Public school teachers are hired through national English teaching program called EPIK. The South Korean government office of theMinistry of Education will support a yearlong budget to secure public school jobs for teachers. Experience with this recognized program means high honor and prestige, a golden line on your resume, and a great launching point for you to build a teaching career. You will feel professional, and feel special. Meet the minimal requirements and you will be officially supported by the government to settle, learn, and specialize into becoming a skilled teacher. Take this step to gain international experience and broaden your horizon to follow your dream.
TESOL Training International and ESLBoards.com ae an official partner of the EPIK program. Professional recruiters will guide you through the process of your job-hunt and help you with your inquiries. Come share your language and spirit with students in Korea in return for great reward.
• Be a citizen of a country where English is the primary language
– Based on E2 visa eligibility law and in accordance with the Korean Ministry of Justice Law, EPIK teachers must be a citizen of one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States or South Africa.
– Must have studied from at least the junior high level (7th Grade) and graduated from a university in one of the seven designated countries listed above. South African citizens must provide proof that their schooling in middle school and high school was conducted in English. Letters from the schools will be sufficient proof and must be submitted with the applicant’s initial application.
– Ethnic Koreans with legal residency in a country where English is the primary language can apply, but must provide proof of English education beginning from the junior high school level.
• Hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
– Applicants with a two year associate degree or who have completed a minimum of 2 years in university can apply to the TaLK program. http://www.talk.go.kr
– Be a maximum of 62 years of age
• Hold English certificate (TEFL/TESOL/CELTA)
– Those who have a teaching license, B.Ed., M.Ed., or majored in Teaching, TESOL, Second Language Studies, or any forms of Education (Physical Education, Math Education, etc.) are not required to have a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate.
– In the future, we may require that the TEFL course have an in-class component of 20 hours. However, this is currently not required. Many offices of education look favorably on those who have completed a TEFL certificate with an in-class component.
• Be mentally and physically healthy
• Have a good command of the English language
• Have the ability and willingness to adapt to Korean culture and life
* If you are a male citizen of the Republic of Korea under the age of 35, you must have either completed mandatory military service or have received an official waiver.
For more information about the mandatory military service that all Korean men are obliged to complete, please consult the following link http://www.mma.go.kr/eng
The following list are the duties you will be expected to perform as an EPIK teacher for 12 months of contract (renewable). A more comprehensive guidelines will be announced at the time of your local placement.
• To assist Korean teachers with their English classes, and/or jointly conduct English classes with Korean teachers, and/or extracurricular activities or English camps.
• To conduct English conversation classes for Korean students and teachers.
• To prepare teaching materials for English language education.
• To assist in developing teaching materials for English language education.
• To assist with activities related to English language education and other extracurricular activities.
• To demonstrate a good command of the English language, both written and spoken.
• To perform other duties as specified by your MOE/POE.
– Contract Period
• The contract length is for one year (52 weeks).
• EPIK teachers may renew their contract with mutual written agreement between the school, MOE/POE and the EPIK teacher.
• As teachers are hired biannually, early contract termination will leave students without an EPIK teacher until the next intake. As such, teachers should not apply unless they can commit to a full, one year contract term.
• EPIK teachers shall work eight hours per day, five days per week, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Korean national holidays (approximately 14 days). Total instructional hours will not exceed 22 hours per week unless requested by the MOE/POE or the school, at which employees will be compensated according to the overtime clause outlined in the contract.
– Teaching Conditions
• Korean Co-Teacher
There will be a Korean co-teacher in each school that supervises the EPIK teacher. The licensed Korean English teacher or a teacher who speaks English fluently plays the role as the Korean co-teacher. He or she is responsible for consulting, directing and cooperating with the EPIK teacher concerning class work, life at home and in/around the school. The primary role of the Korean co-teacher is to plan and conduct English classes with the EPIK teacher. In addition, the Korean co-teacher participates in preparing school events, carrying out the administrative jobs which are related to co-workers or students and consults with the EPIK teacher during difficulties.
In principle, the EPIK teacher should teach students in collaboration with the Korean co-teacher. Though the EPIK teacher learns how to prepare teaching materials and methodologies during the preliminary training at orientation, the EPIK teacher will be informed again about their assigned classrooms, teaching materials, and teaching methods from the Korean co-teacher when the EPIK teacher starts teaching at their designated school. All issues related to class work need to be consulted with the Korean co-teacher.
• Class Hours
Generally, each class meets for 40 minutes for elementary school, 45 minutes for middle school, and 50 minutes for high school. This is subject to change, however, according to the season, weather, or the individual environment of each school. Some schools have special classes after regular class work, in which EPIK teachers are required to teach specific subjects or fields.
• The Number of Students
At the beginning of every year, the number of students for each class is decided by the superintendent of each Metropolitan Office of Education (MOE) or Provincial Office of Education (POE). The number is usually 35 or more, though there is no national unified regulation. The class size will depend on the location of the school, such as an urban school versus a rural school. The number of students per class can range anywhere from 10 to 40 students.
• Educational System and School-Age
* The educational system (6 years – 3 years – 3 years) is nationally applied by the law, without exception, but the ages within each school level can vary slightly according to each individual student.
Generally speaking, the school year begins on March 1st in Korea. Vacation periods fall within the summer and winter seasons. Summer vacation begins at the end of July and finishes at the end of August, lasting for approximately one month. Winter vacation begins at the end of December and finishes at the end of January or early February. The starting date and the ending date can vary depending on each school, as each school sets their own vacation period dates. During vacation, EPIK teachers may be required to teach programs such as English camps, since it is common for students to participate in special school activities that are held during these vacation periods. For more information, please refer to the contract.
• Administrative Office
The Administrative office at each school provides EPIK teachers any necessary administrative services after placement. This office arranges housing before the EPIK teacher is appointed. The Administrative office is in charge of handling the contract, salary, insurance, tax, etc. for the EPIK teacher. If there are any questions regarding these areas, please contact the Korean co-teacher to relay your questions to the Administrative office.
Offices of Education are not currently hiring level 3 applicants. As such, all applicants MUST qualify for at least a level 2 on the pay scale BEFORE signing the final contract.
Level Requirements Monthly Pay (million KRW)
Metropolitan City Province
Busan Incheon Daegu Other Cities Jeju Other Provinces
1+ After 2 consecutive years as Level 1 with the renewing province 2.5 2.6 2.6 2.7
1 2 years of full-time teaching experience + one of the following :
Bachelor’s degree in Education / major in Teaching, TESOL, Second Language Studies, or Education
Master’s degree in Education / major in Teaching, TESOL, Second Language Studies, or Education
TEFL/TESOL or CELTA certificate
After 1 year as a Level 2+ with the renewing province 2.3 2.4 2.4 2.5
2+ 1 year of full-time teaching experience + one of the following :
Bachelor’s degree in Education / major in Teaching, TESOL, Second Language Studies, or Education
TEFL/TESOL or CELTA certificate
Master’s degree in any discipline with a Bachelor’s degree in Education / major in Teaching, TESOL, Second Language Studies, or Education
Master’s degree in Education / major in Teaching, TESOL, Second Language Studies, or Education with a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline
After 1 year as a Level 2 with the renewing province 2.1 2.2 2.2 2.3
2 Bachelor’s degree in Education / major in Teaching, TESOL, Second Language Studies, or Education
Bachelor’s degree in any discipline + TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate
Bachelor’s degree in any discipline + Teacher’s License
Bachelor’s degree in any discipline + 1 year TaLK scholar experience 2.0 2.1 2.1 2.2
3 Bachelor’s degree in any discipline 1.8 1.9 2 2.1
– TaLK Scholar experience is considered the equivalent of an ESL certificate, not full time teaching experience.
– A Juris Doctor is equivalent to a non-Education Master’s degree
* Note that all EPIK teachers receive the same benefits regardless of level
EPIK provide teaching opportunities at all metropolitan cities and provinces in Korea
– Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Incheon, Gwangju, Daejeon, Ulsan, Sejong
– Gangwon, Chungbuk, Chungnam, Jeonbuk, Gyeongbuk, Gyeongnam Jeju, Gyeonggi, Jeonnam
* Note that specific locations vary each term.
The following applies to all EPIK teachers, regardless of level, unless otherwise stated :
1. Competitive Salary ranging from 2.0 to 2.7 million won per month depending on experience and qualifications.
2. Paid Vacation and Holidays
– Normally public schools offer 4 weeks paid vacation. This is usually 2 weeks vacation in the summer and 2 weeks in the winter. Teachers might be required to teach extra classes such as summer or winter camp as the students actually study harder during vacation time. The teacher will not work during Korean national holidays, usually between 9-14 days per year.
3. Settlement Allowance of 300,000KRW (one-time payment) within the first month of their first contract only.
4. Free Furnished Housing or Housing Allowance (400,000KRW)
5. Full refund of the national pension plan will be provided to EPIK teachers who successfully ended the contract.
– This full refund only applies to teachers from Canada, the U.S., and Australia. Currently teachers from other countries are unable to get this refund as their government has no reciprocal agreement with the Korean government.
6. Severance Payment to those who successfully completed their contract (approximately equal to one month’s salary)
7. Entrance Allowance and Exit Allowance
– All EPIK teachers will be provided with 1,300,000 KRW as the Entrance Allowance at the end of their first contract month. Note: For applicants placed in Busan, entrance allowance will be provided after the first six months of the contract.
– To prevent early termination of contracts, the Entrance Allowance is issued as a form of a loan from the employer to the EPIK teachers. In the event that the contract is terminated within the first six months, including renewal contracts, regardless of the course or grounds, the EPIK teachers will be required to repay the aforementioned loan to your school immediately.
– After the end of the contract, should the EPIK teacher decide to leave Korea and not immediately gain employment here, they will be entitled to an exit allowance of 1,300,000 KRW.
8. Renewal Allowance
2,000,000 KRW will be provided upon successful completion and renewal of your contract with the same MOE/POE. In this case, the other allowances (Settlement, Entrance, and Exit) do not apply.
*The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education does not offer a renewal allowance to their returning teachers.
9. Compulsory Medical Insurance, 50% of your premiums will be paid by your employer
10. EPIK Orientation, an excellent transition and networking opportunity
Participating in this orientation is mandatory which consists of training related to living and teaching in Korea.
When we receive your initial application form, our EPIK professional recruiters will contact you within two business days. Our recruiters will take in charge of the entire process and guide you through it.
EPIK office will first conduct an interview with you.
Once you pass the interview, you will send the full required application form including passport copies, apostille documents…etc. These documents will be sent to EPIK Office and Metropolitan/Provincial Office of Education (MOE/POE).
Once full documents are approved, the contracts will be sent from MOE/POE to EPIK Office, then to the agency, and to you.
After signing the contracts, begin your E2 Visa Preparation.
Please refer to http://seoulesl.com/teachinkorea/e2-visa.asp for more information
Initial Required Documents
This initial application package is required to submit for the interview
1. The application form (submit as a Word file, not PDF)
2. Two scanned letters of recommendation (as PDF only and please follow the instruction file attached below)
3. South African citizens must also submit proof that their schooling was conducted in English
After passing the initial screening and interview you will be required to submit the other required documents as stated below:
Full Required Documents
Required Documents Optional Documents
Completed Application Form Copies of Teaching Certificate or Certification
(TEFL: 100+ hours, TESOL: 100+ hours, Teacher’s Certificate, etc.)
An Apostilled Copy of a Bachelor’s Diploma Proof of Full-Time Teaching Experience
Original Sealed Transcripts Documents for Korean Citizens
An Apostilled National Level Criminal Background Check (CRC) Documents for In-Country Applications
Two Letters of Recommendation from Academic/Professional Sources Region Specific Documents
Copy of Passport Photo Page For Ethnic Koreans Only – Proof of Dual Citizenship
Photocopy of all the documents/apostilles UK/Australian Applicants Only – Apostille Birth Certificate
Proof of Level 2 Pay Grade South African Applicants Only – Proof of being taught with English from the 7th grade through University
1. 2017National EPIK Application Instructions (Fall 2017)(1)
2. 2017Fall Application (A4) AU, IR, KR, NZ, SA and UK applicants)
3. 2017Fall Application (Letter) Canadian and US applicants
4. 2017EPIK Guidelines for Korean Nationality Status Check