Personal

My Korean adventure

All of the admin and paperwork is really taking its toll.

Actually I applied twice to Korean  companies last year.

EPIK is the official company which finds positions for EFL teachers in Korea. Their form is more than twenty pages long, and it’s notorious for me of the questions asked. For example, it asks how many units of alcohol you drink, and then there is a whole page about tattoos and piercing. You might wonder what kind of job you are applying for…

Then when I had my first phone interview with the EPIK co-ordinator (at 6am GMT), he simply went over the same questions that were on the form. He told me that all the questions were ok but that I would still need to have another interview. But the next Monday I received an email from them explaining that they would not be taking the application further.

Then I applied for a position through Korvia, an agency which works for schools in the Gyeonghi Do area. I had a really nice phone call with one of the representatives and all was going well until they asked for a certificate that I didn’t have and wasn’t able to provide.

This year I decided to apply for a different position. If you don’t find a position in a Korean public school the other option is to work for a Hagwon, which is a private teaching academy. Now if you search any websites which cover EFL teaching  in Korea. you’ll find that most have nothing but bad things to say about Hagwons. From the hours that you have to work (split shifts) to the failure of the institutes to provide medical cover, complaints are legion.

Still. I really want to work in South Korea. I don’t particularly like the idea of working a few hours in the morning and then having a big gap in the afternoon. Then again, I’m sure I can deal with that. The one concern is that Pagoda Hagwon haven’t provided a contract yet. I have also been told that they don’t give any housing allowance. All of this is much less than I had hoped for but it’s not enough to make me abandon my plans just yet.

What do you think? Have you had any experience of working for a Korean teaching academy? 

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