Living in Gyeongju, South Korea as an ESL Teacher

I live in Gyeongju, South Korea. I am an English teacher for a private academy in Korea. In this article I will give you a brief breakdown as to where you can expect to work once you get here in South Korea.

When you are looking for work as an English teacher in Korea, you can either work at a public school (run by the Korean government) or in a private academy (also known as a hagwon). Most often, those working in public schools have got better working environments and more benefits. As a hagwon is a private academy, most employees only work in the afternoon and in to the night. I personally work from 2 pm until 10 pm. It can seem rather tiring, but it does give you the freedom that a public schools’ hour do not (Their employees work from around 8 pm until 5 pm).

General working conditions, for both places of work, are as follows:
– Teaching hours: 120 hours per month.
– Pay: about 2 100 000 Korean Won.
– Paid airfare from your country, and back home after you complete your contract.
– Provided accommodation – be careful with this one! I got a bad deal here.
– Medical insurance – 50 % paid by your school, and 50% paid by you.
– General visa assistance

I will tell you some quick facts about Korea.

– Korea is an interesting country, with a strong mix of western and eastern culture. I live in a town with only 250,000 people (tiny by Korean standards) and there are two McDonald’s in the town, and many other western food outlets. Pizza and pasta are common favorites amongst Korean children.

– Koreans are, in general, friendly to foreigners and are nice to live with. I haven’t had any trouble with any Korean people, and was accommodated when I needed help.

– Gyeongju is also known as Kyongju. It is not a common name, but it can pop up on occasion.

In summary, Korea is an interesting place to work and live. It can and will provide you with many surprising situations. It is a beautiful country and relatively easy to get work here as a teacher (provided you are qualified). I have been here for only three months, but I am loving it, and learning more every day.