How much does it cost to apply to EPIK? (first person)

For those that are thinking about applying, are in the application process, or for those who are simply curious, the following is a list of what I’ve spent in order to move to South Korea to teach for the EPIK program:

Online TEFL course: $360 (I used this course)

CRC (federal-level background check): $18 (information can be found here)

CRC apostille: $8 (information can be found here)

Diploma notarization: $5/each; $15 total (I got two — one for EPIK, one for the private school jobs I was applying for, and one extra; my bank was a pain, so I went to UPS and my main man hooked me up)

Diploma apostilles: $15 (I got two as I was in the process of applying for private school jobs as well; information for Virginia residents can be found here)

Passport photos: $20 (I printed quite a few at Wal-mart — for applications, visa, ARC card, and potential uses in Korea)

Documents over-nighted to Korea round 1: $98

Documents over-nighted to Korea round 2: $50

E-2 visa: $45

Flight (Washington DC to Busan, one-way): $549.70

TOTAL: $1,178.70

I feel very, VERY lucky that my parents have paid for pretty much all of my expenses regarding South Korea so far, and I’m well aware that many people don’t have that luxury. Also be aware that this list does not include all the toiletries, clothes, shoes, and luggage that I’ve purchased in preparation for my year (or more) abroad. All that included, and the total would be pushing $2,000. PLUS, EPIK recommends that you bring at least $1,000 (USD) for your first couple of months in Korea before receiving your first paycheck. Whoo! That’s a lot of green. I’m sure those of you who have been working for several years prior to applying will have an easier time (as compared to the recent college grad writing this that was a bit frivolous in spending her money during undergrad), but three grand is a lot of money for anyone.

I’m still very excited for my big move and I’m very appreciative of the EPIK program. I know I’ll make all  the money back (and more) after several months of teaching (with some left over to pay off my school loans!), but shelling out all this money (er…I mean, my parents shelling out all this money) up front makes my little heart hurt.



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