Teaching in Korea: The Easiest Transition Of Your Life

Teaching in Korea comes with so many benefits that you would be crazy not to consider this as a destination for you to teach in. Going from your culture to a Korean culture can actually be the easiest transition of your life.

jump up jump up and get downOk, I know what you are thinking “easiest transition of your life? Yeah right.” Just hear me out and you will be a believer, I promise.

Yes, the Korean culture and language are completely different from anything I have ever known. Heck, the Korean language doesn’t even use letters so it’s impossible to read for most Americans.

However, I am so happy that these differences didn’t stop me from pursuing my dreams of teaching abroad in Korea.

EPIK Program

Due to the many benefits of the EPIK program, I decided to go this route instead of teaching in a hagwon. Moving to a new country, even a new city in your same country can be very scary and you feel that socially and career wise you are starting all over again.

Thank goodness EPIK completely takes care of all of these stresses for you so you never need to worry.

After sending all of your documents into EPIK, you get an email saying that a placement has been secured for you. No, you don’t know what school you will be at or even where it is, but you know with 100% certainty that you have a job!

When I moved to Ecuador to teach, I had to find a job once I arrived and let me tell you, that was STRESSFUL. With EPIK, I didn’t have to worry about that at all.

Arrival

I arrived at Incheon Airport at 5am ready to start my new journey in South Korea. There were 3 other girls on my flight and I met them at baggage claim, so BAM already started making friends before even leaving the airport!

Orientation

Next, you head straight to orientation with 200-300 other people and you are placed into groups based on what city or province you will be teaching and living.

Orientation lasts about 8 days, so there was plenty of time to form friendships with my group and people that would be in other cities as well.

This last part is very important so you have friends to visit and stay with when you want to visit other cities- because that is one of the reasons you came to South Korea. Before orientation ends, you have already bypassed one major obstacle of moving abroad.

Accommodation

Another stress of moving abroad is finding a place to live. The morning of our last day of orientation, we hopped on a bus and headed for our cities, where our co-teachers were waiting for us. I met my co-teacher and we drove directly to my apartment.

The best part about teaching with EPIK is that housing is provided and I don’t have to worry about paying rent. Not only is housing provided, but also it’s furnished!

Now, yes the apartment is a true studio apartment but it’s free and I didn’t have to worry about finding a place to live so it works perfectly for me.

I don’t think anyone enjoys looking through the endless listings of apartments and finally visiting ones you like to find that they are complete dumps and the opposite of what the listing said.

Trust me, this is a huge relief to know that before you leave your home country, your housing is already resolved.

Setting Up

After visiting my new apartment, my co-teacher and I headed to the immigration office so I could get my alien registration card, which is needed to get a bank account and a phone plan. In one day, we were really making progress and I had zero frustrations. Next was visiting the bank and getting my account

In one day, we were really making progress and I had zero frustrations. Next was visiting the bank and getting my account set up complete with automatic bill pay and direct deposit. Honestly, I have never seen one utility bill and I don’t have to think about paying them because it is paid automatically every month. With all of the financial stuff out of the way, it was time to get a phone plan. Once again, with the help of my amazing co-teacher, this was a seamless process and I got exactly the plan that I needed for a good price.

Honestly, I have never seen one utility bill and I don’t have to think about paying them because it is paid automatically every month. With all of the financial stuff out of the way, it was time to get a phone plan. Once again, with the help of my amazing co-teacher, this was a seamless process and I got exactly the plan that I needed for a good price.

Never once in this transition was I left alone to figure out how to do something. I always had my co-teacher with me helping to translate and make sure I was getting what I needed and wanted. And everyone has co-teachers to help with this, so don’t think that I just got lucky with an awesome co-teacher.

There are absolutely no excuses to not teach in South Korea, just take the leap!

kim jacksonKim started her teaching career in Quito, Ecuador teaching Business English.  After a year of living in South America, she decided to try something new and teach in South Korea through the EPIK program.  Before teaching, Kim was an Athletic Trainer working with high school aged students participating in all different types of sports.  When not teaching, Kim enjoys being active whether playing sports, hiking, or taking a walk to explore the city.  One of Kim’s biggest goals is to see as much of this world as possible.

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