Teaching English in Korea at Lotte

Lotte Begins to Muscle its Way into Teaching English in Korea

English teachers in Korea know the Lotte brand fairly well, due to the conglomerate’s reach into burgers and amusement parks. Now, one particular Lotte Department Store has added a ‘specialized academy’ facility to the shopping environment and has become active in attracting parents with young children. Starting this month, Lotte has opened up an English kindergarten in a department store for the first time in the domestic distribution industry. Lotte Department Store opened its first branch of ‘Creverse Kids’, an English kindergarten brand operated by ‘Cheongdahm Learning’, an English education company, on the 4th floor of Lotte Mall World.

In the past, there have been many kids cafe-type stores in department stores, but it is unusual to see such a specialized educational facility where native English teachers partake in classes. In this space, English, math, and coding education are being conducted with classes being launched from March 12th, introducing a whole new dimension to teaching English in Korea.

Students who want to take classes can attend for 2-3 hours after making a reservation by phone.

The ‘Junior Golf Academy’, which opened in the Jamsil branch of Lotte Department Store, is also gaining popularity. In September of last year, the Jamsil location set up a one-stop golf hall where you can shop for golf-related products and receive golf lessons.

Teaching Golf to Kids in Korea

Junior golf classes at Lotte

This is a space where children aged 7 to 13 can learn golf, and golf lessons are held twice a week according to a total of 8 themes, including putting, swinging, and torso rotation. There is also an adult golf lesson course in this space, however, many young students are getting involved where more than 30% of the total students are those under the age of 10.

As for costs, the tuition fee for Creverse Kids varies from class to class. ESL, an English class, is 50,000 won for 2-3 hours for 5-7 years old, math class is 40,000 won for 2-3 hours for 1st and 2nd graders of elementary school, and 2-3 hours of coding class for 6-7-year-olds is 40,000 won. All costs include material costs.

In addition, the Junior Golf Academy offers classes for 1 hour twice a week for 8 lessons a month at 450,000 won. There is also a separate registration fee of 10,000 won. Classes consist of a 30-minute golf class and a 30-minute fitness class.

Meanwhile, Lotte Department Store’s specialized academy space for children is expected to expand further. Department stores are now becoming places where children can learn while mothers shop, in order to maximize the competitiveness of offline spaces that are distinct from online shopping.

Also, in the first half of this year, Lotte Department Store plans to open ‘Promom Kinder’, a membership-based English kids club, at Lotte Department Store’s Pohang and Ilsan branches.

Yoon Jeong-hye, head of Lotte Department Store’s ‘Infant&TOY’, stated, “Academy-type stores in department stores are evolving into places that can provide more specialized education to children beyond the existing children’s content focused on play. We will do our best to help parents and children receive a variety of specialized education from now on.”

What I Wish I Knew BEFORE Coming to Korea

What I knew of the world changed during my first few days, weeks, and months in Korea. I did my research, but there were a few things that I missed. This is what I wish I knew before arriving in Korea:

Shopping in Korea

Shopping in Korea

1. Clothing

Saying that Korea “gets hot” in the summer is like saying that Antarctica can be chilly sometimes. The humidity can be so strong sometimes that it feels like you’re swimming through the air. It’s thick, muggy, still air, and it is VERY hot.

And then, there’s the winter. Korea has 4 seasons, people. Spring and Autumn are AMAZING… but they are short lived. The summer is muggy and humid, and the winter is nail-biting cold.  Make sure you bring enough clothing to last throughout the year!

This list should help with what to pack and what to leave behind before your move to South Korea.

2. The “tidiness” of your apartment

Maybe not this bad, but you know...

Maybe not this bad, but you know…

Have you heard about this yet? If not, then read carefully: tenants are not required to clean the apartment before they move out.

Even if you’re replacing another foreign teacher, it’s likely that they won’t clean up much for you. Hard to believe? Just wait – you’ll probably leave without cleaning it either! We’ve heard stories about kimchi mold growing in refrigerators, spiderwebs in the window sills, and almost everyone has a horror story about bathrooms. Suffice it to say: mentally prepare yourself. You will likely spend your first 48 hours cleaning. DEEP cleaning. Get ready to go shopping for cleaning supplies when you first arrive.

3. Your boss

Checking out the curriculum ahead of time? Meeting your coworkers? Shadowing some classes before you start teaching? Yeah… probably not going to happen… teaching in Korea can best be summed up in the phrase “rolling with the punches”…

To start off with a good teaching relationship with your boss, we would advise you to bring a little something for them. It can be something from your home country or even a snack with a cup of coffee. This will mean more than you can imagine.

4. Your class schedule

You might receive that the day before you start teaching, if you’re lucky. Most of us receive it THE DAY we start teaching. Make peace with the fact that Korea is a place where people do things differently, and you are the one who need to fit in with their culture. Be flexible, be adaptable. Roll with the punches.

5. Cell phone

If you have a cell phone that you want to bring along, you need to make sure that it is compatible (2100mHz WCDMIA) and unlocked (check with your service provider). To get a contract in Korea directly through their service providers (Olleh / SK Telecom), you’ll need to have your ARC (Alien Residence Card). This will take 3 – 6 weeks to get from immigration.

6. Restaurant Etiquette

You will probably sit on the floor. When you arrive, wait to be told where to sit. Don’t start eating until your boss has taken their first bite. Don’t tip in a Korean restaurant. The waiter might just run after you with the change. Don’t pour your own drink in the company of an older Korean. It is the responsibility of the senior person at the table. Hold out your cup with both hands as they pour for you. And dear god, don’t blow your nose at the table.

7. Public Transportation

Seoul has one of the most extensive public transportation systems in the world. The subway is clean, it will take you almost anywhere, and every subway station is right underneath a city bus station. There are also taxi’s available, and they are not nearly as expensive as they are at home.

Seoul Subway Map

Seoul Subway Map

8. Internet

Kotatsu-tastefulTNWhen you arrive at the airport, you can connect to WiFi while you wait for your next move (someone picking you up, or a bus). If you’re lucky, internet in your apartment will still be running from the teacher before you. Most will have to wait to get internet set up at home.

Don’t worry though, most coffee shops (they are everywhere) will have WiFi available. This is usually the easiest way to Skype with family/friends, check your email, etc until you can get internet set up at home.

9. Alcohol consumption

Drinking in public is legal. Weird, right? And AWESOME.

10. Learning Korean

Being able to speak Korean might take you a while. There are a variety of Korean courses available, as well as language exchange programs where you teach someone English and they teach you Korean in return. Learning to read Korean is a lot easier than learning to speak it. You can do it in less than an hour! Seriously!

11. Homesickness

It’s unavoidable. Moving to Korea and adjusting to the life here is adventurous and exciting, but you’ll have your fair share of shocking experiences. Homesickness comes and goes. Make sure you establish effective communication with those at home, whether through Skype, or a cell phone. Be sure to plan an adventure (in Korea) quickly – within your first 8 weeks if you can! Korea is filled with quick weekend getaways, and the extensive bus/train system makes it easy to leave on a Saturday morning and come home on a Sunday night. Hikes, 4D movie theaters, festivals, beaches, temple stays… the list goes on. You can meet people on Facebook groups in your area, or you go to to find people with similar interests as you.

12. Showers… and your bathroom in general

It’s most probably not going to be the way you expect it to be. Your shower is basically your whole bathroom. Traditionally, the shower head is right over your toilet. It takes some time getting used to, but hey, it’s an adventure!

13. Your age

Koreans are 1 when they are born, so when you arrive in Korea, you are instantly 1 year older in age. Yay!

For everything else, here’s Adventure Teaching’s Comprehensive guide on South Korea!

Let us know what we’ve missed!

Useful Websites in Korea

Are you new to Korea? Have you been here for a few years? Either way, we’ve found these useful websites in Korea to be super helpful in planning nights out, weekends away, or exotic trips out of the country.  We hope this list will assist you as you create memories overseas!


English Magazines in Korea – up to date events, photography and entertainment.

Movie showtimes in cities throughout the country, all in English!

Find friends in your area – a super helpful interactive map of Facebook groups in South Korea.

Adventure Korea and WINK –  want to travel Korea AND meet people? Check these sites out!

Korean Gig Guide – Concerts & Shows in Korea – great calendar listing many of the great shows in Korea.


Bus / Train Schedules all over Korea – so that you can choose the easiest / fastest / cheapest way to get places.

Cheap flights – want to go explore Asia? This list is an amazing resource!

Seoul Subway – an interactive Seoul subway map.

Driver’s license – Get your driver’s license in Korea


Kimbab Heaven – an online menu, full of cheap Korean comfort food. It’s a little outdated, but the basics are there.

McDonalds Online – watch out for the McDonald’s delivery scooters zooming around the streets of SoKo – McD’s does delivery in Korea!

Teaching Resources

Learn to Read Korean in 30 minutes.

Lesson Plans – if you don’t know about Waygook yet, well, you should!


Gmarket – quick finds when you need something in-country.

Expat mart – the one stop online grocery store for shopping fresh fruits, vegetables, frozen food and daily use essentials

iCompany – the place to get hold of furniture

Hummus in Korea – fresh, homemade hummus is just a click away

iHerb – they sell nutritional supplements and other healthy products

High Street Market –  offers a relaxed western style shopping experience with hard-to-find foods such as imported meats, artisanal breads, gourmet cheeses and imported beer and wine, all under one roof.


Can you think of any useful sites we need to add?

Let us know: [email protected] or comment below.


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