Teach English in Korea


Easy Steps to Teach Abroad:

Note: While most of these tips/steps are Korea-specific, they can be applied to most other teach abroad positions/agencies.
  • Do some research and find an agency (easier than going through the country’s government yourself). I found Footprints Recruiting online and they made the application process easy and simple.
  • Register & start the application process (through the agency).
  • Get TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)/TESL/TESOL certified! (This is generally required or at least favored in all countries.) I used the program, iTTT, which Footprints recommended. This was a 120 hour online class for $250. There are 20 Units that take around 4-6 hours each. You send in a worksheet to your “online tutor” and they make the appropriate corrections and then send you your next unit. Plus side: No tests!
  • Start your paperwork early. This part can be a bit tedious. Be prepared to spend a good chunk of money (around $250) on getting your degree notarized, getting fingerprints done to get a criminal background check, filing for a tax exemption, getting an “apostille” on everything and more. Details about everything below (see Step 3).
  • After getting the majority of this done, you can send your application to your agency, who will then apply to individual city public/private schools on your behalf. If you’re applying in Korea, the majority of applicants will be offered a position, as there is a huge demand for English teachers here!

Why South Korea?

  • Good starting salary – around $2000 a month for teachers with the minimum experience requirement (Bachelor’s in anything + TEFL certification)
  • They pay for airfare (to and from Korea), your accommodation (usually a 1 bedroom/studio apartment) and 50% of your health insurance.
  • Good hub to travel around Asia – Korea is right next to Japan and China and flights to SE Asia aren’t too shabby either.
  • Korea is relatively cheap
  • No taxes for up to two years!
  • While other countries might seem more appealing to some, almost all of them won’t offer both airfare and housing, let alone health insurance.
  • Overall, Korea is a good place to go to save money or pay off those horrid student loans. Traveling the world, making money and being able to teach others sounds like the perfect way to furthermore avoid the Big Kid World 😉

image (9)For the Entire Detailed Process:

CLICK HERE for all posts about Teaching English in Korea


  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I am really considering it! Do you have a personal email in which I could ask you questions as I go through the process of becoming certified? I would really appreciate it! This sounds like a great opportunity! 🙂


    1. Hi Lulu, I’d be happy to answer any questions you have! My email is kmuolic@yahoo.com, looking forward to hearing from you 🙂


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  3. […] Finally, you’ve got to get yourself ready to go before your departure date and this can mean sending off a lot of payments and paperwork months in advance because some programs have specific start and end dates and you could miss them if you don’t leave in time. 1st For Everything advises: […]


  4. Wow! Thank you for posting the details here. I began considering teaching English in Korea JUST last night and this post is gonna be awesome as I pray and think about it. 😉 Great blog you have here!! 🙂


  5. six hundred?? I mailed and received all my paperwork (apos, fbi check, ect) for 18 dollars plus shipping so maybe around 25. How are you getting 600?


  6. Ok I see what you did there you included EVERYTHING. Gotcha my mistake


    1. Haha yeah, I should actually change that to $500 since it was just over. Obviously the TEFL class was the most expensive, and it’s not paperwork so I probably shouldn’t mentioned that too! Our recruiting agency also recommended sending the paperwork via FedEx or UPS because USPS can’t be tracked in Korea (and it would be a shame to lose all those documents!), which costs an additional $80ish.


      1. The documents are the biggest pain! I’m still waiting for my fbi check. I think I read you are in Busan? I was thinking about that city how do you like it?


      2. Absolutely LOVE Busan!! I live in Haeundae, right by the beach so it’s pretty amazing. So much to do here! Especially compared to Ulsan where I lived last year (about an hour north). Are you able to choose where you live at all?


      3. I’m sure I will be for the most part. I went through Adventure Teaching and told them my preference is Busan. Everyone I talk to though just says Seoul like it’s the be all and end all of Korea so I like seeing people in Busan enjoying it! Do you have any recommendations on where to live when it ones down to specifics in Busan? Thanks so much!


  7. I am in the process of finishing up my Bachelor’s degree in English. I really want to teach abroad in Korea as my next step in life so I really appreciate this post! Do I have to wait until I receive my BA before I can take the TEFL certification course? Also, how long does the program with the schools usually last? Is it just one year and then I would return home? Thanks!!


    1. Hi Sarah! You don’t have to wait, you can start your TEFL whenever you want! Contracts are usually a year long, although it’s possible to find 6 month contracts or even 3 months (but not usually with public schools). In addition, you can also extend your contract with your school!


  8. Hi Kirsten, just a quick question. How does the teaching work? Do you need to know basic Korean too?


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