Should I teach in Korea or Taiwan?
I spent a few years in Taiwan…. and a couple of years in Korea…. To qualify to teach in both countries you’ll need to be a native speaker with a 4 year degree..
You’ll work longer hours in Korea, but you’ll earn more than Taiwan… In Taiwan you’ll teach from 2 until 9 pm or 3 until 8 pm. There are also a lot more jobs in Korea. There are fewer public school teaching jobs in Korea these days.
Taiwan is more tropical than Korea. There are mountains, like Korea, but it’s also warmer in Taiwan. And of course Taiwan is a small island compared to Korea being a peninsula with North Korea in the North.
Of course, you won’t get a cold winter in Taiwan like Korea. You’ll get airline tickets and severance pay in Korea with free housing. Rarely will you get these perks in Taiwan.
Few schools in Taiwan will hire teachers from outside the country.
If you teach in a public school in Taiwan you’ll make up to 70,000 TW dollars per month. Up to 60,000 TW dollars per month in a private language school.
You’ll need money to rent a place and possibly buy a scooter in Taiwan as compared to Korea. If you’re in Taipei, you can take public transportation. However, if you’re in the rural areas or smaller cities a scooter is a definite.
Start up costs in Taiwan are required, while in Korea, you’ll need very little capital…
There seems to be less pollution in Korea compared to Taiwan. Of course, it’s beautiful in Taiwan while Korea is okay…. Taiwan is more of a global city and more comfortable for foreigners. Eats in both countries are great but Taiwan is cheaper.
People Who Applied To Jobs in Korea Also Applied To
What’s The Process For Getting a Teaching Job With EPIK/GEPIK In Korea
It can take from 3 months to a year. If you apply to EPIK, ENGLISH PROGRAM IN KOREA, it takes longer because there is only one application window per year. EPIK is a public school teaching program in Korea.
You won’t know where you’re going to teach until you arrive in Korea. Sound scared?
There is also the GEPIK program. Gyeonggi is the surrounding area outside of Seoul where the GEPIK program exists.
You’ll need a criminal background check, a TEFL/TESOL certificate, medical check up and must have your degree verified to apply to a public school program in South Korea.
If you teach at private language schools you don’t need TEFL in Korea. A TEFL certificate can be 120 hours and it can be done online with a percentage of live classes as a teaching practicum.
You can teach in middle or high school in public schools in Korea. For the public school teaching positions, you’ll need to create an introductory video of yourself and send to EPIK OR GEPIK.
Then you’ll be interviewed on SKYPE by the school. You could be offered a teaching job quite quickly after that. If you’re hired weeks or months before you leave or Korea, you’ll have an opportunity to learn about the school and location and what to expect.
What Should I Know Before Coming To Teach In Korea?
A lot of teachers think they should buy souvenirs or gifts from their home countries to bring to their co-teachers, hagwon manager, or students before coming to Korea.
If you want to bring anything… buy some cheap but nice fridge magnets with your country’s symbol, map or famous place or key chains or even vitamins to students. Supplements are expensive in Korea and Koreans are crazy about their health these days. Funny enough but my Korean recruiter asked me to bring a specific kind of cheese as it was hard to find and more expensive back in the year 2000 when I went there for the very first time…
You should also learn some Korean before you come. At the very least you can learn Hangul (the Korean alphabet) quite quickly and easily. You’ll be thankful if you can at least order food and take a taxi in the Korean language when you arrive in Korea. That way you won’t feel completely helpless and stressed. Your students will also be impressed!
Lastly, don’t expect to be the greatest teacher when you get to Korea. If you’ve never taught in Korea, you’ll have to learn as you go and get a handle on your students’ needs. The thing that you CAN do as a new teacher is to show your passion and have fun with your students. You may be an experienced teacher, but if you are enthusiastic and motivate your students to learn that can go a long way with them.