Teach English in Korea with EPIK

EPIK is a program affiliated with the Korean Ministry of Education aimed at improving the English-speaking abilities of Korean students and teachers, developing cultural exchange between Korea and abroad, and introducing new teaching methods into the Korean education system. EPIK invites responsible, enthusiastic native English speakers with a motivation to share their knowledge and language with Korean students and teachers to Korean public schools throughout the country.

What EPIK Teachers Do:

  • Assist Korean teachers with their English classes, and/or jointly conduct English classes with Korean teachers, and/or extracurricular activities or English camps.
  • Conduct English conversation classes for Korean students and teachers.
  • Prepare teaching materials for English language education.
  • Assist in developing teaching materials for English language education.
  • Assist with activities related to English language education and other extracurricular activities.
  • Demonstrate a good command of the English language, both written and spoken.

The application deadline for the fall term is in February, and spring term is in August. Learn more here: https://www.epik.go.kr/index.do

Be sure to read my interview with former EPIK teacher Maria.


Interview with English Teacher in Korea

Maria J - Korea 4Maria has a BA in History from Florida Atlantic University, an MA in Asian Studies from Florida International University, and she is currently preparing for a move to Spain for a teaching internship, where she’ll also be working on her Spanish and preparing to apply to PhD programs in Iberian Studies. Her academic interests are in history, especially Middle Eastern and Spanish history, and in literature. Personal interests include: eating; reading; Netflix; museums, and swimming. She can be contacted by email

Maria J - Korea 3

Tell us a little bit about EPIK.

E(nglish) P(rogram) I(n) K(orea) is a government affiliated program that hires recent grads, and professionals, to teach in South Korea (except for Geonggi Province – see GEPIK for that). EPIK really just does the recruiting for the various provincial offices, so you would be working for your given province, not EPIK. For example, I work for SMOE (Seoul Metropolitian Office of Education).

Why did you decide to go to Korea to teach English?

I decided to go to Korea to get some teaching experience as well as to do something productive while I figured out the next step in my academic career.

What do you do on the average day?

On an average day I go to work and teach, I have the same school lunch that all my students have (most of the time it’s good), and then I leave work at 4:40. After work I may run some errands, or just go home, or meet up with some friends. On weekends I’m a little more social and try to go out for dinner or lunch with some friends, or maybe go to the park.

Maria J - Korea 7

What’s it like living in Seoul?

Living in Seoul is really like living in any other major city, but everything is just in Korean. I live in the Gangnam neighborhood – yes, that Gangnam – and it’s constantly busy. It’s almost like I live in Times Square. The subway is great and there is wifi almost everywhere. Living in Seoul is really comfortable and convenient for the most part and the vast majority of people I’ve met are very nice. Of course, experiences differ from neighborhood to neighborhood – for example many shops and restaurants in Gangnam have at least one person with passing to good English skills, this may not be true for other neighborhoods.

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Interview with Former English Teacher in Thailand

DMCS_2014-15_School PicJulie Leavitt is an educator for gifted children who recently relocated from Miami to Los Angeles.  She has her M.S. in International and Intercultural Education and loves to learn. Julie discovered her passion for education while she was teaching abroad in Bangkok, Thailand. She worked for two years as a pre-Kindergarten teacher, one year as a Grade 3 teacher and one year as a Grade 2 teacher at two different international schools in Bangkok. The schools are privately owned international schools following the State of California curriculum standards, are conducted completely in English and enroll children from all over the world. While Julie was teaching there, the majority of her students hailed from different countries in Asia.

What made you decide to go to Thailand to teach English?

Thailand really chose me! I completed a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) program and wanted to travel and teach abroad. I posted my resume on a few different websites waiting for a response from any place and the international school in Bangkok was the first to contact me with an offer for teaching pre-Kindergarten. I was looking for the ultimate adventure so I jumped at the chance.

What are the general qualifications for teaching in Thailand?

To teach at an international school in Thailand, you must have your Bachelor’s degree or higher with a TEFL or TESOL certificate, plus a teaching certification from your home country/state. To teach English at a language school, you must have the TEFL or TESOL certification.

Julie 2

Phra Nakon Si Ayuttaya (ancient capital of Thailand)

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