Question asked –
Has anybody taught English in Chungnam? My recruiter said I will teach at a school there. Are there many foreigners living and working there?
Read 8 Answers
“Chungnam is a smaller city in the Korean countryside. I can’t say about the foreign community. Best bet is to check to see if there is a Facebook group for teachers living there. That will tell you if it’s worth going there.”
“I really don’t want to be isolated. Maybe I should ask my recruiter for another city. Problem is that it’s EPIK in the bigger cities for the program already have teachers, like Daejeon and Sejeong.”
There are 2 million Koreans living in Chungcheongnam. and 20,00 foreigners living there. Not a small place by any US city standard.. http://www.gone2korea.com/chungnam-province/
“I can’t imagine teaching anywhere outside of Seoul. Cities like Cheonan, Daejeon and Daegu even feel small. You probably won’t see a white face for miles.”
“Busan is only a fraction the size of Seoul. I suppose if you can get close to Seoul where you can visit on the weekends by train or bus ( no more than a 90 minute commute), then you’ll survive.”
“I lived and taught in Seoul for several years. Biggest problem with living there is that it’s hard to get out when you actually yearn for a trip to the countryside to breathe some fresh air, walk down a coastal trail, see the sunrise. Choosing a hagwon or EPIK might be a wiser decision if you’re getting skittish about being in rural Korea. Go with your gut. Especially if you live in a larger city back home.”
“I’d live in a bigger city like Seoul or Busan, no matter what. You’ve got a large foreign community, doctors that speak English, all kinds of multicultural restaurants and events and an international airport nearby. How many teachers have I heard say, they want to immerse themselves in Korean, culture, learn the language and not hang out with other foreigners, but give them a couple of months in and they’re are longing for meaningful conversation with fellow foreigners because they can only get so much conversation depth with Koreans. Sure there are smaller expat communities in most parts of Korea, but why limit yourself to small town living with only one foreign teacher 10 blocks away?”
“Is EPIK worth it to live in rural Korea? I think not. Hagwon or EPIK you’ll teach kids have similar hours. It really comes down to slightly higher pay and more vacation time. But if you’re too far out of Seoul and find yourself coming in on the weekend, getting a goshiwan for the night and eating out, well there goes your savings. The less job satisfaction and quality of life you have in Korea, the more money you’ll spend. Pick a city where you’ll feel comfortable.”
My partner and I want to teach English in Korea. We don’t have to be at the same school but would like to share an apartment together. Doable?
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“Hagwons will accept couples. You’ll often find schools advertise specifically for couples. Google “couple teaching jobs” Korea. There is a couple at our hagwon. They teach the same schedule and live together. I guess the downside is do you want to see your partner every minute of the day? Nice to have some time apart now? Sure, it’s fine to live together, but even teaching at different schools would be fine.”
“The downside of couple teaching is that you don’t’ spread the financial and stress risk. If you wind up in a situation where your school goes bankrupt or they don’t make good on paying you or the hagwon director is a slave driver, then you’re both in the same spot and it’s that much more difficult to both leave and go to another school.”
“EPIK hires couples, but they won’t promise you’ll be teaching at the same public school. You can get the same apartment and hours (EPIK are all every similiar).”
“Most hagwons these days offer single housing. Who wants a room-mate? Especially someone you don’t know from another country. If a hagwon hires a couple, they don’t have to give single housing, so you might want to ask for a bit more money, since they don’t have to get two apartments as opposed to one. Just a thought…”
“Instead of asking for more money since you’re a couple, why not ask for a larger apartment or at least a two bedroom apartment since you’ll need an extra room as a TV room or place to have your two computers.”
“I’ve seen couples go to Korea and split up less than a year later, because one of them (most often the man) starts cheating on his girlfriend with Korean women. Not trying to dissuade you, but I’ve seen it more than once.”
“If you’re actually married, you could probably be more demanding and ask for the same school,same hours, and of course apartment. Koreans will respect your marriage more than just a couple of common lawyers…… They tend to frown on unmarried people living together. Although you’re from a different culture, they could care less.”
“Absolutely, couple positions are open at hagwons and EPIK. Harder to get through EPIK, but it won’t kill you for you and your love bug to teach at different schools. You won’t come home every night talking about the same students and same colleagues. At least you’ll have different stories to share each day. I’d never work with my girlfriend. Couples need space!”
“Harder to get the same public school through EPIK, but it is possible. Be up front and let your recruiter know in advance.”
Should I buy my plane ticket before E2 visa is finalized?
Question asked –
I was hired through EPIK. The recruiter told me not to purchase my flight ticket until the visa was approved. But, flights are going up because we’re getting closer to the holiday season. We’ve been technically hired and know the orientation date so I know when to arrive. Should I wait and play it 100% safe or just buy now and save a few hundreds dollars? It’s me and my girlfriend so we’ve got two flights to save on and we can get a seat sale now.
Read 8 Answers
“What if your visa gets backlogged and you can’t get into EPIK as expected? It can happen. Immigration works on their own schedule. They could care less about two foreign teachers out of tens of thousands who apply for visas every year. Buy your flight now and take the risk or wait. Your call….”
“Buy the plane ticket now, but with cancellation insurance. It can’t be more than $50 USD for the insurance. That way if there is a delay with your visa, you can just cancel and re-book your plane ticket . Sound like a plan?”
“You can show up in Korea without an actual visa. If you’re American you can come in on a tourist visa for 90 days and then leave and come back again. If you’re Canadian you get 6 months. Love Canada! Get to Korea, then fly out to Japan and pick it up in Japan at the Korean consulate.”
“Problem, is I’ll be teaching in a public school, so if I fly over and my visa still isn’t ready and can’t start teaching there. Hopefully, I’ll have it by then. I meet all the qualifications and I’m from the US so can’t see any issues, except delays. Better to be there waiting for a visa, then sitting here (if that even happens).”
“Listen to your recruiter. They know better than you. Don’t chance it. Even if you have to pay a bit more for your plane ticket at the last-minute, it’s safer. You can make up the savings by teaching a few Saturdays over the course of your 12 month teaching contract, or get a private student for 40,000 won per hour.”
“You’re dealing with government red tape and they march to the beat of their own drum. Anything can go wrong with slowing up your visa. I’ve stood in line at Korean immigration and then the lunch whistle blows. All the counters get closed down with dozens of foreigners standing in line and they end up having to wait an hour for them to return from lunch. They don’t care about making people wait. Especially foreigners. Consider it a privilege to be in Korea, not a right.”
“”Would your recruiter approve you to fly over to Korea without a visa? I mean, they might let you attend the orientation, but without an E2 visa, how can you start teaching if your visa gets that delayed? I think they’ll make you sit and wait. Sure, a hagwon would have you come over and plunk you in the classroom on a tourist visa for several months and pay you cash, but not EPIK. Best to play by their rules.”
“Just buy your ticket now at the cheapest price. It’s EPIK, and they are part of the Korean government. Get the cancellation insurance. I do it on any flight I’m taking wherever I go. It’s a good practice and it’s saved me a few times. Even if you just change your mind about going to Korea, then you can cancel your ticket. Peace of Mind!”
Criminal background checks. in the US. What charges are dismissed for a teaching job in Korea?
Read 7 Answers
Well… if you’ve got some speeding or parking tickets, they won’t hold these against you. As for a DUI, I’m not sure. It depends on when it occurred. Perhaps someone else could weight in on the drunk driving charges, or if they’ve been approved or denied because of it.”
“Think about it. Why would immigration let in a teacher who has any type of criminal background regardless of the severity. They have lots of teachers with clear records to rubber stamp in as English teachers. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. No second chances, especially in a foreign country like Korea.”
“If you’ve got some minor stuff on your record like underage drinking or a DUI or a urinating in a public place, in the parking lot of a bar when you were 18 try to get it expunged. We all make mistakes when we’re young and dumb. Not sure how easy the “expunging process” is, but if you are dead set on Korea, then try to get these black spots off your CBC.”
“You’ll need a lawyer to get a record expunged from your criminal background check. This will cost you. If you consult with a lawyer ask them how if and how long it will take to get an infraction expunged and is there a time frame when the crime will be automatically removed. For example, if you were busted for smoking a joint 3 years ago, will that be removed in a couple of years or more like 5 years?”
“You can get a free consultation from an attorney to explain your problem, but it’ll cost you up to $500 for an expungement. Could be more or less depending on the US state you live in. Will you be successful and how long it takes, is a question for your lawyer.”
“Get the CBC done first. Research on Google how long it takes to get it expunged, then speak to an attorney. Like mentioned above, it won’t cost you a dime for the first consultation. I can’t see you getting into Korea to teach English if you have any black marks on your CBC. It’s just not worth it for the Korean government. Government agencies are black or white. Anything in the grey zone, especially crimes they won’t overlook.”
Here’s how to get a criminal background check if you’re Canadian.