Cost of Living of English Teachers in Korea
The cost of living in Korea is pretty low especially when your apartment rent is paid by schools and institutes you are working for. This means you can save money in Korea more than in Thailand, Japan or Taiwan. Hundreds of Canadians and Americans are working here to pay off their studentsí loan. With the cost of living in Korea you can have a comfortable life even after saving an impressive amount. In Korea, you will enjoy free accommodation, airfare, health insurance and many other facilities.
Apartment Rent and Food
Apartment rent is the biggest living expense. But being an ESL teacher in Korea you need not worry about that. Most of the schools will provide you an apartment without charging a penny. Apartments in Korea have kitchen and so you can cook your own food. If you eat at home every day you have to spend on an average 250,000 per month. Restaurants are also quite affordable in Korea. You can have good food at fairly cheap rate. You can have a can of soft drinks at 400- 700 won in a shop and a glass of beer at an expensive bar at 3,000 won. A bottle of wine at supermarket will charge you more than 5,000 won. Western wines are expensive in Korea as the local people do not drink them.
You are expected to pay around 800 won for a 20 minutes journey by bus. Local buses usually charge 450 won for a journey whereas the long distance buses will cost you 700- 900 won. The fun is you have to pay the same price irrespective of the distance you are traveling.
The starting fare for taxis is around 1,300- 1,600 won and 500 won for every KM after that.
The subway travel will cost you 800 won for the intercity travel and for the outer cities; you might have to pay something around 1400 won.
There are plenty of shops in Korea and so, you will get cheap clothes over there if you are going for the local brands. The European brands will charge you bit more. You can have local shirts within 10,000- 50,000 won and trousers at 15,000- 60,000 won. Skirts are available within the range of 10,000- 70,000 won and T- shirts from 8,000 upwards.
A wide range of imported pharmaceutical brands are available in Korea. You can have soap at 1,000 won, two shampoos at 6,000 won, toothpaste at 2,000 etc. Koreans do not use deodorants and so they are expensive and difficult to get in Korea.
Electrical goods like video players and CD players are available at 100,000 won, 12 or 14 inch television at 200,000 won.
You can get the local cigarette brands at 2,000 won and imported like Dunhill at 2,500 won. Haircut for a man will cost you around 7,000 while for a woman, the charge is 60,000 won. Books are bit expensive in Korea. You can get them at 10,000- 20,000 won.