English Program in Korea Reviews

Updated June 26, 2015
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Pros
  • Money is good for the cost of living in Korea, a good place to be able to save up (in 6 reviews)

  • Good pay for the required teaching hours (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • There's definitely a language barrier (in 5 reviews)

  • VERY LIMITED opportunities for advancement (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

60 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Great way to immerse yourself in a different culture

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Guest English Teacher
    Current Employee - Guest English Teacher

    I have been working at English Program in Korea full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Working for the government and great benefits (Free housing and airfare, health insurance, no problems with getting paid on-time)
    Plenty of vacation time
    Comfortable lifestyle and ability to save lots of money
    Co-teacher and school can greatly affect your opinion of the job

    Cons

    You will probably be the only non-Korean working at the school. Only able to take vacation time during school vacations. You do not get to pick your location and will be randomly placed in Korea.


  2. Native English Teacher

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at English Program in Korea full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Getting to experience a different culture, having the opportunity to meet many people at the school.

    Cons

    I have to say this used to be a very good job 5 or 6 years ago. However, the pay keeps getting lower when you adjust for inflation. Also many school have reduced the amount of vacation time from what it used to be. There are also more foreigners in Korea so Native English teachers are much less special than in the past.

    Advice to Management

    To only have the Native English Teachers used to teach the advanced or intermediate level students. The lower level students don't have the motivation to learn English and probably won't even need it in their future jobs. Also I would test the students speaking in a way similar to TOEIC.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Great beginning to an ESL teaching career, or to just explore the field.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Guest English Teacher
    Former Employee - Guest English Teacher

    I worked at English Program in Korea full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great compensation and benefits at the time of employment, although those have drastically decreased. If you are placed with a good school and have a nice co-teacher, the experience can be awesome.

    Cons

    If you have a bad relationship with your school or co-teacher, it can be a VERY long year.

    Advice to Management

    Although the head district coordinators tried to create a good system, the system is one that cannot be changed because it's dictated by policy. Be more upfront with teachers about the opportunity and expectations, and go back to better vacation benefits.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Great way to live abroad

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher

    I worked at English Program in Korea full-time

    Pros

    Teaching is rewarding and the compensation is good.

    Cons

    You'll make more stateside with a degree.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Good opportunity, no support

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at English Program in Korea

    Pros

    Get to live abroad, experience a new culture, good orientation in beginning as far as culture goes.

    Cons

    After orientation, you are on your own, preparing you for teaching could be better.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Great experience.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at English Program in Korea

    Pros

    Easy and fun job. Plenty of free time to study the language or do as you please. Having a coteacher is great.

    Cons

    No choice over location. Lots of time spent "desk warming" where you must stay at your desk even though there is no work to be done.


  8. Overall, good experience

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at English Program in Korea

    Pros

    Learned a lot, loved the kids, co-teachers were nice

    Cons

    Strong hierarchy with regards to age


  9. Helpful (1)

    A good place to work for the unemployed English Majors.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at English Program in Korea

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Excellent savings potential for just graduating.
    School provided lots of cultural educational opportunities.
    Hours are very reasonable.
    Lots of free time for continuing education.

    Cons

    No material was provided to teach from.
    Translating teachers rarely present.
     Little to no feedback directly provided for improvement.
    No real career advancement opportunity.

    Advice to Management

    Create standardized books for different English levels.


  10. It was good

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at English Program in Korea full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    - Regular salary
    - good pension
    -good healthcare
    -good for new teachers
    -get started with an orientation day and get to meet teachers from all over the country

    Cons

    - very little resources
    - before you start you won't know where you will get assigned to
    - it can be difficult to deal with local management


  11. If you can get in, do!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher in Seoul (South Korea)
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher in Seoul (South Korea)

    I worked at English Program in Korea full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Having worked in Seoul with EPIK for two years, I can definitely say that myself and most of my friends are in overwhelming support of the program. From my own experiences and those that I have heard, it is very likely that you will be treated much better and working much less than most hagwon jobs, for a comparable salary. I made some great friends through the program who I got together with often and continue to communicate with now that we're apart.

    My co-workers and students were so welcoming and kind, and I enjoyed every one of my 22 weekly teaching hours. My housing was very generous (I got lucky) but even those who had more modest apartments were satisfied.

    The paid time off, on top of all Korean holidays, is amazing, and I had the opportunity to travel to eight different countries (and around Korea!) After two years, I came home with more than $10,000 USD in my bank account, and I was not living lean during my stay.

    Cons

    Of course, you need to weigh the costs of moving so far from home. I had friends who lost family members during the course of the year, and others who needed to leave early due to illness. In those cases, you will of course need to pay for your own ticket home, although it's nice that they allow you time off in case of family tragedy.

    It can also be very difficult to live and work in a country where very few citizens will be able to speak to you fluently (and where you will likely not be able to communicate well for a while.) I found the office hours to be tiring for this reason, at times.

    I know the program is really tightening its belt as demand is not as great as it once was. They might even eliminate it altogether before too long. However, if they are still recruiting teachers, it is definitely worth a shot!



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