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Top 5 Reasons to Teach ESL in Korea

Updated on August 5, 2015

Teaching English as Second Language in Korea is the Experience of a Lifetime

I'm sure you're heard lots of stories from your friends and family and around the Internet about how South Korea is a terrible place to teach English. There are Hagwon blacklists all over the Internet. And the truth is that there are people who've had bad experiences getting ripped off by shady schools in South Korea. But for every one of these people, there are others that have an amazing year Teaching ESL in South Korea. To me, it's worth the risk because South Korea is a fascinating place, one that is so unlike anything you'll have ever experienced before. Here are my top 5 Reason to Teach ESL In South Korea.

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#5 Reason to become an English Teacher in Korea: Experience an Up and Coming World Power First-Hand

Korea consistently ranks in the Top 10 among the world's biggest and most powerful economies. And, combined with their watertight strategic alliance with the USA, their views are taken seriously in the political arena as well. It's all the more amazing considering that after the Korean War in the 1950s their country was reduced to rubble, divided and was one of the poorest in the world. It truly is a rags to riches story.

And Korea is still changing at a rapid pace today. In terms of being "Wired," it's the top country in the world. If I had to choose only one word to describe South Korea, it would be "Dynamic." Come experience this amazing place first-hand.

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#4 Reason to Teach ESL in South Korea: Come check out the Korean Wave

K-Pop, Korean movies,TV dramas and other facets of Korean culture are becoming increasingly popular around the world. When I travel, I'm always astounded at the number of people who know a lot of stuff about this little, out of the way kind of country. Come check out the Korean wave first-hand.

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How to Thrive in South Korea: 97 Tips From Expats

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#3 Reason to Teach English in Korea: It's easy to get a job

Once you've met the basic requirements for a visa set by the government, the only thing needed to teach at a hagwon (private institute) in South Korea is a pulse. It doesn't matter how fast it's beating. Once you've got all your paperwork in order (not such an easy thing), you should be able to land a job in no time. However, it does pay to be choosy because there are certainly terrible (and excellent) jobs out there for first-year teachers.

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#2 Reason to Teach English in South Korea: Free Airfare and Housing=Money-Saving Potential

Most countries where you can teach ESL don't offer free airfare and housing for their teachers. Instead, you pay for airfare yourself up front and housing comes out of your monthly pay. However, Korea is a different situation where most jobs (except unis) offer free airfare, in that they'll reimburse you for the cost with your first paycheck. And housing (or a housing allowance) is almost always included. This makes it very easy to save substantial amounts of money during your year in South Korea. All teachers save at least $500 US/month, while $1000 is about average. Some people who are thrifty, or work a bit of overtime save even more than that.

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#1 Reason to Teach ESL in South Korea: You'll have the experience of a lifetime

South Korea is an entirely foreign place from what most people are used to back home in one of the Western Countries. The food, the culture, family dynamics, and the working environment are entirely new. When you first get here, you'll find yourself looking on in disbelief at something almost daily. And many people never leave home without a camera in their pocket to take some pics at the weird and wacky things you see almost every time that you leave your house. I guarantee that your year Teaching ESL in South Korea will be one that you never forget.

What's the top reason to become an English Teacher in South Korea?

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What's your Top Reason for Teaching English as a Second Language in South Korea?

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    • profile image

      Frice 

      3 years ago

      1: 호프- HOF, or Korean style drinking esbtsliahment. It's not a place to come and mingle, but rather a place to relax with friends over beer, soju and anju (snacks to accompany your drinks)2: 모텔- Motel This one is directly translated from English to Korean. Love motels here are very common, but don't have quite as bad a reputation as they have in America. 3: 노래방- Norebang, or singing room. Basically, karaoke for Korea. A place to sing your heart out with friends in your own private room. No Karaoke bar here. 4:담배- Dambae- Cigarettes. This one's not important for me, but if you're a smoker, this might be the first sign you will look for after stepping off the plane. If you see this sign outside a store, it means you can find your smokes within. 5: 부동산- Budongsan, Real Estate Office. While you might not need one while you're in Korea, you'll certainly see 6 on every city block. 6: 주차금지- Jucha-gumji, no parking. If you're driving around, this one might be important to recognize. It often is accompanied by another white sign with a picture of a tow truck, so it might be a little more recognizable. 7: 주차장- Jucha-jang, parking lot. Similar to number 6, if you're looking for a place to park, you'll need to remember this one. Parking tends to be in unlikely, or hard to find places in Seoul, so keep your eyes peeled. 8: 보신탕- Boshintang, Dog meat soup. You'll want to remember this one, so as not to wonder in by accident. In my neighborhood, these restaurants are scattered about with all the other restaurants, so not recognizing this one could lead to a rather unpleasant surprise if you happen to be one of those folks who aren't looking to eat dog meat. And, no, you can't choose your own dog, so the sound of dogs being slaughtered here won't clue you in. 9: 미용실- Miyoungshil, hair salon. Everyone will need to get his or her hair cut at some point or another. If you have relatively easy to manage hair, there's no reason not to go to a normal Korean salon. If you have curly hair or are looking for colors or perms, go to someone who is accustomed to foreigners. 10: 세탁- Setak, dry cleaners. Dry cleaning is cheap and convenient, so don't hesitate to bring your clothes here if you want!

    • profile image

      Livia 

      3 years ago

      I found just what I was needed, and it was engtitarnine!

    • kislanyk profile image

      Marika 

      7 years ago from Cyprus

      Interesting lens about teaching in Korea. Never been there and not sure I'll ever get that far, so it's fun learning about other countries.

    • smithlights profile image

      smithlights 

      7 years ago

      Great lens! I don't know that I want to teach English in Korea, but it would be a place I might want to visit. Thanks for sharing!

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