Working, Living & Eating in Korea


**Note: this will be a post that probably will *always* be “in progress” as I’ll try to add many resources to this

The Essentials in Making a Life in South Korea

Korea is a very dynamic place.  Millions there are working harder than any other country in the world to become #1.  However, for an expatriate who would like to live in the country who doesn’t speak the native language, it may be difficult to get around.  At least, it will be somewhat time consuming for one to figure out the best methods in achieving all that you need to live in this incredible country.  So, we’re providing a resource here to help you with the basics in starting life in Korea.

Working:

Most expats who live in this country make their living teaching English as a second language. The industry is huge and has consistently been a priority for Koreans to advance their language skills to leverage more beyond their borders. This country takes education very seriously and will do whatever it takes in order to be the best.  As a result, many people with as little as a bachelors degree from a native speaking English country can come and teach the many children and adults in South Korea and make a healthy living.

Average Salaries:  Currently (2012), teachers are paid between 1.5 and 2.5 million won a month plus housing, airfare and a month’s severance pay for teaching on average 30 hours a week which would also include spending a few hours prepping as well.  The variance in pay can be much higher though if you do any of the following:

  • work overtime (many special “extra sessions” are marketed to parents twice a year or otherwise)
  • teach private lessons (although sometimes illegal, permission can be granted from sponsoring companies)
  • obtain an “elite job” which may cater to a more wealthy population or a more specialized result like getting their students into Ivy League schools

Websites to look for work:

There are many that are out there, but the following are the more popular ones where you’ll see updated jobs/postings.

Living:

Cell Phones:

Expat Forums:

Eating:

If you don’t like spicy, heavy concentrations of vegetables or plain rice, you’re going to have to spend more money trying to live on a western diet because in general, western foods are expensive. It’s obvious given that it has to be imported, but also, Koreans are happy with their own cuisine which is becoming more popular throughout the world given it’s health benefits. However, you can definitely find more than just Korean food in the bigger cities and also in the smaller ones as well, if you look hard enough.