What is the EPIK programme in South Korea?

Let EBC be your guide on this exciting EPIK programme ride.

It’s easy to see why South Korea has always been a popular destination for EFL teachers. After all, South Korea offers some of the highest entry-level salaries in the world, with excellent benefits. Because of this, EFL teachers can save a substantial portion of their monthly salaries.

Now, you’re probably asking, “So, how does the EPIK programme work?” Well, EPIK (English Programme in Korea) is affiliated with the Korean Ministry of Education. Because its aim is for Korean students and teachers to improve their English-speaking abilities, as part of the EPIK programme, you will be on one-year teaching contracts (52 weeks). You will receive a placement in Korean public schools throughout the country. You will bring your English language knowledge to benefit students and teachers.

There are many different TEFL jobs all over South Korea. You can find EFL teaching jobs can be found in cities such as Seoul, Incheon, Daegu, and Busan. However, you can also find TEFL jobs in lesser-known cities in smaller areas around the country. There is a significant demand for certified and qualified EFL teachers with accredited TEFL certificates. The South Korean government is investing a lot in the country’s English language education, and a big part of this goes into the EPIK programme.

What are the EPIK Programme requirements for Teaching English in South Korea?

To be eligible for EPIK, you must:

  • Be a native English speaker from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or South Africa
  • Have a BA degree in any discipline from a university in one of the above countries
  • Show that you have been taught in English from at least junior high level (7th Grade) if English is not your first language
  • Have at least a 100-hour TEFL qualification from an accredited provider. The Trinity CertTESOL certificate is a 200-hour TEFL qualification. There are accredited providers, and there are accredited providers! You don’t want any old TEFL certification but one that is British Council-recognised and accepted by employers worldwide. That’s the only way you get the best TEFL jobs fast.
  • Have a clean background check
  • Be in good physical/mental health
  • Be under the age of 62
  • Be willing to commit to a 1-year contract.

What are EPIK, GEPIK, and SMOE for teaching English in Korea?

What is the GEPIK programme in South Korea?

Let EBC be your guide on this exciting GEPIK programme ride.

The GEPIK (Gyeonggi English Program in Korea) places English teachers exclusively in an area surrounding Seoul called the Gyeonggi province. The Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education sponsors GEPIK. If accepted, English teachers work at one school and are the only native English speaker at that school.

Your benefits include roundtrip airfare, furnished housing, medical insurance, and up to 20 days of paid vacation, which you can take within one academic year.

To be eligible for GEPIK, you must:

  • Have a 3-4 Year BA/BS Degree
  • Be a native English speaker from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or South Africa
  • Show that you have been taught in English from at least junior high level (7th Grade) if English is not your first language
  • Have at least a
  • 100-hour TEFL qualification from an accredited provider. The Trinity CertTESOL certificate is a 200-hour TEFL qualification. There are accredited providers, and there are accredited providers! You don’t want any old TEFL certification but one that is British Council-recognised and accepted by employers worldwide. That’s the only way you get the best TEFL jobs fast.
  • Have a clean background check
  • Be in good physical/mental health
  • Be under the age of 62
  • Be willing to commit to a 1-year contract.

Like the EPIK, the GEPIK program is pretty structured regarding the application process. People who are interested must submit their applications well in advance.

Important advice: If you’re coming to South Korea as a couple, please bear in mind that the GEPIK programme is less likely to hire couples compared to EPIK.

What are EPIK, GEPIK, and SMOE for teaching English in Korea?

What is the SMOE programme in South Korea?

Let EBC be your guide on this exciting SMOE programme ride

The SMOE (Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education) places teachers in school districts around Seoul, South Korea’s capital. The city government of Seoul sponsors SMOE.

Your benefits include an urban lifestyle, choosing your school level preference, furnished housing, roundtrip airfare, medical insurance, 21 days vacation, and a paid 9-day orientation.

To be eligible for SMOE, you must:

  • Have a 3-4 Year BA/BS Degree
  • Be a native English speaker from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or South Africa
  • Show that you have been taught in English from at least junior high level (7th Grade) if English is not your first language
  • 100-hour TEFL qualification from an accredited provider. The Trinity CertTESOL certificate is a 200-hour TEFL qualification. There are accredited providers, and there are accredited providers! You don’t want any old TEFL certification but one that is British Council-recognised and accepted by employers worldwide. That’s the only way you get the best TEFL jobs fast.
  • Have a clean background check
  • Be in good physical/mental health
  • Be under the age of 62
  • Be willing to commit to a 1-year contract.

Like the EPIK and GEPIK programmes, the SMOE programme is pretty structured regarding the application process. People who are interested must submit their applications well in advance.

Interesting Fact: SMOE uses EPIK as their initial recruiting source to find English teachers. You can apply directly to SMOE or via EPIK, as they are two distinct programmes. If accepted, you’re an SMOE teacher and will cease to be connected with EPIK.

What are EPIK, GEPIK, and SMOE for teaching English in Korea?

What do the EPIK, GEPIK and SMOE programmes include?

  • Salary of 2 to 2.2 million KRW per month (1497€, £1,322 or USD$1607)
  • Accommodation – can sometimes be unfurnished, but this is uncommon
  • Settlement allowance (300,000 KRW (224€, £198 or USD$241)
  • Severance pay at the end of the contract (equal to one month’s salary)
  • 50% of your medical insurance paid (the rest deducted from your salary)
  • Entrance allowance and exit allowance 1,300,000 KRW (973€, £890 or USD$1,170)
  • Renewal bonus if you decide to renew your contract after a year
  • Orientation on arrival

What are EPIK, GEPIK, and SMOE for teaching English in Korea?

What is the role of English teachers in these programmes?

Keep in mind that the role of EPIK, GEPIK and SMOE teachers can vary. While these programmes place most teachers in schools, this isn’t always the case. They may place teachers in various schools and ask them to work in different locations.

As an EPIK, GEPIK or SMOE teacher, your role will mainly involve supporting a Korean English teacher and conducting lessons alongside them. You’ll prepare and develop teaching materials, teach conversational classes, and carry out other duties as specified by your contract with the Ministry of Education.

Does my TEFL training need to include a classroom course?

Currently, it is not a requirement for English teachers in these programmes to have classroom training. However, schools strongly prefer candidates who have done some teaching practice with real ELLs (English language learners). Places, especially on the EPIK programme, can be competitive, so bear in mind that just meeting the basic requirements will not guarantee your success in getting the job.

All these programmes require a high standard TEFL certification, and the Trinity name counts for a lot. After all, the British Council and international education centres globally accept and recognise only 2 TEFL certificates. The Trinity College CertTESOL is one of these two.

To strengthen your chances of getting into the EPIK, GEPIK or SMOE programmes, you must have a TEFL certificate that is globally recognised and accepted. Again, only 2 TEFL certificates are accepted and recognised by worldwide language schools and the British Council. The Trinity CertTESOL is one because of its external moderation, quality, exceptional training, and reputation. Additionally,

Trinity College of London has been around for 150 years, since 1852! Being a TEFL/TESOL training leader for that time tells you a lot about Trinity College of London’s credibility and reputation.

Furthermore, you don’t need to explain what the Trinity College CertTESOL certificate stands for to your prospective employers. In fact, employers prefer graduates with the Trinity CertTESOL because they know they are not risking their clients on these highly trained, qualified, certified CertTESOL teachers.

Trinity CertTESOL is a name associated with the highest quality in TEFL programmes. In order to get into any of these South Korean programmes, we highly recommend studying on a TEFL certificate course that includes teaching practice classes. The EBC Trinity CertTESOL includes at least 22 hours of teaching practice classes.

What are EPIK, GEPIK, and SMOE for teaching English in Korea?

Do you need a TEFL qualification for the EPIK, GEPIK or SMOE programmes?

If you don’t have a university degree, you will need a TEFL qualification of at least 100 hours. The Trinity CertTESOL is a 200-hour course. Keep in mind that you will need to acquire your TEFL qualification through an accredited TEFL course provider, so don’t get conned into low-priced TEFL courses. Be wary of budget TEFL courses – most employers will not accept them.

In case you’re wondering, it’s possible to apply for the EPIK, GEPIK or SMOE before finishing your TEFL course. However, you must ensure you have completed your TEFL course at least 2 months before the start date on your job contract.

Can non-native speakers participate in the EPIK scheme?

Not all native English speakers are successful at getting accepted into these programmes. After all, everyone needs to pass the entry requirements and prove to the programme administrators that they can contribute to English learning in South Korean schools. These programmes are open to nationals of the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. However, non-native English speakers who can show that they have been taught English from at least junior high level (7th Grade) can also apply.

Can I choose where I’m placed?

Keep in mind that although you can have a preferred location, there’s no guarantee that the programme administrators will place you in your top choice. Though EPIK tries to accommodate every teacher’s location preference, still, this is sometimes impossible because some locations are incredibly popular. Moreover, people get their placements straight away.

If you apply early with the required documents, you will likely get a place in your preferred location. Remember, it really helps to decide on where you want to teach and get the ball rolling early.

Do I need a degree for EPIK?

Yes, a BA/BS degree is an essential requirement.

Suppose your degree was in education or an area focused on education. In that case, having a TEFL qualification is not a requirement. However, do keep in mind that it can still be very beneficial.

What does the application process for EPIK involve?

There are two intakes for EPIK each year. First, they need to be in for the Autumn term by the beginning of February. Second, applications for Spring need to be in by the start of August of the previous year. So, from applying, you can expect it to take roughly 7 months before you’ll start.

Keep in mind that you can either apply directly to EPIK or via a recruitment agency that is a certified recruiter for EPIK.

You will receive an invite for a Zoom or Skype interview if your application is successful. After this, you will need to send all your documents to the South Korean programme organisers sending you your job contract.  Once that’s all done, you’ll apply for an E2 visa via the Korean embassy in your country.

 What documents are required to apply to any of these programmes?

  • Your passport
  • A photograph of yourself
  • Apostilled criminal background check
  • Apostilled degree
  • Sealed university transcripts
  • 2 letters of recommendation (We will give you a letter of recommendation showing everything you learned on your Trinity CertTESOL course, the names and TEFL educational qualifications of your course trainers and the name of your Trinity College of London external moderator)
  • TEFL qualification (Your Trinity College CertTESOL certificate and your EBC International TEFL certificate)
  • Apostilled birth certificate

Share this article with your friends if you like it.