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  • rebish
  • Waygookin

    • 13

    • January 31, 2016, 05:27:57 am
    • NJ, USA
Avalon Contract?
« on: June 08, 2016, 07:57:35 am »
My boyfriend and I (we both have music ed degrees, he has 2 years public school music teaching experience, and I have 1.5 years teaching private pre-k) and I were just offered our first jobs through Avalon. Although I've heard generally good things about the corporate branches (which is what our jobs would be), I have a few hesitations about the contract. I've attached the whole thing, but a few general points that i feel uncertain about:

-The exact location isn't specified, and our recruiter says we won't know until weeks after we're required to sign the contract; instead we've been given a list of 11 schools in and around Seoul, one of which will be our location. Isn't a perk of hagwons supposed to be having control over your location?

II.2 - Numbers of hours a day aren't specified. It looks like the contract says we will either work a 9 hour day with hour break or an 8 hour shift with no break? Am I reading that correctly, and if so wouldn't that be illegal?? The shifts the recruiter had listed in the job posting were all 8 hour shifts, and I assumed a break would be included. Also we may or may not have to work holidays?

III.2.4 - 300,000 housing allowance? Since they only offer studio we were considering taking allowance to get something bigger, but wouldn't 600,000 a month be a stretch, especially in Seoul? We can't even see pictures of our apartments in advance to decide if it would be big enough for two people, because location isn't decided.

IV.2.2 - We have to pay back airfare if we quit at any point? Isn't the standard that after six months you no longer have to pay it back?

Anything else I'm missing? Given our teaching experience, should we be turning down these positions? Because I've generally heard OK things about Avalon, I'm considering overlooking these facts, especially since we're looking for an August start and that's feeling close at this point...


  • KimDuHan
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1328

    • January 15, 2015, 11:48:59 am
    • Seoul
Re: Avalon Contract?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2016, 10:58:58 am »
My boyfriend and I (we both have music ed degrees, he has 2 years public school music teaching experience, and I have 1.5 years teaching private pre-k) and I were just offered our first jobs through Avalon. Although I've heard generally good things about the corporate branches (which is what our jobs would be), I have a few hesitations about the contract. I've attached the whole thing, but a few general points that i feel uncertain about:

-The exact location isn't specified, and our recruiter says we won't know until weeks after we're required to sign the contract; instead we've been given a list of 11 schools in and around Seoul, one of which will be our location. Isn't a perk of hagwons supposed to be having control over your location?

II.2 - Numbers of hours a day aren't specified. It looks like the contract says we will either work a 9 hour day with hour break or an 8 hour shift with no break? Am I reading that correctly, and if so wouldn't that be illegal?? The shifts the recruiter had listed in the job posting were all 8 hour shifts, and I assumed a break would be included. Also we may or may not have to work holidays?

III.2.4 - 300,000 housing allowance? Since they only offer studio we were considering taking allowance to get something bigger, but wouldn't 600,000 a month be a stretch, especially in Seoul? We can't even see pictures of our apartments in advance to decide if it would be big enough for two people, because location isn't decided.

IV.2.2 - We have to pay back airfare if we quit at any point? Isn't the standard that after six months you no longer have to pay it back?

Anything else I'm missing? Given our teaching experience, should we be turning down these positions? Because I've generally heard OK things about Avalon, I'm considering overlooking these facts, especially since we're looking for an August start and that's feeling close at this point...

No location? Never sign without a location. Keep extra documents, you might be surprised to find out Seoul turns into Ansan or Osan.

Also big chains are hit and miss. Some branches are awesome while others are hell. Alvalon has some bad branches which could recruit you. As you are coming as a couple it could be risky on their part because if you leave as a couple the school would lose 2 foreign teachers.

Another thing 600,000₩ a month allowance depending on your location could be more than enough or put you in a studio.

I strongly recommend living in an apartment that you rent. Some school directors are known to show up at apartments unannounced and your apartment could even be in the same building as the school if you go with the provided apartment.

Also as previous teachers about the school. If they are reluctant to provide previous teachers then that's a huge red flag!!


  • gnomon
  • Veteran

    • 160

    • February 05, 2014, 01:24:34 pm
    • Gunpo
Re: Avalon Contract?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2016, 02:35:30 pm »
Hi, I used to work at Avalon (a franchisee branch) in Seoul Metropolitan, so I'll provide a little insight to some of your questions.

On the location: I lived near a corporate branch, and had friends there. I remember one new guy, who after arriving, training on a Friday, then bonding with his new coworkers, was transferred the next week to a different corporate branch where a more urgent spot needed filling.

Hours: My memory is a bit rusty here, and this depends on the leniency of your branch. Avalon's elementary program runs until 9pm and their middle school program until 10pm. Classes were around 45/50 minutes, with five minutes in between. You'll likely have some free periods each day, plus whatever time before classes start (around 3). At my branch, we only had to be there for 8 hours each day.

Holidays: You'll like only receive the mandatory days off (Christmas, Chuseok, Seollal... etc). I had to work Hangul Day my year at Avalon, but it was a new holiday then.

Housing allowance: 600,000 could be adequate for your rent. Don't forget you'll need key money if you want to rent your own place.

Housing: In Korea, housing tends to be measured in a unit called pyeong. Studio apartments are usually around 8-12 pyeong. You'll need to look up a conversion chart to find what that is in square metres. I live with someone in an apartment that is 9 pyeong. It's kind of tight, and I'm not sure if that measurement takes into account the half-height loft where we have our bed.


  • rebish
  • Waygookin

    • 13

    • January 31, 2016, 05:27:57 am
    • NJ, USA
Re: Avalon Contract?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2016, 07:38:38 am »
Thank you for the replies! Yeah, I'm very hesitant without a location. Basically all of our working conditions are reliant on which location (hours, breaks, holidays, Saturdays...)  :rolleyes:

The locations they've listed are:
Songpa, Pyeongchon, Imae (in bundang), Bundang, Sunae (in Bundang), Ansan, Junggye, Yongin, Jukjeon, Suwon, Suji

Anyone happen to know about any of these locations? I just know we won't be able to find out about all of them in advance, any we can't talk to any current or previous teachers until we find out our location...We want to have a job secured already, but it seems so silly to try to get us to sign a contract with no location...


  • samgakji
  • Adventurer

    • 26

    • March 03, 2016, 10:25:36 am
    • Yeoju
Re: Avalon Contract?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2016, 08:11:46 am »
Hey

I would genuinely advise you to wait for public school intake and not work for a hagwon!
Of course it's your life. You have the option to work for an English business or for a school and having worked in both I strongly prefer the public option.

Although when working in a hagwon you might be set up in your favorite area of Seoul, you miss out on at least double the vacation and in many cases half the work load.

Hagwons also have every single lesson lesson planned and there is a possibility you will feel more like an English robot than a teacher (I did)! Not to mention other work including daily reports, quiz making, and a long list of other material production they keep you busy with.

When I worked at a hagwon I came home drained from the intense work load. Working in a public school is much better. I am able to teach with this strange thing called energy and have enough left over to work on my hobbies. For instance, today is Thursday and I teach four classes at my public school - two in the morning and two in the afternoon. For my afternoon classes I have the ability to plan my own interesting lessons. At my hagwon, I would be running to eight different classes today that were all planned for me.

This is just me, but I'd rather myself and my partner had good jobs in separate locations then challenging jobs in the same location. 


  • rebish
  • Waygookin

    • 13

    • January 31, 2016, 05:27:57 am
    • NJ, USA
Re: Avalon Contract?
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2016, 09:25:52 am »
Hey

I would genuinely advise you to wait for public school intake and not work for a hagwon!
Of course it's your life. You have the option to work for an English business or for a school and having worked in both I strongly prefer the public option.

Although when working in a hagwon you might be set up in your favorite area of Seoul, you miss out on at least double the vacation and in many cases half the work load.

Hagwons also have every single lesson lesson planned and there is a possibility you will feel more like an English robot than a teacher (I did)! Not to mention other work including daily reports, quiz making, and a long list of other material production they keep you busy with.

When I worked at a hagwon I came home drained from the intense work load. Working in a public school is much better. I am able to teach with this strange thing called energy and have enough left over to work on my hobbies. For instance, today is Thursday and I teach four classes at my public school - two in the morning and two in the afternoon. For my afternoon classes I have the ability to plan my own interesting lessons. At my hagwon, I would be running to eight different classes today that were all planned for me.

This is just me, but I'd rather myself and my partner had good jobs in separate locations then challenging jobs in the same location. 

We would love to work public schools, but they don't tell you your placement until after you're in Korea (just the city, right?). We don't care if we're in the exact same location (actually we'd prefer to not be in the exact same school) but we definitely want to be close enough that we can live together. :undecided: Unless you happen to know of some public school outside of EPIK that are still hiring for August and will give you an exact placement before signing a contract?


  • Tamryn5
  • Adventurer

    • 54

    • April 02, 2013, 09:11:12 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Avalon Contract?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2016, 09:34:33 am »
I agree that branches are a hit and miss. I have heard terrible stories of teachers not being paid in the Iksan branch. But at least they didn't list that branch for you :)


  • Imogen1991
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1109

    • March 18, 2015, 12:26:47 am
    • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Re: Avalon Contract?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2016, 09:37:09 am »
Hey

I would genuinely advise you to wait for public school intake and not work for a hagwon!
Of course it's your life. You have the option to work for an English business or for a school and having worked in both I strongly prefer the public option.

Although when working in a hagwon you might be set up in your favorite area of Seoul, you miss out on at least double the vacation and in many cases half the work load.

Hagwons also have every single lesson lesson planned and there is a possibility you will feel more like an English robot than a teacher (I did)! Not to mention other work including daily reports, quiz making, and a long list of other material production they keep you busy with.

When I worked at a hagwon I came home drained from the intense work load. Working in a public school is much better. I am able to teach with this strange thing called energy and have enough left over to work on my hobbies. For instance, today is Thursday and I teach four classes at my public school - two in the morning and two in the afternoon. For my afternoon classes I have the ability to plan my own interesting lessons. At my hagwon, I would be running to eight different classes today that were all planned for me.

This is just me, but I'd rather myself and my partner had good jobs in separate locations then challenging jobs in the same location. 

We would love to work public schools, but they don't tell you your placement until after you're in Korea (just the city, right?). We don't care if we're in the exact same location (actually we'd prefer to not be in the exact same school) but we definitely want to be close enough that we can live together. :undecided: Unless you happen to know of some public school outside of EPIK that are still hiring for August and will give you an exact placement before signing a contract?

Jeollanamdo Langauge Program.
Me and my boyfriend here in Yeosu are both leaving in August so you could even put in a special request for our two schools. PM me if you want to..
It's not guaranteed but when I applied they were super accomodating and I don't know anyone that didn't get the placement they asked for. There were lots of couples in my orientation who were going to be living together.

Of course, you'll have to be comfortable living all the way down here in Jeonam
« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 09:39:51 am by Imogen1991 »


  • jaehak
  • Veteran

    • 138

    • June 09, 2011, 10:45:21 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Avalon Contract?
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2016, 10:31:08 am »

The locations they've listed are:
Songpa, Pyeongchon, Imae (in bundang), Bundang, Sunae (in Bundang), Ansan, Junggye, Yongin, Jukjeon, Suwon, Suji

Anyone happen to know about any of these locations?

I can tell you if you want central Seoul, none of these are it.  Junggye and Songpa are the only branches listed within the Seoul city limits.  I used to live in Junggye and it's a nice area, but it's definitely on the outskirts of town.  Songpa most likely means somewhere out on the 8 line or the 5 line after it splits, and not Jamsil, thus also on the edge of town.  The Bundang branches would be pretty close to Seoul, it's only like 15 minutes from Sunae to Gangnam by bus.  Pyeongchon is probably in Hagwon-ga in Anyang, not too far from Seoul on line 4.  The other branches are in distant enough suburbs to make taxis to/from Seoul cost prohibitive unless you have a group.  Yongin and Suwon are both large, so depending on  where in town the branch is your experience could range from Seoul-like experience with lots to do and great transport options to BFE.   


  • Imogen1991
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1109

    • March 18, 2015, 12:26:47 am
    • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Re: Avalon Contract?
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2016, 11:55:38 am »
rebish - i replied to your PM, let me know if  you got it, it isn't showing in my sent msgs!


  • rebish
  • Waygookin

    • 13

    • January 31, 2016, 05:27:57 am
    • NJ, USA
Re: Avalon Contract?
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2016, 01:12:43 am »
I can tell you if you want central Seoul, none of these are it.  Junggye and Songpa are the only branches listed within the Seoul city limits.  I used to live in Junggye and it's a nice area, but it's definitely on the outskirts of town.  Songpa most likely means somewhere out on the 8 line or the 5 line after it splits, and not Jamsil, thus also on the edge of town.  The Bundang branches would be pretty close to Seoul, it's only like 15 minutes from Sunae to Gangnam by bus.  Pyeongchon is probably in Hagwon-ga in Anyang, not too far from Seoul on line 4.  The other branches are in distant enough suburbs to make taxis to/from Seoul cost prohibitive unless you have a group.  Yongin and Suwon are both large, so depending on  where in town the branch is your experience could range from Seoul-like experience with lots to do and great transport options to BFE.

Good to know how accessible (or not) these locations are - thanks!

We're talking to our recruiter and trying to see if we can negotiate anything now. They  originally said we should sign the contracts by Wednesday, so we'll see if they're mad at us or not :rolleyes:  At this point we really just want to sign a contract already and be able to leave in August, so we're trying to make this job work...