One of the reasons why South Korea is such a popular place to teach is because of the highly competitive benefits that are available to new and experienced teachers alike.
All teachers can expect to receive a free flight to South Korea, paid for by your hiring school. Some employers still offer pre-paid flights, however, most provide an airfare reimbursement, or entrance allowance, which you receive shortly after arriving. Some schools even provide a return flight home at the end of the contract term.
Schools typically provide single studio style apartments for their western staff. The apartments are offered ‘rent free’ but teachers are expected to pay the monthly utility bills like hydro and electric. Most apartments are within walking distance of the school campus and come with the following furnishings; fridge, bed and linens, table, chairs, stove top cooking range, basic cooking utensils and a washing machine. Many of the apartments will also be equipped with an air conditioner.
Salaries vary based on qualifications and job type. In most instances, new teachers can expect to make somewhere in the 2.1 million Won to 2.2 million Korean Won per month range (Currency Converter). Qualified teachers obviously make a little more, how much more depends on their experience and credentials.
Foreign teachers are technically required to contribute 4.5% of their gross salary, into the Korean national pension scheme. The contribution is typically deducted automatically from your monthly salary, then matched by your employer with an equal 4.5% contribution (9% total of gross monthly salary). At the end of the contract period, teachers can claim all of the pension money they paid, in addition to the money contributed by their employer. Note: Only Canadian and American teachers are eligible for the pension refund. Unfortunately, Korea doesn’t have pension agreements with the other countries.
Labor law requires schools to cover 50% of their staff’s medical insurance plan. The remaining 50% of the insurance premium is automatically deducted from your monthly salary. Fortunately, the premium is quite minimal; roughly 2.5% of the your income.
Almost all Korean schools and programs provide a severance package to teachers who complete the full 12 month contract term. The severance pay (also referred to as the “Completion Bonus”) will be the equivalent to 1 month’s salary.
Private school teachers can expect 2 weeks of paid vacation time in addition to most National Holidays. Public school teachers can expect 3-4 weeks of paid vacation time in addition to Korean National holidays. Depending on the year, National Holidays can account for an additional 10 to 14 days off.
Schools are responsible for sponsoring their foreign teaching staff. Sponsorship means your E2 work visa (English teaching visa) is directly connected to your hiring school. The visa is valid for a total of 13 months, however, teachers have the option to extend their visas as many times as they want; assuming they want to stay!
Day-to-day living expenses in Korea are noticeably cheaper than western countries. Monthly utility costs, groceries and other commonplace expenses, including transportation and entertainment, are quite affordable. Lots of foreigners live comfortably on 1,000,000 KRW a month which means you get to save the rest!
Korea’s rich history and ancient traditions, in combination with its modern advancements and contemporary pop culture, make it an ideal place to experience the old and new world. More importantly, their welcoming attitude towards foreigners, in conjunction with their desire to be part of the global community, provides the perfect backdrop for a work abroad getaway!
Although the jobs are fun, the role tends to require more attention and dedication than many people assume. Teaching English in Korea is a challenging job and making sure the students are learning is a big responsibility but incredibly gratifying.
Foreign workers enjoy a low income tax rate of 3.3%. Your school will automatically deduct the taxes directly from your monthly salary and file them accordingly with the Korean Revenue Agency, therefore, you won’t need to personally file any claims or returns.
Working abroad is a wonderful way to gain international work experience, a valuable asset in the modern workforce. As you can imagine, many western employers view job candidates with international experience in high regards.
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Gone2Korea is your connection to full-time teaching jobs in South Korea. Western graduates, primarily from the US, Canada, UK, and Australia, use our services to secure jobs with trusted Korean schools, and schools use our services to find and hire enthusiastic teachers from the West.
Worth noting: We’re not a job ‘sourcing’ agency or recruiter that finds new schools on the fly. On the contrary, we work with a select group of schools and programs that we know and trust.
In addition to helping you land a job, we’ll also be helping you with your work visa, departure, arrival, and offering support for the entirety of your contracted term.
Prior teaching experience and related degrees are NOT prerequisites for teaching in Korea. Here’s what you’ll need in order to qualify.
Korean schools and programs offer western English teachers highly competitive benefits packages which includes: