English speakers have a huge advantage when it comes to working and travelling, thanks to the world’s thirst to speak English fluently. Thousands of English teachers make their way to exotic locations in South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Many choose to teach English in South Korea over other countries due to the benefits this diverse country offers. This article briefly outlines the benefits of teaching English in South Korea, and if considered, is sure to be a richly rewarding experience.
One of the primary benefits of teaching English in South Korea is the generous salaries offered compared to the cost of living. Although salaries are higher in Japan, food, transport and entertainment is extremely expensive, meaning that it is more difficult to spend generously on yourself and save at the same time. However, English teachers in South Korea can easily save around $1000 dollars a month. Furthermore, bilateral agreements with certain countries mean that salaries are tax free, or tax can be claimed back.
Many travellers and professionals decide to teach English in Korea because of the benefits. Free, fully furnished housing or a housing subsidy is provided to all teachers who work in government schools. ‘Hagwons’ or private learning institutions also offer housing. Return flights are offered to English teachers in South Korea if a full one year contract of teaching is completed.
Because they are so many English teachers in South Korea, there is a large expat community. However, it is worth noting that the majority of English teachers and other foreigners are concentrated around Seoul (the capital) and other cosmopolitan areas such as Busan and Incheon. Rural areas are less populated by foreigners.
South Korea offers a very unique culture that is inviting to foreigners looking for a taste of something different. South Korea is based on Confucian traditions, yet is also a highly developed and modern country, making for some interesting contrasts. Teaching English in South Korea is also extremely rewarding due to the inherent generosity of the South Koreans in general. South Korea also boasts beautiful architecture and a diverse culinary experience. Korean BBQ’s are a favourite amongst foreigners and locals alike.
Because South Korea is located between China and Japan, it is the perfect base for exploring these two countries, as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong. Furthermore, the exotic, south East Asian destinations of Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are just a short flight away. These are the primary reasons why many foreigners decide to teach English in South Korea, although only after visiting South Korea can you really begin to measure the benefits of such a beautifully contrasting country.
Penny Munroe is an avid writer in language related news and tips. Articles include sourcing the ideal legal translation service to language learning tips.