Teach English in South Korea

South Korea is a relatively small country as it only has 50 million individuals living there with approximately 10 million of its citizens residing in Seoul. South Korea boasts an amazingly efficient transportation system, so combined with the size of the country, it makes traveling around Korea quite easy and affordable.

Teach in South Korea

South Korea holds a lot of pride knowing that it has one of the top education systems in the world which is why they continue to put such an emphasis on their studies and school life. As they have such an established ESL market, South Korea has become a popular destination for individuals looking to go abroad and teach ESL for a year! Most beginner teachers/fresh graduates will start teaching ESL at a private academy also known as a hagwon (학원).

South Korean hagwons are after-school programs to help develop and strengthen the child’s skills in the subject area where they may need improvement. South Korea has an abundance of English hagwons, but they also offer hagwons in other subjects such as soccer, math, music, etc. Children who are ages 5-16 typically attend these hagwons, so you’ll have a chance to work with a wide variety of students.

Hagwons are not the only place where you can work in South Korea. Many individuals also work with various government education programs, public schools, do freelance work, or private tutoring.


Compensation & Benefits

South Korea is one of the most competitive markets for ESL teaching.  As they offer a great compensation package, it becomes a desirable country to travel to for prospective ESL teachers. Depending on the type of school you’re at, beginning ESL teachers can expect to start off making 2.0 million Korean won or more.

A typical package will also include:

  • Housing assistance (either apartment provided or a housing allowance)
  • Flight reimbursement
  • Visa sponsorship
  • Health insurance (50% covered by school)
  • Enrollment in the Korean pension plan (employer will match what you put in)
  • Severance pay which is equivalent up to 1 month’s salary

Another perk about working in South Korea is that many foreign instructors are subjected to a low tax rate. Teachers can expect that about only 3%-5% of their income will be taxed.


Teaching IB in South Korea

As of 2020, there are 13 schools in South Korea that use the IB curriculum. This equates to hundreds of IB teaching positions, many of which are available to foreign teachers. Learn more about teaching IB in South Korea, and check out the history and an overview of teaching IB abroad in our blog.


Want to learn more about other curriculums taught in South Korea? We have more information about teaching Montessori, local curriculums, CIE, and the American curriculum abroad.



Teaching Nomad is your connection to teaching in Asia & The Middle East! We are a western owned and operated teacher placement agency with offices in Denver & Shanghai. We take a lot of pride in connecting teachers with great teaching opportunities.


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