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ResourcesESL-TEFL TeachingSchools in Korea: 7 Reasons Hagwons are Better than Public Schools

Schools in Korea: 7 Reasons Hagwons are Better than Public Schools

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the schools in Korea entitled 7 Reasons Public Schools are better than Private Academies.

The article highlighted some of the advantages of working in the public school system versus the private sector.

schools in korea

Schools in Korea: The private sector

It is only fair to also present advantages of working in private schools as well. So in this article, I want to look at 7 reasons private schools in Korea are better than public schools.

1. Class size

One of the things I miss about working in a private school is the class sizes. My average class at my public school is 25 students. At private academies including the one I worked for in 09, the classes size is capped at 12. Some school even go as far as putting students of the same level in the same class and this is a plus.

2. Salary

A lot of Teachers claim that they get paid more at hagwons. All I have to say on this is, it depends. When I was going to renew my contract at my hagwon, they offered to pay me the same amount I get paid now at my public school. I think this one depends on the hagwon.

3. For Experience

Private academies are the best place to get some experience. It is much easier when you teach at a hagwon first before teaching at public schools in Korea.

4. Other Teachers

It is a good place to meet other Teachers who for the most part are willing to help you. At most public schools in Korea, you are the only foreign Teacher and it can get lonely.

5. Little to no preparation

The plus with hagwons is that not a lot of preparation is needed. You have a book and you teach what’s in the book. This may not be true for all private academies, however.

6. Closer relationships

You are closer not just with fellow Teachers but the owner or manager as well. Because a lot of hagwons are franchised and individually owned, the manager or Director is very much engaged.

7. Direct contact

Because your classes are small, you have a deeper connection with your students and direct contact with parents as well. When I worked at a hagwon in 09 the parents brought me gifts and were very involved in the student’s education. Not only that, they occasionally took me out to dinner and we went hiking together.

Good to Read: 6 Reasons Why an English Teacher in Korea Fails


Hagwons or private academies have a tarnished reputation with some Teachers and therefore are seen as unstable businesses. But that is changing and a lot of hagwons are improving not just how they treat Teachers but what they provide them as well. We hope this continues as Teachers testified on my other article 7 Reasons Public Schools are better than Private Academies. But remember to always do your research about the schools in Korea before going. Ask questions and be informed. Knowledge is everything. Good luck.


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