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Non-Korean Options?

 
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Hagwon Muppet



Joined: 18 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2003 11:48 pm    Post subject: Non-Korean Options? Reply with quote

OK, I'm starting to think maybe finding a good hagwon in Korea is even more difficult than finding Osama Bin Laden (Actually OBL is probably running a hagwon as we speak, he's just the right type!!) so......

What other options would be worth considering for a teaching gig bearing in mind:

1. I don't have any teaching qualifications but do have a Masters in Engineering

2. Ideally I'd be looking for a short term gig (maybe 6 months or even less) as I might have to quit in the Autumn. At least here the midnight run is an option - does that work in any country?

To be honest I'd love to try Japan but I'm thinking that although its a bit more organised there is a lot more red tape in getting started - would that be true?

Failing that if anyone knows a GOOD SCHOOL in Seoul looking for a teacher who can start immediately then let me know.

I actually like Korea and like the teaching bit mostly - its just the bosses that drive me mad.
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The Great Wall of Whiner



Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Location: Middle Land

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are thinking short-term and you are under 30, Japan is viable. You can get a working holiday visa and basically work anywhere without the fear of being glued into contracts.

Taiwan has contracts, but they make you go poo and pee in a cup, take your blood...etc...

Are you wanting to go for the money, or for the experience? Big factor in any decision...
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Hagwon Muppet



Joined: 18 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well originally I came for the experience and the money - hence Korea. Having not been paid for almost half the time I've been here I've given up hope of ever making money. SO really now just looking for the experience.

If I'm only out here for another 6 months or so then I'd rather enjoy it and just break even than make a profit suffering in a hagwon.

I am under 30 and a UK citizen - how does this working holiday visa work? Do you have a link to some info? How easy is it to find a school in Japan for that kind of arrangement?
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Captain Obvious 2.0



Joined: 09 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:32 am    Post subject: Re: Non-Korean Options? Reply with quote

Hagwon Muppet wrote:


1. I don't have any teaching qualifications but do have a Masters in Engineering


Any degree will qualify you for a work visa for teaching English pretty much everywhere.

Quote:
2. Ideally I'd be looking for a short term gig (maybe 6 months or even less) as I might have to quit in the Autumn. At least here the midnight run is an option - does that work in any country?


Uncommon due to the costs involved in hiring someone (recruitment fee, flights, having to repeat the process in a few months). As well schools don't like changing teachers if they can help it. Frequent shifting of teachers looks bad.

Plus Korea is about the only place that pays airfare up front. Nearly every other country pays at the end of the contract, or increasingly common in Japan now is the "pay the return flight" only after a year's completion.

Quote:
To be honest I'd love to try Japan but I'm thinking that although its a bit more organised there is a lot more red tape in getting started - would that be true?


Without experience, Japan won't even review your resume. You have to jump through hoops to land at a large school, and the smaller schools want people who are already there.

Plus with the cost of living in Japan, you don't want to go there and hope to accidentally find a job somehow.

But if you want to pay your own way there, get a working holiday visa (which will require you to bring $2500US in traveller's cheques [which you will need if you don't land a job right away due to the cost of living]), and then you won't have the perils of being deported with working illegally. Walk from small school to small school and look for work. You should be able to line up some part time stuff without too much effort.

Keep in mind though that you won't get your airfare paid and that the cost of living is very high. You'll have to play your cards very well to walk away after six months with a profit. THere's a very good chance you'll just walk away with memories of Japan and a little poorer.

EDIT: A working holiday visa requires you to fill in the paperwork back in your home country. Or at least that's what the Japanese Vancouver consolate webpage said. Since you're already in Korea, a working holiday visa isn't really an option.
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Hagwon Muppet



Joined: 18 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no problems paying my airfare to somewhere else (its not going to be THAT expensive from Korea) and not making a profit is no big deal.

What I DON'T want to do is arrive in another country with no job, no idea how to find one, no visa, and then discover that I can't work there anyway and end up back in Korea out of pocket.

It sounds like thats what would happen to be honest.

Maybe some with experience of the situation will tell me for sure?
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The Lemon



Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can overcome the 6 month issue, with the Masters you should be able to get a job anywhere. And you might be able to land a decent university job. If you say airfare isn't a problem, come on over. You won't have to look long. Expect them to send you to Japan on a visa run though.

But you do have to commit for a year unless you swing a special deal with the school that your contract & visa say 1 year but you both agree to cancel it after 6 months. I did this once successfully.
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Hagwon Muppet



Joined: 18 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should have made it clear I'm already in Korea. But finding a good hagwon is proving difficult. Is there a secret?

If I get one more offer of 1.8m to teach for 3765 classes a month over 6 days with split shifts in a Big Chain from Hell school in Nowhere, Empty-dong I'll snap! Mad
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bellum99



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Location: don't need to know

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 1:19 pm    Post subject: they all try to screw you Reply with quote

Korea is like that, they try to screw you as much as they can. The ads offering low money and long hours are for the suckers. Big schools are always looking for more people, so those ads are always running.
It is strange because I often wonder who takes the BCM or ECC job. I mean it seems so terrible, even sitting in Canada or wherever. I found with some hard work and a little time it is possible to find a good job in Korea. But most are thieves and liars. I assume a Korean is lying when they are talking and then I am never surprised to be always right.
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Captain Obvious 2.0



Joined: 09 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hagwon Muppet wrote:
If I get one more offer of 1.8m to teach for 3765 classes a month over 6 days with split shifts in a Big Chain from Hell school in Nowhere, Empty-dong I'll snap! Mad


Up until about 2 years ago, 1.8 was a lot of money. My original contract was for 1.9 a month, and people were surprised I got so much as teachers who had been here a year were often making 1.5-1.7. But now that I've proven myself to be quite good, I occasionally get offers of 3.0-3.5 million a month.

Starting salaries only spiked when Immigration had a clamp down on E2 visa qualifications in the fall of 2001. Suddenly degrees were mandagtory (prior you could get an E2 visa with a two year college diploma and a teaching training course). That heavily cut the number of teachers who could teach in Korea.

Thus starting wages suddenly spiked to 1.8-2.0 on average, with offers slowing going up to 2.1-2.2. Now that the big crunch is over and more people are trying to come to Korea due to a worsening job market in countries like Canada and the U.S. which have the desired accents, you have supply and demand causing wages to go in the opposite direction.

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, you could have a job at any school in Korea today if you said you would work for 1.5M a month, no housing, and wanted everything in a block shift. But you want a better deal, and others are prepared to work for less that what you want. You have to demonstrate what's in the deal for them.

Quite honestly, you have to sell yourself. Why should a school pay more for you? What's in it for them? Why should they hire a teacher who didn't even finish his first contract? These are all questions they'll be thinking.

Do you have any friends who are teachers at other schools? Get them to put in a good word for you. Doing any private teaching? Odds are the student is also taking classes at an English hogwan, so talk to their mother about phoning the hogwan up and asking if they want an experienced teacher that she likes and is teaching their child. What about your old recruiter? If you kept in contact with them, they may be able to line you up a very nice job they save for people they like. Any teachers in your apartment? Talk to them about getting a job.

Remember than unless you can upsell yourself in some fashion, schools are often hesitant to pay extra money to hire someone who didn't even finish their first contact. Look through their eyes and imagine what they see. Would you pay an above average salary to a novice teacher who didn't finish their first contract? Unless someone puts in a good word for you, that's primarily what they see.
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Hagwon Muppet



Joined: 18 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well thats all well and good CO2 - of course I would like to have finished my first contract but unfortunately the school was run by people who ran out of money. I could have course just stayed and been lied to and cheated in order that I could have found another job where I could have been lied to and cheated out of a couple of hundred thousand won more a month.

However since I do not have 'chump' tatooed on my forehead I decided not to take this route.

If the market is flooded with people willing to accept the kind of offers I am getting then good luck to them. I do not have 'mug' tatooed on my forehead either so I won't be taking them.

I'd rather go back to my own country (Scotland, the one you say doesn't exist!) or just go travelling round asia than put up with the offers I am getting.
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eamo



Joined: 08 Mar 2003
Location: Shepherd's Bush, 1964.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also trying to find a decent position in Seoul at the moment. It's not easy to avoid the liars and cheats in the hagwon business. There are a lot of them. Of course the best thing to do is talk to a foreign teacher already there. If they are willing to be honest you can avoid a lot of muck.

If you are already in Seoul you have the great advantage of actually going to the place and looking it over. As a rough guide I would look at the classrooms and other facilities. If they are a decent size and well-decorated with good desks/chairs then you might be on to a winner. I refused a job at a Wonderland last year when I saw the tiny, dirty cubicles the teachers were working in. The whole place looked like it had never had a penny spent on it.

If you can, ask them to view the apartment. If it's fine then you might have found a boss that gives a toss about his teachers well-being.

It's still a crap-shoot but if it looks like the school puts a bit of their profits back into the school then they might be a good bet.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2003 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The more you can avoid the hakwon business, the better. I went middle school, and I'm not so sure I could ever go back to hakwon teaching.
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