know it (seriously!) you'll be on the other side of the world sitting in a class of Korean students singing ABC.
Ashley Mcpherson, EPIK, Busan
Applying and preparing to live and work overseas can be a daunting experience; however, for me the intimidating feelings associated with such experience were alleviated in a great way by ESLstarter. ESLstarter ensures that every stage of the application process is made clear and I was always reassured that if I needed any help or had any questions that I should ask. Claire has been great during the application process as well as upon and after my arrival in South Korea. If I had any questions I would get speedy responses to my emails. Even after my arrival in South Korea I was sent an email asking if I have settled in ok and yet again stating that if I need any help I should ask. Overall ESLstarter has been very helpful, efficient, friendly and kind. All these qualities make them a great recruiter and I strongly recommend doing your applications through them.
Tanya Ernest, EPIK, Ulsan
ESLstarter has been so helpful during my application for the EPIK program! I cannot thank Claire enough for all her advice, support, assistance and most of for all her quick replies!! (Especially with the endless list of required documents that I needed to send off!). I would recommend ESLstarter to anyone wishing to start teaching abroad.
Nicola Tse, EPIK, Chungbuk
I have just settled done to my new job in Ulsan, Korea. Going through ESLstarter made the process very straightforward. This isn't the main reason I would recommend them though. I felt like I was able to ask any questions and always got a prompt helpful reply. Claire is friendly, professional and clearly cares about the candidates. If you want to come to Korea and are not sure where to start ESLstarter is a great agency to go through.
Samantha Wilson, EPIK, Ulsan
After a very negative experience applying for SMOE through a different recruitment agency, I decided to try again. This time, on the personal recommendation of my friend, I contacted ESLstarter. I couldn't have had a more different experience. Claire is fantastic with giving relevant information and providing support throughout the whole process. The quick turnaround & full responses to enquiries is something I have never come across with any recruitment consultants. Claire's attitude and honesty is extremely refreshing and her helpfulness sets ESLstarter apart from all the rest. I would, and do, highly recommend ESLstarter to anyone who is interested in teaching in Korea. Thanks for everything!
Lisa Davies, EPIK, Seoul
It's difficult preparing to move to a country as far away and as different as South Korea, but the assistance provided by ESLstarter and the friendliness of the staff (I was dealing with Claire) was hugely reassuring and quite invaluable in terms of getting the required documents in order and also with any other query I've had, no matter hopw trivial it might have turned out to be. ESLstarter were always willing to provide whatever insight and assistance they could to facilitate the transition. And I'm glad I did it. It's proving to be a brilliant, life-changing experience.
Stephen Fox, EPIK, Chungbuk
Claire and the entire team at ESLstarter were fantastic from start to finish. The process can be sometimes long and tedious but through their help, reassurance and support through the entire process it made this life changing experience so much easier and exciting. My time in Korea has been some of the best times of my life and I don't think I would have been able to do it if it wasn't from them. I would strongly recommend ESLstarter to anyone looking to teach English overseas, their initial and ongoing supports has been greatly appreciated and I can't thank them enough.
Darren Madigan, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
Claire was so helpful throughout the application and visa process. I received answers to any questions I had almost straight away and was treated brilliantly. Moving to Korea could have been a big hassle but ESL Starter made the whole process seem like a walk in the park. I have been in korea for just under a month and am having the time of my life. Thanks Claire! Thanks ESLstarter!
Bradley McDowall, EPIK, Chungbuk
Claire at ESLStarter was a great help from start to finish. We were travelling through the application process, which made it tricky for us, so having Claire sort everything out was great. They are always available to talk, on skype or email, and she was really good at getting back to us, with our many questions. We definitely could not have applied on our own without their help, and we are now settled and very happy in our jobs and in our city. Thanks Claire for all your help!
Laura Teague & Sean Norris, EPIK, Busan
I was referred to ESLstarter through a friend and personal contact I made while getting my TEFL certificate. I'm really glad that he referred me because when I was applying to work with EPIK, they were friendly, knowledgeable, quick to respond, and guided me through the whole process. I've read horror stories online of certain recruiters, but I can seriously only give ESLstarter praise! My recruiter, Claire, even looked through my application and made sure that everything was correct and looked appealing to applicants before sending it off. She also kept me up to date with all that was going on in Korea and any new requirements that had come up (there were several). All I can say is thanks for all that you do!
Lawrence Whitfield, EPIK, Seoul
I applied through ESLstarter to the TLG program in Georgia and Claire couldn't have been more helpful. For someone who'd never lived, never mind worked, abroad, the prospect was a little daunting but I was expertly guided through the whole application process. She was excellent at replying quickly to emails and made me feel really comfortable in the interview itself. If you're looking for a friendly, professional agency to help you in your applications to teach abroad, then there can't be any better than ESLstarter.
Eleanor Pullan, Rustavi, Georgia
Claire and the entire ESLstarter team were terrific from start to finish. I did an initial interview with 3 other recruiting companies working with EPIK and eventually decided to dump the rest and work with ESLstarter. Reasons include: punctual and friendly emails (rarely taking more than 12 hrs for a response), friendly on-phone interview (conducted with much friendliness and respect), was timely and exact with application paperwork (Claire personally proofread everything to make sure it was perfect before being sent to EPIK), and down to Earth personalities (they were just as pleasant in person at the Incheon Airport as over the phone). I highly recommend ESL starter to anyone interested in teaching abroad and look forward to working more with them in the future.
Simon Louie, EPIK, Incheon
If you are considering teaching abroad I would strongly recommend that you use ESL starter. Throughout the planning process Claire was incredibly helpful, resourceful and knowledgeable. She would always answer our queries within 24 hours and helped to put our minds at ease through the long process! My partner and I did a joint a joint application and everything worked out perfectly. We have now been teaching in Seoul for nearly 4 months and we love it. Thank you Claire, if we ever decide to move we will be contacting you!
Charlotte Millerchip, EPIK, Seoul
I would strongly recommend going with ESLstarter for anyone who is considering teaching abroad. Although I applied really late, Claire was really helpful and made the whole process so effortless. She was there for me every step of the way and would get back to me within 24 hrs of every enquiry I would make.
Elizabeth Daniel, EPIK, Seoul
ESLstarter were everything I'd hoped for in a recruitment company... friendly, helpful and punctual. Whatever problem I had, whether it was with paperwork or something less important, they were always able to help, and could always fill in any gaps in my knowledge. I can wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone venturing abroad to teach.
Adam Thomas, EPIK, Jeju-do
Coming to Korea has been the best thing I could have hoped to do. Claire was always prompt and took the time, care and consideration to get me the best job available.
A personal, efficient and professional recruiter.
Conrad Hughes, Public School, Changwon
When I first started to look into teaching posts abroad my focus was always Asia. In the early stages I hadn't considered South Korea, I thought it would be too developed to appease my adventurous side, but the more I researched, the more tempted I became. It was at this point I stumbled across ESL Starter and the wonderful Claire.
I quickly realised that the only agency truly committed to helping its applicants seamlessly through the process were going to be ESL. Claire, in particular, was an absolute STAR. There was never a question asked that went too far or seemed too ridiculous and Claire never failed to get back to me promptly, with answers to my many questions. What I appreciated most of all was her honesty; if she couldn't give me a definitive answer she said so. Claire's efforts are even more impressive given she was dealing with a 3 in 1 application!! I was one of three friends wanting to go on this adventure together and Claire did all she could to make sure we had the best chance of being placed within a reasonable distance of each other.
So what happened? Well, here I am in a lovely little city called Chungju, just over an hour by bus from Seoul and loving it. I have lucked out with my school because the kid are great (on the whole) and my colleagues bend over backwards to be helpful. Making friends is not a problem and the country is beautiful. Oh, did I also mention that my 2 friends are not only in the same city, but the same apartment block!. Don't sit on the fence and wonder 'what if....', take a leap into a new adventure by choosing ESL Starter to help you on the way :)
Michelle Disley, EPIK, Chungbuk
For anyone who is considering teaching abroad for the first time, I strongly recommend ESL starter. Throughout my application process to the EPIK program in Korea, Claire and the ESL team were so supportive of my partner and I, who did a joint application. Whenever we had any queries or problems, no matter how small or silly, Claire got back to us - usually within minutes with a knowledgeable and supportive answer. In addition to aiding us throughout the application process, Claire helped us with all our visa problems, organizing our flights, and was even there to meet us from the plane when we arrived in Seoul. Being new to teaching English, there were many times when I did not feel very confident about starting a job in a foreign country, but applying through ESL went a long way to helping me feel secure in my decision. I would definitely apply though this wonderful company again.
Rebecca Foster, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
ESLstarter have been incredibly helpful from the moment I first sent an enquiry email. Claire responded immediately with all the information I needed and has always been there to guide me through the arduous application process, answering my 101 questions. Moving to South Korea was a daunting prospect and can become overwhelming at times. It was so reassuring that Claire was only an email or Skype-call away from helping me with whatever problem I might have. It's easy to be unsure and suspicious when dealing with recruiters online, but from the abundance of testimonials that you will find on their website along with mine, I hope you choose ESLstarter because they are very good at their job, providing honest advice, and exceptional customer service and support. You will be treated more like a friend and less like a candidate. I am now 3 months into my Korean adventure, teaching at an Elementary school in Seoul, and absolutely enjoying my life...many thanks to ESLstarter!
Farhan Alam, EPIK, Seoul
When I began to think about teaching English abroad, the possibilities were overwhelming. After looking into the EPIK Program, a friend in South Korea put me in touch with Claire at ESLstarter. Immediately, Claire went to work simplifying the application for me, breaking down an otherwise difficult process into manageable steps. She clarified EPIK's requirements, constructed a convenient timeline for document submission, and answered every one of my countless questions with haste and care. On so many occasions, I was reminded how lucky I had been to connect with ESLstarter. From Claire's initial phone call to her warm welcome at the airport in Incheon, she proved to be an invaluable resource. I would not have embarked on what has become the journey of a lifetime were it not for her diligence and care.
Sam Atherton, EPIK, Daejeon
As a first time teacher I cannot recommend ESL Starter highly enough. Through every step of the application process and continued support once my contract began, ESL Starter have been supportive, professional and available. Their help has been invaluable and I'd urge anybody looking to teach in Korea, whether new to ESL or a veteran teacher, to seriously consider using ESL Starter. I'm having a wonderful time teaching and exploring in Korea and I will never forget the role ESL Starter played in making this possible. Thanks Clare!
Nick Heys, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
Applying for South Korea with 2 friends was never going to be an easy arrangement to make but having the wonderful Claire at ESL to help make that happen was the best choice we made by far. From beginning to end she meticulously guided us through the application process, through problems big and small, the way Claire would help in such a friendly and professional manner really helped ease the stresses and strains l'm sure everyone has experienced whilst doing an application like this. She was always honest and open about the whole process and answered every question as swiftly as she could - so reassuring when there were a million and one to be answered! Having Claire and ESL Starter on board was more valuable than l can say and l greatly appreciate all her and her husband Phil's hard work into making it happen for me, l would highly recommend you use ESL starter....it's an absolute must to keep you sane!
Carissa Heighway, EPIK, Chungbuk
I cannot express how helpful, friendly and accommodating ESLstarter is. I worked with Claire throughout my EPIK application process and she was there every step of the way. It can be a very daunting process but having Claire there made a world of difference. She was there at every bump in the road to reassure me and do everything in her power to help. I dont think I would have made it to Korea if it weren't for Claires continued support. Even after getting settled in Korea Claire has been in contact making sure everything is going smoothly, which says so much for this agency. The process is long and at times frustrating, but stick with it! When you finally get to this amazing country, the payoff is beyond words. ESLstarter will always be there to offer support and a helping hand even after all the angst-ridden e-mails. Thanks Claire!
Daniel Munson, EPIK, Busan
From the moment I started to apply for EPIK I knew it wouldn't be easy but Phil was always at the end of the computer to answer my questions and I might add I had a lot of them. Considering the time difference I always got a swift response and my questions were always answered with what I needed to know. I highly recommend using eslstarter and I can guarantee that they are very knowledgeable about EPIK and about Korea in general.
Joanne Hynes, EPIK, Gwangju
From the initial, tentative enquiry all the way to me writing this from my flat in Busan, South Korea, ESL Starter have been constantly supportive, positive and completely present throughout the entire process. What felt like a daunting task at the outset became simple and painless with the regular and professional guidance and clarity of Phil and the ESL Starter team. If I read back through the long email thread between Phil and myself I would see his patient answers and logical explanations to even the most inane and irrelevant of my questions. If you want efficient and clear assistance dealing with the bureaucracy involved in moving to the other side of the world; if you feel like you really want to go and teach but are not sure how to make the first move; if you want reliable, consistent help from start to finish, then start by emailing these guys.
Matthew Hall, EPIK Busan
When I made the decision to apply to teach in South Korea I realised it may be a long process. It was therefore great to have Phil at ESL starter to guide me through every step of the process from interview preparation to sorting out visa documents. I got quick honest responses to my emails which made the whole application process so much simpler. I would therefore highly recommend ESL starter to anyone looking to teach abroad. I am pleased to say I am now teaching in a public elementary school in Seoul which is exactly where I wanted to be :)
Katherine Rice, EPIK, Seoul
I fully recommend choosing eslstarter if your considering teaching English in Thailand. From the moment we first made contact will Phil the service has been impeccable. Phil was quick to arrange a telephone call so we could talk at length about all the questions we had and was very prompt at replying to my many emails! Phil helped us through getting the right paperwork and visas which would have otherwise been difficult.
Dave and Naomi Coggins, Kantaralak, Thailand
Even before my graduation in 2010, I could already picture myself living abroad and teaching English. That dream began to seem impossible after about a year of applying and being rejected by so many schools in both South Korea and Japan. I decided to apply one last time to Korea and that was how I found ESLstarter. I received that first email from Phil letting me know what I needed to prepare in order to apply to EPIK and it's been smooth sailing since then. Phil is beyond AMAZING!!!!! He was very clear in letting me know what I needed to send in and when I needed to send it in. He was also great at answering the many questions I sent his way. Most of all, I was blown away at how fast the whole process went, from turning in my application to getting the interview and finally getting placed. ESLstarter made the whole process of me living and teaching in Korea surprisingly easy. Now I am in Incheon S. Korea teaching at a Girls Middle School! What an amazing experience it has been so far and I know greater things are yet to come. I cannot express in words how grateful I am to Phil and ESLstarter for making my dream to teach English in Korea into a reality. Many many thanks to Phil and ESLstarter!
Imomoemi Youpele, EPIK, Incheon
If you want to teach in Korea, I would highly recommend using ESLstarter. Claire has been great throughout the entire process of applying to teach English in Korea. She was always helpful, responding quickly to all of my questions and giving great advice. Claire would go the extra mile to help you and make sure you always know exactly what to expect throughout the entire process. Thanks so much for all your help. I will definitely use your company again in the future should I want to teach in another country and I recommend using ESLstarter to anyone.
Hanneke Frick, EPIK, Chungbuk
We never thought we would be on a plane to Georgia just six weeks after learning about the Teach and Learn in Georgia program. ESLstarter is what made that possible. Our recruiter, Phil, swiftly responded to every question we had and helped us prepare all of our paperwork in barely any time at all. Even after our arrival in Georgia Phil made sure everything was running smoothly. We are now living in Zugdidi, Georgia where we have been co-teaching English for the past three months and could not be happier to be where we are. We live with a host family who has truly made us a part of the family and has shown us the warmth of Georgian hospitality. Although this culture is wholly different from our own and English speakers are hard to come by, we have not had problems adjusting. We love it here and recommend it for anyone who loves to travel!
Elaine Ginger and Blessing Majola, Zugdidi, Georgia
When I finally made the decision to plunge for teaching English in South Korea, I really didn't know too much about the whole process or just how long and painstaking the process was going to be, become a public school teacher in Korea. Thankfully though, Claire @ ESLstarter was always there to help me every step of the way, and she made sure that things ran as smooth as possible. She always replied very swiftly to any queries I had (and believe me there were many!), and she was always on hand with good advice; whether it be reminding me to obtain a Certificate of Residence, or even to recommending a good hotel for me to stay at in Incheon, as I wanted to get to Korea a few days before the start of the EPIK orientation.
Claire never mis-led me about what was involved, and was always honest and upfront throughout the whole process and that is something I greatly appreciated. I cannot recommend ESLstarter highly enough, for any one else who may be thinking about embarking on the same journey - you won't regret it!
Jonathan Gaskell, EPIK, Incheon
While applying to teach in South Korea i had a million and one different questions that needed to be answered and Claire was there to answer every one.None more so than when i found out that my visa was going to be delayed and i would have to miss the first few days of orientation , as you can guess panic set in. I was reassured by Claire that this was no train smash and went ahead as planned and look at me now in South Korea having the time of my life.Thank you ESLstarter i could'nt have done it without you.
Jared Yuille, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
I can safely say that without the guidance and support of Claire and the ESLstarter team I would not have made it to Korea, so I am extremely grateful. The application process for EPIK is pretty daunting but with Claire's help she guided me through every step and answered my endless list of questions with patience, kindness and humour. I am now a month into living and teaching in Korea and loving every minute of it. I highly recommend coming to teach in Korea and I definitely recommend using ESLstarter.
Andrea Edwards, EPIK, Gwangju
ESLstarter have been a great help throughout my application with EPIK and the SMOE. I am so thankful to Claire for answering all my questions as soon as she could and for all the support she has given me throughout the process. Without her help it would have been a long and difficult journey. I now recommend ESLstarter to any of my friends who are interested in teaching abroad.
Samantha Austin, EPIK Seoul
I would recommend ESLStarter to anyone, Claire really helped me through the recruitment process (to the point I felt guilty at doing so little!) and then as promised, everything worked out as planned! The responses were always quick and informative, and really guided me through a process, which at the start I knew little about! I would advise to anyone!
Harry Fish, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
If I could sum up ESLstarter in 5 words I would say, PROFESSIONAL, HONEST, EFFICIENT, KNOWLEDGEABLE and PATIENT. Applying for a job in South Korea is a particularly lengthy and sometimes confusing process, so I am really glad I had ESLstarter helping me. From my initial email to when I arrived in Seoul I received a professionalism that seems hard to find these days. My emails were replied to quickly and usually within 24 hours. All my questions were answered honestly and with relevant information, which was of great use in completing the application process and for once I arrived in South Korea. Claire is a dedicated member of the ESLStarter team and she really does her job well! Thank-you for everything and I will be sure to use your company again in the future.
Marieanne Afford, EPIK Seoul
ESLstarter have been beyond fantastic throughout the whole process of my application to teach in Korea. Claire has been absolutely wonderful and has provided me with in depth, clear and concise advice to any question no matter how big or small, and always within a very fast response time. I could not recommend ESLstarter more.
Ryan Forrest, EPIK, Ulsan
If you're thinking of teaching in South Korea, you should absolutely use ESLstarter, who offer a very friendly and knowledgeable service. Claire was great with responding to all my emails quickly and answering my questions fully. The application process is sometimes tricky and ESLstarter will be sure to help you through everything. Whilst in Korea I've heard others praising ESLstarter too. Drop them an email to let them know you're interested and you will be immediately impressed.
Eliel Cohen, EPIK, Incheon
ESLstarter have been a great help in getting me started with my international teaching career. There were many times when I wanted to give up the process due to the sheer amount of paperwork needed. However, ESL was always there to get me back on track and to tell me exactly what I needed and when to do it for. I was constantly reassured by them and quite amazed as to how quickly they responded to my emails. For myself, this is a huge positive when planning something this major. Both Phil and Claire have been extremely helpful and most of all professional during the process and I highly recommend them to anyone thinking about teaching abroad. They even met me at the airport to help me further and to wish me good luck!! Brilliant!! Thank you both very much for everything that you have done to get me here!
Sean Peart, EPIK, Chungbuk
It's been unbelievably reassuring to have a competent and efficient recruitment agency behind me during the application process. Phil has been amazing at answering my emails quickly, providing me with all the information I need and answering my questions every step of the way. Always professional and friendly, I can't recommend them enough.
Applying for EPIK, moving to Korea, and starting a new life were all daunting tasks to me. I remember thinking, "How am i going to do this alone?" I heard about ESLstarter through a friend and decided to apply through the process this way. I cannot begin to say how much difference that made to my application process for EPIK. Right from the off, ESLstarter provided me with help and assistance. I must have emailed Phil a 100 times about different matters that were niggling me, and every time he came back with an answer to my question. Every question was answered within hours of sending the email. Even now in Korea, ESLstarter has provided me with assistance. This is something that I cannot describe in words, but I can say that is is reassuring to know that I have their help whilst working here in Korea.
Thomas Burrows, EPIK Seoul
I applied to the Fall 2011 EPIK-SMOE program, and Phil at ESLStarter was AMAZING throughout the entire process, from the application to the interview, from gathering documents to packing for Seoul -- he was there to answer any and all questions, and always in a prompt, speedy, polite manner. I easily sent him at least half a dozen e-mails each week, but Phil was never impatient and he always helped me out until I thoroughly understood every single step and had no further lingering questions.
I was actually waitlisted for Seoul, and during the nerve-wrecking wait, I sent Phil way more e-mails than usual, but Phil was incredibly understanding and patient. He was in constant contact with the EPIK coordinators, and, on the first day of orientation, I was accepted off of the waitlist! Now, I am having a PHENOMENAL time in Seoul! I would definitely recommend Phil and ESLStarter to anyone looking to apply to EPIK in South Korea -- or anywhere abroad. They truly go above and beyond for their applicants! =)
Yufei Pan, EPIK Seoul
Phil was really helpful during the whole process of preparing to move to South Korea. He was there every step of the way to answer any questions I had. I would defiantly recommend ESLstarter to anyone who is looking to apply for this program.
Chris & Jennifer Carpenter, EPIK Seoul
I knew there was a EPIK program where native English speakers could travel to teach overseas. I was looking for a good agency and browsed through the net. This is when I found this awesome recruiting agency ESLstarter. I gave them my name and e-mail, and thats all it took. My agency coordinator, Phil, helped me every step of the way. He made the application process so easy for me to understand. If i had a question, he is always there for me to answer any question I had in hand. I considered Phil not just a coordinator but also a caring friend. If you are looking a good agency that will not rush or put pressure on you, ESLstarter is the agency to go with. They will work with you and handle the application on your pace. I am in Seoul South Korea teaching one of the public elementary schools and ESLstarter made all this into reality. Thank You ESLstarter.
Ji Kim, EPIK Seoul
When choosing a recruitment company the two main aspects that I was seeking were: 1) that they were knowledgeable and 2) that they were prompt. One without the other would simply not do. After delving through many companies (I personally contacted over 20), ESLstarter won me over. I am now teaching in Seoul, South Korea, and it was all made possible by Phil from ESLstarter. In preparing for this process I had many bumps along the way, but this company made the process so much more smooth and navigable than it could have been otherwise. In my time here I have met others who have worked with ESLstarter and we are all of the same sentiment. Choose ESLstarter and never look back!
Benji Derdeyn, EPIK Seoul
ESLstarter have been brilliant throughout my whole time considering/applying/travelling to Korea and also once I got here. Phil was 'in charge' of me, and was fantastic - at first I saw this experience as a long holiday, excited at the prospect of moving, however throughout the application process it then began to dawn on me what I was doing. I had loads of questions flying around my head 'what if...., do I need this...., do I have to do that....., how do I complete this form?' etc. Phil was great though- just an email away, with instant replies most of the time and all questions answered within at least 24 hours.
When I got to Incheon airport, ESLstarter were there to meet us by the EPIK booth, and so was Phil- was really nice to put a name to a face. Even after going to orientation and starting my job here in Korea, Phil emailed to ask how things were going, and again I had an instant reply to my question. Coming here with ESLstarter hasn't been like using a recruitment company, it has been like using my friends- they really take care of you and treat you as an individual, taking time to answer the most ridiculous of questions. Thanks guys- you're top :-)
Fiona Rowe, EPIK, Gyeongsan
ESLstarter were a constant support throughout the entire application process to teach in ESL Korea. From initially explaining how the process works, to being greeted by a friendly face when I arrived at the airport in Korea, ESLstarter ensured everything went as smoothly as possibly for me. For these reasons I would highly recommend ESLstarter. The process of applying to teach in Korea can be complex but with their support it is definitely a lot easier!
Katie Power, EPIK Seoul
Applying for jobs after graduating can be pretty daunting-even in the UK, never mind the other side of the world. I'd always wanted to travel during university but never got round to it, and whilst applying for a PGCE for post-graduate study I stumbled across ESLstarter online. At first I thought it was all too good to be true-like you guys are probably thinking now. All it took was a single e-mail registering my interest, and then I was bombarded with responses from Phil explaining the application process, at no extra cost.
It did seem daunting at first, and I was worried I'd be wasting my time going through a recruiter when I could apply directly. I have to say, contacting ESLstarter was the best decision I made and I would like to thank Phil at ESLstarter for his patience and efforts in making the process so straightforward for me. Question after question was answered promptly along the way and it was incredibly reassuring to have him there efficiently checking through my application from start to finish.
I've now been in Seoul teaching in a public middle school for almost a month and it feels like a lifetime. I'm already thinking about renewing my contract next year as the EPIK programme is extremely well structured and totally faultless. I've met a great group of people all in the same boat as me, the city is absolutely incredible, and the job role is so very rewarding.
All in all, this most definitely is going to be an experience that will remain with me forever. I would very highly recommend anyone to apply through ESLstarter as you'd be living the dream before you know it, just like I am. So get started with that e-mail, and I wish you all the very best of luck!!
Naz Akhtar, EPIK/SMOE, Seoul
Making the decision to come to Korea was an easy one and getting here was made even easier with the help of ESLstarter. Phil was a great help through the entire process. He helped me every step of the way from filling out the EPIK application to recommendations of provinces to live to information on where to get my visa. I really appreciated the small tips and advice. And as small a thing as it sounds, having someone that you know, even if only via email and telephone, meet you at the airport is wonderful. I felt well taken care of by ESLstarter. They treated me like a person and not just a client. If I continue my travels abroad to teach elsewhere I will definitely use ESLstarter again. Thank you ESLstarter for making my dream to teach in Korea come true.
Temperance Bonner, EPIK, Daegu
I have just come to the end of my first month in Korea and I can say it has been a tremendous experience. From the start of my orientation in Seoul to my teaching classes in Hwacheon, Gangwon-do, the support from my co-teachers and Epik staff has been invaluable. Deciding to move away from home for a year is frightening, especially when the nature of visa and application forms can seem overwhelming at times. The support I had from ESLstarter was really appreciated and even though I have a long way to go, I am already thinking about where to teach next!
Paula Howell, EPIK, Gangwon
When I look back five months ago to when I first decided to apply for an EPIK position, I was a little overwhelmed and felt out of my depth. Finding information about teaching EFL in Korea and EPIK isn't difficult. Finding good, sensible and relevant information however is. That's at least why I felt EPIK was such a daunting prospect. But that's when ESLstarter came into their own. From the word go they hold your hand through the whole bureaucratic hoop-jumping application process that is EPIK. Any question I had no matter how simple, was always answered promptly and in full. I cannot recommend ESLstarter enough, they made the whole process clear, simple and as easy as possible! Thank You!!
Oliver Nasskau, EPIK, Daegu
When I decided I wanted to teach in South Korea I must have viewed hundreds of sites and had even more questions going through my mind. As soon as I got in touch with Phil at ESLstarter the whole process seemed to become clear to me. They explained the benefits of teaching within the public school system, what Id need to do every step of the way and how they would assist me in doing it. I can't thank Phil enough for his help, he was always willing to answer any question I had whether it was related to ESLstarter or just other questions about the process or life in Korean in general. Im now living and teaching in Daejeon and it has been one of the greatest decisions ive ever made. The EPIK program is very well organised and takes care of you every step along the way, whilst offering teaching help and support. From the first tentative emails to meeting me at the airport upon my arrival, Phil, ESLstarter and EPIK have been a huge help!
Thomas Harman, EPIK, Daejeon
The decision to take a trip to a distant country can be often be difficult and requires meticulous planning. The decision to live and work in a distant country for a year is nothing short of terrifying. This is why when an expert offers you educated advice and help through the process of applying for an EPIK position you jump at the opportunity with both arms wide open. I was lucky to have Claire at my beck and call from the minute I emailed her to enquire about what it was like in South Korea, to long after she met me at Incheon International Airport seven months later. Every question was answered, every apprehension eased; what could have been a daunting and messy experience has turned into the most valuable and fascinating experiences of my life (so far). I can't recommend the service that ESLstarter provides highly enough.
Paul McFadyen, Seoul, EPIK
For my first time travelling abroad I was just a tiny bit completely terrified. So to have ESLstarter there to help 24 hours a day was a bit of a lifesaver. Claire was always ready to help and make things far simpler than I was making them out to be. Without her advice I don't think I would have made it out of the country! I am glad I chose to work with such a friendly and helpful company.
Thomas Mackey, Chanthaburi, Thailand
It's simple, ESLstarter are great and I would recommend them 100% as a recruiting agency. I've directly recommended them to friends wanting to teach abroad and they have achieved similar success. Sitting back in England and thinking about teaching in Korea through the EPIK programme I had so many questions, and somehow Claire answered every one of them. And then came the somewhat confusing application process and again every question was answered, through email or speaking directly to Claire on the phone. This also brought with it piece of mind which is hugely important.
It's easy to be sceptical of recruiting agencies, especially when back home in the safety of you own country, but these guys are the real deal. Listen to what people have to say in these testimonials because it's all true! I've had an amazing time here so far and I thank ESLstarter or helping me get here. Cheers!
Tom Pattison, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
I have just come to the end of my first semester in Thailand and I can safely say it has been one of the best experiences of my life. ESLstarter provide exactly what a first-time international worker requires - "peace" of mind. Before leaving the UK, Phil was more than helpful in answering my many, many, many questions regarding the trip and work placement. They ensured that when I left the UK, I was stress-free, relaxed and at peace. The first few weeks were a bit bumpy and I would implore anyone thinking of working as a teacher to be fully aware of the culture shock you will experience and the personal strength you will require to adjust. Yet these bumps were nothing to do with ESLstarter or the company theyliase with in Thailand - it is simply part of the experience.
My whole time in Thailand has been very close to flawless and I have had one of the most mind-broadening experiences ever. The children are (mostly) lovely, (sometimes) attentive and always happy. I am teaching my final class tomorrow and after a week of emotional goodbyes, I am fearful that I may shed a solitary manly tear! It is with a heavy heart that I am heading back to the UK and I have no doubt I will dream of returning here. If you are reading this and are on the fence, make like Humpty Dumpty and take the plunge. It all went ok for him... I think?
William Cannon, Bangkok, Thailand
With the help of ESLstarter, we have gone from our boring 9-5 working jobs to teaching English in India and South Korea! This would not have been possible without Phils help at ESLstarter. Phil has been there for us every step of the way. He answered all our questions and queries and knew exactly what to do if any problems arose. Phil seemed to be available 24 hours a day, he would reply to all our emails promptly and with a detailed response. He would also speak with us on Skype which was very reassuring and a nice personal touch. Phil was our personal mentor who guided us though every step of the Indian internship process and the South Korea EPIK application, both of which would have been impossible without his help.
Teaching in India changed our lives, and was truly an amazing experience that we would recommend to everyone. We have now been in Daejeon, South Korea for 3months and we are settled in our apartment and in our schools. The EPIK program is extremely organised and supportive to all native teachers. However, knowing that we can contact Phil at anytime if we ever have a problem or need advice while in South Korea is truly invaluable. Thank you for being the stepping stone to our life changing experience.
Sophie Dunning & Gavin Rogers, EPIK, Daejeon
After ESLstarter did such a fantastic job helping us find a teaching position in South Korea, we had no hesitations in using them again when one year later we decided to swap the freezing winters for the tropical climate of Thailand. Once again they guided us through every step of the way and made the process as stress free as possible, from helping us get our visas to booking our flights. Even now we are here and happily enjoying our first month in Thailand we know that if we have any problem we can call them any time and they will help us out. We often joke that we will spend the next few years steadily teaching our way through all of the countries the ESLstarter website has to offer, as Phil and Claire make it so easy to arrange that the offer is just too tempting to turn down!
Sally & Lewis Skinner, Chumphon, Thailand
We applied to teach English in Thailand in December 2010 and by April 2011 we are here and loving it. We were placed together, just as we asked to be, in a great school in Phatthalung. ESLstarter fulfilled all of their promises, meeting us at the airport and ensuring that everything went according to plan. The course itself was great and we would thoroughly recommend the residential course in Koh Lipe, an idyllic island with white sandy beaches.
There are adjustments to make living in a new place, nothing is 'like it is at home', but that's part of the fun. Teaching here is genuinely rewarding. If you throw yourself into it you'll be buzzing every day.
Richard Mann and Debbie John, Phatthalung, Thailand
I came upon ESLstarter and Korea almost by accident. I was just doing an internet search for teaching opportunities and thought why not teach abroad. I put my e-mail address on a number of websites and was amazed by how quickly ESLstarter got back to me. It was almost immediately. I was even more amazed by getting a phone call from them just a few days later. I had many doubts about moving overseas, and thanks to ESLstarter's extremely helpful and personable staff many, if not all, of my fears were alleviated. I had ample help all throughout the application process and numerous updates on my status. Teaching overseas is a life changing experience and I am thankful everyday for this opportunity, but what I am most thankful for are the people at ESLstarter for making this all possible. THANKS!!!
Brandon Brady, EPIK, Seoul
The process of applying to EPIK is long and painstaking, however with the help from Claire my experience was trouble-free. Her dedication and passion allowed me to go through the process without wondering "what if" or "is this right?". Claire answered my many questions with expertise and within 24 hours. I have heard many horror stories of other recruiters giving the wrong information or not responding at all to emails, with ESLstarter I didn't have to worry. Claire truly cares about what she does and the people she works with. I would fully recommend ESLstarter to anyone wanting to start a journey teaching abroad.
Keely Castro, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
I would definitely recommend ESLstarter for people who want to teach English Abroad. Every step of the way, Claire was on hand to offer advice, answer (many) questions, and generally make sure I wasn't struggling. When my initial application fell through in winter due to the good old British weather, Claire worked extremely hard to secure me a place in Gyeongsangnam-do province. I honestly could not have completed the application by myself (I wouldn't know where to start!) so it is great that there are people as professional and as friendly as Claire out there who can make people's wishes a reality!
Brendan Gogarty, EPIK, Gyeongnam
I have been teaching here in Seoul, South Korea for 2 months now and it is a long process but I have had such incredible help and guidance throughout it all. ESLstarter are a great agency who responded quickly and efficiently. Phil especially really helped me get this job, and informed me of every process and step that i needed to do. I didn't need to wait long to get answers to any questions. I would highly recommend ESLstarter, they were really are friendly and helpful throughout the application, interview and submitting all the documents. Seoul is a great place to live, the teaching is great and I am really glad about my choice for teaching English abroad.
Sabrina Ezekiel, EPIK Seoul
I am so glad I applied to teach in South Korea through ESLstarter. They were organised, patiently reminding me to sort my visa applications out when things occasionally got on top of me, and were always available to answer any questions that I had. When for various reasons I was unable to go through EPIK, ESLstarter worked diligently to find me an alternative that if anything was even better than my original placement would have been. I am having such a fantastic time in Ulsan, South Korea and I owe it all to ESLstarter. Thank you very much!
Joanna Bounds, Public School, Ulsan
I decided to apply to teach in South Korea with a fellow friend of mine. We heard of this site through a TEFL course instructor and decided to go with the recommendation, and thankfully we did. The process for this placement is very in-depth and requires a lot of various documents and official paperwork. Without the help of Claire I don't think we would have ever stepped foot on our plane. Claire answered probably 100's of questions between us and was always so helpful, prompt, patient, and knowledgeable. She kept us on track and on pace with reminder e-mails to ensure we would get our desired placement. We are here now and couldn't be happier with how things turned out. I am within walking distance to my friends apartment and school. I feel very fortunate to have had this helping hand along the application process and can't imagine where I would be without their help. To anyone debating which site to use, use this one! I never thought I'd be here and have now been here about 6 weeks and have met so many amazing people. If I ever decide to teach abroad again, I will not even think to go to another source. I was someone starting at square one with no clue where to begin and once you make the first e-mail of interest, everything else you need to know is set out for you. I can not thank you enough Claire for all your help, but thank you a million times!
Shannon Lupole, EPIK, Daegu
Working in another country always comes with its own stresses and difficulties but with the help of Claire and the ESLstarter team the application process was quick and simple. If you are reading this you have found a goldust in terms of getting you on the right track to teaching in Asia. Should you be considering working in Asia as a teacher I thoroughly recommend their friendly and dynamic approach to the process. Without them I would not have known where to start and would probably still be back in the UK confused and overcome by the amount of differing information available online. I am now based in a wonderful kindergarden and have landed on my feet thanks to ESL's knowledge and professionalism.
Adam Hess, Hagwon, Gwangju
We have just finished our first month teaching in Korea, in Gangwon-do and we are loving every minute. I cannot recommend ESLstarter enough for all their hard work in guiding us through the application process. Claire is friendly, honest and efficient; we received responses to all our (many many) emails, no matter how small the question, without delay. Claire's friendly nature meant we felt completely at ease raising any questions, doubts, issues with Claire knowing she would address them and put any doubts to rest. Throughout the entire process we were treated as individuals; with personal advice that comes from her own experience (we actually ended up choosing to teach in Gangwon-do in part because it was recommended highly by Claire). We have never received such a genuine service from a recruiter and would urge anyone thinking of teaching abroad to contact ESLstarter. It was lovely to finally meet Claire and Phil at the airport after months of remote communication!
Sally Philips and Craig Hannah, EPIK, Gangwon
The advice and assistance I received from ESLstarter when applying to teach in Korea was always of great comfort during the fraught months prior to departure. Claire, my contact there, replied quickly to my queries and always supplied accurate, helpful information. She broke down the process clearly and assisted with every step in the sometimes stressful process. It was reassuring to have that crutch during such an important change. I would highly recommend Eslstarter to anyone hoping to make the same adventure.
Gareth Haydock, EPIK, Chungbuk
ESLstarter helped me all along the way. Claire was always available to answer my questions - quickly, even. Her help and guidance kept the stress of a complicated application process down to a minimum. For people like me who struggle with paperwork, that was essential.
Christopher Miller, EPIK, Seoul
I initially applied for the EPIK program a year ago when I was teaching in China. The process is not a straightforward one and was made more tricky with me being in China. Myself and a friend came across ESLstarter when looking for agencies for EPIK and although ESLstarter wasn't the first we tried, as soon as we'd been in contact with Claire we knew that we'd found the right place. She made what is an irritating process, nice and clear so we knew what to expect. Unfortunately (and not at all the fault of ESLstarter) I didn't manage to get all my documents together when I was in China so had to push back my application 6 months and start the process again. Claire was just as helpful and informative as before and guided me through the whole process from start to finish. I'm now in Seoul and it's down to Claire and the ESLstarter team, I heartedly recommend them. Thanks Guys!
Thomas Waters, EPIK Seoul
My name is De la Rey Jordaan. I am from South-Africa originally. I have taught English as a second language for the past eight years in Taiwan and South-Korea. In both these countries my affiliation were with privately owned institutions. As I was eager to learn more about teaching English as a second language in public schools, I decided to apply for the EPIK-Program in Korea. This I did through ESLstarter Recruiting Agency.
As I was unfamiliar with the application-process, I was faced with a detailed application process that took a lot of time and effort. At times it felt overwhelming. This was where the support I received from ESLstarter really helped me a lot. They guided me through every step of the application process. Especially when my application was being processed, I always knew the status of my application, what steps were to follow and the timeframe of each step. I can honestly say that I had great support from Claire at ESLstarter.
I am convinced that my application for the EPIK program in South-Korea was successful, thanks to the professional and competent support I received from ESLstarter recruiting Agency. I finally met with the friendly staff from ESLstarter at Incheon International Airport in South-Korea on February 17th, 2011. Speaking from experience, ESLstarter Agency is a well-established, experienced agency who will be guiding you every step of the way and I can recommend them to anyone considering applying for a TESL-position.
DelaRey Jordaan, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
Where to begin...incredible, professional, supportive, exceptional - these are just a few words to describe ESLstarter. From the very start, Claire has been amazing, she really helped me throughout my application process, offering her endless support and friendly advice. She's been so kind and knowledgeable. I can't thank her enough! You've made the whole process so easy, you've definitely given me the confidence and know how to embark on my new career. ESLstarter is a great start to any TEFL career! I am now teaching in an elementary school in Seoul (my 1st choice) and I am so happy, I love it! I truly appreciate all your help and I would be delighted to recommend ESLstarter to anyone.
Catherine Pang, EPIK, Seoul
I would recommend ESLstarter to anyone who wishes to work in Korea, especially the newcomers. ESLstarter has a much more personal approach to recruitment than the other bigger companies and you really feel like they are with you every step of the way. They gave me both reassurance and guidance throughout the whole application process and they were always there when I needed questions answering. Both, Claire and Phil have been a brilliant help in getting me to where I wanted to be and I will be forever indebted to their hard work and kindness.
Helen Jackson, EPIK, Seoul
ESLstarter were fantastic. Claire's patience at answering every SINGLE one of my questions was so appreciated. When I got to orientation I realised how informed and lucky I was to have gone through them as a recruiter.
Priya Govender, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
Claire was a great help to me in getting through the EPIK application process. She supplied all the information and paperwork that I needed to use, was always available for questions or advice and took an ongoing interest in the process. This prevented me being overwhelmed by the giant piles of paperwork that are involved, and made it much simpler to get into the EPIK program and get to Korea. The agency is a welcome change from the legions of other agencies who just want your money and will put you wherever they can, as they take a real interest in you and your progress, and I highly recommend eslstarter to anyone looking to teach abroad.
Kevin Coughlan, EPIK, Daegu
Hello! I've just been having a look through the other testimonials on the site. What a glowing reference ESLstarter have. Although I can't say I'm surprised! To a cynical outsider you may think the reviews have been edited to make them sound so amazing. Wrong! I can honestly say that I agree with what every other person who has had dealings with ESLstarter has said.
Applying to live away from home in a foreign country, doing a job that for many of us we're doing first time around is a scary prospect. Now that you've found ESLstarter though, you needn't worry. Claire put me at ease from the moment I spoke to her. No question I had was too silly and it was never longer than a day later that I heard back from her. She kept me informed every step of the way and we're still in touch now - a month into my contract in South Korea. I was lucky enough to be placed in an all girls middle school in Busan and I'm loving it so far.
If only every company still believed in providing the best in customer service! Keep up the good work Claire. I can't thank you enough!! To those of you thinking of applying for a job in South Korea and looking to go through an agency in order to get here - look no further - you will not go wrong with ESLstarter.
Kirsten Himpelmann, EPIK, Busan
ESLstarter made the process of finding work and moving to South Korea much easier. The programme takes away a lot of the pressure of finding work and it also gives you the comfort of knowing there is someone to call if you need assistance after you have moved. Claire was amazing during the whole application process. She always got back to us on any queries we had and gave a real personal touch to the communication. ESLstarter provided us with accurate information on everything required for our move, from visa documentation, assistance with our interview, to what to pack for the trip! Thanks to all at ESLstarter, we have and will continue to recommend you to our friends who wish to work overseas.
Anna Boonzaier and John O'Sullivan, EPIK, Daegu
Hi! My name is Fiona and I would like to give 10/10 to ESLstarter, and most especially to Claire, for all the assistance they gave me in finding this great job, at a marvellous school in the (what I am finding to be) majestic country of Korea. As I am an experienced (and slightly older than the average intake age!) teacher, who, at this stage of my life, just wants to travel and earn, she was able to give good advice and tips on how to make it all work. Her enthusiasm is great, especially when it comes to all the, what can be over-whelming, nitty-gritty details of filling in forms, paper-work and other official documents. She leaves no stone unturned, and so my new career in a new country began smoothly. It is also great to know that, once placed, she still contacts me regularly with offers of help if needed. As for the rest of it, I have been in Korea for less than a month, and have already climbed 4 mountains, seen vast Buddhas, explored various hidden gems and am able to get by, despite a language barrier. I would recommend it to anyone who feels they need a break from their regular career and don't let age put you off!
Fiona Eiber, EPIK, Daegu
I would recommend ESLstarter and Claire and her crew to anyone thinking of working abroad teaching English. I knew I had to get out of Ireland and experience new cultures and was totally ignorant of how to even go about getting a visa or even a job. Claire showed great eagerness to help me through the process of applying for a job teaching English through EPIK in Korea and in getting the right documents in place for me to apply for my visa. I thought that with the success of my application and in securing my visa that, that would be the end of my contact with Claire and her team. However after 19 hours of flying over 9 timezones and to see a face at Incheon airport waiting for me to guide me to my final hurdle of registering my arrival with EPIK. I couldn't recommend ESLstarter highly enough. If you show the same ambition to get here you will be in for the time of your life!!!
Vincent McCarthy, EPIK, Daejeon
ESLstarter has been amazing! They responded to me instantly after I said I was interested in applying to teach abroad and they swfitly helped me get the process started. Phil has been so helpful throughout the whole application process. Everytime I was worried about something or had a question, I would email him and I would receive an answer right away if not the next day. I would've been so lost and confused if they didn't guide me through the very confusing application procedure!
Wendy Zhang, EPIK, Seoul
When I first started the application process, I was lost. In fact, I had first contacted a different well known recruiter, was sent a very unprofessional email, and decided to keep looking. That is when, by a miracle, I found ESLstarter! Almost as soon as I had contacted ESLstarter, I received a message from Phil. I must say that I was hesitant throughout the application process about leaving home. However, with ESLstarter's help and guidance, the process of getting to Korea was smooth as butter (which I haven't had much of since I have arrived here in Seoul). It seemed like Phil had an answer to all of my questions whether it was night or day, rain or shine. ESLstarter was there to help me just plain and simple. I can honestly say that I have never received better FREE service than I did with ESLstarter. With a hands on, personal approach to the recruiting process, you would be crazy to go with another recruiter. I mean, who else waits all day at the Incheon airport for you to arrive and escort you to the EPIK desk? ESLstarter...that's who.
Tyler Sanders, EPIK, Seoul
I would like to thank Phil at ESLstarter for all the help and support in the EPIK application process. To gain work in South Korea there is quite a lengthy process of documentation gaining and authenticating. Phil helped me through this process sending links and information when ever I asked a question, making the whole process much easier and quicker. I had a bit of a problem with my health at the very last minute and Phil sorted that out very quickly, liaising with the Korean POE and promptly getting back to me so the stress was kept to a minimum. After a lengthy and sometimes problematic application process I finally arrived at Incheon Airport to be met by Phil and Claire which was so awesome to put faces to the voices and many emails. Phil and Claire are such a great team and it seems nothing is too much trouble for them, they can sort out any problem you may have in gaining employment. Thanks heaps.
Rae Faulkner, EPIK, Chungbuk
I wanted to teach English in South Korea through a program called EPIK so I e-mailed several recruitment agencies for information and help. Some got back to me a week later and some never got back to me, but ESLstarter was the only organization that sent me an e-mail reply the very next day AND asked to speak with me on the phone the day after that. I was so impressed by their quick response and desire to help me. The application process to teach abroad can be very confusing, but Phil from ESLstarter helped me every step of the way. I can't even imagine how many e-mails I must have sent him, but he always answered my questions immediately and thoroughly. He was even available to talk on the phone. When I got off the plane at Incheon Airport in South Korea, I saw this guy who approached me and knew my name. I was so shocked to discover that it was PHIL!! I couldn't believe he was there to greet me. Of course, I apologized for the mass e-mails I had sent during the application process, but he assured me he was happy to help. After being able to thank him in-person for all his hard work, Phil made sure I got on the right shuttle bus to my new job orientation. Wow.
NizhoniBetley, EPIK, Seoul
I first decided to apply to teach in South Korea via ESLstarter due to the incredibly impressive amount of support offered merely on the website. Having checked several companies who claim to offer the same services, the website made it clear to me that ESLstarter go above and beyond. This opinion which was only confirmed by a casual acquaintance who applied to teach in South Korea via ESLstarter last year.
After sending off my application I was delighted by the speed and attitude of the reply I received. My co-ordinator, Phil, was a complete lifesaver during the whole process. I had some difficulty sorting out a few of my required papers due to external factors, but he was kind, reassuring, and extremely helpful. During the course of my application, and even now, in South Korea, ESLstarter have been absolutely fantastic. I know they're always at the other end of an email, completely ready and willing to help me out however they can, I can't recommend them highly enough
Natasha McAdam, EPIK, Chungbuk
My experience with ESLstarter, and particularly my recruiter Phil, was a very pleasant one. Phil was always happy to respond to any and all of my questions. He did a great job helping me land a job in Korea. I would definitely recommend ESLstarter to any one considering teaching English abroad. They know how to get the job done!
Matthew Corbeil, EPIK, Daegu
ESLstarter is amazing. I started off with another recruiter when I began the application process, but nothing seemed to be working out. A friend recommended ESLstarter to me and that's when I made the switch. I am so THANKFUL to that friend. Applying to teach in a foreign country is something many of us have never done. There are documents we've never heard of and so so many questions. The staff was unbelievable at answering any questions I had and outlining every process that I had to undergo to make this transition as smooth as possible. If I asked a question it was always answered as soon as they arrived in the office.
I came to Korea with about 5 other people I know, all who used different recruiters, and am certain that ESLstarter is the best company to go with. Any time my friends had a question it always resorted to me asking my recruiter because there's couldn't give a clear explanation. On top of that Phil and Claire were at the airport to greet me when I arrived and still continue to check up on my status. They are great people and ESLstarter is definitely the way to go if you want to teach in Korea.
Lydia d'Antona, EPIK, Seoul
ESLstarter and Phil were a great help during the long and complex EPIK application. Phil was always quick to answer the questions we had and was available via phone when ever we needed more than e-mail could provide. We would highly recommend ESLstarter to anyone wanting to teach ESL, especially in South Korea.
Loren Miller, EPIK, Daegu
When I first decided that teaching abroad was the next place for my life to head in, I typed "Teach English" in the search engine and received thousands of hits. The truth is, teaching abroad is easy, the hard part is figuring out where and which program to commit to. Thank the Lord I remembered one piece of advice my Mandarin Professor said in college "Teach in Asia." The first program that really caught my attention was the EPIK program in South Korea. On the list of approved recruiters, ESLstarter blazed in full glory. I sent out emails to all of the recruiters and the only program to call me in response was ESLstarter.
There are many recruiters in the world of Teaching Abroad, but I would only recommend one and that is ESLstarter. Their staff consisting of Phil and Claire did an amazing job helping me navigate each and every step of the application process. When items were due, I received prompt emails, phone calls, and even once (to my surprise) a text message. They truly care about their applicants and will be honest about their experiences and others. When asked, Phil quickly supplied many email addresses of past participants to vouch of their success and quality. If you are questing, considering, or even dreaming about visiting one of the many Asian countries that ESlstarter supports, please contact them and you will see, just as I and many others have seen, how truly valuable of a resource they are. Best Regards,
Jessica Womack, EPIK, Gyeongbuk - womackcreates.tumblr.com
I would like to thank Phil at ESLstarter for making the whole application process for a Seoul placement through EPIK/SMOE go very smoothly indeed. He was prompt to respond to the many email enquiries I had along the way, and it was immensely reassuring having someone check through my application from and all other documents carefully to ensure there weren't any complications or delays along the line. I would recommend applying through ESLstarter to anyone; for no extra cost it provides an extra friendly 'helping hand' in what at the beginning can seem like a rather daunting application process. I am now working at a lovely little public high school in the Seoul area, and can already see that this is going to be a very good year. Cheers Phil!
James Stevens, EPIK, Seoul
Applying to teach abroad can be a very confusing process. For one thing there so many options to pick from. It's difficult to tell if the agency you go for is going to be any good. Thankfully I made the right choice picking ESLstarter. They helped me every step of the way during the application process and answered all my questions promptly. I would definitely recommend using ESLstarter if you are thinking of teaching abroad. I was nervous before I came to Korea but I'm having a great time and haven't regretted it for one second.
James Riley, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
If you are looking at going to teach in South Korea and need some guidance, ESLstarter are the people to talk. Not only were they really tolerant with all of questions and concerns, they helped me every step of the way. Phil, who helped me with my application, would respond quickly to my emails and always had the information I needed. Korea and I'm sure the other places that offer TEFL jobs, is a great place to teach and a complex application should not deter you. So by going through ESLstarter you are already giving yourself an advantage and when you arrive you are set up at an orientation where you get to meet hundreds of new people and get training that puts you in the right direction for your job. To wrap up, if you are looking at teaching abroad, and have stumbled across this site, there is no need to look any further because these guys will make your dream job possible. Thank you once again ESLstarter and in particular Phil.
James Aldrich, EPIK, Daegu
ESLstarter was great! All we did was to gather our documents and send it to them. The rest just happened. They made the application process an absolute breeze! I felt at ease knowing that they covered all our bases. I could almost just sit back and enjoy the ride. Sitting here behind my desk at work(that ESLstarter did most of the work in getting) I realize that they were truly worth their salt, every grain of it! Best part is that I know it was not just a one time lucky strike for us. We have a couple of friends who also used them and everybody testifies the same: 'They were great!' It seems they are this good every single time! I can without a doubt recommend them to anyone. Enjoy your breeze with them!
Hanri Joubert, EPIK, Daegu
I applied to teach English in South Korea through ESLstarter based on a friends recommendation and I think it's the best advice she has given me yet! From the moment I first emailed them stating my interest Phil has kept in constant contact, answering any questions I have and keeping me updated with where I am in the application process. He has always replied to my emails promptly and even arranged a phone call with me, despite the time difference between Thailand and the UK. When applying for a job abroad, and having to send important documents to the other side of the world you want to know that everything is in safe hands, and that is what Phil did. He gave me the reassurance and removed the stress from what would otherwise have been a very confusing process! After an 18 hour flight, arriving in Seoul jet lagged and bleary eyed it was great to see both Claire and Phil waiting to check I knew what I was doing and give me any last minute help. I have now been living and teaching in South Korea for just over a month and am loving every minute! I wouldn't hesitate in recommending ESLstarter to anyone else who is applying to teach English abroad, I really can't thank them enough!
Hannah Liddell, EPIK, Jeonbuk
The service I received from Phil and Claire at ESLstarter was excellent from start to finish. I really would describe it as a seamless service; at each stage of the process I was given clear and concise instructions and, if I did ever have any queries, a response would always be waiting for me the next time I checked my emails. I have been in Korea for just over a month now and I am really enjoying the experience. I would highly recommend ESLstarter to anyone considering teaching in Korea.
Gareth Dooling, EPIK, Busan
I've always been very skeptical about 'testimonials' but I urge anyone reading through the testimonials at eslstarter.com to take them as gospel! I contacted Phil at ESLstarter last year October (2010) and from that moment all the way up to the time I arrived in Busan for my orientation (4 months later!), he maintained regular contact with me to keep me informed and updated, about the process, every step of the way. Going through the EPIK application process is very complicated; Phil's vast experience and knowledge was evident from the very beginning which greatly helped to instil confidence and reassure me when, on more than a few occasions, I was a little unsure about things ranging from legal documents (that I'd never ever heard about in my life!) to completing the very long and comprehensive application, to ensuring flight details corresponded with that of EPIK's. I cannot recommend Phil and ESLstarter enough. Five months on from starting this amazing adventure, I am happily settled in my new home and school in Daegu, thanks in no small part to Phil and ESLstarter. Thank you (again!)
Cecelia Fairclough, EPIK, Daegu
When I was considering where next to head to after two years in Taiwan ESLstarter popped up in a google search. The website provided a lot of encouraging information, and other peoples recommendations persuaded me to contact them. So, I sent my CV to Phil at ESLstarter and within two or three days he called me from Bangkok and suggested I make an application to the English Program In Korea (EPIK) as soon as that was done I had an interview lined up with an EPIK recruiter. After a successful interview Phil was on hand to talk me through the Korea VISA process - it's really thorough! It would have been a big big struggle without Phil's help. Always my emails were answered within 24 hours, and when it came to mailing documents, even though I had some problems he made sure it was as smooth a ride as possible. Finally, my place was secured with EPIK, and I flew out to Korea in Feb 2011.
Phil and Clare were at the airport to greet me and help out one last time before I boarded the bus to EPIK orientation in Jeonju. It was great to meet them after nearly 6 months correspondence, and reassuring when making that step to move to a new country. ESLstarter definitely surpass any recruiter I've been through before. I'd recommend them to anyone wanting to find teaching work around the world.
Andrew Reece, EPIK, Chungbuk
I cannot explain the immense joy one feels when finally receiving your Korean Visa in the mail; if you have friends who have endured the marathon process, than you may have an idea of what it entails. Numerous background checks, apostilles, applications, and photocopies are bountiful and can cause headaches as you acquire and complete this myriad of necessary documents. Luckily for me, I chose ESLstarter and had a phenomenal guide, mentor, and friend to aid me every step of the way. Phil was a proactive, thorough, dedicated, and knowledgeable liaison between me and my dream of teaching abroad in Korea.
I felt very blessed to have had such a great person as Phil helping me, but it was only after arriving in Korea and meeting other Guest English Teachers, those who had ventured with ESLstarter and those who had not, that I realized how much of a great choice I had made. ESLstarter is a small family, not a big business or corporation. They all have experience, knowledge, and a passion in what you are attempting to undertake. Not only did they respond to all emails in 24 hours, but they checked up on me after I got settled into my new country. They just simply care. Meeting Phil in person was a great experience. I will never be able to thank him enough but I know that if the opportunity comes about in the future that I am free and able to take another teaching adventure in Asia, I will go through ESLstarter without question.
Aaron Ingham, EPIK, Daejeon
The application process for applying to teach abroad is a rather complex one; however Claire and the team at ESLstarter made the whole process incredibly easy. Claire provided me with step by step guidance throughout the application process and was always on hand to address any issues or questions I had. When my initial application fell through due to unforeseen circumstances, Claire worked exceptionally hard to ensure that I obtained a placement as soon as possible.
As a result of this dedication and enthusiasm I am now teaching at an elementary school in Korea and loving every minute. Without ESLstarter and Claire in particular, I doubt I would be here right now and for that I am extremely grateful. On top of this, they still keeping touch now, taking the time to check up and see how things are going. I cannot recommend ESLstarter highly enough to anyone who is thinking about teaching abroad. Thank you Claire for all your hard work.
George Payiatis, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
Having just finished my degree, I decided to take the year off and teach somewhere abroad. I wanted to go somewhere in Asia for around six months but had no real idea about where to go or how to organize it. Early on I got in contact with ESLstarter and very soon my vague dream of working abroad began to materialise. I am now teaching in Satun in the South of Thailand and absolutely loving it.
Phil from ESLstarter was extremely helpful from the start. I sent many many e-mails with a plethora of questions and he answered each one carefully and honestly. He was also available by phone and would happily chat away until all your queries were answered and concerns put to rest. There were a lot of formalities to get through before I could get away and it was an invaluable help to have someone who thoroughly knew the process and who could guide you through the steps (not to mention the help before this in choosing the right place to go and teach). When I eventually arrived in Bangkok airport, dropping with fatigue after thirteen hours worth of flying, there was someone there waiting to collect me and bring me to my hotel. I can't stress how good it was to see a friendly face and to be looked after the moment you step off the plane.
Overall I am very happy with eslstarter and I would highly recommend them to anyone who wants to teach abroad. If you have any questions drop ESLstarter an e-mail or give them a call and you'll see how helpful they are!
Scott McKechnie, Satun, Thailand
There aren't enough words to describe how great ESLstarter is. Our decision to work abroad was a spur of the moment decision. We spoke to a friend that's been working in Korea for a few years now, and she highly recommended Claire and Phil. Claire sent us heaps of information and answered all our questions with honesty and encouraged us when we were in doubt. ESLstarter was so efficient with everything that before we knew it we were bording the plane for Thailand. We've been in Thailand for 6 months now and enjoying every minute of it. We recommend ESlstarter to all the foreign teachers here, that are interested in teaching English in Korea. Thanks Claire and Phil! You guys are truely the best!
Claudette and Alex Le Roux, Hat Yai, Thailand
I would like to thank the tireless efforts of both Claire and Phil for securing me a place at a Thai school. Their dedication and effort made a very difficult move in terms of distance and lifestyle change very simple. I would definately reccomend using ESLstarter if you are thinking of moving abroad for a career in teaching English as a Foreign Language.
Matthew Gallagher, Satun, Thailand
The programme is well structured and organised with the minimum hassle.
A perfect match between work and quality of life. Truly a unique and worthwhile experience.
Wehann Human, Sadao, Thailand
We have now been teaching and living in Seoul for 3 months and having a great time. We couldn't have done it without the help of Claire and the ESLstarter team who were incredibly helpful and insightful along every step of the process! I've no idea how Claire managed to cope with all our questions but if she didn't know the answer, she'd find it out for us efficiently. It is by no means an easy process to submit a teaching application for EPIK but the ESLstarter team made it as clear and straightforward as they could possibly make it!
When we initally chatted to Claire on the phone we knew it was a recruiter we could trust after hearing several horror stories about other agencies. Claire was communicative throughout the whole process and then met us at the airport in Seoul when we were trembling with nervousness... Nothing to be nervous about however as the experience so far has been everything we hoped for! Thanks guys!
Liam Kelly and Carolyn Hamilton, EPIK, Seoul
EPIK has a wonderfully complex and convoluted process to gain a teaching job in Korea. And I'm very happy to say that Claire was there to hold my hand and answer my questions ASAP every single step of the way, including during the set backs and frustrations.
I chose ESLstarter because their website presented itself as professional and had specific information that was lacking on other websites. And, Claire continued to live up to that stellar first impression from the first step until after I landed in Korea. I've read a lot of complaints and problems and heard a few once I got to Korea, and I can safely say that I had none of those issues with ESLstarter.
Thanks to Claire and ESLstarter I have a wonderful job with EPIK at a fantastic elementary school. I highly recommend putting your best foot forward if you're seriously considering teaching English overseas and using ESLstarter.
Erin Duprey, EPIK, Gangwon
Claire is the best! I'm so glad that I found ESLstarter they are by far the best recruiting agency I have dealt with in Korea. They are friendly, personable and really made me feel like a friend and not just another client. I recommend ESLstarter to all of m friends teaching abroad. For anyone like me, who needs to have a constant influx of reassuring emails, this is the agency for you. Not only are they knowledgeable, especially about new visa requirements and procedures, they will also give you honest and realistic answers and timeframes. Lots of recruiters are afraid to tell you that the visa process can be complicated but ESLstarter will stick with you through the whole process.
Claire was always ready on Skype or email to reassure me that I was going to get a job and to remind me that the process of obtaining a visa is tedious but it will pay off when you settled in your own apartment living in one of the best cities in the world! Now I'm living in Seoul, working at a public high school and absolutely loving every second! My school is great they gave me my own smart classroom and bought me tons of stuff for my aprtment. I have been here three months and Claire is still always ready to answer any questions and concerns I might have. I plan on staying in Korea for a few years and will continue to use ESLstarter as long as I'm working in Asia! Thank you so much!
MaryBeth Yerdon, EPIK, Seoul
The EPIK application process is not a simple thing and having my hand held through it was invaluable. Phil looked after me completely, answering my endless questions and guiding me through the tricky bits; I think he put as much effort into my application as I did! Having a seasoned pro on hand and on your side makes all the difference, I mightn't be here now without his help.
Billy Owens, EPIK, Daejeon
The ESLstarter team is professional, knowledgeable and always willing to answer any questions or deal with any concerns, even after arrival in Korea. This is a great comfort when moving to a new country is such an intimidating experience.
Tracy McCallum, EPIK, Incheon
Well, where do I begin to thank a company for giving me the opportunity to undertake an interesting, meaningful and well paid job in a new and foreign environment? It's a difficult charge to be sure. (Even working as an English teacher, I don't think I could find enough superlatives to lavish sufficient praise on ESLstarter in general, or on my recruiter specifically!) In truth, there were several companies that I considered before settling with ESLstarter to pursue my claims for foreign employment. It was the friendly manner, the genuine care and the impromptu banter that made me feel like an asset to ESLstarter, rather than just another number on a spreadsheet - that was important to me.
Furthermore, the honesty and the tireless effort on my recruiters' part was nothing short of extraordinary; the experience and the local knowledge of my recruiter also played their parts most triumphantly at crucial points. These are the qualities and characteristics that are essential for the foreign teacher wannabe in their recruiters - and from my experience, ESLstarter holds the monopoly in this field. But I think the real measure of the recruiter (and by extension the company) is not even all of the above - it's the 'aftercare'. By this I mean the contact once the candidate has settled into his or her new environment and the metaphorical cheque has been cashed. I am still in contact with my recruiter who is eager for updates and tales of my adventures (and we still enjoy the banter about our mutual football team back in the UK).
I will end by saying this: the journey to find employment aboard is difficult; a battle. You're a gladiator in a daunting, sandy, bloody amphitheatre, with many enemies to fight. There are times when I felt challenged or overwhelmed; times of self doubt and despair, but ESLstarter won't throw you to the lions: they will fight by your side and help win your freedom.
"sedit qui timuit ne non succederet." - He who feared he would not succeed sat still - Horace
Tom Dowling, Hagwon, Mokpo
ESLstarter was recommended to me by a friend who had been recruited the year before, so when I was considering going to South Korea to teach English, I naturally thought of them. I have to say that I am chuffed with the service and Phil was really helpful, patient and I am certain he had to stay later at work just so we would received a timely emailed response from him! Everything was explained clearly and any queries we had were swiftly sorted out. Phil even came to meet us at the airport, a luxury that other recruits from different companies missed out on. ESLstarter are a helpful and friendly recruiter and I have to take my hat off to Phil, he did an excellent job sorting out our last minute applications, so thank you very much!
Tamsin Johnson, EPIK, Ulsan
After deciding to come to Korea, we explored the different options available to Native English Speakers. We contacted a number of agencies to fascilitate our joint application, but ESLstarter's prompt and professional response instantly provided all the support we needed. ESLstarter's assistance has been nothing short of exemplary - all queries were dealt with timeously and with the utmost competence. In particular, Hayley's sincere efforts were highly efficient, and as the process progressed, Phil took over with equal competence. They worked hard to ensure we fully understood each detail of the somewhat bewildering process and that the volumous paperwork was filled in perfectly. ESLstarter were well-informed regarding any potential pitfalls and consistently gave expert advice. Their efforts resulted in both of us being placed in lovely schools, within walking distance of one another, doing exactly what we hoped to do in Korea. We recommend ESLstarter to anyone who is serious - and perhaps a little bit daunted - about teaching English in Korea.
Talita Van Graan & Danielle Erasmus, EPIK, Ulsan
Great, exceptional, wonderful, fantastic etc. I can go on for days... These are only a few words describing the quality of the service you will get working through ESLstarter. Being a newbie to the whole teaching abroad thing, Phil truely made the application process much easier. He was more of a mentor/friend than a recruiter. He answered all questions with such enthusiasm and reasurrance, even the ones that seemed silly at the time. From the start I realised that I was in good hands and really don't need to worry about anything, Phil will go the extra mile to make sure that my dream will come true. Even when Phil told me that I'm on a last minute waiting list, I never doubted for one minute that I won't be able to come to South Korea. That's how good his motivational skills are!
I am now teaching in a public school in Gwang-ju, one of my choice cities. I'm at two elementary schools (also my choice of level) and loving it so far, even though I have only been here for a couple of weeks. So, there isn't much more I can say except that if anyone ever asks me through which agency they should work, I don't even hesitate to say that there really is only one - ESLstarter. Thanks to you Phil for helping me in making this dream come true!
Soekie Jooste, EPIK, Gwangju
We are loving living in South Korea! ESLstarter is a fantastic recruitment agency.
Phil was amazing throughout the entire "getting to Korea" process - from filling out our application forms, to rounding up all the required documents and booking our flights. He was always quick to respond to our endless, and sometimes daft questions, and even now that we're here do we get emails checking to see how we're doing and if we need anything.
Jeju is such a beautiful place, we couldn't be happier! And it's all thanks to Phil at ESLstarter that we are able to experience this incredible country. We would definitely recommend ESLstarter to anyone wanting to teach abroad.
Shea Baxter & Rob English, EPIK, Jeju
Applying to teach abroad with the help of ESLstarter is one of the best decisions I have ever made, they managed to get me on the EPIK Program regardless of countless problems and hiccups I encountered on the way. They are a professional team of willing agents ready to assist your every beck and call. I am extremely grateful for their help and choosing this agency, it's my first time teaching abroad and I have been in South Korea for over 2 months now, and everything has fallen together perfectly, if you're considering teaching English as a foreign language ESLstarter is the way forward!
Kourosh Eskandari, EPIK, Busan
I had a wonderful experience working with ESLstarter. Not only did ESLstarter keep me updated on everything that was going on, but they were very helpful and incredibly friendly. I'm now working a job I love in a wonderful country, and I would definitely use ESLstarter again to get here!
Leigh Carver, EPIK, Seoul
My name is Erica. I'm currently teaching in South Korea. The first time I came to Korea, I was very inexperienced. I used a recruiter that was well known throughout South Africa. Later I found out about the fine print that weren't revealed to us. On top of that, you had to pay a recruiter's fee that was half of your first salary and it was payable on the day that you receive your first salary. In hind sight, this recruiter didn't do much for the teacher coming to Korea to earn that amount of money.
I decided to change schools after 3 years in Korea. I wanted to change from a hagwon to a public school. I was looking and asking around for recruiters. I found ESLstarter on the internet. Before I decided on using them, I asked my potential recruiter a lot of questions in advance. He answered all of them promptly and honestly. After I was satisfied, I used the service of ESLstarter. I could ask any question and it would be answered within 24 hours and sometimes within 5 minutes. The best of all, there was no recruiter fee I had to pay.
ESLstarter assisted with the whole application process from receiving the documents, checking the documents and forwarding the documents to the employer. They were good in providing feedback and information on when the interview will be and what the interviewer's opinions were. I must comment on the excellent service provided to me from start to finish. I also thought the follow-up after I have received my placement and was already working at the school was excellent service, too. I will definitely make use of ESLstarter in the future if I decided to change jobs again. You did an awesome job!
Erica Bester, EPIK, Gyeonggi
Leaving everything you know behind and heading off to a foreign land is a daunting prospect to say the least. It is very much an unknown quantity. It is therefore vitally important that you find the right recruiter. I'm sure you've heard some horror stories. Someone that you can trust and rely upon is therefore of the utmost importance. The point cannot be overstated. ESLstarter is exactly that. I applied for the EPIK program and the rather convoluted application process was made very simple and straightforward for me by them. I knew exactly what I needed to do and when it needed to be done by. Any questions I had were answered promptly and believe me I had questions (sorry Phil for pestering you). But I digress. Put succinctly, ESLstarter is trustworthy, reliable and they get back to you promptly. Don't bother searching around various recruiters, you're on the right webpage right now. Big thanks Phil. Can't say that enough.
Curtis Couch, EPIK, Daegu
My experience with ESLstarter has been nothing short of excellent. Within one day of emailing my resume and cover letter, Phil had responded and offered advice on what I should do to continue the process. Throughout the rest of my recruitment period Phil was always in contact with me--answering any questions I had, offering little bits of advice for me along the way, and just generally keeping me abreast of what was going on--and doing it promptly! I don't think I ever had to wait longer than a day between the many emails I sent him. I think this really speaks to the quality of the staff at ESLstarter and the service they provide. They're consummate professionals and they really care about helping you get to where ever you're trying to go. Phil even met me at the airport (which I'm not sure too many recruiters are willing to do,) and it was a genuine pleasure for me to shake the hand of the man who helped me make it so far. I don't think I could have made it out to Daejeon without his and ESLstarter's help.
Josh Thompson, EPIK, Daejeon
Claire went above and beyond the call of duty as she also offered advice for a friend of ours not directly connected to ESLstarter. The company is very friendly and helpful and make the fairly complicated application process seem easy.
Ruth Dear, EPIK, Seoul
My girlfriend and I wondered for a long time how best to get ourselves out of Ireland and into a reputable TEFL job abroad. Having been dealing with a couple of other potential suitors it wasn't until we eventually found ESLstarter, Phil in particular, that we knew we could really make it happen! Honestly, if anyone is undertaking something like this for the first time, like we were, then we highly recommend you use these guys! As you'll appreciate there was no end to the amount of questions we had and duly sent to Phil but somehow he always managed to not only fully answer the query, he also thoroughly put our minds at ease at every stage- and he did this without any sugar-coating and everything he told us has proved to be true. The amount of work ESLstarter will put in on your behalf is unfathomable in the infancy stages, believe us you will not regret opting for them. The only reason we wrote this is so everyone else can find the best people to get them what they want in their TEFL careers."
Barry Grimes & Sinead Kelly, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
I had a positive experience with ESLstarter from the start. Claire guided me through the process of applying for a position in in Seoul, and was always professional and encouraging. Furthermore, Claire was a recruiter who truly cared about my case and was on my side. Although I had never taught abroad and was unfamiliar with the process, I knew I was in competent and experienced hands. I am now teaching in Seoul as I had planned thanks to Claire and ESLstarter.
Catherine Tillery, EPIK, Seoul
ESLstarter have helped with my move to Korea from start to finish. The job application, communication and organisation were handled seamlessly, and it made the whole process of moving to a completely foreign country so much easier knowing that someone was helping you pull the strings! Claire was always there and willing to answer my questions (and I had lots of them) rapidly. I have settled in very well over here, and I can't help thinking I have made a very good move in coming to work in South Korea, and I thank ESLstarter for giving me that opportunity.
Ross McDonald, EPIK, Chungbuk
Claire at ESLstarter was incredibly friendly, and provided prompt and professional help with every aspect of the EPIK application process.
Even when we ran into unforeseen difficulties, she quickly helped us, sending documents across the world at a moments notice, and giving us detailed instructions on what to do next. They even met us at the airport in Korea, which was a welcome surprise after so many hours of traveling.
It was a real pleasure working with ESLstarter and we both recommend them to anyone considering applying to the EPIK program. It would have been incredibly difficult to get it done on our own. Thanks so much!
Heather Falenski and Scott Rogers, EPIK, Gangwon
Claire at ESLstarter helped make the application process so simple when I wanted to teach in Korea. She was always prompt with answering my questions and knowing that she was only an email or phone call away was perfect for me. VISA applications are not usually so simple but Claire helped me every step of the way. I could not have made it here without her help and I would recommend ESLstarter to anyone who is thinking of teaching in Korea.
Martin Evans, EPIK, Ulsan
When I first started looking into applying to teach over in Korea, I had absolutely no clue where to begin. The entire process seemed very confusing. As soon as I emailed ESLstarter and heard back from Phil in less than 24 hours, my outlook brightened. I couldn't believe I'd actually found a real person who seemed to want to help me get over here. So, throughout the application process, Phil was always around to answer my (sometimes panicked and stressed out) emails, no matter how trivial or major they might've been. There were no questions he didn't have answers to, and it really made the process of applying much more intuitive! Thanks!
Cole Roche, EPIK, Seoul
When I started to consider teaching abroad the process seemed extremely daunting. Claire and Phil were recommended to me by someone who had used them before and from the first email Claire had put me at ease. She answered all my questions and was so positive that I knew I had made the right choice. The process is lengthy and sometimes frustrating but Claire always reassured me and responded to by enquiries straight away. I'm now teaching at a great High school and living in a fantastic city by the sea. Many of my friends had horror stories about other recruiters but I can thoroughly recommend ESLstarter to anyone who wants to embark on this sort of adventure. Thanks for the all the help Claire!
Chris Sanders, EPIK, Pohang
I chose ESLstarter because they were the most organized out of all the other recruiters that I researched. In the beginning, although I was a bit nervous of what to expect and how things would turn out, Claire reassured my doubts and was always available to answer any questions that I may have had. She responded in a very timely manner and was more than patient with me. I appreciate the fact that she still finds the time to check on me! Claire is definitely the BEST at what she does!
Sarah L. Mitchell, EPIK, Gangwon
I would definitely recommend to anyone who is thinking about going to teach English in South Korea to go using ESLstarter and especially Claire. I was recommended to her after I graduated from University and had no idea what I wanted to do next. After getting in touch with Claire, I never looked back. She made my journey to Korea an especially easy one, after a few problems with my documents that delayed my arrival, Claire didn't stop assisting me. Her enthusiasm and never ending dedication toward helping me get here was incredible! She explained everything very clearly and made everything so easy. She was just an email away and always there to reply to any and all questions that you may have. I love Korea!! If you love to travel, meet new people and of course would love to try your hand at teaching English as a second language, then you should definitely pop Claire an email, she will take it from there, I guarantee it! The EPIK adventure will be the adventure of your life!
CareyLee Ragaval, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
Although I had never done it before, I always assumed that moving to the other side of the world would be a complicated business. Having researched various recruiting companies and heard nightmarish tales of pushy staff and much delayed correspondence, I was incredibly fortunate to stumble across the ESLstarter website. Within a few days of my initial enquiry, I received a call from Claire in which she answered all of my initial queries concerning my suitability for teaching in Korea. She immediately made me feel relaxed about the whole application process, which especially helped during the interview phase! During the months leading up to my departure, I was put at ease by the facilitating and attentive service provided by ESLstarter, and I'm still amazed that they remained patient with me, despite my innumerable emails! I would wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone feeling overawed by the prospect of working abroad. I certainly couldn't have managed it without them.
Sam Sheppard, EPIK, Busan
Phil has been tremendously helpful in helping me sort out teaching in Korea. He answered my, mostly, dumb questions professionally and faster than the speed of sound. I have never felt alone during the application process and Phil has kept in touch now that I am in Korea to check that everything is going well (and it is!). I have heard many horror stories about teaching in Korea but so far my experience has been a dream, so thank you Phil (and ESLstarter) for helping me sort everything out, I really appreciate it!
Victoria Whiteside, EPIK, Busan
ESLstarter and Claire in specific have been nothing far from exceptional. She has been reliable efficient and honest at all times. She has let me know exactly what's happening involving my application to teach in Korea and has always been able to help me regarding queries and problems. I thank her and recommend this agency to anyone who wants to turn their dream into a reality of becoming an ESL teacher. I have no regrets what so ever about coming to Korea as it has far exceeded my high expectations.
Thomas Lock, EPIK, Daejeon
My wife and I couldn't possibly share enough about how great ESLstarter is. Teaching in South Korea has been a dream of ours for awhile, so it was important to us that we work with a reputable recruiting service. In an ideal world, a recruiter would return emails the same or next day, be knowledgeable of teaching programs and foreign cultures, answer every question to the fullest, and be warm, encouraging, and honest. Well, ESLstarter must belong to an ideal world because our recruiter Phil was amazing and exceeded our expectations at every turn. We are beyond happy with our placements and are finding that Phil often knew what would be our best option long before we did. Thank you Phil and ESLstarter; you have truly changed our lives.
Josiah & Jenelle Wagoner, EPIK, Daejeon
I would recommend ESLstarter to anyone who is thinking about applying for a job in Korea. Claire has been extremely helpful from start to finish. Any questions or queries were answered promptly via email or skype phone calls. All problems were addressed immediately and the transition of applying abroad which can be daunting was done so much easier through this recruitment agency. I would highly advise people to use this agency as it makes the application process much easier.
Wendy Lam, EPIK, Seoul
I have nothing but good things to say about ESLstarter. From the beginning Claire was mega helpful and answered all of the random questions I had, at random times throughout the day. A few times I did wonder if she slept! Its difficult leaving your old life behind to start somewhere else, but Claire and ESLstarter made the transition so easy. I was even met with by a happy face at the airport after a mega long journey, which just helped me feel more settled in a country I had never been to before. I got placed in the region of my choice, Jeju, and I am loving it. I would recommend ESLstarter to anyone and everyone, and I will definitely be using them in the future for more travel and great teaching experiences. Thank you Claire and ESLstarter
Monique Henderson,EPIK, Jeju
Thankyou ESLstarter and Claire in particular. We had been let down by another agency at the very last minute and were really stuck without a job. Luckily we came across ESLstarter and applied to the agency.
We were really impressed by the quick response and the options available to us and had secured a new job in a matter of days. Claire was an excellent communicator who kept us informed about all little things to do with the visa process, flight arrangements and contracts. We were in our current position within about a month of starting to apply, which is really fast compared to the time spent with previous employers and agencies.
We are both thinking of spending our year here and then moving somewhere else for about 6 months. We will definitely get in touch when the time comes.
James Brown and Jeannette Walsh, Hagwon, Ulsan
I definitely don't think I would be here in Korea today if it were not for ESLstarter. I knew when I graduated from college that I wanted to teach abroad, but I had no idea what the process would be like to achieve that goal. Phil has been nothing but understanding and helpful, answering all of my crazy questions in the most efficient ways! This recruiting agency is so generous with their time and effort, and my transition to Korea was made all the more easier with their help. Thanks!
Rachel Looney, EPIK, Daejeon
It was an odd coincidence that I ended up using ESLstarter in the first place. There was a lonely looking piece of paper in my TEFL school in Boston that suggested I contact them in regards to the EPIK positions if I had aspirations to teach in South Korea. So I did contact them, and I am extremely happy that I did so. With their help, I would not be here right now teaching.
Governmental bureaucracy is not an easy barrier to get around in any country, much less in a place that you have no idea about to begin with. I have to reiterate what others have said, as Claire did everything she could (with her busy schedule) to help me get everything the South Korean government needed and answered all of my many questions along the way. I'm here in Gyeongsangnam-do now and, although the teaching job itself presents many challenges, I am having a great time. I would not have been able to do that without Claire's help and think you are in very good hands with her. She has my utmost confidence and recommendation to you if you need help finding a job here in South Korea.
Generally, employment agencies and recruiters terrify me to no end, but you won't have that experience with ESLstarter! I'll certainly use them again for the Asian job market if the need arises!
Michael Aull, EPIK, Gyeongnam
What a fantastic company! Claire, thank you so much for all your help. 5months on and I am still loving it here in South Korea. Looking for a job during an economic slump added extra challenges to most other recruiters but not ESLStarter; Claire seemed always on top of things, always ready to help and quick to respond. I always got the impression from other recruiters that they were just going through the mill to 'beef' up their profiles, only with ESLStarter did I actually feel like I was actively being helped pursuing a dream important to me. Thank you Claire! I really sincerely mean that. When my contract's up and if I feel like I change of scenery I know which company's services I'll be hoping to make use of again.
Lisa Daniel, Hagwon, Daegu
When I first started applying to teach English in Korea, there were so many recruiters! One recruiter put us (my fiancee and I) on hold for four months, and another promised an interview and stopped answering us. As a Korean adoptee, many recruiters turned me down because I was not Caucasian. I sent information to almost fifty people, and I did not have good luck for nine months. I began to wonder about who I could really trust online. Then, by chance, I met Claire online at ESLStarter, and she made it so easy! She told me everything that I needed in simple language, and I felt well prepared to come to Korea. She emailed quickly, and answered questions all the time on Skype -- instant message and Skype phone calls. I'm not sure how much influence ESLStarter had on my placement in Korea, but it is ironic that I now teach in my birth city, and I teach the level of students that I requested as my first choice.
My fiancee, Nick, is also teaching his preferred choice of students, and his co-workers are awesome! Also, I was told not to expect to live near my fiancee, because we are not married and Korea can be quite conservative. I'm not sure how everything worked out, but my vice principal asked me if I wanted to live in an apartment with my fiancee. It is a small area and we do not have all the furniture we were promised, but I am still very happy with my two schools, co-teachers, and my location. It is a small town, but that's what I really wanted. It is helping me learn Korean language faster! As a first time teacher with very little ability to speak Korean, I am adjusting to life pretty well. Of course, my students can be noisy at times, but talking about different classroom situations with co-workers helps make our relationship better and I learn a lot about Korean culture from them. I know my experiences may be tough at times, but I will remember and cherish these memories for the rest of my life. Thank you, Claire, for helping me to make a memory and change mine and my fiancee's lives. :)
Nicole Ritchie and Nicholas Lindeberg, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
I am curious as to when Claire and Phil have time to sleep since it seems as though they spent 20 hours a day promptly answering my many, many emails during the application process. New to overseas teaching, I have to wonder how anyone starts an ESL career without Claire's guidance each and every step of the way. I never once felt as though I was working with an "agency" - every communication seemed simply like advice from an enthusiastic, knowledgeable friend. I am now a few weeks into teaching at a wonderful elementary school in Busan and I still receive check-in emails from Claire!
Anne Kerkian, EPIK, Busan
ESLstarter was an invaluable resource in starting my journey into ESL. My recruiter Claire was incredibly helpful and friendly and always provided thorough information in a very timely fashion. If you want the best information about the best jobs in Korea, this is the place to go. I am 7 months into my contract now with the public schools in Seoul and I'm having the time of my life! Thanks ESLstarter!
Jesse Germinario, SMOE, Seoul
ESLstarter helped me immensely throughout the application and placement procedure for my South Korean teaching adventure. Always available to answer my questions and so incredibly patient with me, they were just fantastic. Highly efficient and very thorough in their explanations and instructions they made the confusing application process seem simple. I really cannot recommend this company highly enough and would encourage anyone looking to take part in this once in a lifetime adventure to look no further than ESLstarter.
Nick Key, EPIK, Gyeongnam
ESLstarter is a great recruiting agency to use for the EPIK program in Korea! Claire was so helpful with not only answering all of my questions, but also with keeping me up to date on all of the developments with the program. I can't imagine having gone through the application process without her... she even met me at the airport when I first arrived in Korea! I highly recommend using ESLstarter if you are looking for a job abroad.
Annie Mansfield, EPIK, Busan
Without Claire's help we never would have made from Denver to Daegu.
Thanks eslstarter for
all the help!
Lena and Christian Brown, EPIK, Daegu
When I first contacted ESLstarter in 2008 I was looking for guidance as the E2 visa process had recently changed. I found Claire and Phil to be very knowledgeable, reassuring and were always very fast to reply to my emails. They were friendly and professional throughout and eventually found me a placement on the outskirts of Seoul. I greatly enjoyed my time in Korea and am very grateful for the help they gave me. I would recommend ESLstarter very highly to anyone looking for ESL work in Korea.
Chris Harley, Hagwon, Anyang
In 2009, I was unemployed for a year and working on voluntary basis. I was really becoming impatient after applying with all the recruitment agencies. While surfing through the Internet, I saw 'ESLstarter' recruitment agency. They had great teaching job opportunities abroad. I started applying through them. I could not believe the quick and timely response I got from Phil. He was always available to assist me through the entire application process, even when I got to South Korea at the airport. I am now happy and doing well in South Korea and it is all because of ESLstarter. I have made friends from all around the world and I am enjoying exploring South Korea. Thanks to Phil and Claire for all their hard work and great services. I definitely recommend them to anyone looking into teaching abroad.
Buyiswa Mokhosi, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
Dealing with a foreign bureaucratic system can be intimidating. So can the prospect of living in a foreign country for an extended period of time. Phil and Claire at ESLstarter understand this very well and are extremely adept at aiding applicants through this overwhelming process. In other words, they make it easy! After I arrived in Korea and heard the horror stories of other's experiences with recruiters, I felt grateful for Phil and Claire at ESLstarter. I would recommend their warm and competent services to anyone.
Heather Dobbin, EPIK, Busan
Having spent the best part of a year backpacking around the world, following uni, I was at something of a cross roads between pursuing a career in journalism and heading overseas again. On the recommendation of a good friend I began exploring the possibility of teaching overseas as a way of doing more travelling while immersing myself in an exciting new culture.
After sending my C.V and covering letter to a number of agencies it was EFLStarter who responded first, helpful, friendly and diligent, Claire and Phil were just brilliant during the otherwise tricky process of securing an EFL Teaching position. Any questions, doubts or concerns I raised during the whole process were met with patience and sound advice.
Given a range of jobs to choose from, I never once felt pressured into taking a particular position and always felt that I had their full support in any decision I made. The turn around was also very quick, taking only a few weeks to find me a good position in a city of my choosing.
I was particularly impressed with the speed in which they responded to my emails, on the run up to my flight out to Korea I had some natural worries about relocating to a part of the world I knew so little about, Claire emailed me almost immediately with reassuring and kind words which instantly made me feel much better prior to flying out from London.
I doubt that I would have taken this opportunity were it not for the professionalism and personable approach of ESLStarter. Three weeks into my teaching contract I'm having an amazing time in South Korea, much of which I owe to to the guys who got me here.
Claire and Phil-Thank you so much for all your help in opening up the opportunity for me to realise something of a dream in working and living overseas. This experience is turning into everything I hoped it would be, and more. Tomorrow I'm heading to Busan for a weekend of hiking and partying with some new friends I met on a snowboarding trip last week. Everyday is an adventure here, and to that end I wish everyone thinking of getting on board all the very best!
Jon Tamlyn, Hagwon, Daegu
ESLstarter really supported me through my application for my 1st job teaching abroad.
There was no end of help throughout what seemed like an endless process to apply fora position in South Korea. But together, we got there in the end! Now I'm finally here, and I love it!
Charlotte Murphy, Hagwon, Gwangju
Eslstarter has made my move to Korea very easy and they answered any questions I had very quickly. I love my school, my co workers, the area I live in and most of all South Korea. I would like to thank eslstarter for making my experience in Korea a positive one.
Garry Hannah, EPIK, Incheon
I was looking for a job in South Korea but was a bit overwhelmed by all the online sites and agencies offering work. It was difficult to know who to trust. Phil saw my CV online and contacted me about a public school job in Seoul. He was very helpful throughout the whole application process; answering questions and keeping me informed as to what was happening. I've been in Seoul six months now and I love my job and Seoul. I'm very glad ESLstarter found me and I would definitely recommend them to anyone looking to do TEFL work.
Orla Burke, SMOE, Seoul
I would have no hesitation in recommending ESLstarter's services to anyone. From my initial enquiry to my final placement, everything went without a hitch. Claire at ESLstarter performed her duties in a completely professional manner. It was a difficult decision for me to come and teach in South Korea but I'm glad i made that decision. I now live on a beautiful island and work at two great schools.
Aaron Jones, EPIK, Jeju
I couldn't have asked for a better start to my Korean adventure than the one I had with Claire and ESLstarter. Nothing was too much trouble and every question asked was answered swiftly and professionally. Claire made every stage of the process clear and understandable and was always on hand to make sure the various components of the visa application were on track. I would recommend that anyone who is thinking about teaching English in Asia make ESLstarter their first port of call.
Craig Stuart, EPIK, Gangwon
ESLstarter is more than just a recruiting company, but two people who genuinely want to ease your transition to Korea as easy as possible. I've never lived in Korea before, but Claire gave me step by step instructions on how to get a VISA up to the point of getting into the airport. It took a few months but Claire was there from beginning to end. I arrived in Seoul near midnight, but Claire and Phil both met and helped me sign in with EPIK. They are beyond awesome.
Paolo Olanda, EPIK, Busan
Eslstarter made it really easy for me to get a job on the other side of the world. They kept me up to date with an and all developments and were professional and courteous throughout. I have already told my friends about eslstarter and would have no hesitation recommending them to anyone else.
Eoghan Quinn, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
This time a few months ago I was stuck in a warehouse in Ireland (I love Ireland but not warehouses), now I'm sitting in my classroom overlooking the sea on a sub - tropical island of the coast of Korea. Claire and eslstarter dealt with me in a proffesional, prompt and also personal manner which made everything very easy and reassuring for me. I always felt that things were moving forward and I would highly recommend anyone to avail of eslstarter and get things going for yourself
Eoin O'Sullivan, EPIK, Jeju
Choosing ESLstarter was the best decision I made when deciding to move to Korea! The process was quick and easy. ESLstarter is run by previous teachers and the advice and insight I was provided was simply priceless! All conceivable scenarios and questions were covered by ESLstarter's information pack, which also brought many issues (which I would not have known about) to my attention. Every question I asked was answered almost immediately, and my move to Korea had no hidden hick-ups - thanks to their service! I would strongly recommend ESLstarter to any person looking teach in Korea! Even if you are just interested in finding out more details about teaching in Korea, ESLstarter has first hand experience and complete knowledge of the teaching industry in Korea (along with a thorough insight of the Culture, and what to expect)!
Michael Durden, EPIK, Gwangju
I wanted to teach English abroad and didn't know where to begin. Once I received an introductory email from ESLstarter about opportunities in South Korea, my mind was made up. I would highly recommend ESLstarter because their friendly staff gave me step-by-step advice about how to apply for a EFL job and answered all my queries quickly and efficiently. If I ever want to teach abroad again, I would contact ESLstarter immediately.
David Menon, EPIK, Busan
My name is Eshenthree Padayachee and i am currently teaching in South Korea. It was a long process and journey getting here but having a reputable and reliable agency always helps ! Going through the Elstarter agency is a decision that I will not regret , Philip Negus and the team really do put in 100% of their time and effort in getting you the placement that you desire . During my application process i had loads of questions that i needed answers to and Phil was always available to help me . If you looking for an agent who as the patience to listen to your needs, willing to make the personal sacrifice to get you what you need and treat you with understanding and respect then look no further! Thus far living in Gangwon ,Chuncheon city has been a mind blowing experience...expect the unexpected
Eshenthree Padayachee, EPIK, Chuncheon
When I decided that I wanted to come to South Korea, I stumbled upon ESLstarter by accident and decided to e-mail them, along with a few other recruiters, to see who could offer me the help I needed. ESLstarter responded almost immediately and gave me all the necessary information quickly. They they answered all my questions within a day, sometimes within a few minutes! They ensured that the application process went smoothly. They helped me to apply to EPIK and because of their efficiency and fast responses I got placed exactly where I wanted and at the level I wanted. Thank you Phil and the ESLstarter team, I could have never done it without you!
Willemien Jansen, EPIK, Gangwon
Claire at ESLstarter was a complete star. She regularly emailed me and guided me through the whole recruitment process and was always quick to reply to my numerous questions. I would totally recommend ESLstarter to other people looking for teaching jobs in South Korea.
Ashley Gordon, Hagwon, Daegu
Claire at ESLstarter was so helpful! She set me up with so many opportunities and answered my burning questions, putting my soul at ease. She matched me up with an academy in Yeongtong, Suwon, I have been here 2 weeks and I love my apartment, short walk to my hagwon, my co-workers and my new friends in my town! :) Thanks ESLstarter!
Lisa Perosi, Hagwon, Suwon
I wanted to move to South Korea to teach English, but had no inside knowledge of the country or the schools. I found ESLstarter online and contacted them. From then on they were in constant contact with me, working to get me a placement that suited me, and were always answering my questions quickly and giving me the reassurace I needed. Because I knew so little about the country, I put all my trust in ESLstarter to recommend a city and a school. Now I have great placement in South Korea thanks to Claire and the team! - Thank you!
Francois Leopoldi, Hagwon, Daegu
I found out about ESLstarter through a friend who spoke very warmly of Claire and Phil. I emailed them and was given a welcoming response right away. From there everything was fantastic. The email response was quick, friendly and personal. Through the work of Claire at the site I had a job interview lined up within a week. The service I received was first class and I couldn't have hoped for any better results. A trustworthy, professional and excellent service provided by friendly, hardworking, genuine people. I would recommend this site to anyone wanting to find employment as an English teacher.
Stuart Robertson, Hagwon, Daegu
I found ESLstarter to be efficient and they provided me with great contact throughout the whole application process.
I'd recommend them to anybody looking to teach in Korea.
Kat Brooke, Hagwon, Busan
I could not have asked for a better agency to work with. ESLstarter did everything they promised to do, and so much more. I was undecided on what to do with my life after graduating, but ESLstarter not only put me on the right track, but found me the perfect job - just what I had requested. They were prompt in all their replies, something that really impressed me. They were also very professional and honest in their information. They saw to it that I arrived when it suited me and also stayed in contact after I arrived to check that I was settling in well. I would recommend ESLstarter in a heart-beat, to anyone who is interested in teaching in South Korea.
Jenna Riekert, EPIK, Gangwon
I am four months into my third contract in South Korea. I left the work of finding this contract in the hands of Claire at ESLstarter. Having completed two years, I had a full list and line-up of contract stipulations and expectations, which I assume, is not exactly a recruiter's ideal. My initial email to ESLstarter was far from "please find me a job" but more along the lines of "please find me my dream job and apartment, in the city I want to live in, with this pay and at this time". Apparently, I was lucky. Claire seemed to take on the challenge with ease and sincerity. The negotiations were quick and painless. My Visa process was swift, in what can sometimes be a cluster of emails. Claire's professionalism and charm were most appreciated. To add, this contract has been, so far, the best yet. My experience this year has surpassed my wants and needs. I feel very lucky to have worked with ESLstarter and I am most sure you will too.
Margot Davidson, Hagwon, Busan
I could not be happier with my decision to become an ESL teacher in South Korea. Thanks to all of the advice and help I received from ESLstarter, with a special mention to Claire, I secured a great position, in a reputable school. Claire was on hand, at all times, to offer sound advice and answer my concerns. She found me an excellent position that was suited to my needs. I am now in the second month of my contract, and enjoying every minute of it!
Laura White, Hagwon, Daegu
With the help from Phil looking for a job in Korea to teach English was the easiest thing for me to do. From the day I sent in my resume to the day of my arrival in Korea everything went smoothly and that is all thanks to ESLstarter. They were more than helpful; they were brilliant throughout the whole process, they were informative, honest and reliable. They guided me every step of the way and I am extremely grateful to them for making my journey and experience a wonderful one.
Ayanda Ginya, EPIK, Gyeongbuk
Claire at ESLstarter helped me every step of the way - I never felt pressured to make a decision in a hurry and it was obvious from day one that she had experience and understood my concerns. The responses that I got to my questions over the phone and through email were concise and made the whole process of getting a visa and moving abroad so much easier. I really felt like I was corresponding with a friend. The follow-up emails that I received after I arrived in Korea were reassuring and made me feel like I could get help if I needed it! I've recommended ESLstarter to all my friends who are thinking about teaching abroad.
Alex Taylor, EPIK, Gangwon
When I first started looking for teaching positions in South Korea, I had heard some horror stories of recruiters. But from the very beginning I felt very comfortable and confident with Phil and Claire from ESLstarter. Their service is very prompt and professional; they would always respond to my emails quickly and answer any questions I had. I felt they were completely open about the whole process and were looking out for my best interests. This was my first time teaching English abroad and they made it easy for me to navigate the tricky waters of finding a good position. In fact after telling other foreign teachers here about my experience with ESLstarter, everyone agrees that I was lucky to have found a reliable and honest recruiter. Thank you ESLstarter!
Fiona Cassell, EPIK, Gangwon
I just wanted to pass on my sincere thanks for your assistance in getting me onto the EPIK program here in Korea. Your communication far surpassed any other recruiter I have dealt with yet, and your honesty and candid approach in our initial discussions was very much appreciated. I am already two months into my journey, and I have not looked back once - choosing Korea was without a doubt the best decision I've made in a long time. Thank you again for your hard work (and at times your perseverance!) - you are undoubtedly a credit to your company. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend ESLstarter to anybody wishing to venture into teaching.
Diana Watts, EPIK, Daegu
The Esl world is a minefield for new English teachers. My first experience with Recruitment Agency in Turkey was an unpleasant one and almost deterred me from using a recruiter altogether. Phil and Claire are very professional at their job. They were quick to answer all my questions and put me in contact with my present employer before I arrived in South Korea. They ensured I arrived safely at my new destination by arranging a pick-up service and providing me with directions. I even met an old friend in Samcheok placed by Claire and Phil. I definitely recommend Eslstarter to new teachers and language schools.
Vincent Tse, EPIK, Gangwon
I have utilized other recruiting agents and they lacked the knowledge honesty and kindness of Claire at ESLstarter. Clare was extremely helpful and thorough. The task of applying for teaching abroad can be intimidating and ESLstarter for me helped alleviate any pressures. Stress is a killer so why bother going with stressful agencies, ESLstarter really has a Hakuna Matata philosophy!
Jean-Paul Morselli, EPIK, Gangwon
Moving from my home country to the other side of the world was no easy task, but I felt very assured and supported with ESLstarter. From the very beginning I had direct communication with the ever helpful Claire who told me everything I needed to know and exactly what I had to do to secure my place in Korea. Not only that we spoke on Skype, and if I needed to ask any questions about the visa process she was right there to help. After getting all my documents sent off, my future in Korea was confirmed within a matter of weeks. It really was the smoothest transitional period. I would like to thank ESLstarter for making my life a lot easier and for helping me start a new adventure in Korea!
Sarah Greenland, EPIK, Gangwon
The decision to come to Korea to teach is a difficult one. The process can be even more difficult. ESLstarter helps with both! Their experience, expertise and relaxed guidance are invaluable when trying to get work in Korea. I'm so glad we used their services - they made everything so easy! (For a taste of life in South Korea and the EPIK program, check out www.spicyfishy.com)
Katherine Korroch and Chad Jewsbury, EPIK, Gangwon
I found ESLstarter.com more than helpful when looking for a job in Korea to teach English. From the first email I sent, to my arrival in South Korea they were informative, punctual and supportive. They found me a position which I am more than pleased with and I have been at the school 6 months now and everything is great. I would recommend ESLstarter.com to anybody looking for a job in Korea or anywhere in the world, for that matter!
Alex Farnish, Hagwon, Suwon
Claire and Phil placed me at a wonderful little school in Korea. Throughout the contract negotiations, they were attentive to all of my concerns. They responded quickly to every question I had, making sure that I would be comfortable at the school, and well compensated. Although they placed me at my current job many months ago, I still feel that I could go to them with any problem that might arise. They are a kind, experienced, and professional team, and I am wholeheartedly grateful for their guidance into the otherwise tricky Korean job market.
Katy Benedetto, Hagwon, Pyeongcheon
Like many travelling to Korea to teach I was apprehensive about what awaited me, both in terms of the job and general lifestyle. However, following conversations and emails with Claire and Phil, my fears were allayed and I came here confident and excited. It was also reassuring to know that they had first hand experience of Korea. My time here has been fulfilling and enjoyable, and this is in no small part due to their help and advice.
Dan Steel, Hagwon, Pyeongcheon
The service provided by this company I found very knowledgeable, and accurate. Furthermore, I found that all my expectations were reached and surpassed, as pertinent information was passed on accurately and in a timely matter, that made me feel reassured and confident with my decision from start to finish.
Bradley Vickers, Suwon, Korea
Phil at ESLstarter was brilliant throughout the recruitment process. He found me a job, put me in touch with the school, and helped me through all the stages of getting a teaching visa sorted for South Korea. More than that, he was supportive and professional and friendly, and kept in touch long after my employment started. Four months ago I was stuck in a county council office in (cold and wet) England, and now I'm teaching kids in (hot and wet) South Korea! If I can do it, you can too!
Craig Chanter, Hagwon, Sungnam City
After trying numerous recruiters to find teaching positions in Korea, we were very fortunate to come across ESLstarter. Besides being extremely prompt at responding to our emails (sometimes responding to us at 10pm at night!), they were also very attentive to our needs. They did not push us into signing a contract until we are 100% happy (unlike other recruiters) and they were happy to negotiate with the school regarding working hours, accommodation arrangements, contract amendments, etc. The operation went very smoothly and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
Hayley and Rich, Hagwon, Gwangyang
Being totally new to the world of TEFL and wishing to work in South Korea, I was initially apprehensive when starting to inquire and apply. However, Phil at www.ESLstarter.com was always helpful and friendly during the whole process and on arrival the job lived up to my expectations.
Chris Dodson, Hagwon, Daegu
Phil listened to my requirements and delivered. I specified what hours I wanted to work and in what region of Korea. He didn't try to fob me off, like some agents do, with some dodgy hagwon simply to get a commission. I felt my welfare was a priority with him, and he did his best to suggest places which would be a good match for what I wanted. If your requirements are likely to take five minutes longer, he'll tell you so. I trust him and have passed his email address on to several of my friends here in Korea who are unhappy with their present positions, but are looking to stay for a second year. This is a recruiter I will use again.
Roger Suchy, Changwon
Most people find the starting process in finding a job in Korea a very daunting one, especially when it comes to dealing with agents, and how efficient and reliable they are. I don't think that I could ever have made a better choice than with the service I received from Claire at ESLstarter.com. She made me feel comfortable with my decision and her prompt responses and help made my time in Korea one to remember. I would definitely recommend using this agency. You will not regret your decision.
Nicole Nel,Hagwon, Seoul
This is my second go-around with teaching English Overseas. The first time was a difficult experience. Fortunately on my second one, I found this agency. I wish I found it for the first time. They found everything I was hoping for from my first unfortunate experience. Once again Claire thanks a lot. All the best, Thomas
Tom Goulakos, Suwon