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Any leniency in contract end dates?
« on: March 07, 2011, 03:13:30 pm »
I just got accepted into grad school for next fall and am receiving an Assistantship so I won't have to pay tuition. The problem is that I started my contract in Korea on September 5th and I am supposed to start graduate classes August 22nd--meaning that those extra 2 weeks needed to finish my contract will hinder me from going to grad school in the fall. The silly thing is that I have 2 weeks of vacation in August and then teach 1 week before my contract ends. I was wondering if anyone knows whether or not you can make changes to the contract (for example, if I could work during my 2 weeks of vacation and leave a bit early.) I really don't want to miss out on my return ticket and severance pay. Any help is appreciated!!


  • suzettec
  • Veteran

    • 113

    • June 28, 2010, 03:20:45 pm
    • Nakseo, South Korea
Re: Any leniency in contract end dates?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 03:24:29 pm »
The one week you are teaching before your contract ends... is it for summer camp?  Cause maybe if it is you can talk to you school about changing the schedule so you teach you camp earlier and then take the last two weeks as you vacation.   


Re: Any leniency in contract end dates?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 03:27:03 pm »
It depends on your school.

It's best to discuss this with your co-teacher and to tell them in advance.  I don't suggest you take off as the date approaches. 

Maybe they can squeeze that English camp before your vacay or even cut into it a bit in order for you to start off grad. school right.  This way, they get you for the summer camp, you get the pay that's deserved.

They WILL understand having to take off in order to go back to grad. school. 

As a rule, contracts are subject to change at any given point, so don't feel burdened by that query.

Best wishes!
You get what you give :)


Re: Any leniency in contract end dates?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 03:35:04 pm »
I'm not sure about how things work out with immigration.  I assume there's no problem as long as you leave the country before your visa expires.

I'm also not sure about severance pay, as that is based on completing your contract.  How the term "completion" is interpreted (whether it's X number of teaching days, or rigidly fixed to your contract end date) is uncertain, but maybe flexible.

I know flight reimbursement has happened in the past, so if you can negotiate the details WELL IN ADVANCE, that's probably obtainable.

As for your employer, whether you can go home when class is in session is generally up to the schools.  They have it within their power to make special arrangements with you.  Perhaps you can offer to teach an extra week or two of camp in order to compensate for the teaching days you would miss in August/September?  If your school likes you and doesn't live in mortal fear of doing things even the tiniest bit outside what's printed in their Care and Feeding of NSETs book, you might be able to work something out with them.  It depends on your relationship with them and their general disposition.

In your case, your school *might* run up against someone with a contrary opinion with the school board or EPIK because they will be requesting a replacement teacher to start earlier than they should have to.  Might.  But since contracts usually start around August 25 anyway, it wouldn't be terribly out of their way to replace you with a teacher on an earlier starting date. 

I believe it's possible for you to leave when you want in good favor, but it depends on a lot of things.  If you do get approval from anyone, then for the love of all you hold dear GET IT IN WRITING.  The writing doesn't hold any legal value with the labor board, but it *does* protect you against people saying "I never agreed to that."  That's something. 


In the past, well-liked teachers have managed to secure flight reimbursement after renewing for only six months, or summer vacation time extending into the early days of the school year.  (They worked these things out with their schools months and months ahead of time -- talk to your school NOW.)  You're asking for a tiny bit of both for excellent reasons.  It's not guaranteed, but it's certainly possible. 
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 03:38:08 pm by teacher_del »


  • Yu_Bumsuk
  • The Legend

    • 2341

    • March 03, 2011, 02:10:36 pm
    • Hicksville, ROK
Re: Any leniency in contract end dates?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 03:42:48 pm »
I knew someone who lost her bonus and had to pay her flight back over the same situation.


  • Morticae
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1400

    • August 31, 2010, 12:45:33 pm
Re: Any leniency in contract end dates?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 04:14:36 pm »
I knew someone who lost her bonus and had to pay her flight back over the same situation.

I would expect this to be the same result. I think the school will be OK with you leaving, but they will want to uphold the rest of the contract... in other words, you didn't complete the full contract and therefore aren't entitled to the severance, or airfare (which is used as an incentive to fully complete contracts).


  • blake
  • Veteran

    • 95

    • September 13, 2010, 07:45:11 am
    • Daegu, South Korea
Re: Any leniency in contract end dates?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2011, 05:01:41 pm »
teacher_del has summed this all up rather well for you.
I wanted to add a bit of inspiration by saying that my girlfriend left early, back in August 2009, for the exact same reason and everything went smoothly. It will ultimately fall on your employer/principal, your ability to prove to them just how important this is to you, and their acceptance of not doing everything by the book.

Also, you said you started your contract on September 5th. Start dates and end dates are often different. Check that it doesn't end closer to August 25th and be sure to check your visa/ARC expiry dates.


  • grnidgrl
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • October 04, 2010, 08:01:19 am
    • Ilsan, South Korea
Re: Any leniency in contract end dates?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2011, 02:19:08 pm »
I'm in the same situation. My contract is up Aug 31, but I need to be back in the States by the 17th for orientation.  I'd be missing a week and a half of teaching, but I'm hoping to use my save vaca to go anyway.  Honestly, the chances that I would actually be teaching right when school starts again are slim. 

Please post if you get any more information about this.  I'm just crossing my fingers that my principal is lenient.  Good luck!


  • sheila
  • Moderator - LVL 2

    • 1480

    • November 23, 2009, 08:32:58 am
    • Gangnamgu, Seoul
Re: Any leniency in contract end dates?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2011, 02:33:14 pm »
My last contract, my school let me take the last two weeks as my vacation weeks.  I simply just told them that's when I wanted it and everything was totally fine.  Typically if you explain your situation to them, they will be totally down with letting you go since it's during school vacation.  Get it in writing if they say yes. However, arrange beforehand for transferring your money back home because you won't get your final check until the last day of your contract, not before.  Good luck~!
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