Read 6080 times

  • puregreentea
  • Adventurer

    • 27

    • September 08, 2016, 03:02:37 pm
    • Geojin, South Korea
Hi all

So i started my EPIK contact in Aug 2016 and i'm enjoying being an EPIK/ESL teacher. However I am not happy with various things such as location (very rural), general school life etc. Its difficult to explain but I know in my heart working here till Aug 2017 would be very challenging.

I would like to leave in at the end of the January 2017 which will be 6 months into the contract. Then hopefully head to Seoul and find a teaching job be it Public or Private.

Things i am worried about:
-Having to pay the entrance allowance back?  I heard that after 6 months I WONT have to pay it back but I could be wrong.

-Upsetting the school and them not giving me a positive reference or letter of release to reapply for Visa for new job.

-What happens to winter vacation time? Not actually bothered but would like to know.

- Being blacklisted from public schools for leaving contract early.

As for finding a new job, before starting in August 2016 I have a UK teaching qualification was a History teacher for 7 years in High School in London so i should have enough experience but I'm worried about opportunities.


Any help on this would be greatly appreciated

Thanks


Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2016, 10:21:46 pm »
Why would they give you a positive reference if you leave a contract after a few months...you signed a contract, do your best to complete it. If you owe them for a flight, pay them back - you left early. Do you really need a winter vacation?? If you can't complete a contract there, are you sure you can complete one in Seoul? ....


  • puregreentea
  • Adventurer

    • 27

    • September 08, 2016, 03:02:37 pm
    • Geojin, South Korea
Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2016, 10:43:51 pm »
Why would they give you a positive reference if you leave a contract after a few months...you sign ....

I would I like to think I would get a positive reference because of my actual work and teaching. I know that the school ( and the 4 other satellite schools I work at) are happy with my work. I plan to leave in Feb 2017 which gives the school 3 months to find a suitable replacement (from the Spring 2017).

As far as I'm aware after six months I dont have to pay the entrance fee back and as stated i'm not bothered about vacation. This isnt about money and I will pay it back if needs be. 

You make out that I dont care about the school and students but its quite the opposite. They have made me feel very welcome and the staff are great. But there are other issues and I'm currently very unhappy here. I feel bad for letting the school down and I would like nothing more than to see out my contract.  But I know it best for my wellbeing if I leave.


  • Pecan
  • The Legend

    • 3769

    • December 27, 2010, 09:14:44 am
    • Seoul
Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2016, 11:44:10 pm »
As far as I know, most of the public school programs are now coordinated under/managed by the same department/program, which means, if you don't complete your current contract, you won't be eligible for hire in Seoul or any other region they control (it's policy). Moreover, regardless of the circumstance or reason for your decision to not fulfill your contractual obligations, you will NOT be issued the "letter of release" (again, it's policy) and thereby prevented from securing "legal" employment until the day after the original date of the contract you are seeking to break.

I hope that makes sense.

Options...break contract, leave Korea, and return in 6 months to seek legal employment at a hagwon or break contract and move to Seoul to work "freelance" (to be clear, I am not advocating for you to break the law).

Either option is terrible, so I hope you are able to find a better solution.



  • JahMoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 639

    • May 11, 2016, 12:55:18 pm
    • Gyeonggi-do, ROK
Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2016, 12:13:03 am »
Sadly, what you're hoping for is not realistic in Korea. The letter of release will not be given to you if you are breaking the contract. A letter of reference is possible since that comes from your coworkers, not your boss. But you can't get a new public school job until the time that your current public school contract would have ended anyway, that's policy, with or without the letter of release that they won't give you if you break your contract. Some private schools will hire you without that letter, but that would not be legal work.
A lot of people go through what you are feeling now, but you signed the contract knowing there was a possibility you might not like it. The responsible thing to do would be to finish out your contract since it's just a year after all. If that's not feasible to you, you you may have to go back to the UK and wait out the contract period, then restart the application process.


Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2016, 12:37:19 am »
And the only way for you to obtain that letter of release without the school being nice enough to give it to you is to obtain it from immigration and/or the labor board, but that requires you having a meeting and/or hearing with them where you explain what circumstances made it so you couldn't get it. And frankly, they (from what I gather) pretty much only do that when it was due to wrongdoing on the part of the school. For example, if your boss wasn't paying you and won't give you the letter of release, they'll give you a de facto one.


Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2016, 07:42:49 am »
Hi all

So i started my EPIK contact in Aug 2016 and i'm enjoying being an EPIK/ESL teacher. However I am not happy with various things such as location (very rural), general school life etc. Its difficult to explain but I know in my heart working here till Aug 2017 would be very challenging.

I would like to leave in at the end of the January 2017 which will be 6 months into the contract. Then hopefully head to Seoul and find a teaching job be it Public or Private.

Things i am worried about:
-Having to pay the entrance allowance back?  I heard that after 6 months I WONT have to pay it back but I could be wrong.
This is stipulated in your contract.  Have you read it?
Quote
-Upsetting the school and them not giving me a positive reference or letter of release to reapply for Visa for new job.
The school doesn't care about you.  They want a warm body to fill a space.  Your co-teacher might give you a positive reference, but asa matter of policy the school won't give you an LoR.
Quote
-What happens to winter vacation time? Not actually bothered but would like to know.
It should be pro-rated.  Check your contract.
Quote
- Being blacklisted from public schools for leaving contract early.
Blacklisting is illegal in Korea.  However, one of the public school application form questions is 'have you ever left a contract early?'
Quote
As for finding a new job, before starting in August 2016 I have a UK teaching qualification was a History teacher for 7 years in High School in London so i should have enough experience but I'm worried about opportunities.
You are conflating 'teaching' with 'teaching in Korea'.  Sorry to say, your experience would be more useful, and more respected, elsewhere.  Koreans pretend to be interested in learning English.  The reality is quite different.


Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2016, 08:41:13 am »
Hi OP,

I can relate to you. I'm also placed in a rural area and I'm the only foreigner in town. It has been challenging and sometimes lonely, but a year will go by faster than you think.
I really like my school and students, but I wanted to leave too. I had doubts that  I could make it another 6 months and wanted to move to a city (it didn't have to be Seoul).  I think for many of us, the first 6 months are the toughest. We are dealing with homesickness, loneliness and culture shock.

Like the others have mentioned, you may have some issues breaking your contract and finding someone to hire you.  It may be wiser to wait it out and apply to Seoul when your contract is done.
I'm not sure what area you are in, but maybe you can find foreigners in your area to hang out with, travel around or do whatever you like to keep you busy. But in the end, it's your decision. You have to do what makes you happy ^^ 
Just do a bit a research on your contract before making a final decision.
Good luck :)




  • JahMoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 639

    • May 11, 2016, 12:55:18 pm
    • Gyeonggi-do, ROK
Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2016, 09:46:59 am »
Since I'm sure you've already figured out from the responses that your original plan is not going to go as you wished, I wil offer some advice for getting through the rest of your contract.
1. Travel. As public school teachers we make more than enough to explore other parts of Korea, and even outside of Korea. Spend your weekends elsewhere.
2. Find a hobby. Find something to do at home that you can get lost in, so it won't matter where you are. That can be blogging, making YouTube videos, reading, learning how to knit, studying Korean, getting drunk, whatever floats your boat.
3. Make friends. Whether through the various Facebook groups, or on your travels, find a solid handful of people to spend your time with so it goes by more quickly.
4. Better yourself. Fix up your resume, learn a relevant skill, do whatever you can to make yourself look better so that next year when you start applying to jobs in Seoul, you can beat out the competition and actually get that job. Right now the things you've listed in your original posting might not be enough to get a public school job in Seoul. Sadly, they will not care much about your 7 years of history teaching; they tend to only care about experience within Korea.


  • eummae
  • Adventurer

    • 46

    • February 28, 2016, 04:08:59 pm
Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2016, 09:47:12 am »
I can totally relate. I used to live in Seoul a few years ago and moved back here to be with my partner and friends this February, but was placed in a seriously rural school in Gyeonggi-do.  Like when I mean rural, there is literally 1 restaurant, no supermarket and a bus that runs once an hour and stops at 9pm. I speak Korean, lived here before but still honestly I said I was gonna leave in the first week. However I thought about how I can make it work and make the best of what seemed like a bad situation. I converted my driving licence, got a second hand scooter so I can drive to the nearest town if I need anything, and I rent a tiny place in Seoul which I stay at from Friday night until Monday morning and usually 2 nights a week too. I'm not sure what your location is or financial situation but look into what you can do to make the best of it. My school is the best, my colleagues are all great and it's really turned out okay. I'm transferring to Seoul after this year, and I am just taking this as a completely new experience that even Koreans will never have (my friends have never even seen a place as tiny as where I work haha). I just feel like I signed up for this and I don't want to contribute to the bad impression that a lot of foreigners leave here. You can always make the best of a "bad" situation. I know it's hard as especially my first month here I was seriously ready to leave! Good luck and try and enjoy it....try...haha


  • puregreentea
  • Adventurer

    • 27

    • September 08, 2016, 03:02:37 pm
    • Geojin, South Korea
Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2016, 09:55:51 am »
Just do a bit a research on your contract before making a final decision.
Good luck :)

Thanks. At the moment I'm just thinking about it but giving myself a deadline of 1st December to decide. Want to make sure it the right decision and I'm not rushing it.

-The end of January is a strange time to leave considering the winter holidays ends at the end of February.  That is an extra month of no teaching but getting paid.

No I will be leaving at the end of February as it will be six months in. Plus the school can get a replacement from the spring intake.

The way I feel at the moment is that lasting till August 2017 is too much for myself. Very much struggling as it is.

As it stand my only option is to leave Korea in Feb and come back in August to find a new job. However I'm now worried that my job prospects will be majorly damaged by the fact i'm breaking contract.

I thought I could get transfer to a D10 visa and then find a job but from the advice given its seems impossible.



  • kobayashi
  • Expert Waygook

    • 987

    • August 18, 2016, 11:14:47 am
    • Nibiru
Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2016, 11:58:47 am »
Yes,  it is impossible to transfer to a D10 without a letter of release. And they won't give you one for resigning, it's policy. That means you either have to finish your current contract,  or quit, leave, and come back once your visa has expired. After which it will be very difficult to get another public school job because you already quit one.

If you're a certified teacher what are you doing in Korea anyway? Go teach public school in Taiwan, or get a job in Abu Dhabi or some other place around there that will pay you a shit ton more than korea.


  • metzy244
  • Veteran

    • 109

    • August 30, 2013, 02:52:52 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2016, 12:20:44 pm »
I know 2 people who cut out the first week from EPIK and found others jobs.  It's not impossible, or impractical.  Get with a job recruiter and tell them your situation.  EPIK POE will release you at the 6 months, you just have to give them notice.  . Find a recruiter, them them your situation, and I'm sure they'll find you a job.  I'm guessing, just guessing youd have to take a hagwon job first, then transition if its a desirable place like seoul.     


  • JahMoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 639

    • May 11, 2016, 12:55:18 pm
    • Gyeonggi-do, ROK
Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2016, 01:30:37 pm »
I know 2 people who cut out the first week from EPIK and found others jobs.  It's not impossible, or impractical.  Get with a job recruiter and tell them your situation.  EPIK POE will release you at the 6 months, you just have to give them notice.  . Find a recruiter, them them your situation, and I'm sure they'll find you a job.  I'm guessing, just guessing youd have to take a hagwon job first, then transition if its a desirable place like seoul.   

It's not impossible, and I think we've all been clear that it's not. It's just not legal to take up another job while you are on an E2 visa sponsored by the first contract. And the public school programs are all connected and government funded, so one wouldn't be able to get another public school job after breaking contract. But yes, it's possible to find a hagwon that will hire you even though your visa is sponsored elsewhere. It's just a risky game to play.


Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2016, 10:21:09 pm »
Since it is the school that gives the LOR, the first thing i would do is ask them. However, It is the POE's policy policy not to cooperate so if they are holding your documents instead of immigration then you may need new ones before you begin a new job.

If the school says "no" then it still may be possible if you go to immigration depending on the circumstances. They may be able to get the LOR for you but that may depend on which immigration office you go to and what worker you get.


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 4106

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2016, 12:03:13 am »

No I will be leaving at the end of February as it will be six months in. Plus the school can get a replacement from the spring intake.

It doesn't work that way in public schools. If you quit, they lose their NET for the rest of the year, till the end of your original contract.

Unless policy has changed recently...which I have not heard of.

I thought I could get transfer to a D10 visa and then find a job but from the advice given its seems impossible.

That is correct...not entirely impossible, but near impossible.

To get a D-10, you'll need a LOR from either your principal or local office of education...or both. It really depends on the immigration officer you get, and immigration officials in Seoul tend to be a lot less forgiving.

Also, if you transfer from public (E2-2) to private (E2-1), you'll need certified copies of your apostilled degree etc from your POE and present them to immigration, or new documents all together...assuming you go the D-10 route.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 12:06:22 am by waygo0k »


  • Trishalin
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • July 13, 2016, 01:43:34 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Leaving EPIK contract after 6 months and finding new job in Seoul.....
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2016, 09:51:23 am »
Hey

Just some friendly advice, this is my first time teaching abroad and i asked for a middle school and to be placed in Changwon or Busan. They decided to mess with me and gave me elementary lol and Namhae (rural and tiny, like reaaaallllyyy tiny). After the first 2 weeks I wanted to leave. I was lonely and nobody spoke English, it was awful. I started going to the gym and i ended up meeting people who spoke some English which was heaven, so the gym became like my personal solace.

Now i am 5 months in, i work out with a Group of ladies that don't know any English what so ever, they invited me to dinner and nore-bang. People like these make the craziest differences, because at the moment I am thinking of renewing my contract and staying in Namhae. There are hidden gems everywhere, you just have to open up and don't let language be a barrier, look hard enough and you'll find your reason to stay.