Teaching In Korea
South Korea offers a unique blend of fast-paced cities and pristine countryside. You will find ancient palaces alongside angular skyscrapers, highlighting the country’s past and present.
While teaching will be your first priority, you will also have opportunities to explore the country. For example, the city of Boryeong hosts the world famous Mud Festival every summer on its scenic beaches. You could also visit Jeju Island, which is renowned for its beautiful palm trees surrounding crystal blue waters. Haeundae Beach in Busan is one of the most popular beaches in Korea, attracting more than 2 million visitors every year.
Koreans value education, and around 85% of high-school students continue onto university. Koreans believe this is the only way to get a high-paying job or government position, so competition to get into the best universities is fierce.
Everyone, from kindergarteners to machinery workers, wants to learn English, putting English education (and those who teach English in Korea) in high demand. Korea has two types of schools: private school (hagwan) and public school. The main difference between teaching in a private or public school is the schedule. Public schools start in March or April (with about 45 days for winter vacation and 40 days for summer vacation), and private school classes run year round. Private schools usually hold classes in the early morning and evening, so you would have your afternoons open for grading or personal time. Private school classes generally run 40 to 60 minutes, and public school classes run about 60 to 70 minutes. However, you can expect to work roughly the same number of hours whether you are working in a private or public school.
In addition to its differing schedule, public schools can only hire one Western teacher per school. This means that if you choose a public school for your teach English abroad experience, you will likely be the only English speaker at the school. Many first-time teachers choose to teach in a private school so they have support from other English-speaking teachers.
You will be living in a typical studio apartment/bachelor suite that caters to the busy life of a single person. Apartments are not spacious, but they have enough room for one person to live comfortably (don’t expect a fancy loft, as Asia has a high population density and housing is tight). All of these apartments have modern, western-style bathroom facilities with a toilet, sink, and shower. However, bathtubs are rare in single-housing accommodation in Korea.
Options for Housing in Korea are typically a “Villa” or an “Office-tell.” Villas are four to five story buildings found mostly in the residential areas of the city. Villas are very affordable due to their low maintenance costs, and typically have an owner who resides in the building and plays the role of superintendent.
Tall buildings that offer unit accommodations (alongside business or commercial space) are called “office-tells.” Office-tells are fairly new, which means they come with modern features. Most of the suites in office-tells have keyless entry and other conveniences, depending on the location. The costs may be higher than those of a villa because of building maintenance costs (approximately $50–$150 USD per month). One of the advantages of living in an office-tell is the close proximity to shops and services, which are sometimes attached to the building itself.
Read our blog on how to make a Korean apartment feel like home!
As one of the most wired nations in the world, Korea has Internet access readily available for reasonable rates. Popular service providers include Korea Telecom, Hanaro, and Thrunet. If you’re agreeing to a one-year contract, you can usually get connected without a service charge. On average, you can expect to pay about $30 USD to $40 USD a month for Internet access. Some employers will assist you in setting this up.
Korea has Internet cafés almost everywhere you turn. You’ll also find lots of “PC Bangs.” Some are open 24 hours, offering food service with beverages, noodles, and other snacks. PC Bangs generally only offer Internet service, and may not have business services such as faxes, scanners, or printers. Fees run about 1,000–2,000 KRW/hour.
We encourage those teaching English in Korea to explore their new country and soak up the local culture. Korea’s history spans over 5,000 years, so the country boasts many historic towns, palaces, and Buddhist Temples to visit. Just a few hours from anywhere in the country by bus or train, Kyungju is Korea’s most famous historic city. The country’s largest island, Jeju Island, offers unforgettable views, including the waterfalls at Hae-anjidae and the cliffs at Jusang Jeolli. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy Jeju Island, from hiking and bike riding to paragliding and scuba diving.
Inexpensive flights run daily from several different Korean airports. Korean Air flies out of a dozen different airports in Korea to destinations all over the world (the flight from Seoul to Tokyo takes just over two hours). Flights run several times a day from Seoul to Jeju Island and generally cost between 70,000 and 85,000 KRW each way (less than $200 USD round trip).
Benefits Of Teaching English In Korea
- Starting monthly salary range of 2.4 – 4.0 Million KRW
- Housing provided; if housing is not provided, you will receive a higher salary
- Paid vacation and national holidays
- 50/50 Contribution to medical and pension (which can be liquidated upon departure)
- Severance pay (1-month salary bonus upon completion of contract)
- Flight reimbursement
- Typical teaching hours 4 pm-10 pm
- Comprehensive training
- Pre-developed curriculum and lesson plans utilizing smart classroom tools
- Small class size, with an average class of 8-12 students
- Student age groups from grades K to 9
- Teacher community of 10 to 12 (up to 30 at largest centers)
- Opportunities for advancement (local management, corporate HQ positions)
Our Main Client
CREVERSE (formerly ChungDahm Learning) has over 180 locations throughout Korea, 40,000 students and over 1,000 trained and certified instructors. CREVERSE provides a comprehensive research-based English language curriculum for its teachers that prepares their Korean students to successfully use English in both academic and business environments. Teachers and students utilize the ChungDahm 3.0 platform where smart tablets and flat screen monitors are used to enhance the educational experience. CREVERSE has proven itself to be more than “just a teaching job”. The high salaries are a reflection of the premium value with place on our instructors.
Below you will also find descriptions of the various programs and brands CREVERSE offers.
The i-Garten Program:
Due to popular demand, Creverse launched its first kindergarten focused program, i-Garten. Immersing the program with art and music, the highly interactive lessons encourages freedom of expression and creativity. The diverse global cultural topics aim towards building self-esteem, confidence, and problem solving. Utilizing Smart Technology classroom, Creverse now caters to beginner phonics speaking or advanced TOEFL preparation.
Launched in September of 2007, the ChungDahm April Institute uses creativity and art as its core concept to help elementary school aged children learn English. The program is aimed to allow students to use imagination, artistic sensibility and expression to study creative thinking and problem solving. In this high-technology era, April Institute makes wide use of Information Technology to enable our own curriculum to be delivered effectively through a Smart Board. This allows the classroom environment to be more fun and enjoyable for students. Through the touch screen display and digital books, students can take part in various activities which results in an overall increase of class quality as well as motivating students to further their English studies.
ChungDahm Insitute is geared towards primary and secondary school aged students. This program in particular was the first in South Korea to implement all smart classrooms. Replacing traditional whiteboards with flat screen TVs and text books with tablets, the third generation ChungDahm curriculum fosters critical and creative thinking while encouraging English fluency. Dedicated to improve young learner’s confidence in speaking, Creverse’s methodological key principle is 75/25, where students speak 75% and teachers only speak 25%.
Teaching Locations In Korea
CREVERSE Learning has over 180 locations throughout Korea and we hope this page will help you learn about some of the cities you may call home during your time teaching in Korea. What makes Korea such a great country to live in is that it is compact. No matter where you are located, you are at most a 2-3 hour ride away from any city you want to visit.
Below we have featured a map showcasing the locations of some of Korea’s major cities along with links and information about most of the cities. For each city you will see a Google link which will bring you to a search page that has links to blogs written by CREVERSE teachers who live and teach in each of the featured cities. We recommend you read these blogs to learn about not only what life is like teaching in those cities, but also about all the activities you can do during your time there.
Map of South Korea
Seoul is both Korea’s capital and largest city with a population of around 10 million. It has all the features of a world-class city, and is home to the Han River and districts such as Gangnam, Itaewon, Songpa, Hongdae and Jamsil. While it is one of the most modern cities in the world, it also is home to numerous historical sites that are worth visiting during your time in Korea.
Busan is a port city located in the southeastern part of Korea and is about a 2.5 hour train ride away from Seoul. It is Korea’s second largest city with a population of around 3.5 million and it is famous for its beaches which makes it a popular travel destination in the summer.
Daejeon is located in the “heart” of Korea and is Korea’s fifth most populated city with around 1.5 million people. Its central location makes it very convenient to travel throughout the country. Like most Korean cities, it is a great place for outdoor activities as it is surrounded by mountains and has the Gapcheon River running through it. Daejeon is also considered the Silicon Valley of Korea as it is home to many tech and engineering companies.
Jeju is an island is located off the south coast of Korea and is easily accessible by plane from the airports in Incheon, Busan and Gimpo. It is best known for being the “Hawaii of Korea,” as it is home to beautiful beaches, volcanoes, exotic flowers, waterfalls and breathtaking sunsets. Although Jeju is best known for it’s beautiful landscape, it is also home to Jeju City which has a population of around 435,000 people.
Geoje is an island located off the southeastern coast of Korea and is about an hour from the port city of Busan. Although Geoje is an island, it is connected to the mainland by bridges so you don’t need to rely on a boat or plane for transportation to and from the island. The best places to visit in Geoje include Windy Hill and Okpo, along with both the Mungdong Waterfall and Gujora Beach camping grounds. Finally, Geoje City, with a population of around 244,000 people, offers the amenities of any major city including restaurants, nightlife, shopping malls and movie theaters and one of the best places to experience all these attractions is in the Gohyheon area of the city.
Apartments In Korea
Although apartments vary in size depending on where you teach in Korea, you can expect your apartment to have the amenities needed to make your living experience comfortable. Amenities include a washer, closet and storage space, a stove, a refrigerator along with a bathroom with a toilet, sink and shower.
To get a better idea of what the apartments in Korea look like we recommend you watch apartment video on Youtube, along with browsing through the pictures below. The pictures below are all actual apartments of current CREVERSE teachers in Korea.