Ever since moving to South Korea to teach English we have gotten one main question from readers, friends and family: why Korea? It seems that so many people just don’t know much about Korea, much like us when we first started doing research about teaching English overseas.
In the short time that we have been here, one thing is clear – we absolutely love this place and know that it will be hard to leave it behind when the time comes (promise we’re coming home eventually mom!).
Making the decision to teach in Korea specifically wasn’t easy as there are so many places in the world that you can teach English! That said, at the end of the day we chose Korea because it met all of our criteria for moving abroad and we are so very happy that it did. Now let’s get into it, what was our reasoning behind choosing to teach in Korea over any other country?
Our main criteria when choosing a location was that the culture be interesting. Since we’ve both never lived in Asia before and have always been curious to learn more about the continent, we figured it would be a good place to start. Once we found out which places were most realistic to teach in, Korea quickly became an obvious choice. It has so much history, a diverse landscape, and interesting language, etc. All things that are sure to keep us busy for the next year (or more…).
It’s no secret that we absolutely love to travel. In fact, our passion for exploring new parts of the world is largely what motivated us to pack our bags and move across the globe for a year! That being said, we do hope to travel to as many other countries in Asia during our time here, and Korea is in a great location to do this. Seoul is pretty much a springboard to the rest of Asia so whether you’re hoping to eat sushi in Japan or catch some waves in Bali, anything is possible from Korea.
Though Korea is an ancient country with a rich history, it is by no means a third world country. Technology in North America is eons behind what can be found in electronic stores in Korea. Jordon is basically in video game heaven here! Technology wasn’t a deciding factor in coming here, but it has definitely been an added bonus.
Salary + benefits
Okay, let’s talk money. If you’re like us, recent university graduates with student loans to pay off, earning a decent salary is an important aspect of choosing employment. The great news is that Korea offers tons of benefits and a great salary to its teachers!
Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to get (varies by school):
- free return airfare stipend of 1.3 million won (each way)
- 300,000 won settlement allowance
- free housing (we have a 2 bedroom apartment with a balcony!)
- 50% health insurance coverage plan
- one month salary bonus upon completion of your contract
- a pension you can bring back to Canada
On top of that, we pay very low taxes on our salaries and citizens of certain countries can even be exempted from those!
In terms of salary, you can expect to be paid about 2 – 2.6 million won per month, depending on your experience. Last but not least, we also get 4 weeks of paid vacation every year! Have we convinced you to move to Korea yet?
Cost of living = savings
As we mentioned above, you’ll be making a pretty good salary as an English teacher in Korea. To make things even better, the cost of living in Korea is quite low, which means you will be making enough to pay off your loans, have fun and save for a rainy day!
Have you ever taught abroad?
If so, where did you go?
Tell us about your experience in the comments below!
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