Avalon English

Why choose Avalon English?

Avalon Education is an after-school English academy. Classes are held in the afternoon until 10 or 11 PM. At Avalon, students develop their English language skills by studying with both Korean and native English speakers. Students spend half of their time with a Korean teacher, and the other half with a native English speaker. The Korean teacher focuses on grammar and vocabulary, giving the students the chance to ask questions and get clarification in their own language. In the native speaker's class, the focus is on listening, speaking, reading, writing, and pronunciation. Here the students have the chance to implement the things they've learned and to be immersed in an English-only environment.


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No, I don't recommend this program

It ended miserably

Avalon changed my arrival date 3 times in one month. When I came to Korea they did not train me and give me a 2 week orientation. Most of the foreign teachers there receive no training and have to work the next day. During the year, teaching the kids were great. I got to work with some amazing foreign teachers from around the world. Our interactions with Human Resource were frail. They act as a liaison between foreign teacher and Korea. Communication was horrible.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Avalon English: reliable and relaxed.

Avalon English is probably one of the more reliable hagwon chains that I am know about. I worked for a franchise for a year and overall enjoyed my experience. The Korean teachers I worked with were great and very friendly and since I worked in a small school (only 3 foreign teachers and 4 Korean teachers) it made the year long experience a lot more enjoyable.

Day-to-Day: Work hours aren't bad, I worked usually 2-10, though at times that was stretched to 12-10:30p.m. depending on circumstances. I taught anywhere from 2-6 classes in a day (each 50 minutes long) for elementary & middle school school students. The work hours can be nice because it allows you to have your mornings while still being able to hang out and see people during the nights, which I enjoyed. Usually the first couple of hours are spent planning the days lessons and getting office work done; depending on your schedule that can vary from day to day.

Difficulties: Just like many hagwons and afterschool programs; Avalon isn't without its quirks. Communication can be very slow and difficult (language barrier aside), so at times that made meeting expectations and deadlines difficult as things weren't always communicated timely. There are times when tasks will be thrown at you and you are expected to finish it last minute (but that can be with any school, so not out of the ordinary).

Overall: Avalon can be a great place to work, always paid on time, very little hassle with money/insurance/end of the year bonus and often the Korean teachers and staff are extremely helpful and understanding. Avalon to me is a very reliable institute and I would feel most comfortable working with this large chain then some of the others out there. I enjoyed my experience very much.

Photo of Whitney Zahar
Yes, I recommend this program

My First Year

I was brand new to teaching and living abroad, when I hopped on a plane to Korea and to Avalon's Pyeongchong campus. Overall, my experience was great. I stayed in a hotel for my first week, and I got a great chance to attend a party at what would be my new apartment. I fell in love with my new space, and I got to spend time with current teachers and those that were completing their contracts. I taught on the IVY Nokjiwon level, which was a very close-knit group of foreign and Korean teachers. I loved my students, who were well-behaved, intelligent, and talented. Whenever I had a question (and I had a lot!), someone had an answer. I was given responsibility according to my talents and interests; for example, I created a United States History class. When wonderful personal issues drove me to see a doctor, my co-workers were right there to support me and make sure I was comfortable. I would have to say that I wish vacation time was more ample and more on my own terms, and there were times when some of the expectations of teachers seemed a bit unrealistic. But honestly looking back after 2-3 years, I realized that a job is a job, and the experience alone was worth everything to me. I learned that I really can teach and enjoy it, to take responsibility for my own attitude, and that life can be good anywhere in the world. I walked away from Avalon with great experience, new friends, a family, and confidence. For a first-time teacher, I would say Avalon is a good place to begin your teaching career.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching at the Langcon English Academy

Avalon as a whole is a relatively good program to work for. They are structured and have a good amount of materials for teachers. All teachers are given a syllabus with the pages and homework already assigned for each class.

Most of the tedious work is all of the administration. You're required to write teacher reviews on all of the students and have quarterly progress reports.

The hardest part for us (in Pohang) was being treated as someone in the lower rank. Our director often used us as scapegoats when it came to talking to the parents and we always came last. No matter what we said or did, we were always in the wrong regardless of how bad the students behaved.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time (2 years) spend in Korea but would not recommend working for the Pohang Langcon branch. Overall, we'd recommend working for Avalon, but be sure to ask for reviews of that certain branch beforehand.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Avalon English

I worked for Avalon English in Pyeonchong, South Korea for a year and had a very enjoyable experience. The school is well organized and the staff all very friendly and helpful. The school provides all the lessons and lesson planning so it makes it very easy to be prepared for class. Avalon has a very good reputation and for good reason. Unlike some other schools in Korea, Avalon was always very good about paying their employees on time.

Upon arrival, they really took the time and effort to make me feel welcome. My first night there I was taken out for Korean BBQ and introduced to my future colleagues. There was a real sense of community and I quickly made many new friends.

One downfall would be minimal vacation days. In a whole year, I was only able to take one week off for vacation. But I ended up saving so much money, was able to take a big trip through SE Asia when my contract was up.

If you are considering teaching English in Korea, I would definitely recommend Avalon as a school to choose.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Mark Andrews

Mark Andrews is from Northamptonshire, England and studied at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the Head Foreign Teacher for an Avalon English middle school in Daegu. He likes watching movies, hiking, camping, soccer and eating large amounts of kimchi.

Highlights: There have been so many great moments here but if I was to choose my favourite work based and non-work based it would have to be when I was teaching 1st grade elementary kids. Normally I teach 3rd grade middle school students who at times can be a bit moody, a bit "too cool for school." I'll never forget the fun I had when teaching 1st grade elementary kids! Full of life, energy, enthusiasm! I taught them for 1 semester, and my last day they all brought me little gifts and thank you cards. It really was a tear jerk moment and I treasure that moment because I could tell that the kids really appreciated me and were sad to see me leave!

My highlight overall has to be meeting new people, building new friendships and having new experiences with them. The people we meet here are not always the kind of people we'd socialize with back at home, but we're all here trying to get by and that brings people together. Traveling up and down Korea is great and I love going to Busan, a coastal city, to relax for the weekend. Sun, sea, sand and a little bit of soju. Korea is a fantastic country to travel around and it’s pretty easy to do so with reasonably priced bullet trains linking Busan in the South, to Seoul in the North and Daegu in the middle.

Morning: As I teach 2pm till 10pm, the mornings are pretty important to me! Korea is a beautiful country and everywhere you look is a mountain to hike. I hike for about an hour every morning, partially to keep fit, mainly for the views and tranquility. After that, I'll go home, get showered and head on to one of the numerous coffee shops in town to take advantage of the free WiFi, people watch and prepare myself for the day ahead. Korea is, surprisingly, a busy place; everyone is in a hurry so the two aspects of my morning help me to relax. Waking up early is important especially with the hours I work.

Afternoon: My afternoon is, unfortunately, spent working. I get to work at 2pm and I start teaching at 5 and normally teach right through till 10pm. However, those in the public school system can spend their afternoon eating some great Korean cuisine or get involved in numerous activities organized by the great foreign community here such as soccer, ultimate frisbee, softball or for the more lethargic there is great swimming pools to relax at, movie clubs or just head to a pub, if that's what you fancy! Every need you may have will be catered for.

Evening: Due to the time I finish work many of the activities listed above are long finished by time I get out. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things to do! An evening can vary so drastically from one day to the next. Most restaurants are open late, so sometimes my colleagues and I grab some food or a drink. But, there are many strange attractions here that keep us occupied and are open 24 hours. They are the "Bang’s" (Bang is Korean for Room). Sing Rooms are the most popular, if you fancy a bit of karaoke but don’t want to sing in front of strangers, these are perfect. You and your party get your own private room and Karaoke machine to sing the night away. If you want something a bit more quiet (or romantic) you could go to a DVD Room where you and a friend can watch a DVD in privacy. Next is for the gamers, PC Rooms. Literally 24 hour gaming. You choose a PC, they’re all loaded with the latest games and you go at it! Finally we have the screen golf and snooker rooms. There literally is something new to do every evening.