The EPIK teaching program in Korea will give you a solid government teaching job abroad. Join one of the world's best programs that connect university grads with a work and travel opportunity abroad. Here at Footprints, we have been working with EPIK since the early 2000s and are a trusted agency for EPIK jobs.
EPIK Korea is a rare opportunity - a government teaching job abroad that doesn't require a professional teaching license from your home country.
EPIK, which stands for English Program in Korea, is a program that has been active since 1995. Along with the JET program in Japan, EPIK was one of the original groundbreaking initiatives in interational education reform that brought native English speakers oversease en masse. Decades before the governments of UAE and Hong Kong followed suit, Korea's Ministry of Education and National Institue for International Education (NIIED) were bringing over thousands of Westerners to join the EPIK program, making it a household name.
Over the years, the EPIK intake has gotten smaller, so there’s not as much of a bustling EPIK ex-part scene as there used to be and the application process is more competitive these days. But there are still over 1,000 applicants accepted each year. Once chosen, these international teachers will work alongside local staff to improve Korean public students' English skills and readiness for a 21-first century economy. As an “ELI” or “GET” (English Language Instructor or Guest English Teacher), you will be well paid and be part of a cohort in an organized government program - so your teaching abroad experience will be more social and more stable than with a private school contract.
* Free Furnished Apartment
* 1 year contract - renewable annually, up to 5 years
* The average salary is 2.1 million Korean Won (KRW) per month - with a maximum of 2.7 million KRW
* Over 5 weeks of vacation time
* USD $1,200 (1.3 million KRW) for your flight to Korea, and the same amount for your flight home
* One month's salary bonus pay upon completion of contract
* Paid vacation for 18 working days, and 13-15 national holidays
* You'll be teaching classes of 30-40 students in primary, middle, and high school
* The current requirements are either: a) Bachelor's degree in Education (or a major in Teaching, TESOL, Second Language Studies, or Education) OR b) Bachelor's degree in any discipline + TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate. These are strict - however if you don't qualify, the TALK Korea program may be an option.
* You will see some sites that state that “Payscale 3” candidates (Bachelor's degree in any discipline without a TEFL) can be hired - however, EPIK is clear that they are not considering these candidates in 2018 or 2019.
* If you need to go the TEFL route, a certificate that has an in-class component is highly preferred
Your Arrivial in Korea:
* EPIK will consider your preference in where in Korea you'll be placed, but ultimately you won't know the exact region and school until you arrive
* You'll receive an orientation and training in Korea upon arrival. This is a great opportunity to make connections with fellow EPIK teachers from around the world
* Transport to your school and airport pick-up are arranged by EPIK staff
Feedback from Teachers who have taught with EPIK:
Footprints has sent thousands of teachers to Korea with EPIK - so we've heard from a lot of teachers what they thought about EPIK, and it's overwhelmingly positive. There are also a lot of reviews and reports out there online that are a great starting point for your research.
Past EPIK teachers report that your experience depends on whether you get assigned to a single school or asked to cover two - and on the availability of your Korean co-teachers to help you in class and outside the classroom. One thing that can be invaluable is knowing some Korean when you arrive - these days, it's easy to pick up the basics with a quick online course, Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, or Lang8. Flexibility and adaptability are key: if you read the reviews, you’ll see that while not everyone got what they requested, just about every single teacher loved where they ended up teaching. Overall, it's an amazing life experience if you’re willing to be adventurous! What's more, it is a great first job for a new grad: you get free housing in your own apartment, save money, have time to travel, improve teaching skills, and get a chance to learn a new language. The savings consideration is real - one couple saved $22,000 in a year, and that’s not an unusual figure. EPIK also lets you spread your wings - their teaching program and international exchange is great for personal growth.
Many teachers report that because charter flights from Korea around Southeast Asia are cheap and plentiful, Korea is an excellent hub for seeing the region. You get over 30 paid days off every year to take advantage of those flights. While you're teaching, you'll be expected to put in full-time hours at the school, but only 22-25 hours each week are teaching hours. This means you’ll have lots of downtime for planning your lessons.