Hagwon vs Public School

Hagwon vs Public School

So, you’ve decided that you want to teach English in Korea. Now you need to decide: hagwon vs public school?

We will try to help you by providing the details you need to make an informed decision.



  • Several foreigners will be working with you
  • Typical working hours are afternoons through the evening (1pm – 9pm, or something like that)
  • Ages: Elementary and Middle school
  • Curriculum: It depends on the school, but it is usually pretty structured
  • Training: You might receive short orientation when you first arrive
  • Size of classes: 10-15
  • Paid vacation: 10 days, and you might get some National Holidays
  • Salary is set according to the teacher’s experience and education
  • Round-trip Airfare
  • Health insurance will be split 50/50 with your employer
  • A studio style apartment that might be partially furnished – housing allowance provided if needed
  • Severance bonus upon completion of your contract
  • Hiring Season: throughout the year

Public Schools:

  • You will likely be the only foreigner in the whole school
  • Ages: Elementary, Middle, High school
  • Typical working hours: daytime (8:30am – 4:30pm)
  • Curriculum: Government provided. Youwill need to supplement the lessons with your own material though
  • Training: 3 day orientation provided
  • Size of classes: 30+
  • Paid vacation: 15 days, as well as National Holidays
  • Salary is entry-level (2.1 mil won/month) if you’re a 1st year teacher
  • Round-trip Airfare
  • Health insurance – split 50/50 with your employer
  • Studio style apartment, partially furnished – housing allowance provided if needed
  • Severance bonus with the completion of your contract
  • Hiring Season: February/March and August/September


For more information, find below two more in-depth articles:  

– Types of Teaching positions in South Korea

Hagwons vs Public Schools



Advantages and disadvantages of teaching abroad

Looking to move abroad soon? Living and working overseas as an English teacher will be challenging. One thing you can always count on: we will provide you with honest and upfront information so that you can make well-informed decisions.  Find below the advantages and disadvantages of teaching abroad (specifically in China and Korea):

Advantages (Pro’s):

  • East Asia is currently recognized as one of the best places to teach abroad internationally
  • Have a job set up before you leave home
  • Great Salary, Low Cost of Living… save a lot of money, pay off loans, etc!
  • Free (or discounted) housing provided with contract (utilities excluded)
  • Renewal bonus or severance pay upon completion of contract
  • Paid vacation days
  • Korea: 50% Medical insurance and Pension
  • An extensive public transportation system (Subway / Bus / Train / Flight)
  • Travel opportunities: It’s cheap and easy to visit other Asian countries!
  • An opportunity to absorb a new culture, meet new people, and continue writing a great story
  • Life is easy! A cliché, yet so true.

Additional Information: Why teach abroad


Disadvantages (Cons):

  • You may be the only foreigner at your school
  • You will experience culture shock for the first few months
  • You have to sign at least a one year contract
  • Students are cute, but they are just normal kids… you’ll want to pull out your hair at times…
  • East Asian philosophies of education are very different than they are in the Western world
  • You will get stared at. Relentlessly.
  • Pressure from parents – they want their kids to learn English!

Additional Information: Let’s be Frank



Feel free to send us an email for more detailed answers at [email protected]

Life in the countryside

Live in the countryside: Eumseong

This is a town with no Lotte Mart or E-mart, no subways or shopping mall, and definitely no Dunkin’ Donuts.  It was rare to see a new foreigner, and there wasn’t the same “bustling nightlife” as you find in bigger Korean cities. Live in the countryside was a little bit different than life in the city.



Eumseong is best known for being the birthplace of Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General.


One of the things I miss most about the countryside is the bus ride to Seoul. It was the one time where I could totally switch off and let my mind wander.


I loved how close I was to authentic Korean culture. The friends I made then are friends I will have forever! Now, I live in Seoul. I have more access to Western amenities and expat friendships.


My Korea was a lot smaller back then. I love Seoul, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the quiet town of Eumseong.


Life in the Countryside of Korea was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Whether it is the city or the country, make the best of what you have! You’ll miss it the most when it’s gone.