What Are the EPIK, GEPIK, SMOE, and TaLK Government Programs for Teaching English in South Korea?

By Ashley Houston

If South Korea is at the top of your list of destinations for teaching English abroad, you may have come across one of the acronyms above. If a private language school (hagwon) doesn’t interest you, one of the South Korean government public school programs represented by these acronyms may be a great fit! Here's a quick breakdown of what each abbreviation stands for and what each teaching program offers you as an English teacher in South Korea.

What Are the Requirements for the EPIK Program for Teaching English in South Korea?

There are several requirements you need to satisfy before being able to apply for the EPIK Program. 

Some of these requirements include having a BA Degree or above from an accredited college or university, having a clean criminal background check, and meeting all visa requirements for an E-2 or F-4 visa. To see a complete list of all EPIK Program requirements, continue reading...

What are the Pros/Cons of Teaching English Abroad Through a Government Assistantship Program?

By Chelsea Hendrickx 

While most international English teachers are employed by private language schools across the globe, there are a handful of countries that operate what’s know as a Government Assistantship Program, which provides opportunities for foreign English teachers to work in public schools, including grade schools & high schools. Participants in these program typically assist a native teacher from the local country with English classes, rather than teaching and running a class entirely on their own.

What is a Hagwon for Teaching English in South Korea?


By: Cassie Wells

South Korea is one of the largest and most popular job markets for those looking to teach English abroad. With thousands of opportunities spread throughout the country, you might be wondering who exactly your employer will be. While public schools employ a small amount of English teachers each year, the bulk of jobs will be found at Hagwons. “Hagwon” is the Korean language word for a for-profit private educational institute (school). So, essentially, hagwons are private language centers or academies that operate like businesses and apart from the South Korean public school system.

What is the EPIK Program for Teaching English in South Korea?

By: Jessie Smith

An Overview of the EPIK Program for Teaching English in South Korea

EPIK, which stands for English Program In Korea, is a teaching program sponsored through the Korean Ministry of Education. Accepted participants are placed in public school positions throughout the country, so while you can list your preferences, assignments are decided on a first come-first serve basis, and your location will ultimately be assigned to you. You can increase your chance of getting the placement you want by making sure to apply ASAP when the application period opens.

Teaching English in Korea: Private vs. Public Schools, What's Better?

Those interested in teaching English in Korea will need to decide whether they want to teach in a public school or in a private school (private language schools in Korea are often referred to as hogwans).  Many positions are similar in that they involve teaching English to school children and teachers in both private and public schools can expect excellent benefits, including free furnished housing, reimbursed airfare, paid vacation and salaries that enable the teacher to save $800 - $1,000 a month after expenses (sometimes even more).