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Oh yeah...how long should we leave it? Before we go..

 
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SkillSkillette



Joined: 25 Jul 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 5:40 pm    Post subject: Oh yeah...how long should we leave it? Before we go.. Reply with quote

A quick question..if we are looking to go to Korea on October 1st and we're applying from Canada (looking to get sponsored before we go) how long does the process actually take? A friend of mine here said she did it in just over a week...I just found that impossible to believe. When should we hit the panic button on finding the right contract etc.?
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matthews_world



Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Location: Coming to a norae-bang near you!

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Start looking around Aug 15.

Get your documents in order as we speak.
A professional resume.
College diploma with your full name (no initials per Korean Immigration)
College transcripts.
A valid passport.

Scan a copy of your passport, diploma, and photo to e-mail potential employers.


Look for positions that would start October 1. It would be good to come over here on the 1st and give yourself a week or 2 to adjust. In other words, start work a week or 2 after you arrive.

Lock in a position the beginning of September. Give yourself a good 3 weeks to get all the documents and to give you time in case there are any screw-ups. The other girl was probably a seasoned teacher and new what they were doing to get processed in a week.

Once you have secured a contract, the hagwon will e-mail you a copy. You will send the signed contract and the above documents first to a Korean Consulate of your jurisdictdion. Then, send the approved paperwork to your hagwon. This is what takes the major amount of time.


You can always start browsing the Korean Job Forum. Many schools would be advertising October 1st start dates.

Try the big chain schools: ECC, YBM, Kid's Club, etc for the most varied job openings and locations available. Check out the mom and pop hagwons to compare. Be careful with both types of schools.

Oh yea, ask questions. Limit the questions you ask to your potential employer. They are often busy. A good tip is to get a list of questions together when they call you for a phone interview. They might get tired of ya if you are too pushy with the questions after the interview and possibly will choose someone else and leave you in the cold.

Feel free to ask more questions here under this topic.

Hope that helps!



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SkillSkillette



Joined: 25 Jul 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a million for the info..appreciated. I can't believe how mind boggling it can be looking for the 'right' school or even area of Korea to teach in. By the way....do you think we have more 'pull' if we are a couple (2 quality teachers for your school! Razz ) or is it more of a 'mission impossible' scenario, as far as landing a job close together (if not the same school, we can deal with that..but then we'd have to do the 'double negotiating thing' with two schools!) Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, anyone have an opinion on our chances to land two positions at the same time?
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rapier



Joined: 16 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

there's no such thing as finding the "right" school in korea. They're all the same ****. A hogwon's a hogwon. Same problems at every one...They're nevverr what they advertise themselves to be. And Every director's fake smile fades before the ink on the contract's dry..
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SkillSkillette



Joined: 25 Jul 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it reaaallllly THAT bad??...(yes, I've done my homework on the research of horror stories out there) but I mean there must be some good scenarios out there (give or take a few bumps in the road). Am I being naive here? Is there no way to avoid a terrible experience, even if you specify exactly what you want, and ask the contract to be specific about things (ie. no weekend work, MUST be private accomodations for the two of us, talk to past teachers from the school, etc..), there must be a way of being 'content' in the hogwan.
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matthews_world



Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Location: Coming to a norae-bang near you!

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couples positions where you work at the same school are definitely hard to find and can be an incredible headache.

It might take you awhile. So in that case, look as soon as possible for October positions.

Also, in the same school their might be two openings, one in October for instance and then November. Snatch up both of them and just wait a month until the other starts working. Of course, on of you will end your contract sooner.

Perhaps taking seperate positions in the same city with the same hours could be possible.

Just give yourself more time to find a couple's position. This is a whole different ballgame.



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waterbaby



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: Baking Gord a Cheescake pie

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korea can put a real strain on any relationship. I hate to sound like a pessimist, but the majority of couples I've met here have broken up... and I'm very surprised when I meet a couple who have been here for a year or more and are still together Shocked (BTW - I'm talking about younger couples in their twenties who have been together for a year or 2 or less before coming here...)

Working at the same location can be a good or bad thing. Living & working together in a foreign land may get a bit claustrophobic. But on the upside, lots of employers like to hire couples - less likely to be out drinking every night, shared accommodation is not a problem, support for each other... and for you, you get double the bargaining power Very Happy I think a lot depends on you and your partner and what kind of people you are.

I reiterate what mathews_world said about getting a job with the same hours in the same city. I know a couple (who survived their year in Korea Very Happy ) who found it difficult because she worked mornings and afternoons and he worked evenings. They never saw each other during the week even though they lived together and this was quite a strain for them.


Good luck with your job search... matthews_world gave great advice at the start (I'm going to add this to my FAQ sticky) but I do think jobs for couples are easy enough to come by.

Happy job hunting Smile


Last edited by waterbaby on Sat Jul 26, 2003 11:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course you can have a fun & rewarding time here -- most do.

Couples positions exist (some institutes prefer that) but it shouldnt be your primary job hunt criterion. Better to focus on location & positive contact with teachers already there.

If one of you can land a promising position, I'd suggest run with that & swallow one airfare. Private accommodation is becoming the norm & most places wont squawk at you sharing with a partner. Once youre on the ground, the other partner will be able to find something easily & you'll be in a much better situation to choose compatible locales & schedules. That person can negotiate a higher wage too because housing isnt required.

Hey good luck. Adventure awaits.
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Son Deureo!



Joined: 30 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that it can't hurt to start looking fairly early, August 15th or so as matthews_world suggested. However, don't be too discouraged or surprised if your early efforts don't turn up much. During my job hunts in Korea, I found that planning too far ahead turned out to be a bit of a waste of time. Most schools did not seem to be interested in hiring someone for a month or two down the road, but there were plenty that wanted me to start teaching RIGHT NOW!!! In other words, the closer you get to your planned arrival date, the more open positions will probably be available.

I also agree with the idea that you should come over a week or two early if possible to help you get your bearings. Unfortunately, not many hogwon directors are likely to be cooperative in that regard either. If you're lucky, you'll show up on a Friday and have the weekend to adjust. The fact that your predecessors are likely to be staying in your accommodations compounds this difficulty, but it might be worth it to offer to pay for your own yeogwan accommodations if you can arrive a little early to get settled in. Who knows? You might even get some training!

It may be a bit more difficult for you to find a position for both of you at the same place, and unfortunately the color of your girlfriend's skin will likely also be an added obstacle. However, two teachers from Canada that will only want one apartment will probably also be a deal that is too good for some lucky hogwon owner to pass up. You'll find something.

Good luck to both of you.
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JackSarang



Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

matthews_world wrote:


Look for positions that would start October 1. It would be good to come over here on the 1st and give yourself a week or 2 to adjust. In other words, start work a week or 2 after you arrive.


Unless you're paying for the air-ticket yourself (NOT RECOMMENDED) then you don't have that option. The school decides when you arrive.. and even if you do arrive early, then you have to pay for accomodation for that week since the school's apartment won't be ready.

Quote:
Lock in a position the beginning of September. Give yourself a good 3 weeks to get all the documents and to give you time in case there are any screw-ups. The other girl was probably a seasoned teacher and new what they were doing to get processed in a week.


Getting processed in a week is easy. If your documents are in order and the school or recruiter submits them to immigration it only takes a few days for immigration to grant the Visa acceptance letter. It will then take another 3-5 days to courier the letter back to your home country then another 3-4 days for your local consulate to grant the E-2 visa.

Quote:
Once you have secured a contract, the hagwon will e-mail you a copy. You will send the signed contract and the above documents first to a Korean Consulate of your jurisdictdion. Then, send the approved paperwork to your hagwon. This is what takes the major amount of time.


This is simply incorrect. The only thing you submit to your local consulate is your passport, the letter of Visa acceptance and the form they have you fill out. All other documents are handled by the school/recruiter and given to Immigration in Korea.


Quote:

Try the big chain schools: ECC, YBM, Kid's Club, etc for the most varied job openings and locations available.


Worst advice you could give. You should avoid the major chain schools on principle. They have the worst reputations in Korea and they are notorious for crap like underpaying (YBM offers 1.7 to start Rolling Eyes) extended hours, unpaid overtime, crappy shifts etc.

Quote:
Oh yea, ask questions. Limit the questions you ask to your potential employer. They are often busy. A good tip is to get a list of questions together when they call you for a phone interview. They might get tired of ya if you are too pushy with the questions after the interview and possibly will choose someone else and leave you in the cold.


Ask as many questions as you need answered. Do not hold back. Any school who will not give you full disclosure is trying to hide something. Ask for the e-mail/phone #'s of the other foreign teachers. Any recruiter or school who dodges your questions is not worth your time.


Its a little early for securing October starts. Most hagwons simply don't look that far ahead. Browsing Dave's I've seen a few listing October starts, but not many.

Know what you want. Such as pay, working hours and location. If you want to make your stay the easiest, work in Seoul, working in backwaters only increases the layers of stress. Do not accept split-shifts, ensure you know the job is block-shift. Calculate your working hours carefully. Most will say 120/hrs a month. But how is that seperated? It may only be 6hrs a day, but all Korean employers deduct the breaks between classes. So are you teaching 9 40 min classes a day or 6 50 minute classes? The time is the same, but trust me, the difference between 9 classes a day and 6 is palatable.

Do you want a day shift or a night shift? Its important to know what you want to do with your free time. Schools with Kindergarten with block shifts are usually 9-6 or 10-7 etc.. schools with just elementary are usually 2-9 or 4:30-10:30 etc. So you can either have your evenings off or most of the day off. I personally prefer having my evenings off because I love eating dinner out and going out on Friday nights... but some people enjoy the later shifts because it gives them lots of time during the day to shop, excercise, etc.

Being stuck on working at the same school as your partner can be problematic and honestly, for your mental health I'd suggest you work at seperate schools with similar schedules in the same area... much easier to find (especially in Seoul).

If you can afford it, do as suggested and fly to Korea a week or two before and bring all your documents and do the job search in Korea. You'll be able to visit schools, talk to other teachers directly and honestly (no directors looking over their shoulders or listening on the phone) and view your accomodation.

Korea is not a terrible place to work, I met more teachers who had good/average experiences than those who were being put through the wringer.. and some teachers who were in bad situations to them, but when explained were laughably trivial. So just relax and think about the new adventure. And as cheesy as that sounds, it is an adventure.
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Jasmine



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Hongkers!

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey!

If you're interested in a couple position, you're welcome to take my job. My boyfriend and I are leaving for Thailand at the beginning of October, leaving two jobs vacant at our hagwon. Our bosses are very nice. We have a 3 bedrrom apt and a good salary. PM me if you're interested!

Jazz.

PS. I know plenty of couples who've come over and not broken up in Korea. No worries!
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SkillSkillette



Joined: 25 Jul 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jasmine, we're interested! I pm'd you if you get this.
I just find it hard to pay up two airfares to go to Korea when everyone is offering free airfare...I mean, if I had the money, then yes I could see how that would be better, however, we'd like to have a job lined up, accomodations etc. before we go. If we do land a job that we like, and decided to go earlier in order to get set up, would the school not buy our ticket for a week earlier if that's what we wanted? Why would that be a problem? (I wouldn't mind paying for a hotel or whatever for that week until our place was ready).
Thanks for all the help everyone!
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