Should I teach English in Korea?

Teacake Travels

So you want to teach English in Korea! Fantastic! You really should! First of all, please check my overall guide to teaching English abroad to fund your travels! There are lots of tips and advice in there which will really help you. When you’re in the know with that, read on to find out the specifics of how to teach English in Korea!

teach english in korea





Should I Teach English In Korea?

Korea is and always will remain my most favourite country to teach in. If you love…

Hiking

Amazing healthy spicy food

24 hour parties

Shopping

The easiest alphabet ever invented

Temples

this is the place for you. I lived in Busan: an absolute triple-bonus city for me. You have the mountains, beach and city all rolled into one. What more could you ask for? I hike so much too and Korea is 70% mountains! Bingo!

Should You Teach English In Korea? Definitely! Find out how here!

I started teaching in Korea in 2010

I began working for the EPIK programme first, which was the best experience I could ever have hoped for. I taught elementary (primary) school children for 1.5 years with them and they provided

  • an orientation with hundreds of peeps when I arrived (and these are friends for life)
  • a free furnished apartment
  • a welcome and completion bonus
  • great holidays
  • a paid return flight to the UK

It gave me the teaching experience I needed to work my way up the ladder but times have changed in EPIK. I entered with only with my Psychology BSc University degree, sheer enthusiasm, a lovely smile and a jam of Marmite in my suitcase for homesick emergencies.

You now need a TEFL certificate to apply. There is nothing wrong with that and you really should get one! MyTEFL provide a convenient and comprehensive 120 hour online course and they have been kind enough to give all TeacakeTravel’s readers 35% off because they’re that kickass! Just remember to type in TEA35 when you sign up here to make sure you save your precious money!

TEFL course

A word of advice about EPIK

I had a great experience but some people didn’t.  It is a little bit of the luck of the draw. When you arrive, you know which area you’re gonna be teaching in but you don’t know with what specific school, who with and how well that government school actually runs. Nine times out of ten it’s totally OK but for some, it wasn’t what they expected.

I quickly cottoned on that teaching English in University is the best job in Korea  

This is the job that every teacher hopes to get in Korea if they want to stay here. I was teaching at a University for 14 hours a week, had a lovely furnished apartment, looooong holidays to travel in and the pay was around £1500 a month. Not bad at all!

Everyone I knew said there was no way I would get a University job. I was told that you needed to know someone who worked at one, that you needed to have taught for at least 2 years, that you needed to be superhuman etc but I threw caution to the wind, applied anyway, got an interview and before I knew it, I had changed jobs and was a University teacher. My friends said I got the job for having blonde hair and looking ‘western’ (O.K…maybe that’s 10% true) but if you don’t ask, you don’t get in this world. You have to just throw your hands up, say ‘screw that’ and ask for what you want. People admire that.

Are Universities still the best jobs in Korea?

Yes, but it’s much tougher to get into them these days.  You either need a Masters or a University degree with 4 years University teaching experience: Ouch!  If you’ve got this, you lucky person you, go ahead and apply! If not, go study / get more experience and come back to this at a later point me thinks!

Where can I find the best jobs in Korea?

Koreabridge is hands down my favourite job website and Dave’s ESL Cafe has some excellent jobs too.

The only reason I ever left Korea was because I knew I’d stay there forever if I didn’t leave.  I had bigger fish to fry and had achieved everything I had wanted to. My next stop was Thailand!

Pin This Info For Later!

teach English in Korea

South Korea not for you?

How about teaching in China, Vietnam, Thailand or Europe?

Any other questions?  Contact me in the comments box below and I’ll be happy to help you!

About Alice Teacake

Hi! I'm Alice Teacake! A kickass girl who believes in women facing their fears and pushing their boundaries, to reach their full potential through solo adventure travel! Follow me for travel advice and inspiration, so you can go forth and challenge yourself to reach your own personal goals!

4 replies
  1. Hannah R
    Hannah R says:

    I love this! This is exactly what I want to do in a year or two (stopping home for a year after I graduate this summer to do my uk teacher training) and I cannot wait. After visiting Korea twice and going to countless restaurants and cooking countless dishes and spending countless hours trying to (extremely slowly) study the language I’m still not sick of it and am so excited to actually get there for real. I hope I enjoy living there as much as I’ve enjoyed my two trips.

    Reply
    • Alice teacake
      Alice teacake says:

      I miss Korea so much! I’m actually thinking of going back there to teach again because there’s no way I’m sick of the food, the language, the hiking, the people! Korea rocks!

      Reply

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