Working in South Korea
South Korea is an extraordinary country filled with beautiful beaches, thriving cities, ancient temples, remarkable natural scenery and most importantly, friendly people with ancient history. South Korea is a country of relatively small size yet it has a population of almost 50 million. The cities are big and bustling but somehow the countryside remains picturesque and unspoiled.
The rapid growth of the South Korean economy in recent years means that Korea’s ancient culture has become intrinsically entwined with hi-tech modern living. South Korea’s rise to become a significant country in both world politics and modern technology has created a massive demand for English language teachers. Schools in Korea are offering excellent packages and high rates of pay. It is one of the ideal countries for teachers wanting a truly oriental experience.
What can you expect living and working in South Korea?
On the face of it teaching wages in South Korea may be comparable to wages back home in the West, but with cost of living so cheap in South Korea, even in majors cities such as Seoul and Busan, teachers can afford to live well, adventure and party in their free time, and even put some savings away on top of it all. The rate of tax is little more than 5%, and in addition to this, many teaching packages will include free or subsidised accommodation, annual return airfares home, and some schools will even include free meals! It is a very popular choice for experienced teachers, and new TEFL recruits trying to start a serious career in teaching, or just looking to rack up some savings and travel.
Currency – called The South Korean Won known as ‘W’ or ‘KRW
How often do you get paid?
You get paid every four weeks whilst working in Korea.
How do I get a Bank Account?
Getting a bank account in South Korea is easy and free. Most banks allow new arrivals who don’t have their resident’s card to open an account straight away making the move less stressful.
How do I save money?
Most Ex-Pats come to save money and travel. South Korea is an excellent hub to travel from. When saving money it is very easy to send money home to your bank account and you can also set up great savings plans with excellent rates.
How much money will I need to come over to the South Korea?
Your flights over to the South Korea will be catered for. As with any job you will need to work for a month before you get paid. We would recommend coming with between $1000 and $2500.
How much can I save?
This depends on what you like to do with your disposable income but in general people save almost 50% of their monthly income.
South Korea has an excellent public transportation system which offers many choices for getting around at a reasonable price. Planes, trains and express buses connect urban areas while intercity buses allow you to travel between smaller cities and towns. Local buses are available as well, and car ferries let you travel to offshore islands. You should know, however, that all transport works on the Korean ppallippalli (hurry hurry) system. This means that trains and buses always leave on time!
The Korean Culture
It is a family oriented culture. The people of South Korea are extremely helpful people, although reserved to strangers. They are a hierarchical-based society. They are a very proud, hardworking people.
In the west we have become used to tipping for service but here there is no tipping. In fact it is deemed by many to be an insult. In all walks of life be it in food and services, taxis or any other service industry. They take pride in what and how they do things they are paid to do.
South Korea has a thriving nightlife scene. You will find a number of traditional tea houses, coffee shops, theatre shows, discos, fashionable nightclubs, trendy pubs, and exclusive bars. For a westerner, this is the perfect way to welcome the night, as it provides a great opportunity to relax and rejuvenate after a long day of sightseeing. For those who enjoy live performances, there are many clubs and bars offering these options too. Karaoke clubs are also quite popular here and are great fun for nights out.
For those who do not enjoy visiting crowded pubs or discos, coffee shops and tea houses are great alternatives. In other words, regardless of what your tastes are, you can be sure that you will enjoy South Korean nightlife.