Teaching English in South Korea (EPIK) - The Korean Package: Go and Earn Millions of KR Won! (Thousands of USDs)
Why Teach in South Korea?
Teaching English in South Korea is both an exciting cultural opportunity as well as the chance to set yourself up financially. As a country, Koreans have managed to transform their country from being one of the poorest, to being amongst the top players world wide. Over just 15 years, this economy has boomed, resulting in a high demand for English speakers - offering a good package and a very good working environment.
Being a part of this country is an amazing experience, but that is something I will cover in a later hub, but for now, I will give you a run down of the package you are likely to receive. This is the package as it stands this year, but it may change, so check out an agent or website for the most recent details. Two excellent sites for this are:
Benefits and Working Conditions in South Korea
You may be located anywhere in the country, but the application does allow you to choose three preferred locations. It also allows you to specify your preference of school, from elementary schools to high schools.
Once you are placed, you will get the full contract details. The reason for this is that contracts vary slightly. You will be awarded a base amount, depending on your qualifications, normally ranging from 2-2.5 Million Won (2000-2500 USD). However, if you are placed in a rural area, you will get an additional 100k (100 USD) per month . Furthermore, if you accept to work at more than one school (the same 22 hours per week total), then you will get 100k per month for the first school and 50k per month for each additional school. The period of each contract is 1 year, but may also be renewed (with a nice re-signing bonus offered too).
The start dates are normally mid August or Mid February. However, if there is a need, you may get placed at other times of the year. Working hours are typically 9am-5pm (or slight variations of this), working Mondays-Fridays, teaching a total 22 hours per week (unless you agree to be more, then you will get overtime from your school).
Typically, teachers receive 2.0-2.7 million Korean Won (2000-2700 USD) - this is very good money here and it is easy to save a decent percent of that. The reason for this is that normally furnished housing will be included in your contract, FREE housing really helps saving. You will however have to pay utility bills, but these are very affordable ... especially as you have no rent to pay.
Teachers typically get paid leave (holiday) of 20 working days, but this can also increase up to five weeks holiday ... depending on your area. If you resign in the same location, you also get another two weeks holiday as a bonus.
Health insurance and a pension plan are paid between you and the school. This is not an exact split, but roughly works out around the 50/50 mark. However, utility bills and other costs are not too high here. You can expect about 60-70k (60-70 USD) in tax, about 80k (80 USD) for medical insurance and about 120k (120USD) for your pension. Some lucky people can actually reclaim the pension, but you will have to check the rules for your country ... being from the UK, I unfortunately don't qualify for that. Oh, did I mention that if you paid tax in your own country the year before and get a tax certificate ... many countries can get a TAX FREE salary here.
Airfare reimbursement is on of the common questions at the moment. As, presently upon entrance and just before exit, teachers receive 1.3 million won (1300 USD) each time . This is however being reviewed and may result in an exact airfare price refund ... so hold onto your receipts just in case. That said, you also get 300k (300 USD) relocation allowance, just to help you settle in and buy a few things ... isn't that nice of them.
A one week orientation upon arrival will help to get you settled. It will cover teaching approaches, resources, experiences, what to expect and how to live in this new country. This course also covers Korean culture, manors and the language basics. It really is very useful! and as it is free, you can't complain. The culture part of the course is actually good fun, as you will go on field trips, where you learn about Korean art-forms, play music, view old towns, see traditional dresses etc etc.
Teachers that work here and live a moderately comfortable lifestyle often save 10,000-20,000 USD per year, whilst still traveling the country. There aren't many countries where you can save that amount and live well too!
I hope this covers a lot about what you can expect from the package when taking a job in Korea, you may also want to look at:
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