Teaching English in Korea (EPIK) Program - Application; the best way for you

What is EPIK?

Although EPIK, which stands for English Program In Korea, isn't the only way of teaching in Korea, it is one of the best I have seen for organization and support. The recruitment and training, with on going support, is a government run program that tries to attract qualified native English speakers from all over the world. They do have some restrictions, but basically if you have studied in an English speaking country, have a degree and preferably have a TEFL/TESOL certificate (although the certificate is not required), odds are you will be able to apply.


As it is a government run scheme, their budget is quite large and salary payments are guaranteed. For myself, this is quite an important factor, after having a couple of years with a private school that was unable to pay me on time - it is not fun when the bills are coming in, you are in a foreign country and at the very last minute you get told that you won't get your salary for another week, maybe two! Hence, this added security of working for the government helps a lot when making a move into a new and interesting country.


However, before you land a position and make that move for a year of excitement, travel and savings ... you will have to do some preparation first. This preparation will include, but may not be limited to, the following:


  • Apply for a NATIONAL Police check.
  • Notarize a copy of your degree and have an Apostille applied to the notarized copy.
  • Obtain a stamped and correctly formatted reference letter from your previous employer/university.
  • Find an EPIK recruiter/agent to process your application (many are online)
  • Email a fully completed application, scans of certificates and a recent photo to your agent (your agent will have an application, if you need one).
  • Complete a telephone or Skype interview with an EPIK coordinator in Korea.


Once you have completed all these steps, your application will have a final assessment. If you pass this, you should get an email/phone call from you agent to arrange an interview. Then, within 2-10 days of completing the interview, you should hear if you have landed yourself a place in dynamic Korea. After that, you will be sent an official invite, which you can use to obtain a one year vise from a nearby Korean embassy.


Although you have sent copies of many items and emailed scans, remember to take the originals with you and take copies of EVERYTHING you have already sent. The reason for this is that some things need to be rechecked in person and some may be requested by immigration - it would be terrible to fly there and get turned away for not having your papers!


This is now the point when you can start booking your flight (if you haven't already done so), and packing your bags ready for the trip. When you arrive in Korea, you will be greeted by the EPIK team and possibly by your agent, before starting an intensive 10 day course of training and cultural education to help your adjust. This is a very beneficial course that comes with a certificate and is actually quite good fun. The trainers have been doing this for year, and so they know what western people want and how to make it interesting. For the training period, although accommodation is paid for and you will get free meals, remember that you will need money to live on during the training and for the first month of employment. For this, about 1000-1800USD should be just fine (but, the more the better).


The next in this series will look at WHY you should consider the EPIK program and some of the benefits it offers. If you are seriously considering this, I recommend you have a read of some of my emigration and TEFL hubs:

Teach English in Korea (EPIK)

Would you drop your career to teach TEFL?

How much to have that tropical Dream Life overseas??

Issues you should consider when emigrating abroad!


Thank you for reading, please leave and comments, questions, or suggestions below ...


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Comments 11 comments

Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 5 years ago from Somewhere in Asia Author

No problem ... hope it works out for you. If not, check out Malaysia ... I haven't worked there, but their government offers a decent package too.


Snurre profile image

Snurre 5 years ago

Thanks, mate! I'll give it a go :)


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 5 years ago from Somewhere in Asia Author

Hi Snurre,

I would look into it. It depends on your education more than anything. From memory, I believe it is at least 10 years of study within English only education system ...

I know we had people from many different areas of the world on this years orientation course, and for some ... English was their second Language.

Hope it works out for you, but if not, there are plenty of options for TEFL teachers with experience ;-). Best of luck!


Snurre profile image

Snurre 5 years ago

Unfortunately I might not qualify for the program because I'm a Russian national. Shame, because I have loads of ESL experience, an MA in Journalism and soon will have a TESOL certificate. Might apply and see what happens, though. Thanks again for your article!


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 5 years ago from Somewhere in Asia Author

Hey Phil,

Thanks for popping back and throwing in a couple of votes. Depends on your career of course, but many couples come together (they have a visa for families), stash about 40-80k USD and then head home smiling ;-).

Either way, glad you enjoyed the read.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 5 years ago from Somewhere in Asia Author

Hi Alocsin,

Cheers for reading. Check out my next hub and I'm sure you'll be even more tempted ... the EPIK package is unmatched in most countries for teaching EFL/ESL


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 5 years ago from Somewhere in Asia Author

Hi Snurre,

Go for it! Korea is a great place to teach in, they are technologically advanced (full media facilities in all classrooms), the salary is good and the lifestyle is fun .... but I will write more about that soon.

Cheers for the comment and votes!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

Sounds like a possibility for a Korea job. Voting this Up and Useful.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

I might have considered doing this back when I was younger, but now with the family it is not possible. Still, a well written and useful hub giving you both a vote-up and a useful.


Snurre profile image

Snurre 5 years ago

Sounds really interesting. I used to teach ESL, but I don't have a TESOL certificate yet (am in the process of getting one). Korea sounds like a good option. Voted up and useful.


User1238 5 years ago from Memorycard

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