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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: Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:19 am    Post subject: Public school jobs for a couple -is it the impossible dream? Reply with quote

My boyfriend and I are both native speakers and graduates. We haven't taught abroad before and we are looking at applying to one of the public school programs but I9 feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall. I recently emailed a recruiter with a few questions and all the feedback was completley negative. I wrote to them "We understand that is hard to place couples and we don't mind if we don't get to teach in the same school but we would like to live in the same apartment. Is this possible for the EPIK program? If not wuld it be possible in a private school position instead?"

They answered: The EPIK program changed their policies for couples this semester and the only way to request and secure shared housing is if you’re married and you’re able to provide verification (i.e. marriage license).

Private schools generally view friends and couples as ‘high risk’ because if one teacher doesn't like the country, job, culture, location, etc. and decides to leave before the contract expires then there's a big chance the other teacher will leave as well leaving the school with a vacant couples apartment and the financial costs of replacing two teachers instead of one. In the past is was quite easy to accommodate couples because there were more jobs than teachers but in the present job market there's more people applying than jobs available so the schools are more reluctant to offer shared housing and job options at the same school when they have enough individual applications who are interested.


I also asked them about teaching as a couple in different locations and they said: Private schools in Busan and Incheon – In all honesty we probably wouldn’t be able to help you secure private schools jobs in these cities unless you both have education majors or you’re both willing to work and live separately. Busan is literally the most competitive job market in Korea after Seoul and Incheon is also quite competitive – especially if you’re looking for an option with shared housing.

The only alternative option you could consider is if one of your takes a single apartment from the EPIK program and the other takes the housing allowance instead of the actual apartment. We don’t recommend this scenario though…many of the apartments offered are tiny studio style apartments and it would be quite uncomfortable living together for a year in such a confined space.
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Sorry for posting such a long post but I'm beginning to despair. Is there really no way a couple can get placed in S Korea now? Or should we just bite the bullet and get married? Confused Cheers for any advice/info.
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classydame



Joined: 03 Aug 2009
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My husband and I have been having difficulty finding couple positions, so I don't know if getting married will solve the problem. Just wanted to let you know so you guys didn't feel like you had to rush into anything:) Also, be wary if you do find recruiters who want to place you in two different schools "close by" because for some of them that means 45 minutes.
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jvalmer



Joined: 06 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work in EPIK. At least in previous years, they try to place couples in the same town. They always say it's not guaranteed, but all the ones I've seen have been placed in the same city. I'd advise applying to EPIK directly, don't go through a recruiter. And if you don't get put in the same place, try to talk to them, or just leave. Oh ya, you probably won't know exactly where you're going until the last day of orientation and if you choose a rural area, they'll probably more able to and more receptive to placing both in the same town.
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redhed



Joined: 05 Nov 2008

PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep looking, contact more recruiters. We work in a public school, but we were hired by that school directly. We share a nice two bedroom apartment, (though neither of us gets a housing allowance), and we ride our bikes to school. We went through four recruiter interviews before we found this school, so keep looking.
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jvalmer



Joined: 06 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't expect to be placed in the same school. Same town, but not same school
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hapigokelli



Joined: 04 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't bother trying with SMOE either. They won't help you at all.

If you knew someone in Korea that could help you, and have a little bit of savings, I would recommend taking a housing allowance from EPIK and finding your own apartment. You just need the savings as a deposit, which you can get back after your lease ends.

It seems that everyone is less inclined to hire couples these days. There are too may single applicants and they aren't as much of a hassle.
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kiwiinkorea



Joined: 17 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We had no trouble being hired as a couple (married) and there are several other couples in our area (including non married ones). We are in a more rural area not a big city though.

However, I was talking to a recruiter a couple of weeks ago. They said that a decision has been made on high not to hire couples as it causes too much trouble. So they said that they are finding it very difficult to place couples at the moment. That is not much help to you, but it does corroborate what your recruiter told you.

Regarding accommodation - if you get on really well you can manage in a one room apartment but it is tough as you have no personal space.

If you really want to teach in Korea just keep looking.
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gangwondo epik is open to couples (married or not) & in fact has positions that are couple-specific. They have 6 couples just in Sokcho -- 5 teaching elementary & 1 teaching highschool. Nice larger apartments but no extra housing allowance. 4 of the 6 teach separately in different schools.

Gangwon provincially has had a good run of responsible couples seeing out their contracts & some renewing but I understand why some provinces might be reluctant -- a double-runner would be very inconvenient. Once bitten twice shy. Innocent of that here so far.

Policies can turn in an instant though.
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Sophos



Joined: 11 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jvalmer wrote:
I work in EPIK. At least in previous years, they try to place couples in the same town. They always say it's not guaranteed, but all the ones I've seen have been placed in the same city. I'd advise applying to EPIK directly, don't go through a recruiter. And if you don't get put in the same place, try to talk to them, or just leave. Oh ya, you probably won't know exactly where you're going until the last day of orientation and if you choose a rural area, they'll probably more able to and more receptive to placing both in the same town.


I've heard from another recruiter that they will try to place us in the same town for EPIK. Do you think we would have more chance of this by not going through a recruiter? All the paperwork etc. seems a bit daunting if we had to do it on our own. When you say rural, how rural do you mean? Any suggestions for a decent rural area where we won't go crazy?

Thanks for al the replies people. It's nice to know there are some options!
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Sophos



Joined: 11 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

redhed wrote:
Keep looking, contact more recruiters. We work in a public school, but we were hired by that school directly. We share a nice two bedroom apartment, (though neither of us gets a housing allowance), and we ride our bikes to school. We went through four recruiter interviews before we found this school, so keep looking.


Does that mean that you did not go through one of the programs e.g. EPIK etc to get your public school jobs? Do you have to pay for your own housing and is it very much money? Sounds nice riding your bikes to school! Whereabouts did you find your jobs - I have been looking on Worknplay's boards but haven't seen much for couples recently except for OK Recruiting advertising for couples in Ilsan.
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Sophos



Joined: 11 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

schwa wrote:
Gangwondo epik is open to couples (married or not) & in fact has positions that are couple-specific. They have 6 couples just in Sokcho -- 5 teaching elementary & 1 teaching highschool. Nice larger apartments but no extra housing allowance. 4 of the 6 teach separately in different schools.

Gangwon provincially has had a good run of responsible couples seeing out their contracts & some renewing but I understand why some provinces might be reluctant -- a double-runner would be very inconvenient. Once bitten twice shy. Innocent of that here so far.

Policies can turn in an instant though.


How would you go about applying for Gangwondo epik positions? Do you go through a recruiter? We quite fancy the idea of living in the country.
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Cannes6



Joined: 29 Jul 2009

PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When did EPIK say they had "changed" their policy? My boyfriend and I just started teaching through EPIK in Daegu this fall and there are at least 6 other unmarried couples who were in our orientation and are all in Daegu (there were several other couples who were placed in other towns). All of us had no problem getting a shared apartment, and we all went through different recruiters. All of us in Daegu requested Daegu because our recruiters told us it was the easiest metropolitan city to be placed in as a couple. So if you want a bigger city, put Daegu as your first choice. I know that couples were also placed together in Gwangju.

The key is to apply as early as you possibly can.

I can understand why schools are getting more hesitant to hire couples because of all the aforementioned reasons, but I'm sure it's not impossible.
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NatalieIlsan



Joined: 10 Oct 2007
Location: Ilsan, South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't understand why you are having such a big problem. My boyfriend and I got jobs together at a hagwon last year. We worked at the same school and lived in a 2 bedroom apt. This year, we are both working at public schools and we live together. I get housing allowance and his school provides the small apartment. Our apartment is about 15 minutes from my school and 10 from his. We work for GEPIK.

Try contacting Juno@korvia.com

She got us our public school jobs and was really nice. She has since found jobs for 2 of my friends.
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jakda meori



Joined: 04 Nov 2009
Location: Yeongcheon

PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:43 am    Post subject: Non-married couple in Korea Reply with quote

My boyfriend and I are in Korea this year, and we teach at a public school and live together. So its definitely possible. My bf and I went through a recruiter- www.opportunitykorea.co.kr. Our recruiter was awesome and was able to find us several job offers fairly quickly. The first time we applied through Seoul's immigration office and were denied a Visa due to a past DUI on my boyfriend's record. But since we were willing to search outside of the major cities we were able to find some other good offers. We work in a public school in a small city near Daegu. We technically live in 2 apartments on the 2nd floor because our contracts started on different dates and rather than having a double ready we were given 2 singles. But we're flexible so we're happy with it. We've also been able to find a core group of foreigners who hand out with us in town.
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redhed



Joined: 05 Nov 2008

PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, we don't pay for our own apartment, the school does. We looked for quite a while with several recruiters, Footprints is the one who finally set us up with this school. We did not go through EPIK, GEPIK, or SMOE. Our school has opted to use an EPIK contract (for their convenience) but we are not part of that program. Our school gets funding for us from their Gu office, not through the federal program. This is my understanding anyway.
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