About Jackie Bolen and My Life! Teaching in a Korean University


jackie bolen


Contact Me


I’m Jackie Bolen and I’ve been teaching English in South Korea for the past decade. I started working at hagwons (private language institutes) but soon got my first university job. I began teaching at a science and engineering university in the rice paddies of Chungcheonnam-Do where I worked for 5 years. I then moved to Busan where I worked in the English department at one of the largest private universities there for almost 4 years.

In my spare time, I can usually be found on a mountain, surfing a few waves, or riding my bike through the countryside. I’m also on a mission to find the best Korean supermarket, and the most delicious Korean restaurant in all of Vancouver.

In February 2016, I returned to my home country and now live in Coquitlam, BC (a suburb of Vancouver). I do some writing and website stuff, as well as work in the film industry. For a complete list of everything I have going on online, please see: www.jackiebolen.com.

University Jobs in Korea

One of the most common questions I get on this blog is how to get a university job teaching English in Korea, so I decided to write a book about it to help people get all the information that they need in one place. It’s the most comprehensive guide that will help you get a uni job in South Korea available and it’s guaranteed to help you avoid the most common mistakes job-seekers make as well as give you a leg-up on your competition.

It’s called How to Get a University Job in South Korea and you can get it easily on Amazon, even if you don’t have a Kindle reader. Simply download the app on any computer, smartphone or tablet.

A university job in Korea is one of the best ESL teaching gigs in the world!







Personal Finance for English Teachers Abroad

Most teachers go abroad for a bit of adventure and the chance to save some money or pay off student loans. I hope to help teachers, not only in Korea but around the world do this in the simplest and most efficient way possible. I want teachers to use their time abroad to set themselves up for financial awesome, just like working in South Korea set me up financially so that I now have way more options than I would have with lots of debt and no money in the bank.

Check out The Wealthy English Teacher on Amazon.

It really is possible to use your time abroad to set yourself up for financial success in the future.







ESL Speaking Activities

I love to design interesting, engaging and student-centered speaking activities for my students. 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults is the result of that. Lesson planning made quick and easy, guaranteed and it’s basically a freebie at only $0.99!


ESL Warm-Ups 

Start your classes off on the right foot by getting your students active and engaged, ready to learn English. Ease them back into it before hitting them wit the serious stuff, you know? 39 ESL Warm-Ups: For Teenagers and Adults is the book that will help you do this.

Students excited about starting class, guaranteed






ESL Vocabulary Activities

If you want to help your students learn vocabulary the less tedious way, you’ll need to check out: 39 ESL Vocabulary Activities: For Teenagers and Adults. These activities and games will have your students learning and remembering English vocab in a fun, interesting and engaging way, guaranteed. Lesson planning made easy!

Vocab lessons that aren’t terrible!


ESL Icebreakers

If you’re like me, you like to get your classes started off on the right foot by breaking the ice and getting students familiar with you as well as each other. You’re also probably tired of wading through all the junk on the Internet to find that one activity that you can actually use. This is the book for you! 39 ESL Icebreakers for Teenagers and Adults has over three dozen classroom tested activities that are guaranteed to help your students get comfortable with each other. Lesson planning made easy so you can more time to do the stuff you really love to do.

Start your semester off the awesome way.


Activities for Private Teaching

Private teaching here in Korea is illegal so of course you wouldn’t do it. But, maybe you have a friend who does. In this case, you should recommend this book to them. If you’re the type who finds private teaching totally tedious and watches the minutes tick slowly by on the clock, help is here in the form of 39 Awesome 1-1 ESL Activities: For Teenagers and Adults! There are 39 fun, interesting and engaging activities for private teaching that’ll make it way less terrible for you, and awesome for the student.

1-1 teaching, the less tedious way.










Even more ESL Activities

If you’re looking for even more practical ideas for the classroom, you’ll need to check out ESL Speaking and ESL Activities.  There are dozens of games and activity ideas that you can use in your classroom today.


How to Thrive in South Korea

All the tips you need for getting beyond just surviving your year or two in South Korea. They’re the ones that my friends and I wish we had figured out far sooner during our sojourn in the land of kimchi. Learn from our mistakes, newbies and make your time in Korea as amazing as possible. You can buy How to Thrive in South Korea: 97 Tips from Expats on Amazon now.

No more barely surviving South Korea.







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  1. Amanda

    Are there any chances as a foreign, adopted korean single mother to get a teacher job in Korea?
    Even though she has academic master degrees and working experiences?
    I’m just curious because I know how predjudice koreans still are towards unmarried woman but would love to move back- my motherland.
    Thank you,
    I will buy your book-interesting!
    / Amanda from Sweden

    1. admin

      It all depends on your passport. If it’s from Sweden-no. But, you could possibly get an ethnic Korean visa and then it could work. But, it will be really difficult to be here alone with a young child I would think.

  2. Amanda

    * excperiences.
    I am not educated yet still young with my baby, but thinking of becoming a teacher and educate myself at Stockholm university and at the same time a master in the English language/litterature, IF i have any chances of being accepted in Korea. If you think my chances are low as a single mother (with educations in my back, i’ll be probably be around 28 years old when the exams are finished) i should propably quit my dreams if you think it’s impossible/hard.

  3. DHK

    Korean adoptees qualify for the F-4 visa, so while the single mother could move to Korea and stay there legally, she’d find it very tough to find teaching work since she’s not from an English-speaking country.

  4. Portly

    wow public censure would be heavy on you as an unwed mom. If you did come you might want to say your husband died in a sweedish treehouse accident. Seriously, as a rule they would look down on you- Koreans do not like to adopt either. It goes with this ideal family unit vision. I think the childcare thing would be easy to solve- there are tons of kid-care cram-schools make-my-babe-a-genius businesses in Korea. But, you would be paying them to do that. You would want an F-4 anyway cuz then your job and visa would not be linked. For fat western teachers like me E-2 – job = I must Leave in 10-60 days…

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