I Got the Job! Contract for EPIK Teaching in South Korea

My Contract for EPIK and Teaching in South Korea

I received a job offer and a contract for EPIK teaching in South Korea. I received it in my e-mail yesterday, but it actually arrived on Thursday, a day after my interview. Thank goodness that I checked my spam folder, because that’s where it ended up!

EPIK Contract Details

At first I found the contract to be confusing and I panicked because I thought that it was all in Korean. It turns out that it is written in both English and Korean. For example, there are a few lines of Korean, followed by the English translation. The contract for EPIK is also several pages long, but it details information that I basically already knew. I’m happy to report that 22 teaching hours per week are required, but I will be at the school for 8 hours. The rest of the time at the school is for planning. The school can ask for additional work, teaching or other activities but I will be paid overtime for that. What a novel idea! Although I applied to teach in Busan, my first choice, if Busan is filled I may get my second choice, Ulsan or my third choice, Jeju Island. I have a lot less vacation time than in the U.S. where we get two months off for the summer, but I get some days off during the winter and the summer, national holidays, sick leave, and time off if there is a death in the family and for other family emergencies.

A New Job Teaching Abroad Job for 2009-2010

I am extremely happy to return to work on Monday with another job in hand. I didn’t renew my contract at my school and many of the teachers knew that I was trying to teach in Korea, and they kept asking me if I had a job. I really wasn’t worried until I found out that the EPIK program had a higher number of applicants this year, and there were only 50 available positions in Busan. I am really hoping that I am as close to the beach as possible, but being near the ocean, a subway ride away is good enough to me. Oh, and for those who have not read my earlier posts, I plan to leave in August. EPIK orientation begins around August 19th. At this point, I don’t know which grade level or exactly where I will be teaching.

Today is Easter and I am torn between going to the King Tut exhibit or cleaning, writing and getting my paperwork ready to mail. I suppose that I could do several things. Getting the paperwork ready entails making sure that the documents that I have so far, that should be mailed to EPIK in Korea are properly placed in the envelope and that my copies stay here. I really want to see that exhibit and today is such a beautiful day…


  • Well I’m really excited that you got the position. It was meant for you and you’re going to be a wonderful teacher in South Korea. I pray the Lord blesses your travels and your daily experiences working with the Koreans.

    I’m sure you’re going to have a lots of memorable experience and be a wonderful teacher there.

    God Bless,


  • Nicky

    Congrats. I have my interview tonight with EPIK, so hopefully I will be leaving in August as well.

  • admin

    Good luck, Nicky! Good luck to everyone!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • Wow! I have so many questions about your process…can you e-mail me?? I understand you must be a busy woman being that your big move day is right around the corner but I too am holding onto my high hopes of teaching in South Korea! I got an application/e-mail sent back to me for EPIK stating that they’d like to offer me a position once all documents are submitted but is this guaranteed? What if I pay for all required paperwork needed and in the end they fail to find me a position??

  • admin

    I want to reply here in case others have the same question. If you have been interviewed by EPIK and they have e-mailed you contract, then there is a good chance that you will get a position, although you may not get your first choice as far as location is concerned. I really do think that there are plenty of positions, depending on where you are willing to go. The large cities are filled up faster than the countryside.Make copies of your paperwork and extra sealed transcripts, because I heard of someone who found out that their contract was being canceled by a private school just before they left for Korea! People on Dave’s ESL Cafe, advised the person that he/she can get another job right away, not to worry. I get the impression that there are plenty of other jobs in addition to working for the public schools. Anyone else have a comment to add for this person?

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • Anna

    Hey! I stumbled upon your blog by googling the 2009 August orientation for EPIK – I’m going too! I’m in Ulsan, though not sure where exactly. I live in Toronto and I’m an English teacher at a private language school for international students 🙂

  • admin

    @ Anna, very cool to have another teacher (by trade) going. I don’t think that we find out exactly where until we get there!

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  • Kim

    I am algo going to South Korea in Aug 2009!
    Seems like there are a lot of us which is good to hear!

  • i really want to be part of u guys.im a south african lady age of 26.

  • I believed it was going to be some boring old post, but it genuinely compensated for my time. I am going to post a link to this page on my blog. I am confident my visitors will find that extremely useful.

  • Hi Korean Diva!

    I love your blog as it is very informative. I am in the process of applying with EPIK and I chose Busan as my first city. I passed my phone interview and I have submitted all of my docs…I am just waiting for my contract and notice of appointment. I am writing this comment to ask you about applying directly with the public schools in S. Korea. You mentioned that you had to do some more paperwork to actually work there (in addition to the paperwork for EPIK). How can I go about getting this paperwork? I will be out of the country this summer, so I want to do as much as I can before I leave (which is June 17).

    P.S. I see that you are a Sigmawoman…I’m a Zeta! I LOVE the SGRhos from my undergrad….talk to you soon

  • No. I only had to complete the EPIK paperwork. I didn’t even know which school I would be working at until EPIK orientation. Oh, and thanks for the comments! It’s always good to hear from a fellow Greek.

  • shayla

    Hi im going through the EPIK process now. Im a little afraid because I am not sure how african american women are perceived in the country of Korea. Also, i signed up to go to the regular provinces instead of the metropolitan cities(Gyeongnam, Jeonbuk, etc. ), should i change it? Hope you can help. I am excited, and hoping i am making the right decision. Are you enjoying it?

  • Hi! You read an early post. I just returned to the U.S. less than a week ago. I found that in the areas outside of Seoul Korean people are curious about black women, and they don’t hide their curiosity. They will stare. They may touch your hair and ask you questions in Korean if you have braids. That was my experience in Busan, which is a metropolitan area. It’s the second largest city. Also, EVERYTHING will be in Korean. All the signs on the buildings, including signs for the restroom, caution, etc. That was my experience in Busan. In most cases I didn’t know a doctor’s office from a dental office. PC Bang signs are in English with PC. There will also be fewer foreigners in the provinces, so you may feel more secluded. My greatest worry for you is your ability to ask for directions if you need to get somewhere or if you are lost. I had that trouble in Busan, but I could usually find someone eventually to help me out. Even in Seoul, English is not spoken or readily understood everywhere. Not being able to easily communicate was a huge issue to get simple things done.

    Keep reading all of my posts. There is a button at the bottom of each page where you can see older post. I have around 100 posts on the blog so far. I will keep this blog updated. I have a lot to add.

  • david

    I can’t believe you got the job and and I didn’t and you’re BLACK?! Must have been because you have ESL certification and I don’t.

  • I decided to approve this comment just to make a few points.

    1. Not everyone who applies is hired to teach children in South Korea.

    2. I know plenty of black teachers who have teaching jobs in South Korea. Most of them do not have an ESL certificate. They passed a background check. They have great personalities, bachelors degrees, and are flexible. Many are young, yet they are mature. In addition to completing paperwork, interviews are required to teach in South Korea. I’m sure that a positive, friendly personality, intelligence, and the ability to have an open mind when working in a foreign country goes a long way in securing a teaching job abroad. A four-year degree is required, and a certificate is helpful, but not required if you come across as a someone who would be an asset to the schools.

    3. I do not have an ESL certification at this point (11/19/2010). I am a certified public school teacher from the U.S. That means I am licensed to teach in public schools in my state. I taught literature for three years. I specialized in teaching special needs students. However, most of the friends that I met in South Korea (of all races) had never taught professionally. I think that even if I didn’t have the teaching certification or the teaching experience, I would have landed the job. That’s just my guess.

    4. Living abroad an immersing yourself in a different culture is likely to be a challenge no matter what your color. Some people handle it better than others. A person’s color doesn’t impact whether or not he/she is qualified for a job.

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