Read 1325 times

  • EditHero
  • Adventurer

    • 68

    • February 18, 2013, 08:40:27 pm
    • Seoul, South Korea
Need advice about a Hagwon...
« on: February 18, 2013, 09:40:58 pm »
I'm here in Seoul interviewing for my first teaching position in person (wanted to come as a tourist first, visit some friends, check everything out, etc.). I've gone through a couple recruiters, and applied to stuff directly, had a few interviews and now I'm faced with a situation I could use some help with.

I interviewed with a hagwon with ok hours (1-9) and decent pay. The vibe that I got from the school, and from the owner, was just the best one I've had so far (though I haven't had the chance to speak with any current or former teachers). They want me to start fast, though I made it clear I wasn't interested in working illegally, because that was offered, but the owner said ok.

Today when I was contacted by the recruiter for that job I was told that I would be getting the contract tonight (it's 10:30pm, and nothing yet), and that they wanted me to have it signed and to them with my documents tomorrow. This is because the recruiter said they want me to start working at the end of this week and that 2 weeks from now they'll send me to Japan for my visa run... so I'll be working illegally for those first 2 weeks.

I felt really good about this school up until this point. But even with a school I have good feelings about, I think it's reasonable to get a day or so to look over the contract, and to get the chance to have one of my Korean friends look over the Korean (legally binding) part of the contract for me. And I feel a little uneasy that the owner assured me I wouldn't have to start until I had my E2 visa in hand, and now I'm getting different information from the school through the recruiter.

On top of that, today I got a call back from an interview I had last week for an after school program at a public school where I'd get the same pay, only working 12-6 (with an hour of prep time for me starting at 12). I have to meet with the principle of the school in a day or so, but I was told it was pretty much in the bag. The guy I interviewed with for this position was really great, he gave me a list of every teacher they have under contract right now (without my asking for it), and I find it hard to beat those hours.

My question:  should I turn down the 1-9 hagwon now that they've changed their answer about my working before my visa, which I would have to do before I know 100% about the after school program? Or maybe there's a way I could delay getting the contract back to them a couple days while I find out about the other job, and work out with the hagwon that I won't be teaching illegally?

Sorry for the long post, this is my first time looking for a job in Korea, and I'm just not sure what to do; and asking my Korean friends hasn't helped any, because, bless them, they think honesty is the best policy in this situation, and that telling a hagwon I want to wait to see if I get a better offer from somewhere else won't make them rescind their offer. And also, part of me just isn't sure if I should take their offer anymore anyway.


  • TeachaTeacha
  • Expert Waygook

    • 524

    • September 06, 2012, 03:27:09 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Need advice about a Hagwon...
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 09:51:49 pm »
My initial reaction?! Go with the after school program. Most people I know who have these positions are quite pleased and have little work to do outside of lesson planning and teaching. Hagwons typically have you doing a lot more admin work. Also, it would freak me out that they are so desperate to get you started. My mind immediately goes to, "Why aren't they better prepared? Why are they trying to make me jump into something and work illegally when I explicitly told them that I was uncomfortable with that? Did someone take off? Did they fire someone?" and so forth.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 09:53:43 pm by TeachaTeacha »


  • EditHero
  • Adventurer

    • 68

    • February 18, 2013, 08:40:27 pm
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Need advice about a Hagwon...
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 10:04:08 pm »
Thanks for your advice. That's pretty much the reaction I'm having towards the hagwon... but as a first time job hunter in Korea I really wanted to get the opinion of someone else before I decided.


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2468

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: Need advice about a Hagwon...
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 10:08:40 pm »
Yeah, I'd do the after school program. There is no reason to work illegally, especially if you are not interested in it. Also, after school programs tend to be a step up from a hagwon. They generally have the public school contracts with the good things about hagwons (that being that they are smaller class sizes and the students are at or about at level with the curriculum.) If I had the option of those two, I'd so be all over the after school one.

I tried to score one of those jobs a lot, but I was always turned down, so I stuck with public schools. Congrats and I bet you'd have less regrets with the after school gig. Let us know what you decide.