As a part of coming to Korea to teach English, all foreigners are required to undergo a mandatory medical exam to prove their state of health. Unfortunately, those with problems the government or your school considers to be “dangerous” will be asked to leave, so it’s a good idea to go over things before hand, to make sure you’ll be alright before you hop on a plane. While yours may vary slightly, here is my experience with the teacher medical exam in Korea.


Getting There

The medical clinic will be most likely located in an office building designed for health sciences. Looking like any other building, you’ll take the elevator to your designated floor, hand your ID, a photocopy of it, and three passport-sized photos to the front desk staff (who most likely won’t speak much English). In return, they’ll hand you a set of keys and direct you to the locker room.


Getting Changed

Once in the locker room, you are required to strip off all clothes, and basically wear only the scrubs that are provided for you (you can keep your underwear on). Once you’ve done that, you can lock up your personal items, put on the provided slippers, and head out into the waiting area.


Blood Pressure, Height and Weight

A woman with a clipboard approaches the waiting area and calls out your name; you’re taken across the floor to a blood pressure machine, directed to place your arm through, and the cuff automatically measures what your pressure is. I later had to have it retested three times since it was high; and the staff couldn’t seem to understand why I was nervous about the situation; it’s a bright room where you’re whisked around to various stations with very little English, which decides whether or not you stay in the country after a week – nah, not stressful at all.

After measuring your BP, you’re taken to a scale which measures your weight (in kilos) and your height automatically (in cm).


The Hearing Test

Next up is a hearing test. You’re taken to a dimly lit room with a soundproof booth, like an old school telephone booth. The nurse instructs you to sit in the booth, place the headphones on, and press the button when you hear a sound. The test is about 4 sounds, all the same pitch, but very very faint; nice and easy.


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The Vision Test

After being directed back to the waiting area, a nurse calls you up to a bench where she shows you the letter C. Looking into a microscope you tell her which direction the C is facing; regular, down, or backwards. This one was a little difficult for me, but mention if you normally wear glasses.


Drug Testing

With the vision test complete, the medical clinic required you to pee in a cup and bring them two vials of urine. I caught a glimpse of my chart in which I saw that this was exclusively a drug test. Cannabinoids, opioids, amphetamines and cocaine were all tested for. Quite a few English teachers were sent home for testing positive for the above drugs. If you use them, make sure to give yourself time for the drugs to clear your system before coming to Korea. On a related note, don’t ever think about using drugs here. While they may be legal or tolerated in your country, the punishment in Korea is terribly harsh.


The Blood Test

After your urine test, a phlebotomist will withdraw two vials of blood. Before the exam you will be required to fast for 6-8 hours; take this seriously as if you don’t, you’ll need to be retested at your own expense. Catching another glimpse at my chart, one of the vials is to measure general health, so glucose/insulin levels, CBC, everything a doctor would normally do at a physical. The other vial is to test for the anti-HIV antibody. Unfortunately foreigners who test HIV positive, even if currently on antiretroviral therapy are not permitted to remain in the country. It’s my understanding that it’s the belief of the Korean government that HIV is a foreign-vectored disease, in that they think it’s brought to the country exclusively by foreigners. I’m not going to harbour an opinion on that, but the UN has a few things to say. I’ll let you make your own conclusions.



A nurse will then escort you into a room asking you to remove your top and lay down on a bed. They will then hook up leads (little suction cups) to all your limbs, and six suction cups around your chest. I caught a glimpse at my print out and was able to see that it was looking normal, which was great. For my friends not previously in the health field, they mentioned this test made them the most nervous, since they didn’t really know what was happening. All you’ve got to do is relax, the wires won’t shock you.


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The Chest X-ray

In the quickest possible test, I was then whisked into a room, told to turn around, place my chin on a platform, my arms on my hims, push my shoulders forward and hold my breath. The attendant then ran away, took the X-ray, and the entire thing was over in 10 seconds; I wish back home could be that efficient.


The Dental Exam

After the chest X-ray, I was instructed to take the elevator to the 5th floor for a dental check up. Once there, I was taken to a small booth where I sat in a standard chair, and a dentist performed a visual inspection of my teeth. No special instruments, just his eyes, a tongue depressor and a flashlight. He jotted some things on my chart – probably my 1000 fillings from my candy-obsessed years, and sent me on my way back to the 7th floor.


The Doctor’s Interview

I was then sent into a room where a doctor asked me some basic questions about my health. Noting my increased blood pressure, she asked me if I suffered from hypertension. She asked about diabetes, heart disease, if I had any pain, arthritis, asthma, and a few others I can’t remember.


Finishing Up

With my doctor’s interview complete, I was sent to re-do my blood pressure check, where despite it still being relatively high, it fell just within the upper limit of normal. The nurse instructed me that I was finished, and had me go change back into my regular clothes and return the key. With that, my experience at the “medical centre” was finished. While terribly efficient, it’s less of a clinic and more of a processing facility. With the exception of the doctor, patients were treated with very little bedside manner, and more just another piece of meat. It wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience to have, but it might be a necessary one for that clinic, with the amount of people they see. I’m interested to see if the rest of the Korean health care system operates in the same style.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them below and I’ll try my best to answer them.


  1. Hey Ryder!

    I hope you are well!

    Thanks for writing this up! It is well written. So I’m looking into teaching in Korea this year and looked over this post. I’m concerned about the medical exam.

    I have very mild nocturnal epilepsy and have not had a seizure in many years. In fact, suppose I did have one, It could only occur during my sleep. Do you know if the drug or blood exam, test for anti convulstant medication? I am concerned that they may reject me if they find this medication in my bloodstream, since I take it still. Especially since Korea is very strict about conditions like this. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,

    Luis A. Delgado

    1. Hi Luis,

      Sorry it took so long to reply! When I applied to my school, I submitted a health form to my recruiter with some basic information. Hopefully, if there’s a problem with your medication, the recruiter can tell you before you buy a ticket to go to Korea.

      Your best bet is to contact your recruiter directly and ask them. If you do find out an answer though, let me know. I’d like to hear it.

      Thanks for reading!

      – Ryder

    2. I too have epilepsy and have a similar enquiry to you, Luis. Any luck?

      To Ryder: I have temporal lobe epilepsy and have been seizure free for 7 years but still take medication for it (Lamictal/Lamotrigine). I have partial seizures sometimes but I never lose consciousness and they’re infrequent. I also have complex PTSD/anxiety and take medication for that (Mirtazapine). I’ve received intensive treatment for this both on the NHS and privately so I’m on the road to recovery. Other than this, I’m reasonably healthy (e.g. blood tests, smear tests, ECG and EEG tests have all come back normal), I don’t smoke, drink or do drugs. I have tattoos but I cover them up with make up or wear a long sleeve top.

      I’m starting my TEFL course in September and will be applying for jobs everywhere in the world, including South Korea.

      1. Hey Jane Doe!

        Unfortunately I don’t know the answer to your question about being able to teach in South Korea with epilepsy; my advice to you would be to speak to your recruiter early on in the process to make sure you can still qualify.

        When I was teaching in Korea tattoos weren’t looked too kindly upon by a lot of people. Most people would notice in jimjilbangs when you didn’t have a chance to cover up. At school however, many teachers I knew had tattoos and simply covered them like you described – long sleeves and makeup.

        Best of luck with your applications!

  2. I’m interested in teaching in Korea but i’m kind of worried about the health test. I had a bit of a medical problem a couple of years ago and i’m now blind in one eye and wear glasses. I’m completely fine though! Do you know if i would fail the medical test?

    1. Hi Emily,

      Thanks for reading! Hmm, that’s a good question. Common sense says you’d probably be fine, but you can never be too sure with these things. You’d probably be best to reach out to your recruiter and see what they say. As far as the eye exam goes, I remember it being a simple “look into this device and read the letters” type of deal, similar to something you would see at the DMV.

      Best of luck!

      – Ryder

  3. I have a hernia in my groin region it’s completely harmless I do martial arts on it I ran track on it till the end of college and I go on through life with it honestly no pain doesn’t keep me out of work. Is this a disqualifying factor on a medical exam should I get it operated on it’s just I’m not a fan of knives going close to nether regions

    1. Hey Sean,

      You’d probably want to consult with your physician back home, and then talk to your recruiter to get some more information on this. They both can probably provide you with the best information for your specific school and condition.

      Best of luck!

      – Ryder

  4. stumbled on your post I am not here to teach but would like to have the test. I am 60 and a Canadian. Do you know any way to pay for the test? thanx

    1. Hi Terrence,

      If you’re referring to the whole exam in its entirety, it’d probably be best to research “medical clinics for expats”, or “medical clinics for foreigners” with whatever city you’re in. I’ve never heard of anyone taking the teacher exam without requiring it (it’s pretty thorough), but any clinic should be able to do most of these tests for you. I never had any problem with the Korean health care system, it’s quite similar to back home.

      Take care,


    1. Hmm… That’s a good question. I don’t think it’s likely that they are testing for HSV, as it’s pretty common in the population (and not too many people in North America test for it either). To be safe though, you should ask your recruiter. Hope that helps!

    2. Did you ever find out about HSV2? I’m currently in the process of applying to teach, however, I might as well give up if this will bea factor…

      1. Hello!

        I have never heard of them testing for any HSV. Very few places in Canada test for it during screenings, since it’s a common virus. HIV was the only virus I heard of them explicitly testing, but I don’t read Korean so I’m not sure. Since I’m not 100% sure though, the best thing to do is talk to your recruiter, who should be able to confirm whether or not they test for HSV. Best of luck with your application!

  5. I have Type 1 diabetes but also have an insulin pump to keep it in control. With me being a diabetic, will this cause me to automatically be sent home?

    1. Hey Karimi,

      The best thing to do is speak to your recruiter before you book flights. They will be able to confirm with the relevant authorities and your school to ensure that having an insulin pump won’t be a problem.

      Best of luck with your adventure!

    1. Hi Nicole,

      The short answer is probably. Times are changing, but tattoos are still not well regarded in Korea since they have “gang connotations”. I knew a few friends who were teachers that had tattoos, but they needed to keep them covered in the classroom. The staff knew about them, but the parents of the kids needed to be kept in the dark.

      It’s best to ask your recruiter about the schools you are applying to. Some may not want any tattoos, some may want you to cover it up. If it’s a small tattoo somewhere well hidden, I wouldn’t worry at all.

      Best of luck!

  6. Is this the standard testing no matter the school? My employer said I would have a blood test, and didn’t mention a urine test. And in the packet she sent me, it says the government suggests they don’t test for thc (which is my worry) but I’m not certain.

    1. Hey Matt,

      Hopefully this response isn’t too late. Some friends I trained with were sent home due to having THC in their systems, so THC testing definitely was done when I was there. The way the medical exam works as I understand it is that all teachers on teaching visas are required to undergo the test, unless they have Korean ancestry (though I may just be confusing that with the HIV test).

      If you’re planning on going, do a bit of searching online. A lot of sources say that holding back for about a month on cannabis use will ensure a clean test result. Best of luck on your new adventure!

  7. I know someone who is interested in teaching, but he takes antipsychotics for a mental issue. He has no criminal history, but I am wondering if this will disqualify him. Not to mention, would he be able to get his medication while he is over there?

    1. Hey Sean,

      For your friend, I would recommend he apply with a recruiter and then bring the issue up with them. They are the in the best position to advocate and determine whether or not this would be a disqualifying factor.

      Best of luck to you and your friend!

  8. Hey, I’m looking to teach in South Korea but I am on Metphormin for high insulin, will this affect my stay??? I am fine and just take a pill after meals with no other health problems.

    1. Hey Naki,

      Talking to your recruiter would be the best way to confirm this for certain. I’m not specifically sure about blood sugar disorders and how Korean immigration deals with them. Best of luck with your application!

  9. Hi,

    I noticed on the self assessment it noted hepatitis. Do they test for Hep B or anything like that? I’d hate to go there to korea and have to go back.

    1. Hello!

      The best thing to do in this case would be to contact your recruiter. Hepatitis might be something tested in the blood tests, but I’m not sure unfortunately. Your recruiter on the other hand can contact the school and confirm what is or is not going to be a problem.

      Best of luck!

  10. Hi,

    I just found this post. Some fo the comments and questions are a bit old so I don’t know if you’ll respond, but here I go.

    I have a mild form of narcolepsy. It’s not like what you see on tv with all the falling down and falling asleep suddenly. I’m just tired during the day, and during the night have sleep paralysis from time to time. I take half of the lowest dose available of armodafinil for this, which is classified in the US as a schedule IV drug (controlled substance). I’ve had plenty of drug test in the US for work in the past and it has never been a problem. However with Korea I’m unsure if my medication will show up on a drug test. My recruiter is aware of my medications and narcolepsy. I’ve been hired. The contracts are signed and sent off. I’d hate for my medication to be a problem. I’ve cleared the amount I’ll bring in with the Korean narcotics devision of the immigration office as well.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      It sounds like you’ve done everything you should have in order for things to go smoothly. Since narcolepsy affects people from all backgrounds, with a bit of digging you’ll likely be able to find a doctor in Korea who speaks English (most do) and can prescribe you Armodafinil.

      Best of luck with your new adventure.

  11. I’m also interested in teaching in South Korea. I have multiple sclerosis but I haven’t had any symptoms or anything that has disturbed me in the classroom or when I’m teaching to students, do you think this would be a problem?

  12. Did they have a test in hepa b?my friend asking about that..She wants to apply as teacher in korea. Thanks for your answer…

    1. Hi Dolce,

      The best thing for your friend to do is talk to their recruiter. They will be able to assist your friend in determining whether or not Hepatitis B is an issue.

      Thanks for reading!

    1. Hi Sarah, None that I have ever heard of. Things may have changed but those tests are more expensive, so they likely don’t do them.

  13. Hi there,
    I am on the overweight side and my blood pressure I know is on the high side. I’m supposed to be flying out to Korea in August. I know I will be fine in all other tests, but will they send me home for being overweight/having high bp? Is there upper limits to these before they send you home?

    1. Hey Abby,

      I’m not sure about the high blood pressure – I wouldn’t think it would be too much of an issue, but confirm with your recruiter just to be safe. I had plenty of friends on the overweight side in Korea who were teaching, and it didn’t seem to be a problem for them. One thing to keep in mind however is Korean culture’s tendency to make comments about weight and appearance. From what friends have told me, it’s worth building up a thick skin before you go.

      Best of luck with the job search!

      1. Hi mam abby?i am curious about the medical that you have to go through in korea. My blood pressure was also in the high side and worried for I might send home if found out. But I am taking meds for this. It is already August now have you already taken the medical test in korea?and if yes how what is their reaction about your high blood pressure.

    2. Hi! It is already August now. Have you already taken their medical test?if yes what is their reaction about your high blood pressure. I am also flying to korea by october but my blood pressure was also on the high side. I am worried that I might sent home once they find this out.

  14. Hey 🙂
    Like, I’m interested .. what are you tested for with the blood? Just HIV or also stuff like Syphilis and Hepatitis?
    You get tested always If you want to get a Visum, right?
    Like I really want to live and work in South Korea in my future, and even If I never really had a risk I’m so scared about maybe having Hepatitis something like that I don’t know.. It would be so sad …
    Thanks 🙂

    1. Hey there!

      Your best bet is to message a recruiter when you go to apply for a job. As far as I’m aware, all visa holders are required to undergo the medical examination. If you’ve never had a risk before, but are concerned you might have something, it might be worth visiting your physician at home before applying for jobs to get tested.

      Best of luck!

  15. Hey!

    Hope you’re doing well?

    I was just wondering if they have anything against HPV? Just trying to find out as much information as possible before applying to see if I even qualify…

    Thanks for your time.

    1. Hey Jennifer,

      The best thing to do would be to contact your recruiter and ask. HPV is a prevalent disease, but I’m not sure if they test for it – or even which strain they might test for. While it seems unlikely, the easiest thing to do is email your recruiter and find out for sure. The worst that can happen is they say no.

      Best of luck with your search!

  16. After answering all these questions you might as well become a recruiter yourself 😂😂😂

    I’ll be getting my E2 physical next month so thanks for letting us know what to expect!

  17. Hiya,

    Will my anxiety medication be tested for? (escitalopram). I have mentioned this to a couplle of agents but honestly I feel like just coming off my meds and not teling anyone, then coming back on once I get to Korea.

    Thanks for the amazing article by the wey; so so so useful and comforting.

    1. Thanks for reading!

      I’m honestly not sure about that particular medication. Obviously consult your physician back home if you do make the decision to take yourself off that medication, but it might not even be necessary. Check with the recruiter for your school and they should be able to get you more detailed information on whether or not the medication will affect your results.

  18. Hey this was really informative thanks. My big concern is that I’m transgender (female to male). My name and documents are all legally changed, I take hormones and I’ve had chest surgery, but of course I don’t have male genitalia. Is this something that would be noticed or mentioned? Or should I be okay as long as I pass everything else?

    1. Hey there,

      In general I’ve found that Korean society in general isn’t too friendly towards LGBTQ persons. I knew many gay and lesbian teachers while there, but they were all relatively closeted while teaching. I did not however know of any trans teachers while I was there. I’m sure it’s possible, but as far as I know it’s quite difficult.

      Please feel free to reach out if you have any other questions! All the best.

  19. Hey there,

    So glad I found this post.

    My BP is on the higher end, can that pose a problem? Do you know anyone where high BP caused him/her a concern?
    Waiting for your reply.

    Thanks 🙂

  20. Hi there,

    I have a high BP – it is 104/147. But I work absolutely fine.

    Can you please let me know if this could be an issue? Or do you anyone who faced an issue due to having a high BP?


  21. I’ve had the medical health check more than a week ago, but I still haven’t received the results. I’m honestly quite fearful if I’ll ever receive them, as no one in the hospital understood English well and I don’t speak Korean either. Now I’m curious, how long did you have to wait to get your results?

    Thanks for this article!

    1. Hey Evelien,

      Honestly, I don’t think I ever got my results. The teachers in my group that didn’t pass the drug tests were sent home a few days after the examination (they seem to be pretty quick with their lab tests). I think in this case no news might be good news – but you can always follow up with your school for more information.

      All the best!

  22. Are there certain illnesses that they will completely deny you for? I have a lot of medical problems, but I haven’t even gone to college yet, and being an English teacher in Korea is just a longterm goal but I don’t know whether to pursue it if I won’t pass the medical exam. Does it matter if you have certain conditions or just if they are under control? (Most of mine are mental health).

    1. Hey Zachariah,

      From what I understand the general culture around mental health in Korea isn’t the same as what you would expect out of Canada, the United States, Australia, etc. Generally there are a lot less mental-health resources, and I know my friends who had some troubles didn’t feel as supported in Korea as they did back home. On top of that, the environment and culture can be quite exacerbating with employers expecting long-hours and little time off. Definitely something to think through before you make a commitment. That being said, if anyone finds themselves overwhelmed in Korea and not wanting to leave because of a contract – no job is worth the erosion of your health and wellbeing.

      Best of luck!


    1. Hey there,

      I wouldn’t imagine it’s an issue, but check with your recruiter before hand. I don’t remember taking an Ishihara test.

  23. So I don’t know if you’re still around to answer these questions, but here we go. I’m going to Korea to teach at the end of next year when I graduate.

    This is going to seem silly, but I’m extremely phobic of doctors/and medical facilities. You mentioned having to take your shirt off for an EKG,do they make women do that as well? Or do you think I could leave my bra on? The thought being bare chested on a table is beyond creepy, because in American hospitals you at least get to keep covered up, and the ekg monitors are slipped on underneath the gown. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hey Leslie,

      I don’t live in Korea anymore but I’m still around. 😄

      You can voice these concerns to the staff the day of and hopefully they’ll take care of you. Also, it’s unlikely, but maybe wear a sports bra the day of in case the wires in your bra cause a problem. If you’re not a fan of doctors or medical facilities the day isn’t going to be fun. It’s more of an assembly line than a medical facility, so you’ll feel very rushed. Hopefully you can get through it alright, because the experiences you’ll have afterwards in Korea are very much worth it!

      All the best,


    1. Hey Dinuka,

      I’m not sure if you’re talking about the teacher medical exam, but when I did it, my school covered the costs. Hope that helps!

  24. Mine cost W50,000 in October this year (2018), but that is in Sacheon City, in the very south of the country. I’ve heard some in Seoul say theirs cost W100,000. I wanted a copy of the report for the ministry of education (as opposed to the first one for immigration) and was told this would cost W1,000, but in the end they didn’t charge me. As I said, this isn’t Seoul. 🙂

  25. Hey!

    Your post helped a lot! This might be a really stupid question, but I wear glasses and I was wondering if that would be considered a problem in South Korea? Like will they send me home or something just because of that?

    1. Hey Renera,

      Easiest question I’ve ever had to answer. Nope, they aren’t going to send you home for wearing glasses.

      All the best!

  26. Hey!

    Your post helped a lot! This might be a really stupid question, but I wear glasses and I was wondering if that would be considered a problem in South Korea? Like will they send me home or something just because of that?

  27. Hi. This has been so helpful. Do you know if anemia would be detected and would it be an issue? I’m currently on iron meds and it’s improving. Also wana know, do other countries like China, Thailand, Mexico, etc. also conduct these type of exams?

    I also have symptoms of narcolepsy (Exessive daytime sleepiness and a bit of passing out every now and then ). I’ve had it since I was a child and I live in a country where very little people know about it. Doctors I would go to for help would only do blood tests and that is when I also learned that I’m anemic. So I’ve recently been searching on goolge and found some Sleep Disorder speacilists who I can go to get tested and get a diagnosis and undergo treatment. Though it’s a high price to pay if you don’t have medical insurance. But definitely worth it.

    My sister is teaching in China and I’ve recently grown a love for doing the same. But I’m worried about this issue because I know it might affect my performance. But I have high hopes that once I start treatment my life can finally be close to normal! But I’m worried about the medication I might have to take might get me in trouble. I have no idea though what it will be and how it will go. I just hope I really get to do this, in a country that will accept me being medicated ad long as I’m functioning normally.

    1. Hey thanks for reading! In terms of your medical condition, I’ve unfortunately got no idea if it’s an issue in Korea, you’d have to ask a recruiter specifically about your condition. In terms of China, Thailand, Mexico, etc, I’m not sure about the exams. I haven’t heard of them, but I’ve also never looked to see if they do them either. I only taught in Korea, so my experiences are limited to there unfortunately.

      All the best with your application!

  28. Hello. First, this has been very helpful – thank you!
    I was wondering if you knew how far back the drug test will be for? I have no problem halting my THC consumption – but if the test goes back for anything over a few months, I would certainly test positive for drugs I have experimented with in the past.

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hey there!

      First, I’ve removed your name and email from the comment in case that was your actual personal info. You can never be too sure with stuff on the internet. As far as THC in your body goes, there’s some reading you can do about it. The rule of thumb tends to be that it won’t last longer than 30 days since you’ve last smoked, if not clear to undetectable levels far sooner than that. A good buddy of mine teaching smoked maybe a week before the test by accident, and spent the days up exercising and following online regimens for clearing THC, and he ended up passing.

      Obviously, while legal in my home country, it’s not legal in South Korea, so be careful with consumption. The last thing you want is to be paying for your own flight home.

      All the best!

  29. Hi, thinking of teaching in SK – I’m deaf from birth and have a cochlear implant, meaning I only hear in one ear. Does the hearing test measure both sides, and would not being able to hear in one ear be a disqualifying factor?

    1. Hey JD,

      This is a question for your recruiter. The hearing test I got was for both ears. I’m unsure if a cochlear implant would disqualify you, so it’s best to bring it up in advance.

  30. Hi!

    I noticed that you said teachers who tested positive for THC were sent home; I’ve read that they can also me imprisoned. Is that true? Have you ever heard of someone being imprisoned for having THC in their system?

    1. Hey there!

      The truth is, I don’t know. The teachers in my cohort which tested positive were sent home, but those were just my experiences. The best person to ask for this would be an expert in Korean law.

  31. Hi there, I’m just wondering about the medical form that must be filled out as part of the application. If weed is out of the system (been almost 5 months since using any) would it be necessary to say “yes” to the have you used drugs within the last 5 years question.

    1. Hey there,

      I would only advice being truthful on any official documents pertaining to your employment. That said, your past use of cannanbis (even if legal) could potentially exclude you from being a candidate. If it’s a big concern, bring it up with a recruiter, who might be a bit more understanding of the situation than Korean officials.

  32. Hello Ryder!

    First of all, thank you for the informative post! Almost all the information I wanted to know was there except these two:
    1) When did you take the test after arriving in Korea?
    2) Did you or the employer pay for the test?

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Chris,

      I last took the test about 3 years ago when I was teaching there. My employer paid for the test – but this might not be the case for every school.

      Best of luck!


  33. Hi!
    Out of curiosity, would the medical tests let you know if you had any other diseases like diabetes or STDs? I’m just curious and am already doing a yearly check up anyways while in Korea.

    1. Hey Kyle,

      I’m unsure of all the specific tests that they would have performed, and it’s likely that they wouldn’t test for everything. If you’re already in Korea, it would be best to see a physician, and they can help you out with any tests you’re interested in.

  34. Hey
    I would like to know about diabetes. If anyone have suger in the blood but not in urine,,,would be possible for him to enter into Korea.

    Thank you

  35. Hi!

    I’m interested in teaching in South Korea but I have a few questions about the blood testing. When they draw blood where do they draw from and from which arm?
    I’ve had issues with drawing blood from my left arm before and don’t wish to experience the discomfort but I don’t speak Korean so I’m not sure how I would communicate to them that it’s best to just try the other.
    Also in my experience when taking my blood pressure, mine is usually on the lower end of the spectrum. Will that be a problem?? I’m completely healthy but my doctors always says my bp is very low.

    1. Hey Mel!

      I believe they used my median cubital vein, probably on my left arm. I don’t remember exactly but I likely would have told them to use my left arm (it’s my preference). The clinic staff spoke English, and even if they didn’t, I’m sure pointing to whichever arm you’d like to use makes sense in any language.

      Best of luck!

  36. Hi I’m megan I suffer with jme epilepsy I really love to teach in souel South Korea but I don’t know if I might pass the medical test any advice would be helpful.

    1. Hey Megan,

      Unfortunately I don’t know the answer. Your best bet would be to start talking to a recruiter and ask them these questions – they can relay the information to the school or immigration.

      Best of luck!

  37. hi there,

    thanks for this post! i’m in a unique situation. i’m 5 months pregnant and can’t afford to leave the country, i really this need this job to gain residency and stay in korea for a couple years. i’m fully qualified to be a teacher – no health problems, don’t drink or do drugs, have a master’s degree in education, and 4 years experience teaching a wide range of age groups. i’m just concerned about 1 thing – the school rescinding my visa and/or my job when they find out i’m pregnant. i’m of course planning to tell them, but at the right time (after i have my visa stamp and ARC, ideally). my question is, does the health check screen for pregnancy? would it show up in the urinalysis, and i’d of course have to deny the X-ray because of my baby, would that be a problem? is the facility required to note this on the form, because technically korean law says no employer has the right to discriminate anyone of pregnancy. it is not at all relevant to what they’re testing for.

    i just want to be the one to tell my school about this on MY own terms, and don’t want it “leaking” to HR through this health check, since i know they get a copy of the form. i’d appreciate your insight as soon as possible; i’m due to take my health check this thursday (5/2/19). thanks so much!

    – megan

    1. Hey Megan,

      My apologies – I didn’t see this comment until recently; it’s been a busy summer. I do hope everything turned out for you though. Wishing you the best of luck with your career, residency and new baby!

  38. Hello! Thank you for this article it was very helpful! I’m in college to become an ESL teacher in Korea. I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 19 but am now considered cancer free. Would this be something I could be disqualified for?

    1. Hey Tori,

      Amazing news to hear that you’re cancer free. Unfortunately I don’t know the answer to this question. Your best bet would be to contact a recruiter you’re interested in working with, and bring it up early in the process. Best of luck with your new adventure!

  39. Hi there, thanks so much for all the info! I have a form of multiple sclerosis and am worried it may disqualify me. The medicine I’m on is only taken twice yearly but causes low white blood cell counts (a certain type, not all WBCs) . Do you think this would hinder me? I am hesitant to even tell my recruiter I have it for fear of being disqualified from consideration.

    1. Hey Chelsea,

      Unfortunately I don’t know if it will disqualify you or not. I wouldn’t recommend however not telling your recruiter. If it were me, I’d rather be disqualified in my own country before I’ve spent my own money to buy a ticket and a hotel for a week in Korea. It happened to a few friends of mine who either failed their drug test, medical exams, or teacher “training” – they were stuck with the bill of a flight in a foreign country, and needed to pay additionally to get back home.

      Best of luck with whatever decision you make!

  40. Hi Im not sure if you’re still around but my biggest concern is I’m taking contraceptives to help with my ovarian cyst problem, I’m wondering if it won’t be a problem during my medical exam. I’ve stopped using them and hoping to leave in October (applied under a GOE and not EPIK)
    Plus I’m scared my weight might be a problem. I’m 80kg’s height 1.54 m

    1. Hey Londeka,

      Obviously ask your recruiter about any health concerns you may have – but many of my friends were taking contraceptives without any problems.

      All the best with your application!

  41. Hey. Thanks so much.

    I have a skin condition that’s not contagious or harmful at all. Its Keratosis Pilaris. Its hereditary. Would you think it might be an issue in S.Korea?


    1. Hey there!

      I’m not fully sure – your best bet would be to talk to your recruiter, but I had friends with skin conditions and they didn’t have any problems.

      Best of luck in your application!

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