My hours and wages as an EFL teacher in Korea

This is why graduates move to Korea to teach English (actually, it’s just my personal situation, but I think it reflects what most grads can get by moving here):

  • 2,300,000 won per month: That’s only like 2,000 dollars per month, but what really matters is how much I live on here, about 500,000 won per month. Another 300,000 gets deducted from my pay, but I’ll get into why I’m okay with that in a moment.
  • About 20 hours of actual teaching time per week, roughly 30 hours at work total per week: The 10-hour difference between teaching time and work at time translates to about eight hours of doing whatever I want online and two hours of class prep and administration.

Now let’s talk benefits:

  • Tickets to and from Korea: I haven’t experienced the flight back yet, but I’m looking into negotiating a stopover on the way back.
  • Housing: I live in a small place, but they totally cover rent (I pay about $30/month for water, electricity and gas and another $30/month for Internet service)
  • Health insurance: I can go to the hospital anytime I want for like $20 a pop.
  • Pension: They deduct 4.5% of my salary each month, match it with the company’s own money, and put it away as savings. When I leave, I get to withdraw the whole package.
  • Completion bonus: On top of the government pension plan, the company has to pay an extra month’s salary for each year I work with them.
  • Experience: Language, culture, teaching, travel, especially the proximity to the rest of Asia – it’s not for everyone, but those who love it love it.

I wonder how long this opportunity will last.

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