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  • CallinIn
  • Waygookin

    • 19

    • January 30, 2018, 01:57:54 am
    • USA
EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« on: January 30, 2018, 02:06:09 am »
I'm just here to clarify some stuff:

I received my lovely cat Finn when I was 16 and he was an itty bitty kitten. Now I'm 22 and, I mean, we're family. There's no one I can give him to.

I'm applying for the EPiK program in Fall, and he has to come with me. But there is that pesky little rule. He is pretty clean, he meows quite a bit, but is otherwise well behaved.

I know that pets aren't allowed because of people abandoning them and damages, and whatnot. But I am obviously not planning to abandon him. I am already beginning the process to get all his papers, and I plan to bring him over after orientation.  So this rule really stinks for me. He was a gift when I was 16, and I love him to death. I can't just abandon him back home, because I plan to stay in Korea long-term. At least 6 years, and probably more.

Do you guys think I can at least make it a year with a smuggled cat? After my first contract ends, I'll try to find my own place that allows cats at least.


Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2018, 11:47:31 am »
I know tons of EPIK teachers who have pets. There's only one that I don't know if she lives in her own housing or if she has the school-provided housing. Everyone else that I know of has their own housing.

On one hand, the school -probably- won't conduct any inspections or anything. On the other, there have been plenty of tales of nosy landlords and whatnot. Honestly, I'd say to leave him at home with your family for the first year, and then, if you renew/find another job (plans change--you might not end up being here long term), find your own housing and bring him over then.

Note however, that there are inspections when you move out. And that your coteachers will probably be in and out of your apartment (when you're there) the first couple weeks as you get stuff like gas and internet set up.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 11:49:27 am by tadpole511 »


  • cracker
  • Veteran

    • 233

    • April 04, 2011, 12:20:11 pm
    • Gangwon-do
Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 12:50:58 pm »
Quote
I'm just here to clarify some stuff:

I received my lovely cat Finn when I was 16 and he was an itty bitty kitten. Now I'm 22 and, I mean, we're family. There's no one I can give him to.

I'm applying for the EPiK program in Fall, and he has to come with me. But there is that pesky little rule. He is pretty clean, he meows quite a bit, but is otherwise well behaved.

I know that pets aren't allowed because of people abandoning them and damages, and whatnot. But I am obviously not planning to abandon him. I am already beginning the process to get all his papers, and I plan to bring him over after orientation.  So this rule really stinks for me. He was a gift when I was 16, and I love him to death. I can't just abandon him back home, because I plan to stay in Korea long-term. At least 6 years, and probably more.

Do you guys think I can at least make it a year with a smuggled cat? After my first contract ends, I'll try to find my own place that allows cats at least.

You started this thread, having already decided what you are going to do (break the contract).

Can you/will you make it a year? Completely depends on circumstance and very much luck of the draw..... so whatever anyone says on here is completely irrelevant.



  • CallinIn
  • Waygookin

    • 19

    • January 30, 2018, 01:57:54 am
    • USA
Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 02:37:20 pm »
I know tons of EPIK teachers who have pets. There's only one that I don't know if she lives in her own housing or if she has the school-provided housing. Everyone else that I know of has their own housing.

On one hand, the school -probably- won't conduct any inspections or anything. On the other, there have been plenty of tales of nosy landlords and whatnot. Honestly, I'd say to leave him at home with your family for the first year, and then, if you renew/find another job (plans change--you might not end up being here long term), find your own housing and bring him over then.

Note however, that there are inspections when you move out. And that your coteachers will probably be in and out of your apartment (when you're there) the first couple weeks as you get stuff like gas and internet set up.

Ah, I forgot about the coteacher... Thank you. Leaving him with family is tricky, since no one wants him and I run the risk of them sending him off to a shelter. I will keep it in mind though, thank you!

You started this thread, having already decided what you are going to do (break the contract).

Can you/will you make it a year? Completely depends on circumstance and very much luck of the draw..... so whatever anyone says on here is completely irrelevant.

TBH, what I'm looking for are people who were in this same situation when they first started and whatever their experiences have been since then. I've seen threads about people wanting to get pets but haven't yet, or got a pet while in Korea.

I haven't found anything about people who already had a pet bringing it over. I probably didn't express that well in the original post. And if it came down to me having to give up my cat here at home or over in Korea, I'd rather do it here where I am more comfortable with it here. I JUST learned about the NO PET policy and now I'm pretty stressed about it. I don't want to break the contract, but if it won't hurt anyone too much I will.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 02:50:14 pm by CallinIn »


  • m.corless
  • Super Waygook

    • 260

    • August 30, 2011, 02:55:14 pm
    • Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 11:45:12 pm »
The problem is that it doesn't technically matter what EPIK or the M/POE says, it matters what your landlord will allow. Could you be placed in a big apartment complex with tons of Koreans who also have various pets? Sure. But you could also be placed in a tiny officetel where the landlord lives in the building and absolutely despises all animals and won't allow it. Even if that situation is a very small risk, is it worth it for your cat that you love so much?

Since you can't have your pet at orientation anyway, they have to fly over separately with someone else or with a courier service. Either way it is best to wait until you have moved into your apartment to figure out what will work. Once you move in you can feel out the place and figure out if your cat will be welcome before having him sent over.


  • Bee8989
  • Waygookin

    • 24

    • March 31, 2014, 07:29:12 pm
    • Jinhae, South Korea
Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2018, 08:21:43 am »
Is that 'no pet' rule still in the contract? I seem to recall it being mentioned when I first came to Korea, but in the contracts I've signed since there has been no mention of 'no pets'. But that could be because my contract is with the Gyeongsangnam-do Office of Education, and might be slightly different to the EPIK contract.


  • net.panda
  • Waygookin

    • 19

    • March 03, 2017, 07:51:46 am
    • Ha-Dong Gyeongsangnam-Do
Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2018, 09:18:28 am »
Yeah, you're going to find out very quickly a lot of EPIK teachers don't exactly follow the "no pet rule". Like most people have been saying, it all really depends on WHERE you end up being moved to and your cat's general behavior. Some places don't allow pets, in which you could look into alternative places to live that allow pets and get housing allowance, but that is a huge headache in itself, especially if it is your first year and you do not know Korean (let alone the real-estate practices here).
I bring up your cat's behavior because a place may, at first, welcome pets, but if they are found to be "extremely" noisy or destructive the landlord/building management will be involved and may ask that you re-home your pet as a result. This is not my personal experience, but rather a story I heard from someone where they were only fostering and got the ok from landlord and their school, but was asked to get rid of the animal because there were noise complaints.

Of course a lot of this you won't necessarily know until you meet your school, place of residence, and ask all these questions. I know you said that your family doesn't want to keep him, but what about close and trustworthy friends that don't mind housing your cat temporarily until you can get everything sorted out (worst case scenario take care of for a year)? Regardless good luck with which ever action you end up doing! It's not easy leaving what is essentially your fur-child.

Is that 'no pet' rule still in the contract? I seem to recall it being mentioned when I first came to Korea, but in the contracts I've signed since there has been no mention of 'no pets'. But that could be because my contract is with the Gyeongsangnam-do Office of Education, and might be slightly different to the EPIK contract.

Hi, also part of EPIK and Gyeongnam. So specifically in my Gyeongnam contract, from what I can see from my scanned copy, there is nothing specific relating to pets. That being said, any damages caused in your place of residence will be paid entirely by you. If you end up getting a fairly destructive pet, I mean it happens, you are completely liable for anything that may need repairs. Be sure to review your contract with your CT, since there might be something written specifically in the hangul portion of the contract. It's unlikely that they wouldn't translate that part if that was the case though since that would be rather unethical to hide that information from their employees.
To follow up with this however, at the end of the day your landlord has the final say, so be sure to approach both your CT and landlord on this. If you get a small pet, ie. Hamster, hedgehog, fish, ect, it's usually fine, since they're in cages/bowls and don't make much noise. That being said I do not recommend certain pets because you cannot bring them back with you should you decide to move out of the country. The biggest worry is cats and dogs causing damage to the rooms unsupervised (and of course abandoning them when the contract is up).


Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2018, 09:35:58 am »
I have 2 cats that I moved to Korea with from the US, but I didn't go through epik. I was too nervous about their no-pet policy and didn't want to risk getting stuck with a no-pets allowed apartment. I applied through a recruiter and basically told them up front that I have cats and it's a priority that they go with me, then they communicated that to potential employers and found me schools that offered pet-friendly housing. I ended up signing with a public school, and they were great about helping get my cats to Korea and have even been helping me make reservations for them at "cat hotels" when I go on vacation.
Obviously I can't comment on your chances of bringing Finn here without jeopardizing your epik contract, but you might want to consider going the recruiter route on this one. If you're applying for fall intake you've still got some time to decide and look at your options.


  • dalkyr
  • Veteran

    • 165

    • July 06, 2016, 10:15:53 am
    • USA
Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2018, 11:25:57 am »
Since you can't have your pet at orientation anyway, they have to fly over separately with someone else or with a courier service. Either way it is best to wait until you have moved into your apartment to figure out what will work. Once you move in you can feel out the place and figure out if your cat will be welcome before having him sent over.

This is a HUGE aspect that I think needs to be reiterated: There is *LITERALLY NO WAY* that you're going to be able to bring the cat with you when you first arrive. You'll be met at the airport by EPIK staff, and you'll be living in dorms during orientation. Plus all the aforementioned coteacher interaction during your first few weeks/months.

So regardless of whether you decide to go through with it, you're going to have to either have someone else fly it over, or pay a pet shipping service. Either option is going to be VERY expensive.


Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2018, 11:17:29 pm »
You are going to have a lot more on your plate to try to bring your cat to Korea.
The easiest thing you could do is stay where you are and find work so you can
keep your cat as long as the landlord will let you have a cat.

I know one teacher who used to work in the EPIK program. She bought a pet
dog while in Korea. But then after she returned to the USA, she also brought
her dog with her and is still with her until this day.


Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2018, 10:37:01 am »
Agreeing with what others have said. There is no way if you are teaching with EPIK that you will be able to bring your cat with you. You will immediately go to training, it might be a few weeks (or more) after training that you are even comfortably settled into your apartment depending on your school and housing situation.

You could have someone temporarily watch your cat until your settled and then pay for the cat to be sent over (probably $2,000-$3000).
Or you could look at having someone watch your cat for a year. Go through EPIK, save up your money, and if you decide you want another year in Korea take the stipend, and move into an apartment where you can have a pet, and send your cat over then.

The cost of bringing the cat over is going to be a ton, and the travel itself might be stressful on the cat. I wonder if you weren't willing to pay someone to watch your cat if that might help? Even paying someone $100 a month for a year would save you a money and stress, and give yourself the time to figure out if Korea is your long term plan or not. With the amount you will be making here you can afford to pay a monthly amount to show you're grateful for a friend or family taking on the responsibility, and to take care of the food and litter costs.


Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2018, 01:44:15 pm »
Ok. I've only adopted a hamster while I've been an EPIK teacher, so I have zero experience with bigger pets. However, all of these people are saying you absolutely can't bring your cat to Korea due to EPIK orientation. That part is partially true if you think outside the box. I'm not saying that this will work 100%, but it is one possible way to bring Finn over without worrying about your parents or a friend shipping him off to a shelter because they get impatient with waiting for you to ship him over more or less.

1. You 100% cannot have your cat at orientation. 2. But if you can plan ahead of time and find a foster or cat babysitter while you're in orientation, then it could be possible from that angle. Fly to Korea a week earlier before orientation starts and drop Finn at his "cat sitter". Then complete orientation and get settled into your apartment. My landlady/co-teachers were only in my apartment the first week to set up stuff. Next, arrange to pick him up from the cat sitter and bring him to your apartment. Side note: However, if for some reason, the landlord finds out about your cat and is strictly no pets policy, that could greatly complicate your apartment situation.

Here's a few Facebook groups that could help give you advice about logistics: Everything Paws Korea, Animal Rescue in Korea, Airborn Animals, and I'm sure there are more.

Here's a video of someone who brought her cat back over from the US. She adopted her cat while she was living in Korea, went back to the US, and then came back to Korea. However, at the time of this video it sounds like she was working for a hagwon and not EPIK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Lz3XxtDMyE

Again, not saying this could all work for certain, but it was just an idea that popped into my head while reading the comments and such. Good luck.


  • klx001
  • Adventurer

    • 40

    • February 05, 2016, 02:59:21 am
    • Busan
    more
Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2018, 02:46:21 pm »
 yea, i also suggest you come here, settle down and feel things out/ asking if pets are allowed before trying to smuggle a cat in. you can always go back home during your summer vacation and bring him in then. ..which means that you'll have to find someone to  watch your cat for at minimum 6 months? im sure you know AT LEAST ONE PERSON who wouldnt mind. right? or if you can confirm sooner after you get to your new home that your housing  allows pets, you can somehow get your cat sent over then.

your biggest worry (aside from contract related stuff and possibly smuggling in a cat) would probably be whether or not your housing will allow pets and also what to do during orientation week.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 02:50:55 pm by klx001 »
idk tho.


  • dalkyr
  • Veteran

    • 165

    • July 06, 2016, 10:15:53 am
    • USA
Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2018, 08:23:02 pm »
Ok. I've only adopted a hamster while I've been an EPIK teacher, so I have zero experience with bigger pets. However, all of these people are saying you absolutely can't bring your cat to Korea due to EPIK orientation. That part is partially true if you think outside the box. I'm not saying that this will work 100%, but it is one possible way to bring Finn over without worrying about your parents or a friend shipping him off to a shelter because they get impatient with waiting for you to ship him over more or less.

1. You 100% cannot have your cat at orientation. 2. But if you can plan ahead of time and find a foster or cat babysitter while you're in orientation, then it could be possible from that angle. Fly to Korea a week earlier before orientation starts and drop Finn at his "cat sitter". Then complete orientation and get settled into your apartment. My landlady/co-teachers were only in my apartment the first week to set up stuff. Next, arrange to pick him up from the cat sitter and bring him to your apartment. Side note: However, if for some reason, the landlord finds out about your cat and is strictly no pets policy, that could greatly complicate your apartment situation.

Here's a few Facebook groups that could help give you advice about logistics: Everything Paws Korea, Animal Rescue in Korea, Airborn Animals, and I'm sure there are more.

Here's a video of someone who brought her cat back over from the US. She adopted her cat while she was living in Korea, went back to the US, and then came back to Korea. However, at the time of this video it sounds like she was working for a hagwon and not EPIK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Lz3XxtDMyE

Again, not saying this could all work for certain, but it was just an idea that popped into my head while reading the comments and such. Good luck.


So this is a decent plan... Except for the part where it's a TERRIBLE plan. Bear with me, it'll make sense when I'm finished.

It's a decent plan from the human's perspective. The logistics are decent, and it's probably the only way you'd manage to pull it off without shelling out hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

From the cat's perspective it's terrible. Animals don't travel in the cabin internationally. So basically you'd be stuffing Finn in a box for almost a full day, taking him to another country where everything smells and tastes different, putting him in another house that he doesn't know, with people he's never met, then abandoning him. (Yes, I know you're not abandoning him. But that's what he'll think) You won't have time to visit during orientation and your first week or so. It's pretty much a recipe for seriously traumatizing your poor cat.


  • AWVM_HXE
  • Adventurer

    • 60

    • June 15, 2016, 06:07:37 pm
    • Asia-Pacific Region
Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2018, 08:44:05 pm »
OP, when I moved to Japan after college, I had to say goodbye to my beloved 22-year old cat that I had had almost since birth, because I knew that she would be so miserable on the flight and had a very good chance of getting sick/dying. I knew that I probably wouldn't see her again because she was so old, but it was better for her to stay with my friend and spend the rest of her life peacefully.

Wait until you've been in korea for a while. Settle in. Decide if you really do want to stay or not, get your own housing or clear it with your school, and then bring your cat over after evaluating the situation from a better perspective.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5450

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2018, 07:38:11 am »

From the cat's perspective it's terrible. Animals don't travel in the cabin internationally. So basically you'd be stuffing Finn in a box for almost a full day, taking him to another country where everything smells and tastes different, putting him in another house that he doesn't know, with people he's never met, then abandoning him. (Yes, I know you're not abandoning him. But that's what he'll think) You won't have time to visit during orientation and your first week or so. It's pretty much a recipe for seriously traumatizing your poor cat.
Cats and dogs under 5kg *do* actually travel in the cabin if you plan ahead. I've flown internationally several times with my 7 kilo dachshund (rules can be bent) in a carrier at my feet. Pet tickets usually cost about 200,000 won (per airline: you have to pay again if you transfer to a different company during your trip).


  • fishead
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1138

    • April 23, 2010, 07:58:05 am
    • Yangju Korea
Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2018, 11:21:29 am »
 I kept an Iguana for two years while in Korea working for EPIK. All my co-teachers knew I had one. I even invited them back to see it during one of those infamous conversation lessons.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5450

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2018, 04:03:41 pm »
I've flown internationally several times with my 7 kilo dachshund (rules can be bent) in a carrier at my feet.

Yes, we know how you did that....


More like:

 
:laugh:
Anyway, something else to keep in mind: most Asian airlines go by weight, but some American ones (Delta and United, for example) go by carrier size: so long as you can stuff the beast in a regulation sized carrier, and it can turn around, then you can bring it on board with you.


Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2018, 12:06:35 pm »
Now if only someone would do something about EPIK having pets...


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Re: EPIK and the dreaded Pet Policy
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2018, 12:42:23 pm »
Now if only someone would do something about EPIK having pets...




Nice one :laugh: