Teach English In Seoul

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
June 7, 2024

Contents

Introduction
Why teach in Seoul
How to qualify
Types of jobs
How to get a job
Cost of living
Saving opportunities
Life and culture

Are you ready for a thrilling adventure to teach in one of the most exciting cities in Asia? Look no further than Seoul! Teaching English in Seoul is an incredibly rewarding and memorable experience. 

As the capital of South Korea, Seoul is a bustling metropolis that seamlessly blends traditional culture with modern amenities. So, pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in the “soul of Asia”!

Let’s talk about everything you need to know to start a career as an English teacher in Seoul.

Why start teaching English in Seoul?

There are many compelling reasons to start teaching English in Seoul, but one of the most appealing has to be the competitive salaries offered to foreign teachers. As a major global city and a hub for international business and tourism, Seoul places a high value on English language proficiency. 

Read more: Teaching Business English versus General English

This means that English teachers are in high demand and can earn a comfortable salary while living and working in this bustling city. But beyond the financial benefits, teaching English in Seoul is a fulfilling and enriching experience. From its delicious cuisine to its trendy fashion and K-Pop music, Seoul has something for everyone.

In Seoul, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in Korean culture, learn the language, and explore the city’s vibrant neighbourhoods and iconic landmarks. You’ll have the opportunity to work with students from diverse backgrounds and ages, experience Korean culture first-hand, and explore all that this vibrant city has to offer. So if you’re looking for a new adventure and a chance to make a difference while earning a competitive salary, consider teaching English in Seoul!

How do I qualify to teach English in Seoul?

Visa requirements

You need a valid visa to work in South Korea. The type of visa you’ll need will depend on the length and nature of your employment, so it’s important to do your research and work with your employer or a visa agency to ensure that you have the necessary documentation.

TEFL certification

Most English teaching jobs in Seoul will require an accredited TEFL qualification. This demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively teach English to non-native speakers.

Bachelor’s degree

It is typically required for English teaching positions in Seoul to hold a Bachelor’s degree, although the specific field of study may vary depending on the employer.

Experience

Experience is always an asset when it comes to teaching, but it’s not always a strict requirement for English teaching jobs in Seoul. However, having previous teaching experience, particularly in a Korean or Asian context, makes you a more competitive candidate.

Insurance

Many employers provide health insurance as part of your benefits package, but it’s important to confirm this with your employer and to consider purchasing additional coverage if necessary.

Start-up capital

This isn’t strictly a requirement, but it is important to have the means of getting to Seoul and standing on your own two feet until your first paycheque. You may need to cover initial expenses like housing deposits, transportation costs, and basic living expenses until your payday.

Types of English teaching jobs in Seoul

In Seoul, you can teach in public schools, private schools, universities, language schools or in-company.

Public schools

Public schools in Seoul are a popular choice among English teachers. They typically require a Bachelor’s degree, TEFL certification, and previous teaching experience. Public school teachers can earn a competitive salary, which may include benefits such as housing, airfare, and health insurance. The average salary is approximately2.7 million – 5.3 million ($2,000 – $4,000 USD) a month.

Private schools

The requirements for English teachers in private Seoul schools tend to be more stringent. These schools may require a Master’s degree or teaching certification, as well as previous teaching experience. Benefits may include housing, airfare, and health insurance. The average salary ranges from around 2.5 million – 3.5 million ($1,900 – $2,700) a month.

University jobs

Teaching at a university in Seoul usually requires a Master’s degree or higher, as well as teaching experience. University positions may offer higher salaries and benefits, such as housing and health insurance. The average salary is approximately 3 million – 5.3 million ($2,300 – $4,000) a month.

Language schools

Language schools, also known as hagwons, are popular in Seoul and can provide a range of teaching opportunities. These schools typically require a Bachelor’s degree and TEFL certification, but previous teaching experience may not always be necessary. Salaries can vary depending on the school, but benefits may include housing, airfare, and health insurance. The average salary is around 2.7 million – 4.2 million ($2,000 – $3,200) a month.

Corporate training programs

Corporate training programs provide English language instruction to employees of companies and organizations. These positions typically require a Bachelor’s degree and a Level 5 TEFL diploma, as well as business or corporate experience. These are some of the highest-paying teaching jobs and the benefits may include housing, airfare, and health insurance. Some programs offer approximately ₩6 million ($4,500) a month.

Read more: The best countries in the world for teaching English abroad

How to get a job teaching English in Seoul

There are a few steps you need to take to get a job teaching English specifically in Seoul:

  • Look and apply for job openings: You can search for job openings online through jobs boards, recruitment agencies, or directly on the websites of schools or universities.
  • Get a work visa: Once you accept the job offer, you need to apply for a work visa. The school or university you will be working for will typically assist you with the visa application process.
  • Pack your bags and jump on a plane!

What's the cost of living in Seoul?

From apartments to villas, from night markets to 5* restaurants, let’s look at how much it costs to live in this fascinating city.

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: ₩1 million ($745) 
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: ₩750,000 ($560)

Utilities

  • Gas, electricity, water, garbage disposal: ₩250,000 ($185)

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: ₩200,000 ($150)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: 9,000 KRW ($6.77)

Transport 

  • Monthly pass: 55,000 KRW ($41.40)
  • Single bus or subway trip: 1,250 KRW ($0.94)

Internet

  • Unlimited: ₩30,000 ($22)

Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: ₩135,000 – ₩200,000 ($100 – $150)

Is it possible to save as an English teacher in Seoul?

Yes, it’s possible to save as an English teacher in Seoul!

While the cost of living in Seoul can be high, English teachers can still earn competitive salaries and often receive additional benefits such as free housing and airfare reimbursement. Many English teachers find ways to save money by living frugally, such as cooking at home, taking advantage of free activities, and using public transportation. With careful budgeting, it’s definitely possible to save money while teaching English in Seoul.

What's it like to live and work in Seoul?

Living and teaching English in Seoul is an exciting and rewarding experience. The city is known for its bustling energy, delicious food, and rich cultural heritage. As an English teacher, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with students from diverse backgrounds and immerse yourself in the Korean way of life

Outside of work, there are many famous places to visit in Seoul, such as the Gyeongbokgung Palace, Namsan Tower, Bukchon Hanok Village, and the vibrant nightlife in areas like Gangnam and Itaewon. The city offers numerous opportunities for hiking, shopping, and trying out different Korean dishes. 

What can we say? Teaching English in Seoul is a great way to explore a fascinating city and gain valuable teaching experience while immersing yourself in a new culture.

Begin your teaching journey by signing up with the world’s most accredited TEFL course provider today!

Contents

Are you ready for a thrilling adventure to teach in one of the most exciting cities in Asia? Look no further than Seoul! Teaching English in Seoul is an incredibly rewarding and memorable experience. 

As the capital of South Korea, Seoul is a bustling metropolis that seamlessly blends traditional culture with modern amenities. So, pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in the “soul of Asia”!

Let’s talk about everything you need to know to start a career as an English teacher in Seoul.

Why start teaching English in Seoul?

There are many compelling reasons to start teaching English in Seoul, but one of the most appealing has to be the competitive salaries offered to foreign teachers. As a major global city and a hub for international business and tourism, Seoul places a high value on English language proficiency. 

Read more: Teaching Business English versus General English

This means that English teachers are in high demand and can earn a comfortable salary while living and working in this bustling city. But beyond the financial benefits, teaching English in Seoul is a fulfilling and enriching experience. From its delicious cuisine to its trendy fashion and K-Pop music, Seoul has something for everyone.

In Seoul, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in Korean culture, learn the language, and explore the city’s vibrant neighbourhoods and iconic landmarks. You’ll have the opportunity to work with students from diverse backgrounds and ages, experience Korean culture first-hand, and explore all that this vibrant city has to offer. So if you’re looking for a new adventure and a chance to make a difference while earning a competitive salary, consider teaching English in Seoul!

How do I qualify to teach English in Seoul?

Visa requirements

You need a valid visa to work in South Korea. The type of visa you’ll need will depend on the length and nature of your employment, so it’s important to do your research and work with your employer or a visa agency to ensure that you have the necessary documentation.

TEFL certification

Most English teaching jobs in Seoul will require an accredited TEFL qualification. This demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively teach English to non-native speakers.

Bachelor’s degree

It is typically required for English teaching positions in Seoul to hold a Bachelor’s degree, although the specific field of study may vary depending on the employer.

Experience

Experience is always an asset when it comes to teaching, but it’s not always a strict requirement for English teaching jobs in Seoul. However, having previous teaching experience, particularly in a Korean or Asian context, makes you a more competitive candidate.

Insurance

Many employers provide health insurance as part of your benefits package, but it’s important to confirm this with your employer and to consider purchasing additional coverage if necessary.

Start-up capital

This isn’t strictly a requirement, but it is important to have the means of getting to Seoul and standing on your own two feet until your first paycheque. You may need to cover initial expenses like housing deposits, transportation costs, and basic living expenses until your payday.

Types of English teaching jobs in Seoul

In Seoul, you can teach in public schools, private schools, universities, language schools or in-company.

Public schools

Public schools in Seoul are a popular choice among English teachers. They typically require a Bachelor’s degree, TEFL certification, and previous teaching experience. Public school teachers can earn a competitive salary, which may include benefits such as housing, airfare, and health insurance. The average salary is approximately2.7 million – 5.3 million ($2,000 – $4,000 USD) a month.

Private schools

The requirements for English teachers in private Seoul schools tend to be more stringent. These schools may require a Master’s degree or teaching certification, as well as previous teaching experience. Benefits may include housing, airfare, and health insurance. The average salary ranges from around 2.5 million – 3.5 million ($1,900 – $2,700) a month.

University jobs

Teaching at a university in Seoul usually requires a Master’s degree or higher, as well as teaching experience. University positions may offer higher salaries and benefits, such as housing and health insurance. The average salary is approximately 3 million – 5.3 million ($2,300 – $4,000) a month.

Language schools

Language schools, also known as hagwons, are popular in Seoul and can provide a range of teaching opportunities. These schools typically require a Bachelor’s degree and TEFL certification, but previous teaching experience may not always be necessary. Salaries can vary depending on the school, but benefits may include housing, airfare, and health insurance. The average salary is around 2.7 million – 4.2 million ($2,000 – $3,200) a month.

Corporate training programs

Corporate training programs provide English language instruction to employees of companies and organizations. These positions typically require a Bachelor’s degree and a Level 5 TEFL diploma, as well as business or corporate experience. These are some of the highest-paying teaching jobs and the benefits may include housing, airfare, and health insurance. Some programs offer approximately ₩6 million ($4,500) a month.

Read more: The best countries in the world for teaching English abroad

How to get a job teaching English in Seoul

There are a few steps you need to take to get a job teaching English specifically in Seoul:

  • Look and apply for job openings: You can search for job openings online through jobs boards, recruitment agencies, or directly on the websites of schools or universities.
  • Get a work visa: Once you accept the job offer, you need to apply for a work visa. The school or university you will be working for will typically assist you with the visa application process.
  • Pack your bags and jump on a plane!

What's the cost of living in Seoul?

From apartments to villas, from night markets to 5* restaurants, let’s look at how much it costs to live in this fascinating city.

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: ₩1 million ($745) 
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: ₩750,000 ($560)

Utilities

  • Gas, electricity, water, garbage disposal: ₩250,000 ($185)

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: ₩200,000 ($150)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: 9,000 KRW ($6.77)

Transport 

  • Monthly pass: 55,000 KRW ($41.40)
  • Single bus or subway trip: 1,250 KRW ($0.94)

Internet

  • Unlimited: ₩30,000 ($22)

Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: ₩135,000 – ₩200,000 ($100 – $150)

Is it possible to save as an English teacher in Seoul?

Yes, it’s possible to save as an English teacher in Seoul!

While the cost of living in Seoul can be high, English teachers can still earn competitive salaries and often receive additional benefits such as free housing and airfare reimbursement. Many English teachers find ways to save money by living frugally, such as cooking at home, taking advantage of free activities, and using public transportation. With careful budgeting, it’s definitely possible to save money while teaching English in Seoul.

What's it like to live and work in Seoul?

Living and teaching English in Seoul is an exciting and rewarding experience. The city is known for its bustling energy, delicious food, and rich cultural heritage. As an English teacher, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with students from diverse backgrounds and immerse yourself in the Korean way of life

Outside of work, there are many famous places to visit in Seoul, such as the Gyeongbokgung Palace, Namsan Tower, Bukchon Hanok Village, and the vibrant nightlife in areas like Gangnam and Itaewon. The city offers numerous opportunities for hiking, shopping, and trying out different Korean dishes. 

What can we say? Teaching English in Seoul is a great way to explore a fascinating city and gain valuable teaching experience while immersing yourself in a new culture.

Begin your teaching journey by signing up with the world’s most accredited TEFL course provider today!

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