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Private lessons VS public School
« on: March 22, 2012, 08:09:42 pm »
Hi All,

I will be getting my F2 visa soon and I am trying to decide whether or not to leave my public school job and start up private group lessons at home. I'm based in Gwangju.

If I taught private group lessons I would aim for 5 - 8 students per group and teach each group 5 times a week for around 200k per student per month. I would only need 15/16 students to earn on par with my current salary - and if I managed 5 full groups I would be earning closer to triple that. I also have the added advantage in that my wife is a Korean teacher - and that should help to push aside any negative feelings some parents may have.

In terms of advertising, I would place professional flyers in and around as many apartment complexes as I can; use links at some schools; and set up a basic website. My feeling is that if I get just a handful of interested parents/students, they should be able to fill up their own group, and that would get me started quickly.

So my question is this - how hard would it be to get the initial 15 students? Would you do it? Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!!
 :)


  • Jeff619
  • Expert Waygook

    • 816

    • May 26, 2011, 08:12:52 am
Re: Private lessons VS public School
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2012, 08:28:20 pm »
I have my private tutoring license. Just be aware that one of the stipulations in the license is that you cannot teach groups. I'd be very careful about advertising something like that as it is illegal even with the license.


Re: Private lessons VS public School
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2012, 08:38:17 pm »
Hi Jeff,

I didn't know that - I haven't applied for my license yet (and thus haven't read up on the details).

So what license do those who teach groups from home use? It's my understanding that group lessons taught privately (I know a number of Korean teachers who do this) are just as common as hagwon classes..?


  • Jeff619
  • Expert Waygook

    • 816

    • May 26, 2011, 08:12:52 am
Re: Private lessons VS public School
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2012, 09:25:27 pm »
Hi Jeff,

I didn't know that - I haven't applied for my license yet (and thus haven't read up on the details).

So what license do those who teach groups from home use? It's my understanding that group lessons taught privately (I know a number of Korean teachers who do this) are just as common as hagwon classes..?
I'm wondering about that myself. I was simply told its illegal.  Also I was told you can only teach elementary, middle or high school students. They said its illegal to teach university or adults. Doesn't make sense to me. I guess to teach groups you'd actually have to register as a business maybe?


Re: Private lessons VS public School
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2012, 05:06:08 am »
Seems like a ton of work and up front expense, though it might pay off in the long run if you get it right. I want to get an F2 simply because there are a quite a lot of after school gigs advertising 2.1mil and up for 4 hours work a day. Some offer a housing allowance but there is no medical or pension. Get some one on one privates in the evening and you will clear 3mil working 1pm till 7pm. You could even dance for kindy kids in the morning and nearly clear 5 mil just for a solid days work. Tons of people back home get paid way less for way more work.

An answer to a question you didn't ask. Sorry.


Re: Private lessons VS public School
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2012, 07:41:31 am »
My wife owns a couple of math hagwons and it's not as peachy as people think it is. It's very stressful. She has to do interviews for the students, answer the phones, keep the teachers on track, make sure the lessons are in line and ahead of the public school lessons, make sure she knows all the math that is in the books she chooses,  and the most two stressful aspects: 1A dealing with the students themselves day in and day out especially the upper elementary and middle school students and their hormones. 1B keeping the parents happy bc they will switch them out in a heart beat.

I also forgot to add scheduling. Students go to other hagwons for other subjects sometimes makes it difficult to put the same grade together.  The last bit is actually collecting the money. Sometimes that is a pain in itself because some parents will be late in payment or will try to switch their child after a few months and try not paying.

I hope it works out for you.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 07:51:00 am by jeonjuhustle »


  • Jeff619
  • Expert Waygook

    • 816

    • May 26, 2011, 08:12:52 am
Re: Private lessons VS public School
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2012, 09:37:13 am »
Hi Jeff,

I didn't know that - I haven't applied for my license yet (and thus haven't read up on the details).

So what license do those who teach groups from home use? It's my understanding that group lessons taught privately (I know a number of Korean teachers who do this) are just as common as hagwon classes..?
I'm wondering about that myself. I was simply told its illegal.  Also I was told you can only teach elementary, middle or high school students. They said its illegal to teach university or adults. Doesn't make sense to me. I guess to teach groups you'd actually have to register as a business maybe?

I was told the opposite, you don't need a license to teach adults, there's other stuff relating to tax, that was for tutoring.

OP not sure if you realize there's different classes of licenses
I would think there is a legal way to teach adults.  I was just told at the office of education that it's illegal.  He said he'd look into it for me but I haven't heard back from him.  There must be a way, though.  Maybe it just doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of the office of education.


  • Jeff619
  • Expert Waygook

    • 816

    • May 26, 2011, 08:12:52 am
Re: Private lessons VS public School
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2012, 09:40:57 am »
By the way, if anyone knows how to legally teach the older students please post!  I'd really love to get away from teaching the little ones and I live near a university so there are lots of opportunities.


Re: Private lessons VS public School
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2012, 11:47:04 am »
Hi all,

Thanks for the comments!

Jeff - I found out about teaching groups. It is not illegal. You simply register a 'study room' - which allows you to teach any number of students at one time at your house. You of course, then pay tax. Apparently it is not difficult to do at all.

Ideally I would like to keep a day job - but the EPIK contract does not allow one to teach any private lessons, and the same goes for government run after school programs. However, if you are caught doing privates and you have an F2 visa, you have no issues with immigration (as with the E2 visa) - it is simply a breach of your work contract. But non the less it is not legal.

Anyway, thanks for all the comments - I will keep thinking about! The ideal scenario would be to work for a university - which would then leave the afternoon open to legally teach privates. BUT, we all know how illusive the uni jobs are..

« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 11:58:49 am by tylerdurden333 »


  • Jeff619
  • Expert Waygook

    • 816

    • May 26, 2011, 08:12:52 am
Re: Private lessons VS public School
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 01:07:41 pm »
Thanks for the info, Tyler.  I'll have to get one of those soon.  Actually I was just talking with my boss about this.  He is actually teaching illegally and told me I didn't need to worry about the license.  I think it's one of those things like babysitting back home.  Technically illegal but not enforced at all (at least by the office of education).  I'm still going to get the necessary documents.  I have a neighbor that teaches in his apartment and I worry he may report me because I'm seen as competition.  With all the paperwork there is no reason to worry.