September 23, 2018, 04:34:59 AM


Author Topic: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?  (Read 1780 times)

Offline hangook77

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What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« on: April 09, 2018, 02:57:49 PM »
What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?

Offline hangook77

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2018, 07:07:52 PM »
I spoke to a guy who works in a hakwon.  He said he was going to apply to EPIK, but it would take too long.  There were 3 phone Skype interviews and a video demonstration class he had to do for them too along with submitting a lesson plan.  He also said you had to apply months in advance.  Not sure if he was exaggerating or not.  I know it's tougher than when I applied.  Got my job through a recruiter who hooked me up with a local education office.  I applied and was here 3 and a half weeks later; no interview.  But this was years ago. 

Offline m.corless

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2018, 09:29:26 PM »
Filled out application form and scans of two reference letters sent by email, then EPIK will let you know if they want to interview you + schedule that appointment. Within a few days you'll hear if you passed and can submit physical copies of docs (application form, two reference letters, apostilled degree, apostilled criminal background check, uni transcripts, passport photos, TEFL certificate/copy of teacher's license). Then you'll wait for months and eventually hear of the office of education that has accepted you.

Already in Korea (I'm assuming) you can get stamped copies of your previously submitted degree + background check from immigration (hagwon) or your current M/POE (public).

Months in advance, yes. EPIK opens in March for August spots and August for February spots; you want to be near the front of the line. Never heard of three skype interviews before; heard of people having two if the interviewer wanted to clarify something. No video demo for EPIK... there is one for applying directly with the Gyeongnam office of ed, though.

Offline Piggydee

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2018, 07:10:22 AM »
And don't forget, once you do get accepted in EPIK you have to go to one of their 9 day orientations that are in different locations.  Usually they are on college campuses and yes you do have to stay on campus (even if you are married with a house and kids here)  Honestly if you are over the age of 26 it's going to feel kind of dumb to stay in a dorm room with someone but honestly the training is REALLY USEFUL AND YOU MAKE A GREAT NETWORK OF FRIENDS ;D

Offline StillInKorea

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2018, 07:50:37 AM »
And don't forget, once you do get accepted in EPIK you have to go to one of their 9 day orientations that are in different locations.  Usually they are on college campuses and yes you do have to stay on campus (even if you are married with a house and kids here)  Honestly if you are over the age of 26 it's going to feel kind of dumb to stay in a dorm room with someone but honestly the training is REALLY USEFUL AND YOU MAKE A GREAT NETWORK OF FRIENDS ;D

The last time I had an orientation for a Korean PS job, I just went home every night (1 hour drive) without telling anyone. Nothing bad happened.

Offline gurudanny98

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2018, 10:24:44 AM »
EPIK ( and the other government public school  organizations)is the most common way to get public school job, but it's not the only way. You can roll the dice and wait for a possible shortage in teachers, were the schools themselves will post openings. I've heard this referred to as the "back door". You can be be able to get a job quicker that way. But there is only a 5% chance of this happening, but I think it's easier then jumping through EPIK's hoops.

Offline LindaTheGr8

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2018, 12:20:28 PM »
If you already have your documents before you apply then the process can go pretty quickly. It took a month for me to get placed after I did my interview (It took about 2 weeks for them to receive my documents after the interview) but I think i just had an efficient Coordinator and that I applied directly to EPIK and not through a recruiter. Also, If you are South African or Canadian you need to have a letter stating that your education (from 7th grade and up) was done primarily in English. I went to one school from grade 6-12 so it was easy for me to get the letter but I have a friend who moved around alot and had to get it from 3 different schools, 2 of which were on the other end of the country so it was a pain.
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Offline fishead

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2018, 01:57:45 PM »
EPIK ( and the other government public school  organizations)is the most common way to get public school job, but it's not the only way. You can roll the dice and wait for a possible shortage in teachers, were the schools themselves will post openings. I've heard this referred to as the "back door". You can be be able to get a job quicker that way. But there is only a 5% chance of this happening, but I think it's easier then jumping through EPIK's hoops.

I've done it this way. It's super quick the one downside is that you will be interviewed face to face by a panel of  Korean teachers. If you opt for this approach you will find out fast if you have the job. On the downside if there is a white blonde attractive  North American female between the age of 25-35 you most likely won't get the job. If you are turned down from this job expect your recruiter to fast track you to  Hogwan jobs or completely ignore you. However if you get really lucky and the school is really stuck you might be invited into the Principals office. He ( it most likely will be a man) will ask you how many bottles of soju can you drink. At this point if you are clean cut with no visible tattoo's you have the job.

 These jobs are usually funded by city hall.  If you get one of these jobs and suddenly decide you want to join EPIK you will have to re-apply.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 01:59:51 PM by fishead »

Offline AvecPommesFrites

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 02:28:55 PM »
And don't forget, once you do get accepted in EPIK you have to go to one of their 9 day orientations that are in different locations.  Usually they are on college campuses and yes you do have to stay on campus (even if you are married with a house and kids here)  Honestly if you are over the age of 26 it's going to feel kind of dumb to stay in a dorm room with someone but honestly the training is REALLY USEFUL AND YOU MAKE A GREAT NETWORK OF FRIENDS ;D

Do they teach you how to write English like a 7 year old too?
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Offline Kayos

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2018, 02:32:28 PM »
And don't forget, once you do get accepted in EPIK you have to go to one of their 9 day orientations that are in different locations.  Usually they are on college campuses and yes you do have to stay on campus (even if you are married with a house and kids here)  Honestly if you are over the age of 26 it's going to feel kind of dumb to stay in a dorm room with someone but honestly the training is REALLY USEFUL AND YOU MAKE A GREAT NETWORK OF FRIENDS ;D

Having done a recent orientation myself, while I found some of the training to be useful; they mostly train you while thinking you will be under ideal teaching conditions, and as we know, the teaching conditions here vary by school. :P
Though, I do detect a bit of sarcasm in your caps bit. :p

Offline Piggydee

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2018, 02:51:29 PM »
And don't forget, once you do get accepted in EPIK you have to go to one of their 9 day orientations that are in different locations.  Usually they are on college campuses and yes you do have to stay on campus (even if you are married with a house and kids here)  Honestly if you are over the age of 26 it's going to feel kind of dumb to stay in a dorm room with someone but honestly the training is REALLY USEFUL AND YOU MAKE A GREAT NETWORK OF FRIENDS ;D

Having done a recent orientation myself, while I found some of the training to be useful; they mostly train you while thinking you will be under ideal teaching conditions, and as we know, the teaching conditions here vary by school. :P
Though, I do detect a bit of sarcasm in your caps bit. :p

No I'm not being sarcastic.  I really did find most of the information useful.  I'm so glad it wasn't a waste of time.   :azn:

Offline Kayos

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2018, 03:07:10 PM »
And don't forget, once you do get accepted in EPIK you have to go to one of their 9 day orientations that are in different locations.  Usually they are on college campuses and yes you do have to stay on campus (even if you are married with a house and kids here)  Honestly if you are over the age of 26 it's going to feel kind of dumb to stay in a dorm room with someone but honestly the training is REALLY USEFUL AND YOU MAKE A GREAT NETWORK OF FRIENDS ;D

Having done a recent orientation myself, while I found some of the training to be useful; they mostly train you while thinking you will be under ideal teaching conditions, and as we know, the teaching conditions here vary by school. :P
Though, I do detect a bit of sarcasm in your caps bit. :p

No I'm not being sarcastic.  I really did find most of the information useful.  I'm so glad it wasn't a waste of time.   :azn:

I'm glad. My orientation trained with you absolutes in mind like: "you will have a great co-teacher that will help you in the classroom", stuff that as we know, really varies based on students / co teachers / etc. 

Offline hangook77

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2018, 03:14:14 PM »
And don't forget, once you do get accepted in EPIK you have to go to one of their 9 day orientations that are in different locations.  Usually they are on college campuses and yes you do have to stay on campus (even if you are married with a house and kids here)  Honestly if you are over the age of 26 it's going to feel kind of dumb to stay in a dorm room with someone but honestly the training is REALLY USEFUL AND YOU MAKE A GREAT NETWORK OF FRIENDS ;D

Do they teach you how to write English like a 7 year old too?

Do they teach you to be rude?  Do they teach you not to know the difference between typing on a computer and typing or speaking into a smart phone where mistyping is common due to the small size?

Offline hangook77

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2018, 03:15:24 PM »
And don't forget, once you do get accepted in EPIK you have to go to one of their 9 day orientations that are in different locations.  Usually they are on college campuses and yes you do have to stay on campus (even if you are married with a house and kids here)  Honestly if you are over the age of 26 it's going to feel kind of dumb to stay in a dorm room with someone but honestly the training is REALLY USEFUL AND YOU MAKE A GREAT NETWORK OF FRIENDS ;D

Having done a recent orientation myself, while I found some of the training to be useful; they mostly train you while thinking you will be under ideal teaching conditions, and as we know, the teaching conditions here vary by school. :P
Though, I do detect a bit of sarcasm in your caps bit. :p

No I'm not being sarcastic.  I really did find most of the information useful.  I'm so glad it wasn't a waste of time.   :azn:

I'm glad. My orientation trained with you absolutes in mind like: "you will have a great co-teacher that will help you in the classroom", stuff that as we know, really varies based on students / co teachers / etc.

Elementary usually yes.  Middle usually, you are more on your own, except some occasional discipline and translation. 

Offline minji94

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2018, 08:30:44 PM »
Would some EPIK schools/provinces hire you even if your TEFL certificate was under 100 hours? Or is it a strict requirement for all public schools now?

Offline m.corless

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2018, 09:28:32 PM »
Would some EPIK schools/provinces hire you even if your TEFL certificate was under 100 hours? Or is it a strict requirement for all public schools now?

Do you have a degree in Education (Bachelor or Masters)? If not then you'll need the 100 TEFL hours to be eligible for EPIK.

Gyeongnam hires outside of EPIK and they will accept Level 3s (no TEFL or B.Ed/BA in Ed), but you can never move up the payscale without the TEFL hours (including at least 20 in-class) even if you resign your contract for multiple years. Chungnam also hires outside of EPIK but I'm not sure of their payscale requirements.

Offline hangook77

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2018, 03:02:39 PM »
Would some EPIK schools/provinces hire you even if your TEFL certificate was under 100 hours? Or is it a strict requirement for all public schools now?

Do you have a degree in Education (Bachelor or Masters)? If not then you'll need the 100 TEFL hours to be eligible for EPIK.

Gyeongnam hires outside of EPIK and they will accept Level 3s (no TEFL or B.Ed/BA in Ed), but you can never move up the payscale without the TEFL hours (including at least 20 in-class) even if you resign your contract for multiple years. Chungnam also hires outside of EPIK but I'm not sure of their payscale requirements.

Unless the rules changed, you can move up the pay scale.  Level 3 next year is level 2.  It's just most of EPIK won't hire a level 3.  But a TESOL or public school experience in Korea will get you hired as a level 2.  ublic school experience and a TESOL will let you go in as a level one I believe. 

I was hired as a level 3 years ago and made 1.9 mil my first year.  Now that same salary is 2.1 to start.  (I hear Seoul still tries to lowball at 1.8 which is bs.)  Anyways, I stayed in the same province and have been 1+ for years, no TESOL.  Many education offices were asking for a classroom TESOL, but now are accepting online ones.  More lenient.  TESOL does nothing to prepare you for kids or Korean educational culture anyhow. 


I was just wondering how much hassle was involed in applying to EPIK.  It seems not as bad as the guy told me, who I just mentioned on here. 

Offline m.corless

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2018, 09:42:45 PM »
Unless the rules changed, you can move up the pay scale.  Level 3 next year is level 2.  It's just most of EPIK won't hire a level 3.  But a TESOL or public school experience in Korea will get you hired as a level 2.  ublic school experience and a TESOL will let you go in as a level one I believe. 

I was hired as a level 3 years ago and made 1.9 mil my first year.  Now that same salary is 2.1 to start.  (I hear Seoul still tries to lowball at 1.8 which is bs.)  Anyways, I stayed in the same province and have been 1+ for years, no TESOL.  Many education offices were asking for a classroom TESOL, but now are accepting online ones.  More lenient.  TESOL does nothing to prepare you for kids or Korean educational culture anyhow. 


I was just wondering how much hassle was involed in applying to EPIK.  It seems not as bad as the guy told me, who I just mentioned on here. 

The rules have changed :)

EPIK requires 100 hours of TEFL, even if you have a year of full-time, post-grad experience but no degree in education. TESL + 1 year gets you to Level 2+ on the EPIK scale. Level 1 requires two years of experience. Three years ago this was different, absolutely.

Two education offices are requiring for Level 2, a TEFL with an in-class component, Gyeongnam and Busan as I mentioned.

Related side note: You can be considered for Level 3 in Busan with an online TEFL, but they limit the number of Level 3s they accept, so it makes it more difficult.
Related side note 2: I have physical copies of the EPIK hiring guidelines for the past 4 intakes in front of me.

Offline hangook77

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2018, 01:24:56 PM »
I do know a couple of people who have online TESOLs only.  Where can you even take a classroom tesol in Korea on weekends?  I searched and there's none.  Strange they want tesols but give no way to get them.  But some folks have an online tesol and got a job.  Every province may be different though.  Some recruiters said it was alright too for the provinces they recruit for.  Busan and others may be more strict on it, I'm not sure.  But having public school experience in Korea grandfathers you in, though a tesol is better to get hired at a level one rather than a level 2 with experience.  A tesol is for teaching adults who want to learn and have nothing to do with children and Korean educational culture.  I meet some of these new recruits who have one and they are always asking me for advice or help and how can they handle the kids.  Practically, it seems to be of little use. 

TESOLs are hard to get unless you're lucky enough to live in a big city where they are offered in North America or can afford to go travel and stay in another Asian country for a time to get one.  Korea might want to fix that issue if they have so many nets and they want them to have them. 

Offline hangook77

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Re: What is involved in applying to EPIK nowadays?
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2018, 01:31:15 PM »
As for me, I had nothing.  My small town back home didn't offer TESOLS and I had no way to get one.  I came as level 3 and have been level 1+ for quite some time.  Also, I didn't have to jump through the hoops that EPIK makes you do for interviews, etc.  If I were a young person looking to start teaching, I'd prob give them the finger and go to China.  Too much bother.  With the improving economy back home and other countries becoming esl destinations, EPIK will find itself with shortages like 10 years ago if they keep this up.  I originally started this topic because one dude told me he skipped epik because of the hassle and went hakwon because he could get here in less than a month. 

(I understand why they got so tight and strict during the Great Recession years.  It was because they could due to the market here being so flooded.  But the shoe is slowly getting put on the other foot.  I know so many who said nuts to this and jumped over to China.) 

Though for the record, I am happy with my schools most of the time.  Kids love me to death.  I pal around with them and the education office always talks me up saying how much good stuff they hear about me.  I don't think they're booting me because I didn't have 5 grand to travel to a big city and go get a TESOL a decade back.  (Student loans being poor at the time, etc.)  I guess I could go stay in Tokyo for a month and get one between contracts and lay down 5 grand (course, lodging, eating, etc) as I'm in an easier position to afford taking one now.  But doesn't help recent grads, except for rich kids.   

On the bright side, the interview process is less strict than what that person told me though.   
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 01:35:26 PM by hangook77 »