EPIK | English Program in Korea

EPIK Logo - english program korea

 

About EPIK

The English program in Korea, commonly referred to as the EPIK program, is the original public school program set up by the Korean Governments Ministry of Education in 1995. Its ultimate 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 other countries around the world.

EPIK is a popular teaching program that attracts a lot of interest every semester. Due to the high demand many positions get filled months in advance on a first come, first served basis, therefore, making preparations to apply early is advised.

Key Note: Having your visa related documents at your disposal is NOT necessary to begin the EPIK application process – you can apply and start the process before you’ve managed to collect the needed documentation.

 

EPIK program korea

 

Fall 2017 EPIK Application Dates & Deadlines

Starting Date: August 2017 [Now Closed]
Application Deadline: Monday May 1st 2017

Spring 2018 EPIK Application Dates & Deadlines

Starting Date: February 2018 [Open]
Application Deadline: No deadline at this time. We will begin processing new EPIK applications in August 2017

 

Am I Eligible for EPIK?

The English Program in Korea is interested in enthusiastic individuals who have a desire to teach and a passion for learning about new cultures. Teachers must be friendly, outgoing, open minded and have the means to commit to a full year (12 months) term in South Korea.

In order to qualify candidates must be native English speakers with a valid passport and degree from 1 of the 7 designated English speaking countries; USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. Visit our Eligibility page for complete details.

EPIK Orientation


 

Benefits For Public School Teachers

Settlement Allowance
  • 300,000 Won settlement allowance (moving bonus) issued upon arrival
Free Studio 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, TV, table and chairs
Severance Pay
(Completion Bonus)
  • A severance package (contract completion bonus) equal to 1
    month’s salary will be deposited into your account at the end of
    your contract. The severance pay is in addition to your last months’ 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 Plan
(North American only)
  • 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 adn 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.
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 then 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 Job Details

Working Hours
  • 8:30am – 4:30pm (Monday through Friday)
  • OR 9:00am – 5:00pm (Monday through Friday)
  • OR 9:30am – 5:30pm (Monday through Friday)
  • All 3 work schedules listed above include: class preparation time,
    1 hour lunch break and other scheduled break times throughout the day
Teaching Hours
  • 22 in-class teaching hours per week (roughly 4.5 hr / day)
  • Classes are 45 – 50 minutes in length
Vacation Time
  • 18 – 20 business days per year
Sick Days
  • 15 paid sick days per year.
Class Size
  • Class size and student numbers vary from school to school;
    however most classrooms will consist of 30-35 students.
Curriculum
  • Curriculum and teaching materials / resources are provided by the school.
Support
  • You will be partenered with a Korean English teacher when you
    begin working at your designated school. Your partner teacher will accompany you to each class and help you with any problems that
    may arise. Your partner teacher will guide you through the curriculum and teaching resources that are available.
Job Description
  • 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.

Note: Job benefits may have slight variations depending on the office of education you’re working for.

 

Working locations you can select as a public school candidate

Metropolitan Offices of Education

  • Busan Office of Education
  • Daegu Office of Education
  • Daejeon Office of Education
  • Gwangju Office of Education
  • Incheon Office of Education
  • Seoul Office of Education
  • Ulsan Office of Education

Provincial Offices of Education

  • Chungbuk Office of Education
  • Chungnam Office of Education
  • Gangwon Office of Education
  • Gyeongbuk Office of Education
  • Gyeongnam Office of Education
  • Jeju Office of Education
  • Jeonbuk Office of Education
  • Jeollanam Office of Education

 

Common questions about the EPIK Program

 

Q: Will I receive any training prior to teaching?

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, group activities, cultural tours, presentations, movie nights and much more.

Q: Can I submit my application and begin the process before I’ve collected all of my required documentation?
Yes. You don’t need to have all of your required documents at your disposal in order for Gone2Korea to submit your EPIK application and have your official interview scheduled. All we need in order to submit your application and schedule your official interview (1st stage) is a completed EPIK application form and two (2) letters of recommendation.

Q: Can I choose specific cities or provinces to work in?

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.

Q: Are TEFL certificates mandatory for securing employment with EPIK and SMOE?

It depends on your degree/major and other credentials. If you have an unrelated major and no teaching credentials (e.g. teaching licence, full time teaching experience, master’s degree, etc.) then getting TEFL certified is now requested by the EPIK and education offices. Note: Getting TEFL certified will provide you with valuable knowledge (teaching methodologies, lesson planning, class activities, etc.) that will help you with your transition into the English teaching field (it’s beneficial to the students you’ll be teaching as well). Additionally, getting certified will provide you with more international teaching opportunities later on.