What is the EPIK program for teaching English in South Korea?

EPIK stands for the English Program in Korea. This government run scheme places foreign teachers into schools across South Korea where they work as English language instructors. EPIK is probably the most popular program of its kind anywhere in the world as it includes a good salary, several extra benefits, and the once in a lifetime chance to live and work in a unique cultural environment. If you are accepted by the program you will join the thousand or so others who head to South Korea each year via this route.

If this is something you might be interested in, we recommend you contact our TESOL recruitment partner Reach To Teach. Reach To Teach is an official partner of the EPIK program and works with the Korean Ministry of Education during the recruitment process.

What are the requirements for the EPIK Program?

Applicants for the EPIK program have to be a native English speaker from one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.K, or the U.S. You must also have a university degree and a clean criminal record. In addition, you require at least one of the following:

- TESOL certification of 100 hours or more (preference is given to those with a teaching practice component)

- BA or MA Degree in Education with a major in teaching, TESOL, second language studies, or education

- Teaching license gained in your home country

- One year of full time teaching experience

What does the EPIK Program involve?

Successful applicants must sign a one year contract that starts at the end of February or at the end of August. A typical working day for most teachers is Monday to Friday, from 8:40 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. Weekends are usually free. The standard amount of actual teaching hours is approximately 22 hours per week.

Where will I be placed on the EPIK Program?

The location of your placement could be almost anywhere in the country, although you can specify a preference which will be dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis. Your placement might involve working in one primary or secondary school or working in a number of different schools within your designated area. If you are keen to be placed in a specific area then it is recommended that you apply as early as possible. For further information please visit the official EPIK website.

What are the benefits of the EPIK Program?

The benefit package you receive from the EPIK program includes the following:

- Salary based on qualifications and experience ranging from 1.8 to 2.7 million KRW (currently 1,500 to 2,300 USD) per month

- Fully furnished accommodation (not including utilities)

- Paid airfare in an out of the country

- 300,000 KRW settlement allowance

- 18 days paid leave plus all national holidays

- One month salary bonus on completion of contract

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