Are Korean hagwons no longer offering return flights?

Do Korean Hagwons still offer return flights?

Are prepaid return flights to Korea for one year teaching contracts slowly being phased out?

And, are foreign teachers willing to come to Korea on their own dime now?

I’ve read that some schools will pre-pay your entry flight. While other institutes will reimburse you at the end of your 12 month contract. At bare minimum, teachers should get their flight to Korea pre-paid.

Although it’s better to negotiate a round trip (pre-paid).

I’m also seeing that only about 1 out of 10 esl job advertisements in Korea offer return flights now.

The pre-paid, one way ticket has been around since 2013, prior to that teachers got a return flight paid in advance by their hagwons.

Those were the good old days!

I guess schools got rid of the return flights to cover their butts since some teachers don’t even show up in Korea, or they don’t fulfill their 12 month contract.

So.. the hagwons got wise to this.

But couldn’t schools just bake these possible financial losses into their operating expenses, rather than eliminate round trip flights entirely?

Word on the street is that for every teacher who holds out for a fully paid return flight at least 10 will sign a contract without one.

New teachers accept it as standard in contracts. If they only knew their history!

On the bright side, at least in Korea they’ll cover your entry flight and housing expenses.

If you want to teach in Japan, I’ve heard you’ll need to pay for all that yourself, which is probably why teachers are hesitant to teach there.

Japan relies on hiring experienced teachers in-country, which saves them a bundle, and lowers the chance of teachers pulling midnight runs.

In China there are many teaching jobs advertised already which don’t offer flights? Are these jobs even getting filled?

You’d have to be pretty foolish to go to Korea or China without at least your entry flight paid in advance, wouldn’t you?

I wonder what’s next for the ESL industry in terms of “teacher benefit” cutbacks for Korea. No more free flights? No more free housing?

I heard somewhere (can’t verify) that round trip tickets and free accommodations in Korea may have been an immigration requirement in the past?

For example, if a hagwon went bankrupt and the teacher wasn’t paid, how can he/she get home if they can’t find a new job fast enough in Korea?

Most teachers come to Korea with barely a month’s worth of savings when they start their first job here. A lot of them ask for advances from their bosses before the month is even halfway through. I’ve seen it many times.

And, if they can’t get home because they have no money for a flight or worse yet, don’t have an apartment provided by their employer because the employer closed it’s doors, then they are homeless and stranded.

Has anybody heard of immigration making return flights and paid accommodation a mandatory contract inclusion in Korea years ago?

I don’t know many teachers are going to Japan these days because the start-up costs are too high.

Could you imagine if Korea eliminated the fully subsidized studio apartment, or partially paid accommodations, or paid shared housing completely?

What foreigner, except established ones already in Korea could afford the key money? I can’t see that going away…

Bottom line is that ESL teaching salaries in Korea or China have not increased in years. The currency has gotten weaker and the cost of living has skyrocketed. Teachers come to Korea to get out of debt, NOT the other way around.

Let’s face it, for most of us teaching in Korea, or anywhere in Asia for that matter is a gap year.

Of course there are foreigners who’ve made a career in TEFL because they enjoy it and have planted roots in the ROK.

They either get married and get a flexible F visa, which allows them to get better higher paying jobs, quit easily, and build up student relationships so they can earn more.

However, they aren’t the majority….

So, if your one of the lucky few who manages to get a pre-paid return flight included in your hagwon contract in 2016… make sure you get it in writing. Don’t accept a verbal promise.

One workaround is if the school wants to hire you but won’t pay for your return flight either before or at the end of your contract, (and you really, really want to work there)… try asking for an extra $100,00 KRW per month x 12 months. That should cover it!

Now… how about one way flights and subsidized or fully paid housing in Korea? Are these perks getting past their shelf life too?

8 Comments

  1. Paul Reply
  2. Patricia Abderholden Reply
  3. Paul Reply
    • Paul
  4. Steve Reply
    • Paul
    • Sunmi

Leave a Reply