ESL South Korea

Extra Lessons in Korea

We’ll it’s true.  But it’s also 100% illegal…

Many foreign teachers in Korea hold a regular job and work in a couple of extra teaching hours of private tutoring a day.  These extra lessons normally pay around 30,000 40,000 Won ($40) per hour.  If you bear in mind that as a teacher you’ll get paid approximately 80,000 Won per day, then you’ll realise that you can double your salary by working in two hours of extra lessons a day.  Take into consideration that these lessons are usually easy to find and you’ll understand why many foreign teachers are drawn to the extra cash.

Korea is a incredibly competitive society and the more hours of study a child can get, the more satisfied the parent will be.  This is why foreign teachers are often approached by desperate parents begging for extra classes for their children and are willing to pay up to 50,000 Won per hour, cash!

Some recruiters will try and paint a pretty picture about extra lessons and lure you with the promises of gigantic salaries, but at the end of the day it’s nothing but 100% illegal and if you get caught you’ll get fined, probably thrown out of the country and probably not allowed back in to teach.  And so much for your dreams of riches.

Many people also argue that laws in Asian countries are applied somewhat differently than the rigid and inflexible systems of the West and that, despite the fact that Korean laws have always stated that extra lessons are illegal, the government turns a blind eye to it.  There is a ring of truth to it and I won’t be surprised if the people who make these laws send their own children for illegal extra lessons (I haven’t seen it, just guessing :-).  But many foreigners have been caught, fined and deported.  You then lose a valuable opportunity to earn money in Korea over the long term.

You’ve probably heard the rumours… extra classes pay big money and is THE way to ensure you’ve got more spending money you’ll ever need.
If you’re serious about overtime work, find a job at a public school with an after school program.  These extra lessons are provided by the government run public schools and you’ll get paid overtime for every extra hour you teach outside your normal 22 hours a week.  I know of EPIK teachers earning up to 4 million won ($4000), by teaching at a public school with an afterschool program.  It’s the only way to legally reach those dreams of extra spending/travelling money.