Teaching English in South Korea is a little like the French Foreign Legion, but without the new identity and suicide missions. If you’re not sure what you want to do with your life beyond “get the hell out of America,” teaching English in South Korea will give you a plan, a solid salary, health insurance, and a ticket away from your home country. Plus South Korea is an amazing country.
To be eligible for ESL teaching, you need to be a native English speaker from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or India, have a bachelor’s degree in any field, and a TEFL certificate, which is often provided by your employers.
If you’re considering moving to North Korea, it’s possible—there are around 200 Americans living in North Korea—but even though you could end up as a movie star playing corrupt Americans in propaganda flicks, it’s still a very bad idea.
Disadvantages: This blog post lists “too much downtime” as a “con” of teaching ESL in South Korea, because 18 hours of desk-warming per week is built into many teachers’ schedules. What a nightmare! Not being able to choose where you want to teach actually is a downside though.