Korea is a wonderful country with a rich history and fascinating culture. The Korean people have a remarkable interest in learning English as a second language, which creates a demand for English teachers from both the United States and Canada. Currently, there are 23,000+ foreign teachers living in Korea, the majority of which are from North America.

Pay and Compensation

Though these can change from school to school, the average contract will include these items

  • One year teaching contract
  • $1,600-$2,200 per month salary (the exchange rate will cause this to vary slightly)
  • Paid housing- typically a one bedroom furnished apartment within the vicinity of the school or a housing allowance
  • Health benefits- typically 50% coverage (the Korean Government subsidizes health costs so any health expense will be very minor. For instance a typical doctor’s visit will cost less than $25)
  • Vacation days- all major Korean holidays and 7-14 vacation days
  • Paid flight to and from Korea
  • Option to renew contract with higher pay

Other bonuses about living in Korea

  • The cost of living in Korea is relatively low while the standard of living is high.
  • Between paid housing, a good salary and a lower cost of living, it is a good chance to save money; many teachers use this as a chance to pay off student loans.
  • Korea has a public transportation system that is second to none, making it unnecessary to purchase a vehicle.
  • Korea is a central hub in Asia, so it's easy to travel to Japan, China, Thailand, Hong Kong etc.
  • Shopping in Korea is great! Lots of clothes, souvenirs, electronics and much more.
  • Endless sightseeing attractions and places to visit
  • Great food for both the adventurous and reserved eater

Job Locations

Teach Abroad Korea sends teachers all over South Korea. Our teachers are placed in both large cities and small towns. The good thing about Korea is that is it relatively small and wherever a teacher lives, they are able to travel to other parts of the country easily. Some common areas where we send teachers include Seoul, Kwangju, Sunchon, Mokpo, and Yeosu.

Types of Schools in Korea

English teachers in South Korea are employed by both private schools (hakwons) and public schools. The public school system in Korea is comparable to the system we have here in North America, however the private school system is totally different. In Korea, nearly all students will attend a public school during normal school hours and then attend a private school in the evening.

Teaching in the Public School System:

  • Teaching hours are typically from 8:00am - 4:00pm, usually not to exceed 35 teaching hours per week
  • Teacher may rotate around to several schools within a school district
  • Class size will range from 20-45 students
  • Contract will be made with Korean government with set pay scale
  • A Korean co-teacher will often be in the classroom to help teach
  • Student body of 400-2000 students depending on location of school

Teaching in the Private School System:

  • Teaching hours are typically from afternoon to evening, unless the school specializes in teaching kindergarten students, in which case teaching hours will be from morning until afternoon
  • Contract will be made with the individual school, with pay scales and structure differing between schools
  • Class size will range from 7-20 students on average
  • Student body of 20-200 students depending on location of school
  • Depending on the size of the school, there could be an entire staff of foreign English teachers

Teaching at either type of school has its advantages, and we recruit for both school systems. Our teachers do have a choice, but most do not commit to one or the other, leaving their options open for job offers from both types of schools.

Most teachers will be recruited to teach in kindergartens or elementary schools (this is where the current demand is), but we also work with middle schools, high schools and adult schools on a regular basis.

Teaching Method

Regardless of which school system a teacher is working in, the teaching method is similar. Teachers will be provided with books and curriculum that will help the students increase their English conversation ability. At first this may seem like a daunting task because of the language barrier, but that feeling quickly fades as the teacher-student bond strengthens and you are able to communicate with the students. Korean students, for the most part, are very hardworking and obedient. In addition, the parents in Korea often work in conjunction with teachers, reinforcing the things taught in school at home.