Everything You Need To Know About Studying in South Korea

One of the best ways of working abroad, exploring somewhere new, making money and helping people, is to teach English in a foreign country. Teaching English abroad is a wonderful route into travel and cultural discovery for many people and at the same tim you will have the chance to help foreign student to add another language and skill to their repertoire.

Choosing where to teach is a tough choice and in recent years, the most popular option for many is to go to South Korea. If you have your eye on South Korea to teach English, let’s take a look at what you need to know.

How Much Can You Make?

One of the most popular reasons why so many people choose South Korea is because of the high salaries which can be earned. On average, an English teacher in South Korea will be making $2000 per month, and many institutions also offer free, shared accommodation and support with a flight home each year.

Living in South Korea is also pretty cheap, with most teachers claiming to live a good life and only spend around $700 per month. With these kind of living costs, teachers can actually save over $1000 each month.

Where to Go?

The majority of the people who head to South Korea to teach will center themselves in Seoul, within one of the international schools. With this being said, there are also so remote towns and villages which you could go to where you may earn a little less, but the cost of living will be less and you will have a far more cultural experience than in a big city like Seoul.

What Options Are Available?

There are 3 main options for which kind of schools you can teach in, let’s take a look at the choices which are available to you.

  • EPIK – This is the English Teaching Program in Korea and it focusses on the 15 provinces outside of the capital. This is the largest teaching program in South Korea.
  • SMOE – This is the most popular teaching program in the country and it covers the 2,000 schools in the city of Seoul. The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education covers the entire capital.
  • GEPIK – The Gyeonggi English Program in Korea looks after the surrounding areas and provinces around the capital city.

Potential Pitfalls

It is worth noting that because of the high salary and the popularity of South Korea as a place to teach, there is a great deal of competition for places so make sure that you apply as early as possible. In 90% of the positions available, you will require a full TEFL certificate, not just the 50 hours version. Don’t trust every recruiter which you find online, with South Korea in particular, there are many con artists online who use this to get your money. Private tutoring is a great way to make some extra cash but whilst it is widely available and sought after in South Korea, it is important to remember that doing so will go against the conditions on your E-2 visa.

As long as you avoid these pitfalls, teaching in South Korea is a great way to travel, explore, help others and make plenty of money.