Teach in South Korea - Why and How?
Find out why South Korea has been a top English teaching destination over the decades and how to get hired in South Korea.
by ESL Job Station on May 2021
“South Korea is one of the best places — if not the best — to teach English overseas.” (Nomadic Matt)
South Korea has been a top English teaching destination over the decades. Here’s just a few of the latest ranking of South Korea as Best Places to Teach English:
- Nomadic Matt: Top 1 of 8
- Oxford Seminars: Top 1 of 6
- International TEFL Academy: Top 3 of 10
- Go Overseas: Top 4 of 10
Korea is one of the most competitive markets for ESL teaching. Here’s a few reasons why.
- Abundant Jobs
- High Pay
- Awesome Benefits
- Accepts first-time teachers
- Great food and friendly people
A typical package will also include:
- housing assistance (either apartment provided or a housing allowance)
- airfare support
- visa sponsorship
- health insurance (50% covered by school)
- pension plan (50% covered by school)
- severance pay equivalent to 1 month’s salary upon contract completion
*ESL Teachers in Korea are subjected to a low income tax - only 3.3% of your salary. Beginner ESL teachers can expect to start off making 2.1 million Korean won or more per month.
Why is Korea an ideal place to work?
- Safe working environments
- Modern school facilities
- Efficient transportation system
- Fairly-low cost of living
- Large expat communities
- Many jobs in a wide range of locations
- Friendly and welcoming society towards westerners
Why Is Teaching English in South Korea so Popular?
South Korea is a relatively small country with about 50 million people. It has an amazingly efficient transportation system, so combined with the size of the country, traveling around Korea is quite easy and affordable. So, there's always something to do over the weekend and during holidays. Whether you like mountains, beaches, go on a food trip or just enjoy the city-life, Korea can offer it all!
If you’ve ever heard of K-pop, K-drama, or K-beauty, you don’t need an explanation as to why teaching English in South Korea is so popular.... One major reason is that it’s fairly easy to save money while teaching here... it’s possible to save almost $1,000 per month if you spend wisely. Housing, healthcare, restaurant meals, and transportation costs are cheap compared to the U.S. South Korea feels extremely safe. In fact, South Korea’s crime rate is very low, “with most offenses of a petty nature,” according to USA Today. (Kenzie P.,)
A well-developed, modern economy, comfortable quality of life, and sensational pop culture that’s enraptured the world has made South Korea one of the best countries to teach abroad in recent years. ...private teaching placement organizations...successfully attract thousands of English teachers each year with generous compensation packages that feature a whole lot of everyone’s favorite buzzword—free. (GoAbroad)
As one of the world’s largest employers of ESL teachers, there are more than twenty thousand westerners who are currently teaching in Korea and a large percentage of them are first time teachers and first time travelers. (Gone2Korea)
Where to teach in Korea?
Metropolitan Cities: Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon, Ulsan
Gyeonggi (Outskirts of Seoul) Main Cities: Bucheon, Yongin, Seongnam, Anyang, Goyang, Hwaseong, Namyangju, Gimpo, Suwon, Osan, Siheung, Pyeongtaek, Cheonan, Ansan, Gwacheon, Hanam, Asan, Gwangju, Icheon, Uijeongbu, Byealre New City, Dongtan
Provinces with Major Cities: Chung-buk, Chung-nam, Gangwon, Gyeong-buk, Gyeong-nam, Jeolla-buk, Jeolla-nam, Jeju
Send us your application and get hired in South Korea.
Please send us your application, if you are a native English-speaker with a bachelor degree and want to teach English in Korea. There are no application fees or obligations.
Fun Facts about Korea
- It’s heaven for tech junkies - The country was judged to have the world’s fastest internet connection speed for the 12th consecutive quarter last year, according to Akamai - The report showed South Korea’s average broadband is ahead of Norway, Sweden, Hong Kong and Switzerland.
- It’s one of the biggest economies in the world - currently has the 11th largest GDP in the world ($1.4 trillion, according to the latest ranking by the World Bank).
- It is home to one of the world’s best airports
Incheon International Airport was named the world’s best for the 12th year running at last year’s Airport Service Quality Awards.
- The busiest air route on Earth is there
The most crowded flight path on Earth is found in South Korea.
- More than half of South Korea is cloaked in forest
Beyond the skyscrapers, South Korea boasts a spectacular natural landscape, 64 percent of which is covered in forest. The country also has 2,413 kilometres of seaside, with wide coastal plains to the west and south, and nearly 3,000 small uninhabited islands just offshore.
- It has a world-beating food scene
Korean food has been making waves across the globe, with kimchi, among other dishes, popping up on restaurant menus everywhere.
- Kimchi - There are hundreds of different varieties of kimchi in South Korea, and about 1.5 million tons of it is consumed each year.
- The city of Suwon boasts not only Samsung Electronics, but the world’s first toilet-themed amusement park. The Restroom Cultural Park opened in 2012.
- The literacy rate is extremely high in South Korea at 98%.
- The people of South Korea are known for being very nice and extremely respectful of their elders.
- Korea is one of the highest paying countries in the World to teach English. Teachers can save up a lot of money here. Almost all teaching contracts include your flight to and from the USA, a free apartment, and generous salaries with some good bonuses. If you want to travel, have a college degree and are a native English speaker then you are qualified for practically all English teaching jobs in Korea.
- Partnering Japan in this honourable accolade, South Korea has the lowest number of obese citizens in the world. Well with their healthy diet no wonder!
- The majority of restaurants – including those such as MacDonald’s, will deliver food directly to your door. You don’t even need to clean your rubbish up afterwards – just leave it outside your door and the delivery person will pick it up later.
- Like a number of other cultures, babies in South Korea are considered one year old at birth. For those not familiar with this concept, (and to confuse you even more), following the New Year in South Korea, everybody automatically ages a year. If therefore, a new born baby enters the world in the last week of December as a one year old, then the same child is considered two years’ old a couple of weeks later.
Apply Anytime For ESL Teaching Jobs In Korea.
You can apply anytime! We have year-round openings.
To legally find an ESL a teaching job in Korea, you must meet the following requirements:
- You are a native English-speaker with a passport from the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand
- You have a Bachelor’s degree.
- You have a clean criminal background check.
- Apply for a job opening in South Korea. You can apply through an eligible ESL job posting site, a licensed ESL recruiting agency or directly to the school.
- Interview via Zoom or Skype. You might be asked for a mock class.
- If both parties are satisfied with each other, you and the school sign an employment contract
- You send to the school your documents required for the E2 visa process.
- The school submits your documents to the immigration office to get your visa issuance number.
- You apply to Korean consulate in your country or state for an E2 visa. You need the visa issuance number for this application.
- You get an E2 visa from Korean consulate.
- You come to Korea.
- You take a health examination.
- You apply to our immigration office for an Alien Registration Card(ARC).
Documents required for E2 Visa process
- A photocopy(color) of your passport (picture page).
- Self Health Statement.
- Degree Certificate with 'Apostille'(Diploma or Degree 'Copy' with Apostille)
You must have acquired a bachelor's degree (at least 3 years degree) or higher from that country that uses English as its first language.
- Criminal Record Check(original/hard copy) with 'Apostille'
It must cover your whole country
It is effective only for 6 months after it is issued.
It must be clean. It must not show any of your criminal records.
- Four(4)pieces of passport size (3.5㎝ x 4.5㎝)color photos(Head Shot)
All of them must have the same headshot.
Their background must be white.
Please do not wear sleeveless shirts and earrings.
- Employment Contract(original/hard copy) signed by you.
Standard Work Conditions
The following are the standard work conditions for the ESL teacher in Korea. 〔Most of academies (Hagwon) have their own employment contracts including the specific work conditions.〕
- Period of contract: One year(12 months).
* E-2 Visa holders can stay in Korea for one year. This visa is renewable.
- Salary: 2.2 to 2.5 million won per a month (depending on your qualification)
- Teaching hours: 30 hours per week, Mon-Fri
- Length of each class: about 45 to 50 minutes
- Class size : 7 to 15 students each class
- Overtime pay : 17,000 to 23,000 won per hour
- Vacation: 6 - 10 days paid vacation per year [depending on the school]
- Paid sick days : 2 - 3 paid sick days per year
- Severance pay: equivalent to a one-month salary upon contract completion
- Housing : provided
- Airfare Support: provided
- Health Insurance and/or Pension: provided
ESL teaching jobs in Korea are waiting for you
If you are a native English-speaker with a bachelor degree, you can apply for ESL teaching jobs in Korea at trusted employers. Just send us your application and let us set up the interviews for you.
ABOUT | ESL Job Station & ESL VivaCom
ESL JOB STATION is a sponsored job posting site that seeks to connect ESL teachers with reputable and stable ESL Schools, Online ESL companies and Licensed ESL Recruiting Agencies worldwide.
ESL VivaCom is a licensed recruiting agency in Korea. We have been around for more than ten years now and have earned an excellent reputation among the teachers that we have placed throughout the country. We are interested in helping you find the right ESL teaching position in Korea. VivaCom offers jobs for both entry-level and experienced ESL teachers. We have close ties with reputable and stable ESL Academies all over the country. Find a job through us. Visit us here.
Kenzie, P. (2018). How to Get a Job Teaching English in South Korea. Retrieved August 5, 2018 from:
Thoesen, R. (2018). This Just In! The Best Place to Teach Abroad in 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018 from: https://www.goabroad.com/articles/teach-abroad/best-place-teach-abroad-2018
Teaching English in Korea as a First-Time Teacher or Recent Graduate. (n.d.). Retrieved August 5, 2018 from: https://www.gone2korea.com/teaching-jobs-for-unqualified-teachers/
Gamlam, R. (2017). The Top 10 Places to Teach Abroad in 2017-2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018 from:https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/top-10-places-to-teach-abroad
The 9 Best Places To Teach English Overseas. (n.d.) Retrieved August 5, 2018 from: https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/best-places-to-teach-esl-overseas/
Kim, S. (2018). 14 Facts About South Korea, Home To The Most Popular Tourist Destination You've Never Heard Of. Retrieved August 6, 2018 From:
Important and Interesting Facts about South Korea. (n.d.) Retrieved August 6, 2018 from:
10 Very Cool Facts About South Korean Culture. (2017). Retrieved August 6, 2018 from:
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