Teach English in South Korea with CIEE + TEFL Certification & Rent Free Housing

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, CIEE Teach Abroad has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

Video and Photos

Typical Korean Style BBQ
Typical Korean Style BBQ
Fun with Friends
Fun with Friends
Holi Hai Festival
Holi Hai Festival
Concert in Seoul
Concert in Seoul
Korean Palace
Korean Palace
Hanok Village
Hanok Village
Teaching in Korea
Teaching in Korea
A picture with my Korean friend on a trip to Jindo's festival
A picture with my Korean friend on a trip to Jindo's festival

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.

Discover CIEE’s 150-hour TEFL certification course. This course offers an interactive and immersive experience into teaching English as a foreign language that will fully prepare you to teach abroad, at home, or online.

Highlights
  • Job placement
  • Enrollment in a CIEE 150-hour TEFL certification course
  • Pre-departure assistance – including visa assistance
  • One year of iNext international insurance with 24-hour emergency assistance services
  • Orientation weekend in Seoul

Questions & Answers

Yes, you need at least a bachelor's degree in any subject to teach abroad.

So you can start applying in May, but unless it's for a special program it's not always necessary. You can easily wait until after graduation to apply to schools (one less thing to worry about at that time). Korean schools, hagwon (private academy)'s tend to hire at the end of every term. So the hiring process is fairly constant. To complete the visa and hiring process you do need your diploma to...

Unfortunatley you cannot teach English in a Korea if you are not from an English speaking country. Schools seek individuals from a limited amount of countries, all of which are English speaking countries. However, South Africans can get an E-2 (teaching) visa.

I was told that you could not bring pets, nor were you allowed to get a pet once you were here. However, I have heard of several instances where teachers got pets in Korea. I think it might depend on your area and living situation because I'm sure some landlords will not allow it.

Reviews

8.57 Rating
based on 101 reviews
  • Benefits 8.4
  • Support 8.6
  • Fun 8.5
  • Facilities 8.2
  • Safety 9.2
  • Instruction 9.7
  • Support 10
  • Value 9.7
  • Academic Rigor 8
  • Job Assistance 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 101
Default avatar
Karen
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teach in South Korea

I have been very happy with my choice to go abroad with CIEE so far. I am currently in South Korea, a few months into my program, and CIEE has continued to support me even once I arrived. I applied to the EPIK program through CIEE and during that entire application process I had constant support and communication through an advisor. CIEE looked over my application and additional materials to make sure I was as prepared as possible. Although it might be a bit pricey, with the TEFL certification included, it was well worth the price in my opinion because they act as a security network if you need it. Also you gain a certification which you can use anywhere and anytime. Once you arrive in Korea there is also an orientation where you can meet other English teachers in the program.

What would you improve about this program?
One thing I would like is to have more activities for teachers throughout the year once we arrive in Korea. We have the orientation but it would be cool if CIEE could organize some group trips occasionally.
Default avatar
Jannifer
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience

I am so happy I decided to apply to teach overseas through ciee. They provided so much support and when I got to my country I was able to meet a lot of amazing people because of ciee. I think the TEFL program really prepared me for teaching. I’m thankful for my job placement and the coordinator for Korea is great. I had a wonderful time at the ciee orientation. I think it’s great that ciee offers orientation and other events for teachers as it can be hard moving to a foreign country on your own when you don’t speak the language or know anyone there.

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

Teaching in Namyangju

My experience in Korea has been very good with the CIEE program. Before I even left from the US, CIEE was right there to help me with everything I needed. They helped me get my TEFL as well as my Visa. The TEFL program was amazing and the teachers work really closely with you if you have any questions or concerns. When I arrived to Korea, they arranged for me to have transportation from the airport to my city which was great because the guide made sure to help me get where I needed to be. The overall experience has been really good so I highly recommend CIEE as anyone’s program of choice for teaching abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
So far, I wouldn’t change anything. CIEE has really gone above and beyond for their teachers.
Default avatar
william
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Korea Review

CIEE is easy to work with throughout the process. One big strength of CIEE is there connections throughout Korea. They seem to have access and work with contacts throughout Korea. When I was in America I found it easy to work with CIEE to get the necessary documents in order to teach here. They helped me throughout that process quite a lot. One note I would say about CIEE is having the orientation three weeks into Korea is to late, as by then much of the information is repetitive. If I have needed any help from CIEE these past few months I found it easily. I have enjoyed working with CIEE and would recommend them for similar teaching positions for people. As CIEE is important to provide the necessary contacts and help to get around. I enjoy CIEE and believe that they would be useful for those who are new into the international teaching field.

Default avatar
brae
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

recruited to teach in Korea

CIEE was a pretty good recruiting agency- they guided me along all of the critical steps in applying to be an EPIK teacher and their communication with the Korean government made things a lot easier than if I were to apply alone.
I would say that once I got here in Korea the assistance stops- I didn't know what to expect as far as further assistance but I think that something as simple as providing a welcoming packet listing all of the usefull Korean apps, useful Korean languge learning apps and websites, and just helpful tips from past EPIK teachers would have been really helpful.

I also wish they would have chosen a better TEFL certification class. I didn't find the course I took helpful or insightful. It was very bland and clinical.fddddddddddddddd

What would you improve about this program?
Instead of asking newly arrived teachers in Korea to make a promo video for CIEE talking only about the positives of moving to a new country- I think it would be much more appropriate to offer resources, app recommendations, and tips for dealing with your entire life changing and adjusting to a new culture and new schedule and new everything.
Default avatar
Jessica
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE South Korea

I’m glad I went with CIEE. The whole process was a bit confusing at first; I wish I had more communication from CIEE staff during the interview process, especially when it came to getting information about the school.

Regardless, I ended up at a great school about a half an hour from Gangnam. I’ve been having a great time! I have fabulous Korean and Foreign teachers, and I am so grateful for them. Several of them choose to renew their contracts after their year. Thanks CIEE!

The housing situation is not as fancy as some others. Our teachers have modest apartments in a nearby city, much older than some of the newer places around the school. Some of my coworkers have to deal with roaches on a regular basis, but I’ve only had a few.

I like the area, though! It’s an old city with a lot of history, and fun things to explore. All-in-all, a great experience thus far.

What would you improve about this program?
More information about schools during hiring process
The Orientation was meh
Default avatar
Ruth
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

2 years at my school!

I loved the peace of mind that using ciee to find my school gave me. I’ve never had a problem with my school but I knew that if I did someone would be there to help. When I decided to come to Korea I had heard a lot of scary stories about sketchy hagwons and was really worried I would fall into a bad one. After I heard about my school and community from someone who clearly cared about my happiness (and had personally lived in the area) I felt much more reassured about moving to a country where I didn’t know anyone or anything. My school turned out to be a perfect fit; largely because my recruiters listened to what I wanted and asked and answered all the right questions in order to get me where I wanted to be. In fact, I’m about to start my third year at the same school, I just can’t tear myself away!

What would you improve about this program?
There aren’t a whole lot of group activities for teachers who come through this program. It would be nice to get to know people more, though I know how hard it is to get people involved
Default avatar
Yolan
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

South Korea

I have been here for about 8 months now and I like the country and the people, for the most part. However, not liking the school I am placed at. The students are fine it’s management that’s the issue. But all-in-all I wouldn’t mind doing this program again, but just in a different city and school. Also, I feel that CIEE should do a little better taking care of their teachers, especially the new ones. When I first arrived no one called or sent an email to check-in making sure I was ok. I was the one who had to initiate the conversation few weeks after arriving. At least once a month call or email making sure the teachers are ok, i.e., living conditions, how is the school, how are they adapting, do they need anything, etc... that’s just my opinion.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would change the city I am in, which is kind of small with not much to do. Also, I would opt for a public school instead of private.
Response from CIEE Teach Abroad

Thank you for your feedback. I'm sorry you felt that you weren't supported during your arrival. I know you arrived at an unusual time so there was more time in between arrival and orientation. I really do appreciate your insight and I promise and we are always working on ways to make everyone's experience a more positive one.