Teach English in South Korea

Country Overview

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Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement

CIEE Teach Abroad is requiring all participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling on programs.

Choose Your Korean Teaching Adventure

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

There are two types of jobs available. Both are suitable for first-time teachers, and each has its own application procedure:

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. Learn More

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 TEFL students and alumni with tips, guidance, and reminders to help them maximize their chances of successful placement. Learn More

Not sure which type is right for you? Consult our School Types Handout for a detailed comparison, and check out our Korea FAQ page. If you’d like, you can schedule a call with us to talk it over!

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

Featured Programs

  • Public School Application Assistance

    EPIK is a prestigious, government-sponsored program that places teachers in paid positions at public schools throughout South Korea.

    Learn more

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! You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to go on our Teach Abroad programs, but we welcome applications from graduating seniors. You should ask your academic advisor for a letter confirming your expected date of graduation, and you can upload that to your online application in place of your actual degree. Check with your school to confirm when your diploma will be delivered to you, and email a scan to your coordinator at that time.


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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 don’t like the school, you can let us know and we will work to find one 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, with the rest of your schedule available for planning. The typical workload in a private school is a full day of 30 classroom hours, plus other duties like greeting students, lunch supervision, staff meetings, and special events.

In the beginning, you will spend more hours planning as you are still getting comfortable with the curriculum and the students’ levels. 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