5 advantages of teaching English in South Korea (guest post by Charlotte Jones)

Categories Korea, Teaching English

*The following content was provided by Charlotte Jones.  Charlotte was gracious enough to reach out to me and put together a really great piece for the blog.  If anyone is interested in contacting her, please let me know and I can put you in touch.  Thanks, Charlotte!

5 advantages of teaching English in South Korea

 Once you’ve made the decision to move abroad and teach English as a foreign language, you probably already have a destination in mind. I can imagine that there are few people who consider South Korea from the off. But look a little closer and you will see that South Korea has the ingredients for that life changing, eye opening, inspiring experience that you hear those lucky few talk about… and some practical ones too.

Firstly let’s get the less inspiring but equally important points out of the way:  

1.      Financial Incentives

A typical English teaching contract in South Korea is very generous and is something that often incentivizes people to choose the country. Especially for those on a budget, who are looking for their first work opportunity to get their feet off the ground. In most cases the employer will offer an airfare reimbursement, paid ahead of the return flight at the end of the contract. It is also common for South Korean schools to offer free housing for their employees or at least offer subsidized accommodation. English teachers can also expect to receive 10-20 days of paid vacation on top of the typical 15-18 days of annual public holidays.

2.      Market Demand

The South Korean English teaching market is one of the largest and fastest growing in the world. South Korea has a large population with 25 million living in the capital Seoul alone and this has created a stress on the education system both for children and adults. This and the desire to learn English means that English schools are recruiting year round. It is estimated that 25,000 foreign English teachers work in South Korea each year and that each month 2000-3000 new positions become available. This means that if you have a Bachelor´s degree and a TEFL certification it will be relatively easy to secure a position.

3.      Financial Rewards

South Korean schools provide a generous monthly salary and with relatively low taxes it means that English teachers can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle whilst in South Korea. Also due to the average low cost of living, workers will have the opportunity to save up to $1000 USD per month after expenses. This means you could come away with significant savings. Additionally most South Korean Schools provided another financial reward in the form of a one month salary bonus at the end of the contract, typically lasting 12 months.

Now the ones that make that unforgettable experience:

4.      South Korean Culture

If you are looking for a real change, to be completely thrown in at the deep end and to experience something different, South Korea definitely can provide that. By teaching English in South Korea you can become emerged in a country where the mindset, language and behaviors are completely different to what you have experienced before. Although it will be challenging at times, fitting into such a culture will be one of the most rewarding plus points. The economic growth in recent years has meant that the culture is now a mixture of ancient tradition and hi-tech modernism. South Korea has developed from the third world to one of the strongest, most technologically-advanced in short order and to witness that effect is very intriguing.

5.      The Students and Locals

Education is of great importance to Korean people. As a clear class system still exists and effects everyday life, it is important for Koreans that their children are well educated. Hagwons are South Korean private schools where affluent families send their children. These schools typically offer the best teaching opportunities. The children will generally by very friendly, enthusiastic and respectful of you. Respect for elders and those of authority is paramount in South Korean culture and therefore, especially with older children, you will find a harmonious classroom.

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