Whenever I tell people I have lived in Korea, they normally double take and ask “Korea!?” to make sure they heard the right thing. Then the next question is normally “How did you find it ?” My response would normally be “It was good”. I know, quite a vague response to a vague question right?
Overall living and teaching English in Korea was a great experience for me. These are the reasons why I chose to move to teach English in Korea and why you should consider it too! The benefits of moving to teach English in Korea surely outweigh the cons.
I taught English with the government program EPIK ( English Program in Korea). To find out about the program click HERE
This meant I received some.great perks that came along with the role such as :
1. Your flight ticket to and from Korea are reimbursed.
2. Your apartment is paid for by the school and you also receive a decent monthly salary that will allows you to save.
3. You will go to a week long orientation allowing you to learn more about teaching and you will meet the other teachers that are moving to your area as well as those going to other cities and provinces.
4. You will receive a 13 month salary.
5. If you complete your 12 month contract you will receive a completion bonus or if you resign, a resigning bonus.
6. When you first arrive you receive a settling allowance.
7. Half your health insurance will be paid by the school.
8. You get 5 days extra annual leave days than private academies and they increase after one year!
A Chance To Explore Asia
With the great perks listed above allowing my bank account to flow like a river, I was able to explore Asia while living in Korea. I was able to visit Mainland China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan. Being in Korea allowed me to find cheaper tickets to certain destinations since I was already on the continent of Asia. This allowed me to explore that area of the world that I may not have had the opportunity to explore had I been in the UK.
A Chance To Save
With the great perks listed above you can save. You are not paying for your accommodation and you are reimbursed for your flights. You will pay for your utilities and general living costs such as food but these will costs next to nothing if comparing to the UK. I really did not save too much I spent a lot on shopping and travelling, but you can save if you really want too!
A Chance To Meet New People
I met people from all over the world with different backgrounds. It was a great place to meet new people and make new friends. It was a great place to make worldwide connections and make Korean friends.
A Chance to Continuously Be Exposed To The Korean Language
While I am no Korean whizz and did not actually make a great deal of effort to really make strides in my Korean speaking while I was there. Being in Korea allows you to be surround by Korean all the time. My logic back then was “I am leaving soon and not that many people speak Korean outside of Korea therefore there is no need to really learn it to a high level”. Low and behold at my current job in London having been able to speak Korean would have benefited me greatly since one of my clients is from Korea!
I can read Hangul and can get around okay whilst in Korea and for someone who did not make a HUGE effort, I did learn a lot. Now imagine if I had put in the effort, “girl” I may just have ended up being a fluent speaker (dreaming here). You will have native Korean speakers right in front of you all the time so if you want to improve your Korean, now is the time to do it!
What About Working With Children?
You may be wondering why I didn’t mention working with children! I love children but you can work with children in your home country you don’t need to move across the world to do that. Arguably you don’t need to move to Korea to do all the above either BUT it is a lot easier to do those things if you do. If you are a licensed teacher and not TEFL qualified you may want to apply for an international school in Korea via a recruiter, although you can still apply to EPIK.
As you can see there are many benefits to teaching in Korea. Wondering about how to apply? Check out my How to Apply to Teach in Korea Post
Are you thinking about applying to EPIK or have you decided to!? Let me know!