Published 2nd October 2017
For a lot of people, South Korea can seem as mysterious as North Korea, but for many TEFL teachers, South Korea is the place they are more than happy to call home.
Finding a TEFL job in South Korea
Finding a TEFL job in South Korea is taking a leap of faith. You cannot arrive in South Korea and expect to be given a job so it’s necessary to apply for and be accepted for a job before you even buy your ticket. Don’t worry, it’s not as daunting as it sounds. There are recruiters who are available to help you in your job search and apply on your behalf. Applying usually means filling in tons of paperwork and applying to the South Korean Ministry of Education (to be a part of the EPIK programme) or to a private school, so having a recruiter help you out is only a good thing. Hopefully you will be granted an interview and the job of your dreams will be yours! An added bonus: you don’t need to worry about the work visa because your recruiter (and your school) will do that for you.
Teaching English in South Korea
If you have a TEFL job in South Korea you are either working in a public school or in a private language school, also known as a hagwon. In a public school, your class size may be bigger (around 25 students) but your working hours will be more regular than in a hagwon, where you might work mornings and evenings, late at night or weekends.
The biggest drawcard for teachers coming to teach abroad in South Korea is the salary. Schools here offer generous packages, including airfare and accommodation on top of high salaries (approximately 2 million Won). Not only will you be able to live well, but you’ll be able to save.
Living in South Korea
Though living in South Korea may be not exactly what you are used to, it is not difficult and it is most definitely not boring. The cost of living is not very high and it’s easy to live a comfortable lifestyle on your teaching salary. When you have time off (!) you can go shopping or eat out in the city you live in, or take a trip to the islands, beaches or mountains dotted around the country.
There is a large foreign teacher and expat community here, so if you find yourself a bit homesick you can be sure to find a friendly foreign face in one of the local bars, no matter if you are in Seoul or Daegu or Jeju.
But the best testament to the awesomeness of teaching English in South Korea is that TEFL teachers just can’t seem to stay away. The popularity of finding a TEFL job in South Korea is not waning and TEFL teachers end up either extending their contract each year or coming back after a few years. There’s just something about this country.