Teach English in South Korea - EPIK Public Schools

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Announcing $12,000 in Scholarships for First Time Travelers!

In 2019, Greenheart Travel will provide scholarship grants to individuals who are “first time travelers” and have the desire for travel and cultural immersion. Our First Time Traveler Scholarships will be available for our Teach English Abroad, TEFL Course, Work Abroad, Homestay Abroad, High School Study Abroad, Teen Summer Language Camp, and Volunteer programs.


High salaries, free housing, free flights, an extensive group orientation, paid vacation and bonuses are just a few of the many perks of teaching English in South Korea.

Navigating the EPIK (public school) application process on your own can be daunting. Greenheart Travel's team has worked alongside the South Korean Ministry of Education and the South Korean National Institute of International Education for over 7 years, and will offer you friendly, knowledgeable, and thorough support each step of the application process.

Spring 2019 Positions:
- Programs Dates: February 2019 – March 2020

Fall 2019 Positions:
- Program Dates: August 2019 - September 2020

About the application process: The application is released about 6 months before the start date.

Deadline to apply: 4 months before you'd like to leave

Application Fee: USD $75
This fee is waived for anyone who takes a TEFL/TESOL course through Greenheart Travel

  • Paid EPIK Public school placements throughout South Korea
  • We'll make sure you don't waste time and money preparing and submitting incorrect documents
  • Save money or pay off student loans
  • Receive in-depth pre-departure support includes cultural and logistical training to prepare you for life in South Korea
  • Be connected to a community of Greenheart Travel alumni teachers before, during and after your teaching contract

Questions & Answers

Hi there. The program requires that you must have studied in one of these seven citizenship countries since the 7th grade (no later): U.S., Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa (no exceptions).
Hey Robyn. No prior Korean language experience is required for the program. You'll learn the basics during orientation :)
Hi, thanks for reaching out! Unfortunately we do not have the answer you are looking for! As a next step we recommend contacting the program provider directly to learn more about eligibility requirements, which you can do here: https://greenhearttravel.org/contact .


based on 32 reviews
  • Benefits 9.7
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.2
  • Facilities 9.4
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 1 - 15 of 32
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Greenheart Travel: EPIK Program

I gave my overall experience a 9 because I don't have another program to compare it to, but overall it's been a really positive experience.

I went through EPIK (English Program in Korea) and it was definitely a time consuming application process. But with the help of my adviser, Kara, she helped alleviate the stress and guided me every step of the way. EPIK's application process is very long and specific. Your application will be delayed if something isn't filled out correctly, so accuracy is important. That's why I wanted to go through a recruiter. But what really stressed me out was gathering up the necessary documents needed for the application (passport photos, FBI background check, notarized/apostille diploma etc...). I couldn't imagine doing this by myself. There were so many questions I had. I emailed Kara back and forth about how to go about some things and she definitely clarified things for me--she made the process as easy as possible. What I really appreciated were the live seminars she held. These seminars went over how to fill out the application, how to gather your personal documents and anything else you wanted to go over. Also, if you couldn't make it, they were recorded so you'd be emailed the seminar. I thought this was great because I could go back whenever I needed to.

Fast forwarding to my acceptance:
Once I was accepted into the program Kara updated me as much as possible. She held another seminar before leaving the country which again, was helpful. Overall, I'm happy I went through Greenheart Travel. They definitely ensure that you are taken care of throughout the entire process!

*Note: There is a fee to go through this recruiter, but if you get TEFL certified through International TEFL Academy your fee will be waived (as of 2018).

What would you improve about this program?
One thing I suggest is to have a quick check-in in regards the tax form 8802 to ensure US residents have their 6166 form before they leave the country. It'll be a hassle to do overseas because of international shipping (Korea--> USA is around $25 to mail out the 8802 form if not done before leaving the US)
Yes, I recommend this program

Great support from Greenheart Travel

I used Greenheart Travel to go to South Korea through the EPIK program. Kara was so helpful and was available to help me every step of the way! She answered/returned every call and email very promptly. She also updated me as often as she could with any new information she had about my particular application. The information Greenheart provided about what my life may be like in South Korea was also very helpful and the webinars were full of information. I would highly recommend this program!

What would you improve about this program?
A few other recruiters offered their participants free 30 day sim cards. I thought this might be a good perk.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Great experience, provided the support I needed to get started!

At the beginning of last summer, I made the decision to change my life around a bit and decided that I wanted to move to South Korea to teach English. I have a degree in Theatre and while I love the field, I wanted to be able to do something that would combine my love of teaching with my love of travelling and cultures. I did some research online and found many different programs that would help me get to South Korea. I got in touch with a few of them, but it wasn't until I came upon Greenheart and Kara that I found the program I was the most comfortable with. Most people decide that they want to go abroad and give themselves plenty of time, but I was determined to be hired by EPIK and leave the US for the Spring 2018 intake in February. This meant that everything needed to happen very quickly for my goals to be met.

I was able to schedule my first interview with Greenheart the next day. I was working at a summer camp and was not off of work yet, so I was anxious because I was in summer clothing chilling in the storage cupboard at work during my interview. Kara was so wonderful and easy to talk to however, and I felt very comfortable from the very beginning. Kara helped me decide which route would be the easiest for me to take and talked to me about getting my TEFL from the International TEFL Academy. I was signed up for the August in-person TEFL class in Chicago by the very next week!

When it came time for the EPIK application process it was very comforting to know that I had Kara to look over my application and help me make it as strong as possible. I have never done anything like this before and that support was very appreciated. She looked over my application and letters of recommendation and walked me through each step of the process. After our third chat, I felt much more comfortable with the application process and knew exactly what I needed to complete to have a winning application.

EPIK is a wonderful program, but applying to EPIK was the most stressful 6 months of my life. I was constantly wondering whether I would get an interview, would I would be prepared when I did get an interview, had I passed my interview, did my documents arrive in Korea safely, WHERE will I be placed, when can I buy my airplane ticket, and when exactly will I need to be in Korea. The materials that Greenheart provides really helped calm me down during these months of waiting (and to be honest I read some of the packets WAY to many times). It was also comforting to know that I could turn to Kara with any concerns and she would respond in a timely manner. Now that I am in Korea, she still keeps in touch and follows my adventures on Facebook, and I can feel that she is genuinely interested in what happens to the people that she helps place abroad.

Overall, my experience with Greenheart was wonderful. Kara dealt with all of my panicked e-mails and helped me every step of the way. I would work with them again in a heartbeat. They truly made the stress of changing your entire life and moving halfway around the world much more bearable!

Thank you, Kara and Greenheart for everything.

Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching in Daegu, South Korea

I have been teaching English in South Korea for almost 2 months now. The experience so far with the program has been great. I started by applying to EPIK through Kara at Greenheart Travel. She made the process easy and smooth, and always kept me in the loop. I would highly recommend working with Kara if applying to go to South Korea! Once I got to Korea, it was nice to have someone take me to the orientation sight as I was overwhelmed as soon as I landed. The EPIK orientation was a week of very long days, most of what I learned was very insightful. However, a lot did not actually apply to me once starting this job. I did however, make friends with other English teachers in Daegu, this was the most important aspect I took away from orientation. My experience is unique because I experienced culture shock in a much different way than the "norm". When I arrived I immediately regretted my decision, when I moved to my city I wished that I had chosen somewhere else, or a different country all together. Since then, I am starting to see the beauty of the culture, people, and country of Korea. I enjoy exploring and being here. What I would want future EPIK teachers to know is the reality of Korea. There is a lot of pollution, trash, and fine dust. I had this very romantic view of Korea and although its great here, it's not what I expected. That in mind, I'm glad I have the opportunity to be here and have already made lifelong friends and memories.

What would you improve about this program?
Realistic expectations training
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching in South Korea

Kara Menini at Greenheart Travel helped me through the entire application process for teaching English in South Korea. There was an enormous amount of paperwork, so I'm glad I had the help. She was available to answer any of my questions (I had lots) and did so in a timely manner. I am so happy I came to Korea and hope to spend more than one year here. I'm finally settled in my new home, it took a couple of months to truly adjust. Don't be afraid. You can do it! My biggest tip is to learn as much Korean as you possibly can.

What would you improve about this program?
The price is a bit high, but it's worth the help. I never had any issues with paperwork or deadlines.
Yes, I recommend this program
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I have only been here two months but teaching in Korea has already been an amazing experience. I am developing my teaching skills, experiencing an entire new culture, and making amazing connections with Korean co-workers and other teachers in the area.

I found the program through Greenheart travel and they were extremely positive and supportive through the process. The staff clearly care about their applicants and work hard to help them be successful getting into the program.

What would you improve about this program?
There could be more clarity about the possibility of not getting into the program during the semester that you apply, and information about placements could be revealed sooner to help better prepare you for the experience.

*It is not in the control of Greenheart travel to reveal placements sooner.
Yes, I recommend this program
Photo of Chase Chisholm

Can't Imagine Applying to Teach in Korea Without Greenheart Travel's Help!

Chances are if you're interested in applying to teach English in South Korea through the English Program in Korea (EPIK), you already know how extensive and daunting the application process is. Looking back on my experience, I can't imagine applying without Greenheart Travel's help!

I learned about Greenheart Travel about six year ago. When I first reached out about applying to teach in Korea, I had already missed the deadline. So, I waited a few months before attempting to apply again. I was so impressed that Greenheart Travel staff remembered my initial correspondence! From that point on, Greenheart Travel staff members were always so attentive and personable, all the while professional and efficient.

Greenheart Travel helped me successfully complete and submit all of the necessary documents needed on time in order to be offered a English teaching position in South Korea. I ended up staying in Korea for two years and absolutely LOVED my life there. And even after I had arrived in country, staff members from Greenheart Travel continually checked in on me, as well as encouraged the work I was doing!

What would you improve about this program?
In my opinion there are no improvements necessary in regards to services provided by Greenheart Travel. Greenheart Travel has found a way to make a hefty and lengthy application process much less stressful and actually somewhat fun!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Great program!

Kara and the team were extremely helpful during the EPIK application process. They were always available to answer questions via email and call, and made my life so much easier going through this process. I have nothing but amazing things to say about Greenheart!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Helpful Program

It's helpful to have a company guide you through the intense application process. My Green Heart recruiter provided many detailed instructions on how to apply for certain documents and reminded me of the due dates for everything along the way.

What would you improve about this program?
Some of the companies that were recommended by Green Heart to use for authenticating documents were not the most affordable.
Some of the directions given to me via PDF were not completely up-to-date.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Greenheart really is GREAT!!

I knew I wanted to teach English in South Korea, so I found a few different recruiters and emailed them all. Greenheart was one of them and the ONLY one that got back to me in a timely manner. This continued throughout my entire application process. Sara, the girl over the program for South Korea, was always so on top of things and replied to every email (no matter how silly the questions) within minutes, maybe an hour or two TOPS. She was very helpful and informative and sweet.

There was no way for her to help with my placement - this is just the nature of the EPIK program that I applied for through Greenheart. No recruiters would be able to guarantee a placement, as they fill up very fast and requirements change per area.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would wish to improve with the program is a little bit of help getting settled when we arrive in Korea. Maybe some kind of mini-orientation before the EPIK orientation begins? Perhaps arriving a day earlier and having a person or two to answer a few of the instant culture shock questions we try to get a head start on the recovery from jet lag. However, I did just fine without anything like this, I just know there were a few other recruiters that did things like this and I thought it was very nice to have an instant group of people to connect with. This in no way is a reason to not go with Greenheart. The clear, concise, and FAST communication with Greenheart is irreplaceable during the application process while everything is SO confusing. There are plenty of other helpful people here to answer questions once you've arrived in South Korea.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Excellent preparation!

I was very happy using greenheart travel. I found all my incessant, anxiety-driven and sometimes desperate questions answered promptly and intelligently. I experienced a couple of paperwork issues and my recruiter (Sarah) was extremely helpful and seemed to make a genuine effort to rectify any of the administrative issues I was experiencing. Since my placement in Korea, I've also come to appreciate just how in-tune Greenheart travel is with the processes and the education system here. Now that I have a more comprehensive understanding of EPIK, I further appreciate how Greenheart guided me and all the applicants to make as strong an application as possible. The advice they provide about the interview process as well as the realities of the positions themselves is, in my experience, very helpful and quite honest. Though I haven't heard much from greenheart since moving to Seoul, I don't think it would be necessary at this point anyway. I would definitely recommend greenheart travel to those looking to transition into EPIK teaching.

What would you improve about this program?
I would offer a little more support for arrival. Other recruiters provided people with cell phones that were usable upon arrival, which was very useful in those first few (very confusing) days.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Great Program

Greenheart Travel has been excellent at every step of the way. While applying, our questions were promptly answered, and our apprehensions were cleared up. The entire process was made easier with their help. We knew exactly what to expect from the moment we landed in Korea until getting to our apartments. Big thanks to Sara at Greenheart!

Having had no experience as a teacher, the English Program in Korea (EPIK) has been an excellent first step in my teaching career. Over the past year and a half, I've seen entire classes of middle school students transform from being unsure of the lesson to having the 'a-ha moment' to being able to fire back answers as I review the material. I've never experienced something so rewarding.

I definitely recommend Greenheart Travel to anyone, with or without experience, looking to teach abroad.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Just do it!

Greenheart took great care of us throughout the application process. They we able to find me a placement despite my unusual situation- bringing a dependent.

Flash forward two years and my husband and I are still enjoying our experience here. We'll even be starting our third EPIK contract as a family of three. So let go of whatever is holding you back and just apply!

My school is so supportive and I love working with these cute kids. It's a big school so I teach only 5th and 6th grades and one period of English Club. My area is great; there is a great community of foreigners who offer support and friendship.

I have also been able to really get to know the Korean culture through travel, and native friends. Go to Korea. Greenheart travel will help you get there!

What would you improve about this program?
I really can't think of anything they need to change. They answered all my questions timely and throughly. They were friendly and provided multiple forums for information and support.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Greenheart travel makes applying to teach abroad a much less daunting process. They were very helpful the entire way through-from the first draft of my application to my final departure. They check your application for any faults before sending it off to the Epik which I love because the application needs to be completed in a very specific way. Additionally, they give you interview tips and a pre-depature info session. I applied for EPIK in 2012, so it's been about 2 years since then; however, I remember the application process running very smoothly, and I know this is thanks to Greenheart.

What would you improve about this program?
teaching in South Korea has been an amazing experience, and I think everything should have the experience of living outside of the comforts of your country in order to serve someone else. That said the English teaching situation is changing rather drastically. The benefits that I had when I first came to Korea may not be fully available in the (very near) future. Applicants should keep this in mind.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Greenheart Travel--The best of the best!

From the beginning to end of the long application process to teach English in Korea, Greenheart Travel (especially Sara Dorsey), has been exceptional. When I first showed an interest in teaching abroad, the Greenheart Travel website clearly displayed all the details of the program. (from benefits to job duties) I knew exactly how much my salary would be, how long the orientation would last, etc. This was extremely helpful. In addition, I became reassured at the legitimacy of the program when I noticed that Greenheart Travel is partnered with the EPIK-English Program in Korea. (a government-run program)

As the application process continued, Sara was extremely prompt in answering my questions via email and also offered helpful advice on what to expect while living in Korea. Since she had already taught in Korea in the past, it was very reassuring since I was already beyond nervous to move across the world and teach English. After I was accepted, I received a welcome packet and detailed itinerary of upcoming orientation in Korea. This was very helpful and I remember feeling so relieved when I received this from Greenheart Travel. It even had a map of the Incheon airport and helpful tips on how to handle culture shock! Greenheart travel made me feel much more prepared to begin my journey of traveling abroad.

I will be finishing my second year of teaching in Korea in February 2015 and am going to continue to teach and travel abroad. This time, it will be with Greenheart Travel Teach English in Colombia program! Overall, teaching in Korea has been full of ups and downs. But, it's been a worthwhile experience and I've gained various lifelong skills that will help me professionally in the future. These skills include: public speaking, classroom management, patience, and most importantly, ADAPTABILITY.

What would you improve about this program?
I'm sure this is probably beyond Greenheart Travel's control, but my boyfriend and I were very late in receiving our visas. We applied when we were told to, but only received them a few days before departure to Korea. This was very stressful. We had to obtain our residency certificate before obtaining our visas, so maybe it would be better to obtain this earlier than later.
Another issue, (which may also have been beyond Greenheart Travel's control), was the fact that my boyfriend and I were not placed in the same city. We have met many other couples here who are not married and were placed in the same city. This was a bummer, of course. But, we've made it work!
Yes, I recommend this program


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About Greenheart Travel

Greenheart Travel is a 501(c)3 non-profit, mission driven organization based in Chicago, USA. We are passionate about providing immersive cultural immersion experiences for teenagers and adults in countries all over the world.

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