Teach English in South Korea

Program Options

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Teach English in South Korea and experience firsthand the food, music, and culture that has become famous worldwide! CIEE helps match aspiring teachers with year-long teaching jobs in Korea, working with young children.


Teach English in South Korea with CIEE! Our original Teach in South Korea program is the best fit for most applicants, since it includes our 150 hour online certificate in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Candidates who already have a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA credential or an Ed. degree should apply for our Teach in South Korea Basics program instead. It’s the same package of preparation and support for teaching English in Korea, minus the TEFL.

Choose Your Korean Teaching Adventure

There are two types of jobs available, both suitable for first-time teachers. Our Teach in Korea programs can help you apply for either type!

Private Schools – These after-school academies, also known as Hagwons, offer you more control over placement location, and the possibility of being placed alongside a friend, a partner, or other expat instructors. CIEE can get you ready and conduct a job search for you.

Public Schools – The EPIK program from the Korean government offers placements in public schools nationwide. These positions have longer vacations, a lighter workload, and Korean co-teachers in most classrooms. Applications are competitive, but we provide our participants with tips, guidance, and reminders to help them maximize their chances of successful placement.

For more details about the two school types, check out this comparison. It's also OK if you're not sure which type you'd like - you can discuss that with our team during the application process. Start your application now!

Featured Programs

What People are Saying

  • "CIEE helped prepare me to move to Korea and also helped me afterwards with organizing an orientation to make friends and get helpful insight from alumni."

    Helen A. | Teach in South Korea

We'll Be There...


The best adventures always have a little uncertainty, but not too much! That’s why CIEE Teach in South Korea offers the most comprehensive pre-departure package around, including:

  • Detailed pre-departure materials and insider advice to help you through the job search process with either private or public schools
  • Support and information about what to expect while Teaching English in South Korea
  • Guidance and troubleshooting with the E-2 visa process
  • Online orientation event before you depart



CIEE will still be there to help after you settle into your new home and start teaching English in Korea. Along with 24-hour in-country emergency support, we provide:

  • Day-to-day support and advice to help you navigate logistical, professional, or cultural challenges
  • iNext international insurance and emergency assistance services
  • A mid-year workshop/networking event to get together with other CIEE teachers in Korea

Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. 


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As long as you meet the eligibility requirements (see our program pages for these), CIEE has a high acceptance rate. We want to help as many people teach abroad as possible!

Public school positions are competitive, and the EPIK program’s acceptance rate changes from season to season based on their needs, so it’s hard to predict. For private schools, it’s easier to get a job, and we have a strong track record of successful placement outcomes.


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Yes! If you haven’t graduated yet (or haven’t received your degree), please submit a letter from either your Academic Advisor or Registrar to confirm your anticipated graduation date and degree type. You can upload this to your Educational Documents section in place of your diploma and transcripts. You should also check with your university to see when you will receive the actual diploma, since you’ll need this eventually for the visa.


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If you choose public schools, CIEE will give you guidance, tips, and reminders to help you prepare visa documents and make your application for EPIK as strong as it can be. If you pass EPIK’s video interview, you’ll mail them your visa documents. Once those are received, EPIK will assign you to a specific province or metro area. EPIK candidates don’t have much influence over where they get placed.

If you apply to private schools, you will discuss your preferences with our in-country team, who will then arrange video interviews with potential employers. Before the interview, you’ll get a summary of the position and the location. If you get a job offer that’s not to your liking, you can let us know and we will work to find a different opportunity that feels like a better fit.


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Wherever you are placed, expect to have the role of a full-time, lead English teacher. Working hours will vary slightly from school to school, but a typical assignment for public schools is 20-25 classroom hours per week, with the rest of your schedule available for planning. The typical workload in a private school is 30-34 classroom hours per week, plus other duties like greeting students, lunch supervision, staff meetings, and special events.

In the beginning, as you are still getting comfortable with the curriculum and the students’ levels, you will spend more hours planning lessons outside of working hours. You’ll get faster as you go!

At a public school you will often have a Korean co-teacher to help with classroom management, as those classes are usually around 30 students. Private schools have smaller classes, usually around 5-12 students, but no co-teacher.

Have questions?

Or call us at 207-274-5783