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Public school jobs for a couple -is it the impossible dream?
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Sophos



Joined: 11 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice everyone. We have decided to try going for public school jobs directly off job websites and maybe trying for Hagwon jobs through recruiters if we have to. Think we will just give EPIK/ GEPIK a miss seeing as they will not give apartments to unmarried couples anymore (apparently they only started doin that this semester).

Have seen a few couples positions on Kim and Joe site and Oppportunity Korea so will try there.
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sugarkane59



Joined: 10 Jun 2009
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't agree in the slightest that recruiters/schools shy away from hiring couples. In fact, I believe the contrary is true in many cases.

However, I agree that EPIK are hiring fewer couples because it's just a pain to find two schools that are near each other. We applied to EPIK originally and were advised to go with a hagwon if we wanted a guarantee that we'd be living together and working near each other. We are both now living in the same apartment and actually working in the same hagwon.... and so far, so good!

EPIK and other recruiters usually ask how long couples have been together and I think that couples that have been together for a while are an asset to schools because they are less likely to do a runner - they are stable and safe for schools. A single person with no ties is more likely to run I believe.
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sketcha



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Location: Seoul, South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just my opinion/advise ~ dont live together, get seperate apartment (same building or close by)
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sugarkane59



Joined: 10 Jun 2009
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's strange advice Sketcha seeing as you do not know the OP or his/her situation.
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sketcha



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Location: Seoul, South Korea

PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

just from what I've seen/heard from other couples (here and back home)

if you're married, then by all mean, live together
boyfriend/girlfriend ... I think you might want some space still - there's still a difference between married and just going out
(but if the couple are set to get married, well - might be a good practice)

did meet a guy who was teaching here with his girlfriend

cant remember if it was same apartment but different school or
same school, different apartment - but he was clearly glad they're not together for both part

but like Sugar said, I dont know them, I could only comment on the general - they could pull it off (and I do hope they will)

but can you imagine living with your g/f or b/f in the same place and working at the same place on top of that?
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openeyes



Joined: 10 Sep 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My girlfriend and I have lived together for nearly two years in the US, but are following her parent's example of not bothering to formally marry until being together for ~10 years, when it no longer makes sense to not be married.

We're applying for EPIK and have also been told by our recruiter that since we're not married our housing will be separate, and that each school only takes one foreign English teacher. Hopefully we'll live close enough to each other. We're used to being together 90%+ of the time when we're not working.
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robjones1927



Joined: 16 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

I know I'm a bit late getting on this thread but I've just joined this website because i having trouble finding poistions for my girlfriend and I. We've started looking very early for jobs for April/May next year to try and help secure positions in good schools but are having no luck finding anything.

We had a very similar response to that mentioned in the original post. I contacted Koriva after seeing them reccomended here and at first they said it should be no problem to find jobs in the same city with GEPIK. I'd said that we couldn't leave the UK until April but this was apparetnly not a problem for GEPIK as they take people on all year, the only thing the recruiter mentioned that we'd probably have to share a small apartment and take housing allowance but that seemed fine.

Then a few days later i got an email from another recruiter there who said that she'd be dealing with us from now on and that actually unless we were able to start at the beginning of March there was vitually no chance we could get anything and that it was pretty unlikely that we could be placed in schools that were close to each other. The tone of this second email was totally different to that of this first and pretty much amounted to 'don't bother getting back to us, we've got nothing for you'.

We're open to working in private schools too but I haven't been able to find any job adverts wanting couples for either type of school on this site or on WorknPlay. Can anyone suggest where else I could look? I'm waiting for Opportunity Korea to get back to me but does anyone know of any other agencies that are good at placing couples?

Also I see a lot of people advising others to contact schools directly but how do i find the schools to contact in the first place?

Thanks for reading my little whinge and any advice will be rewarded with Soju when i finally get to Korea.
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blonde researcher



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Location: Globalizing in Korea for the time being

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a flooded market of applicants, the employers have tightened up on the selection of couples they will employ, just like the hagwons have already done for single teachers .
It should still be OK if you are attractive young well qualified and from USA or Canada. BUT..........
If you are a couple from NZ, Australia, UK Ireland or South Africa, your odds of being hired for a hagwon in a bigger city are becoming more remote.
If you have no English or education majors and no experience your chances of a job would be even more remote I would say.

If you have the wrong passport, and you are not young , attractive or are an 'unwanted ethnicity' couple then your odds may be very low to nil get an offer for a hagwon.

Then to add to this; with EPIK and SMOE and GEPIK also going a bit anti couples now( for supposed housing reasons),and level 2 entry being the old level 3 entry to look at, public schools will give you minimal options - if any.
Anyone notice that some recruiters like Footprints are now advertising ' preference for EPIK will be given to TESOL holders ( the old level 3 entry qualification of just needing a bachelor degree has been moved up unofficially a notch to level 2 to get in)
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robjones1927



Joined: 16 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So our UK passports won't cut it?! damn the decline of the empire!!! in seriousness i was quite suprised that there was a preference for North American English. This is a little off-topic but why do you guys think that is? Is it simply an issue of accents?

I'm starting to realise now why everyone asks you to attach a photo to your cv - only jobs for the hotties. That should be ok for my girlfriend (i'd be a rubbish boyfriend if i didn't say that!) so maybe i'll send a blurred photo of myself and hopefully that won't bring our average hotness below an acceptable level.

We're not even that fussed on living in Seoul or Busan. I think it might be better to ease ourselves into Korea on a smaller city, ideally near the coast but with no teaching experience we accpet that we can't be too fussy where we go. I'd love to live on the beach and earn more money than i can ever spend teaching uni students and executives but i don't think those opportunities are going to be open to me any time soon. All I want to find are two jobs in the same city (any city) and an apartment bigger than my wardrobe. Surely this must be possible.
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blonde researcher



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Location: Globalizing in Korea for the time being

PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re the American bias. Think back to 1945 and the 1950s when USA 'rescued' South Korea from the Japanese and the North Korean invasions and occupation.
USA has literally held Koreas hand for many years since then including helping plan all their present education and legal system. All spelling in Korea is American and all parents aim to send their kids to IVY league in USA. It will be much better for the children to learn to speak with an American accent than a Brit an Irish etc if they are to get a future job that has them speaking English

These Korean kids may be learning English, but it certainly is not English voices from England they want.
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WillTurnerinVanCity



Joined: 05 Dec 2007

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

blonde researcher wrote:

Anyone notice that some recruiters like Footprints are now advertising ' preference for EPIK will be given to TESOL holders ( the old level 3 entry qualification of just needing a bachelor degree has been moved up unofficially a notch to level 2 to get in)


EPIK and other MOE hiring bodies often change their requirements as a means of regulating the flow of applications in the hopes of getting the best applicants they can get at the time.

When they need applicants - they are wide open to accepting teachers without ESL certification/exp. etc.

If they are at a point where they have a large number of applications, they generally tighten the restrictions and tell all the recruiters that they will only consider applicants with ESL certification/exp.

The flipside is that if it comes down to the wire, they might open hiring again for teachers without certification in the interests of filling the positions.

It is an ebb and flow that the public school hiring bodies dictate, and the rest of the recruiters must respond to.

-Will
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blonde researcher



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Location: Globalizing in Korea for the time being

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will -- thanks for clarification .......... BUT Where do you see the chances of level 3 couples (or singles) getting in the main March 1st 2010 EPIK and then holding their jobs ?

How are EPIK presently treating couple applications, especially if they do not have TESOL and experience? Especially with the supposed huge numbers of applications coming in and interviews ongoing ?

Is it possible that a number of hopeful couples will miss out totally and
maybe many level 3 singles will miss out as well? -- especially if their recruiter is not warning them of this possibility and advising they may need to have the TESOL? please tell?

The way EPIK and SmOE have previously worked and the decisions they have made , have not been openly told to the applicants by some recruiters as the Sept SMOE applicants found out when 100 confirmed jobs were suddenly cancelled at the very last minute --

Apparently for the last March 1 EPIK intake a number of teachers were interviewed and offered positions, and no doubt thought they were secure.
However South Africans Brits and Irish sometimes can have up to a months wait to get their CRC and Apostille applied for and back.

Some teachers, confirmed with a job, suddenly got given an ultimatum date by EPIK to have their papers arrive in Seoul the next day or they lost the jobs.

I personally know of 2 level 1 and level 2 South African applicants this happened to who had their jobs totally cancelled from EPIK almost the day they were sending her documents. This was late June, well before they would have started at the end of August ( in fact 2 months before !) Makes you wonder if the same thing could happen again in late Dec , 2 months before the March 1 jobs are to start and after the first EPIK closing date of Dec 15th??

Please tell How you see couples faring if they are holding out to be placed together, or even get jobs as level 3 ?
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WillTurnerinVanCity



Joined: 05 Dec 2007

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a few things that need to be addressed in this, and I will do my best.

First - when EPIK or SMOE or any of the other bodies extend a "job offer," it is not a secured position. The public schools over-offer. If they have 500 jobs, they will make 700 job offers (I'm making these numbers up). They do this because they know people will drop off, they know that Brits, Irish, South Africans, etc. won't get their documents in time. They know that if they have 500 jobs and only make 500 job offers, that come March 1st, they will only have 400 teachers and 100 spots that have not been filled.

We say this over and over again, but it is first come first serve and you don't have a job until you have ALL of your documents in AND a notice of appointment.

Too many teachers think that if they have a "job offer" that the position is theirs and then they don't get their affairs in order and lose the opportunity. So - the people you know who were offered jobs that they didn't get - I would think that it is because they didn't get their documents in on time. I'm sure that they did feel that they had a secure position, but nothing is secure until you have your notice of appointment.

Now - this SMOE thing is a sore spot. It was a mistake. It shouldn't be used as an example that even with your documents in and your notice of appointment that there is a risk of no job. That SMOE fiasco was an awful aberration. It is not how EPIK and SMOE have previously worked.

As for the closing dates and the two months before thing...dates mean nothing. I get asked all the time "when the last date for submission is." The last date to get your documents in is the day before it closes. If the closing date is "officially" December 15th, but they get 500 teachers with all of their documents in by November 1st, then they stop hiring. So that December 15th deadline means nothing. Public schools are filling earlier and earlier and it is a very frustrating thing to tell people this all the time and have them still not get their documents in.

If you are Level 3 and have your notice of appointment, that is about as sure a bet as it gets. If you are a Level 3 and you haven't sent your documents in yet because you feel that your "job offer" is a secure position, and you're procrastinating on getting your documents - you are at risk.

As for couples - to be honest I have no idea. I tell all the teachers that we will convey their desires in terms of housing and location, etc. but that everything is ultimately up to EPIK and SMOE. According to the Placement Coordinators - married couples get housing together, unmarried couples usually don't. You can take on single apartment, share it and the other person can take a stipend - BUT that is only if you get the same location.

This industry simply isn't as conducive to couples as it has been in the past. I recommend that couples talk it out beforehand and discuss just how flexible they are willing to be.

I think part of the problem is that everyone points to "somebody they know" who was able to get a couple position without issue, and they think that since that person was able to do it, that they should too. The reality is that that person is probably an exception to the rule, and not the norm.
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robjones1927



Joined: 16 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WillTurnerinVanCity,

i get the impression that you work in recruitment in some capacity. if not then you know an unhealthy amount about it!

what you have just said re:couples stacks up with what i've been hearing from recuriters. if you're not married they can't guarantee shared accom or even placements in the same area. i imagine this is because the supply of fresh westerners looking to teach english is currenly much greater than the demand for them and so why wouldn't schools to hire the most flexible candidates. this is prefectly understandable but sadly doesnlt work for us.

it seems the public school dream is over for now. hopefully after a year in Korea we may be better placed to organise something but for the moment we're looking at stepping into the scary world of private schools and i wonder if you (or anyone else reading this) can help me out with something. how do i find jobs that start in the future as oppossed to 'ASAP'. is it just a bad time to look or do we have to be prepared to up and leave at any moment if a job comes up? - this obviously makes planning a bit tricky. if i want to find jobs for April/May am i too early or are they just hidden away somewhere i don't know about?

thanks.
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WillTurnerinVanCity



Joined: 05 Dec 2007

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

robjones1927 wrote:
WillTurnerinVanCity,

i get the impression that you work in recruitment in some capacity. if not then you know an unhealthy amount about it!

what you have just said re:couples stacks up with what i've been hearing from recuriters. if you're not married they can't guarantee shared accom or even placements in the same area. i imagine this is because the supply of fresh westerners looking to teach english is currenly much greater than the demand for them and so why wouldn't schools to hire the most flexible candidates. this is prefectly understandable but sadly doesnlt work for us.

it seems the public school dream is over for now. hopefully after a year in Korea we may be better placed to organise something but for the moment we're looking at stepping into the scary world of private schools and i wonder if you (or anyone else reading this) can help me out with something. how do i find jobs that start in the future as oppossed to 'ASAP'. is it just a bad time to look or do we have to be prepared to up and leave at any moment if a job comes up? - this obviously makes planning a bit tricky. if i want to find jobs for April/May am i too early or are they just hidden away somewhere i don't know about?

thanks.


Hey - I work for Footprints Recruiting, and normally I mention that in my posts but I forgot to in that last one. As an aside, the general impression I've gotten from Dave's is that it is anti-recruiter...so I've found that even if I say the sky is blue, there will be somebody on here to argue the point.

As for private schools - most schools only contact recruiters a couple of months in advance of a job opening. So if you check our job board (and to be fair - all the other boards both recruiter and public message boards like this) most jobs will reflect the upcoming months only.

Your best bet is to get your documents in order, and when you get an offer of a position, jump on it. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people debate a position for a week only to have it go to somebody else. In previous years, people could talk it out, give the school a little notice that you'll get back to them and then take the job you want. These days..jobs come and go quickly.
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