Are you looking for your first job after university, or just looking for a fun way to spend a year teaching abroad? Teaching English in Korea offers countless benefits, making it one of the best – and most lucrative – places in the world to teach English. But there are Korea teaching benefits other than money that you may not have considered!
These are the top 10 Benefits of teaching English in Korea:
- Money: Free Housing + Plane Tickets + High salary
- An Easy Life
- An Adventurous Life
- Low Cost of Living
- Making Lifelong Friends
- Finding Yourself
- Finding a New Cuisine
- Traveling in Korea
- Traveling out of Korea
- Coming home a Changed Person
Money: Free Housing + Plane tickets + High salary
The salary offered by schools in Korea is the biggest financial incentive of teaching in Korea. Schools in Korea understand that there are many options to teach abroad, so they have always offered very competitive salary and benefits to English teachers.
First year teachers will earn around 2.1 million won per month (see conversion rate), which in any country is a solid starting salary. But in Korea, it’s a great salary considering the cost of living in Korea is very low.
In addition to the salary, all teachers receive a single apartment in Korea that is paid for by the school. Accordingly, your salary is actually even more than 2.1 million won because you don’t have to pay any rent. Teachers save tons of money because rent is usually one of the biggest expenses people have, in Korea or back home.
On top of this, your school will offer you a free plane ticket to Korea while some schools will still offer round trip tickets.
Teachers in Korea are therefore able to save a large chunk of their salary ever month, which they can then send home from their bank in Korea in order to pay off student dept or to simply pad their bank account.
An Easy Life
A common comparison to life in Korea as an English teacher is that it is an extension of life in university.
The difference being that you now have money in your pocket – lots of it! – and you don’t have any homework, essays or exams to worry about.
However, this creates one very large problem: How to spend all of the free time you will now have! Not to worry – there are plenty of ways to do that in Korea.
An Adventurous Life
Think about when you take a vacation somewhere. You want to see and explore everything as it is all new to you.
Now picture yourself not only in Korea, but living in Korea! The difference being that you have an entire year or more to explore and be adventurous!
While you may have spent a lot of your past time back home just hanging out, watching movies, going to the mall, etc., you will have a hard time living that life in Korea!
While all of your friends are out climbing mountains, going to festivals, camping on islands, flying in hot air balloons or hang gliding, you will most certainly not be alright with staying at home by yourself. Even if your default mode is that of a couch potato!
Low Cost of living
This is again related to money, but with the cost of living being so low in Korea, you can really do so much with so little.
Going out for drinks and a nice dinner in large western cities like New York or Toronto will set you back anywhere from $50-100.
However, eating and drinking at a Korean restaurant – and having your fill while doing it – will only set you back around $20-30.
Making Lifelong Friends
Going through the experience of teaching English in Korea is a unique one. As this is the case with all teachers in Korea, it is something that bonds you.
Whether you are from South Africa and you meet someone from Canada, you will have this experience in common.
On top of this, you will be traveling with your friends in Korea and to other countries, where you will be having the experience of a lifetime. These memories will bond you and make you want to keep in touch even after your time in Korea comes to an end.
Some people find themselves ‘stuck’ in their lives back home, which is why they choose to start over in a new country, albeit for a short term.
Once you are in Korea on your own – or perhaps with a partner or friend – you grow as a person.
Sure, you needed to learn how to cook for yourself, do your own laundry, etc. when you went off to university, but now that you are living across the world from your family, friends and everything you have known, you will be forced to adapt, understand and simply grow. And that is a great thing!
Finding a New Cuisine
Even if you have tried Korean food before, you have most likely never immersed yourself in the Korean cuisine. To be honest, that would be hard if you didn’t grow up in a Korean family.
However, in Korea, this is quite easy as Korean food is what is mostly available to you. Picky eater? Not to worry – there is western food in Korea too!
But you aren’t going to Korea to eat hamburgers..
So step out of your food comfort zone and try some new dishes, even if they look ‘weird’. You may just even return home with a box of kimchi in your suitcase!
Traveling in Korea
If you live in large countries like Canada, the United States or South Africa, you know that traveling is somewhat of a commitment of the time it will take you to get to any specific destination.
In Korea, this is not the case at all! You can literally hop on any mode of transportation and find yourself in a completely different city – which sometimes can feel like a different world – in a matter of hours.
And you can do this each and every weekend! And on top of that, it’s really inexpensive!
Traveling outside Korea
On an international level, Korea is the perfect hub for traveling to other countries. It is a few hours from numerous other countries including Japan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines and more! No matter how long you’re there, you will never run out of foreign countries to visit on your holidays.
And even better, once you are finished your contract in Korea, you can take as much time as you want to really do some traveling! Just grab your backpack and go!
Coming Home a Changed Person
When you are immersed in a completely different culture than your own, you not only adapt but you change.
You now understand why people do things the way they do instead of getting upset at one’s ‘ignorance’.
You can also compare your life to the life you would have lead in Korea, had you been born and grew up there.
It is these revelations that will cause you to take pause and reflect on yourself and the way you perceive things. This will make you grow and change as a person where you will be more knowledgeable about the outside world, and will also be more accepting of different cultures and the values they hold.
Monetary benefits are only a fraction of the true Korea benefits of teaching. Anyone considering moving to a foreign country is probably interested in more than just a competitive salary. They likely want to experience new cultures and have countless travel opportunities. If you can relate to those desires, then Korea is a fantastic place for you.