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Going public while in Korea.
« on: June 16, 2016, 09:12:59 pm »
Hello there!

My girlfriend and I are currently in our fourth month of our year long contract in Korea. We love working/living in Korea and we are considering a second year. We realized that the "hagwon" life really isn't for us. We like our school and our kids, but the lack of integrity at the school is a little bit draining on us. Granted, it may just be OUR hagwon, but it is all that we know. We are interested in applying for public school positions. Our contract is not up until March.

Is it easier to get a public school position while living in Korea? Do we have to go about obtaining our documents again (notarized diploma, background check, etc.)? Is there an easier way to apply for a public school position besides applying to EPIK or GEPIK?

Any information would be wonderful!
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 07:21:57 am by Drumpunk892 »


  • nomadicmadda
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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2016, 10:17:47 pm »
Hello there!

My girlfriend are currently in our fourth month of our year long contract in Korea. We love working/living in Korea and we are considering a second year. We realized that the "hagwon" life really isn't for us. We like our school and our kids, but the lack of integrity at the school is a little bit draining on us. Granted, it may just be OUR hagwon, but it is all the we know. We are interested in applying for public school positions. Our contract is not up until March.

Is it easier to get a public school position while living in Korea? Do we have to go about obtaining our documents again (notarized diploma, background check, etc.)? Is there an easier way to apply for a public school position besides applying to EPIK or GEPIK?

Any information would be wonderful!

You can transfer to a D10 visa, but you'll need a Letter of Release (LOR) from your employer if you plan on ending your contract early.  With the D10 (job-seeking) visa, immigration keeps all of your documents on file.  You can transfer from a D10 back to an E2 easily, whether your job is public or private.  I wouldn't say it's necessarily any easier to get a public school job by already being here, but being here and having worked here before in general always helps with any job hunt.

EPIK/GEPIK certainly doesn't cover all public school options.  Many hire independently nowadays (just takes more research/keeping an ear open), and there's JLP as well.  The latter covers the entire Jeollanamdo province and positions vary in how rural they are. 


  • Somebody
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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2016, 11:32:56 pm »
What nomadicmadda said. If you get the letter of release, then you can explore the public school option. However, getting a letter of release is difficult if the school is in a difficult situation because of your leaving. You are two people leaving there instead of one. That means they have to fill two positions. You could offer to stay there until they fill the positions. I think they would see it as a nice gesture, depending on the individual that you're dealing with. You would know that more than I.


  • zorq
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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2016, 06:25:59 am »
If you go the EPIK route, remember that a year of hagwon experience counts for pay level increase. You DO need a TESOL certificate if you go the EPIK route now though but those can be obtained cheaply online.

My first year here was at a hagwon that drained all my energy, but I was 6 months in on my contract before I knew I wanted to stay in Korea for another year. So I decided to endure the Hagwon until my contract ran out for the pay raise and positive recommendation letter I could get at the end of my contract when I moved over to EPIK.

A full year of experience and a completed contract just looks better on a resume anyway, but it's up to you.

« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 06:27:45 am by zorq »


  • Piggydee
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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2016, 07:12:29 am »
I want to congratulate you guys on putting in at least one year of hakwon life before you realized it sucks LOL You guys will be golden has far as transitioning to public school as long as you have your proper certs as others have stated earlier.  Public school life is the way to go!  It's a good thing you guys did hakwon first then public because I knew a couple of people who did public and then hakwon because they thought the money was better, only to later find out they work for a bunch of dictators who care more about the won than about the kids/staff.  Good Luck :wink:
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 07:14:20 am by Piggydee »


Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2016, 07:28:57 am »
Thank you all for the information!

We don't plan on ending our contract early, we are going to stick out the year, we know that having the yearlong experience will look better on paper as Zorq said. Would we still need to get a D-10 Visa if we stick out our contract?

We both have our TESOL Certificates, our hagwon actually made us get them so that we looked more "qualified" to the parents.

I will start looking into EPIK/GEPIK and other options to see what we can do  ;D


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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2016, 07:33:04 am »
I don't understand it when people say "get my documents again." I've had 4 distinct jobs here in Korea and they've all given me my apostilled degree and criminal check back to me. I've never thought "Ah shit, how will I get document X while I'm here!"
The joys of fauxtherhood


Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2016, 07:42:22 am »
I don't understand it when people say "get my documents again." I've had 4 distinct jobs here in Korea and they've all given me my apostilled degree and criminal check back to me. I've never thought "Ah shit, how will I get document X while I'm here!"

Unfortunately, I am not all knowing about the inner-workings of the Korean immigration office, as apparently you are. I believe it is a legitimate question.

Thank you for your lack of contribution to this discussion.


  • Mezoti97
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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2016, 07:44:38 am »
If you go the EPIK route, remember that a year of hagwon experience counts for pay level increase. You DO need a TESOL certificate if you go the EPIK route now though but those can be obtained cheaply online.

My first year here was at a hagwon that drained all my energy, but I was 6 months in on my contract before I knew I wanted to stay in Korea for another year. So I decided to endure the Hagwon until my contract ran out for the pay raise and positive recommendation letter I could get at the end of my contract when I moved over to EPIK.

A full year of experience and a completed contract just looks better on a resume anyway, but it's up to you.

I'm surprised that your one-year of hagwon experience qualified you for a pay scale increase with EPIK. I was under the impression that EPIK does not count hagwon experience as previous teaching experience to qualify a NET for a bump up in the pay scale, but if it worked out for you, then apparently it can happen sometimes?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 07:46:31 am by Mezoti97 »


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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2016, 07:45:39 am »
I don't understand it when people say "get my documents again." I've had 4 distinct jobs here in Korea and they've all given me my apostilled degree and criminal check back to me. I've never thought "Ah shit, how will I get document X while I'm here!"

Unfortunately, I am not all knowing about the inner-workings of the Korean immigration office, as apparently you are. I believe it is a legitimate question.

Thank you for your lack of contribution to this discussion.

I wasn't being a douche, if that's what you're implying. It's just that every time, my boss has given me my documents back in the third or fourth week of my contract. You should ask your boss if they have them. Immigration looks at them, photocopies them and then sends them to your company/school/etc. 
The joys of fauxtherhood


  • Jmessler
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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2016, 07:46:28 am »
Did anyone else read the headline and think this was about the poster wanting to finally come out and tell people he is gay while in Korea?
Reality is an illusion which occurs due to the lack of alcohol.


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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2016, 07:47:09 am »
If you go the EPIK route, remember that a year of hagwon experience counts for pay level increase. You DO need a TESOL certificate if you go the EPIK route now though but those can be obtained cheaply online.

My first year here was at a hagwon that drained all my energy, but I was 6 months in on my contract before I knew I wanted to stay in Korea for another year. So I decided to endure the Hagwon until my contract ran out for the pay raise and positive recommendation letter I could get at the end of my contract when I moved over to EPIK.

A full year of experience and a completed contract just looks better on a resume anyway, but it's up to you.

I'm surprised that your one-year of hagwon experience qualified you for a pay scale increase. I was under the impression that EPIK does not count hagwon experience as previous teaching experience to qualify a NET for a bump up in the pay scale, but if it worked out for you, then apparently it can happen sometimes?
You need a year of "official teaching" experience. This just means that your company needs to register you in a certain form with the MOE. My After School didn't and I got fucked when I left for a public school job. No 100 000 extra for me that year.
The joys of fauxtherhood


  • CO2
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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2016, 07:48:02 am »
Did anyone else read the headline and think this was about the poster wanting to finally come out and tell people he is gay while in Korea?

Nah, I thought they owned a business and wanted to be on the Korean Stock Exchange.
The joys of fauxtherhood


  • HaLo3
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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2016, 07:52:12 am »
I don't understand it when people say "get my documents again." I've had 4 distinct jobs here in Korea and they've all given me my apostilled degree and criminal check back to me. I've never thought "Ah shit, how will I get document X while I'm here!"

Unfortunately, I am not all knowing about the inner-workings of the Korean immigration office, as apparently you are. I believe it is a legitimate question.

Thank you for your lack of contribution to this discussion.

I wasn't being a douche, if that's what you're implying. It's just that every time, my boss has given me my documents back in the third or fourth week of my contract. You should ask your boss if they have them. Immigration looks at them, photocopies them and then sends them to your company/school/etc.
While I have never been given the originals back, I have also never had to get documents again. I have been told every time that they forward them from one immigration office to the next, depending on what city I am in. I'm on my fourth school and never had to do the whole process again. However, my friend is currently in the same boat, and they are making her get new documents. So I think it just really depends, maybe on the employer, maybe on the immigration office.


Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2016, 08:01:43 am »
While I have never been given the originals back, I have also never had to get documents again. I have been told every time that they forward them from one immigration office to the next, depending on what city I am in. I'm on my fourth school and never had to do the whole process again. However, my friend is currently in the same boat, and they are making her get new documents. So I think it just really depends, maybe on the employer, maybe on the immigration office.

If you switch to EPIK from anything else, you need the originals, even if you've been in Korea a while. They refuse to accept the ones held by whatever immigration office you first checked in with.

I know because I had to deal with all that bulldink when my school changed from GEPIK to EPIK last January.

Quick Edit: You can, however have copies officially stamped by a proper education authority in Korea (such as a public school vice principal or a person at the Ministry of Education). Of course, this still requires that you have the originals or a copy of them.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 08:07:56 am by SkidMarx »


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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2016, 08:10:26 am »
While I have never been given the originals back, I have also never had to get documents again. I have been told every time that they forward them from one immigration office to the next, depending on what city I am in. I'm on my fourth school and never had to do the whole process again. However, my friend is currently in the same boat, and they are making her get new documents. So I think it just really depends, maybe on the employer, maybe on the immigration office.

If you switch to EPIK from anything else, you need the originals, even if you've been in Korea a while. They refuse to accept the ones held by whatever immigration office you first checked in with.

I know because I had to deal with all that bulldink when my school changed from GEPIK to EPIK last January.

Quick Edit: You can, however have copies officially stamped by a proper education authority in Korea (such as a public school vice principal or a person at the Ministry of Education). Of course, this still requires that you have the originals or a copy of them.

Shit like this drives me insane. Can't there just be a central database at the National MOE or with Immigration? Immigration is a federal service by default, in every country. 

"CO2 has a uni degree and his crim check was in July 2012. He's been in Korea ever since, so it's impossible for him to have committed a crime back home." DONE. I changed schools IN GYEONGGI and I still needed the same shit. Why?
The joys of fauxtherhood


  • user17
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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2016, 08:25:40 am »
there is a bit of disinformation in this thread.

regarding the D-10 - you don't need to change to this first in order to change from a hagwon to a public school. the D-10 is a 'work seeking' visa. it's for people who have ended their contract but don't have another job lined up, and want to continue looking for one. If you change from hagwon to public school you can simply do an E-2 visa transfer. no D-10 needed.

regarding your documents - you don't need new documents. you can go to your immigration office and get officially stamped copies, which EPIK will accept. what you do need in addition is a Korean criminal record check, to prove you haven't committed any crimes in Korea. this can easily be obtained from most large police stations, and is usually issued on the day.

whether other programs like GEPIK, JLP, and Gimhae will accept copies of your docs from immigration, i don't know. if they want new originals, this is a requirement from them, NOT from immigration.

if you want to confirm what you need for sure, contact those programs directly. you can phone EPIK on 02-3668-1400/02-3668-1401. the coordinators there are actually really helpful, or have been every time i've phoned.


  • HaLo3
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Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2016, 10:36:39 am »
While I have never been given the originals back, I have also never had to get documents again. I have been told every time that they forward them from one immigration office to the next, depending on what city I am in. I'm on my fourth school and never had to do the whole process again. However, my friend is currently in the same boat, and they are making her get new documents. So I think it just really depends, maybe on the employer, maybe on the immigration office.

If you switch to EPIK from anything else, you need the originals, even if you've been in Korea a while. They refuse to accept the ones held by whatever immigration office you first checked in with.

I know because I had to deal with all that bulldink when my school changed from GEPIK to EPIK last January.

Quick Edit: You can, however have copies officially stamped by a proper education authority in Korea (such as a public school vice principal or a person at the Ministry of Education). Of course, this still requires that you have the originals or a copy of them.
Ah, well maybe thats it then. I switched from one GEPIK school to another one in a different city, then from GEPIK to private to private. Plus I had the document copies stamped and signed by my first principal.


Re: Going public while in Korea.
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2016, 11:57:04 am »
Shit like this drives me insane. Can't there just be a central database at the National MOE or with Immigration? Immigration is a federal service by default, in every country. 

"CO2 has a uni degree and his crim check was in July 2012. He's been in Korea ever since, so it's impossible for him to have committed a crime back home." DONE. I changed schools IN GYEONGGI and I still needed the same shit. Why?

I agree wholeheartedly. I remember asking the EPIK people if they could just go to Suwon Immigration and get my documents. They basically said they used to be able to do that but couldn't any more for no explicable reason and so I had to scramble to get new ones sorted, which was rather expensive and stressful. But it can be done with a bit of help.

Bureaucracy often makes precious little sense and with the GEPIK to EPIK switchover by 2018, the system is a mess at the moment. I imagine it will be more streamlined and unified once it is done but until then, holy hell.

regarding your documents - you don't need new documents. you can go to your immigration office and get officially stamped copies, which EPIK will accept. what you do need in addition is a Korean criminal record check, to prove you haven't committed any crimes in Korea. this can easily be obtained from most large police stations, and is usually issued on the day.

I just did this last January and neither one of those was true. I don't know where you applied to EPIK but in Gyeonggi, I was required to submit new documents. They could only accept the originals from when I first came and Immigration will not release those, I was told. If a copy was to be made, it had to be from the MOE that held the original documents (such if you were previously EPIK) or from your school, which also was supposed to have the originals. They couldn't be signed by immigration. It had to be from a government educational institution, the idea being that they are signing off that they hold the originals and that they confirm they are legit.

And nothing was mentioned about being able to get a CRC done in Korea, by the Korean police. I've literally never heard of that being the case ever in this country, but implementing it would be a smart idea.

This was told to me by multiple EPIK coordinators, though I would also encourage people to call because who the hell actually knows these days. They are very friendly, given how much of a shit show this all is.

So either EPIK was incorrect or they changed their policy in the last five or so months. Neither one would surprise me.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 12:56:17 pm by SkidMarx »