1. Speaking from personal experience, the first option leads to burn out and stress, especially in kindy hagwons. If there is no long break than most of your prep time takes place after work. If you take your hagwon job too seriously then you'll end up doing extra work at home. That's unpaid work, which is never fair to the teacher.

  2. I'll never forget how excited I was when I first came to South Korea and saw Oreo O's being sold in a super market. I bought a box, took it back to my air bnb and ate a bowl of them. They tasted just as amazing as they did in my childhood.

  3. I don’t understand why people are so quick to attack and defend a system that is ultimately set up against them and profits the Korean Hakwon owner … … ….

  4. I also wonder why there are so many hagwon apologists out there. A few months ago Vice posted a Youtube video in which a former hagwon teacher gave a testimonial about her traumatic hagwon experience. I shared it on this subreddit as a warning for prospective teachers. To my great (but expected) disappointment, the post quickly became flooded with comments criticizing the video and defending the hagwon industry.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to read my observations. I also transitioned to an F6 visa through marriage, but I'll always be a staunch advocate for teachers trapped in the indentured servitude of the E2 visa. Based on the downvotes I've received on this subreddit, there's many F visa holders who don't share our views.

  6. Wow, Big Heart was actually my very first hagwon interview back in the day. The entire interview felt awkward, especially at the end when the manager asked me to pray. Based on the blacklist post I really dodged a bullet not being hired by them.

  7. Hello everyone! I have a small question about banking. Last year I was an exchange student at a university in korea and I got a bank card from shinhan bank that also doubles as a Tmoney card. I will be returning soon as an english teacher. I was wondering if I can still use that student bank card I already have, or do I have to get another card from the bank when I get there? It's valid through 3/26 and if I can still remember I think I have atleast a dollar on the card still. Thank you :)

  8. I also received a check card from Shinhan when I attended a college in Seoul. I came back a year later to teach and my check card account was still open. However, I had less than ₩10,000 in my account, so I had to go to a bank branch to un-freeze access to my card.

  9. Oh, I think you are right about that. I had forgotten that rule!

  10. Thanks for the confirmation! It's nice to finally meet you. Congratulations on becoming a mod. I'm happy to see a fellow hagwon teacher on the mod team.

  11. That actually happened to my friend last year when her hagwon switched campuses. She wasn't paid for her extra labor. In fact she wasn't even rewarded for her hard, unpaid Saturday work at all. Last month her grandmother passed away. She told her principal about the sad news and requested a day off for greiving. The principal responded by telling her that "life goes on" and then proceeded to make her work the rest of the day AND attend a company dinner that night. I was pleasantly surprised when my friend put in her two months notice the next week, but I think that much advance notice is far too generous.

  12. Are there any Facebook groups for the Gyeonggi area? I know it's massive but I'm not sure of my exact placement quite yet. I was hoping to find a Korean tutor, so any info would be greatly appreciated. :)

  13. Most of the cities in Gyeonggi-do have an expat Facebook group. For example, Suwon Newbies! is a pretty large community. If you're in a smaller city then feel free to join a Facebook group for a larger city nearby.

  14. I took a job at a school that I just found out is on the Korean blacklist page so my question is… can I still have a successful and enjoyable experience even tho my hagwon is on the black list?

  15. Most hagwon blacklist warnings are legitimate warnings for prospective teachers. They're very reliable first person accounts of a toxic work environment. I have over six years of working experience in various hagwons, so I know the majority of expat teachers take the time and effort to write blacklist warnings for the benefit of their fellow expats.

  16. If she could give me a letter of release that would be nice. I don't want to be fired but if she does I imagine it would help my chances of getting a letter of release.

  17. That's right. The moat useful advice I can give you is never quit. You lose a lot of freedom if you quit, because your boss isn't legally obligated to give you a letter of release. However, if you are fired than you will be able to switch to a D10 job search visa without a letter of release.

  18. The only thing that worries me is I told my boss I want to quit three days ago and she informed headquarters. Two days ago I told her that I changed my mind about quitting. So she is aware that I want to stay but, I am worried that she did not tell headquarters that I changed my mind. Because she says it depends on my performance. In which case if she doesn't tell headquarters that I want to stay now then she can say I quit which worries me.

  19. Did you turn in a letter of resignation? If your boss wants to release you from your contract then she needs to fire you or accept a letter of resignation from you. She needs proof that formally voluntarily quit.

  20. Buddy listen. Don't get all uppity on me. All I need is 2.1 and an elongated shoebox to sleep in.

  21. You sound like a model employee! Before I hire you, I have some important questions to ask you. Would you be able to understand my situation if I have money problems and pay you a few days late? How about the four legally mandated insurances, can you just let me keep that money, too? You're a hagwon teacher, so it's not like you have any sick days or illnesses to recover from anyways.

  22. Even if the OP was a newbie, he should have known better than to interact with a student like that. It wasn't actual violence, but as a teacher they should have been aware of the possible repercussions of touching a student.

  23. Thanks for the reply. To be fair, Most people at the school say this is one of the nicer schools. The problems really were new teacher problems. They knew I was one and expected me to get things down within like 2 weeks. The result is well yeah - lots of yelling in front of kids, sidebars saying I'm in the wrong profession, and constant constant micromanaging. Even so, I can sort of trust the admin here. They treat people pretty nicely outside of doing the job right. It's just I wasn't and turned into sort of a black sheep and honestly i just don't feel it's worth it for what they are paying me lol.

  24. You're most welcome. Thanks for taking the time to read my advice. Based on what you said, all of the problems at your hagwon were directly caused by management, not the new teachers. It's both unrealistic and unreasonable to expect any newly hired teacher to fully settle into their job in just a few weeks. I don't understand how your coworkers could claim that kind of mismanagement makes your hagwon one of the "nicer schools".

  25. I'm interested to hear more about the scapegoat thing. What's would be the purpose of that, to blame low scores or maybe make other teachers get in line more? IDK thinking about some things i just wonder. I have one of the older kts with me that snitches every little thing I do. Also during the interview, they wanted me to buy the plane ticket over but i think they forgot to do that lol. Just some speculation IDK.

  26. The main purpose of having a scapegoat is to avoid losing face. In Korean culture people are taught to do whatever it takes to never be publicly humiliated. The lengths some people go to in order to save face come across as incredibly petty to a Westerner, but Koreans take it very seriously. That's why none of your coworkers raise objections to your boss. Your boss is aware that they are able to pin all their mistakes on their employees, so it's virtually impossible for them to lose face. Sure, the Western teachers will judge them for acting like that, but it doesn't matter to them. All that matters is saving face and keeping one's spot on the social hierarchy. Foreign teachers aren't even on the hierarchy, so we're the perfect scapegoats.

  27. They're becoming popular in South Korea, too. One of my elementary students talks about the video game Huggy Wuggy is in, Poppy Playtime, every time I teach him. I don't understand why children aren't scared by the game.

  28. My shortest interview was about two minutes long. The principal took me into his office and we sat down. Then he asked me if I had experience teaching kindy students. I replied yes, so then he asked, "Great! Can you start working next Monday?". After that he gave me a short tour of the hagwon that he obviously knew little about. Finally, he gave me his business card from the other hagwon he owned.

  29. "Hey, I'm sorry that I paid your salary four days late this month. I hope this certificate makes up for it. Thanks for understanding our unique situation."

  30. It reminds me of when I worked at Wal-Mart. There's a company policy about 'stealing time' or some other similar term. My coworker with a 15 year tenure would waste tons of company time shooting the shit with her friends and customers. Then when I said something she didn't agree with she would accuse me of "wasting company time" and that it's a fireable offense. I bet the shyster who posted the rant in the screenshot has no problems with his favored employees stealing company time, either.

  31. Hey thanks for the support and warm words. I really loved Korea outside of the school, because it was so safe compared to my life back in America, transportation was great, and the city didn't have the same issues even small towns here in California where I live are having. Now I am back home with no idea for a future, with a bachelors and debt. My family supported my idea of coming home this time, but they wouldn't support if I tried again and needed to come back so it may be too risky to try Korea again in the time being. Longterm I want to get out of here (America), but unfortunately I don't know what I could really do.

  32. It's my pleasure. Back when I graduated college I had to choose between moving to California or South Korea. I chose Korea for the reasons you mentioned, as well as the ability put more money into my savings account every month. My first hagwon was far from ideal, but my standard of life was much better than it would have been in The States. In your case your hagwon was ruining your quality of life, so don't feel guilty for pulling a midnight run. I personally had recurring nightmares when I quit my nightmare hagwon, so be prepared for that, too.

  33. Thanks so much! I am considering working a few months to have a small savings, and then trying Korea again. Is there anything you would recommend this time if I decided to go the same route? I was in Jeju before. As long as I save enough to move out in the case I returned again I know it will be fine for me to leave home again, but I need to save a lot more money to start.

  34. It's my pleasure! I would reccomend doing a ton of research before you sign a contract. That being said, hagwon blacklists are the most reliable source of information you can use. Most of the reviews are written by teachers who took the time and effort to warn others about toxic work environments. Some of the warnings are fraudulent, but they're few and far between. There's no need to take the warnings with a grain of salt.

  35. This was such great satire that I honestly didn't realize it was satire when I first read it earlier today. These types of situations are very common in the hagwon industry. The main give away that this is satire is the comment about the wallpaper. Moldy classrooms and housing are standard in hagwons, but they would never admit that in a job posting.

  36. That's a pretty realistic answer thanks for the insight. I actually decided to head home so looks like I'll be finding a job in the states. Bummed I didn't make it work here, but I don't think teaching ended up being quite what I had imagined so I should do what I originally was interested in-pursue teaching only art classes someday.

  37. That's a shame that you ended up in a typical, toxic hagwon job. Your case is common, but there are some great hagwons out there. Don't be afraid to try teaching in Korea again someday. It's possible to find a good hagwon job, it just takes A LOT of research and luck. If your current job is breaking labor laws and over working you then you should add it to a hagwon blacklist.

  38. I'll be adding it for sure and describing my experience so others have an idea! The school had an insanely high turnover rate and teachers there were excited that I came because everyone there was quitting within a few months which was my first red flag. I wanted to make it work but I couldn't handle it and broke. Someday if I come back maybe I'll look into Seoul instead as I might have a better chance to meet people my age as well.

  39. Thanks for warning others about the hagwon! There's a lot of naysayers here who claim hagwon blacklists aren't factual or reliable, but at least you know what YOU personally experienced at the hagwon. You're doing the right thing by giving other teachers a chance to avoid the same fate.

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