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  • Jeter2
  • Veteran

    • 141

    • September 24, 2015, 01:30:35 pm
    • NYC, USA
I wanted to see how many job offers people went through before they accepted one. Also, what made you sign the contract?


  • outsider
  • Veteran

    • 225

    • July 03, 2014, 04:19:05 am
    • Bucheon
Are you in country?   

These days its really tough to land a good hagwon from abroad.  You just gotta kinda hope for the best.  That being said, I turned down half a dozen offers at least back in 2010 for my first job.   My first job wasnt terrible.  I got paid what I was owed but they worked me hard for it.

In country, I have interviewed and been offered 8-12 jobs (I would guess) before finding one I was comfortable accepting. 

These days, you really have to be flexible.  If you wanna teach elementary school in central Seoul and work for a company that doesnt screw teachers on benefits you might be looking for a while.   If your open to teaching different age groups in another city, you might just find something worthwhile right away.

Good luck!


If in country, take your time, search for many, and be willing to walk away from some bad offers or get them to change the contract they offer you.  Have some money saved that you can live off for a bit so you're not desperate and accepting the first crappy offer you get.  Also, learn how to A) sell your worth and B) how to negotiate.  Something that I think many young teachers lack.  The art of negotiation is key.  The economy is not as flooded as 2009 to 2012ish, but is still worse off compared to pre 2009.  However, some employers might be in post 2009 state of mind.  As the exchange rate drops for Americans and their economy picks up, I gamble many will go home, go to China, etc.  We'll see what happens in 2016.


  • Jeter2
  • Veteran

    • 141

    • September 24, 2015, 01:30:35 pm
    • NYC, USA
Not in country if that's of any help...


  • solveit
  • Super Waygook

    • 369

    • December 09, 2014, 03:52:02 pm
    • Korea
I turned down maybe 8 contracts, for various reasons, before finally accepting one (I'm in my 4th year at the same place). I accepted the job because I spoke to the teacher I was replacing, plus a teacher who was staying on, and was happy with what they said. They also sent me photographs of the school, the accommodation and the area. The contract was very straightforward, with no dubious clauses or anything worrying, and the salary/overtime were decent. It was a direct hire, they didn't use a recruiter.


You can turn down stuff easily, but it will mean the recruiter will just not work with you anymore. It's annoying getting recommended some recruiter, they seem nice, then they try to get you to take a Wonderland job or some rural job 4 hours away from the city you asked for. There are plenty of recruiters so if they want to play dumb just move on to the next one, it's what they do with us.
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  • Jeter2
  • Veteran

    • 141

    • September 24, 2015, 01:30:35 pm
    • NYC, USA
Does anyone have an example of what a decent hagwon contract sounds like?

I turned down maybe 8 contracts, for various reasons, before finally accepting one (I'm in my 4th year at the same place). I accepted the job because I spoke to the teacher I was replacing, plus a teacher who was staying on, and was happy with what they said. They also sent me photographs of the school, the accommodation and the area. The contract was very straightforward, with no dubious clauses or anything worrying, and the salary/overtime were decent. It was a direct hire, they didn't use a recruiter.

Where did you find your direct hire position? Does anyone have any advice on where these positions can be found?


If this your first time and you've never taught anywhere before, then be open on any location even if it's far away from Seoul.  Just make sure it's 30 hours and a teaching hour is defined as 45 or 50 minutes.  (Be careful of SLP on that one.)  You get pension, medical insurance, and the like.  Try to get a round trip air ticket or an extra 100,000 won in monthly salary if only a one way air ticket.  Find some ASAP offers, it might let you throw the weight around a bit more. 

Some large chains are standard but will be a bit more stict, like YBM, Pagoda, etc.  If you want to work more hours and make more money, there's POLY.  There's also some English Villages which are private while others belong to the public school.  I hear some of the Seoul area ones are private and some bosses can be jerks, but you will get paid on time. 

Otherwise, post a resume on Dave's or here and see what responses you get.  Make sure you get the email address of the employees working there now and ask how it is if there are any issues, do you get paid on time, etc.  Some schools hire directly and post on here and Daves. 


Here's some jobs that offer round trip arifare.  Some try to rip you off by only paying one way or being vague about it in their ads.

http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/korea/index.cgi?read=66621

Contact the teachers working there and ask them how it is.  Have your documents ready and come over.  As I said before, also the ASAP offers means they'll jump at you more and maybe give you a bit of what you ask though no experience prob limits your demands somewhat.  Also don't trust recruiters as they sometimes try to bait and switch and put you in another place.  If there's a specific job you want insist on that job or jobs or drop them and go to another.

Also, try using recruiters that recruit for specific schools or provinces for some public schools.  Avoiding the weird crapshoot that is the weird EPIK interview will save you grief stress and some sentimental interviewer not hiring you because he didn't like the batch of kimchi he ate that day (Seriously).  Not sure if they are all strict on TESOL or not.  Most now are if you don't already have experience.  But, sometimes, an ASAP job ad might mean you can try and apply anyways.  You never know. 


  • Jeter2
  • Veteran

    • 141

    • September 24, 2015, 01:30:35 pm
    • NYC, USA
Here's some jobs that offer round trip arifare.  Some try to rip you off by only paying one way or being vague about it in their ads.

http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/korea/index.cgi?read=66621

Contact the teachers working there and ask them how it is.  Have your documents ready and come over.  As I said before, also the ASAP offers means they'll jump at you more and maybe give you a bit of what you ask though no experience prob limits your demands somewhat.  Also don't trust recruiters as they sometimes try to bait and switch and put you in another place.  If there's a specific job you want insist on that job or jobs or drop them and go to another.

Also, try using recruiters that recruit for specific schools or provinces for some public schools.  Avoiding the weird crapshoot that is the weird EPIK interview will save you grief stress and some sentimental interviewer not hiring you because he didn't like the batch of kimchi he ate that day (Seriously).  Not sure if they are all strict on TESOL or not.  Most now are if you don't already have experience.  But, sometimes, an ASAP job ad might mean you can try and apply anyways.  You never know. 
If this your first time and you've never taught anywhere before, then be open on any location even if it's far away from Seoul.  Just make sure it's 30 hours and a teaching hour is defined as 45 or 50 minutes.  (Be careful of SLP on that one.)  You get pension, medical insurance, and the like.  Try to get a round trip air ticket or an extra 100,000 won in monthly salary if only a one way air ticket.  Find some ASAP offers, it might let you throw the weight around a bit more. 

Some large chains are standard but will be a bit more stict, like YBM, Pagoda, etc.  If you want to work more hours and make more money, there's POLY.  There's also some English Villages which are private while others belong to the public school.  I hear some of the Seoul area ones are private and some bosses can be jerks, but you will get paid on time. 

Otherwise, post a resume on Dave's or here and see what responses you get.  Make sure you get the email address of the employees working there now and ask how it is if there are any issues, do you get paid on time, etc.  Some schools hire directly and post on here and Daves. 

This will be my first time in Korea, but I have 4 years of ESL experience in Spain and a TEFL...


  • solveit
  • Super Waygook

    • 369

    • December 09, 2014, 03:52:02 pm
    • Korea
Does anyone have an example of what a decent hagwon contract sounds like?

I turned down maybe 8 contracts, for various reasons, before finally accepting one (I'm in my 4th year at the same place). I accepted the job because I spoke to the teacher I was replacing, plus a teacher who was staying on, and was happy with what they said. They also sent me photographs of the school, the accommodation and the area. The contract was very straightforward, with no dubious clauses or anything worrying, and the salary/overtime were decent. It was a direct hire, they didn't use a recruiter.

Where did you find your direct hire position? Does anyone have any advice on where these positions can be found?

Advertised on Craigslist. I was fed up with recruiters trying to get me to interview for positions which didn't meet my requirements, so I applied to every position I saw that did meet them.