Study in Korea > EPIK
Learn More About ESL Teaching Jobs in Korean Public Schools!
What is the English Program in Korea? Reach To Teach is an official partner of the EPIK program (English Program in Korea).
EPIK is a program that is run by the Korean government that offers qualified ESL teachers a great opportunity to teach English in Korea. The EPIK program in Korea offers a unique experience to gain valuable ESL teaching experience in public schools across Korea.
EPIK stands for English Program in Korea, a program sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Education. The EPIK Program was established in 1995 with the mandate to improve the English speaking abilities of students and teachers in Korea and to develop cultural exchanges. Over 600 teachers are placed in the EPIK program each year. Reach To Teach works with the Korean Ministry of Education to place English Language Instructors (ELIs) in Korean public schools throughout the country.
Teaching Locations at Public Schools in Korea
The EPIK program has divided the available locations according to the different Provincial Offices of Education (POEs). There are a number of POEs in Korea. EPIK teachers can work in almost any province of Korea, but location preference is granted on a first come-first served basis. Once your application documents are received EPIK officials will decide which POE you will work for, which will then determine which specific school you will be placed at.
As a teacher you will work at primary and secondary schools within a designated POE, but you may also be asked to work at other educational facilities within the EPIK program. If you have a specific location preference within the EPIK program, it is important that you submit your application as soon as possible.
Are you eligible to teach for the EPIK Program in Korea?
All applicants to the EPIK program must have one of the following:
1. BA Degree in Education
2. Teaching license in your home country
3. TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate of 100 hours of more (EPIK gives preference to applicants who have a 20 hour in-class teaching component)
4. 1 year of full time teaching experience with the TaLK program
*If you have a BA in any other discipline you will need to get a 100+ hour TEFL certificate (EPIK will now give preference to applicants who have a 20-hour in class teaching component).
Working hours for Public Schools in Korea
A typical working day is 8 hours, with approximately 22 hours/week of actual teaching time. Overtime pay is available if teachers are asked to work additional hours. You will only work Monday to Friday and will have plenty of time to enjoy your weekends!
The benefits of working for the EPIK Program in Korea
All EPIK teachers will be entitled to the following benefits:
- Free housing provided by the EPIK Program (utilities not included)
- Entrance Allowance of 1.3 mil won to purchase a one-way ticket
- Exit Allowance of 1.3 mil won or a renewal Bonus of 2.0 mil won for resigning
- 10 days of ESL training in Seoul
- Settlement allowance of 300,000 won (This is a “signing bonus” which you receive when you arrive in Korea. This will help you settle in and buy various things you will want as you move into your new apartment!)
- Paid vacation for 18 working days plus 13-15 National Holidays
- Medical insurance and pension, 50% of which is covered by the EPIK Program
- Higher salaries for teachers who choose to work in more rural locations
EPIK Program – What is an ELI?
An ELI is an English Language Instructor hired by the Korean Ministry of Education. As an ELI, you will work together with your Korean co-teachers in the classroom. ELIs conduct English language classes for primary and secondary public school students in the Korean public school system. The EPIK program is part of the Korean government’s initiative to promote and strengthen English language education.
You may also find that ELI’s are often referred to as GETs – Guest English Teachers
The responsibilities of Teaching English at Public Schools in Korea
All English teachers with jobs in Korean Public Schools work under the guidance of a supervisor appointed by a specific Provincial Office of Education (POE). Teachers are responsible for conducting English classes in cooperation with Korean teachers. As an ELI you will assist with the development of teaching materials, and other activities related to learning English.
EPIK Program Training
All EPIK program English Language Instructors (ELIs) will attend a mandatory 10 day professional training session. The training is conducted by the Center for In-service Education at the Korean National University of Education. The orientation period is not included in the term of employment and as such is unpaid. Teachers will learn about the Korean Public School system, their role as English teachers, living in Korea, among other useful topics. Attendance at orientation is a required condition of employment. Training week is also a great time to meet new people!