Teaching English in Korea with EPIK: How Competitive is it to Get in?

Teaching English in Korea with EPIK: How Competitive is it to Get in?

Some of the most common questions I am asked as an alumni of the Greenheart Travel Teach in Korea with EPIK program are about the acceptance rate and how competitive the program is.

Here is the honest truth: the program is very competitive.

As our teacher Jenni stated in her blog, “I’ve heard it said it is more difficult to get into the EPIK program than into law school. Since I’ve never applied to law school, I really cannot attest to this. However, I know that it was certainly a demanding exercise in organization and patience.”

We cannot tell anyone with confidence that they’ll be accepted onto the Korea program ahead of applying, no matter what their qualifications may be. You will have to pass two interview rounds before we can say with confidence you’ll be going to Korea. The most difficult part will be the hour long interview with a representative in Korea. If you qualify for the program on a basic level, you will usually be granted an interview, but the interview is very formal and they will ask you some hard-hitting questions, so it’s not just about being qualified. They are looking for the best of the best.

That being said, that’s why Greenheart Travel is here to help you along the way. We have a very long list of potential interview questions to start preparing answers for now, as well as tons of current teachers and alumni who have passed the interviews and can give you tips and feedback. We have compiled all the best advice and guides to the process and that is a big part of what you get when you apply with us.

Me in South Korea!

A Few Ways to Make Your Application Competitive:

  1. Take a highly regarded TEFL certification course that includes in-person hours.
  2. Do your research on the country! Make sure you know a little about Korean culture, history, the education system, etc.
  3. Take your time on the essay and lesson plan portion of the application and be thoughtful and thorough.
  4. Be prepared to talk about your teaching methodology and why you want to be a teacher. EPIK does not just want people who want a vacation in South Korea, they want highly motivated teachers who are excited and prepared to teach ESL!

This program is competitive for a reason, it rocks. Not only do you get a generous salary, your flights reimbursed, and a FREE apartment, it’s also really fun. I lived in a small (for Korea) town of around 200,000 people outside of Seoul and I had around 30 other teachers to hang out and travel throughout Korea with. Korea is full of expats teaching English, and no matter where you’re placed you’re going to have English speaking friends (of course, you should try and make Korean friends too!). You also get 20 days of vacation time per year and our teachers travel during this summer break to awesome places like Japan, Bali, Thailand, China, Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the list goes on…

This program sets the bar high for teaching English programs abroad, and that’s why it’s not a walk in the park to apply and be accepted, but don’t worry, we’ll help you have the best shot at being accepted you can have!


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3 thoughts on "Teaching English in Korea with EPIK: How Competitive is it to Get in?"

  1. Mollie Stalling says:

    Amazing post. Do you have any other ones you can give? I adore it. 🙂

  2. Mark Tofte says:

    Amazing post. Do you have any other ones you can put? I dig it. 🙂

  3. Jennifer says:

    I don’t believe anyone talks about this; however, do you think I have a better chance of getting into the epik program because I have studied abroad in Korea for 5 months? I am signed up for a CELTA course, but cannot take it until the middle of the application process.

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