How Many Times Can You Renew Your Contract?

I’ve been asked on many occasions – how many times can you renew your contract to teach English in Korea?  If you are teaching through EPIK (English Program In Korea) like myself, then there is currently no limit.  This is different than, say, the JET Program in Japan where there is a 5 year limit.  Hagwons may or may not be the same because each hagwon is run differently.  Speaking strictly for the EPIK Program – there is no limit.

Many people write me emails about their plans to make teaching in Korea a long term situation.  They already have 5 years planned out in their minds.  I think it’s great to have a plan, and for most, they may stick to it.  Before you build up an expectation on the whole idea of teaching in Korea though, give it a year to see what you think first.  Most people have an enchanted perception of teaching abroad but by the end of their contract it turns out to be different than what they thought.  In fact, someone from my orientation left before it even started!

End of EPIK Orientation

For many of us though, renewing is a great idea.  On the flip side of the person who left before it started, I have a friend who has been teaching in Korea for a decade now and sees no end in sight.  He has taught in both public and private schools, so if a limit is ever placed on the number of years allowed in EPIK, he’s probably okay with moving into hagwons.  With the slow retraction of English teaching jobs in public schools, hagwon jobs will likely become more prevalent.

One incentive to renew your contract is the flight allowance you would normally receive to return home gets increased if you renew within your current province.  Currently, flight reimbursements are set at 1.3 million won.  If you renew in your current province, that amount is increased to 2 million won and is given to you as a bonus.  How’s that for hospitality?!

If you come to Korea and you like it, the good news is you can stay for a long time.  As for me, I hope I can stay for at least the next couple years before I decide what my next endeavor will be.  Korea is a great country with many fun things to do and see, and you’re going to make friendships that will last a lifetime.


  1. Avatar Kristina says:

    When was this published? I have recently been accepted into the EPIK program for the fall term and I really want to know if this still stands. Is there still no limit to how many times one can renew within the EPIK program?

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