Teach in Korea or China? Let’s find out!
The opportunities that currently abound in Asia for teaching English are numerous. With that in mind, you might be having a difficult time trying to decide which country to go to for teaching English. For many, the decision comes down to China vs. Korea. Which one is better?
Let’s take a look at South Korea first. Most people go to Seoul or Busan to teach. It has roughly the same requirements for hiring English teachers but in South Korea, but as South Korea has made recent cuts to public school job positions for both middle and high school, that sector is rapidly shrinking. One thing it really has going for it though is that it’s incredibly modern throughout, making it a bit easier to adjust to from the start.
So, how about China? There are more job openings available in China from the big cities to more rural settings. It’s a much bigger country than South Korea. While South Korea is incredibly modern and convenient, China is in the midst of a massive boom and keeps making huge leaps and bounds over other Asian countries.
Something interesting you may have also noticed back home is that Mandarin is now available in most school curriculums. Where once the options were to take Spanish, French, or German, Mandarin is dominating the selection. It is, after all, the most spoken language in the world. That being said though, Chinese people are also working harder to learn English, hence the huge demand for teachers like you.
Cost of living
While costs in South Korea aren’t too bad, China is certainly more affordable. The living costs in the mainland are incredibly cheap as is food. There’s certainly nothing wrong with South Korea, however China has even more experiences to discover because of the vastness of the land. The culture is also more welcoming and inclusive than Korean culture tends to be.
Both Korea and China have very similar requirements towards foreign teachers, even if you only meet the basic requirements. That’s not bad for someone new to the teaching abroad scene.
For Korea, there’s a checklist for you to see if you are qualified. For China, in most cases, in order to obtain the work visa in China, you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree and be a passport holder of an English-speaking country. If you have training in TEFL or TESOL, it’s beneficial but not required. You can teach at a highly-regarded public school, university, or even a language school and make a salary that allows you to enjoy travels on your time off.