Can I Save Money Teaching English in Korea?

Can I save money teaching English in Korea? Absolutely!

Teaching English in Korea can be a great opportunity to save money while experiencing a new culture. Many teaching jobs in Korea offer competitive salaries, free housing, and other benefits such as airfare reimbursement and severance pay. Additionally, the cost of living in Korea is generally lower than in Western countries, allowing teachers to save a significant portion of their income. With careful budgeting and saving habits, it is possible for teachers in Korea to build up their savings while enjoying their time abroad.

While there are so many benefits to teaching and living in Korea, making – and saving – money stands out as one of the biggest. Why? Well, we all love money, but as all teachers in Korea are university graduates, most have outstanding university debts that need to be paid off, while others are trying to fund further travels.

Here are 5 ways that you can save money teaching English in Korea

1) By not paying rent: All schools provide a free apartment for teachers teaching English in Korea.  While most do not count the money that is not spent on rent as their income, they should. If you were living on your own in any major city, you would be paying anywhere from $500 -$2000 a month in rent.

2) By eating Korean food: Koreans tend to eat out a lot as they are generally quite busy and do not have the time to cook. You can therefore find Korean restaurants everywhere; you can pick from street food to pop up restaurants to sit down kalbi restaurants. Regardless of where you go, you can find amazingly delicious Korean food at a great price. Western food by contrast, can be quite expensive in Korea because it is imported.

3) By not tipping: We are not instructing you not to tip so that you can save money, but rather because this is not part of Korean culture and can actually come off as insulting. Why? The reason for this is that if, as an example, you tip a Korean taxi driver, the interpretation is that you are giving him money as he needs it because of his line of work. Save your tips and watch how much of a difference this will make to your wallet!

4) By going to Korean bars instead of Western bars: Just as eating Korean food over buying Western will save you money, going to local Korean bars over Western bars will do the same for your bank roll. In Western bars, you will find expensive imported beers and alcohol, that will cost you anywhere from 6-10,000 Won a bottle/drink; in comparison, you will be able to buy a 500 cc draft beer for less than 5,000 (usually around 3-4,000 won in smaller cities) and a bottle of Soju for 3,000 Won.

5) By not drinking every night: As drinking is a very popular past time in Korea, it is too easy to go out every night of the week for ‘a beer’ – and we all know what ‘a beer’ means!  By not going out every night of the week, you will save money as well your liver…and you will be able to get up in the morning to go to the gym, Tae Kwon Do class, or do other activities that you wouldn’t otherwise do because you are hungover.

Visit our Travel and Teach Recruiting Blog for more information about life in Korea and teaching positions in Korea.

If you want to apply for a teaching job in Korea, do so by filling out our Travel and Teach Recruiting application form.