View Full Version : Public Vs. Private - Any Thoughts?

August 11th, 2009, 22:46

August 11th, 2009, 23:12
In my opinion, if you can get a good government backed program like JET or EPIK, it's wisest to go with those. They don't really require so much teaching experience, and having a somewhat set, exactly schedule is probably a lot easier to deal with.

Not to mention the benefits of health care, higher pay than privates, and job security. EPIK also offers raises, if I remember correctly. The only drawback is potential placement being far too countryside (or urban) for your tastes.

With a Masters degree, however, be prepared for a lot of "What are you doing here teaching English" questions. Most everyone teaching English is at the bachelor level, with grad school following a stint on JET or whatever.

August 11th, 2009, 23:14
In Korea I would go for public because the owners of most private schools are very dodgy and your contract will be worthless

August 12th, 2009, 01:04

August 12th, 2009, 04:15
In Korea I would go for public because the owners of most private schools are very dodgy and your contract will be worthless
This. From what I've read, unless you know someone personally who vouches for the exact school and branch you would be working for, hagwons are dicey. Even within a respectable chain you can get a really terrible job/situation. I'm in the August EPIK group this year, and from what I can tell EPIK is (in most provinces) reasonably fair about overtime and vacation, and almost certain to pay you when they said they would. (I hope I am singing the same tune in a couple months.)
As far as universities go - you could go with EPIK, do a year, get some experience and references there, and then apply to universities in person. They definitely seem like the best jobs going in Korea.

August 12th, 2009, 05:40

August 12th, 2009, 18:53
I would echo what Pip said about EPIK for a year and the University. You'll get some experience and also from what I've read, the more desirable Unis tend to hire people who are already in Korea.

RE: your pros and cons list I'd like to add some (only related to K jobs mind):

Hagwons Pros:
- Generally better pay
- More chance of getting into a bigger city

Hagwon Cons:
- The chances of being screwed over are higher than if you're in a public school
- Less vacation time than publics
- Generally more work (although this may not be a con for some and the alternative at publics is deskwarming, again this may not be a con for some)

Public pros:
- If you take a rural position you can often get a lot of extra vacation (I've seen places offer 6 weeks a year plus national holidays plus winter/summer breaks)
- Co-teachers - good if you've no experience

Public cons:
- Possible alienation - since you'll probably be the only westerner in the school you could feel a bit isolated. Sometimes there can be a bit of friction between K-staff and westerners as you're sort of forced upon them by the government.
- Unpaid summer camps seem to be springing up more and more which could be a bit shit I suppose.

There are good hagwons out there but you have to sift through the shite to find them, and even then a good situation could turn bad with a change of management or if the school suddenly shuts down. There are also good and bad public schools but I'd say that you're more likely to get a good public position than a bad one. Although going through EPIK you wouldn't get to choose your school, and you're not guaranteed to get the province/metro city you want either.

I don't know, I'm confusing myself now. I went with a hagwon but then again I've always been a glutton for punishment.

August 12th, 2009, 21:29

August 16th, 2009, 02:01
Good advice here. Private gets payed a little more but a lot more hassle.