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  • Shehara
  • Waygookin

    • 14

    • September 16, 2011, 08:08:13 am
    • Gumi City, Gyeongsanbuk-do
Unmarried Couples Teaching
« on: September 16, 2011, 12:38:19 pm »
My boyfriend and I are new teachers and were provided a shared appartment even thought we are not married. I was just wondering if anyone ever had any problems as an unmarried couple in Korea as we were told by our schools that it is illegal for us to be living together. Our contacts also specifically state that only married couples will be provided shared accomodations. They know we aren't married... should we be looking out for anything?

Thanks.


  • LaurenFitz
  • Adventurer

    • 32

    • September 14, 2010, 08:25:47 am
    • Yeongwol, South Korea
Re: Unmarried Couples Teaching
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2011, 12:46:34 pm »
I'm in a similar situation. My boyfriend and I actually teach at the same school. Initially we were given 2 apartments, as the school didn't realize we were a couple. When we renewed this year, we asked for 1 apartment and 1 housing allowance. In the end, our POE came back and said that we were to be treated as a married couple, even though we're not. So, no housing allowance and 1 shared apartment.

It doesn't exactly fit with the contract, but I have made my peace with it (kind of). Luckily our apartment was pretty big to begin with, and the school is still providing us with housing. The kids and some teachers are still surprised that we live in the same place, but I haven't heard anything about it being illegal. I wouldn't worry too much.


  • DejaVu
  • Super Waygook

    • 433

    • April 17, 2011, 11:31:29 am
Re: Unmarried Couples Teaching
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2011, 01:41:10 pm »
I'm in a similar situation. My boyfriend and I actually teach at the same school. Initially we were given 2 apartments, as the school didn't realize we were a couple. When we renewed this year, we asked for 1 apartment and 1 housing allowance. In the end, our POE came back and said that we were to be treated as a married couple, even though we're not. So, no housing allowance and 1 shared apartment.

It doesn't exactly fit with the contract, but I have made my peace with it (kind of). Luckily our apartment was pretty big to begin with, and the school is still providing us with housing. The kids and some teachers are still surprised that we live in the same place, but I haven't heard anything about it being illegal. I wouldn't worry too much.

Your situation is what I was getting at when I asked if they were at the same school.

Is your apt bigger than the average waygook teacher apt? If so they might have combined the key money and rent allowances.

IF they didn't combine them, I would:

A) Complain

B) Pretend like the two of you broke up and don't want to live together anymore.  Then, you can ask for a housing allowance and just live with your friend anyhow.


Re: Unmarried Couples Teaching
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 01:58:37 pm »
My boyfriend and I are new teachers and were provided a shared appartment even thought we are not married. I was just wondering if anyone ever had any problems as an unmarried couple in Korea as we were told by our schools that it is illegal for us to be living together. Our contacts also specifically state that only married couples will be provided shared accomodations. They know we aren't married... should we be looking out for anything?

Thanks.

So they provided a shared apartment but the same people said it's illegal for you to live together?  That's a new one.
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.


  • LaurenFitz
  • Adventurer

    • 32

    • September 14, 2010, 08:25:47 am
    • Yeongwol, South Korea
Re: Unmarried Couples Teaching
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2011, 02:02:08 pm »

Your situation is what I was getting at when I asked if they were at the same school.

Is your apt bigger than the average waygook teacher apt? If so they might have combined the key money and rent allowances.


We kept one of the original apartments, so our school didn't do anything but end the contract with the second one. Both were in the same complex, just two buildings apart, so they had the same layout.  Same rent, too, I assume.

It's bigger than average - not huge, but comfortable enough for 2.


  • bjinglee
  • Expert Waygook

    • 545

    • March 10, 2011, 10:29:48 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Unmarried Couples Teaching
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2011, 07:59:55 pm »
While it's definitely not illegal to live with your partner, culturally it's frowned upon here, especially by older Koreans. When I told one of the teachers in my school that my brother lived with his now-wife for a few years before getting married, he looked at me like I was from another planet. Even a couple of students told me that doing so is irresponsible and would create too many unwanted babies. Personally, I think people should be able to live with whomever they wish and people should just mind their own business.

With all that said, whomever you share your living situation with just be prepared for possible negative reactions from Koreans.


  • rkh37
  • Waygookin

    • 14

    • July 14, 2011, 07:19:01 pm
    • Gwangju, South Korea
Re: Unmarried Couples Teaching
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2011, 08:47:14 pm »
It is deffinatly not illegal, that sounds like something your school would say because they have an issue with it. It really does come down to whoever is in charge at the school and their personal opinion. Where I teach there are three couples and we were all given double housing. They prefer it because it saves on the school having to find lots of single housing and it helps with homesickness so we aren't likely to pack up and leave. We did however recently get a new owner who wants us to lie to students if they ask if we are in a couple, because it 'dissappoints them for those who really like teachers.' I think it is the same kind of strange lie you got told about it being illegal to live together, because she is religious and probably doesn't like it.


  • Shehara
  • Waygookin

    • 14

    • September 16, 2011, 08:08:13 am
    • Gumi City, Gyeongsanbuk-do
Re: Unmarried Couples Teaching
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2011, 01:02:43 pm »
Ok, good to know. I feel a lot better. I think they probably misused the word illegal as they did proivide us with shared housing and we teach at different schools. I don't know what is normal but it's a pretty big place. Big bedroom and a second room we use as a dressing room, kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. It's as big as our apartment in Toronto was, so we're not complaining. They did scare me into telling all the other teachers and students we were married, perhaps that was all they wanted. Anyway, thanks for sharing.