Published 22nd September 2015
South Korea has become somewhat of a Mecca for English teachers. This tiny but culturally rich country has an ever expanding economy. Many people are eager to learn English and it’s a compulsory component of the education system, meaning that there is a rich diversity of jobs available. Here we’ve detailed some of the important information and some tips about teaching English in South Korea.
One of the big draws to teaching in South Korea is the ability to get a job prior to leaving home. The government runs three teacher placement schemes known as EPIK, GEPIK, and SOME. They are all similar is format, the only difference is in the locality of the placement. EPIK being the nation wide program, GPEIK the district which encircles the capital and SOME is exclusively for recruitment within Seoul itself. One can of course use a number of agencies, and South Korea has a strong reputation for legitimate placements, but the government scheme is a little better organized.
In terms of your financial compensation, the official schemes will offer the same as most other jobs. The biggest discrepancy in wages is understandably down to your experience. Salaries range from 1.8 to 2.7 million Korean Won. This is roughly £1000 to £1500. Remember of course that your apartment will be provided free of charge so you don’t have to consider paying rent out of this. Most contracts will also pay your outbound flight for you in advance, and you can expect to receive a healthy bonus upon completion of your contract. Some nationalities are also able to work tax free in South Korea, but the rules on this fluctuate regularly, so it’s worth checking through official channels when you apply if you will be eligible for this benefit whilst working there.
To attain a job in South Korea you will have to get your degree and TEFL qualification notarized and apostilled. This costs around £35. You can find instructions on how to do this on the internet, and it simply consists of posting off your documentation for authorization. It might seem like a hassle, and South Korea is the only country which requires this, but it’s really a small price to play to land your dream teaching gig with a healthy salary.
South Korea is a great choice for experienced and new teachers, you’ll get bags of experience, meet many like minded individuals and best of all you can save money for travelling during your holiday time, and have money left over for when you have finished your contract!