The part of the process I hate the most- collecting documents. EPIK requires a number of documents from you and the sooner you send it all in the better. Now, I have a Masters in Education so I don’t need to complete TEFL training. But the rest of the documents I need are those required in the U.S.
- Completed Application
- Apostilled Copy of Diploma(s)
- Original Sealed Transcripts
- Apostilled CRC
- Hard copies of Letters of Recommendation
- Copy of Passport photo page
- Copy of my Teacher License
- Copies of everything
Apostilled Diplomas: When I first collected my documents, I was able to get it done at my local bank. When I tried doing that this time, they told me their policy changed and that I couldn’t get it done there anymore. I had to therefore first get my diploma COPY notarized- not the original! Please do not do anything to the original! Scan and copy it and then do everything else. I got my diplomas (BA and M.Ed) notarized at the UPS store for 5 bucks each. Then I sent mine via mail to get apostilled at the state level. The office locations and requirements vary by state- easily google searchable. Include check, self-addressed and stamped envelope, and notarized diplomas and just wait to get them back in the mail. Mine took a little over a week to get back. Total: $20
Transcripts: Get these from your university portal. Some schools require payment, some don’t. Get at least two sealed transcripts because some people like to change provinces after one year and it’s easier to have a sealed transcript on hand so you don’t have to have someone mail it to you from wherever you live. Total: $30
Apostilled CRC: First, get your fingerprints taken at your local police station. You need just one set of fingerprints, but it’s recommended to get two just in case. You can use these forms. I had to pay $15 for two sets. Afterwards, there are two routes you can go. The long and cheap way or the short and expensive way. The long/cheap way is done through the FBI and costs only $18. Fill out their application form, payment form, and send it all with one set of your fingerprints to:
FBI CJIS Division – Summary Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306
Then you have to wait anywhere from 12-14 weeks to get your results. The second method, which I prefer, is much faster but is quite costly. This site does an excellent job of explaining everything. It costs $50 and you are required to have 2 sets of fingerprints, but you only wait one week. Your choice!
Once you have your CRC in hand, it’s time to get it apostilled. This must be done at the US Office of Authentications. If you live somewhat near D.C., it’s easy to go in person, but if not, mailing in your CRC is also an option. For in person, go to:
Office of Authentications
U.S. Department of State
600 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Now, they are only open for one hour: 8am-9am from Monday-Friday. Plan accordingly! After getting through security and getting your ticket, wait to be called and just hand the person working their your CRC and authentication application form. You will have to pay $8. In person you can pay with card. cash, or check. After dropping it off, the person will tell you what date to come back to pick up your apostilled CRC. For mail-in, complete the form (link above) and a check of $8 payable to: U.S. Department of State. Send your CRC, completed form, payment, and a self-addressed and stamped envelope to:
Office of Authentications
U.S. Department of State
44132 Mercure Cir, P.O. Box 1206
Sterling, VA 20166-1206
The authentication should take anywhere from 1-2 weeks to get back to you. And that’s it for the CRC! Yay! Total: $73
Letters of Recommendation: Hopefully when you asked the people you asked LoRs from, you asked them to give you a physical, hard copy with their signatures in ink. Make sure they are the original copies with the ink signature! You need only one copy with an ink signature.
Passport Photo Page: Pretty self-explanatory. Scan a copy (preferably in color). Also, on a related note, do get at least 8 copies though because you will need to use them for various things in Korea, especially if, like me, you are applying for the F-4 visa.
Teacher License (optional): My coordinator said I didn’t need to send it, but I already had copies made so he said I should just send it anyway. Just send copies, not the original, but you DO need to take the original with you to Korea.
Copies of everything: You need just one extra copy of everything and it’s much easier to do it all at once after you have everything at hand. Your coordinator will send you a checklist, which should be at the top of your pile, so make sure to use it to ensure you have everything in order. You will also be send various additional documents, such as the smoking sworn declaration, tattoo/piercing declaration, and more. You need copies of those too.
Once you’ve double-checked you have everything in order, and maybe even more than that, go ahead and send your documents to your coordinator. This is rather costly because it is recommended to send it with a tracking number. I send mine via FedEx and paid almost $80. For me, it was worth it because it safely reached my coordinator in about 3 days. Once you have everything sent and your coordinator says everything looks fine, now it’s time for the “Big Wait” to find out your placement!
When I was first applying it was super stressful because I had to have like, 100+ tabs open just to find everything out. And so, I hope you guys find this information useful! Let me know if you have any other questions in the comments section~