Location
  • South Korea
Length
52+ weeks
Classroom Audience
Early Childhood Pre-School Middle School High School

Program Details

Qualifications
  • Bachelor's Degree in any field of study
  • Citizen of one of the following countries: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa
Classroom Audience
Early Childhood Pre-School Middle School High School
Housing
Apartment
Age Min.
21
Age Max
39

Pricing

Salary / Benefits
$1600 to $1750 monthly salary
Flight reimbursement
Contract completion bonus equivalent to one month's salary
Free medical insurance
Free furnished studio apartment
10-18 days of paid leave
Starting Price
2100
Price Details
** Start 2023 the right way! Get $300 USD off your program fee when you enrol before the end of January!**

We have 2 program options:

- Orientation, support & placement at either private or public schools including online TESOL course: $2100
- Orientation, support & placement at private schools with in-class TESOL course conducted in South Korea: $2350
What's Included
Accommodation Airfare Airport Transfers
What's Included (Extra)

We also offer an in-class TESOL/TEFL for South Korea which includes supervised teaching practicum in South Korea prior to graduating and starting work.

What's Not Included
Transportation Travel Insurance Visa
Jan 23, 2023
Nov 20, 2022
67 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Teaching in South Korea unlocks the ULTIMATE goal: make good money while you travel the world and experience new cultures. Earn an incredible basic salary, PLUS get your flights reimbursed, a bonus salary upon contract completion, paid vacation, live rent-free in a fully furnished apartment and be fully covered for health insurance. Add a fully fledged in-country cultural orientation, 24/7 in-country support, full pre-departure support, alumni perks, community inclusion, ESL certifications and it’s simply a no-brainer!

We offer three options of programs for Korea: the hands-on, interactive Online TEFL, the only fully in-class TESOL on the ground in Korea and an option for those who have an accredited certificate already. The TravelBud team have also all taught English overseas before, so you'll be speaking to someone in the know who can answer all your questions both serious and simple. You can’t go wrong when you take a leap of faith into the land of modernity meets ancient.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Great pay of $1600 to $1750 (USD) per month + contract completion bonus pay.
  • Free furnished accommodation.
  • Flights to South Korea reimbursed.
  • Choice between public and private school placement. 10-18 days paid vacation and health insurance included.
  • In-depth cultural orientation to ease you into life in Korea, which includes lectures on Korean culture and society, history, politics, geography and 7 hours of Korean language classes.

Current Teaching Jobs

Program Reviews

4.38 Rating
based on 26 reviews
  • 5 rating 50%
  • 4 rating 46.15%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 3.85%
  • Benefits 4.4
  • Support 4.65
  • Fun 4.1
  • Facilities 4.05
  • Safety 4.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 26 reviews
Default avatar
Zoyaa
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Very good!

The program was very fun and exciting to complete. It was a new step in my life, and I was very nervous throughout the whole process and before arriving in Korea, but the placement team made sure the transition was seamless and worry free, and I understood everything I had to do before I moved abroad. Every instruction and email that I was given was always clear and simple. It’s definitely something I’d recommend to other future teachers, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that you won’t regret!

62 people found this review helpful.
Response from TravelBud

Dear Zoyaa, thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a positive review and feedback. We are incredibly excited to hear that the program was fun and exciting to complete. Nerves are such a big part of the process, especially in the weeks leading up to your departure, I am so pleased to hear the placement team made the transition a smooth one and helped ease those nerves a bit.
I appreciate your recommendation tremendously and agree wholeheartedly with you - teaching English abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and such an incredibly fulfilling experience.
Remember, we’re always here for you if you’d ever like to move on to a new destination and adventure, Zoyaa.
Thank you again for the lovely review, Zoyaa.
Saskia Smuts

Default avatar
Emma
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

TravelBud

TravelBud was super helpful in helping me become an English teacher in South Korea and made the transition moving to a different country very easy and smooth! Moving to a different country and learning a completely new culture can be very difficult but TravelBud helped me find a very comfortable job and put me in contact with all the right people so when I arrived here my transition has been very smooth and really enjoyable! Would definitely recommend for anyone thinking of teaching English abroad for their first time.

Pros
  • Experiencing a new culture
  • Meeting lots of new people
  • Developing your own skills
Cons
  • Sometime hard to meet people out of the school setting
  • Language barrier can make some things a little hard
  • Perhaps might have been good to know more about applying for a registration card just before/when i just arrived
58 people found this review helpful.
Response from TravelBud

Emma, we are incredibly glad to hear you had such a good experience on your road to becoming an English teacher in South Korea. We know how incredibly tough it can be to move to a foreign country where the culture is so different from what you are used to. I’m happy that the team was able to make that transition smooth and easier than it would have been had you done it on your own. Thank you for your positive and lovely review, Emma, and for recommending us to those teachers out there wanting to make a similar transition to the one you have made.
We will most certainly work on the suggestions you’ve made - an Alian Registration Guideline is at the top of our list and we are working on ways that will allow English teachers to meet up more regularly and connect with ease.
Please don’t forget that we are always here for you if you need anything - you’re always more than welcome to reach out and we’ll be more than happy to help.
Stay well and thank you again,
Saskia Smuts

Default avatar
LaShonda
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The Experience

So much I could really say here but overall, I would say TAKE IN the experience. Being in my 30s, I've found that there's something for everyone to do here in South Korea. The safety is top notch and the Koreans are pretty patient when it comes to the beginner Korean speaking person, such as myself, to be able to properly translate the needs of wants of daily life. It has been a humbling experience on so many levels, from having to depend on public transportation when prior to that I was on my own terms, to learning new ways, the Korean ways of doing things. A major piece of advice that I would give to any future travelers in the problem is be sure you know what is expected of you within your contract and to be open-minded at the same time. Know that the decisions you make from the beginning of the process to your end, will and should be decisions that are BEST for you. It started off pretty rough for me simply because being a veteran educator from the States, it was a bit of challenge to truly understand what a hagwon's expectation was for staff. I did not always agree with their procedures but at the same time, I had to remind myself that I was not here to compare but to embrace the contrast. Once I understood that, I begin to just go with the flow. Again, not being easy as a teacher with experience but it was the weekends and holidays off that really made it all worth where it didn't have to be ALL about work, but some time for fun as well. I do recommend that one knows their contract in and out and really understand what you are signing up for and not just because it sounds good and cute. Do it for the experience, yes, but also do it knowing your true goals and be open-minded because it will get difficult at times. Do it with a friend if you can! But whatever you do, do it because it is in your heart to do! The world is so big. Why not start with exploring outside the 4 walls you are in now?! ENJOY and never be afraid to do what's BEST!

Pros
  • New environment/scenery
  • Networking and making connections from all walks of life
  • Program team support along the way
Cons
  • Organization/communication of hagwons at times
  • The desire from certain program staff to rush travelers into the process
61 people found this review helpful.
Response from TravelBud

Hey LaShonda!

Thank you so very much for sharing your story and most importantly, your advice to other teachers from your profound experience abroad. I think I speak for the whole team at TravelBud when I say that we were incredibly moved and inspired by your wisdom, your passion and your adaptability. I was particularly struck by your your story of adapting to new ways of life in Korea and how it can feel strange and difficult at first, but that being open minded makes all the difference. I remember in my own experience when I got back, I felt I had done, seen, grown so much but there's always more to take in! "The world is so big"- you're so right. Isn't it strange how the more you travel the bigger the world gets, instead of smaller? Thank you for sharing your feedback and experience (and your stunning photos!) and for reminding us why we love the world of teach abroad that we work in! We are so proud of you and truly pleased that you took this giant leap of faith with us. Keep traveling and keep making positive change around the world!

Warmest Regards,
Grace & the TravelBud Team

Default avatar
Ade
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Very Dependable

I had no success with other different agencies but Travel Bud came through and found placement in South Korea. Though I didn’t have a traditional “western” name they saw that I wanted to explore a different culture than my own and help me.Though I am not in Seoul I am in an area that is still breathtaking. It was a long process but I was able to finally be in a Hogwon. If you wish to go South Korea or anywhere else I would recommend Travel Bud as their service as has been spectacular. It is very dependable

65 people found this review helpful.
Response from TravelBud

Hi Adetokunbo,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and experience thus far. We are so thrilled to hear that you are enjoying your time in Wonju as oftentimes smaller cities are underrated. Keep embracing your experience as every experience for every teacher is so personal. With regards to coming through for you, is that not why you have signed up with us? - Absolutely! We pride ourselves in seeing the teacher, not just a name of a person, but the person behind the name and push the envelope to try and find a suitable placement whilst still considering the many factors and unique landscape of how the industry operates in each of our program countries. This is only the beginning for you and your life as an ESL Teacher! We are elated to be with you for the ride.

Warm Regards,
Kim Le Roux

Default avatar
Tia
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Travel Bud - Kim Le Roux

Straight out of university I’m here in South Korea doing something that has nothing to do with my degree or previous work.
Travel Bud has really been a great support and made the “not knowing where to start or what to do” thoughts so much more easier.
I recently had a stumble in my journey, but want to really express my gratitude to Kim, she sat on a long call with me and really listened to my concerns and helped me really see the options or ways to lessen the burden I was feeling at the time. Kim, having experience teaching abroad, gave me guidance I needed rather than wanted to hear which has cleared up a lot of my thoughts.
Very appreciative for Travel Bud and their 24/7-like support, extremely grateful for Kim and our chats!

Pros
  • Culture experience
  • Independency
73 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Gemma
1/5
No, I don't recommend this program

Nightmare Experience - Avoid!

It's taken 5 months since escaping the South Korea placement for me to be able to write this review. I'd rather forget about this awful experience but I feel I owe it to anyone considering this option.

Your first call with Travel Bud will be great with them promising to honour your preferences and to support you through your whole experience. I was quite nervous about working at a Hagwon considering all the horror stories you see online (which are all 100% valid) and Travel Bud reassured me that I would be supported. I'd taught for 7 years at this point and had previously lived in China, so naively I assumed I would be fine on this 'programme' and I was optimistic.

After you've paid your first deposit to Travel Bud, you'll be passed onto another company which they paint as their close partner but I found out that there are a number of companies including Travel Bud who pass on their clients to this other company. The other company seems to be completely overwhelmed and you are treated as such. In total, on this 'Travel Bud programme' you'll work with 4 different companies being passed on and passed on with seemingly no communication between them.

I was told to keep communication with Travel Bud because the only way problems arise is if you don't keep open communication. One of the companies that you are passed onto after the 2nd company is completely hostile and they are the ones responsible for where you're actually placed, your contract, and your preferences. Turned out the preferences couldn't be honoured at all. I felt stuck at this point because I'd already invested money into the programme and had quit my job, so I continued and hoped things would get better.

Travel Bud had assured me it would be simple to have my fiancé and I placed together in the same school and apartment. In reality, we were placed a 20 minute subway ride away in different schools and apartments with conflicting schedules. We agreed to this in the end under pressure and for the reasons I mentioned above. However, it got worse and my school told me they'd be moving me to a different campus and division once my quarantine was over, a 50 minute bus ride away from my fiancé. I got in contact with Travel Bud and the other companies but Travel Bud didn't reply. I had no choice in the matter and was sent away. I never received my quarantine food box from the government with essentials, I informed Travel Bud, again nothing. At the school, they told me to sign a new contract now that I was in Korea. Massive red flag, I'd already agreed and signed a contract prior to leaving the UK. Again I contacted Travel Bud, and they didn't step in. I was made to sign the new contract.

Travel Bud claims they have a trusted network of schools but they are not the company that places the clients. My school was awful, there was bullying, emotional abuse, gaslighting, and all the teachers were under chronic stress. The previous teacher had done a midnight run after her health became so bad she kept fainting in the classroom. One had to be put on an IV drip because of the stress. My fiancé was placed in a school that hadn't had a foreign teacher in 2 years. My friend was placed in a school which had been reported by two previous teachers and she was still sent there.

I soon realised that I was on my own and Travel Bud appeared to have no say in what happens to their clients. Even now and then I'd get a random message from Travel Bud saying things like you're quiet, must be living your best life! which just rubbed salt in the wound. In fact, I had never been so unwell in my life.

Thankfully, the school gave teachers 5 days off for winter holidays so I was able to organise an escape without alerting anyone. I returned to the UK with terrible physical and mental health. I went out to Korea a confident and excited young person and came back with PTSD, involuntary gagging and sickness, disordered eating, chronic abdominal pain, panic attacks, tinnitus, and a foot injury. Only now after 5 months back home am I able to write about my awful experience. I stayed for the 5 months because the children I taught had such chronically stressful lives at the age of 5 years old that I felt like I wanted them to have at least some respite from it all in my classroom.

I urge you to reconsider this option if you are thinking about doing so. For a time I was even afraid to write a review because of the potential backlash but I have a right to voice my horrendous experience with this company.

84 people found this review helpful.
Response from TravelBud

Hi Gemma

Our entire team has taken the time to thoroughly read through your review and to understand not only your concerns, but see how we can use this as an opportunity to address them and make improvements to our program.

As with your partner Tom, we would like to reiterate that we take this seriously and that while hundreds of teachers have had positive experiences with our program, we value feedback and do not take these negative experiences lightly.

We are incredibly saddened and deeply sorry to hear that your time in South Korea was not the experience that you had hoped it would be.

We ask respectfully that we are given the opportunity to respond to your points from our perspective, as you have been given the chance to do.

Overall, we would like to make it clear that there are certain elements of the experience that are in our control and that we are investigating, and then there are elements that simply cannot be considered the responsibility of a single organization, such as government efficacy and cultural norms pertaining to another country.

Our goal as an institution is to offer support and guidance within the realm of what we can control and to navigate the logistical elements of moving to another country, but we do feel it would be deemed unreasonable to place blame squarely at the door of TravelBud for elements of an experience that has innumerable factors across cultures and individuals.

Teaching abroad offers a unique opportunity to embrace a very different culture from one's own and openness and adaptability are qualities that make for teachers that thrive in new environments and under the pressures of moving abroad.

Having all taught abroad before, we can truly understand that the experience has challenges and it’s not all Instagrammable views - there are days when you miss your family and home and when adapting to new cultures can feel overwhelming. In most cases, however, the good outweighs the bad and the challenges. I’m sorry to hear that this was not the case in your experience teaching in South Korea.

The first point we would like to address is the idea of multiple, disconnected companies. The work that goes into each applicant for the entire journey prior to departure, upon arrival and throughout your time is extensive. As such, we have taken the various aspects of the process and divided it between ourselves and our closely aligned partners with whom we have worked for years, to ensure that those with expertise specific to a particular process are handling that specific aspect.

That being said, we are transparent about the fact that TravelBud is your main point of contact throughout your journey, regardless of what stage you are in. We ask that our applicants reach out to us first and foremost in the event of any feedback, be it positive or negative.

You mentioned that you reached out to us several times with no response, but we have the correspondence of the numerous emails between yourself and our support team. There is no correspondence that indicates that you were looking to leave and we had to hear from another teacher at your school that you had left Korea. It is very difficult to assist teachers if we do not have open and honest communication with our team to be able to best assist.

We have looked into the hostility mentioned by the staff member at one of our partner companies and I can assure you that that particular staff member has been let go. We are looking into ways to ensure that the level of communication across the board is at a standard that TravelBud is happy with.

We do need to acknowledge that while we have dealt with that particular staff member and that we do apologise for their conduct, teachers also need to understand that the Korean staff can come off very direct as a result of direct translations from Korean and cultural differences in their means of communication.

In terms of placements within the same proximity, I understand that you feel that it was not close enough. There are a number of moving parts that need to align in order to place teachers in the same school. Under normal circumstances, it can be challenging to take on couples, but we are one of the few companies willing to do so and we, unfortunately, cannot overlook the extenuating circumstances and challenges posed during the world pandemic. In light of that, we did our best to ensure you were as close as physically possible at the time.

We are working on the following plans that are as a result of your feedback:
- A clear and transparent infographic to showcase our connections with our entire team and their process responsibilities
- Management of expectations regarding what is feasible in the teaching landscape when it comes to placing couples
- Broadening the scope of understanding the means of communication across cultures

I will be reaching out to you and Tom personally via email to hopefully open a dialogue to address some of your points and see how we can navigate this process together in order to improve.

Warm Regards,
Tristan Owen
CEO

Default avatar
Jayla
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Rise South Korea Review

Travel Bud was very helpful but as of now I’m a bit underwhelmed with the Daejeon experience. However, I love how safe it is and my job is pretty stable.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Ask more questions! Make sure you know what is expected!
82 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Matshadi
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Travel to South Korea

I applied with Travelbud to go and teach English as a foreign language in South Korea right as the pandemic started at the end of 2019. So I've stayed with them and they with me literally through thick and thin! The team understood my frustrations and continued to work to find employment for me. At no point did anyone make me feel or believe I should give up or my chances of getting employment were diminishing. They continuously encouraged me to keep trying.

Kim Le Roux understood me from the beginning! When it comes to finances to me, every cent, EVERY penny COUNTS! Especially during the ups and downs of covid-19 and the financial repercussions thereof. So she's a good listener and empathetic. She made feel like she was going to help me reach my goal but without undermining my financial concerns and stayed mindful of them! I'm forever appreciative of that!

She also made herself available as much as possible especially when I was about to leave for South Korea in February of 2022. And in my first week here in South Korea in quarantine. Thank you Kim, from the bottom of my heart!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take everything in your stride. Very little is under your control so take it one step and one day at a time. It's a new country, new environment with it's own culture, and laws. It will be jarring from time to time, especially because of covid-19. But just consider those kinds of things and take it one step and one day at a time. You'll be fine!
84 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Hi Leo! Thanks for your question! In general, we let all of our teachers know that if you have any tattoos or piercings, they will need to be covered while you're in the classroom. We've had many teachers come through over the years with all sorts of tattoo placements! So long as you're able to cover them while teaching, you're good to go :) - Brooke @ TravelBud

You sure can! Contracts are for 12 months, but it's not difficult to renew if you want to. By completing a 12 month contract you'll usually be paid a completion bonus also, so that's always great news! If you do your placement through TravelBud, you'll also get free re-placement at any of our other qualifying Asian programs, meaning you only pay once for the service and can continue your placement...

Hi Julie! For teaching in South Korea, a bachelor's degree is imperative, you won't be able to get a work permit without one. Check out our program in Myanmar as an alternative - it's a great immersive cultural experience where you can make a wonderful impact in the lives of locals and it will give you some ESL teaching experience which could count towards better teach abroad opportunities in...

Hi Nina, We are so sorry we missed your question and just wanted to let you know that you can definitely apply for one of our six 2020 intakes in South Korea. You'll just need to ensure that you have your physical bachelor's degree from your university in hand by the time you travel to Korea, which our team will walk you through to make sure you select a start date which coincides perfectly with...