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IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« on: December 23, 2018, 11:32:08 pm »
   I've just been rejected by EPIK! It's frustrating. I'd like you to tell me your experiences with EPIK (not GEPIK or Jeollanamdo Language Program), and include any problems.  I am an experienced teacher, and I have good references but they rejected me because one of the letters of recommendation does not fit their template, even though it has the letter heading and address, phone and e-mail of the hagwon branch and is signed by my immediate boss, who went out of her way to praise me in her letter. The EPIK Coordinator's attitude and tone seemed very cold and condescending.  I am trying not to get too angry about this level of petty bureaucracy. But it does seem totally crazy.
   What was it like for you people? Did you apply to EPIK only to be rejected on a technicality? What is it like to work for EPIK? Do people always have a good experience? Or is it sometimes disappointing? Years ago, friends of mine praised it. They had a good time with EPIK. These people were in their mid-thirties or early forties and had done other jobs. These guys were from Australia and New Zealand. I get the impression that those who go into EPIK these days are mainly 22 year-old graduates from Canada or the USA.
   


  • m.corless
  • Super Waygook

    • 256

    • August 30, 2011, 02:55:14 pm
    • Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2018, 05:04:40 am »
EPIK doesn't usually give reasons as to why an applicant is rejected and if it was only a formatting issue with your reference letter they usually give an opportunity to revise it between the interview and mailing your final documents. Did you have an interview? If not it could have been that they called your former employer and she didn't give a positive review. Some people say that EPIK favours inexperienced teachers because they are cheaper, but I think it's more random than that.


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3310

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2018, 05:17:29 am »
Public school NETs:

2011: 9,320
2012: 8,520
2013: 7,916
2014: 6,785
2015: 5,545
2016: 4,962

More applicants are competing for less openings.


Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2018, 08:28:32 am »
I heard that epik didn't have enough people to fill placements this year. So I'm surprised they rejected you. But for me Epik is nice. It's my first year teaching and I think everyone in Epik has a different experience. For me I don't like my placement.  I like my coworkers and my students. I just hate my town. I'm in a pretty rural place and since I stayed in Seoul for college for a semester. I'm kinda over this rural place.


I also like the city a lot so being rural is annoying to me. I am also the only western foreigner in town and the closest western foreigners live an hour away by bus in the main city of my area. So it's pretty lonely and my everyday life has become stagnant. I go to work and go home. Then on the weekends,

 I travel out to the city.  I'm planning on moving next year to be honest. I'm tired of having to be on the bus by 7:30 or I have to sleep in a love motel. Also tired of the busses that come once an hour and working at 5 schools. But for working with my co-teachers they're all pretty nice to me. 

I have a couple of schools where I teach alone and it's pretty tough.  Then some, where we co-teach and it's good. All my co-workers are caring about me. The staff tries to talk to me. I think the staff trying to talk to me is because I speak some Korean so that the language barrier is broken and the nervousness isn't really there.  Anyways I know epik can be pretty picky but it seems like every year they don't have enough applicants.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5138

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2018, 09:45:39 am »
Anyways I know epik can be pretty picky but ...
Judging by some of the posters here in Waygook, I think EPIK might benefit from being even pickier.
  :laugh: :angel:


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3310

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2018, 09:59:34 am »
Anyways I know epik can be pretty picky but it seems like every year they don't have enough applicants.

From what I read there are now about six applicants for every one public school opening.

So I guess hard to get in as a n00b (especially as a male), but easy to renew once already in the system.

(Applies to university instructors as well.)


Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2018, 10:36:15 am »
Anyways I know epik can be pretty picky but it seems like every year they don't have enough applicants.

From what I read there are now about six applicants for every one public school opening.

So I guess hard to get in as a n00b (especially as a male), but easy to renew once already in the system.

(Applies to university instructors as well.)

Judging from

1) Comments in other threads about there being no English speaking help in some schools
2) the number of potential teachers claiming to be learning Korean before even being accepted by EPIK
3) The ever increasing worldwide popularity of Korean popular culture
4) The number of teachers saying they need Korean to teach properly
5) There being six applicants to every EPIK job

I'm surprised EPIK hasn't made some knowledge of Korean at least highly desirable status for NET jobs. They could make part of the interview in Korean.


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3310

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2018, 10:50:32 am »
Japan has gradually become more competitive over the years. Now Japanese ability is a big leg up, if not required in some cases.

Will Korea follow suit?


Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2018, 11:19:05 am »
Japan has gradually become more competitive over the years. Now Japanese ability is a big leg up, if not required in some cases.

Will Korea follow suit?

Not sure you need Japanese for the JET program (their EPIK equivalent)


  • hangook77
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1168

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2018, 12:57:04 pm »
I heard that epik didn't have enough people to fill placements this year. So I'm surprised they rejected you. But for me Epik is nice. It's my first year teaching and I think everyone in Epik has a different experience. For me I don't like my placement.  I like my coworkers and my students. I just hate my town. I'm in a pretty rural place and since I stayed in Seoul for college for a semester. I'm kinda over this rural place.


I also like the city a lot so being rural is annoying to me. I am also the only western foreigner in town and the closest western foreigners live an hour away by bus in the main city of my area. So it's pretty lonely and my everyday life has become stagnant. I go to work and go home. Then on the weekends,

 I travel out to the city.  I'm planning on moving next year to be honest. I'm tired of having to be on the bus by 7:30 or I have to sleep in a love motel. Also tired of the busses that come once an hour and working at 5 schools. But for working with my co-teachers they're all pretty nice to me. 

I have a couple of schools where I teach alone and it's pretty tough.  Then some, where we co-teach and it's good. All my co-workers are caring about me. The staff tries to talk to me. I think the staff trying to talk to me is because I speak some Korean so that the language barrier is broken and the nervousness isn't really there.  Anyways I know epik can be pretty picky but it seems like every year they don't have enough applicants.

If they keep having a shortage of placements, then they will have to start hiring more people, beyond a format complaint, unless that was a polite reason and there was a really bad reference or something.  But, pre 2009 reession, EPIK also had shortages and hired at a much lower standard.  Folks who got bad reviews were often renewed too.  But GEPIK and SMOE were pretty quick to drop people and non renew by the fall of 2009 and EPIK in the rest of the country by the fall of 2010. 

Hopefully, if they keep having shortages, it will make applying easier and will eventually lead to some pay raises.  Supply and demand. 


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3310

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2018, 01:40:27 pm »
The "shortage" is coming after they turned down a ton of interested, eager applicants. Look on reddit to see the many stories of experienced teachers failing the EPIK interview for reasons they don't understand.


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3310

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2018, 01:47:54 pm »
Not sure you need Japanese for the JET program (their EPIK equivalent)

As part of the general criteria, applicants must: (1) Be interested in Japan and be willing to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of Japan after their arrival; be motivated to participate in and initiate international exchange activities in the local community; make effort to study or continue studying the Japanese language prior to and after arriving in Japan.

http://jetprogramme.org/en/eligibility/

additional consideration will be given to applicants who:
Have language teaching experience or qualifications.
Have general teaching experience or qualifications.
Have a high level of Japanese language ability.


Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2018, 02:20:10 pm »
Not sure you need Japanese for the JET program (their EPIK equivalent)

As part of the general criteria, applicants must: (1) Be interested in Japan and be willing to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of Japan after their arrival; be motivated to participate in and initiate international exchange activities in the local community; make effort to study or continue studying the Japanese language prior to and after arriving in Japan.

http://jetprogramme.org/en/eligibility/

additional consideration will be given to applicants who:
Have language teaching experience or qualifications.
Have general teaching experience or qualifications.
Have a high level of Japanese language ability.

Oh yeah. So surprised Korea doesn't state this too


  • hangook77
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1168

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2018, 02:21:11 pm »
The "shortage" is coming after they turned down a ton of interested, eager applicants. Look on reddit to see the many stories of experienced teachers failing the EPIK interview for reasons they don't understand.

It could be that or it could be that they think it's still the Great Recession and the market is flooded.  It would most likely affect March 2019 or September 2019 if this is a new thing.  Meaning that the recruiters will be told to "lighten up" and go easy.  But we shall see.  It could simply be as illogical as you say too. 


Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2018, 02:29:25 pm »
Another thing with the JET program, I've been told by people who are part of the program or who used to be in the program that your focus during the interview should most heavily be on cultural exchange (including a personal interest in the Japanese language and culture). If you ignore these points and focus mostly on the teaching aspect of the program, you'll likely get rejected.

I don't know if this was or is true, but it does coincide with JET's "evolving" directives.


Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2018, 04:38:36 pm »
EPIK doesn't reject on letters of recommendation. If you mess up on submitting them or one is not acceptable, they give a ton of chances to fix it, so something seems off with what you stated.

Did you go through the interview and were declined afterwards. They don't give a reason usually. Do you have the email they sent? Maybe we can take a look and see if it is something new.


  • ESLTurtle
  • Super Waygook

    • 283

    • October 25, 2017, 07:58:46 pm
    • South Korea
Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2018, 07:26:08 pm »
Just do it and don't be a *****


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3310

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2018, 05:25:34 pm »
I heard that epik didn't have enough people to fill placements this year. So I'm surprised they rejected you.

Anyways I know epik can be pretty picky but it seems like every year they don't have enough applicants.

They don't have enough applicants... after rejecting many qualified applicants? Seems absurd.

http://www.waygook.org/index.php?topic=109974.0

I was with Gepik and got rejected by Epik. I have been with public school system for 3 years and have been with my school for 2 years. My letters if recommendation from my principal and coteacher are solid as well.  I didn't even get an interview. Feels weird working here and not even being seriously considered for a measly interview.

I wish everyone the best of luck with your applications.

I got just got mine rejected despite having letters of recommendation from two different principles, and over ten years work experience in public schools.




  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 2157

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2018, 07:10:38 pm »
judging from that other thread, it might just be because they want cheaper teachers- ones that would start at 1.9m or whatever the ridiculous starting wage is


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1523

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: IS EPIK STILL WORTH IT-OR IS IT A CRAZY WASTE OF TIME?
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2018, 07:13:30 pm »
Did you have an interview? If not it could have been that they called your former employer and she didn't give a positive review.
This right here is probably why the OP was rejected. Somebody they called probably didn't give you the glowing recommendations that you thought would be assured.