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Re: The deal with Swaton

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l'il kim

Joined: 14 Jan 2003
Location: T-dot

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 8:02 pm    Post subject: Re: The deal with Swaton Reply with quote

I was wondering about this school, as they seem rather large and have come up a lot.

1) Do they hire non-white people?

2) Is their reputation as bad as some make it out to be? Wonderland seems like the most blacklisted, but Swaton appears to be not far behind...or perhaps I'm on crack?

Any experiences/insights greatly appreciated.
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william beckerson

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope, you're not on crack.

They hired me long enough to get someone better looking. Then they fired me AFTER the summer hiring season and gave me 5 days notice on top of that.

So I couldnt get a job until the next hiring season in November.

Stay away.
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Lost Seoul

Joined: 10 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 12:50 am    Post subject: Swaton Reply with quote

Swaton was one of the franchises deemed to have misleading advertisments by the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC). however having posted this report before regarding Swaton someone Emailed me defending a Swaton school as this was sent to me personally I have edited the guys name out. Hope you find the following posts useful and remember schools within franchises may (or may not) vary so always contact the foreign teachers who work at the institute before you accept a job.

Institutes Warned
Posted By: Alas Atlas
Date: Thursday, 5 September 2002, at 5:54 p.m.

English Schools Fined
The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said Thursday that it has investigated large-scale private English language institutes for children, which usually operate as national franchises. The commission said that after the investigation, it issued orders for the schools to correct their misleading advertisements.
Language schools hit with punitive measures included Wonderland, Swatton Language School, LCI Kids Club, ECC, and Kid's Herald. from the National news section of the Chosun Ilbo, September 5, 2002.
You can find the KFTC report at:
(or ).
The report is currently only written in Korean.

From :

To :
[email protected]

Subject :
re:eunpyung gu swaton.

Date :
Sat, 28 Dec 2002 10:35:54 +0000

i lived in eunpyung gu for 5 years. my entire run here in korea. i met with the swaton principal and we spoke in detail.after which i can say that despite the ftc and the false advertising its still a good place to work.i would go for it.i also have other schools i could recommend as well. anyways best of luck.
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 8:30 pm    Post subject: The deal with Swaton!!! Reply with quote

Rolling Eyes The deal with Swaton.

I have saved some old posts you may read through them. Now I have moved on to Thailand. I am no longer a teacher, however remember the days. Any questions you are more than welocme to contact me as the big boys at Swaton don't scare me
[email protected]

I used to work with the Swaton in CheongJu. I DID NOT come here to party my ass off. I came here to pay off student loan debts. But was so frickin pissed off by the antics of S and M L that I did the midnight run to Thailand. I now make less money and work more hours at language schools that appreciate their staff and treat them well. Which maybe someday someone in Korea will figure out. 
<P>Since my emancipation from Swaton I have had time to reflect and only regret that I didn't leave their sorry ass school sooner.&nbsp;&nbsp;However, their crimes will never be forgotten and they S (Queen B)&nbsp;and M&nbsp;(Pinacheo,(wow!! is my nose gettting longer)) will forever pay for their crimes.&nbsp; That is as long as I am alive.
<P>Here is the list of their crimes
<P><STRONG>1) withheld a half million won of my pay</STRONG>(your not doing that to me twice thats why I was on&nbsp;a plane to the land of smiles)
<P>2) After 4 months of not deducting taxes they deducted four months worth in one shot. At 3.3% per month it wasn't that bad but I didn't find out until after I left Korea but 3.3% is what you deduct from part time staff, not full time staff which I was, that 3.3% went right back into the owners pocket. And only the foriegners were "taxed" the Korean head teacher C (Big C)lied right to my face and told me everone was being taxed and she was hit up for 9 months worth LIES! Only the foriegners were "taxed"
<P>3) The recruiters in head office will tell you anything to get your ass in Korea. Part of the Swaton myth is that head office wants foreign teachers treated right. At the swaton CheungJu S and M L didn't pay their half of the medical and pension funds even though it is stated so in the standard Swaton contract. (That every employee in every chain signs!) I don't think S would have coughed up the cash for my medical bills if I ended up in the emergency ward.
<P>4) tried to double charge me for utilites - Honestly is it really worth losing the respect of your employees to make a few measly won?
<P>Oh yes check your contract.&nbsp; Please give the school two days advanced notice if you plan on becoming sick. Otherwise be deducted pay and a half from your salary. Ha ha.
<P>I will not bore you with the constant crap I dealt with the stupid meetings, dumb lesson plans, stupid phone tests, ignorant kids, lying Korean coworkers and bosses that could barely speaky Engrishy. The bottom line is RUN FOR YOUR LIFE AWAY FROM THIS HAGWAN!
<P>Swaton Language School for Kids <BR>1376 Sims Building, 4th Floor, bunpyong-dong <BR>Cheongju Chungbuk, South Korea <BR><BR></P>
<P>Here are some previous posts about Swaton: <BR>(I'm not sure if that branch is mentioned or not - no time to look through the messages for one specific hogwon.)
<P>======================================= <BR> <BR>Swaton Language Schools <BR>Posted By: Swaton Sucks! <BR>Date: Thursday, 21 March 2002, at 12:03 a.m.
<P>Possible the worst hagwon in Korea (Swaton ChungJu). This is a new chain that is trying to go big as quick as they can. I have been lied too, cheated, and treated like shit. My 30 hours a week has turned into 60 hours a week due to their extra work (phone tests, monthly reports, daily reports, and whatever else they can think of)
<P>Just a warning if you are being recruited for this school. Dont come here!! You will be sorry!!!!!
<P>======================================= <BR> <BR>Re: Swaton Language Schools <BR>Posted By: PO'd in Apkujeong <BR>Date: Friday, 22 March 2002, at 2:34 a.m.
<P>Whether Chun ju, Apkujeong, or Boon dang or wherever, nevertheless, they are all like that. They give many hours breaktime (as split shifts), the full extent of which our dearest Brian never disclosed properly) only to have these hours filled up doing reports and lesson plans (all of which goes unpayed). They say they're forking out lots of cash for their teachers, but one simple glance at the ESL job opportunity board and there's nothing, comparatively, spectacular about their pay.
<P>Furthermore our "head teacher" Cory Day - Bribing us into being complacent about our sacrifices vis-a vis the 'amply' 'generous' trips the organization offers.
<P>Is it a bad school? No, certainly not. But if you want maximum pay for minimum effort, look elsewhere. The fact is that if Swaton expects as much effort as they do they better make it more competitive. There are alot of schools out there that require ALOT less work for similar and better pay.
<P>Of course we have the likes of Day suggesting that perhaps we should reconsider our jobs as this "may not be the school for you." Excuse me Mr. Day, but it's a tad bit difficult to have had the opportunity to do that when the full extent of the requirements of the job was concealed. I can demonstate this calculated concealment in a variety of different ways, but I'm hoping first that either dumb (Brian) or dumber (Day) has time to reflect and repent.
<P>Bottom line: If Swaton keeps this up, your going to see it being trashed as routinely as other 'McDonald' language franchises. Good school but they will stiff you hard for the amount of work that you do. How about taking that into consideration (Day) before jumping to your St. Patties day bulshit.
<P>======================================= <BR> <BR>Re: Iroonet / Swaton ? <BR>Posted By: j [email protected] <BR>Date: Saturday, 23 March 2002, at 9:41 a.m.
<P>In Response To: Iroonet / Swaton ? (help me...!)
<P>yes i have delt with Brian, he speaks perfect english for a Korean man.
<P>Do not trust him or Swaton, its a bad school that makes you work 60 hours a week. email me if you need more help.
<P>I told Brian to screw himself.
<P>======================================= <BR> <BR>Re: Swaton Language Schools <BR>Posted By: dont come here <BR>Date: Tuesday, 26 March 2002, at 6:07 p.m.
<P>yes i worked for swaton <BR>i delt with brian lee and had a few run ins with corry day <BR>do not trust anything they say <BR>i ran as quick as i could <BR>now im happy teaching in japan <BR>good luck to all and make sure you really check out your school before signing a contract with them
<P>======================================= <BR> <BR>Re: Iroonet / Swaton ? <BR>Posted By: lqs [email protected] <BR>Date: Tuesday, 26 March 2002, at 8:58 p.m.
<P>In Response To: Re: Iroonet / Swaton ? (j)
<P>I work for Swaton and would not recommend it to anyone.
<P>I found the job very challenging. The typical class is 1 1/2 long and class room managment is turning out to be a bitch. I have to do my own lesson planning which includes an emphasis on games in order too teach children. A concept I like but the exciting games coupled with the long class time equals overstimulated children. I find that even the employees here who are real teacers are having a hard time doing lesson plans.
<P>Another minus for this place is the internet cameras in every classroom. My korean coworker was playing a game on the floor. One of the kids parents saw this via the internet and called to complain.
<P>This is a new hagwan and as such is disorganized.
<P>======================================= <BR> <BR>Re: Iroonet / Swaton ? <BR>Posted By: Art Fallon [email protected] <BR>Date: Sunday, 7 April 2002, at 12:14 a.m.
<P>I will list the lies that I was told, but first I will address the agent issue as it is pertinent in my case. Once I woke up and realized all of the discrepancies between what I was told before coming here and what I found, I brought the issues up to B. His answer to me was that "my agent" was responsible for all the lies. That takes alot balls calling him my agent. I did not pay the man Iroonet did, and hence they are responsible for his actions not me. Furthermore, B went on to say that neither he nor anyone at iroonet knows who the agent is. Gee I wonder how they new to pick me up at the airport.
<P>Here are the lies I was told:
<P>1) I would teach middle and high school. Nope I'm teaching newborn babies complete with placentas.
<P>2) I was told I would teach in Seoul. Nope.
<P>3) I was told 6 working hours per day. Try 9 on a short day.
<P>4) I was told 50 minute classes with lesson plans provided. Nope. The classes are 90 minutes or more and the lesson planning is a ridiculously foolish process of looking up the same shit over and over when it could all be done right once and then copied.
<P>5) I was told there were seven other native English speakers at the school I as going to. Nope only one.
<P>6) I was told I would get decent housing. Nope. I live in a shithole.
<P>7) I was told I would be sent to Japan for 5 days.
<P>The bottom line is that working at swaton sucks. The materials suck. The management sucks. They use agents to do their lying and then they trap you by witholding your pay, and giving you your visa.
<P>By the way if you find yourself down this road, your agent will pretend to care about you for two months, because if you make it that long he gets his money.
<P>======================================= <BR> <BR>CheongJu Swaton <BR>Posted By: Michael Parham <BR>Date: Sunday, 12 May 2002, at 12:51 a.m.
<P>Beware of this school. I was just screwed big time. <BR>All of my co-workers were not paid 500,000W because the business isnt doing that good. Well if they keep treating their teachers this way they will never have a business. Anyways I am gone. But i will not be forgotten Stephanie {('"Queen B")the director} I wrote a phone message to you while i was on the plane. Im sure you no speaky engrish but you understand. I really cant wait to see you on the web cam wonder what the heck you are going to do because you have no teachers. Please keep in mind that I will never stop these messages until I am paid in full. Im in a hurry now but the rest of the truth will come out later. For those of you that work at other Swatons im sure the conditions are different. I wish you the best. But i will continue shamming this school until I am paid my full wages.
<P>======================================= <BR> <BR>Recruiter Soo Park CheongJu <BR>Posted By: michael parham <BR>Date: Monday, 13 May 2002, at 5:33 a.m.
<P>To those who are contacted by Mr Soo Park. He is a very nice guy. However, he does need to make a living. He may have to tell you some lies about schools. Soo I am more than willing to email those canadians who wanted information about swaton. Why would you want to put someone in a bad position like CheongJu Swaton?
<P>Ohhhh maybe its the 1 million won you get for them signing the contract?????? Sorry for having to bring this out to the open. We had a good time that night drinking beers, and I like you. But i know that you are looking out for number 1.
<P>Please forget about Swaton. Because I will keep telling the truth of this nightmare school until I have been paid in full.
<P>Good luck on the recruiting. <BR>your friend Michael
<P>ps this is the school
<P>Swaton Language School for Kids <BR>1376 Sims Building, 4th Floor, bunpyong-dong <BR>Cheongju Chungbuk, South Korea
<P>======================================= <BR> <BR>Re: Swaton Language School? <BR>Posted By: Four Great Teachers [email protected] <BR>Date: Friday, 28 June 2002, at 10:05 p.m.
<P>I am currently living in Cheongju and I must tell you that there are many horror stories floating around about this certain Swaton School. For example, you end up working at least 60 hours a week, you are responsible for cleaning the school, you have to do phone tests, you have to work on national holidays without compensation (although it clearly states in their contract they get national holidays off, this school is the only one open), none of the Korean teachers can speak English so it is very hard to communicate, the principal is rarely available. The pay is a little low compared to other schools considering that if you look at things on an hourly basis, you aren't making as much as other schools. They can't keep their teachers any longer than a couple of months, and the current teachers there are having problems. The living arrangements are good and the flight is covered. There are many other good schools in Cheongju. Email me if you have any questions and I'll ask my friends who work at Swaton to help you make your decision. But I'm telling you, run away from Swaton. There are many better deals out there and there are lots of jobs available that are better than this one.
<P>All the best!
<P>======================================= <BR> <BR>swaton: no, no, no!! <BR>Posted By: ariel <BR>Date: Sunday, 30 June 2002, at 2:25 a.m.
<P>i almost was recruited by the man named "brian" in headquarters (recruiter?) at swaton...i have to admit, he spoke quite good english for a korean.
<P>well, he was quite nice and accomodating,...until i told him i decided not to take the job. he then turned!! i couldn't believe it!!!!!!
<P>anyway, i later heard that the school quite frequently works their teachers to death for the pay they recieve--which is slighly competitive..but its NOT worth all the work they will find for you..
<P>a nice relaxing private here and there will bring you up to speed..
<P>good luck!!!!!!!
<P>======================================= <BR> <BR>Good Things Swaton <BR>Posted By: Mike Parham <BR>Date: Tuesday, 23 July 2002, at 1:33 a.m.
<P>Well I must say sorry to Swaton CheongJu. <BR>I guess I have posted only the horrible things about the school. The horrilbe things they do to there students, Korean staff and of course the good old English teachers.
<P>So this is to make up for that. <BR>The good things about Swaton CheogJu.
<P>The apartment I was put in was brand new. Very nice and large for Korean standards.
<P>However, I was made to pay the maintanence fee for the apartment. This sure didnt sound like fee housing to me.
<P>The utilities were all hooked up for me. I didnt even have to sign my name or put down a deposit.
<P>However, I was double charged and paying for utilities that the previous teacher that fled had already paid.
<P>I was given wonderful lesson plans that were already made out for me.
<P>However, I had to re-copy these in my own handwriting and make it look like I had done it on my own. A very fun task that only takes about 10 hours a month.
<P>I was paid full in cash every pay day. <BR>Except for that last paycheck that the wonderful owners decided that they would withhold 500,000W and deduct taxes for the previous 4 months.
<P>The staff and myself were taken out to dinner and drinks on several occasions. Ohhhhh Queen B i still have a hangover from that night you drank the beer and soju with cigarettes in it. <BR>But the best part about a nice dinner is being told off right after you eat.
<P>Well thanks for all the good memories of you and your school. <BR>I will never forget you, CheonJu Korea or Swaton Language School for Kids.
<P>Please think about me sometimes <BR>Mike
<P>PS Hello Paba, Sarah, Christy, Chris, Rich, Venessa, Gina (my future wife, hee hee hee) Catharine and others <BR>Have fun at Swaton <BR>Hope your memories are as good as mine
<P>======================================= <BR> <BR>Re: Swaton Language School for Kids <BR>Posted By: 4 great teachers ( <BR>Date: Saturday, 3 August 2002, at 9:49 a.m.
<P>In Response To: Swaton Language School for Kids (Amiel Mason)
<P>Do yourself and your wife a huge favour. Avoid Swaton in Cheongju at all cost. They have not been able to keep one teacher to complete a one year contract. All the foreign teachers in Cheongju feel so bad for the people that work there. I know there is a couple that work there. I haven't heard anything from them but my friend is good friends with the new head teacher there. All the Korean teachers are unhappy. Apparently, all teachers work 50 hours a week, no overtime is ever paid, there is a curriculum but there is all sorts of unecessary paper work to complete. You have to work on saturdays, which means you don't get your national holidays all the time because you end up working those days off later in the month on a Saturday. There are way better schools in the area where people are able to complete their contract. You could email me if you need any additional info but I'm telling you you will be greatly disappointed if you do go. Watch out, I've heard they pay people (fake English teachers) to say good things about the school. Do a search on Swaton Cheongju and you will quickly make a sound decision.
<P>Good Luck </P>
Posted By: No more Swaton <[email protected]>
Date: Monday, 14 October 2002, at 7:21 a.m.

I wrote an email last week but they have since deleted it. If you want to know the truth about Swaton call me at home. My number is (808) 406-8726. I used to work in the main office. Again I'm sorry I had to lie to all of you in convincing you to work for this branch. I am back home now and I will never go back to Korea and work for them. I read the last add we put on this site and laugh. It is full of lies.

I look forward to talking to you and sharing some of the horror stories off board. For those of you that have been screwed, I know some key people in Korea that could help you.

Happy to be home
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Joined: 18 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man I might have read that but annoying text kept getting interjected into the commentary. .....ex...^P^ I worked ^Y^ there :ntmg: a while but === sorry... I know it was not the Thai poster's fault.
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Joined: 06 May 2003

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stay away from Swaton at any cost.....
The recruiters tell you things but leave out all of the bad stuff. Half truths and pure lies only.
This school will suck the life out of you.
It a big franchise and the president was recently replaced. The way it used to be, some swatons were bad, some were OK. The new guy is laying heavy pressure on principals to turn over higher profits.
Things, which were already very bad, have been getting crazy at every school.
You'll get paid for 6 hours a day but you'll actually work 9. Plus preparation time which varies. Add 2 hours a week for reports and an additional 3 hours a month for other reports.
You are NEVER allowed to be sick. If you do happen to get sick, prepare to pay for it on many levels.
You will NEVER get paid overtime. Only unpaid overtime at Swaton. They have a schedule set in such a way that they can manipulate working hours calculation to ensure that no teacher could ever rightfully deserve overtime. It's new math. You will learn quickly.
Tack on a few hours a month for the next 12 months for developing new material. Once a month for every class. fun fun fun !
Other things worth mentioning:
No Saturdays? Think again. No Saturdays actually means a few Saturdays here and there.
Paid vacation? Umm yes, but paid holiday hours don't count towards total working hours for the month. This ties into their jedi schedule manipulation tactics.
You know about the cameras in every classroom, right? Not so bad in theory. In reality you are dealing with an obsessive spying mommy factor combined with an obsessively critical principal. It doesn't sound like much but trust me, it's trouble.
For such a big company with deep pockets they are incredibly cheap and they treat the teachers very badly. They are suspicious of foreigners (at my school) and do strange things to "protect" themselves. They'll keep a sizable chunk of your pay at the end for insurance against hidden bills and they'll cut your phone off a full month before you go.
At my school, every teacher who left (before and after contract end date) was disgruntled for more than one reason. Everyone who remains is trying to get out.
It's a horrible place to work. I could say so much more about my experience with Swaton but most of it concerns my particular branch and is only relevant if you are considering a job with this branch. The director is a miserable *beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep*
They have 3 jobs open now.
I feel bad for the poor suckers who buy into the ever so clever recruitment scam...errr... scheme.
Just my opinion of course.... I can't speak for all. But take it for what it's worth.
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 7:19 pm    Post subject: Sick Leave at Swaton Reply with quote

Please excuse my last posting which were saved in my Hotmail outbox. Thatís why all the > * kdja> etc.
This is the only way I could have saved all the wonderful postings of this great school.

Sick Leave at Swaton!! Embarassed

Here is something I overlooked in the contract prior to signing it.

The contract stated something on the lines of ďsick leave with pay must have 2 days prior notice given if the teacher is going to be absent. If 2 days prior notice is not given the teachers salary will be deducted 1 Ĺ times for the days absentĒ.

I donít know about you but I really canít predict when I am going to be sick unless I am just sick of Swaton and can always plan on that.

Happy and feeling really good here in Thailand.
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Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2003 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swaton is one of the more challenging places to work for inexperienced teachers. The classes are an hour and a half long and the textbooks used don't have a lot of teaching tips. Actually the series is fricken' useless. So if you do decide to work there have a lot of English games and activites on hand to use. Also you must really really love kids. (You will be teaching lil tykes. You will be taking them to the potty. You will be dealing with brats. And above all you will meet some really great kids.)

The good points are at least they have a lot of teaching materials you can use. (flashcards and game boards) But beware you will be working the occasional Saturday and the days are long. (9-7:30 no bull****)

I worked at the CheongJu Swaton. (I was one of the lucky ones who got a release letter) It's run by a very inexperienced couple who are very dishonest. You really don't want to work there. Trust me. If you want to ask me more questions about this hagwon you can email me at [email protected]. All the stories posted on this board are true.

I knew other Swaton's are better managed and the only advice I can offer you is TALK TO THE TEACHERS. Use your common sense. If the place sounds to good to be true then it is.
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