Drug Testing For Teachers In Korea (9 Answers)

Drug testing teachers in Korea

Drug Testing For English Teachers In Korea (9 Answers)

Question asked – 

I’m applying for the EPIK program in Korea in the January or February of 2017. How soon after I land in Korea, will I be drug tested. I’ve smoked marijuana in the past, but will have to quit when I get to the ROK (obviously). Any insight?

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“Stop toking up 30 days before you come to Korea. I had mine test a shortly after arriving in Korea. Expect a urine and blood test.”

“Guys, pot can stay in your system for months. Play it safe and don’t touch dope for at least 3 months before you arrive. Korea has no tolerance for anybody with drugs in their bodes, even if it’s as harmless as weed. Crack, Heroine, Weed, they all fall under the same bucket. Expect to get sent for the drug test as soon as you get there, because they’ll want to finish your E2 visa process. If you fail, you’ll be on a plane home soon. Don’t pass go, don’t collect $100.”

“If you’re hired with EPIK they’ll test you during the teacher orientation. Say, the second or third day. You’ll have to piss in a cup. You could always ask a drug free teacher if they’re willing to give you their sample, hahaha…”

“You don’t want to come all the way to Korea and then fail a drug test, do you. Some health stores sell something called a Rescue Detox kit, which might clean you up nice before you head to Korea. is it 100% guaranteed? Of course not, but it might mitigate the risk. Do yourself a favor and get off the pipe now. 3-6 months and you should be weed free!”

“Just a heads up, they’ll also test you for Amphetamines (meth, speed, crank, ecstasy), THC (cannabinoids, marijuana, hash), Cocaine (coke, crack), Opiates (heroin, opium, codeine, morphine), Phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust).”

“They won’t test you for prescription drugs, but I’ve heard some teachers give off “false positives” for anxiety or depression pills. And then there are sports and body enhancing drugs like steroids. I’m not sure about these, but doubtful they’ll test you for them.”

“And if you’re taking any anxiety, stress or depression related medication like Klonopin and Xanax for anxiety don’t tell them. Koreans consider these issues, mental problems, and they think you belong in a mental institution. Certainly NOT fit to teach kids. You can bring your meds over and doctors in Korea will gladly prescribe them but don’t mention it to your school, otherwise they’ll be very sketchy about hiring you.”

“I wouldn’t advise coming to Korea if you have severe anxiety issues. Moving to a foreign country can be stressful enough.”

“Guess what? Steroids “appear” to be legal in Korea. Prescription or non-prescription.  Although I’d double check this. Laws change every day, and in a zero tolerance country like Korea, “a drug is a drug, is a drug””


I flew to Korea, had interviews, but no job offer yet!

Question asked 

I’ve been here for a week, have all my documents in order. I’m a Caucasian man. I do the first recruiting screening interview, so the recruiter sets up an interview with the school director. Then the director cancels the interview at the last-minute. What’s up? Is it because I have no teaching experience and the recruiter neglects to tell the director? Any other suggestions for job sites so I can actually get hired?

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“You may have come to Korea at the wrong time. Most schools have hired for the fall at least until the new year. That is, unless a teacher quits at a hagwon and they need a replacement. You’re in a good position because you’re already in country, the job might in the location and offer the salary and benefits you expect. Unless you’re desperate.”

“Recruiters will tell you anything to string you along to keep you off the ESL job market. They’ll post fake jobs, tell you’re the perfect hire and then keep delaying interviews. They also won’t be up front with the hagwon director. And, when the director finds out you don’t have teaching experience, or doesn’t like your profile, then you don’t get the 2nd interview. Reasons why they might not want you: British accent, may only want a female. The list is endless at the whims of the director, unfortunately.”

“The school may not be in a rush to interview you. Directors are busy and if they don’t need you for a few months, they’ll push out the interview until later. Hurry up and wait!”

“Use more recruiters. Set up an email template letter and blast it out to every recruiter once a week. Don’t rely on one recruiter. They are talking to every teacher and you should talk to every recruiter. Cast a wide net. No recruiter is loyal to you. Try other job sites eslteaching.”

“October and April are bad times in Korea to be looking for a teaching job. Public school have already begun and most hagwons have hired for at least until a teacher quits suddenly or the new year.  March and September are the best times to get hired. Universities start then as do public schools. You’ll have a bit more luck with hagwons any time of the year , but your job options are still limited.”


Question About Paperwork For E2 Teaching Visa

Question asked

I’m applying to hagwons. Started the paperwork, but have a question…I have a BA and a MA degree. Do I need to send both degrees and academic transcripts for both degrees? The costs could add up to process this paperwork for my E2 visa requirements.

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“Submit your Masters only with transcripts. Often on job postings, hagwons and universities will ask for documents which prove your “highest level of education”. For example, if you have a Bachelor’s degree, you wouldn’t submit your high school diploma, would you?”

“The one caveat here is that some universities or international schools will ask you to submit both degrees and transcripts. In that case submit both otherwise you may be disqualified from the hiring process.”

“You’ll also need to think about Korea immigration. They may want copies of both of your degrees with transcripts. But, if you’re applying for a hagwon job you don’t even need a Master’s degree, so what immigration doesn’t know won’t hurt them. If you want to be on the super safe side, submit both degrees.”

“Seems to me that if you have a Master’s degree why wouldn’t you apply for a university teaching job or something better than a hagwon? Even a public school job would be better as a stepping stone into a small college or university teaching gig. At least a public school is a more professional setting and you’d get better apartment, pay, more vacation time and better apartment and other benefits.”

If you get a hagwon job and hold a Master’s degree don’t expect to get paid more than a teacher with just a BA. However, there are those elite test prep hagwons that pay extremely well, and I suspect they only hire teachers with Master’s degrees or ones who have graduated from Ivy League schools.”


Anybody used Solon Networks recruiter in Korea?

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I Googled Solon Networks and did find some information about them.Turns out, they do have a website that is in Korean and English. There are some teacher testimonials on their website as well. Keep in mind these could be biased because they ARE testimonials.

“Try to reach out to the 5 teachers on their website. Google the teachers’ names and see if you can connect with them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.”

There are many ESL jobs online If a recruiter or hagwon does not have a presence online this is NOT a good sign. No website, no reviews from teachers. This could also mean not many ESL teachers have used a certain recruiter or they are a NEW recruiter. Having said that, there isn’t much difference between recruiters in Korea. They all work in the interest of the hagwon and some will do or say anything to hire you.”

There are some better ones (Korvia, Footprints Recruiting for example), but just make sure you talk to current or former teachers at the school before accepting a job offer. Plenty of hagwon jobs to choose from IF you’re qualified.  Don’t let a recruiter pressure you into taking an English teaching job.”

“I guess it is possible for a one man show recruiter to only have a business card and an email address and be honest and helpful, but why take the risk using a recruiter with no presence or reviews online.”

“Read 12 questions to ask a recruiter during your Skype interview.”

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