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The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English in Korea

The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English in Korea

Are you interested in teaching English in Korea? Look no further! Welcome to the ultimate guide that will equip you with all the information you need to embark on this exciting and rewarding journey. Whether you're a seasoned educator or just starting out, this comprehensive guide will provide invaluable insights into teaching English in Korea.

Why Teach English in Korea?

Korea has become one of the most popular destinations for English teachers worldwide. The country's rich culture, technological advancements, and vibrant lifestyle make it a prime location for those seeking an immersive teaching experience. With a high demand for English education and competitive salaries, Korea offers unparalleled professional and personal growth opportunities.

Qualifications and Requirements

You'll need to meet certain qualifications and requirements to teach English in Korea. While the specific criteria may vary depending on the institution and position, here are the general prerequisites:

Bachelor's Degree: A four-year degree from an accredited university is typically required to obtain a work visa in Korea.

TEFL Certification: Many schools prefer candidates with a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification. This qualification provides the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the classroom.

Clean National Criminal Record: A clean criminal background check is mandatory for obtaining a work visa in Korea (FBI/DBS/RCMP, etc.).

Native English Speaker: Most schools in Korea prefer hiring native English speakers from countries like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, S. Africa, and New Zealand. You must have graduated from a university in one of the countries mentioned before.

Finding a Teaching Position

When it comes to finding a teaching position in Korea, there are several avenues you can explore:

EPIK (English Program in Korea): EPIK is a government-sponsored program that places native English teachers in public schools nationwide. It offers competitive salaries, benefits, and a structured teaching environment.

Hagwons (Private Language Institutes): Hagwons are privately-owned language institutes that cater to students of all ages. These institutes often provide a more flexible work schedule and can be found in urban and rural areas throughout Korea. We at TEIK ( can assist you with that!

International Schools: International schools follow a curriculum similar to that of Western countries and hire qualified teachers to deliver instruction in English. These schools typically offer higher salaries and additional benefits. However, you must have an education degree or a teaching license to get a job at one of the international schools, and most prefer teachers with F-type visas (not E2) married to a Korean or part Korean.

Culture and Lifestyle in Korea

Korea's unique blend of tradition and modernity offers an enriching cultural experience. From bustling cities to the serene countryside, Korea provides diverse attractions and activities. Here are some highlights:

Food: Korean cuisine is renowned for its bold flavors and diverse dishes. From spicy kimchi to mouthwatering barbecue, you'll have the opportunity to indulge in a wide array of culinary delights.

Festivals: Korea celebrates yearly festivals, each offering a glimpse into the country's vibrant traditions. From the colorful lantern festival to the lively cherry blossom festival, there's always something to celebrate.

Technology and Entertainment: Korea is a global leader in technology and entertainment. Explore futuristic cities like Seoul, visit K-pop concerts, or immerse yourself in virtual reality experiences.

Outdoor Adventures: Korea's stunning natural landscapes provide ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike scenic mountains, relax on picturesque beaches, or stroll through beautiful national parks.

Cost of Living and Salary Expectations

The cost of living in Korea is generally affordable, with accommodation and transportation being the major expenses. While salaries may vary depending on qualifications and experience, English teachers in Korea can expect a competitive salary for a comfortable lifestyle and the ability to save.

Visa Process

You'll need to obtain an E-2 visa to work in Korea legally. The visa process typically involves the following steps:

Obtaining a Job Offer: Secure a teaching position with a recognized institution in Korea. TEIK is here to assist you in the job search and interview process. We will help you from the gathering documents stage to interviewing/job search, visa process, flights, arrival, and beyond.

Visa Documents: Gather the necessary documents, including your degree certificate, TEFL certification, criminal background check, and passport and send it to your school, and then they will apply for your Visa Issuance Number (VIN).

Visa Application: After receiving your VIN, you can submit your visa application to the Korean embassy or consulate in your home country. For a list of Korean Consulates, visit here.

Visa Issuance: Once your visa application is approved, you'll receive your E-2 visa, allowing you to work legally in Korea.

For more information about the visa process that is specific to your country, you can visit our blog posts here:


Teaching English in Korea offers many opportunities for personal and professional growth and to save money. From the vibrant culture and lifestyle to the competitive salaries and benefits, it's no wonder why so many educators choose Korea as their teaching destination. By following the guidelines and insights provided in this ultimate guide, you'll be well-prepared to embark on an unforgettable journey teaching English in Korea.

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