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



1 reply
  1. Casee
    Casee says:

    I have something to add.

    At hagwons, you could also be teaching adults. And because there are adults, there could be morning classes (Resulting in a possible mix of both morning and afternoon/night classes, with a break in the middle of the day). For public schools, EPIK orientation is a whole week, and class sizes could range from 10-30+ depending on the size of your school. I currently teach about 20-25 students per class.


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