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Program Overview

CIEE Teach in South Korea matches enthusiastic teachers with yearlong positions working with younger students in private and public schools throughout the country, including the prestigious EPIK public school program. It won’t take long for you to experience firsthand the self-reliance that has established South Korea as one of the economic centers of Asia.

Out of a centuries-long tug-of-war between Chinese and Japanese rule and the more recent events that created two Koreas, South Korea has forged a strong spirit of national identity and independence. The country embraces the modern and traditional in equal measure, and is one of the fastest-growing hotbeds of English language acquisition in the world.

With CIEE Teach Abroad, you’ll lead a full-immersion English language curriculum and serve as a linguistic and cultural ambassador. Teachers are placed primarily in or near the metropolitan areas of Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, and Ulsan. Outside of class, you’ll explore the country’s ancient history, culinary delights, and its role on the world stage.

Teach abroad in South Korea with CIEE, and you can:

  • Experience incredible sites – visit Seoul’s amazing Gwangjang Market, part of which transforms into the city’s largest food alley, or Meokja Golmok, at night. Or hop over to Jeju-do, a volcanic island that travelers have said reminds them of Hawaii, the Mediterranean, and paradise – all at the same time.
  • Help satisfy the strong desire South Korean children have to excel academically.
  • Promote an exchange of cultures, and gain a deeper appreciation for Korean students, culture, and the greater community.
  • Use CIEE’s experience and feedback and perfect your application to EPIK or private schools

Understanding Your Options

The two programs offer the same teaching positions, pay, and benefits, but are designed for different applicants:

  • Teach in South Korea – This program includes CIEE’s premium 150-hour online TEFL course, which is the best way for new teachers to prepare for the program.
  • Teach in South Korea – The Basics – Designed for experienced teachers who already have teaching credentials, this program offers the same support and benefits as our core program, just without the TEFL course.


A rewarding job opportunity that includes:

  • Placements in public and private schools throughout the country
  • A salary of 2 million to 2.7 million won/month, plus:
    • Potential for an attendance bonus
    • Pension and severance pay upon successful completion of contract (usually equal to one to two months’ pay)
  • Rent-free housing with basic amenities
  • Airfare Included! Most schools will pay for your one-way ticket to Korea.
  • South Korean-national medical insurance benefits, international travel insurance, and 24-hour worldwide assistance provided with CIEE's iNext

Teaching programs that deliver more, including:

  • Teaching and program guides to help you plan and prepare
  • A two-day orientation in Seoul, including:
    • Cross-cultural training and cultural problem-solving seminars
    • Teaching-specific strategies for working in South Korean schools
    • Sessions led by current teachers in South Korea to give you accurate details
    • Excursions to introduce you to South Korean culture
  • Advice, support, and assistance from an orientation director who is well-versed in teaching and living in South Korea

Assistance to make your journey easier, including:

  • Pre-departure guidance to help you:
    • Find the right program
    • Apply online for Teach Abroad
    • Complete official visa paperwork
    • Prepare for your experience with valuable professional development
  • Airport transfer and transportation to your host institution
  • One year of iNext international insurance with 24-hour emergency assistance services
  • 24/7 in-country support from CIEE resident staff members


Participants are placed in cities and suburban areas throughout South Korea. Teaching assignments are available in the Seoul metropolitan area, but they are often more competitive and are not always available to inexperienced teachers.

Many teachers are placed in the following cities:

  • Busan, the country’s second-largest city, draws many international conventions and foreign visitors.
  • Ulsan, on the south-eastern coast, is an industrial powerhouse with the energy of a robust economy.
  • Daegu enjoys a subtropical climate ideal for producing high-quality apples, thus its nickname, "Apple City.” It is also a notable center for Korean fashion.
  • Daejeon, in the center of the country, has 18 universities and is a center of advanced technology.
  • Gwangju is another large, culturally rich city in the south of the country.
  • The greater Seoul area is one of the largest metropolitan disctricts in the world and includes the nearby cities of Bucheon, Incheon, Suwon City, Gunpo, and Namyangju.
  • Each year, we have other interesting locations not included on this list!

Preparation and Support

You’ll see the CIEE difference in the quality of our offerings and the diversity of the cultural-exchange opportunities we provide. Our unmatched preparation and comprehensive support are carefully designed to make your journey easy, enjoyable, and successful.

Your CIEE program fee covers all the essential elements, including:

  • Confirmation of your teaching assignment before you depart
  • Assistance preparing for your trip
  • An in-country orientation program
  • 24-hour emergency assistance
  • iNext international insurance with 24-hour emergency assistance services
  • Visa advice
  • A program handbook

Before you leave

We want to make sure you have everything you need to teach abroad, from visa guidance to details about your job, and sound advice on how to settle into your new teaching position. Enrollment in a CIEE Teach Abroad program also includes an online course designed to help you build a framework of practical, cultural, and professional skills. You also can call us with any questions – our knowledgeable staff is ready to help.

Throughout the application process, skilled CIEE staff members are available to walk you through every step and answer questions. We help you obtain an expedited, multi-entry visa to make your entry to Korea smooth, and we’ll facilitate travel during your stay.

When you arrive

CIEE understands that it can be overwhelming to land in an unfamiliar country with an extended stay ahead. You’ll have many questions, and you may feel like you have so much to learn. We’re here to help and make you feel welcome.

All participants take part in a weekend orientation conducted by CIEE staff in Seoul to introduce you to Korean customs and culture. We continually fine-tune these orientations and included teaching workshops based on current program experiences, to prepare you properly for your teaching position.

During orientation, you’ll:

  • Get to know CIEE staff members, building relationships with the people who are here to support you while you’re in South Korea
  • Meet fellow CIEE teachers and make friends – sharing your experiences can make your time in South Korea much more rewarding
  • Broaden your abilities with training exercises to make you a more effective teacher
  • Enjoy sightseeing trips and performances that introduce you to Korean culture
  • Get advice, support, and assistance from an orientation director who is well versed in teaching and living in South Korea

In addition to the first orientation weekend, you’ll be invited to subsequent orientations to meet new teachers, expand your network, and share your wisdom with fellow teachers – and have fun while you’re at it.


Rent-free accommodations are provided for all participants for the duration of their contracts. Host institutions provide furnished studio apartments for one with amenities that meet Western expectations. This is a major benefit that adds significant value to the program. Rent-free living allows your earnings to go a long way!

iNext travel insurance

There’s enough to think about when you travel overseas. Peace of mind is priceless, and CIEE provides it by including insurance as part of every Teach Abroad program. U.S. resident participants are covered by iNext, which supplements your private insurance to cover the cost of accidents and unplanned medical attention while abroad. The policy also offers emergency evacuation coverage with 24-hour worldwide assistance.

Learn more about iNext

TEFL Certification

CIEE TEFL courses are a terrific way to get ready for your teaching adventure!

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification gives you the skills, experience, and confidence that makes this journey even more rewarding, both for you and those you teach. Our cutting-edge coursework is conducted online, so you can participate from almost anywhere.

Accredited by the World TEFL Accrediting Commission, our 150-hour TEFL certification course ensures that you:

  • Get feedback on your progress, along with fellow classmates in an interactive environment led by a single tutor
  • Develop an awareness of the field and practices of TEFL
  • Understand the components of English related to teaching of nonnative speakers
  • Can design lessons for TEFL students at a variety of levels
  • Can create appropriate lesson plans in listening, speaking, reading, and writing
  • Practice your new skills with a 20-hour teaching practicum

The CIEE TEFL 150-hour certification course is included within the Teach in South Korea program fee.

Teach English Abroad with Confidence

Learn more

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