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Questions about a concern...
« on: October 09, 2019, 09:06:43 pm »
Hi guys, (I'm technically reposting this question from reddit although it didnt seem to have showed up there...)

I have all but signed a contract to work for a certain rather famous Hagwon chain but am starting to feel like they may be trying to pull a fast one on me.

First they wanted me to sign a contract for exactly 364 days. When I protested they assured me that it's standard practice. After a bit of cajoling I convinced them to allow me to write in dates that would make it exactly 365 days.

Nevertheless they suddenly are demanding that I send them a scanned copy of the signature page with my signature so they can send me back a copy with the director's signature on it. Note that this page does not list the begin and end dates of the contract. Furthermore I was unable to tell if I even need a signed copy of the contract myself to apply for the visa? I was under the assumption that for Hagwons they would need the contract to get the visa issuance number but I myself wouldn't need it when it comes time to apply for the visa at the consulate.

Am I being over-paranoid here? They seem like a really good school but now I'm worried about sending them my things and wondering if I should reconsider my decision.

Thanks in advance for your help and input!


Re: Questions about a concern...
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2019, 07:37:18 am »
What were the actual dates on the contract?  You don't need to disclose school name or anything, just the dates.

Did you contact current/ex teachers at this hagwon to find out some more information?  Did you do a lot of searching online to find out as much as possible?

Usually, it can be good to follow your gut feeling with these things, if something seems off, then it very possibly is.  Seems strange that they want a scanned signature page when the dates are all on the front page.  In that, nothing has changed in the contract, unless there are contract dates on the final page, which seems unlikely. 

There is also the possibility that you could be overthinking this.  It's a big step to move halfway around the world to work and obviously you want to make sure you're not conned, which makes complete sense.  When you read reddit, here and other native teacher sites that it can make you overly worried about lots of things.  If you send a scanned copy get them to send you the full contract again, as in, the one they sibmitted to get your visanumber,  signed and everything.  Usually, with E2 visas you get 13 months which allows you a month after your contract finishes so generally, you won't get a visa duration that will finish on the 364th day. 


Re: Questions about a concern...
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2019, 08:40:44 am »
Hi Ronnie,

Thanks for getting back to me and with some level-headed advice. You're right---I have a lot of anxieties about packing up to go halfway around the world and everything I read online has made me a lot more suspicious of everything in a way that I am generally not!

So the contract itself does not have dates per se... the date part is actually blank and I am the one who is supposed to fill it in myself. I was originally asked to write in Nov. 4th this year to Nov. 3rd  next year (at this time they just wanted me to write that in and sign it and mail them the contract---there was no mention of the scan). It was only after I demanded that I be able to write in a full year that they asked for the scanned thing.

I rather foolishly didn't ask for a current teacher's contact information (I know... I'm gullible...) so I have asked for them to get that to me.

My feelings are mixed... the program itself seems nice and the school seems reputable. The HR/recruiting guy for the school seemed really nice but the insistence on 364 days seemed so off.

I appreciate your help. I am still mulling over what to do >.<


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4118

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Questions about a concern...
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2019, 04:49:03 pm »
I always initial and date every page of the contract, and ask them to do the same.

If they are reluctant, that’s a Walmart sized red flag.

The practice here in Korea is to apply seals to each page of a contract, folded in half with the seal applied 1/2 on the back of folded page N+1 and 1/2 the front of page N, to assure continuity of pages.



  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4118

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Questions about a concern...
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2019, 04:50:36 pm »
Also, 2020 is a leap year, so it might be an honest “legal interpretation” issue.


Re: Questions about a concern...
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2019, 11:06:05 pm »
I think I may have come across as too harsh and they have withdrawn the offer. I can't blame them, but I also did not really want to have the uncertainty of it all.


  • OnNut81
  • Expert Waygook

    • 847

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Questions about a concern...
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2019, 10:14:43 am »
Rainbowreader: I was originally asked to write in Nov. 4th this year to Nov. 3rd  next year

That is normal.  That would cover a year of work.  No flags there.   


Re: Questions about a concern...
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2019, 10:31:43 am »
Rainbowreader: I was originally asked to write in Nov. 4th this year to Nov. 3rd  next year

That is normal.  That would cover a year of work.  No flags there.   

Absolutely.  Nothing wrong with Nov. 4th to Nov 3rd. 

I have a lot of anxieties about packing up to go halfway around the world and everything I read online has made me a lot more suspicious of everything in a way that I am generally not!

Being cautious is definitely the best thing here, especially if that is how you roll personality-wise.  I'm like that.  Some people jump at the first option and have no problems, others jump at the first thing and then have a torrid time with issues that could have easily have been avoided contractually or through research. 

Originally, I wanted to live in Daegu.  So all my searching was for there.  I was offered 40 or 50 contracts all of which were hagwon contracts, and I had 20 or so interviews.  But like you, I always found things I didn't like with them and it made me more cautious.  In the end, I decided to go the public school route and haven't really looked back since.  A lot depends on what you want from your time.  Public school will give you more vacation, evenings free, while also paying your benefits.  That to me was more important than location.  Korea is small and you can travel to most places within 3/4 hours.  Public schools have their own problems, but I'd always recommend them over a hagwon.  I mean you could come over with public school for a year, and if you don't like it, and then as you're in the country and you can check out first-hand the hagwons, rather than doing it from the other side of the world.  Don't worry too much, the right one will come up.   ;D


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4118

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Questions about a concern...
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2019, 08:45:24 pm »
I think I may have come across as too harsh and they have withdrawn the offer. I can't blame them, but I also did not really want to have the uncertainty of it all.
You showed that you were not one to be pushed around.

They were clearly looking for someone who was willing to be pushed around.

You’re likely both better off.