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Work Abroad

Jan 18, 2007
Teach English in South Korea
- Carmela Bignotia Email this article

In our previous article, we gain an insight on how is it to be an English teacher in Japan. For this article, we will lay down some important information about teaching jobs in South Korea.        

Job Overview (South Korea)

Basic Requirements

College Degree

Native English speaker


Language degree is an advantage.

Korean schools prefer English teachers from USA, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada

Most achievements test and entrance exams in Korea puts more weight in language comprehension. Koreans placed high importance to higher education so they strive to be fluent in English. English is also needed in conducting business affairs so fluency in the English language is beneficial in the corporate world.

There are many job openings for English teachers in South Korea but not all of them are the same. Job applications can be done online. It is advisable not to say yes right away to job offers. A little research will work to your advantage as there are schools that offer low wages, give no benefits, and require longer teaching hours.

One can teach English in language centers called ‘hogwans’. One can also teach in formal schools as preschool teacher. Others arrive in Korea with a ready job waiting. Some though arrive as tourist and start their job search there.

English as Second Language (ESL) instructors in South Korea usually get a 12-month contract. Working for 25 to 30 hours a week will give you a salary of USD 1,500 to USD 1,700 a month. Once employed, ESL teachers enjoy benefits like roundtrip airfare, housing, and two weeks' paid vacation. Teachers also receive a separation pay equivalent to a month’s earning at the end of the contract.

The salary given to English teachers is competitive but not a large amount. However, one must keep in mind that the cost of living in this country is far cheaper than in other Western nations.

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