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How much money do I need to teach English in Korea?

The Cost of Teaching English in Korea

Teaching English in Korea is an exciting opportunity to experience a new culture, gain teaching experience, and earn some money. However, before you take the leap and book your one-way ticket to Korea, it’s important to consider the cost of living and teaching in the country.

1. Visa Fees

If you’re planning to teach English in Korea, you’ll need to secure a visa. The cost of a visa will vary depending on your nationality and the type of visa you’re applying for. For example, a standard E-2 visa for English teachers costs around $50 USD for Americans, while Canadians will pay around $35 CAD.

2. Airfare

The cost of airfare will depend on where you’re flying from and the time of year you’re traveling. Generally, flights to Korea from North America will cost between $500 and $1,000 USD round trip.

3. Housing

The cost of housing in Korea will depend on where you’re living and the type of accommodation you choose. Many English teachers in Korea live in small apartments known as “one-rooms,” which can cost between $300 and $700 USD per month.

4. Utilities

In addition to rent, you’ll need to budget for utilities such as electricity, gas, water, and internet. These costs can vary depending on your usage but expect to pay around $100-150 USD per month.

5. Food

The cost of food in Korea is relatively cheap compared to other developed countries. A meal at a local restaurant will typically cost between $5-10 USD, while groceries for a week may cost around $50 USD.

6. Transportation

Public transportation in Korea is efficient and affordable. A single subway ride costs around $1 USD, while a monthly pass will cost around $50 USD. Taxis are also relatively cheap, with a 10-minute ride costing around $5-10 USD.

7. Health Insurance

All foreigners working in Korea are required to have health insurance. The cost of insurance will vary depending on the provider and the coverage you choose, but expect to pay around $50-100 USD per month.

8. Income Taxes

English teachers in Korea are subject to Korean income taxes, which are typically around 3-5% of your salary. Some schools may deduct these taxes from your paycheck, while others may require you to pay them directly to the government.

9. School Supplies

You’ll need to budget for school supplies such as textbooks, pens, paper, and other materials. These costs can vary depending on your school and the age group you’re teaching, but expect to pay around $50-100 USD per year.

10. Entertainment

Korea is a vibrant country with plenty of entertainment options, from sightseeing and shopping to nightlife and cultural events. While not essential expenses, it’s important to budget for entertainment if you want to fully experience all that Korea has to offer.

11. Emergency Funds

As with any new adventure, it’s important to have emergency funds in case of unexpected expenses or emergencies. Plan to have at least a few thousand dollars saved up before you move to Korea.

12. Conclusion

Teaching English in Korea can be a rewarding experience both personally and financially. However, it’s important to budget for all the necessary expenses before you take the leap. By considering all the costs involved, you can ensure a smooth transition to your new life in Korea.

Is it worth being an English teacher in Korea?

Teaching English abroad is currently a lucrative opportunity, particularly in South Korea, where there is a high demand for English teachers. As a TEFL teacher in Korea, you can expect an attractive salary, a variety of excellent perks, and a rewarding career where you are valued.

Is it hard to get an English teaching job in Korea?

If you want to work as an English teacher in Korea, you will need to have a TEFL certificate and a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, you must obtain an E-2 teaching visa and be a native English speaker. Finally, you must have a clean criminal record at the national level and pass both a health check and drug test. This must be completed within 7 days.

How much does it cost to live in Seoul as an English teacher?

Don’t worry, we have all the information you need. The typical salary for a first-year teacher in Korea is between 2.0 to 2.1 million KRW per month, equivalent to $1,800 to $1,900 USD. However, living costs can vary depending on your location and personal expenses. Here is a rough estimate of the general living expenses you can expect in South Korea.

Do English teachers in Korea get free housing?

Teaching in Korea has the advantage of free accommodation, as schools will either provide a rent-free apartment or offer a monthly housing allowance on top of your salary to cover rent.

How much do American English teachers make in Korea?

In South Korea, new English teachers employed in public schools through programs like EPIK usually earn a monthly salary of 1.5 to 3 million won ($1,850 – $2,650 USD). On the other hand, English teachers employed in private schools or Hagwons earn between 1.9 to 2.4 million won ($1,600 – $2,000 USD) per month. This information was reported on January 13, 2023.

How many hours do English teachers in Korea work?

The teaching job that is most in demand and favored in South Korea is one in a public school. The typical workday is from 9am-5pm, and usually involves no more than 22 teaching hours per week.

13. Language Learning

If you’re moving to Korea to teach English, it’s important to learn at least some basic Korean to help you communicate with locals and navigate daily life. There are many language schools and tutors available in Korea, but these classes can be an additional expense to consider.

14. Travel Expenses

If you plan on traveling around Korea or to neighboring countries during your time off, it’s important to budget for travel expenses such as transportation, accommodation, and activities. These costs can vary depending on your destination and travel style.

15. Retirement Savings

Teaching English in Korea can provide a good opportunity to save money for retirement. Some schools offer retirement savings plans, and it’s also wise to consider setting up your own retirement savings account during your time in Korea.

16. Cultural Activities

Korea has a rich cultural heritage, and there are many opportunities to participate in cultural activities such as traditional music and dance performances, temple stays, and more. These activities can be an additional expense but can provide a valuable and enriching experience.

17. Professional Development

If you’re interested in furthering your teaching career or pursuing other professional development opportunities while in Korea, there may be additional costs such as fees for conferences or workshops.

18. Emergency Preparedness

Korea is known for its occasional natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes. It’s important to budget for emergency preparedness items such as flashlights, batteries, and emergency food supplies to ensure you’re ready for any potential emergencies.

19. Personal Expenses

Finally, don’t forget to budget for personal expenses such as clothing, toiletries, and other everyday items. These costs will vary depending on your personal needs and lifestyle.

20. Conclusion

Teaching English in Korea can be a fantastic opportunity, but it’s important to budget for all the necessary expenses before you go. By considering all the costs involved, you can ensure that you have a successful and enjoyable experience teaching and living in Korea.

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