South Korea is honestly bucket list goals. Most people will never get the opportunity to live and work in their dream country. But if you teach English abroad, you’ll not only get the chance to work with wonderful children, but you’ll get to experience a new culture in a way others only ever dream of. Teaching English in South Korea is one of the experiences that changes you for life.
There are about 1.5 billion English speakers globally, and South Korea is one of the most in-demand countries for new English learners. In this article, you’ll discover major reasons to teach English abroad in South Korea. While it’s ultimately up to you, these benefits are hard to pass up.
Competitive Salary and Free Rent
South Korea is a technology hub of the world and constantly developing. On top of having your housing paid for, most things in South Korea are very affordable. If something is imported, you’ll likely pay a premium price for it, but you can experience the city, local food, adult hangouts, and even healthcare without breaking the bank.
When you teach English abroad, you’ll likely be teaching in a hagwon. A hagwon is a private school that functions differently from the regular school system. For example, it’s not uncommon to have classes from 3 pm to 10 pm.
Western Teachers in hagwons are paid competitive wages, including overtime work.
Friendly Culture and Bang Parties
South Korea is full of brilliant culture, activities, and festivals you can only experience while living there. The people are friendly, and there’s an endless number of things to do if you travel to the city. For example, there is a phenomenon called Bang culture, which is party rooms. The equivalent would be renting small private party spaces with your friends in the US. In South Korea, there are tons of rooms for everything like watching movies, singing karaoke, playing games, and more.
Also, the city stays up late. So you’ll always have somewhere to grab a bite to eat after a long day at the hagwon.
As a foreigner in the country, you won’t have to worry about feeling lonely. South Korea has a close-knit community of foreigners, including educators, that are there when you need them. Additionally, several activities are suited to foreigners interested in traveling and learning more about Korea’s rich history.
Because It’s Beautiful
If you love the outdoors, you’ll love Korea. There is always a pocket of serenity right around the corner, from picturesque beaches to soaring mountains covered in lush greenery. South Korea has over 20 national parks and experiences every season, with cold winters to hot and humid summers.
Korea is also home to the annual cherry blossom festival called beotkkot. Beotkkot celebrates the petals blooming and the arrival of Spring. There are festivals, parades, and performances amid the falling cotton candy-pink flowers.
Need we say more? In every major city worldwide, you’ll find Korean-inspired dishes–all with a side of kimchi. So while in Korea, enjoy as much food from the source as your heart (or stomach) can handle.
You’ll likely come across the most common dishes at street markets and fancy restaurants alike, such as bulgogi and bibimbap. Bulgogi, also known as Korean barbeque, is world-famous with marinated beef prepared on the grill with veggies, rice, and more. Then there’s the bibimbap you can eat every day and never get tired of. Bibimbap is a rice bowl with grilled/sauteed veggies, any kind of meat, and more.
Pension and Severance Pay
Finally, other than falling in love with the children of South Korea, many English teaching jobs come with benefits. You’ll start to notice that pension and state-run healthcare comes out of your paycheck. The pension is put aside much like a retirement fund and can only be accessed if you show proof that you are leaving the country. It takes a little while to see the money in your account, but it’s a nice chunk of change if you’ve been working in South Korea for a while.
Another perk is that you’re also likely to get severance pay. When you leave your job, you receive your last month’s salary plus an additional fee that may be equal to another regular paycheck.
For many, choosing to teach abroad is not a spontaneous decision. But if you’ve always longed for an adventure, don’t let these English teaching jobs in South Korea fall off your radar. A year or two in another country can open your eyes to new possibilities for yourself you never knew were possible.