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ESL Korea – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Are there any fees or hidden costs associated with Gone2Korea’s programs?
No, all Gone2Korea services are FREE of charge to the applicant, guaranteed! Please refer to our Associated Costs page for document and visa related expenses.

Do I need to speak the Korean language in order to secure a job?
No - having Korean language skills is not a requirement. Furthermore, having Korean language skills won’t have an impact on the jobs you are eligible for.

How much will I get paid to teach ESL in Korea?
Related work experience, level of education and/or major, location, type of school, teaching sector, working hours and age groups all have an impact on the salary you are eligible for. People with unrelated majors and a lack of formal teaching experience can usually expect to make 1.8 – 2.2 million won monthly. Applicants with full time teaching experience, education majors, teaching licenses, etc. can usually expect to make 2.2 – 2.7 million won monthly. Currency Converter

Teaching In Korea FAQ
Am I responsible for paying taxes in Korea?
All teachers in the public school sector (excluding Canadians & Irish) are exempt from paying income taxes during their first 2 years of employment in South Korea. Teachers in the private sector are required to pay income taxes. Taxes in South Korea are quite minimal and will only account for 3.5 - 7% of your monthly income. The school you work for should automatically deduct the taxes from your salary; therefore, you don’t have to worry about filing paperwork with the Korean government. Note: The Gone2Korea staff are not tax professionals so speaking with a charted accountant or financial advisor before departing is recommended. Refer to our Taxation Information page for more details about taxes in Korea.

How many hours will I work?

Working hours vary between schools and sectors. The standard work week for private English schools is 28 - 30 hours of in-class teaching, although director's and school managers expect teachers to arrive 1 or 2 hours early in order to prepare for their classes. Jobs in the public sector require 20 – 24 hours of in-class teaching each week; the principal will also require teachers to complete 1-2 hours of lesson planning each day. Generally speaking, both sectors will require their teaching staff to be at the school for 7-9 hours a day – similar to teachers in the West.

What benefits and incentives will I receive as an ESL teacher in Korea?

Benefits include: 50/50 health insurance (medical plan), free airfare to and from Korea, furnished living accommodations (rent free apartment), visa sponsorship and a severance package (bonus) equal to 1 months salary at the end of your contract. For a detailed list of benefits please visit our benefits of teaching in Korea page.

Do I need a university degree to teach English overseas in Korea?
Yes. A bachelors degree from an accredited school (any major or discipline) is mandatory for the programs we represent. Please visit our Application Requirements page for more details. There are programs in Korea that don't require a university degree such as the TALK program.

Do I need in class teaching experience to teach ESL in Korea?

No. Although former teaching experience and related majors are an advantage, they are not a requirement for securing legitimate employment as an English teacher in Korea. If you want to make your self more appealing to employers you may want to get your teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) diploma. Although completing one of these courses will not automatically gaurantee you a job, having this diploma certainly increases your chances of being considered. Gone2Korea recommends completing the 100 hour or the 120 hour diploma course offered through TEFL Online.

Savings In Korea
How much can I save in Korea?
How much you can save obviously depends on your lifestyle. Day to day living expenses usually account for 35-50% of your monthly income. Most teachers in Korea are able to save 8 -10 million won in their first year. Note: Western teachers in Korea are able to live a very high quality of life with the salaries they receive.

Where can I save the most money?
Where you can save the most depends on the sector and your habits. Private English schools in the larger cities usually offer slightly higher salaries; however, the cost of living is greater and there are more things to distract you into spending. Public schools on the other hand offer higher salaries for job vacancies in the smaller cities and rural areas. Note: If your primary objective is to save money but you’re easily distracted by shopping, nightlife, entertainment, etc. then living and working outside of the metropolitan areas is probably a wise choice.
 
Will there be an opporuntiy to make other sources of income?
Many schools will offer overtime work which can help you bank some extra money. Note: It is illegal to work for multiple schools unless your contractual employer allows it and has your visa amended. Secondly, it is illegal to teach private lessons (tutoring) in Korea. Teachers who get involved with illegal employment do so at their own risk.

How many hours will I work?
Working hours vary between schools and sectors. The standard work week for private English schools is 28 - 30 hours of in-class teaching, although director's and school managers expect teachers to arrive 1 or 2 hours early in order to prepare for their classes. Jobs in the public sector require 22 – 24 hours of in-class teaching each week; the principal will also require teachers to complete 1-2 hours of lesson planning each day. Generally speaking, both sectors will require their teaching staff to be at the school for 7-9 hours a day – similar to teachers in the West.

What benefits and incentives will I receive as an ESL teacher in Korea?
Benefits include: 50/50 health insurance (medical plan), free airfare to and from Korea, furnished living accommodations (rent free apartment), visa sponsorship and a severance package (bonus) equal to 1 months salary at the end of your contract. For a detailed list of benefits please visit our benefits of teaching in Korea page.

Do I need a university degree to teach English in Korea?
Yes. A bachelors degree from an accredited school (any major or discipline) is mandatory for the programs we represent. Please visit our Application Requirements page for more details.

Do I need in class teaching experience to teach ESL in Korea?
No. Although former teaching experience and related majors are an advantage, they are not a requirement for securing legitimate employment as an English teacher in Korea. If you want to make your self more appealing to employers you may want to get your teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) diploma. Although completing one of these courses will not automatically gaurantee you a job, having this certification will certainly increase your chances of being considered. Gone2Korea recommends completing the 100 hour or the 120 hour diploma course offered through TEFL Online.

Who can I contact if I run into problems during my time in Korea teaching?
f you experience any problems with your school or you require some general tips and/or advice then please contact your Gone2Korea representative by phone or email – we’re here to help throughout your entire contracted term!

What is an apostille authentication and where can I get one for my notarized copy of my diploma and my criminal record?
Documents that are issued in one country (USA, UK, Australia, etc.) which need to be used in another country (Korea) must be authenticated or legalized before they can be recognized as valid in the foreign country (Korea). Different countries use different government offices to issue this document. Please visit the following links for Apostille information that’s specific to your nationality - USA Apostille Offices or International Apostille Offices.

 
Do I need to complete any ESL training courses in order to secure a teaching job in Korea?
Unlike many Asian countries, having an ESL teaching certification (i.e. TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, etc.) is not a mandatory requirement for teaching English in South Korea. Note: Having an ESL certificate will sometimes give you an edge when school directors are reviewing your profile. Additionally, some of the public school programs will offer you a higher salary if you have an ESL certificate comprised of 100, or more, course hours. Completing a TEFL certficiate doesn't gaurantee employment but it can help.
TEFL Online Course
 
Who pays for my flight to and from Korea?
Generally speaking your Korean employer will pay for your flight to get you to Korea. Some hagwon directors will pay for your exiting flight at the end of the contract but it's becoming more common that they will not. This will be established at the time of the job offer being presented to you. In the public sector you will be required to pay for your flight to Korea up front and you will be offered a compensation amount within 4 weeks of your arrival to Korea. There is a set reimbursement amount so please speak to your Gone2Korea representative if you would like more details.

Where will I live during my time in Korea?

You will live in an apartment that’s being provided by your employer. Most apartments are located within walking distance of the school, although some apartments will require a short commute. Schools usually offer single studio style apartments. Please be advised: Apartments in Korea are quite small and utilities are the teachers' responsility. Refer to our Housing in Korea page for more information.

How much will monthly utilities cost?

Monthly utilities will include; telephone, electricity, heating and a small apartment maintenance fee. The combined monthly cost of these bills usually equates to 100,000 – 140,000 Korean won per month.
 
           
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