Frequently Asked Questions

Salary and Compensation

Work Environment

Living Accomidations

Flight to and from Korea

Recruiting Process

Living in South Korea


How much money can I save in a month?
It depends on your style of living. Some people go with the mindset of saving money and come away with having saved $500-$1,000/month. Others choose to use their salary for adventure and travel.

Can I renew my contract?
Typically the answer is yes, but it all depends on your negotiations with your school. If you would like to stay in Korea, but work at a different school, contact us 3 months before your current contract expires and we will be able to place you in another school.

How do I get medical insurance?
The cost of your insurance is covered half by the school and half by a deduction taken from your paycheck (2.24% of your salary). You will be issued an insurance card and you will be free to visit hospitals throughout Korea.

Will I be paid in Korean Won or US Dollars?
Korean Won

When will I be paid?
Paychecks are typically cut once a month.

Are there any deductions from my salary?
Yes, there are some minimal deductions from your pay check each month. 1) Income tax of 3.3% 2) National Pension Scheme: 4.5% paid by you and 4.5% paid by employer to National Pension Corporation (NPC). 3) National Health Insurance: 2.24% paid by you and 2.24% paid by employer to National Health Insurance Corporation.

Can I get my pension after leaving Korea?
Due to Social Security Treaty of America (effective, April 2001), Canada (effective, May 1999), American and Canadian citizens can get their pension upon returning home. You can ask for a refund from the National Pension Corporation. If you don't ask for such a refund, it will be added to your pension period.

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What is a typical teaching schedule like?
Most schools operate Monday-Friday. You will typically have 25-35 teaching hours per week, with some additional "prep" time. Depending on the type of school, you will either work from 8am-4pm or 2pm-9:30pm. All of this information will be listed in detail on your individual contract.

How can I teach if I don't speak Korean?
This is a common concern for new teachers, however the important thing to remember is that there are already tens of thousands of ESL teachers in Korea now and almost all of them went to Korea with no Korean language ability. The school's administration knows that you do not speak Korean and will communicate with you in English. As far as communicating with the students, it is easier than you think. After all, both you and students know the common goal of learning English and you are able to overcome any communication barriers in the classroom.

How should I dress when teaching?
Standards of dress vary from school to school. This is a good question to ask during the interview with your school. The most important thing to remember is that schools will require is that you appearance is neat and clean. On average, schools will expect a "respectful" casual appearance. (Avoid extreme haircuts, tattoos, extra piercings, tattered clothing, and immodest clothing)

When are the Korean holidays?

Date
Holiday
January 1
Solar New Year
February 13-15
Lunar New Year
March 1
Independence Movement Day
May 5
Children's Day
May 21
Buddha's Birthday
June 6
Memorial Day
July 17
Constitution Day
August 15
Liberation Day
September 21-23
Chuseok
October 3
National Foundation Day
December 25
Christmas

What if my employer does not treat me fairly?
This is a valid concern. On rare occasions a teacher is placed in a school that does honor the contract by paying a salary late, not paying at all, demanding unpaid overtime, or some other unfair practice. We take this concern very seriously. In order to ensure that our teachers have a good experience we take the following precautions, 1) We try to work with schools the we know to be reputable 2) Our services do not end after the recruiting process. If you run into a problem, please let us know and we will contact the school in Korea 3) If the problem continues we will report the school to the Korean Ministry of Education and transfer you to a different school.

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What will my housing be like?
It will typically be a one bedroom apartment or studio near the school. The school provides individual housing, so you will not have roommates. These units are typically modestly furnished.

What is the average cost of utilities?
Your utilities all together should not be more than $60-$80. The average high speed internet connections is around $20.

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Who pays for the flights to and from Korea?
The school will cover the cost of your round trip airfare from the nearest international airport to Korea and back. It is common practice to do this through a reimbursement with your first paycheck in Korea for the flight there and payment for your flight home in your last pay check. Some schools prefer to purchase the ticket directly and forgo a reimbursement process. All of this information will be written out in your individual contract.

Will somebody meet me at the airport?
Yes. Somebody from your school will meet you at the airport and guide you to your apartment and school.

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Do I need to pay a recruiting fee?
No. You do not need to pay anything. The Korean schools pay us to find qualified teachers.

Why do you need a picture of me?
When we send your information to the Korean schools they want to see a picture of you. This is because apperance is so important in Korea. Extreme looks and fashions are not accepted in Korea. Bascially, they are trying to find people who have a clean cut and modest appearance.

What types of crimes on my record will disqualify me?
Don't worry about minor citations such as speeding tickets, parking tickets and so forth. Drug or alcohal related crimes and sexual crimes are what prevent a person from obtaining a visa.

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Do I need to learn Korean?
No. However, it is an interesting challenge and very useful. If you learn some basics, you will be able to meet more people, do more activities and be more independent.

Will I meet other Americans?
Yes. There are tens of thousands of English teachers in Korea right now. You will not only meet Americans, but you will also meet people from Canada, New Zealand, England, Australia and South Africa. At larger schools there will be other native English speakers on staff. If you don't have others at your school, don't worry, the foreign English teacher network is very close. As of late many associations, clubs, online forums, and websites have popped up to help ESL teachers in Korea connect even more easily.

Can I drink the water and eat the food?
Korea is the 13th world power, far above a third world country. All drinking water is filtered and perfectly safe. Korean food is safe as well... whether the spicy flavor will kill you or not, now that's a different story! (Korean cuisine is wonderful but does take some getting used to) If worst comes to worst you can always eat at a McDonalds or KFC.

Is Korea safe? And what about North Korea?
Korea is one of the safest countries in the world. You can walk around alone at night in a dark alley and not even think twice about it. America is much more dangerous that Korea. In regards to North Korea you should not fear either. In reality, North Korea is a little dog that barks loudly when it needs foreign aid. If you ask a South Korean about North Korea they are typically very disinterested and feel no threat. Two of teachabroadkorea.com's staff members have even been to North Korea.