first week teaching in Korea

5 Tips to Survive Your First Week Teaching in Korea

Moving abroad to teach English is a huge and exciting life change. You may be a bit nervous about your first few classes, and that is to be expected! The good news is that there are steps that you can take to better prepare for this new adventure. Continue reading for some helpful tips that can help you better survive your first week teaching in Korea.

Be Energetic and Happy

You want to go into your new place of employment with a positive attitude. Your bosses and your students want to know that you’re excited to be part of their school. Make sure that you give a great impression by remaining happy, positive, and excited throughout your first few days. Know that it’s normal and quite a part of the culture to be asked a lot of questions about you. Expect this especially during your first few week – just smile and be open to telling everyone a bit more about you. They’re excited to get to know you!

Set Rules and Expectations

It’s a good idea to set groundwork with your students as soon as possible. Before your first week of classes, you will want to think about your classroom rules and expectations for the students. How will you handle discipline? What tasks will you require of each student? Being clear about rules at the start of your teaching experience can make the year go a lot more smoothly for both you and the students.

Be Open to the Culture and Language

It’s important that you’re open and accepting of the Korean culture. Since you will be living abroad for the next year, you want to get to know as much as possible about the country and its culture. It’s worthwhile to show an interest in learning about Korea, especially during your first few weeks of classes. Make sure that you’re bowing and greeting fellow staff members in the hallways. You should also be open to school dinners and events – they are a great way to get to know the other teachers.

Be Available for Your Students

You want your students to feel comfortable with you and you want to help encourage more learning. Make sure that your students know that you’re available after class if they have any questions or want to practice. Having regular English conversations with your students can boost their confidence and learning and can improve your relationship in the classroom.

Go With the Flow

The last tip for surviving your first week teaching in Korea is to really just go with the flow. Things are going to be different and you’re going to feel a bit out of your comfort zone. It’s best to have an open mind and let things happen so that you have less anxiety! As your first dew days pass, you’ll learn better ways to handle certain situations and you’ll feel a lot more confident both in the classroom and in everyday life.

Surviving Your First Week Teaching in Korea

By taking some extra care and following the above tips, you can make sure that your first week goes well! Surviving your first week teaching in Korea can be a fun and rewarding experience.

By Natasha Gabrielle

Natasha is a travel blogger, ESL teacher, adventurer, and sometimes runner—currently living abroad in South Korea. She blogs about living and teaching in South Korea as well as her travel adventures. Find out more about her and her travels at

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