There have been rumors floating around about the recent changes made for any teacher joining the EPIK scheme to teach in South Korea.
This blog post explains exactly what those changes are and exactly what you need to join EPIK.
What is EPIK?
EPIK is a program run the by the South Korean government to supply English teachers to South Korea.
It’s not the only way to go to South Korea to teach and, in fact, most teachers go and work in private schools there, however EPIK is a way to teach in government run (state) schools.
For foreign teachers of English there are certain qualifications you need and some optional qualifications as well. These are discussed below.
Note that these requirements apply to EPIK; to teach at a private school in South Korea you need only have a Bachelor’s degree and a be a native English speaker. A TEFL Certificate, whilst useful, is not necessary for your visa or to work in South Korea.
What are the Essential Qualifications for EPIK?
If you want to join EPIK as a native English speaking teacher then you must:
- speak English as your mother tongue
- have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in an English speaking country
- have your transcripts from the university
- have 2 letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources
- have a clean criminal records check
- have a valid passport
What are the Optional Qualifications for EPIK?
These qualifications may help your application, but aren’t essential.
- a TEFL certificate
- teaching experience
What are the Recent Changes to the TEFL Certificate Requirements for EPIK?
As mentioned above, a TEFL certificate is an optional requirement for EPIK. However, recently EPIK have said they will give more weight to certain kinds of TEFL certificate. In descending order:
- TEFL certificates with 20+ hours of in-class teaching practice (this has to be 60+ hours to teach in Busan)
- Fully online TEFL certificates or TEFL certificates with less than 20 hours of teaching practice
- No TEFL certificate at all
So, to clarify, firstly a TEFL certificate is an optional qualification for EPIK. Second, preference is given to TEFL certificates with more than 20 hours of in-house teaching practice and then come certificates such as the ICAL TEFL Certificate which is fully online and certificates with less than 20 hours.
See here for the main article, South Korea – EPIK