ESL South Korea


Researching Your School

Before you put your signature down on that freshly printed contract you’ve just received from your new employer, there’s one essential thing you need to do.  Most of the horror stories of people ending up in horrible schools with ridiculously greedy bosses could have been avoided had people taken this step.

Do some research about your potential school and potential employer.

This only really applies to people who are going to work in a Hagwon.  Since EPIK teachers only find out which school they will work in right before the commencement of their contract, there’s no way to do research about your new school – You don’t know where it is yet!

But for anyone going to work at a Hagwon, it’s very important to do as much research as you possibly can about your potential future school.  This can be done in two ways:

1.  Speak to the English teacher you’re taking over from.

This is vital and most of the horror stories you find online about teaching English in Korea could have been avoided if this had been done.  No-one will be able to give you better insight about a potential workplace than a fellow foreign English teacher.  During your application process when you communicate with a future boss, insist to speak to the current foreign teacher and if that’s impossible, strongly consider a different school.

A fellow American/Canadian/Australian/South African who’s worked in Korea for the last 11 months will be able to give you a pretty clear and uninhibited view of the school you’re considering working for.  If your new boss is a cheat, this is the person who’ll be able to tell you.  If he’s a great guy who pays his salaries on time, this is the person who’ll let you know and give you the inside scoop of your new workplace.

2.  Do online research

Foreigners in Korea rely a lot on the Internet for communication with other foreigners and there is usually lots of information available on certain types of hagwons and franchises.  Here are three things you can do to try and find out some more about who you’re about to give a year of your life to.