In this travel video we discuss our experiences teaching English in South Korea at Korean public schools and Korean private schools (also known as hagwons 학원 or cram schools) for one year contracts. Samuel has had experience working in Korea for several years starting off in the Korean private school system and eventually landing a job at a Korean public school (Elementary) in his most recent year. On the other hand, Audrey is currently enjoying her first year of teaching abroad at a Korean private school.
In this video we discuss working conditions, vacation time, office hours, teaching hours, salary & pay, benefits and more. Overall, our conclusion is that we would both prefer teaching in a Korean public school (elementary, middle or high) than at a Korean hagwon (private school) for several main reasons.
Advantages of working in a Korean Public School
Some of the main advantages of working in a Korean public school include better working conditions and higher salary for those with teaching experience and a TESOL. In addition, more vacation days, planning time and a more professional working environment are quite nice. Some of the negative points include larger class sizes and less positions available in Korea.
Advantages of working in a Private School
It’s much easier to secure a job in a private school in Korea given that there are more of these types of schools looking for foreign teachers. It’s easier to select which city you’d like to live in. Also, for an inexperienced teacher, a private school is generally an easier assignment. The disadvantages include that the schools are a business first and that they don’t provide very good vacations benefits or other working conditions.
Overall, we recommend others to try teaching in Korea. We feel it’s an excellent way to save money while experiencing a new culture half way around the world. Benefits, such as having a free apartment and decent salary allows one to save over half of their pay-cheque provided they aren’t frivolous with their spending habits.