It’s not likely that a teacher would drop out of the EPIK program once they get hired and have already been teaching in the program for a few months.
This is because once they’ve already invested a few months into their 1 year contract it would be financial suicide to drop out early (unless an absolute emergency).
If they WERE to drop out, for whatever reason, they’d lose their contract completion exit bonus of $1,700 USD (approx.) and possibly their apartment security deposit of about $500.
Also, they could be delayed collecting their pension contributions. It may be hard collecting them as an American or Canadian who qualify for pension reimbursements if they didn’t fulfill a 12 month EPIK contract.
I think drop-outs are rare.
Having said most hagwons will give you 10 vacation days per year(1/2 of EPIK) + Korean holidays which include Lunar New year and Chusok (Korean thanksgiving). All in all, this gives you 3 times per year to get out of Korea and go on short hops to South East Asia, for example. Make sure you book at least 6-9 months early to get cheaper flights.
Personally, I’d rather find a job at a good hagwon, take 2 mini vacations (during Chusok and Lunar New Year) and then take a 1 month break at the end of my 12 month contract.
And besides that… teaching in the EPIK program with a Korean teacher partner could get old and routine fast.
It’s much better to have 100% control of your classroom at a hagwon to teach what you want and how you want. You might consider adults where you can have real conversations.
Not saying EPIK can’t be fun, it’s just that there are other options.