The ancient oriental ‘land of the morning calm’, South Korea is a mystical country with a vast and dramatic history, matched only by its spectacular landscapes of huge intimidating mountain, dense green forests, epic rivers and waterfalls, and many serene beaches. This magnificent land is dotted with ancient temples, large metropolises home to the latest high technologies, and more laid back towns and villages where ancient oriental arts, traditions and culture still belong in the ‘everyday.’
Over the last 30 years South Korea has undergone a rapid period of growth, closing the gap on the super powers of Asia, Japan and China, much due to success in the motor vehicle and electronic industries, with international brands such as LG, Gold Star, Hyundai, Daewoo, Samsung, leading the way. South Korea is no longer a third world country with an uncertain future, it has become one of the most modern and well developed nations of Asia, with a population of over 60 million, many of whom desire to speak the English language.
Teaching English in South Korea
South Korea’s rise to become a significant country in both world politics and modern technology has created a massive demand for English language teachers, though this has been the case for well over a decade now and teaching English in South Korea is a somewhat well trodden path, with many schools offering excellent packages and high rates of pay, making it one of the ideal countries for TEFL teachers wanting a truly oriental experience.
The financial rewards of TEFL teaching in South Korea are not just amongst the best in Asia but are up with the best TEFL teaching destinations in the world. New and inexperienced ESL teachers in South Korea can expect to earn more than enough to get by on, even with little more than a freshly achieved TEFL certificate under their arm, whilst more experienced teachers can expect to earn very well.
On the face of it, TEFL teaching wages in South Korea may be comparable to wages back home in the West, but with cost of living so cheap in South Korea, even in majors cities such as Seoul and Busan, TEFL teachers can afford to live well, adventure and party in their free time, and even put some savings away on top of it all. The rate of tax is little more than 5%, and in addition to this, many teaching packages will include free or subsidised accommodation, annual return airfares home, and some schools will even include free meals! Making it a very popular choice for experienced teachers, and new TEFL recruits trying to start a serious career in teaching, or just looking to rack up some savings and travel.
TEFL teaching hotspots in South Korea
Here are our top 3 TEFL teaching destinations:
Seoul, South Korea’s much loved capital city, has a population in excess of 10 million people. It is not only a hub for much of Korea’s industry and commerce, home to hundreds of language schools and private English classes, but it is also filled with culture, both modern and ancient, making it an obvious choice for any teacher to consider.
Busan is South Korea’s second largest city, and is only just second to Seoul in terms of population, cultural interest and TEFL teaching opportunities. However, whilst Busan lacks some of Seoul’s commercial power, it more than makes up for in its laid-back vibe, much owed to its position on the coast, making for a cooler climate and more comfortable environment.
Gwangju is a somewhat less obvious choice, being a much small, more traditional city. Whilst there is a smaller turnover of TEFL jobs here, there are also far few expat ESL teachers sitting in wait for teaching opportunities to come about. Sat in some of Korea’s most lush countryside, Gwangju is also home to several universities and language schools.
Did you know..
Around 50% of people population in South Korea are atheists, with the remaining 50% made up of Christians and Buddhists.
South Korea has of some of the largest shopping malls in the world; some of the malls are even bigger than some European towns.
Snuppy was the first cloned dog in the world was ‘created’ at the Seoul National University.
Korean taxis are colour coded to indicator of the type of services you will receive. Grey and white taxis offer basic comfort, whilst black cabs are more luxurious and have more experienced drivers.
And for the techno-nerds, South Korea is the only country that boast DMB, WiBro and 100Mbit/s Broadband!
Here are some recommended links to TEFL job opportunities in South Korea: