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Is it hard to teach English in Korea?


Teaching English in Korea has become a popular profession for many foreign nationals. However, the question remains: Is it hard to teach English in Korea? This article will explore the challenges and rewards of teaching English in Korea.

Cultural Differences

One of the biggest challenges of teaching English in Korea is the cultural differences. Korean culture is vastly different from Western culture, and teachers need to understand and respect these differences. For example, Korean students are often shy and reserved, so teachers need to be patient and understanding.

Language Barrier

Another challenge of teaching English in Korea is the language barrier. While many Koreans speak English, some struggle with conversational English. Teachers need to be able to communicate effectively with their students, and may need to learn some basic Korean phrases.


Teaching English in Korea can also be challenging due to the workload. Teachers may be required to work long hours, including evenings and weekends. They may also have to teach multiple classes per day, which can be exhausting.

Cultural Immersion

Despite the challenges, teaching English in Korea can also be incredibly rewarding. Teachers have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture and learn about Korean customs and traditions. This can be a life-changing experience for many teachers.

Job Security

Another benefit of teaching English in Korea is job security. There is a high demand for English teachers in Korea, and many schools offer long-term contracts with benefits such as housing and airfare reimbursement.

Social Life

Teaching English in Korea also offers ample opportunities for socializing. Many schools organize events and activities for their teachers, and there are plenty of expat communities where teachers can meet other foreigners living in Korea.


While the salary for teaching English in Korea may not be as high as some other countries, it is still a livable wage. Teachers can save money by living frugally and taking advantage of the benefits offered by their schools.

Teaching Resources

Korean schools often provide teachers with extensive teaching resources, including textbooks and lesson plans. This can be helpful for new teachers who are still developing their teaching skills.

Professional Development

Teaching English in Korea also offers opportunities for professional development. Teachers can attend conferences and workshops, and many schools offer training programs to help teachers improve their skills.

Visa Requirements

Before teaching English in Korea, it’s important to understand the visa requirements. Teachers must have a valid visa to work legally in Korea, and the process can be complicated. It’s important to do research and speak with a visa specialist before applying for a teaching position.


Teaching English in Korea can be both challenging and rewarding. While there are cultural differences and language barriers to overcome, teachers have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture and develop their teaching skills. With the right mindset and preparation, teaching English in Korea can be a life-changing experience.

Are English teachers in demand in Korea?

South Korea is a popular destination for individuals aspiring to become English teachers due to high demand. As a TEFL teacher in Korea, one can expect a satisfying salary, exceptional benefits, and a fulfilling job that garners respect.

Is teaching English in Korea difficult?

Teaching English as a foreign language can be difficult, and the experience can vary depending on your co-teachers or supervisor. However, by getting to know your students, you can learn their interests and preferences, even if their English proficiency is low. The process may involve some uncomfortable moments, but with time, you will see progress in your students’ understanding of the subject matter. This was shared on September 16, 2022.

How much do English teachers in Korea make?

The salary for teaching English in South Korea varies depending on whether you work at a public school (EPIK) or a private school (Hagwon). EPIK teachers can earn between 1.5 to 3 million won per month, while Hagwon teachers can earn between 1.9 to 2.4 million won per month. These amounts convert to approximately $1,850 – $2,650 USD and $1,600 – $2,000 USD, respectively.

Is it worth teaching English in Korea?

South Korea is a popular destination for teaching English abroad due to its reputation for offering high salaries, excellent benefits, and a comfortable lifestyle, particularly for those working with EPIK.

Do English teachers in Korea get free housing?

Teaching in Korea comes with the advantage of free accommodations as schools typically cover the cost of housing. This means that the school you work for will either offer a rent-free apartment or a monthly housing allowance in addition to your salary to cover the rent expenses.

How much is rent in Korea?

As of February 2021, the average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartments in Seoul, South Korea increased to approximately 510,000 South Korean won, compared to the previous month’s rate of around 480,000 South Korean won.

Classroom Environment

Teaching English in Korea also means adapting to the classroom environment. Korean students are known for their diligence and obedience, which can make for a highly structured classroom environment. Teachers must be prepared to enforce rules and maintain control of the classroom, while also fostering a positive and engaging learning atmosphere.

Cultural Exchange

In addition to teaching English, many teachers in Korea also have the opportunity to participate in cultural exchange programs. This may involve teaching Korean students about their own culture or sharing their own customs and traditions with their students. These programs can be a great way to build cross-cultural understanding and foster mutual respect.

Travel Opportunities

Teaching English in Korea also offers ample opportunities for travel. Korea is a small country with a well-developed transportation system, making it easy for teachers to explore different regions and cities on weekends or during school breaks. Additionally, Korea is located close to other countries in Asia, making it a great home base for traveling throughout the region.

Language Acquisition

One unexpected benefit of teaching English in Korea is the opportunity to learn Korean. While not necessary for teaching, learning the local language can help teachers better understand Korean culture and connect with their students. Many schools offer Korean language classes for their teachers, and there are also private language schools and tutors available.

Personal Growth

Teaching English in Korea can also be a transformative experience on a personal level. Living and working in a foreign country forces individuals out of their comfort zones and challenges them to grow and adapt. Many teachers report that their time in Korea helped them develop new skills, gain greater confidence, and broaden their perspectives.

Career Opportunities

Finally, teaching English in Korea can open up new career opportunities. Many teachers use their experience in Korea as a stepping stone to other teaching positions abroad or in their home countries. Additionally, some teachers transition to other careers in Korea, such as translation or international business.

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