I spent two years (fall 2012-fall 2014) teaching English in South Korea. I could make an entire book about it but am going to keep it short & sweet. Contact me if you have questions.


  • Must be from a Native English speaking country such as: U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand.
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Pass a background check & drug test
  • Flexible and “go with the flow” work ethic

Here are some FAQ’s that I have received over the  years from friends, family, and those who have interest in teaching abroad:

  • What’s the difference between teaching at a private or a public school?
    • I spent both years working at a private school. Students will go to the standard public school during the day and then off to their private lessons in the evening. This could be tae-kwon-do, computer classes, English lessons, piano classes, or basically anything that could advance them academically. The pressure to do well in school is very high. Some students would get home as late as midnight (depending on age). I was their designated English teacher for their private lessons. I had small class sizes and the lessons would last 25-45 minutes. At the three schools I was at during this time I had about ZERO prep and never brought work home with me.
    • I also taught kindergarten for the first year and that was for kiddos ages 4-7 who would only go to school during the mornings.
  • Are there certain degrees you need in order to be qualified?
    • No, you just need a Bachelor’s degree. If you have a certification to teach you will have more options and should apply for an international school.
  • What agency did you go through?
    • I went through Adventure Teaching. They hooked me up with interviews, my visa, my entire to-do list pre-flight, and they were great about staying in touch on a weekly basis throughout the entire process. 
    • I also recommend EPIK or Footprints as I had many expat friends who used those recruiters.
  • Did you know any of the language prior to going to Korea?
    • Not at all. I tried to remember “hello” & “thank you” before I got there but I failed. However, within my first week of living there I could read the language because it is actually SO EASY. I then picked up bits and pieces while living there. You can get by without learning it, but don’t be that person. Just try! Koreans love when the westerners put in that effort.
  • Why did you choose that country to teach in?
    • I was debating between Korea & Japan. I applied to teach in Japan but didn’t get in. It’s a bit more competitive. I chose Korea because I knew the salary was decent and I needed to pay off student loans. I couldn’t just travel abroad and not make $$. Knowing nothing of the culture and never having been to Asia, I just did it because I felt like it.
  • When did you apply and what made you apply?
    • I applied around December 2011 knowing that I wouldn’t be able to go before August 2012. If you choose to teach at a private school you can apply any time of the year and only need a month or two notice. If you apply for a public school the best hiring months are August & February.
  • Do you have any tips, suggestions, or things that you wish you would have done differently?
    • I wish I had worked at a public school. You get earlier hours and more vacation time. However, I was really lucky with the schools I worked at. Teaching at a hagwon (private school) can be a bigger risk.
    • I wish I would have budgeted more because I made a lot of money and I spent a lot of money. But I have no regrets and was able to do so much in those two years.
  • Is it lonely?
    • I lived in the 7th largest city in Korea which still has over 1 million people. I had a lot of expats friends and there were always events going on. I also played ultimate frisbee and my teammates became my “Korean family.” There was no time to be lonely because so much was always going on.
  • What is the contract, housing, and salary like?
    • Contracts are usually a year and you are paid on a monthly basis; I made about the equivalent of $2,000 USD.
    • Housing is always free.
    • Some schools give you a pension.
    • You get a year end bonus that is the sum of your monthly salary.
    • You will have health insurance and the healthcare is super cheap.
    • Schools pay for your round trip flight.
    • Your visa will be taken care of by the school.
  • How did you get TEFL certified and is it required?
    • I took a 120 hour class online through Adventure Teaching. It is not required to have the certification if you are working at a private school. However, it is getting more competitive and it is required for public schools. I also just think it’s good to have so that you know a bit about what you are getting yourself into.

Overall, I absolutely LOVED teaching in Korea.

There were definitely hard times: for example, when I got rejected to stay another year at my first school, when I was lied to about having health insurance, when my boss hit on me, when I got paid late every single time during my second year, when i didn’t want to eat raw octopus at a teacher dinner and was called insulting, and when I would go home crying because I felt so bad for some of the kids.

However, I really was treated well, worked at good schools the whole time, DID get paid back for my health care, DID call out my boss who got fired, DID get paid every single penny i earned, had amazing co-teachers who always helped me out, sang karaoke until the morning with those same co-teachers, negotiated my salaries and benefits, made great expat and Korean friends, and lived in an amazing city.

I forced myself not to stay a third year only because life was too easy and I knew it was time to move on after two years.

A letter from a student on my last day of teaching

**I would love to hear your opinion if you have taught abroad or answer any questions if you are interested.

To see pictures of when I was teaching go to my page called Korean kiddos are cute.

**Further details about teaching and living in Korea

**Teaching tips for new teachers

Korean kiddos are cute

A little summary of what was happening. Selfies, yes….Teaching, maybe.

**Photos may be horribly blurry because who knows what kid was taking the pic… Still good memories.
Teaching the good teach
Kindy twinsies
Halloween 2012 with Joey teacher
Christmas decorating
One of the kindy classes
Need this hoody
Cuteness forever
Just look cute for a minute please
Selfies forever
Hi, I’m cute
Leave me in peace
Can we be weird please?
Hi, I’m super super cute
Hello? My Jesus
To pick or not?
Birthday card
Selfie #126
More selfies
USA vs Korea
Halloween 2013
Last class of 2014
Do you wanna take a selfie?
More selfie-ing
Last day of teaching in Korea 2014
Let’s be cute
My babies
Why are you taking my pic?
Hello, we know we are adorable
Just getting my hair done
Same same
Making maps
Yes, we are still cute
Hey, let’s take a selfie
Angry face


I missed two American Thanksgivings in a row and was a bit mopey.


But, no time to be sad. I have this amazing life abroad and get to hang out with super cute kids. I made them do a little project on what they were all thankful for.

Here’s a bit about what it looked like:


  1. I’m thankful for my family isn’t sick leave.
  2. I’m thankful for eating many foods. Because some countrys can’t eat many foods or can’t eat food. 
  3. My country have peace. (no war)
  4. I can study in good place. because some people can’t study or studying in bad places. 
  5. I can leave (live) in Korea.
  6. I meet good parents. than I can go
  7. Parents bring me and two sisters because many familys are busy and don’t go trip not much. 
  8. I can communicate with god. because some people can’t communicate with god, but I can. 
  9. I’m not bad or rude child, because some children are very rude or actions is bad.
  10. I can study with Roran (Lauren) teacher!!

The above may not be PERFECT English, but still is very cute. 

First week of teaching in Korea


  • On the first day of school I was about five minutes early. My co-teacher asked why I was there so early and just instructed me to sit and relax.
  • I work 11-6:30 Mon-Fri with lunch breaks.
  • I teach about a 11 classes a day. Kindy (ages 5-7) in the mornings and elementary (ages 9-12) in the afternoons. I love the variety. The little kids are adorable and I really like teaching the older kids because they know English fairly well.
  • I have two other co-workers from the states.
  • Lunch is provided at the school every day. So far I have tried squid, fish, seaweed, and something really spicy that makes my eyes water. Oh, and of course, lots of kimchi.
  • The kids are always screaming hello at me and jumping all over me. They won’t stop staring at me and talk about my big alien eyes.
  • When being introduced to my classes the kids guessed where I was from. Some of the best answers were Italy, France, Mexico, and China.
  • Everyone keeps asking if I have a boyfriend or am married.
  • Don’t write your name in red! At least I only wrote my own name so didn’t curse anyone else.
  • Heads up seven up and hangman are great ways to pass a few minutes of free time in class.
  • The little kids love ABC competitions and screaming.
  • Every elementary student has a smart phone. They use it for translating and telling me when class is over.
  • For our “culture” project this week the kids are making me Valentine’s Day cards.
  • Every kid has a “Konglish” shirt. Everything is spelled incorrectly.
  • All of the kids have “English” names. Some of the boys are named Bliss, Mighty, Chrissy, Joy, Beryl, Mirror, and DRAGON.
Study study study
Worst lesson EVER. I refused to teach this chapter
One student’s pencil case….
Let’s talk about cow farts

It was the best first week I could ask for. Work is a lot of fun.

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