Do you want to teach English in Korea?
If so, congratulations on taking the first step in a life changing journey! South Korea is an extremely popular destination for those who want to teach English abroad in Asia. Both Korea’s successful modern economy and interesting culture make it an attractive location for those interested in teaching English in Korea.
There are many reputable schools which provide jobs teaching English in Korea to bright, talented individuals. The salary and benefits are excellent, allowing you to live a comfortable lifestyle and save money.
Teach English in South Korea- Public School or Private School?
As you continue to learn more about teaching English in Korea you will eventually be left with a choice on whether or not to teach English in a Korean public or private school.
While there are certainly opportunities to teach English in both Korean public schools and private schools, there are significant differences. It is important to think carefully about which type of position is most well suited to your goals as a teacher.
The schedule for teaching in Korean public schools is similar to that of western countries with working hours generally from morning to mid-afternoon. Private schools, known in Korea as Hagwons, have an afternoon/evening schedule. Most Korean students attend public school in the morning and then attend private English schools in the evening. Korean students have very long days and the pressure can be intense so it is important for you to be a caring and interesting English teacher.
There are a number of other significant differences between teaching English in Korean public schools and teaching English in Korean private schools. Generally class sizes, arrival dates, vacation time and number of western co-teachers can be very different. For further information, please refer to our Korean Schools Comparison page. If you are offered an interview to teach English in Korea you may also want to create a list of questions to ask your interviewer.
Benefits of Teaching English in Korea
Teaching English in Korea provides many excellent benefits. Salaries generally range from between 2.0-2.7 million won per month and vary depending on your experience. The work week generally consists of 30-40 hours. In accordance with Korean labor law, full health insurance is provided with 50% covered by the school. The remainder of your health insurance costs will be deducted from your salary and amount to approximately $USD30 per month. Paid vacation and completion of contract bonuses are also a standard part of all contracts. Schools also offer a severance package which is equal to one month’s pay upon completion of your contract as an English teacher in Korea. This bonus money will provide you with an excellent opportunity to travel after you have completed your contract. However, many of our teachers enjoy teaching in Korea so much they decide to stay for two, three or more years!
What are the requirements for teaching English in Korea?
The Korean government requires you to be a native English speaker and have a full university degree. You must also hold a valid passport from the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa is also required.
Note that most schools in Korea now require teachers to be TEFL certified.
To be successful teaching English in Korea, you must also enjoy being around children and have an adventurous personality!
Teaching English in Korea – The Lifestyle
Teaching English in Korea provides a very good lifestyle. The salary is excellent and your housing is fully paid for by your English school. Outside of the classroom you will also find that Korea is a fun place to explore and try new food! South Koreans are extremely hospitable and feel it is important for guests to leave with a good impression. It is not unusual for someone to stop you on the street and engage you in conversation just to practice their English. In Korea, you may feel like an English teacher even outside the classroom!
It’s difficult to complete a year teaching English in Korea without the “Land of the Morning Calm” leaving a profound impact on your life. While the vast majority of teachers have a great experience living and teaching in Korea, it’s important to keep in mind that living in a foreign country can provide real challenges.
Some teachers experience significant culture shock, especially during their first few months in Korea. It’s important that you take this seriously and prepare yourself as much as possible for life teaching English abroad.
Interested in learning more about what your life would be like teaching English in Korea? Read through our guide to living and teaching English in Korea!
The Reach To Teach Community
Reach To Teach has a great community of English teachers in Korea. If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of moving halfway across the world, you are not alone. With new teachers arriving each month there will be many opportunities to meet new and interesting people.
Teach English in South Korea – Get Advice from the Experts!
All of us at Reach To Teach have all taught English abroad. We understand the anxiety that comes with considering a move halfway across the world. With that in mind, remember that all questions are good questions! We want you to feel as comfortable as possible with your decision. Leaving your home country to teach English in Korea is an exciting and adventurous choice. It’s important to be sure you have as much information as possible so you can concentrate on enjoying your year (or more!) teaching English in Korea.
Also, please consult our Teaching English in Korea Frequently Asked Questions Page for more information.