Teaching English in Seoul is a wonderful way to experience one of Asia’s greatest metropolitan cities. Gone2Korea represents an abundance of quality schools throughout Seoul and the surrounding Capital Region – commonly referred to as the Seoul Metropolitan Area. Many of these schools employ 6+ western teachers and new positions across the city are available all year long.
Seoul isn’t for everyone! For those who prefer to live and work in less populated/congested areas please visit our Popular Teaching Destinations and Guide to Korean cities and Provinces pages for more information – South Korea has dozens of beautiful cities with quality teaching opportunities to select from.
Although Seoul has the most public and private language schools in Korea, Seoul still remains one of the most competitive ESL job markets in Asia. Why? Many westerners request Seoul as their preferred working location; therefore, English schools in Seoul tend to receive numerous applications for each available position. Basically, schools in this area have the privilege of reviewing multiple applicants which allows them to be more ‘selective’ with their hiring practices.
If you’ve taught in Seoul before then you likely noticed the high percentage of young North American graduates. In comparison, you will find a larger diversity of nationalities and age groups in Korea’s other metropolitan cities. Again, this is because schools in Seoul can afford to decline applications that fail to meet their desired preferences – the fact is most private schools will only consider young Canadian and American teachers. It’s not impossible for older teachers and other nationalities to find employment in Seoul but it’s not as easy and securing a suitable position can take longer than normal. Note: Securing a public school job in Seoul is much easier for non-North Americans and applicants over 35 years of age.
There are lots of opportunities in this segment of the ESL market every month of the year, however, the best times to secure private school employment in Seoul is in February, March, July, August and early September. Most schools do the bulk of their hiring during these times.
Gone2Korea has public school teaching opportunities in Seoul each semester. In order to apply for public school jobs in Seoul teachers must have additional credentials – above and beyond a university degree. Additionally, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education requires applicants to submit additional forms and documentation. Note: There are only 2 hiring periods for S.M.O.E. (February & August)
Salaries for first time teachers in Seoul are comparable to salaries in other parts of the country. Teachers working in Seoul with no ESL or teaching experience can expect to make somewhere between 2.0 – 2.2 million KRW a month for 110 – 120 hours of classroom teaching. Salaries for education majors and licensed teachers are higher (in most cases) than other parts of the country. The job market in Seoul is more established so many schools in this city are willing to offer more money in exchange for having qualified teachers in the classroom. Education majors can expect to make 2.3 – 2.7 million KRW a month.
Teacher Apartments in Seoul
Don’t expect a large apartment if you’re living and teaching English in Seoul. Seoul real estate is on par with New York, London and Tokyo, and large apartments are rare and incredibly expensive. Teacher accommodations in Seoul are usually single studio apartments, roughly 200 – 300 sq feet. Note: Even though apartments in Seoul are quite small, most of them are relatively new, clean and very liveable. We’ve placed hundreds of teachers in downtown Seoul and rarely do we get complaints about living arrangements.
Advantages of teaching English in Seoul
Disadvantages of teaching English in Seoul
If you’re serious about landing a quality job in Seoul then make sure to present yourself professionally. As mentioned above, jobs in this city are more competitive than most people assume and presenting a proper resume, decent photo and cover letter can make a difference. Make sure to visit our application tips page for more information on document preparation.
What’s the difference between Seoul & the Seoul Metropolitan Area?
Seoul is the center of the Seoul Metro area with a population of more than 11 million people. The Metropolitan area constitutes the satellite cities surrounding Seoul. When combined this area has an astounding population of more than 23 million people making it the world’s 3rd largest urban area! Some of the more popular teaching areas in the greater Seoul region include: Ansan, Anyang, Bucheon, Bundang, Ilsan, Suji, Suwon and Yongin
What’s better, Seoul or the Seoul Satellite Cities?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, everything depends on the preferences of the individual and both areas have their positives and negatives. Seoul is more entertaining although it’s also more expensive, more polluted and extremely crowded.
If you speak to people who live downtown then they will likely tell you it’s the place to be. Likewise, if you speak to people living in the surrounding area they will likely tell you it’s better to live where they are and travel downtown by subway when needed. Both locations offer an exciting teaching experience in one of the world’s largest urban areas.
The important thing to remember is that the entire Seoul Capital Region (Metropolitan Area) is connected by the Seoul Metro Subway System and traveling between districts is quite simple.