EPIK Program

English Program in Korea

EPIK is a popular teaching program which attracts a lot of interest from western graduates every semester. Due to the high demand, limited number of job vacancies, and first-come, first-served placement policies, most public school jobs get filled months in advance. As a result, making preparations to apply early isn’t an advantage, it’s a necessity. 

EPIK Program Logo
Spring 2024 Hiring Session

Application Deadline: Finished
Arrival Date:  Feb 8th-23rd 2024
Contract Start Date: Mar 1st 2024

Fall 2024 Hiring Session

Application Deadline: On-going
Arrival Date: Aug 15-20th 2024
Contract Start Date: Sep 1st 2024

Psst! There are more hiring periods and job opportunities in the private school sector

What is EPIK?

The English Program in Korea, known as EPIK, was set up by the Korean Ministry of Education in 1995 in order to bring foreign English teachers into the Korean public school system. Its goal focused on three primary objectives: to improve the English speaking capabilities of the Korean population, to reform and unify existing English teaching approaches throughout the country, and to build and develop cultural exchanges with western countries.

Am I eligible to teach in the EPIK Program?

EPIK is interested in enthusiastic individuals who have a desire to teach and a passion for learning about new cultures. Teachers should be friendly, outgoing, and have the means to commit to a full 12 month term.

In order to qualify, you must be native English speaker and hold a valid passport, plus a bachelors level degree from 1 of the 7 designated English speaking countries; USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. Being TEFL / TESOL certified (120hrs minimum) is also a prerequisite for all EPIK candidates (TEFL exception: education majors or people who possess a valid teaching license.)

Video Credit: Nicole Mekker – An Endless Adventure

Job Description (summarized)
  • Conduct English conversation classes
  • Implement English activities and curriculum
  • Organize and prepare English teaching materials
  • Assist in the development of English teaching materials

As a western teacher at your school, you will be conducting classes in one of the following ways: Assisting Korean English teachers with their classes, and/or jointly conducting English classes with your Korean co-teacher, and/or conducting your own classes.

EPIK Job Conditions


You’ll be partnered with a Korean English teacher for the entire duration of the contract. Your job is to help your co-teacher with lesson planning, marking and most importantly, teaching English to the students in a classroom setting.

Student Age Groups

Almost all public school positions are at the public Elementary schools. The Education Offices began eliminating western teachers from their middle schools and high schools a number of years ago.

Class Size

Class size and student numbers vary from school to school, although, most classrooms will have 30-35 students. Some schools in the larger cities will have 40+ children in a single class.

Working Hours

The Education Office will expect you to be on school premises for 8 hours a day, Monday through Friday. These hours include class prep, lunch break and teaching time. Hours are typically in the 9:00am – 5:00pm range.

Teaching Hours

Teaching hours are the number of work hours spent in the classroom with students. Most schools require 22-24 in-class teaching hours per week (roughly 4.5 hr / day). Classes are 45 – 50 minutes in length.


Curriculum and teaching materials are provided by the school. All Korean public schools follow the standardized national curriculum guidelines which are developed by the Ministry of Education.

EPIK Program Benefits

Settlement Allowance
  • 300,000 Won settlement allowance (moving bonus) issued upon arrival
Furnished Apartment
  • A private studio apartment will be provided rent free during the duration of your contracted term
  • Furnishings include: bed, wardrobe, cooking range, fridge, microwave, washing machine, table and chairs
Severance Pay
  • A severance package (contract completion bonus) equal to 1 months salary will be deposited into your account at the end of  your contract. The severance pay is in addition to your last month’s wages.
Airfare Allowance
  • 1.3 million Won will be issued within 3-4 weeks of your arrival in addition to successfully passing the mandatory health check. This amount is to compensate you for your flight costs getting to South Korea.
  • An additional 1.3 million Won will be issued at the completion of your contract to cover the cost of your flight home.
Medical Insurance
  • Expect to receive 50/50 medical coverage during your contracted term.
  • Medical coverage includes: doctors visits, hospital visits, emergency care and extended care only.
Tax Exemption
  • All nationalities (excluding Canadians) are exempt from paying taxes in Korea during their first 2 years of work in the public school sector.
National Pension
  • Public school teachers are required to pay into the Korean national pension fund which equates to 9% of your monthly salary. 4.5% is deducted from your monthly wage and the education board matches this with an additional 4.5%.
  • American and Canadian teachers are eligible for a lump sum return (9% of their annual income) on their pension contributions.
Paid Vacation
  • Public school teachers get to enjoy 16-18 days of vacation time each year.
  • Teachers receive 2 vacation periods; one in mid-summer and the other in mid-winter.
  • Vacation dates are predetermined by your school or MOE/POE. 
Contract Renewal Bonus
  • After your contract has been completed, you will have the chance to renew your contract for another year.
  • If you renew your contract within the same Province or Metropolitan city, you will be entitled to a 2.0 million won renewal allowance and an additional two week vacation period between the end of your current contract and the start of your new contract (teachers are not eligible for additional settlement allowances and entrance airfare allowances with this scenario – teachers are entitled to an exit allowance of 1.3 million won at the end of their second contract).

EPIK Teacher Salaries

Salaries are predetermined by the Education Offices. What monthly salary you qualify for depends on your teaching credentials. Click the button below to view the different public school pay rates.

EPIK Working Locations

EPIK is responsible for providing foreign teachers to all of the Education Offices in Korea. As an EPIK applicant, you can select your top (preferred) working and living location when applying, however, there are no guarantees you will secure employment in that location. In many instances, you will need to accept the location that EPIK offers you.

Provincial Education Offices
Metropolitan Education Offices
Common EPIK Questions

Teachers who gain employment through EPIK will be provided with a thorough training and orientation period in Korea. In most cases, teachers are expected to arrive 8 days prior to the contract starting date in order to complete the EPIK orientation period. The training will consist of in-class lectures about teaching methodologies and strategies, group activities, presentations and a number of cultural outings.

Yes, applicants are allowed to make requests for specific cities or provinces on the EPIK application form. However, location requests are granted on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis so the location you request is not guaranteed.

Yes, being TEFL or TESOL certified is a mandatory prerequisite. EPIK only acknowledges TEFL courses that consist of 100 hours or more, as a valid teaching credential, therefore, don’t waste your time and money on a short course. Online, in-class and combined courses are accepted, as long as the certification exceeds 100 hours.

>>> Browse Online TEFL Courses

Note: If you have a bachelor’s of education degree, a valid teaching license, or a valid PGCE, getting TEFL certified is optional.

Thanks for checking us out, we’re glad you’re here!

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: