Category: Teaching

My First Weeks Teaching In Korea

Moving to a new country always comes with a mix of excitement and challenges. Teaching in Korea has brought on a whirlwind of new experiences and surprises that has made this one of the best choices I have ever made! Here’s what it’s been like so far living in Korea and teaching at April English in Cheonan, South Korea. 


Convenience Is King

One of the things that I noticed within my first week of living and teaching in Korea is the proximity of everything. Hailing from the Toronto area, I’m accustomed to relying on a car for even the most basic errands. Here in Korea, you will be surprised to find that most things (if not everything) you could possibly need is within walking distance. Before I moved to Korea I was really stressed out because I needed a haircut before my flight,  but it was too late to book one. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find a good salon close by, since I knew I wouldn’t have a car in Korea. 


I quickly realized it was a complete non-issue! There’s probably 5 hair salons within a 15-minute walk from my apartment. Everywhere I walk I see cozy cafes, and endless restaurants. There is also a convenience store on every corner of my street. So anytime I’m relaxing and watching some Netflix, I can just quickly run down to the convenience store to grab something if I need a snack or a drink. 


Easing In To My Apartment

Apartment of an English teacher in South Korea

My apartment came fully furnished, but I still needed to get plates, utensils, cups, bathroom essentials, cleaning supplies etc. Daiso is one of my favorite stores for that. Daiso is the Korean version of the dollar store. It has basically everything you could ever need or want for less than $5. On top of that, everything is so stylish and trendy, and the quality is amazing. You would never even guess that everything in my apartment is from the equivalent of a dollar store! 


Teaching And Training

Preparing to teach in a foreign country can be daunting, but the training week was a game changer and helped me to seamlessly transition into the classroom with confidence. When I landed in Korea my training started about 2 days after. The training was for one week. The training covered everything from the lesson plans, classroom management, expectations, and more. My trainer was super friendly and very helpful to me throughout my training week. 


The Little Things

One of the first things I tried when I got to Korea was pizza at a Korean chain called “Mr. Pizza.” It is definitely a new experience as Korean-style pizza as it is both a little sweet and extremely cheesy. I was also surprised to see you could order toppings like shrimp and sweet potato! While most people don’t move half way around the world to try Korean-style pizza, it was really fun to just experience something I never knew even existed! I definitely recommend trying it at least once. You can also find popular western chains such as Dominos or Papa Johns if Korean-style pizza isn’t your forte!


Moving to Korea was one of the decisions I ever made. From my bustling neighborhood to the convenience of everything, and the invaluable insights gained through training. Each experience has been a stepping stone towards embracing this new chapter of my life. 

Here’s to a year of exploration, learning, and laughter as I navigate the joys of teaching in Korea. I can’t wait to see where my adventure takes me!


Aisha Khan is from Brompton, Ontatio, Canada, and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from York University. She held roles in Account Management and Administration at companies like the the Bank of Montreal, TD Canada Trust,  and Air Canada but was looking for a new adventure. She found Aclipse, and decided to take the leap of faith and teach English abroad.

Should I Get A TEFL Certificate To Teach In Korea?

Teaching In Korea

As you begin exploring opportunities to teach in a South Korea, you may have come across the term TEFL in all of your research. In this post, we will discuss what a TEFL certificate is, the benefits of getting a TEFL certificate and whether it is necessary to have one to teach English in South Korea!


What is a TEFL Certificate?

TEFL, which stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, is a certificate that will provide you with the tools to become a successful English teacher! During the course, you’ll explore topics such as:


  • Supporting English language learners
  • Creating dynamic lesson plans
  • Managing classroom interactions
  • Evaluating language abilities
  • Enhancing teaching methods

What are the Benefits of Having a TEFL Certificate?

If you are thinking about teaching in South Korea, getting a TEFL certificate is a great idea!

It provides you with the skills and knowledge to help your students with their language acquisition. You will walk away from the course feeling more confident in your abilities as a teacher and you will be inspired to test out your newly learned skills in real-time!


Additionally, earning a TEFL certificate helps your resume stand out in a sea of applications! It shows your dedication to professional growth which is something that employers in South Korea greatly appreciate. Regardless of whether you’re a new graduate or an experienced teacher looking for new opportunities, it can be extremely valuable and will help set you up for success!


How Much Does a TEFL Certificate Cost?

The price of getting a TEFL certificate can differ significantly based on various factors: such as the length of the course, the accreditation of the course and if the certificate is online or in person.

In general, you can anticipate spending anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on a TEFL certificate program. Online courses are usually more cost-effective, while in-person courses may have higher fees due to extra expenses like facilities rentals and classroom materials. Keep an eye out for discounted certificates on platforms such as Groupon, etc – just make sure that they are from a trustworthy organization!!  


Do I Need a TEFL To Teach in South Korea?

A TEFL certificate is not a requirement to teach in South Korea! Although, it is highly recommended and will help you feel better prepared before you make the move to teach abroad.

Our Top Pick: The TEFL Academy

There are a lot of different TEFL certifications available, but we highly suggest The TEFL Academy. Known for its in depth courses and internationally recognized certification, The TEFL Academy effectively prepares teachers for success in their classroom!


In summary, obtaining a TEFL is great for advancing your teaching career and it is a useful tool for preparing yourself to teach English language learners! With a TEFL certificate, you are not just getting a qualification… you are opening up opportunities to explore new cultures, experiences and career paths!

Bethany Coquelle, growing up and living in both the east and west coasts of Canada, serves as an Overseas Recruiter specializing in South Korea placements since 2017! With a multicultural family and a passion for cultural exchange, she understands the transformative power of connecting people from diverse backgrounds. Inspired by the impact teachers can have on students’ lives, Bethany is dedicated to linking educators with their ideal positions abroad. Whether guiding through the intricacies of teaching in South Korea or providing a compassionate ear, she is committed to supporting your educational journey.

Achieving Work-Life Balance While Teaching In Korea

Tips For Work-Life Balance In Korea

Many people struggle to keep a work-life balance. This is especially true for people who are newer to the teaching field than more experienced teachers. Add on top of that experiencing a new country for the first time, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Here are some tips I’ve learned for how to create a peaceful work-life balance, so you can enjoy your time in Korea to the fullest! 

Ask For Help

Initially, my move to Korea was challenging because I didn’t have the same support system I had back home in the States. I knew it would be really important that I made friends and bonded with my coworkers early into my time here. I’m so glad I did because now I have an amazing community to lean on. When I feel overwhelmed with work or in my personal life, asking for help from one of my friends here in Seoul always helps lift the burden. It’s just as rewarding as when I get to return the favor. As someone who is new to teaching, this has been especially true when it comes to asking for help at work.


Set Boundaries

I have really strict boundaries for myself when it comes to work. For example, even if there are still papers to be graded, I never stay late. I also consciously try not to worry about my students or how well I’m teaching them when I’m off the clock. It’s really easy in such a people-oriented job to dwell on these things, but I’ve found having a work-life balance has made me a better teacher. When I’m away from work, I focus on enjoying Korea. When I’m at work, I am focused on my students.


Build A Routine

Without a doubt, the best thing I’ve done for my work-life balance is build a routine. When you live abroad, you experience something new and different nearly every day. Even eight months into living abroad, this holds true. Building healthy, easy habits into my daily life has eliminated a lot of stress and has made it possible for me to enjoy Korea and teaching even more. During the day before work, I always take a walk around my neighborhood and stop into my local coffee shop. The lady working knows my order and starts making it before I’ve even reached the counter. 


Whether it’s hitting the gym or becoming a regular at a late night food stall, familiar faces, places, and healthy habits will make it so much easier for you to feel connected to Korea and ready for work.


Set Priorities

As someone who wants to be doing everything all at once, this tip hurts a little bit, which probably means it’s the most important one. Everyone decides to teach in Korea for slightly different reasons. For me, I really wanted to experience a new culture and travel the world, so in my spare time, I’ve prioritized taking language classes and taking day trips from Seoul. Others might move to Korea because they’re passionate about teaching and K-pop. For those people, they might prioritize concerts and take extra work opportunities when they arise to build up their teaching skills. Once you figure out what’s important to you, balancing life in Korea becomes so much easier.


English teachers in Korea laughing in front of a pagoda
K-pop music festival in Korea

Remember This Is A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity

Another way of saying this is simple: Don’t stress it! It’s hard to explain just how surreal it feels to live and teach in Korea after years of dreading going to work at my desk jobs and secretly dreaming of living abroad. I know one day I’ll likely move on from Korea, but in the meantime, I try to make every second count. That doesn’t always mean going out on an adventure. More often than not, it involves sitting back and feeling grateful for the life I’ve built for myself here in Korea with close friends. If you can manage to do that every once in a while, I promise everything else with work-life balance will fall into place with time!


Diana Richtman is a writer and ESL teacher living in Seoul, South Korea. Originally from Savannah, Georgia in the United States, Diana holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in English & Women’s Studies. After receiving her TEFL certification, Diana moved to South Korea where she works at one of Creverse’s April Institutes. When Diana isn’t working, she loves exploring Korea, drinking warm cups of tea, and scaring away her friends with her karaoke performances. 

Types Of English Teaching Jobs In Korea

English Education In South Korea

Considering how largely education is valued in South Korea, it comes with no surprise that it’s become a central hub for many current and aspiring educators. There are many different types of English teaching jobs in Korea. Below are a few pros and cons to consider when thinking about teaching in the peninsula.


Public Schools

A native English language teacher in a classroom for EPIK


The English Program in Korea (also known as EPIK) is the best way to get your foot into Korea’s public school system. EPIK offers some flexibility regarding curriculum and teaching methods, as they typically cater to bigger class sizes. 


There’s some limitations regarding location preferences—one could end up in a very rural area. It’s common for one instructor to be assigned to each school so there will likely not be any foreign colleagues. Also, the pay may be less competitive—as pay caps within the public school system are precisely set.


Private Academies (Hagwons)


For those preferring a more lucrative salary, hagwons or private academies might be the better route—as private academies tend to have more structured curriculums that allow educators to engage closely with students or on a more individualized level. The plus side of working in the afternoons frees up time in the morning for personal activities.


As hagwons are prominent nationwide, different reputations may vary—especially within the small, privately owned academies.


A group of English language teachers posing with awards in South Korea

International Schools


International schools cater to a diverse student body including both local and expatriate learners. There might be some reassurance with the familiarities of teaching a Western curriculum.


Since they follow international curricula such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), international schools only hire certified teachers.




For those with a masters or a doctorate, teaching positions at universities might be an option. These roles often involve conducting specific research topics alongside teaching responsibilities. It is a combination of contributing to the academic community while enjoying a higher level of autonomy in the classroom.


University positions tend to be extremely competitive—many require, at the very least, a master’s degree in a specialized field.


South Korea’s vibrant education landscape offers a multitude of teaching positions to suit various preferences and skill sets. Whether you’re drawn to the flexibility of public schools, the structure of hagwons, the global environment of international schools, or the academic rigor of universities, there’s a teaching role in South Korea waiting to be embraced. If you want help navigating the different types of teaching jobs in Korea, apply to Aclipse now!

Joe Achacoso first embarked on his ESL journey in 2010 to satiate his longing desire for travel. An opportunity intended to be a 1-year contract turned into a 10-year tenure—as an English teacher, faculty manager, instructor trainer and curriculum developer. His adventures in global education continued with a master’s, and it came full circle when he joined Aclipse’s recruiting team—hoping to help the like-minded achieve the same transformative experience!

My First Two Weeks Teaching English In Korea

Teaching English In Korea

Leading up to my big move across the world, I was beyond nervous. I had a lot of doubts, fears, and uncertainty. As someone who loves adventure while simultaneously struggles with facing the unknown, I felt like I was about to leap into a big, dark pit. Let me tell you about my first two weeks teaching English in Korea.

Landing In Busan, South Korea

As soon as I landed in Busan, South Korea, some of my fears started to melt away one by one. I’m extremely thankful for Aclipse and staff at my branch who helped me make this move more seamless. A couple of foreign teachers from my branch met me at the Busan airport and took me to my new apartment. They helped me get settled and eased some of my anxiety. 

View of the Ocean with the City of Busan, South Korea in the background.

Having lived in Busan for a month earlier in the year, I was somewhat familiar with life in Korea, but having just made such a big move, it was very comforting having such kind people welcome me with open arms. The Korean staff at my branch were also a huge help, and took me to apply for my Alien Registration Card and get my required health check. They’re such kind people that really care about the wellbeing of their teachers.


Training Week

I arrived in Busan on a Saturday, so I had that Sunday to settle in before I had to begin training week. Luckily, I was able to complete training online from the comfort of my apartment, which allowed me to continue to get settled. Training week was quite intense, as we had to retain a lot of information in such a short time. However, the other trainees in my group were all so nice, and we all benefited a lot from our group study sessions together. Although challenging, I do feel like training week definitely helped me get familiar with the methodology of how to teach April classes.

Getting Out And About

My first full weekend in Busan after training week allowed me to explore a bit more of my area. I’m a big nature lover, so scoping out some peaceful places to recharge was a priority for me. Busan’s winters are fairly mild, so despite arriving in mid November, I’ve been able to get outside some on the weekends. I love spending time at beaches here, and exploring the nearby parks like Busan Citizens Park


People walking in Busan Citizens Park in South Korea with a pagoda in the background.

Officially Teaching In The Classroom

I began teaching at the start of my second week in South Korea. I was definitely nervous at first, as that was my first time teaching English as a foreign language. I really cared about doing a good job, and with the combination of meeting all my students, remembering the methodology of the lessons, and managing the behavior in the classroom, I felt a bit overwhelmed. Luckily, I have a very kind headteacher who really helped make sure I was on the right track, keeping up with the admin work, and answered all my questions. 

After a full week of teaching, I definitely started to understand the structure and flow of my lessons more. My students started getting more comfortable with me as well! I have 90 students a week, and by my second week of teaching, I surprised myself by learning a good majority of their names!


A Wonderful Journey

Looking back on my first two weeks teaching English in Korea, I feel quite proud of my ability to deal with change and roll with the punches. I’ve been living here for almost 3 months now, and while I still face challenges, things continue to get more familiar and comfortable. I’ve joined a language exchange program that has led to many great friendships. I’ve eaten lots of great food, spent time in beautiful cafes, and seen only a small fraction of the beauty Korea has to offer! 

Taking on such a big life change always comes with its fair share of ups and downs. Remembering to find small joys every day and finding home in myself has been extremely important to my journey so far. I’m excited to see how I continue to grow this year and grateful I have this opportunity of a lifetime!


A group of English teachers and Korean staff at a dinner after classes are over.

Springtime in Korea is full of vibrant experiences for you to enjoy while teaching and living in Korea. I encourage you to embrace the beauty of the season and create unforgettable memories that will last you a lifetime! (Below is a great VLOG done by an April English teacher at Creverse! It’s not me, but hope it helps you get a better feel for what’s to come! )


Timeline To Teach English In South Korea

An Experience of a Lifetime

Are you dreaming of an exciting adventure in South Korea? If so, you might be curious what steps you need to take. Here is an in-depth timeline of the process from submitting your application to landing in South Korea in only a matter of months! Without further adieu, here is the exact timeline to teach English in South Korea.


Month 1: Application & Interview

  • Day 1: Emma, our excited and adventurous teacher, takes the first step and applies to teach English in January for a start date in May!
  • Day 3: Then, an Aclipse Recruiter reaches out and they arrange a day and time to speak- either for information purposes or for an interview.
  • Day 6: After she completes an interview with our Aclipse Recruiter, Emma is now ready for the next steps. The excitement is building!
  • Day 7: Emma has passed her initial interview with flying colors and submits the application items. Now, she waits to hear back from her Aclipse Recruiter to find out her application results with schools in Korea!
  • Day 11: Great news! Emma receives the initial offer letter from the school! Her Aclipse Recruiter checks in to congratulate her and to schedule a follow-up call.
  • Day 13: Then, Emma and her Aclipse Recruiter have a phone call to review any questions on her initial offer and to discuss next steps, which is prepping her documents for the E2 Visa.
  • Day 14: Emma accepts her offer and signs a Memorandum of Understand (MOU). This is an intermediate agreement before a final contract is signed with a specific location.
  • Day 15 to 24: In the meantime, she works diligently on gathering her documents for the E2 Visa. Her Aclipse Recruiter checks in to support her and answers any questions that arise.
  • Day 25: Emma submits the required documents for her E2 visa and her Aclipse Recruiter reviews them for accuracy.
  • Day 26: To make sure everything’s in line, Emma’s documents are looked over by an Aclipse E-2 documents expert before she mails them to South Korea.
  • Day 30: Once verified, the Aclipse documents expert ships her documents to HQ in South Korea and Emma receives a confirmation email to let her know. Things are starting to feel extra real now!

Month 2 and 3: Visa & Location Placement

  • Day 33: In just a couple days, Emma’s documents arrive at headquarters in South Korea.
  • Day 34 to 49: Meanwhile, Emma is engaged regularly by her Aclipse Recruiter, to start preparing the logistics for her upcoming adventure!
  • Day 50: The placement process beings and Emma is given a heads up by her Aclipse Recruiter.
  • Day 57: Emma strikes gold!! She receives her contract in the first week of the placement process! She asks her Aclipse recruiter any questions about the contract and sets up an official welcome call with HQ in South Korea
  • Day 60: Emma is excited to speak with HQ and is able to ask any remaining questions that might remain.
  • Day 64: Now that she feels 100% secure about all the details, she sends her signed contract back to her Aclipse Recruiter.
  • Day 69: Emma’s E-2 visa documents (along with her signed contract), arrive at Korean Immigration office so they can process a “visa code” to finalize the visa. Processing times usually take between 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Day 83: Now that everything is being officially processed by Immigration, Emma receives her final pre-departure information from her Aclipse Recruiter and they review together.
  • Day 84: Meanwhile, Emma’s visa code is ready!
  • Day 85: She then submits her FINAL E2 Visa application to Korean Immigration and informs her Aclipse Recruiter.

Month 4: Departure & Arrival!

  • Day 98: Emma’s visa has been put in her passport, and she explores her different flight options!
  • Day 99: Then, she quickly books her flight and informs her Aclipse Recruiter.
  • Day 100 – 114: In the weeks leading up to leaving, Emma and her Aclipse Recruiter have a lot of communication. They discuss her arrival and provide details on what will happen when she gets off the plane. Her Aclipse Recruiter sends Emma final reminders and tips for training and settling in, ensuring a smooth transition! Emma feels very prepared for her upcoming teaching adventure.
  • Day 115: And, finally, Emma arrives in South Korea – she’s done it!

You’ve Made it! You’re in South Korea!

From applying to booking your flight, taking the proper steps to teach English in Korea with Aclipse is quite an adventure in and of itself! Luckily, the countdowns, check-ins, and celebrations with your recruiter make it as stress free and efficient an experience as it can be. You can be rest assured that nothing will be missed and you will land in South Korea as fast as you possibly can. Apply today!

Bethany Coquelle, growing up and living in both the east and west coasts of Canada, serves as an Overseas Recruiter specializing in South Korea placements since 2017! With a multicultural family and a passion for cultural exchange, she understands the transformative power of connecting people from diverse backgrounds. Inspired by the impact teachers can have on students’ lives, Bethany is dedicated to linking educators with their ideal positions abroad. Whether guiding through the intricacies of teaching in South Korea or providing a compassionate ear, she is committed to supporting your educational journey.

What It Takes To Teach English In Korea

Teaching English In Korea

Teaching English in Korea is personally and professionally rewarding. If you are considering applying for a position you’ll need to demonstrate you have what it takes to be a successful ESL teacher. Here are some characteristics and qualifications that are sought after and can help you succeed as an English teacher with Creverse Inc.


A Native English teacher in a classroom with Korean middle school students in South Korea

English Language Proficiency

Clear communication and superior English skills are vital for teaching. You must be able to explain concepts in a way that is easily understood and caters to the language ability of your students. Being comfortable and confident in your role as a language model is also necessary to earn the students’ trust and respect.


Enthusiastic & Passionate

Students learn best and succeed when their teachers are passionate and enthusiastic. A positive and energetic demeanor helps to motivate and inspire students. Effective teachers are friendly, yet firm; connect well with students, cater to their needs and interests making lessons relevant, relatable and fun.



Teachers need to be punctual, responsible, and committed to providing high level instruction. Demonstrating a strong work ethic is important in any professional setting. Teachers should be open to accepting and implementing constructive feedback and strive to be the best teacher possible.


Team Player

Teachers work in collaboration with each other and Korean staff. Being supportive and contributing positively to the workplace is highly valued. Your colleagues are your initial support group and social network…and will be excited to show you the ropes. Establishing a positive rapport from your arrival goes a long way in making the experience mutually beneficial.


Adaptable & Culturally Sensitive

Adapting to new environments, teaching methods, and cultural norms is essential. Understanding and respecting Korean culture is integral to adjusting well. Being open-minded and flexible will help you integrate into the local community and work effectively with students and colleagues. It’s important to consider strategies that will help you to have a positive year living and teaching in Korea.


Teaching Certification/Experience:

While not required, a CELTA certification will earn you a higher salary. Completing a TEFL or TESOL course may help you feel more prepared and confident in the English teacher role. While formal teaching experience is also not required, those with full-time classroom experience will benefit with a higher salary offer.


Visa Requirements

A sample alien registration card required for all foreigners in Korea

Ensure that you meet the requirements to work in Korea. This includes obtaining the necessary documents for a visa and fulfilling immigration requirements. To be eligible you must have at least the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree – any major, however, English and Education majors are highly valued.
  • Background check – with no charges, dismissed or otherwise

Have you got what it takes? Take the next step and submit your resume to find out!!

Colette Neville hailing from Ontario, Canada embarked upon the adventure of a lifetime and taught English in Japan for 5 years after graduating with a Bachelor’s in Kinesiology and a Bachelor’s in Education! While overseas she honed her teaching skills, advanced professionally to trainer, area manager, curriculum specialist and enjoyed the many riches of Japanese culture. Her love of travel led her to explore many of Japan’s neighbouring countries, including South Korea! Upon return to Canada, she landed a job with Aclipse recruiting and now enjoys sharing her experiences and guiding candidates through the steps to secure the perfect overseas placement! Upon reflection, she believes her experience teaching abroad was a very meaningful and life changing event….and is certain it will be for others too! 

An Inside Look Into Initial Training

The Big Move

Initial training is often the part every English instructor dreads the most. Looking back, this was probably my most stressful experience being here in Korea. Not because of the workload, but because of the nerves that came with moving to a foreign country. I was worried about taking the wrong bus/subway, getting lost, and oversleeping because of jet lag. Thankfully, everything worked out just fine for me & I was able to create some great friendships from this week alone.

Asking For Help!

My training center was located in Dongjak-Gu, which was about a 30-minute commute from my airbnb. My first day of training I managed to hop on three wrong buses. I think I could’ve prevented this, but I am so stubborn when it comes to asking for help. If there is anything you get from this post, it’s that you should ask for help if you are unsure about anything. I eventually made my way to the training center where I met other fellow trainees and our instructor.



Training was from 10 am to 5 pm. From 10am-12pm, we were given lessons on how to teach the course materials. The lessons consisted of reading comprehension, listening, and student management. All three subjects play a vital role in my current lessons, so shout out to Charles Hong for being a great patient instructor.

Golden Hour

Lunch was from 12pm-1pm. These breaks allowed us trainees to bond, share information, encourage one another, and talk about our new experiences here in South Korea. It was comforting to know that everyone was just as nervous, scared, and excited as me. We instantly clicked with one another and exchanged socials. We were from all different backgrounds, but the fact that we shared the same dreams and goals in that moment made the moment all the more special.

Mock Training

From 1pm-5pm, trainees utilized this time to practice mocks. Mocks are basically practice runs. They allow us to pretend that we are teaching a classroom full of students. We ran through the lessons just as we were taught and gave each other feedback on how we performed. In all honesty, it was a bit intimidating to mock in front of one another. But, with each run it became easier. We would perform our mocks the following day in front of our instructor Charles. He graded our level of confidence, our ability to comprehend instructions, our ability to keep conversations flowing, our student management skills, etc.. Most of us improved day by day.

Ready to Rock and Roll!

The fifth day was our final mock day. This is where we performed our mocks one last time and were given the green or red flag to proceed with our position at Creverse. Everyone in my group, including myself, passed. In a nutshell, training week will be a very overwhelming week. But, if I did it, so can you. Best of luck!


Amber Ochoa is from Los Angeles, USA, and just recently moved to South Korea in May. She studied Biochemistry as an undergraduate. After graduation, she began venturing out and embracing her love for adventure. She finds that “nothing holds greater power in our life than the unknown.” One night while applying to random jobs on Indeed, she came across an English teaching position in Seoul, Korea. Flash forward, she is now teaching at CDI, Mokdong branch. She claims that Creverse found her and ended up becoming a blessing in disguise. Amber says giving knowledge to students & inspiring them for higher achievements in life is one of the greatest feelings in the world.

From Tanzania to Korea: My Experience as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

 My Experience as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

Before getting caught up in the daily grind of the working world, I decided it was the perfect time to become a Peace Corps volunteer. After graduating university with a degree in engineering, I was placed in Tanzania as a Math and Physics teacher. I loved teaching more than I ever thought I would. I felt such a strong connection with the students, and extended an extra year and a half to see my first students graduate from high school.

At the end of my service, I decided it was time to learn a new language and experience another new country. I packed up and moved to Korea. Fast forward a few years, and I found out about CREVERSE.

It was much easier being in the country and knowing the language. In addition, the recruiter and staff at the branch I worked with were very supportive with the housing and visa process. I feel like there was much less hand-holding than when I applied to the Peace Corps. That being said, it was also a much simpler process to apply for CREVERSE.

The Curriculum

I’ve been very impressed with the materials we use in the classroom, and they are continuously making improvements and updates. This is the first time I’ve used a smart textbook. The students and teacher all use electronic tablets to more personally experience classes and interact with each other and the material. It feels like a great way to escape the rote learning that seems to pervade so many facets of education. There is a set curriculum for each module, so the teacher’s task is made easy. Steps and guidelines are all set out.

The Students

Obviously, the best part of teaching is the students. CREVERSE is no exception. Of course, just like any job or position anywhere, there will be not-so-good days where things don’t go the way you hoped or expected. But coming to work every day and seeing the smiles and hearing the greetings of students who are genuinely happy to see you is one of the best feelings in the world.

The Life

If you’ve discovered a love for teaching as a Peace Corps volunteer and are looking for a change of pace in a new country, Korea is an amazing place. There are countless opportunities to get out and explore this beautiful and historic country. CREVERSE’s teaching hours make it easy to get out before or after work. Try taking Korean lessons, join a dance class, or adventure on your own. Weekends are great for bus trips around the country or hiking trips up the many mountains. Many of the mountains are right in the middle of cities. Or, spend some down time picnicking by the Han River. The possibilities are endless!

Nick Allen Taylor is an RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) who spent 3.5 years in Tanzania. He has a BS in
Mechanical Engineering and a BA in International Relations from Oregon State University. He has lived in Korea for over 7 years, 3 of which he’s spent as an English Instructor at CREVERSE.   

A Day In the Life of a Hagwon Teacher

3 Years and Counting!

Before moving to Korea, I really had no idea what my daily schedule would look like. Of course your schedule will depend on your unique school, but most elementary school hagwons operate similarly. So, if you are curious about what a day in the life of a hagwon teacher teacher looks like, this blog post is for you!

When I first arrived in Korea in at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, I only expected to stay for one year. I met so many hagwon teachers, most of whom had been living in Korea for several years. I would tell them I only planned to stay for one year, and their response was always the same: “That’s what you say now, but just wait…” 

I didn’t believe them.

Here I am two years later, just about to renew my contract for a third year. They were right.

computer screen, keyboard and mouse with files neatly stacked on either side of the monitor


After School Hours

I work from 12pm – 8pm, Monday through Friday, since hagwons are after school programs. This schedule is great because I have enough time to be productive in the morning and finish work early enough meet friends afterward. I think it’s really important to carve out a part of the day dedicated to yourself. If not, you’re just living to work and can’t fully enjoy the experience of living in Korea!

Sacred Mornings

The first part of my morning ritual is a combination of journaling, reading, and meditation. This quiet time sets the tone for my whole day. I’ve filled several journals with my experiences, and know I’ll reflect on how much my experience here shaped me as a person. I’m fortunate enough that my gym is right next door, so morning workouts are easy. It’s also convenient to complete all the errands I need to do during the day.

Arriving at Work

Every morning my coworkers and I arrive at noon. (Although usually we bump into each other at the neighboring cafes while picking up our morning Americanos). The first hour is dedicated to class preparation. We grade students’ online speaking homework, review lesson material for the day, and make any necessary printouts. Working at April English means I don’t have to do much lesson planning myself. I simply review the classes online and always feel prepared. 


Our lunch break is from 1pm-2pm. I usually go home for since I live within walking distance, but sometimes we visit a nearby restaurant. We return at 2pm, and the teaching day officially begins at 2:40pm! Students sometimes arrive early, so those 40 minutes can be used for extra prep. Or you can just relax and engage with students. (Though quite honestly, they often prefer watching English television on Netflix before class!) Before classes start, I always try to spend a quick minute alone in the break room. I remind myself of the influence I have on my students’ lives. Each day is an opportunity to make a huge impact, so I always make an effort to be the very best version of myself as a hagwon teacher..


Korean hagwon students working in a group project in classroom
female Korean hagwon student typing on a portable keyboard attached to a tablet in class

Block Schedule

The class schedule is broken up into 6 blocks of time. There are six, 40-minute classes with a 5 minute break in between. We have a few breaks throughout the week to to finish all of our grading, and just to reset. Working with kids all day is incredibly rewarding, but it can also be challenging at times since they are so high energy! Here’s a great read of what classes are like in Korea vs. America.

Time to Unwind!

The teaching day ends at 7:05pm. We use the last hour to submit grades and tie up any loose ends. Getting accustomed to the April English curriculum can be a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get used to it weeks go by quickly! Now when the last bell rings at 7:05pm, I almost always find myself wondering where the day went. After classes end, I go home for dinner. I do some meal prep at the beginning of the week. But, admittedly, I often resort to using delivery services since it’s so affordable, accessible, and fast here! Sometimes I’ll have dinner with friends or coworkers after work, and it’s really common to have some beers to unwind and relax after a long day. The life of a hagwon instructor ain’t so bad!


a group of smiling English teachers sitting at a large table at a restaurant in Korea

Alexandra Skouras is from Pennsylvania, USA, and has been living in South Korea since April 2021. She studied Biology and Spanish during college but decided to embrace her love of travel and cultural diversity through teaching English in other countries. After spending one year teaching in Madrid, Spain, she decided to move to South Korea, and since then has been teaching Chungdahm April in Sejong. Her favorite part about teaching is connecting with students and seeing how much growth they can achieve in just a short period of time. Alexandra describes her Korean life as the perfect mix of comfortable and exciting, and is passionate about encouraging other people to take the leap of faith and try something new.