I have been teaching through EPIK in Gumi, South Korea for 3 months and wanted to give some insight for people thinking about it.
Let me get the one problem with the EPIK program out of the way first...you don't have any control over where you live. When you apply you can request 'metro' or 'rural' but when you get on your flight over here you only know what province you will be living in. Some people can't take the required leap of faith but if you can have a good attitude about it you will be fine.
It's also important to understand that everyone will have a different situation. My city has 350,000 people in it..some of my friends are in towns of 10,000. Everyone has different experiences with co-teachers, schools, living conditions and anything you can think of. I am telling you how my experience has been.
TEACHING: You are suppose to teach with a Korean co-teacher at all times. Although some people don't, I luckily teach with a great co-teacher every single class. We make lesson plans together and do everything as a team, and although this makes things take longer to plan and organize it is the best strategy. 90% of your classes will be awesome, but there will always be one or two classes that make you want to pull your hair out...it's just the way it goes. Everyone at my school is really friendly and very helpful despite the language barrier. I only teach my 22 hours and I do them in a variety of ways...4th and 6th grade normal classes, reading to 1st and 2nd graders for 'story time' in the morning, after school classes for low level 5th graders (only 4 kids in each class) and a friday afternoon teachers class where other teachers can work on their English with me. For someone who has no teaching experience and was a Finance major in college it has been an easier transition to the classroom than I thought it would be.
HOUSING: Everyone has a small apartment, but thankfully mine has two rooms. For living by myself it is perfect. A small kitchen but has most things you would need to cook and the location is great. I am a 5 minute walk to school and most people never live far from school. Also, you won't pay rent...more on that in a second. It is a little cold in the winter but if you want to pay for the heating you can just use it as much as you need.
PAY: This is one of the main attractions to teaching in Korea. They will pay for your flight here and back. Your housing is paid for. Your salary starting out with no experience is about $1850 a month. Every month they take about $100 out into a pension fund and the school matches it. You will get it back when you leave Korea! When you finish the contract you will get a one month bonus. Your bills are cheap (about $125 a month for everything for me) and you can eat really cheap too.
Social life: It's really easy to meet other English teachers, and you will make really good friends at orientation. Most younger Koreans are friendly too and may want to practice their English with you! Every weekend can bring a new adventure in another city, or you can learn all the good spots to go in your home city. In the fall months there is always some festival or even to go to and with public transportation is very easy to get all over the country.
Overall I tell everyone I know that is interested in teaching English abroad to give the EPIK program a look. Financially it is one of the best in the world, but the benefits go way beyond that. Korea is a safe country, with a wonderful public transportation system that lets you see every single part of this beautiful country. The language is not that difficult to pick up some basics quickly and the overall experience will leave you a much better rounded person than when you first arrive.
If you are reading this and any part of you wants to teach through the EPIK program...please go for it...I promise you down the road you will NEVER regret it!