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Teaching English in Korea 101

The job market for teaching English in South Korea is currently one of the largest and strongest in the world. Those looking to teach English in Korea can find teaching opportunities year round, and interviews are conducted in advance over the phone and via Skype. In most cases, those teaching English in Korea receive free or reimbursed airfare, and South Korean schools typically provide free housing. A typical contract for an English teacher in Korea offers a free return flight, paid vacation and 1-month salary bonus (around $ 2,000 USD after 12 months).

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A generous salary of $1,850 - $2,500 a month (depending on qualifications and exchange rates) with only 5% taxes, enables English teachers in Korea to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, and it provides an opportunity to save up to $1,600 per month after expenses. Language schools in Korea typically require 25 to 30 hours of teaching per week plus prep time, leaving plenty of time to travel and explore. English teachers in Korea also receive 10-20 days of paid vacation per year in addition to 15-18 national holidays.  

English teachers must have a bachelor's degree to teach English in South Korea, and TEFL/TESOL certification is required. English teachers must also have a clean FBI Background check to teach in Korea. There are over 10 cities with a million people. Major cities for teaching English in South Korea include Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Ulsan, Gwangju, Daejeon, and Daegu.

Seoul is one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world with approximately 25 million people and over 1,000 English language schools. There are an estimated 25,000 English teachers in South Korea working each year and demand shows no signs of slowing. Many English teachers work in major government public school programs such as EPIK while others teach in private schools known as hagwons.

For more information about teaching English in South Korea, check out our South Korea Resource Hub!

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