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.
How Much Do English Teachers Make in Korea?
First-time English teachers in South Korea working in public schools through programs like EPIK typically earn monthly salaries between 1.5 to 3 million won ($1,150 - $2,650 USD). English teachers at private schools (Hagwons) earn from 1.9 to 2.4 million won ($1,600 - $2,000 USD) monthly. Public & private schools typically provide free housing and flight reimbursements.
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...
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.
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.
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.
Last update: April 10, 2017
At International TEFL Academy we seek to enable all of our students and graduates to enjoy a rewarding and safe international experience.
Naturally, many with an interest in living and working in South Korea have expressed concern as to whether South Korea is a safe destination for teaching English. We have closely monitored the situation and at this time we believe there is no indication that those teaching English in South Korea face any imminent or serious threat of being caught up in any violent conflict between North and South Korea.
US State Department official statements:
One of the great fears that one faces when moving to a new community, let alone a new country, is “Will I be able to make friends?" Certainly this is a challenge that anybody who goes abroad to teach English must confront, but the good news is that moving to a new country like Korea to teach English offers the opportunity of a lifetime to make new friends and enjoy experiences that you would never have otherwise. Not only will you be welcomed by the local population with open arms, but you will also meet, live, and work with a diverse assortment of people from throughout the English-speaking world.
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).