21 Reasons Teaching English in Korea is for You

1. There is an abundance of jobs

The market for teaching jobs in Korea is pretty good. It's one of the more popular places to teach English abroad since the government is really pushing English education. Teachers often find jobs through recruiters or directly through job advertisements working in private or public schools.

2. It's a good place for first time teachers

With the right qualifications you shouldn't have much trouble finding a job here even if you are a first time teacher. It's also a good place to start off since the start up expense is so low.

3. You're broke and/or you want to pay off some debt

The financial situation in Korea is pretty good for ESL teachers. Teachers can make pretty good money and save it since the cost of living isn't much.

4. You'll make a good salary

The average salary in Korea is around 2-2.3 million won a month. That's about $1,800-2,200 (USD) a month.

5. You'll get free housing

Most contracts will provide free housing. If they don't then they will give you an allowance.

6. You'll get a free airline ticket

If you sign a contract for a year then you'll get a free ticket. It depends on the school, but if you break the contract you'll have to pay some or all of it back.

7. You'll get severance pay at the end of your contract

If you complete one year you'll get one additional month of pay at the end of your contract.

8. You might get pension pay

If you are a US citizen or from another designated country you'll also get a pension refund at the end of your contract. This can be another $1000 or more.

9. You might even get a settlement allowance

This is not common, but if you get a job through a program like EPIK you might get a settlement allowance of a few hundred dollars when you arrive.

10. You like to drink alcohol

You won't be alone here if you like to drink. Koreans like to drink alcohol. Soju is the national favorite alcoholic beverage. It's not only young adults who like to drink, but older adults too.

11. You love K-Pop

Pop music is big in Korea. Eatyourkimchi is a fan if you're not.

12. You want to learn Korean

Korean is said to be relatively simple, compared to Chinese or Japanese. If you are going to live in Korea it's recommended that you learn Korean.

13. You like hiking

Korea is mostly covered in mountains and hiking trails are very accessable. Even big cities like Busan have easily accessed mountains around the city.

14. You like kim chi

Koreans eat kim chi with every meal.

15. You like spicy food

Korean food is generally pretty spicy. They tend to use a red sauce that's common in many foods. If you like to eat Mexican, Thai or Indian food then I'd say you might not find it that spicy. Some people have problems with the food.

16. You like video games - especially Starcraft

The kids are nuts about video games here. And it's not only the kids it's the young adults too. There is even a TV show here dedicated to Starcraft.

17. You like public transportation

Public transportation in Korea is pretty good. It's efficient and inexpensive.

18. You are a B-Boy or a B-Girl

B-Boying is popular in Korea. You will see many performers doing this on the street or on TV.

19. You want to lose weight

Many fat and overweight foreigners moving to Korea lose weight. The Korean diet tends to be healthier than what many Americans eat.

20. You want to learn Taekwondo, Hapkido, Kumdo or Ssireum

The most popular Korean martial art is Taekwondo. Hapkido, Kumdo and Ssireum are other Korean martial arts.

21. You have an open mind

While this is not specific to Korea it is towards teaching abroad and enjoying it. You have to have an open mind because things are going to be different.

Conclusion

Many people choose Korea for the money and the financial situation. However, I would recommend choosing it for other reasons as well. Teaching abroad or specifically teaching in Korea is not for everyone. The reasons presented here are one side of the coin and there is another as well.

Resources for ESL teachers

Online TEFL Course Get certified to teach English abroad

Starters Guide A guide to get started teaching ESL in Asia

The Ebook An all inclusive how-to guide for teaching English in Asia

The Summary A summary of Jeremy Harmer's "How to Teach English"

101 Teaching Tips A 101 essential teaching tips for the ESL teacher

How-to Videos A 100+ how to teach English videos: lesson planning, teaching tips, games & activities, classroom management, etc.

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