Read 3430 times

What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« on: June 12, 2016, 06:36:09 pm »
I'm not familiar with Epik's hiring process.However,I would like to know what are the consequences for rejecting an offer from Epik,once you have passed the interview.

Am I right in saying that you only get your location and school details after signing the contract?

Or will they tell you the details before signing the contract?

Does one get blacklisted from the program if they reject an offer?
Do you want a 5-10 Dollar discount on your first purchase from iherb.com?Use this code KSZ711 when you make a purchase.


Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2016, 06:43:23 pm »
Why would you get blacklisted for turning down an offer? The job would simply go to whoever is waitlisted, I would imagine. Only consequences would be that you wasted time and money applying. You'd have to restart the process if you wanted to work for EPIK in the future.


  • yirj17
  • The Legend

    • 2782

    • September 16, 2015, 02:23:16 am
    • Korealand
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2016, 07:25:21 pm »
From what I've heard, you generally only get your placement at the end of orientation. I believe this procedure was instilled due to many people jumping ship if they found out ahead of time that they were in rural nowhereland and not in Seoul/Busan. Seems the logic was that if people had already flown over and gone through orientation, they were less likely to bail (at least at first). I think you still have to do orientation if you don't have prior experience with Epik.

This is just what I've read/heard from when I was looking into the Epik program. I'm sure those with experience in the program can better speak to the matter.

You can always check out JLP...  :wink: I recommend it.


  • basi
  • Veteran

    • 87

    • December 02, 2015, 11:52:17 am
    • Korea
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2016, 08:08:02 pm »
Actually I know someone who who rejected an offer. In the following year he tried to get a placement via EPIK but never even made it to the interview stage that time.  He suspected that he had been "blacklisted".


Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2016, 08:55:54 pm »
It could come down a lot to your reasons for rejecting the offer, but in general, it doesn't look good for you if you're handed a contract and you cross your arms at it, so why WOULD they want to waste their time on interviewing you again?  Basically, rejecting a place because of its location makes you look entitled and clearly not ready for what the program has to offer.  If you want the security of knowing exactly where you'll be living, do your research and apply for a hagwon in a city you deem acceptable.  EPIK needs teachers all over the country and they need teachers who care more about the fact that they're teaching than a cushy lifestyle in an "exotic" land for a year while you travel to your heart's content.

If you apply for EPIK, be reconciled with what you could be handed.  Prepare for the "worst", be pleasantly surprised by the best.  As somebody living in middle-of-nowhere Gangwon-do, there's beauty to be found in everything!  You will receive your province or major city of placement with your contract, but you will not find out your specific details until the final day of orientation.  You'll at least have a general idea of where you're headed to within Korea when you fly over, but if you're in a big city, outside of one, or off in the sticks will be revealed at the end.  It's all completely livable- you can take weekend trips to party in bigger cities and go shopping for foreign foods, or you can order comfort foods online from gmarket, iherb, High Street Market, and many other places and get it delivered right to your doorstep.

Korea is what you make of it.  If you're realistic with your expectations, I say take the adventure.  You can do anything for a year.


  • apancoe
  • Veteran

    • 170

    • March 02, 2011, 08:44:40 am
    • south korea
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2016, 07:17:22 am »
It could come down a lot to your reasons for rejecting the offer, but in general, it doesn't look good for you if you're handed a contract and you cross your arms at it, so why WOULD they want to waste their time on interviewing you again?  Basically, rejecting a place because of its location makes you look entitled and clearly not ready for what the program has to offer.  If you want the security of knowing exactly where you'll be living, do your research and apply for a hagwon in a city you deem acceptable.  EPIK needs teachers all over the country and they need teachers who care more about the fact that they're teaching than a cushy lifestyle in an "exotic" land for a year while you travel to your heart's content.

If you apply for EPIK, be reconciled with what you could be handed.  Prepare for the "worst", be pleasantly surprised by the best.  As somebody living in middle-of-nowhere Gangwon-do, there's beauty to be found in everything!  You will receive your province or major city of placement with your contract, but you will not find out your specific details until the final day of orientation.  You'll at least have a general idea of where you're headed to within Korea when you fly over, but if you're in a big city, outside of one, or off in the sticks will be revealed at the end.  It's all completely livable- you can take weekend trips to party in bigger cities and go shopping for foreign foods, or you can order comfort foods online from gmarket, iherb, High Street Market, and many other places and get it delivered right to your doorstep.

Korea is what you make of it.  If you're realistic with your expectations, I say take the adventure.  You can do anything for a year.

exactly^^
too many blueprints & not enough architects


Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2016, 07:17:27 am »
I heard that if you turn down an EPIK offer after the interview but before you get your visa you are ineligible to apply to EPIK again  for one year. This does not mean you can not get a public school placement through other means. However these jobs are harder to find for newbies, and may not offer housing or airfare.


  • sinhead
  • Adventurer

    • 58

    • February 03, 2016, 04:15:45 pm
    • Australia
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2016, 07:37:10 am »
You find out which office of Education you have been admitted to before signing the contract. E.g. Seoul, Jeju, Busan, wherever... however you don't find out where specifically in that region you will be placed until you arrive in the country and complete orientation. So you'll at least know what city or province you're in.

In terms of rejecting an offer, if you are placed somewhere and you don't want to go, you are ineligible to reapply to EPIK for 12 months. After that 12 months, you're allowed to reapply again, theoretically without any consequences. If you're turning down an offer because you didn't like where you were placed (for example) I'd probably give another excuse e.g. work circumstances changed, as you don't want them to remember you as being fussy if you do reapply.


Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2016, 07:39:37 am »
If you're really worried about what happens after the interview, ask for as much information about the job before you interview for it. It's not fair to keep and interviewee in the dark. You should know what type of school, where, and other general details. Your recruiter should be able to give you this information. Just tell them you want to be knowledgeable before an interview. I know plenty of people who have interviewed then turned down the offer in hope for a better fit. If it's EPIK that is causing these problems then look into a different program.


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 3858

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2016, 07:42:40 am »
Nothing happens.

You won't be blacklisted or penalised for not signing a contract.

If you did sign a contract and caused the program to lose money however (airfare, orientation) through backing out at the last minute, they might not take it too kindly.



  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1542

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2016, 09:02:26 am »
From what I've heard, you generally only get your placement at the end of orientation. I believe this procedure was instilled due to many people jumping ship if they found out ahead of time that they were in rural nowhereland and not in Seoul/Busan. Seems the logic was that if people had already flown over and gone through orientation, they were less likely to bail (at least at first). I think you still have to do orientation if you don't have prior experience with Epik.

This is just what I've read/heard from when I was looking into the Epik program. I'm sure those with experience in the program can better speak to the matter.

You can always check out JLP...  :wink: I recommend it.
Generally you get told of your placement a day, or two, before the end of orientation. As mentioned one reason, they don't want people to bail. Also, they aren't 100% sure of all placements. Teachers get moved around for one reason or another, last minute. Or maybe a native teacher decides to quit last minute. This last minute notification thing even happens to Korean teachers (the younger the less advanced notice they get generally). I personally know of two Korean teachers that got told like 2 days before that they have a job at so-and-so school.


  • yirj17
  • The Legend

    • 2782

    • September 16, 2015, 02:23:16 am
    • Korealand
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2016, 09:45:46 am »
Indeed. One of the younger Korean teachers I know from last year didn't find out her new placement until one week before the new semester started. And it was in a city an hour away from her hometown.


  • kriztee
  • Expert Waygook

    • 764

    • December 18, 2015, 01:33:06 am
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2016, 10:49:37 am »
You'll get your exact location info on the last day or so of orientation, but you'll know your office of education before you accept their offer (the province or big city you'll be in). If you're worried about location know that no matter where you are in Korea, a big city isn't far away (probably an hour away) and transportation is cheap. I'm in a rural area but there are at least 15 other teachers in my area and meet up with friends in other cities on weekends.


  • Imogen1991
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1109

    • March 18, 2015, 12:26:47 am
    • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2016, 11:27:39 am »
I heard that if you turn down an EPIK offer after the interview but before you get your visa you are ineligible to apply to EPIK again  for one year. This does not mean you can not get a public school placement through other means. However these jobs are harder to find for newbies, and may not offer housing or airfare.
What? There are plenty of public school jobs to be had not through EPIK that are great for newbies, offer housing AND airfare, and actually have a better starting salary than EPIK.

Check out JLP OP


Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2016, 12:47:15 pm »
I heard that if you turn down an EPIK offer after the interview but before you get your visa you are ineligible to apply to EPIK again  for one year. This does not mean you can not get a public school placement through other means. However these jobs are harder to find for newbies, and may not offer housing or airfare.
What? There are plenty of public school jobs to be had not through EPIK that are great for newbies, offer housing AND airfare, and actually have a better starting salary than EPIK.

Check out JLP OP


I looked into JLP,however they do not recognize online Tefl certificates,and only recognize experience within their program(from what I hear).

So basically,even with your online tefl certificate and public school experience,you will start at the bottom.I don't really mind a rural location,but I think it would be hard if placed on an island.No expat community and sometimes a low tolerance for foreigners.If you wind up at a school that does not like you there,you could have a hard time.
Do you want a 5-10 Dollar discount on your first purchase from iherb.com?Use this code KSZ711 when you make a purchase.


  • yirj17
  • The Legend

    • 2782

    • September 16, 2015, 02:23:16 am
    • Korealand
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2016, 12:55:50 pm »
I heard that if you turn down an EPIK offer after the interview but before you get your visa you are ineligible to apply to EPIK again  for one year. This does not mean you can not get a public school placement through other means. However these jobs are harder to find for newbies, and may not offer housing or airfare.
What? There are plenty of public school jobs to be had not through EPIK that are great for newbies, offer housing AND airfare, and actually have a better starting salary than EPIK.

Check out JLP OP


I looked into JLP,however they do not recognize online Tefl certificates,and only recognize experience within their program(from what I hear).

So basically,even with your online tefl certificate and public school experience,you will start at the bottom.I don't really mind a rural location,but I think it would be hard if placed on an island.No expat community and sometimes a low tolerance for foreigners.If you wind up at a school that does not like you there,you could have a hard time.

Just tell them you're okay with rural but "no islands." The coordinator is a pretty chill and understanding dude. And seriously, just shoot an inquiry listing your qualifications and ask where you would fall on the payscale. It's a legitimate question and I think the only way you're gonna find out is directly from them.


  • Imogen1991
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1109

    • March 18, 2015, 12:26:47 am
    • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2016, 01:18:32 pm »
I heard that if you turn down an EPIK offer after the interview but before you get your visa you are ineligible to apply to EPIK again  for one year. This does not mean you can not get a public school placement through other means. However these jobs are harder to find for newbies, and may not offer housing or airfare.
What? There are plenty of public school jobs to be had not through EPIK that are great for newbies, offer housing AND airfare, and actually have a better starting salary than EPIK.

Check out JLP OP


I looked into JLP,however they do not recognize online Tefl certificates,and only recognize experience within their program(from what I hear).

So basically,even with your online tefl certificate and public school experience,you will start at the bottom.I don't really mind a rural location,but I think it would be hard if placed on an island.No expat community and sometimes a low tolerance for foreigners.If you wind up at a school that does not like you there,you could have a hard time.

Really? I came here in April 2015 with an online TEFL and my BA and started at 2.3...unless things have changed. Also yeah you can totally specify no islands or rural locations. But I know what you mean, even the biggest cities here are pretty...backwards  :laugh: I'm leaving in August and I wouldn't live in Korea again unless I was gonna live in Seoul or Busan. But it's always worth mentioning the program as people sometimes seem to think EPIK is the be all and end all of public school programs


  • yirj17
  • The Legend

    • 2782

    • September 16, 2015, 02:23:16 am
    • Korealand
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2016, 01:26:31 pm »
I heard that if you turn down an EPIK offer after the interview but before you get your visa you are ineligible to apply to EPIK again  for one year. This does not mean you can not get a public school placement through other means. However these jobs are harder to find for newbies, and may not offer housing or airfare.
What? There are plenty of public school jobs to be had not through EPIK that are great for newbies, offer housing AND airfare, and actually have a better starting salary than EPIK.

Check out JLP OP


I looked into JLP,however they do not recognize online Tefl certificates,and only recognize experience within their program(from what I hear).

So basically,even with your online tefl certificate and public school experience,you will start at the bottom.I don't really mind a rural location,but I think it would be hard if placed on an island.No expat community and sometimes a low tolerance for foreigners.If you wind up at a school that does not like you there,you could have a hard time.

Really? I came here in April 2015 with an online TEFL and my BA and started at 2.3...unless things have changed. Also yeah you can totally specify no islands or rural locations. But I know what you mean, even the biggest cities here are pretty...backwards  :laugh: I'm leaving in August and I wouldn't live in Korea again unless I was gonna live in Seoul or Busan. But it's always worth mentioning the program as people sometimes seem to think EPIK is the be all and end all of public school programs

Things have changed. I started in 2016 and they no longer accept online-only TEFLs-- there must be an in class component of at least 20 hours.

They do still hire at the base level though, bachelor's only in whatever degree.


  • Imogen1991
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1109

    • March 18, 2015, 12:26:47 am
    • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2016, 01:28:29 pm »
I heard that if you turn down an EPIK offer after the interview but before you get your visa you are ineligible to apply to EPIK again  for one year. This does not mean you can not get a public school placement through other means. However these jobs are harder to find for newbies, and may not offer housing or airfare.
What? There are plenty of public school jobs to be had not through EPIK that are great for newbies, offer housing AND airfare, and actually have a better starting salary than EPIK.

Check out JLP OP


I looked into JLP,however they do not recognize online Tefl certificates,and only recognize experience within their program(from what I hear).

So basically,even with your online tefl certificate and public school experience,you will start at the bottom.I don't really mind a rural location,but I think it would be hard if placed on an island.No expat community and sometimes a low tolerance for foreigners.If you wind up at a school that does not like you there,you could have a hard time.

Really? I came here in April 2015 with an online TEFL and my BA and started at 2.3...unless things have changed. Also yeah you can totally specify no islands or rural locations. But I know what you mean, even the biggest cities here are pretty...backwards  :laugh: I'm leaving in August and I wouldn't live in Korea again unless I was gonna live in Seoul or Busan. But it's always worth mentioning the program as people sometimes seem to think EPIK is the be all and end all of public school programs

Things have changed. I started in 2016 and they no longer accept online-only TEFLs-- there must be an in class component of at least 20 hours.

They do still hire at the base level though, bachelor's only in whatever degree.

Oooh, I didn't realise! Sounds like I started at a good time then


  • akplmn
  • Veteran

    • 113

    • October 19, 2015, 01:52:10 pm
    • South Korea
Re: What happens if you reject an EPIK offer?
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2016, 01:39:05 pm »
Yeah, the TEFL requirements changed almost across the board last year.  EPIK is probably also moving the way of refusing to recognize online TEFL courses.  When I applied a year ago, it was already a requirement for Busan that you have 50 hours of in-class time as part of your certificate.  And most of the EPIK alternatives (as in, provincial public school education offices) started asking for 20-50 hours in-class last fall, as well.  A friend of mine got accepted into a program in Jeollanamdo for the September 2016 intake, only to find out a month later that they had changed the requirements and wanted 20 hours in-class.  He had to go back and retake a second TESOL course at the last minute to keep the offer.  I wouldn't be surprised if that becomes the national standard within the next year or two.