5 Reasons Why I Chose To Teach in South Korea

  1. Money

Korea has one of the best benefits for teachers in the world which was a huge factor that attracted me to teaching in South Korea. I am not money hungry but I do have student loans and it gives me a chance to still pay them while living abroad. Teachers are able to save $10,000+ a year without having to hold back from any exciting adventures. It is also more competitive to be accepted which involves a longer application process however I felt that that was a great sign in that they don’t just hire anyone but really take pride in the teachers they bring into Korea. Plus after being accepted after 6 months of paperwork you truly do feel great 😀

  1. Free Accommodation & Paid Airfare

On top of being able to save a lot of money every year – EPIK provides a free furnished studio apartment for their teachers. Yes I said that correctly – FREE housing! That is a huge financial weight lifted. Airfare is also reimbursed in the first and last month’s paycheck which is really beneficial.

  1. Job Experience

Regardless of whichever career path you chose, not many people in the world can say that they accepted the challenge of moving to a foreign country where they knew nobody and taught English. You are definitely giving yourself a chance to stand out after teaching abroad. It’s a great opportunity to show you can handle any situation that comes your way, communicate effectively and have an open mind to the world.

  1. Travel

If one of your biggest passions is traveling, different cultures and life experiences, then teaching abroad is one of the best ways to experience it all. One of the most exciting factors in choosing Korea is the accessibility for traveling. I cannot wait to immerse myself in their culture and be able to travel to other Asian countries as well. Teaching in Korea through EPIK gives you 30+ days of PAID vacation and that does not even include holidays. I don’t know many American companies that provide that much PTO and I will definitely take full advantage of it. Flights are also much cheaper between countries in Asia. So many places to visit: Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Bali, Australia, New Zealand…the list goes on and on.

  1. Education

The importance of education is huge in Korea whether the students are from a private or public school. No wonder the government gives such great benefits to English teachers from across the world. Great respect is given to English Teachers.

Interested in Teaching Abroad in South Korea?

I researched many different companies before figuring out a recruiter to go through to Teach Abroad – Greenheart Travel was wonderful to work with and the program is free! It is competitive so make sure to apply early! Here is the link: GreenHeart Travel

EPIK (English Program in Korea) is the official company that accepts English teachers into Korea. Please check out their website if you have any questions or want to apply directly through them: EPIK

Dave’s ESL Cafe is also a great resource with helpful information on Teaching Abroad as well as current job openings. I decided to go through a recruiter as it is my first time teaching abroad and I wanted to ensure that all of my visa paperwork was accurate, etc.




  1. Loved your article! I’m thinking about teaching in South Korea once I graduate college (I’m a freshman) just wondering is teaching abroad something people do as a career long term or do they major in something besides teaching in college to go back to once they’re done teaching?


    • Hi Dana! Thank you so much! Honestly it all depends…some people do it as a career and live here for years and years. There are others who never majored in teaching and only come to teach for 1 year. I was a communications major but plan to get my masters in teaching when I return to the USA. I think ultimately you need to have some sort of passion for teaching and children because that will be your main job here. It’s very competitive so any teaching experience is good. You will also need your TEFL certificate if you do not have a teaching degree. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any other questions!



  2. Hello Caroline,
    My name is Robyn and I am interested in teaching abroad, and my search drew me to your blog. Your writing style and cultural insights are really interesting and I loved reading through your blog posts! I’m a senior in college right now, and I am not TESL certified, so I was wondering if you had any insight on how to go about getting a TESL certification outside of college or in-country with a teaching abroad program. I’m a Linguistics major, which already has a lot to do with TESL, and my classes right now are what have interested me in teaching abroad.
    I’d really love to do something similar to what you’re doing now, but I am unsure of how to proceed. If you have time, please let me know if you have any advice!
    Thank you,


    • Hi Robyn,
      Thanks so much for reaching out and for the compliments on my blog posts! So glad you are enjoying reading them  If you don’t have a teaching degree you will need to have a TEFL Certificate – I received my TEFL through International TEFL Academy http://www.internationalteflacademy.com/ – South Korea requires in-class teaching hours as well as TEFL so I received my 160 hour TEFL certificate as well as 20 hours of in-class volunteering. It’s expensive but definitely worth it and you can teach abroad anywhere in the world with this certificate. South Korea has a very extensive application process and takes 6 months. It’s also very competitive so if you are interested in teaching in South Korea I would start to look into EPIK (English Program in Korea) https://www.epik.go.kr/index.do – which has the requirements and application steps. You can also use a recruiter for teaching abroad – Greenheart Travel is a great organization and I used them! They have other teach abroad programs as well in different countries. http://greenhearttravel.org/ – they were so great to work with and made the process so much easier! Researching lots of different options is the best first step!
      Please feel free to reach out anytime if you have questions! I am happy to help 


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