By Reach to Teach   Reviews (56)   93% Rating

Great Positions with Public and Private Schools in Korea!

By Reach to Teach   Reviews (56)   93% Rating

Reach To Teach has over 40 years of ESL teaching and recruitment experience with offices in the South Korea, USA, and Taiwan. We understand the business and care about our teachers. The schools and programs we represent are among the best in the business. We provide our teachers with an upfront and honest perspective, because were all teachers at one time as well. We will prepare you to live and work abroad for a year, while always offering support as well.

Reach To Teach the only American official recruiter for the EPIK & SMOE program. The EPIK & SMOE programs in Korea offer a unique experience to gain valuable ESL teaching experience in public schools with start dates in August and February.

We also work with a number of private schools from Seoul to Busan and everywhere in between. We have private schools openings every month, so it's always a good time to apply!

Locations
Asia › South Korea › Seoul
Length
1 Year+
Salary / Benefits
• $1,800 to $2,400 USD per month
• Free housing
• Medical insurance and pension
• Airfare Reimbursement
• Paid vacation
• Severance Pay
• Settlement allowance (EPIK & SMOE)

Accommodation
Apartment
Other Locations
Positions with EPIK are located all throughout Korea!

Questions & Answers

Hi Kayla, It looks like EPIK requires a 20-hour in-class TEFL component along with a 100-hour TEFL certification.
There are various country programs through Reach to Teach and the contract is different for each one. Their three main programs in Taiwan, Korea and China all require a 12 month commitment. There is h...
All public school positions will last a full 12 months. If they are through EPIK, they must be 12 months. It would be pretty rare for a public school to offer anything but a 12 month contract. Private...
The typical contract, at least in South Korea, is 12 months whether it be in a hagwon (private school) or public elementary school. 6 month contracts do exist but I've only ever seen them offered to t...
Thank you Tyson, you've provided a great insight on what's available and possible!!
The length of contract with Reach To Teach, I believe, can vary depending on the contractual length of employment. RTT is a recruiting agency that helps with your placement. I have been in the EPIK pr...

Rating Values

  • Benefits
    92%
  • Support
    96%
  • Fun
    90%
  • Facilities
    94%
  • Safety
    95%

Program Reviews (56)

Stephanie
Female
31 years old
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin- Madison

Great for newbies

Overall 7

For anyone looking to get involved in the 'teaching abroad' community this is a great company to go with. They help you with different options available (both between countries and within) and help with the app process along the way. They can be as involved as you want them to be as they are always available, but not overly pushy with information. Their services are free (seems too good to be true) and someone is always around to answer your questions. There is not much they do after your placement but they are there should you have questions. Just the right amount of help for me, personally.

How can this program be improved?
Probably have more access to alumni that have completed the program should new applicants have more specific questions.
Joe
Male
31 years old
Burlington, Vermont
Saint Michael's College

You NEED them

Overall 9

Applying to EPIK is a long and difficult process, filled with government paperwork, applications, interviews and official documents. It would be extremely difficult to pull off this big of a move on your own. With the help of Reach to Teach, I was able to secure an EPIK teaching position in Daegu, South Korea. John at Reach to Teach is very helpful and is available to answer all your questions. Without a doubt, you will have a variety of emotions while applying to teach abroad. It is important to have an organization that you can count on to help you trough it all. Reach to Teach is that organization.

Best of luck!

Betsy
Female
41 years old
Atlanta, GA
University of Pittsburgh

Couldn't Have Done It Without Them!

Overall 10

The help and guidance I received from Reach To Teach was invaluable for my application process with EPIK. John walked me through the application and helped me dot my i's and cross my t's. He even found a work around for an FBI criminal background check when the government shut down for two weeks. He truly helped make the whole process seamless and was there every step of the way. The communication was frequent, and he always responded when I had questions. Top notch service from Reach To Teach!

How can this program be improved?
When I received a call from my recruiter to let me know I got the position, that was one of the last things mentioned on the call. It would've been nice for the conversation to start with that news. I know that's a nitpicky comment...but that's the only critical feedback I have!
Maddie
Female
23 years old
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Illinois State University

Reach to Teach Team

Overall 10

I enjoyed working with Reach to Teach directly to secure a teaching position with EPIK. The team is small and I felt that everything I had to do during the process was very personal and professional.

How can this program be improved?
For urgent questions contacting my recruiter by phone was not possible. Your recruiter can only contact you via phone, you can contact them through email during the work week.
Provider Response

Hi Maddie,

Thanks for your comments on our program. We fixed the issue regarding direct phone numbers for our recruiters. Now all of our recruiters have a direct numbers that applicants can call.

Again that you for bringing this issue to our attention.

John Kellenberger

Brian
Male
23 years old
Nyack, NY
University at Buffalo- SUNY

Reach to Teach

Overall 10

John Kellenberger is great and goes beyond to help support and to prepare for the journey. E-mail response was quick and calls were made through each big step in the process. Reach to Teach is recommended to anyone who has a desire to teach and experience new culture.

Tyson
Male
31 years old
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Slippery Rock University

Quality Help for a Difficult Process (Reach to Teach EPIK)

Overall 10

The very first thing a prospective teacher should understand before going for EPIK is how time consuming and confusing the process applying for it can really be. As a first time teacher moving thousands of miles from his original home I looked into going through the process by myself but being a busy person on top of cautious I opted for a recruiter. I spent months searching on sites like Dave's ESL cafe and numerous other message boards hunting for a reputable one. Ultimately, when I decided I wanted to go with EPIK I chose Reach to Teach.

Quite literally a minute after I had sent my application/resume to Reach to Teach I was contacted by John Kellenberger (the recruiter I worked with) and he helped me get organized for the beginning of things like getting my fingerprints for an FBI background check, getting that apostilled, getting my degree apostilled and so forth. As I said, all this is super time consuming and he wasted no time in letting me know that while I had got a later start getting ready for the application process that we would get there and even gave me a mock interview to help prepare for the kind's of questions I would receive from the EPIK interviewer. It turned out that the mock interview was even more thorough than the actual one but I couldn't have been more grateful.

After my successful interview the waiting for the confirmation I had received a place was absolutely nerve destroying but John was there almost immediately to answer any questions I had and ease the anxiety I was having. After receiving my placement John and Reach to Teach got me my NOA (Notice of Appointment) and contract to me in a speedy manner even after EPIK was behind on getting all the teachers their paperwork to receive our visas. John even had asked for copies for all the documents I had made/received from places to keep for me just in case, they even worked together with a travel agency to get me a proper ticket to Korea in time for everything EPIK had set up and a pre-arrival phone call to discuss any more questions I had before leaving as well as make sure I had the proper stuff to go through whatever was waiting for me in Korea.

I know I'm doing nothing but gushing about this recruiter but for what a recruiter (who doesn't take a dime from me for their services) like Reach to Teach and John Kellenberger did to make this process as painless and smooth as possible I could not be happier. I look forward to my teaching and am nowhere near as anxious thanks to the work they did, they even set us up with an arrival expert and offer events for the teachers involved while in country. What more could you ask for? If I decide to continue this career somewhere else I will most definitely be returning to Reach to Teach, no questions asked.

Not everyone wants/needs to use recruiters to do this but I assure you, for the EPIK process, John Kellenberger and Reach to Teach have one very satisfied client in me.

How can this program be improved?
I think putting us in contact with the other teachers before going would be a good idea.
Derrick
Male
31 years old
Opelika, Alabama
Troy University

PROfessionalism at its finest!

Overall 10

From the feedback of my initial contact with them until today, Reach to Teach has shown exquisite professionalism. My recruiting agent, John Kellenberger (or, Mr. K, as I often like to refer to him), has been a guiding light throughout the process of what I must do, to what is to be expected of the program for which I was recruited. Communication is great. Whenever a problem arises, I receive a phone call or email; likewise, I am able to send an email to him; and everything has been handled in a timely manner. Mr.K and the Reach to Teach staff understands what lies before us, and how overwhelming it can be at times. I was provided with a very helpful mock interview to help prepare me for the actual event. Afterwards, I was provided with an excellent critique of pros and cons, which I took note of in order to work on improving areas that needed it, and continue to display areas of strength.I have already recommended them others who may have an interest in teaching abroad. They are easy to communicate with, and seem to provide open and honest feedback. What can beat that?

How can this program be improved?
I would have to be very meticulous to point out any issues I had with Reach to Teach. They did such a fine job accentuating their finer qualities and being reachable. I can say that during the New Year ("Chinese New Year"), a couple email responses slowed as compared to the norm that I had grown accustomed to.
Michael
Male
23 years old
Moreno Valley, California
California State University- San Bernardino

Made me feel at ease

Overall 10

I liked how the company made communicating easy and clear. When ever I had a question they replied with a email or personally called me. Information about the hiring process from begging to end was very clear. I also liked that they gave me tips about making my move to Korea and lifestyle.

How can this program be improved?
I didnt get my first choice in location and I wished I had a way to communicate with people who are going through the same process or people who have gone through the process.
Zachary
Male
23 years old
United States
University of Texas- Dallas

Working with Reach to Teach

Overall 10

I can't imagine how I would have completed everything in time without RtT's help. John was an invaluable resource that answered every question I had, and even ones I hadn't thought of. I really can't imagine how I would have done this without them. The also pointed me towards The Arrive Store, which has also been an invaluable resource. The best part of working with John and Reach to Teach is that I was never taken care of or scammed; the only goal was to help me teach where I wanted to go.

Anahita
Female
23 years old
Gyeongsan, South Korea
Agnes Scott College

Great experience, great support

Overall 10

I've only been in Korea for three weeks now, but thus far have nothing but good things to say about EPIK and Reach to Teach. The application was complicated (not difficult, but complicated) and RTT was incredibly helpful with all of it. I love my school and the kids I teach, so this has been a great experience.

boundlessrogue
Male
31 years old
Chicago, IL
Drake University

Really on top of things

Overall 8

Everyone involved was very well informed and very on top of getting information for me, and letting me know what I needed to do. Reach to Teach did a stellar job assisting me through a very daunting application.

How can this program be improved?
I felt slightly misled by my location assignment. I was told "Daegu" and I guess I technically am, but I was put out in the boondocks and am a 40 minute bus ride from they city. I will also have to change apartments by the end of the month, because the rent is going to be over the housing allowance.
mercedesgates
Female
23 years old
Edmonton Alberta Canada
University of Alberta

Wonderful Company with a Great Personality

Overall 10

My Journey to South Korea would not have been possible without the help and support of Reach To Teach. They offered personal and direct help with all my documents and application. The staff went above and beyond the call of duties for me. I would recommend anyone and everyone to Reach To Teach.

Stephanie
Female
31 years old
Montreal, Canada
Concordia University

My experience

Overall 10

Everybody was always available, extremely helpful and very friendly. Everything went smoothly.
The only difficulty I experienced was deadline dates in certain emails that were incorrect and caused extra spending. Notably for the CRC check. I had to get it done three times as the date kept changing.

How can this program be improved?
Ensure that the deadline dates in emails are correct.
Megan
Female
31 years old
Akron, Ohio
Ohio State University

Reach to Teach is Awesome!

Overall 10

While I do not begin my South Korean journey until tomorrow, Reach to Teach has been by my side every step of the way leading up to this big day! The staff is responsive and efficient, and turns a truly overwhelming process into manageable chunks. I have nothing but positive things to say about my personal recruiter. I think it's safe to say that deciding to move abroad is a HUGE undertaking and I'm not sure if I could have done it without his guidance and expertise. Thank you, to my recruiter, and the entire staff of Reach to Teach!

How can this program be improved?
I had a lot of "surprises" during the process. Things like not knowing that I wouldn't know which city I was placed in until after I applied (it's the opposite in the private school sector) and the fact that orientation is a week before the contract begins. These items may be commonly known by staff members, but to a newbie to the process losing a whole week before departure time is a HUGE deal. Because I am a planner by nature, and because there is a lot of information on the web that led me to believe otherwise, I had a lot of "freak out" moments before departure that could have been avoided with some critical knowledge about the entire process beforehand.
Julie
Female
31 years old
Hoquiam, WA

Smooth Process

Overall 10

RTT has helped me navigate the long application process to EPIK. I will list a few points to highlight how RTT has assisted me during this process:

*A practice interview with an RTT representative
*Constructive feedback on my application essay and lesson plan
*Regular contact via email and telephone

TV
Female
41 years old
Nashville, TN
California State University

Good experience

Overall 9

Good mock interview.

Liked to detailed emails of what paperwork to have done and when.

Good GET pamphlet. Helpful for the interview and the per-orientation test.

Liked that everything of mine was reviewed before getting sent to EPIK.

Only frustrating thing was the American government agencies. The FBI check took 12 weeks to come back and I wasn't sure it would come back in time. I am still waiting for the IRS form. They said it would be about a month. It has been a month and I called and they said they are behind and it may be processed at the end of the week, but they can't tell me if they received it or not. So I don't know if they haven't processed it because there was a problem with the fax or if it is just sitting on a desk waiting to be processed.

How can this program be improved?
A reminder sooner about the IRS form.
Julia
Female
23 years old
Appleton, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin- Madison

Strong Support

Overall 9

Joining this program I felt a strong sense of support from my recruiter and that by going to Korea with EPIK I would be looked after. Though the application process was long and complicated, I was glad that I was doing it with a program that could help me at any point.

How can this program be improved?
Because of my schedule it was difficult to have a set time for phone calls and wasn't able to be around my phone all the time and ended up missing a lot of phone calls and would have preferred more e-mail communication.
Tami
Female
23 years old
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota

Helpful & supportive

Overall 10

The Reach to Teach team was very helpful with my application and interview process as well as with preparing my documents after receiving my teaching contract with Korea. It was very helpful to be able to do a mock interview with a Reach to Teach member and receive immediate feedback on how I did and what to expect in the EPIK interview. I do wish that I could be provided with more details about what my teaching situation will be like before I actually arrive in Korea. Such as what grades and classes I will be teaching and knowing the name of my Korean co-teacher and contact information would have been really nice. I would have liked to be able to e-mail my Korean co-teacher before hand and get to know them a little before I arrive and it would have been nice to be able to start a little planning for the upcoming school year before I leave for Korea as well.

How can this program be improved?
I wish I could start applying for and receiving documents sooner. I didn't have much time to apply for my E2-Visa, because I didn't receive my contract with the school until mid-July.
Jamie
Female
23 years old
Marietta, Georgia
Kennesaw State University

The Long Road to Korea

Overall 10

My experience in going through the EPIK application process was nerve wracking and made me feel accomplished at the same time. I would say that the most nerve wracking part was when I was waiting for my NOA and seeing other people get positions without word about if I got mine. Other than that, the process was smooth-going.

How can this program be improved?
I wish Reach to Teach told me immediately when they found out my EPIK placement, instead of waiting until it was 100%.
adinard4
Male
31 years old
Hamilton, Ontario
McMaster University

Reach to Teach a step above

Overall 10

A big thank you to Reach to Teach! I have worked with a placement agency in the past and was satisfied with the experience, but Reach to Teach really did go a step above in helping me secure a teaching position and adjust to life in a new country. I found the Reach to Teach staff to be highly competent and knowledgeable, as well as personable. Their guidance and step by step instructions really did serve to simplify and streamline what can often be a complicated and daunting process. Again, a big thank you to the Director of Recruiting and the rest of the Reach to Teach team.

How can this program be improved?
Difference of time zone can make for some inconvenience.
Nicole
Female
31 years old
Oregon
University of Oregon

Highly Recommend Reach to Teach

Overall 10

When I was applying to teach English in Korea I had so many unanswered questions, anxieties and concerns. Reach to Teach, hands down, answered all of my questions, curiosities, concerns and laid all my anxieties to rest. They really walk you through each step of the process thoroughly so that you know what to expect. Not only are they genuinely and extremely helpful, but thorough as well. They really make sure that you have and get all of your documents in a timely manner. They do follow-up phone calls to make sure that all your questions are answered throughout the entire process, and they are always available through emailing. All the staff that I've encountered at Reach to Teach have all been extremely helpful, kind, genuine, friendly, patient and understanding. I highly recommend them. After you send in your EPIK application to Reach to Teach, they review each application thoroughly, and then give you a call to go over your application step-by-step before they submit it to EPIK. After I had received my call, I felt really confident about my application and knew I was in good hands. In addition, they have mock interviews so that you know what to expect when your EPIK interview actually occurs. I found this to be extremely helpful because by the time I was scheduled for my EPIK interview, I felt confident going into it. Also, at one point, on my application, I wrote that I would apply for my E2 visa in San Francisco when the time came. Afterwards, I discovered that each Korean Consulate is responsible for certain areas within the U.S., and thus I needed to apply in Seattle and not in San Francisco. I immediately contacted the Director of Recruiting at Reach to Teach. He responded promptly, checked with EPIK immediately and contacted me right away to inform me there wasn't going to be a problem. One thing I really appreciate about Reach to Teach is that they genuinely care about the people they help. Again, I highly recommend them!

How can this program be improved?
none
rsuzuki
Female
23 years old
Berkeley, California

Great Assistance

Overall 10

I found that I was able to get a lot of help from this program in preparing myself for the application process as well as for going overseas. I always felt that someone was going to be there to help me along the way and I think this program is really great and well coordinated.

Sarah
Female
23 years old
United States
University of New Hampshire

Applying to EPIK with RTT

Overall 10

Reach to Teach has been very helpful throughout the whole EPIK application process. The process is lengthy and requires a lot of specific paperwork, and it has been very helpful to be able to have all my questions answered along the way.

When I asked my recruiter a question I always received a very quick response (almost always within 24 hrs), and I also received occasional phone calls from my recruiter to check in with me along the way.

Deciding to move abroad is a huge decision, and it comes with a great deal of stress along the way. Reach to Teach has done a great job at making everything as simple as possible to navigate the process and provide support throughout the whole experience.

Conor
Male
23 years old
Dresher, Pennsylvania
University of Delaware

Great service!

Overall 9

I had a great experience applying to EPIK through Reach to Teach. The staff was very accommodating and knowledgeable. They were able to convey important details about the application process that I would not have known without them. They prepared me for the interview and gave great feedback for improvement.
Without Reach to Teach, I do not think I would have been able to complete the application process.

How can this program be improved?
The only issue that arose was availability. Because I was on the east coast of the United States, it was hard to find times that were reasonable for me and Reach to Teach to communicate. Urgent questions needed time to be addressed (it was understandable because we were on different sides of the planet). There isn't really a way to fix this issue and Reach to Teach was quick to get back to me as soon as they could.
Brett
Male
23 years old
United States
University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign

A Great Experience

Overall 9

Throughout the entire process of getting to South Korea, Reach to Teach was extremely helpful. Every question that I had was answered quickly and thoroughly, and it was evident that the representatives from Reach to Teach truly cared about my placement in South Korea as well as my wellbeing. I just want to thank the Director of Recruiting for all of his help, and would strongly recommend that anybody who is contemplating teaching with EPIK go through Reach to Teach!

originosity
Male
23 years old
Seoul, Korea
Shannon College of Hotel Management

The Ups and Downs of Reaching to Teach

Overall 5

I am currently teaching in South Korea through Reach to Teach's recruiting program. I have been in Korea for 3 months and live on the outskirts of Seoul.

Korea has been amazing. Everyone here is super nice and although there is an initial culture shock, getting used to the scene is not that difficult. The nightlife is amazing, people are generally super amiable and unprejudiced and the community is very supportive.

Regarding my job, it has its ups and downs. I am currently a 'back-up' teacher meaning my job requires substituting for teachers that go on vacation. I will remain a back-up teacher until the Winter semester when a position opens.

The promises Reach to Teach made regarding this position is one of the major criticisms I have of the recruitment program. The recruiter, who was otherwise extremely helpful and supportive, made the position seem ideal when it is not. He said the back-up teachers would get first choice when the semester started as to which campus they would go to. This was not the case for me. Basically, you teach where the company tells you to teach, and you have little to no choice in the matter. I believe you do have 'first refusal' meaning you can refuse a position at a campus if you do not want it but coming here I thought I would have a choice at several different campuses. The recruiter spun it into something it was not.

However, overall I love Korea and my job when I actually get to teach (I am just a back-up teacher, as I said). Korea is way better than America, and I am seriously considering not going back to my home country.

How can this program be improved?
I know you get paid for recruiting people to Avalon, but stop spinning things into something they are not. The back-up contract is not all it is cracked up to be. They pay less money and you do not get a choice as to which campus you get placed at like they told me. You only get 'first refusal' meaning you can refuse a position if they ask you early enough. Ultimately though you will still get placed where they want to place you.
jrpitts88
Male
23 years old
Chungju, S. Korea
University of Birmingham

Great Program!

Overall 8

I was thoroughly impressed with ReachtoTeach's program.
Especially to have them meet me at the airport on my arrival in Korea! They were incredibly helpful!

waltre
Male
23 years old
Andeok, South Korea
Other

Good and bad; give and take

Overall 8

First and foremost, I am very happy with my decision to teach in Korean public schools under EPIK. The process leading up to this point, as assisted pre-departure by Reach to Teach and upon arrival by EPIK staff has been terrific. Their combined assistance has helped make my transition to my new life in Korea painless (well, as painless as possible!)

I should be honest, though; there are days that I really love my job, and others that I feel miserable. But that's what the job is, and applicants should know that up-front. I would not want to discourage anyone from making this audacious step to teach abroad, because ultimately it is rewarding. There are days when things in and out of the classroom just do not go as planned. But it happens. For every tribulation, there is an even stronger feeling of inspiration and strength.

My situation teaching in South Korea has been unforgettable, to say the least, but it has not been without its disappointments. I never thought (or wanted for that matter) that I would be placed in a small rural town in the countryside of Korea. There is quite honestly almost nothing to do in the town. However, with the simple rural life comes small class rooms and friendly neighbors. Overall I am extremely happy with my job teaching for EPIK. I have had to give a little bit, but in return I have gotten so much!

And that is how I would summarize this job to anyone interested in teaching abroad, particularly in Korea--Not everything will go according to plan, but don't let that scare you! As much as this can be a tedious job, it's also an adventure! There will be good and bad, but roll with the punches because you're in for a great ride! Don't be afraid to take the plunge.

How can this program be improved?
As much as EPIK did to help me through the process of getting here, and then through orientation, I feel slightly abandoned by my employer. I'm here for better or worse and I can't change anything that might dissatisfy me.
Dtrunk
Male
31 years old
Jincheon, Korea
Manchester Metropolitan University

Supportive recruiter

Overall 9

Reach to Teach has a very helpful staff who are friendly and always supportive of their recruits. They keep you updated constantly on your application and you are always notified of any changes that occur in a timely manner.

Moving to a foreign country and meeting new people is a great experience that can you teach you many things about the world and yourself. The language barrier can be very frustrating and frightening at times, so be sure to prepare yourself as much as you can.

How can this program be improved?
Better organization within the EPIK program in general would be appreciated. The mandatory teaching contest seems unnecessary and just added work to those who are new to teaching and struggling to adapt to a different job.
tfowler000
Male
23 years old
Gyeryong, South Korea
Meharry Medical College

Off to a great start in beautiful Korea

Overall 9

Make no mistake, teaching is a very difficult job. You will find your patience tried in ways that you couldn't have imagined in advance, and there are a number of unique challenges facing a foreign teacher.

With that having been said, I haven't regretted taking the plunge yet. I have learned and grown as a person so much since I've gotten here, and Korea is a wonderful place to go for any first-time teachers. Koreans are by and large very friendly, the other foreigners you'll meet will almost certainly be interesting and intelligent people, and teaching is a very rewarding experience.

I can't stress enough how helpful John and the other people at Reach to Teach were during my application process. I kind of doubt I'd have made it all if it weren't for them, to be honest. They were always willing to answer my questions, patiently worked with me through the arduous task of gathering all the documents together, and called me on a moment's notice to talk through something. Getting it all done would have been infinitely harder without them, and I highly recommend them to anyone thinking about teaching in East Asia.

Westley
Male
23 years old
Gyeongbuk Korea
Naropa University

RTT was a

Overall 10

I'm so happy I went to Korea through Reach To Teach. The entire process was laid out to me in a step by step format. I always felt that I knew what the next step was and my recruiter John always kept me well informed on the required paperwork and estimated times for processing the paperwork.

Life in Korea has been great so far. The people have been very understanding of the fact that I am a foreigner here and have helped me settle into this country. My co-teachers have been amazing as well. They helped me set up a bank account, find an apartment (which is paid for by EPIK) and sign up for a cell phone. After the first few months it really starts to feel like a home.

jrb
Female
31 years old
Sangju, South Korea

Great orientation

Overall 10

The orientation was wonderful. Amazing presenters. The only thing I would change was our free time. It's our first time in Korea and we were give NO time to explore. I would take away the 10pm curfew and extend it to midnight, and maybe give us one day off to have the chance to explore a bit.

Other than that, I learned a lot of practical information from the presenters that were chosen.

mchosey819
Female
23 years old
Seoul, Korea
Other

Teaching at Topia, Seoul Korea

Overall 10

I am a teacher for a hogwon franchise called Topia. I was placed by Reach to Teach. Throughout the entire process, the staff at Reach to Teach has been incredibly helpful and supportive. I have been very impressed that they continued to stay in touch with me after starting my position.

Overall I am satisfied with my job at Topia. The pay is decent and the housing is super convenient. I can walk to my school and I live adjacent to a main subway line. My coworkers are all very nice and my boss is easy to talk to. I teach elementary and middle school. The elementary kids are awesome, but the middle schoolers can be challenging sometimes.

My only complaint about Topia is that they make it very difficult to take vacation days. Also, they do not have as many holidays as public schools.

Overall I have been having a fantastic experience. I have tried many new foods, got back into hiking and outdoorsy adventures, and have participated in tons of festivals and events in the Seoul area. I have met tons of amazing people from all over the world. I highly recommend using Reach to Teach to find jobs in South Korea.

SBoedecker
Female
23 years old
Gumi, South Korea

South Korea - Reach to Teach

Overall 8

Reach to teach provided a great service to help me with securing a placement teaching in South Korea. Not only did they help with the front end process but the staff and members are available throughout for support with my time in Korea.

crisbkimchi
Male
31 years old
Daegu, South Korea

Reach To Teach

Overall 9

Deciding to come to South Korea was a major decision in my life. Without the help of my recruiter-Reach To Teach, moving overseas would not have been possible.

It takes a special person to leave everything you've ever known, and move across the world, especially when there is a huge language barrier. I chose Reach To Teach, because I feel that they are the most reliable, honest and qualified recruiting company. Their website is not difficult and it explains exactly what you need to know. I enjoyed the pictures they have of past and current teachers. RTT holds monthly events with their staff and teachers, which provides a way for everyone to feel at home. I really enjoyed the blogs of other teachers. I was able to read about people teaching in Korea, Taiwan and China. I had an interview with a former teacher who gave me some great insight. I also like that the people who work for RTT are all former teachers with great advice and experience. The head recruiter 'John Kellenberger' is top notch. I've talked with many people who had issues with their recruiter. He works for you and that is something that should be commended. There was not a time when John did not contact me when I asked. He also sends e-mails just to see how things are going. In my opinion, he was more than just a recruiter helping me get to Korea; he is a friend. I felt as if we were buddies. With a transition this big in your life, that is something that everyone needs.

In Korea, or any Asian country, your life is unpredictable. I think this is what is so exciting here. On a typical day, I work 8:30AM-4:30PM. I usually go home for about 2 hours, and then I head downtown to meet friends for dinner and drinks. We usually stay out and socialize for a few hours and we are back home by 10:00-11:00PM depending. The weekends are packed with eating, drinking and travel. Korea is a social culture and it allows you just relax and smell the roses as they say.

The biggest challenge is the language barrier. They speak Korean, you speak English. For the most part, it is easy to get around town with speaking much Korean. However, when you go to a restaurant and the ENTIRE menu is in Korea and there may or may not be a picture. We simply just point and hope for the best! Another challenge is teaching low-level students. You ask a question and they just stare at you. Motivating students is a challenge as well.

The best thing here for starters is the cost of living. It is very cheap! A 2 Liter bottle of water cost 800 won, which is equal to about $.75 is America. There is hardly any crime! You can just walk around freely at night, and be perfectly fine! Children as young as 5-6 are walking to school alone.

Overall, I highly recommend moving overseas, especially South Korea! It's a decision that you won't regret! There are so many people here with a different perspective on life and it is so enriching!

mj10
Female
23 years old
South Korea
Mount Aloysius College

Awesome experience

Overall 10

The staff of RTT is really awesome. They are always an email or phonecall away to answer even the most trivial of questions. Although I didn't like the fact that we did not know WHERE we were being placed (which is EPIK's decision, NOT RTT's), RTT did it's best to ensure us and keep us confident throughout.

mylyfe196
Male
41 years old
Sangju, Gyeongsanbukdo, South Korea
Other

safety rating

Overall 10

The only reason I gave the safety review a six is because of the lack of traffic enforcement laws in South Korea. I honestly feel like I am playing roulette with my life every time I get on a bicycle or attempt to use a crosswalk. Remember the game FROGGER on Atari... probably not; I feel like the frog.

As far as day-to-day life in Korea, it is great. I was blessed with an amazing placement, a great school, awesome co-teachers (7 of them), and a good place to live. I was placed in Sangju; a bit rural, but perfect for me. I am huge into supporting the local economy, so I buy all of my fruits and vegetables at the marvelous farmers market held every five days; only five minutes from my house.

The transit system (train and bus) was fairly easy to figure out, but we did have the help of some other great EPIK veterans.

The most suprising thing so far has been the incredible community of foreigners (waygooks) in Sangju. When I originally started reading reviews and what not while applying through Reach to Teach (amazing recruiting agency. Attention: John Kellenberger ( ; ) I thought maybe there would be 5 to 10 other foreign teachers in the city I would be placed in. I was wrong. Try at least thirty. Great support group. We have set up our own Sangju facebook page which is an amazing resource. It is an invaluable resource for everything from how to understand the washing machine controls to just getting a group dinner together or answering questions about schools or lesson planning.

I have only been in Korea for about two and a half months, but must say it was a great decision. None of this would have been possible without the thorough guidance of Reach to Teach. I have already recommended them to others on blogs who are thinking about teaching English overseas, and will continue to do so.

Please feel free to contact me with any further questions or needs.
Thank you again for your guidance Reach to Teach and Mr. John Kellenberger. Have a great dye.

Jesse cox
[email protected]

RebeccaBates
Female
31 years old
Anyang-Si
Mid West Business Institute

Great program!

Overall 10

The first couple of days in Korea were, admittedly, stressful and confusing, but I imagine that's how it would be for any country a foreigner moved to. It has been a few months now, and I can say with complete honesty that I am happy and having fun. Teaching can be hard, and it does take a significant amount of energy to keep up with the kids, but it is absolutely the most rewarding job I've ever had (this coming from someone who is used to 9-5 salaried jobs). So, while the weeks can be challenging, they fly by.
The hardest part of my experience so far was the Visa process. My recruiter warned me that it might be a "get your Visa one day and get on the plane the next" sort of deal, and I didn't believe him. He was right, though, and actually I had to get my Visa the same day as my flight to Korea! I was confused and frustrated at why the process was so last minute and mysterious, but every teacher who I have met in Korea has had a similar experience. It's not the recruiter, it's just the way the country does things. Regardless, I am happy to be here and wouldn't trade this experience for anything. Plus, my co-teachers (both foreign and Korean) are simply amazing and I love coming to work every day with them.
Also, I am a vegetarian. Being a vegetarian in Korea is like moving to Nashville because you hate country music. There is meat in everything. So, I do a lot of cooking at home. It can be hard at times but being a vegetarian is definitely doable, and I am happy and healthy.
Another note, I am a work-out fanatic, and it was hard for me to find a gym. When I finally did join a gym, I was surprised at the, err, differences in gym quality. Yes, there are treadmills and yes there are bikes and weights, but they are very, very old. A Korean friend told me that working out in gyms is not as big of a deal in Korea as it is in the USA or the UK. I'm grateful to have found a gym at all, even if it isn't the same as back home.

Come to Korea! It will change your life!!

AunupB
Male
31 years old
Mungyeong-si, South Korea

Going on 3 months in Korea with no complaints

Overall 9

While placements and work experiences vary from individual to individual, I can say that I personally could not be happier with how my situation turned out here in Korea. I have a nice apartment, friendly co-teachers and Korean co-workers, and have found a great group of friends here. Reach to Teach does a great job of preparing their recruits for coming to Korea, as well as keeping in contact with them should they need any sort of assistance. I have no complaints about the organization, nor do I have any complaints about the position I obtained through applying with them.

Female

Life in Korea Through Reach to Teach

Overall 7

I found Reach to Teach to be a very professional and honest company staffed with people who really did care about their teachers and their experiences. At the time, most of their focus was on Taiwan, so their information on their website about Korea was very light, but I'm glad to see that has changed over the last couple of years. Likewise, there weren't as many get-togethers, but I didn't mind. Reach to Teach was able to set things up so nicely that it gave me the confidence to branch out and enjoy my Korean experience on my own. What I really loved was that before I came to Korea, I felt like I could really talk to my recruiter if I needed anything. I had a tragedy in my family shortly before I was to leave the United States, and I requested to delay my departure. My recruiter was so understanding, and let me have a couple of months to settle things. "Your job is waiting for you," he said. "Let us know when you are ready." I knew I was involved with truly good people when I got involved with Reach to Teach, and they seem to be growing, which is always a good thing!

Incheonite
Male
41 years old
Incheon, South Korea
Other

They're good people

Overall 10

In the past I never thought of myself as a particularly adventurous spirit, and the thought of moving to another country seemed unfathomably huge. But somehow I got the bug to teach English in Korea, and working with Reach to Teach I always felt like I was well cared for. Everyone there has been or is currently a teacher in a foreign country, and not only do they know what you're going through, but I just had the feeling all along that they really care, and I felt informed and supported and reassured about all my concerns. And complicated paperwork is usually completely overwhelming for me, but they laid out the process and patiently worked with me step by step till it was all done. I just wish they would help me with my taxes. When my friends back home find out that somebody they know is interested in teaching overseas, they pass on my email address, and I consistently recommend Reach to Teach Recruiting because of my 100% positive experience with them.

mseitz2389
Male
23 years old
Cheongdo, South Korea
University of the Arts

My experience with Reach to Teach

Overall 8

Reach to Teach has been very helpful in my experience with them. They were very professional as a recruiting agency when it came to answering me questions and keeping me informed throughout my application process. However, I beleive that some things could have been done faster as it sometimes took up to three days for me to receive a response via email. Reach to Teach did successfully get me a job in South Korea and I currently love where I am located. I originally wanted a city positon but my location is only a 25 minute train ride to Daegu so I have the best of both worlds. I can vist Korea's third biggest city any day of the week and I have the luxory of living in the country when I just want to relax and maybe visit the local wine tunnel in Cheongdo. Overall, I am very happy with my life in Korea and I have Reach to Teach to thank for that.

RTTsupport
Female
23 years old
Seoul, South Korea

Go with RTT!

Overall 9

Having come to Korea by myself and applying by myself, having RTT there for help and support was really great. Applying directly through EPIK may be faster, but you will not get the kind of support the RTT provides!

Elle-S
Female
23 years old
Gumi, South Korea
Dundalk Institute of Technology

Thanks to Reach to Teach

Overall 8

So far, I am enjoying living and teaching in Korea. Although I live in a small city (by Korean standards), transportation is cheap and convenient here, so there are lots of opportunities to explore the country. The EPIK orientation was very helpful, both in helping us (especially first time teachers like me) learn about teaching English in Korea, as well as forming friendships with other EPIK teachers. So when difficulty strikes, I have a large network of people I can commiserate with.

My students at my elementary school (although occasionally a bit crazy) are adorable, and their enthusiasm always brightens my day. And most of the other teachers in the school, even though they cannot speak much English, have been extremely welcoming and friendly.

I think, though, my experience would have been drastically different if I had not gone through Reach to Teach. They guided me through the application process, providing helpful information at every step, and assisted me in getting my application in on time, despite the fact that I had a difficult time with the FBI background check (my first background check got lost in the mail).

On top of that, Reach to Teach has been a great resource for me while in Korea. There were some miscommunications and misunderstandings with my school regarding the clause in the EPIK contract that states that the school is supposed to provide certain furniture to the guest English teachers, and I spent a little over my first month without a bed. I tried to handle the matter myself, talking to the school and contacting an EPIK coordinator, but I could not get anywhere. However, I asked John at Reach to Teach for help, and within a few days, the matter was all sorted out and I finally got my bed.

In short, EPIK so far has been a great experience for me, and is a good way to experience a foreign country with a solid support network behind you. And if you are considering applying to EPIK, consider applying with Reach to Teach. They not only assist during the application process, but can be of assistance in Korea if things go wrong (which hopefully they won't, and for most people I know, they didn't, but there is always a chance of misunderstandings).

britishatheart22
Female
23 years old
I am in Cheongju, South Korea.
Waynesburg University

A Great Way to Start a Career

Overall 10

I graduated with my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, so I really enjoy teaching.And the EPIK program has been great in providing me with a wonderful school and place to stay. I love the staff and the students at my school. The school system here is so very different from home, but I now understand it better, and hope to understand it even more. I love the classes that I teach and the sometimes craziness of a general day at school. The schools are set up well, and since I am in a smaller school, I am able to send some individual students. The school has been so helpful, and the staff has been great. I love where I am placed. The most difficult thing for me is the communication. There are days that I feel great about the communication between me and my students. There are days that I feel like the lesson or interaction could have gone better. I now know that it is vitally important to understand some Korean. It is hard to settle problems with the students, when you do not know what they are saying. That is really the only problem. The highlights are the students. They are always happy to see me, even though they do not study all the time. They are a great pick me up, on a bad day. The students make effort to talk to me and communicate with me. I really enjoy getting to know my students and being able to teach them. I have a bit of advice though, students know when the teacher really cares about them. You may not think that you can teach, but you might be able to if you try. You just need to let the students know that you care for them, not just when they are in your classroom. Say hello to them in the halls and try to communicate with them outside the classroom. They enjoy getting to know you, as much as you enjoy getting to know them.

Kostyoem
Female
23 years old
Daegu, South Korea
Miami University

Being abroad for the first time

Overall 10

This has been my first experience abroad and I have to admit, that it has gone rather smoothly from arriving at the airport and getting to where I needed to be at orientation, to arriving at my apt and meeting the teachers at my school. It is also nice knowing that I have support of reach to teach and they are concerned with my well being while I am over here. And since this is my first time abroad, I have felt homesick, but even getting that article about culture shock and how it manifests itself has really helped. I didn't really think about going through this:"culture shock" I just knew I felt homesick and kind of alone in the world. But just like the article said, the more you explore and the more you do, the less you should feel homesick.

kkiongozi
Female
23 years old
Taegu, South Korea
Other

So far, so good.

Overall 9

Overall, my experience has been great so far. The staff at my school is very helpful, and the EPIK orientation was very useful. I had a smooth transition from new arrival in Korea to English teacher, and I enjoy teaching.

My only suggestion for improvement is more activities from DMOE (or the relevant Office of Education for your city) for English teachers. It'll help us get to know each other in social settings better. I've only been in Korea for about 2 weeks, so perhaps there are more events to come.

jenjen51184
Female
31 years old
Busan, South Korea

Fall 2011 EPIK

Overall 10

My overall experience with EPIK is a positive one. From when I landed in the airport to the release of orientation the EPIK people took care of us.

Although it was not paid orientation they provided unlimited food for breakfeast, lunch, and dinner plus snacks during the day for 10 days. They provided helpful classes to help prepare us for what was to come in the future. I thought some of the classes could've been a little bit more exciting, like Korean History and Text Books. They also provided room and boarding and any transportation that was needed. EPIK did prepare us for much as possible of what it would be like once we actually got to our cities/schools.

I would recommend the EPIK program to anyone if they asked.

Mallory
Female
23 years old
Seoul, South Korea
St. Mary's University College

Liking Korea So Far

Overall 9

I have been in Korea for about 2 months now and so far I am really enjoying my time here. I met a lot of great people at orientation and so far we have gone to Busan and Muuido, been hiking, gone to clubs, seen temples, and so much more. It's really been a great learning experience and an excellent chance to submerge myself into a new culture. I love my students, they are totally sweet and I haven't had many discipline problems. My co-teachers help me out a lot with everything from setting up a bank account and getting a cell phone, to helping me pay my bills online and order furniture. My apartment was kind of dirty and I had little furniture when I first arrived, but after a good cleaning and some minor purchases the place looks and feels like home now. Although I have had a great experience, it is important to note that everyone will be in a different situation. I have heard people venting their frustrations about having difficult co teachers and about having issues with their apartments. This is the honest reality of coming to a new country and I would be setting people up for disappointment if I said things were wonderful all the time or that it isn't a bit lonely now and then. The good news is that after orientation, you meet a lot of great people and you build a strong support system with one another. People always seem willing to help each other and so far I haven't heard of anyone encountering any issues that couldn't be dealt with. If you are adventurous or just wanting to try something new, I highly suggest taking a gamble and coming to Korea. It will change your life.

livingitupinseoul
Female
23 years old
Seoul, South Korea

life in seoul

Overall 10

ive been in South Korea for about 2 months now and would definitely say Im in what they call the honeymoon phase. I love the food, the social scene, the people. I love the convenience of the public transport (Im from South Africa. We have no public transport worth mentioning). I love having the fastest internet in the world and that everything I could want for is easily available (well. Besides biltong).

Most of all, I love my job. Id never taught before arriving in Korea so I was very nervous about whether Id enjoy it or be any good at it. But I felt that EPIK really catered to that during orientation. Their lectures, apart from being a great place to make all my friends in this strange new - massive- city, were also really helpful education-wise. Furthermore, my coteachers have been very understanding of the fact that Im an inexperienced teacher and appreciate it when I work hard to improve.

As for enjoying it... I can have the worst day, struggling to get my students to stop talking and pay attention, and all they have to do is say "Hiiiyeeee, Teacher!" when they see me in the corridors to make my day. Korean kids are indisputably the cutest in the world.

kevinp
Male
23 years old
Pennsylvania
Other

EPIK

Overall 9

The EPIK program has been both wonderful and professional in helping native English teachers make a transition to Korea. The program itself is well run. This was quite evident during orientation where pick-up services, class training, and activities were fun, engaging, and interesting. After orientation, EPIK was also kind and gracious enough to send us to our respected cities and help us settle in. The school, co-teachers, and teaching environment have exceeded my expectations. Not only are teachers professional, but they also are helpful in making sure native English teachers are adjusting to K orean life. I can honestly it has been three weeks since I have arrived in Korea and I am still enjoying my Korean life and teaching position..

Artie_p
Male
23 years old
Incheon, South Korea
University of Nevada

The recruiters guided me to success!

Overall 10

Reach to Teach has gotten me to this wonderful program in South Korea. Even though I was worried at time, the recruiter, Gillian, eased me by answering my question in time and with clarity. I felt comfortable every step of the process.

Anna
Female
23 years old
Yeongju, Korea
University of Birmingham

Loving Living and Teaching with EPIK in South Korea

Overall 10

Life in Korea is fantastic. It is also similar to my expectations as my recruiter, Reach to Teach gave an honest, open account of what life may be like teaching in Korea. The fact that Reach to Teach prepared you for ups and downs, culture shock and different teaching situations made settling in much easier. Throughout the recruitment process I felt that all my questions were answered and I was kep up to date on the progress of my application. Upon arrival in Korea is was lovely to be met by a smiling Reach to Teach face and have follow up emails to check everything was ok a few weeks down the line. I highly recommend teaching in Korea and using Reach to Teach to get you here.

samsam
Male
31 years old
New York
Other

Reach to Teach

Overall 7

Since Reach to Teach is a recruiter and not a Hogwon itself, it's hard to rate things like social life or facilities since those aspects have more to do with the school than with the recruiter itself. The Reach to Teach staff was incredibly helpful in the application/visa/hiring process. They secured me a decent salary considering I hadn't taught before. I found them professional and available throughout. Once in Seoul, I didn't have a lot of contact with them, but I also didn't really try to. They do hold events around town occasionally.

Lisa
Female
32 years old
Bad Friedrichshall, Germany
University of Ottawa

Unforgettable Experience

Overall 10

Gillian at Reach to Teach is 100% responsible for keeping my sanity in check over the arduous 5 1/2 month EPIK application process. She gladly (and promptly) answered all my tedious questions within 24 hours of being asked. She didn't sugarcoat the process of moving abroad and was realistic about the risks - I appreciated this the most. Even after I arrived in Korea I continued to receive emails, inquiring about my experience and if everything was satisfactory. I've recommended Reach to Teach to many people interested in teaching abroad (and also to friends who ARE teaching abroad but want a change). This has been, by far, the best year of my life and an experience that has changed me in so many ways and forced me to grow, not only as a teacher, but as a person. Thank you Reach to Teach!!

Photo of Tucker Hutchinson
Tucker
Male
31 years old
San Francisco, CA
Hamilton College

Reach to Teach Made Getting to Korea Worry-free

Overall 9

I had only been to Asia once (China) when I applied to teach in South Korea. Reach to Teach made the entire process as simple as possible. From the interview to purchasing my departure ticket (and lots of visa help in between) RTT was there for me anytime I needed help. Its hard to imagine I would have gotten to Korea in one piece without their help. They also had some great social events for teachers in Seoul that made it easier to make new friends.

About The Provider

As any ESL Teacher can tell you, finding a good teaching job abroad can be difficult. Similarly, a lot of ESL schools feel that finding a good teacher is equally difficult. This is where we at Reach To Teach come in. Our motto is matching great teachers with great schools.

There are a lot of ESL jobs available abroad, however it can be difficult to find one which matches your wants and needs. Reach To Teach is here to help. We carefully screen all our schools to ensure our teachers know as much as possible about their school and the contract they will be signing. You can feel comfortable and confident moving overseas knowing what your job will be like. Best of all, our services are 100% free!