Once considered a top TEFL destination, South Korea has in recent years focused on the introduction of English in Kindergartens/nurseries and the development of international middle and secondary schools that now consider English as a core part of the curriculum. English is now taught in elementary schools from the age of 10.
South Korea is a high growth area with an increasing number of exciting teaching jobs on offer in both public and private schools.
- Capital - Seoul
- Population - 50.4 million
- Currency - South Korean won (₩)
- Religion - Buddhism and Christianity
- Language - Korean
- 18 public holidays per year
Fun facts about South Korea
- In South Korea, you can get 250 different kinds of Kimchi
- You never have to leave home to eat. Most restaurants will deliver straight to your apartment via motorcycle, including McDonald's
- On Valentine's day, women show love by giving chocolates and gifts to their husbands/boyfriends
- South Korea harvests more than 90% of the world’s seaweed consumption
- Traditional wedding garments are usually red, which is a symbol of good fortune
Salary and benefits
- Teaching salary in South Korea typically ranges from 2-3 million KRW (approximately $1,976-$2,964 USD) per month, and are often tax-free.
- Benefits typically include free, furnished accommodation (or generous accommodation allowance), return flights (at start and end of contract), medical welfare contributions and flexible working options.
- The low cost of living makes South Korea ideal for teachers looking to save money.
Requirements to teach in South Korea
- Teachers must be licenced and/or certified to teach in their native country
- You must be a fluent, English speaker
- You must have a Bachelor’s Degree in the relevant subject
- You must have at least 2 years’ teaching experience at the relevant level and in the relevant subject
Working hours in South Korea
Internal schools tend to run from earlier in the morning to earlier in the afternoon, to make way for extra curricular activities
About South Korea – the experience
A beautiful and largely undocumented part of Asia, Korea will surprise even the most established traveller with how distinct its culture is and how well traditions and customs have survived throughout its troubled history.
This is a country filled with stunning beaches, national parks and mountains that provide the perfect backdrop for enthusiastic teachers seeking a new experience. Why not head to the mountains for a hike in summer or skiing in the winter?
Korea is a small country and it’s easy to get around and visit neighbouring China or Japan for a long weekend. You can even visit numerous islands and beaches by boat.
Most teachers spend time travelling around Asia with the money that they have accumulated through good salaries and the low cost of living.
Food in South Korea
Korean cuisine is largely based on rice, vegetables, and meats; and Kimchi is almost always served at every meal.
Traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes that accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice.