Teach English in South Korea with CIEE

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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

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

81%
based on 32 reviews
  • Benefits 8
  • Support 8.2
  • Fun 8
  • Facilities 7.9
  • Safety 8.4
  • Instruction 9.7
  • Support 10
  • Value 9.7
  • Difficulty 8
  • Job Assistance 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 32
Default avatar
Kate
9/10

Teaching experience (so far!) in Daegu, South Korea

I've only been in Korea for about 5 weeks now, but I've loved every second. This country is beautiful, friendly and culturally rich -- I am so glad I chose to come here. When I decided I wanted to quit my job and come teach, I knew I wanted to do it with CIEE. I am SO glad that I did! CIEE helped me along every step of the way through the application process, including the longer EPIK application process. I was working a full-time job in the U.S., and can't imagine doing this without CIEE's help. The orientation they provide once you are in the country is so much fun and so useful as well, and the leaders are fantastic! It was great to make even more friends, especially coming here not knowing anyone. I highly recommend applying through CIEE--while there is a bit of extra cost, they help with organization and peace of mind.

How can this program be improved?
The difference in public (EPIK) and private schools is huge. I think that CIEE's website explains this a bit, but it would be very helpful to explain this even more. The two experiences are vastly different, and it would be helpful to have that information up front.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jayde
8/10

Teaching in South Korea

CIEE is a great company to work with if you're looking to teach abroad. They take a lot of the guess work out of finding jobs, getting your visa, and feeling at home in a new country. They give you in-country resources who are willing to help you with any questions you may have. I would definitely recommend using CIEE if you're looking to teach abroad as a gap year or even for the rest of your career.

How can this program be improved?
I don't think the TEFL certificate is not worth the price and was too broad. It focused on TEFL but it did not teach a specific country so the information was hard to pin down for your specific country. I also think the information that I did get did not help me to teach in my classroom. I think it would be better to have TEFL courses specifically for your country's culture and that they should get advice and help from previous or current CIEE teachers abroad.
Yes, I recommend this program
Jordan
9/10

Teaching students English in Korea

Choosing a program can be daunting because future teachers wonder what program they should go through or if they should go through any recruiter program. I went through CIEE because I wanted to feel more secure in getting my documents to South Korea.
My friend actually told me about CIEE abroad and I found it quickly after a search on the Internet.
I picked Korea because the Asian countries seemed to be the best paying and I had student loans to pay off. Korea seemed to be the least culturally different from what I read online/ watched on YouTube.
I'm in the EPIK program now. CIS was just my recruiter that I payed extra money for to help me apply. I also did my class through them. It took 3 months to do the class and 6 months to get accepted into the EPIK program.

Do they require teaching experience?
Only the class and and a bachelor's degree are required

Did they cover the class?
No, I had to pay for the class!! But they do reimburse you for your plane ticket after one month of working here plus they give you a nice entrance bonus
I'm still here and I might be staying for a while. It's not for everyone but I really like it.

How can this program be improved?
If the program would include more fun activities to meet with other teachers I think that would be good.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jessye
7/10

Pretty darn good!

I was overall happy with the CIEE program. The application interface is easy to use and understand, and streamlined the process. The man we were in contact with in America was very helpful and responsive. I applied with my boyfriend, and they were able to quickly find us placement together at the same private school. Our school is good, and is not on any of the blacklists. In fact, another person who went through CIEE has been working there for three years now! I think that we lucked out with our school, and we never have to bring any work home with us, and the hours are a stable 9-6pm. The only downside is that CIEE cannot guarantee how large your accommodations are (of course), so our apartment is on the small size. Its big enough, but I know a lot of couples who have a lot larger apartments. If you are a couple, I recommend trying to get a one or two bedroom apartment listed in your contract, because I think school will cut corners on cost if they can. The school will be saving money with a couple anyway, the least they can do is supply a reasonably sized apartment. My only complaint with CIEE's program is that the CIEE people we work with in Korea are not very responsive and sometimes unhelpful. They were slow to respond to pressing questions, and often just told us to "google" things when we were figuring out how to navigate medical issues and insurance. The application process if a bit difficult, because you interview, and then if the place offers you the job you have to decide if you want it within 24 hours. There is not a lot of time to "play the field", meaning you don't know if you will be missing out on a better option. There is an orientation in Seoul once you arrive, where you get to meet other members of CIEE teaching abroad, and there was a lot of helpful information. Again, I am glad I went with CIEE because it was very clear of what was needed and I was not afraid of getting placed at a horror school.

How can this program be improved?
I think communication while abroad could be improved.
Yes, I recommend this program
Logan
9/10

CIEE is an easy (but more expensive) way to get to Korea

Overall, I am glad that I decided to contract with CIEE to find a teaching job in Korea.

My situation: I was in my senior year of college, extremely unsure of what to do after graduation. All I knew is that I had never gotten to travel, and that I really wanted to.

Solution: Teach abroad!

In my situation, I really needed a TEFL certification, and a helping hand in finding a job that would hire someone so inexperienced. In this regard, CIEE definitely provided everything it promised.

Throughout the process, everyone involved with the organization was really communicative and helpful. The instructions for applying were clear, and they handled everything in a really timely and professional manner. They made the intimidating process of searching for a job overseas much less intimidating.

If you're a newbie in need of certification and/or help finding a job overseas, CIEE will provide exactly that, assuming that you're willing to pay. It is of course possible to get a job in Korea without paying for a service like CIEE, but if you're willing to eat the extra cost, CIEE does what they say they will.

How can this program be improved?
The differences between public and private schools in Korea are a little bigger than the provided materials make them seem (especially with regard to vacation time.) Just make sure that you're doing your research and making an informed decision!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alexandria
7/10

Good program but pricey

This program is a bit pricey, BUT if you are willing to pay there is some peace of mind that you will be placed and that there are a team of people dedicated to getting you a job in korea. I didn't have a certificate and I was a fresh grad and they still assured me they would find me a placement and they did! They even do an orientation so you connect with other foreigners right away and are good qt pointing you in the right direction if you need it.

How can this program be improved?
I feel like I don't exactly get a whole lot for the price but thats about it
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Kevin
9/10

Exploring While Teaching in Korea

Connecting with CIEE after graduating was a decision I will forever be grateful for. Being uncertain about teaching abroad is common and with the help from this organization, I was able to begin feeling more comfortable with the idea of traveling to a foreign country to teach English. I've been given amazing in-country support here in Korea and that has proven to be the most valuable because there's so much to learn. Having their email has been a luxury that other teachers here simply do not have because they chose other routes to get here.

My advice to anyone reading this is to be patient. Whether you're fresh out of college or well past your collegiate years, please understand that making a move to a different country to teach is a process. It is 100% attainable if you are dedicated to the idea of working with children and sharing your knowledge of the English language. Additionally, come prepared with questions that may be lingering in the back of your head. CIEE is dedicated to doing their best, so why not ask great questions?! There are so many and after reading a great deal of information, it can be easy to even forget stuff that's already been provided along the way. Additionally, I advise getting your TEFL Certification if you want to teach more than one year. It translates cross-culturally and is a great addition to your resume. All in all, so happy I chose CIEE.

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

Great Experience

Teaching in South Korea was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I love teaching my wonderful students, and travelling all over every chance I get. Choosing CIEE to help me get here was another great choice. From the beginning everyone was super helpful. Once I got to Korea the support was AMAZING. Orientation was a chance for me to meet other teachers (new and old) and have lots of my questions about teaching and general life in Korea answered. I still meet up with and talk to people I met at my orientation. The support system that CIEE has created for their teachers in Korea is just great! It definitly helped make my transition to living in a new country a lot easier.

How can this program be improved?
I do know the price can be a turn off for a lot of people, espcially since you can just go through a recruiter yourself. If you are comfortable that way, then awesome :). But, if you're like me and this is your first time going abroad or you just want extra assurence that you're doing everything right this program is definitly worth it. I know orientation weekend itself is worth most of it. And while the program technically only is for a year, if you choose to stay the contacts that you made in the country are more than willing to continue to help you.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Yolanda
10/10

Teach Abroad - South Korea

Overall, I've had a superb experience with CIEE. After comparing multiple programs, I decided on CIEE and have never regretted it. From your TEFL certification to job placement, they've got you covered. In addition to the TEFL course (that includes an abundant amount of resources), they also provide a pre-departure mini-course to prepare you for the big move (focusing on work place and societal cultural differences).

For me, the personal support has been the best part of the program. They have gone above and beyond to provide guidance and support for me throughout my experience. When I was stressing over getting all of my documents in time, I remember just bombarding Luke and Brad with emails. Without fail, they'd respond within 24 hours and solve any issues I was having. During the interview process, I once called Brad on a weekend asking for advice. He was very patient and helped me through it even though I had abruptly called him without prior warning. (Seriously, Luke and Brad are the MVPs.)

Ultimately, CIEE will provide you with everything you need to start your journey. However, there are also many components that are up to you to figure out - such as what offers to accept and what you make of your time. As people have mentioned, do not settle on a job. If a position does not seem like a right fit, you don't have to say yes to the dress. CIEE will help you find another interview. I wish I was more sure of this before coming (but that's a different story). I definitely recommend CIEE to anyone that is looking for a program to set you up with the basics for your first year teaching abroad.

How can this program be improved?
Having to communicate between CIEE and the specific in country recruiter that was setting up my interviews was a bit difficult and honestly added more stress to the process.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Lindsey
9/10

Teach in Korea- 12 months

CIEE is amazing and worked hard to help me find the perfect job. I went through 4 interviews before I decided on a school and I am so happy that I did not settle. There are some scary reviews about hagwons online but I can now say with confidence that there are many good ones out there. Be patient and ask as many questions as possible before accepting any offers!
Once you move to Korea, the in-country supporters are fabulous and always willing to help! They get you in contact with people your age who have experience living in Korea which I loved. I feel supported and very happy with my life in Korea. I can't recommend this program enough!

How can this program be improved?
Update powerpoint regarding what to expect when moving to Korea- example- you CAN find toothpaste anywhere
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Connie
9/10

Placement for South Korea

CIEE is incredibly organized and supportive. The staff is quick to respond and works efficiently and effectively to assure your placement is the best fit for you. (Thank you Luke Beland, Sagan Pope, and Brad and Yumi!) They take care of the tedious paperwork and very assistive of any hiccups that may occur along the application and hiring process. The entire program is very organized and efficient. I really felt that I had an entire team working for me the whole way.

I really enjoyed meeting the rest of the CIEE staff and team members here in Korea (especially Brad!!!). They are a great support system and even made great friendships and connections through our orientation and meet ups.

Personally from my experience in South Korea, a TEFL is not necessary at most hagwons (private schools) nor do they even ask. However, if you plan on applying for EPIK (public schools), it is necessary. This is important to keep in mind when paying for the course. The TEFL certification opens up a lot of opportunities for me to expand my teaching career, however, if you plan on teaching in Korea for a year at a hagwon, I would not recommend taking the course. It is not necessary.

Overall, I had a great experience with CIEE.

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

CIEE

CIEE really helped me with the application process. Of course, with EPIK you can apply directly to the program, however, it can be a bit overwhelming at first. CIEE helped throughout the whole process of applying and sending all of my materials necessary for applying. They really do all of the hard parts for you. Sagan was able to help me through the whole process of finding a job and predeparture logistics. Having the TEFL class in addition to the program made it a lot easier because all of your materials were through the same program and they were there for you throughout the whole process. Especially in application of public schools and if this is your first time teaching abroad, I would highly recommend CIEE as your recruiter. The in country orientation weekend was also amazing and you get to meet some other CIEE teachers as well as hear and swap stories from teaching abroad in Korea. Thank you to CIEE!

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

South Korea-CIEE

My experience has been very positive. I started about a month ago teaching in Seocheon. My apartment is descent a little dirty when I moved in. I teach at two schools with amazing teachers. The other teachers have been helpful. Sagan with CIEE was amazing. Sagan was was who I worked with back in USA. She assisted me throughout the processed and answered any questions that I had. She has been very helpful and is still there to help me out when needed. I met many new friends at CIEE orientation. The orientation was fun and very well organized. So far I am very happy with my experience in South Korea and with CIEE.

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

CIEE

My overall experience with CIEE has been phenomenal. The recruiters were able to place me in South Korea just as I was about to finish my course. They were understanding of my situation to complete my hours for tefl so they allowed me to finish them after I arrived in South Korea. Once I got to Korea, CIEE and their wonderful people have provided me with so much aid to help me get situated not only in Korea but with my school. If you're ever considering applying anywhere in Korea. I would recommend CIEE to anyone.

How can this program be improved?
More helpful links for new teachers and list of all available staff in Korea in case of additional help.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Todd
10/10

Great Job at CIEE

I could not give a higher recommendation to Alexandra (Sagan) Pope and to Luke Beland at CIEE. They did an outstanding job in helping me navigate the difficult process involved with the EPIK application. Their consistently good advice saved me along the way and guided me to a successful application. The CIEE TEFL Certificate was outstanding and provided me with the necessary background to begin teaching English in South Korea.

Yes, I recommend this program

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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...