Teach English in South Korea with CIEE

Video and Photos

About

South Korea offers you the opportunity to gain teaching experience and see the world while earning a competitive salary and enjoying rent-free housing. This is a great choice for someone getting ready for a teaching career, or someone who wants to work abroad while paying off student loans, for example. Placements are available in major urban areas throughout Korea, including greater Seoul!

CIEE's Teach Abroad program will get you ready with our 150 hour TEFL Certification and Teacher Preparation course, as well as assistance with applications and job interviews. Before you go, you'll discuss cultural considerations as well as practicalities so you know what to expect, and you'll have a safety net of support from our in-country team.

Questions & Answers

That question is a little complicated to answer. Yes, you can bring a pet overseas with you. However, the process can be very hard on the pet. If They change too much between their physical and when they go through immigration they might not be allowed in, or they will be held for observation (which is not in the best conditions for your pet). On top of that if the school is supplying the housing...
Hi Courtney, If you already hold a TEFL certification you can apply to the CIEE Teach in South Korea Basics program which has a lower cost as the certification course is not included. All the best, CIEE Teach Abroad Team
Yes, Filipinos are allowed to take TEFL courses in South Korea. However, only citizens from English speaking countries (1st language) as stipulated by Korean Immigration laws for E2 visas are allowed to obtain an E2 teaching visa. Many Filipinos teach English in South Korea, but most are on F5 or F6 (spousal visas) visas.

Reviews

86%
based on 63 reviews
  • Benefits 8.4
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 8.5
  • Facilities 8.1
  • Safety 9.1
  • Instruction 9.7
  • Support 10
  • Value 9.7
  • Academic Rigor 8
  • Job Assistance 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 63
Default avatar
James
8/10

Hagwon in Korea

I was relatively ambivalent as to my time in a new country. I wasn't sure what to expect, nor was I particularly expecting a lot of support from CIEE. I was lead to believe that most recruiters don't care once they've dropped you off at your job, but Brad was a fantastic resource, and the community of CIEE teachers has been great too.

CIEE has done a great job of answering any questions I've had, as well as the concerns of a few friends I made through the program.
The primary concern I have is that the TEFL course was kind of lacking, but once I settled into the school I'm working at, I wasn't experiencing too much difficulty other that what might be normally expected from one's first time teaching.

I can't necessarily recommend this program more than any other, since I've only been through the one, but it has certainly been a good experience for me, in part because of CIEE's work.

Yes, I recommend this program
Naomi
9/10

Great experience

Teaching abroad in korea has been a life-changing experience. The support of the CIEE staff while on the ground also made it helpful to navigate the first few months living in Korea. During orientation, there was an emphasis on making sure we felt welcomed, prepared to take on this new challenge and adventure, as well as safety and tactics to better adjust to the new living environment. Both Brad, Yumi, and Megan made it a smooth transition from getting my paperwork completed to arriving onsite. Also, my Luke, before even arriving to Korea was super helpful, answering any questions and making me feel better about the move. During any major country event, the staff in country would send out information on how to remain safe, and I always felt well-informed. Thanks for an amazing two years in korea! Well worth it :)

How can this program be improved?
Overall, it's been a great experience, I would just add that there be more events throughout the year that were organized by the staff so that teachers have the opportunity to meet more especially for those that have a harder time reaching out to strangers within the facebook group. The holiday gatherings help to bring us together and it's always an amazing time, it leaves me wanting more of these events throughout the year.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Briana
7/10

Moving to South Korea

I moved to South Korea in August 2016. I picked CIEE because it had a TEFL certification program. I took it as I worked two part time jobs back in the states and waited for my placement. While I left my first location in Bucheon after a year, I have not left South Korea. South Korea is a wonderful city. After a year outside of Seoul, I moved to Seoul and created a good social circle. None of this would have happened if I did not got to South Korea in 2016 through CIEE. I have grown a lot as a person since then and constantly see myself improving.

I love living in South Korea and plan on living here for as long as I can, with hopes of getting the F Visa down the line. If I did not take that first step back in 2016 with CIEE, none of this would have happened.

How can this program be improved?
I would like there to be more social events since there is a large alumni of people who came to Korea through CIEE at first. There is also the price. I did find it be worth it in the long run as it helped me with my Visa process and had the certification course. I would however encourage those who are looking to teach in South Korea for the first time to be firm with what you would like for being placed.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Meg
10/10

CIEE

CIEE is a great organization! They helped me enroll in a TEFL course, found schools for me to interview with, and made the long visa process much easier. They also held an orientation once I arrived in Korea that introduced me to other foreign teachers. The in-country orientation provided an excellent platform to learn more about the culture and hear about other teachers' experiences. I was able to ask questions and receive feedback and advice about my hagwon experience, as well as learn about the epik program and its pros and cons. Having an in-country support system significantly enriched my teaching experience.

CIEE is a fantastic organization that helped me prepare for teaching abroad and provided me with a great community here in Korea.

How can this program be improved?
This program could be improved by providing an immediate orientation for hagwon teachers. I know that's difficult with varying start dates (maybe impossible), but it would have been nice to have orientation and get to know other teachers before starting school.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Kristle
9/10

Living in Rural Korea

I live in a small town near the Southern peninsula of Korea. Overall, the community is kind and welcoming. There have been countless times I have been lost or taken the wrong bus and people have helped me. It can also be very boring at times. Most of the young people when they graduate leave to Seoul or a university or both. So the community is full of old people and really young people mostly. English is not commonly spoken by the locals, in the cities you would encounter it more. However, EPIK, offers more money to those placed in the rural areas, so there is some compensation for being out in the middle of nowhere.

Overall, this is an experience worth having. The application process was tedious and at times overwhelming, but I do appreciate CIEE helping me get this position.

How can this program be improved?
My initial coordinator quit halfway through the process so her supervisor took over afterwards. My experience after that changed a bit. The communication was not as transparent, my new coordinator left on vacation frequently, and my acceptance packet from EPIK was withheld until CIEE's fee was fully paid. My new coordinator was not on top of monitoring my payments. He would often email me at the end of the week and tell me he would check with finance on Monday to see if my final payment went through. It was frustrating because the acceptance packet had information I needed to continue my progression into the EPIK program. He then confused me with another person and it further delayed the acceptance packet from being mailed.

Although I had this problem, it was with one person out of CIEE. My experiences with other staff members have been most pleasant and helpful. It is why I would recommend the program. Overall, the staff of CIEE worked very hard to help me, minus my coordinator.
Yes, I recommend this program
Isabel
7/10

CIEE Teach in Korea

There are so many different ways to get to South Korea and teach English! I am mostly happy that I went with CIEE because they took a lot of the stress and planning out of my hands. I applied to teach English abroad when I was an insanely busy university student--overloaded class schedule, work, varsity athlete, etc. I felt that I didn't a lot of time to devote to finding my own recruiter or figuring out my TEFL certification, and CIEE made those steps a lot easier. The support from the program and network that it offers within Korea has been really amazing, too! However, the program does come with a considerable price tag. Of course, there are pros and cons of every service. I think if you are someone who likes structure, amazing in-program support, and an immediate community to be able to reach out to, then the price is justifiable.

How can this program be improved?
I think there could be a little more transparency with this program. I wasn't always sure how much I would be paying and when I would be paying it. Additionally, I was told later that the TEFL certification was optional, but I got the impression from the website that it was mandatory.
Yes, I recommend this program
Claudia
8/10

Year in Korea

I would definitely recommend finding a teaching position in South Korea or just anywhere with CIEE. They are honestly so helpful throughout the ENTIRE process of searching and making sure you have all documentation. Essentially they simplify everything so you don't have to be stressed out. I love my school placement and the coordinators try to make sure that your school and area is a good fit for you. This program is a great chance to get out of your comfort zone and experience a very different culture than what most participants generally come from! Also, there is no need to worry about prior teaching experience because CIEE also provides you with great training beforehand through their online TEFL course. Going straight after college I think is definitely a great adventure into the adult world in a very unique way.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Tristan
10/10

Amazing Opportunity

After studying abroad for one semester in 2015, I came back to Korea with CIEE to teach at a private school. The support I have received and continue to receive from the staff is nothing short of remarkable. The local representative is available 24/7 for any questions, comments or concerns I may have. My school placement is fantastic and offers excellent benefits. Without CIEE, I wouldn't have known where to start or with whom to get TEFL certified. I am very impressed with this program and would enthusiastically recommend it to others.
Because of this placement, I have developed a strong network consisting of other CIEE participants. I am confident I will continue to rely on their connections in order to advance in the English teaching community. I am excited to see where else CIEE can take me around the world.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Brian
8/10

CIEE Teach In South Korea

The CIEE program provided a full package for me to teach in South Korea. At the beginning, they did a great job of getting me excited and reassuring they would help me though the entire process, which they definitely did. After ever step of the way they prepared me well to take on the next step making sure to waste none of my time. When there were waiting periods such as waiting for documents or waiting for an interview, they provided me with a crash course to work on at my own pace. The good thing about this course was that I was able to see comments and discussions with other teachers just like me. It was reassuring to have some of the same questions and concerns as others but it was also helpful to learn new ideas and prepare myself for obstacles I wouldn't have previously considered. Not only was CIEE there for me when I got off the plane in South Korea, but they were there weeks after. They held a weekend for the new teachers a couple weeks after my arrival. This was a great chance to meet some English speaking teachers as well as voice some concerns about teaching and life in Korea. It was helpful to tackle these issues together and reassuring to know there were people in the country who could help me with anything. I have many CIEE contacts in Korea that I know I can contact and get help whenever I need it. This is something that you might not get with every program. CIEE was a great choice for me and I am happy to have made this great life transition with their help.

Yes, I recommend this program
Melissa
9/10

Expat in South Korea

I've been in Korea for almost a year and a half and can truly say it's one of the best experiences I've had thus far. CIEE helped me every step of the way and I haven't had any serious hiccups with my school or environment during this time which speaks volumes. Coming from a small town with no exposure to any Korean culture or cuisine, I adapted well knowing CIEE and the staff of my school had my back during this transition. I've grown so used to the lifestyle that I would recommend any adventurous individual to immerse themselves in what this country and it's people has to offer.

My area is perfectly suited to my personality with the quiet, somewhat suburban area with various restaurants, malls and parks to keep yourself occupied during the day with the ease of catching a 30min bus ride to get to Seoul whenever I want to meet up with friends in other areas. Although there is always the feeling of blindingly choosing an organisation and hoping for the best, I feel CIEE was the best option providing me with all the necessary tools and information to ease the preparation of such a great decision to work and live abroad. No complaints and the orientations are very informative with a lot of useful information pertaining to stores, products and online apps to name e few of making the process as easy as possible.

How can this program be improved?
Perhaps more social events during the year for current expats
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Timothy
10/10

Fantastic Program

I have nothing but good things to say about CIEE Teach in Korea! This is a good program for any prospective ESL teacher who is interested in teaching in Korea. CIEE helps you all the way through (there is a lot of paperwork) to make it easier for you. The in-country support is second to none, and their locations are some of the best that I have seen. They will pick you up from the airport, and help you get to your location. Brad and Yumi are super friendly and always available if you have any questions. When you begin a new adventure in a different country, it's natural to have a lot of questions, but they are there to help you every step of the way. Korea itself is a wonderful and beautiful country and culture, rich with history, culture, and amazing food to eat. I would highly recommend it!

Yes, I recommend this program
Corey
9/10

Hagwon Teaching in Daegu

I've spoken at length with Katy, the program coordinator in the US, about some things I would have liked to know before coming, so I won't discuss that here.
My trip here was long but the stress of it all was minimal: I learned, months before my flight, that I could rely on CIEE if I needed anything. I've thoroughly enjoyed my private school so far. I can't speak for those working in public schools, but my job hasn't been too easy—we work hard, as most people in Korea do. That being said, it's been extremely rewarding. Kindergarten and elementary teaching was never something I thought I wanted to do, but I was so, so wrong. They're a handful, sure, but these kids brighten my every day. I'm so, so happy to say that I really mean that. No BS.
I can also safely say that CIEE's Korea coordinators (Brad and Yumi) have been incredibly helpful throughout the process—from helping me find a school that was right for me, to assisting with any concerns I had once I arrived. Uprooting, especially to move to another country, is incredibly scary... but CIEE was there to help every step of the way. I can't recommend this provider enough.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alexandra
9/10

Straight out of University

I came to Korea to test run being a teacher. I’ve always loved kids, and loved working with kids as for the most part it’s all I’ve ever done. When I leave Korea, I’m not going to be returning to the states to be a teacher. But that makes it sound like my experience here has been negative, and it’s been the opposite of such. This experience has been and continues to be the best thing I’ve ever done with my life. It’s not easy teaching English to young students, but it’s extraordinarily rewarding. After my time here is up (one year and counting) I’m going to leave here with an entirely different outlook on life, work, travel and so much more. I can’t recommend an experience like this enough.

Oh, and the food is to die for here.

Yes, I recommend this program
Kayla
10/10

I love it here!

I have been in Korea for 3 months and i was placed in a small city (Bongdam) near Suwon. So far, i absolutely love my area- i was easily able to join a gym within walking distance and i can get to Suwon train station in about 20 mins by bus.

Shortly after we arrived in Korea, my fellow teacher and i had a small issue with our employer and CIEE was immediately offering to help us, which they did. Since then i have been enjoying my job at a local academy working with kids that are ages 5-15.

I am so glad that i made the decision to try teaching abroad here, it is such a rewarding experience and i also love being able to explore a new culture that i have never seen before. CIEE made this a much easier prices than i could've done by struggling to find a job and an apartment by myself. I greatly appreciate the CIEE program and i would definitely recommend that you try using them! They're awesome :)

How can this program be improved?
I'm not sure how else they can improve other than trying to get together more often?
Yes, I recommend this program
Isaiah
9/10

Community

I first started to work with CIEE when I study abroad during university, so choosing them for my teacher abroad experience was pretty simple. But, I have been amazed at how much CIEE has been a valuable resource for me since I first came to Korea in 2018. I have made many great friends through CIEE orientations and End of the Year parties. CIEE is a great community that encourages all its teachers to stay connected throughout Korea after their initial orientations. My experience would not be the same without having gone through CIEE because of their overall commitment to the wellbeing of its teachers abroad. I have been able to travel to different cities, festivals, and countries with friends that I've met at CIEE orientations. It can be overwhelming coming to a complete new country without knowing anyone at all and CIEE does an excellent job of supporting the teachers here.

How can this program be improved?
There is an end of the year gathering already, but maybe having a mid-year gathering would be nice too. Just in case some teachers aren't able to go to the one event they have the ability to go to a different.

Also, maybe partnering up with different travel agencies in Korea (Enjoy Korea, Good Times Rok,etc.) and sponsoring discounted tickets for CIEE teachers for events that they are hosting (ski trips, Holi Hai, Lantern Festival, Cherry Blossom Festival, etc.) which could be done by small advertisements of their programs (a slideshow during the last day of orientation about events that certain companies do).
Yes, I recommend this program

Interviews

Meet the Alumni

Meet the Staff

About CIEE Teach Abroad

CIEE offers paid teaching positions in Chile, China, Czech Republic, Morocco, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam, and volunteer programs in Spain and Portugal, for university graduates looking to teach English abroad and immerse themselves in...