Don’t Jump Ship

Since getting wait-listed a few months ago we’ve tried to remain optimistic that we would be leaving any month now. There were many public school options, all of which we applied too late to. Slowly but surely we’ve had less and less options. Our last chance, GEPIK, which supposedly hires year round (it doesn’t) has now slipped from our fingers. We are left with no other options but to wait until February of next year. Yuck. Or apply for a Hagwon. Eh.

During the past few months we have had an absolute heck of a time trying to get work with bad recruiters. In fact, we’re just plain scared and cynical of them after all of it. So when we went crawling, defeated, back to our original recruiter, we began planning a mutiny. Why trust anybody? We thought. Recruiters bring nothing but trouble. While we have nothing but bad fingerprints to blame for our wait-listing, we wanted to cover all of our bases this time. To prevent any shadow of anything going wrong and destroying EPIK for us again we were going to jump ship from our recruiter and apply direct. After all, we’re practically experts in applying and getting paperwork together now.

After a few days of deliberation we applied direct. Then we went out for dinner.

When we got back we had a lovely email waiting for us. An email that should be read in the tone of a parent who is about to take this parenting thing to the next level, “Hello. I have received an email from EPIK that you had contacted them to tell you were going to reapply.” …and where do we go from here? is basically what the rest of it says.

Come to find out, our recruiter has magic powers.

If we apply through our recruiter, we will be under some sort of poor bastards waiting list spell. All the poor bastards who were wait-listed last semester get magic benefits if they reapply this year.  But only if we apply with our original recruiter.  From what we understand these benefits mean we can have an easier interview or no interview at all. Then we just submit one document (instead of all of them).

That’ll show us for trying to jump ship.

To be fair, we didn’t understand what was going on because our past three or four emails have been trying to work out if we had all our documents or not (we do, we do, we really do). When we said ALL our documents, that may have been a good chance for our recruiter to step in and say, “all!? you only need an apostilled background check since we’re magic.” Oh well. The life lesson here is to remain loyal, if your recruiter is working out, stick with them.

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Bad Luck?

In our last post we mentioned how we would try applying to many of the other public school options out there (Chungnam, Incheon, Gyeongnam, Jeollabuk, Jeollanam).  Either the recruiters have failed and/or all of them have wait listed/rejected us. Rejected because we’re applying as a couple (not because of a bad interview or bad paperwork). So we’re back to square one with not a single application into anyone.

Since the beginning of this whole thing, a year ago, in fact, we’ve been faced with many obstacles. A rocky road, if you will. My fingerprints rejected 3+ times. When we finally got our fingerprints approved our paperwork was lost in the mail. Bad recruiters, bad programs, etc. Some family members have recently taken it to be bad luck or fate. In their opinion: clearly all this rejection and set backs are a sign we shouldn’t go to South Korea. But many people even saw the Asiana crash (which we had nothing to do with) as a sign we shouldn’t go to Korea too. Besides a sometimes glaring lack of support from those who surround us, it’s hard not to wonder about fate or bad luck.

For now, we’re applying to GEPIK (our original choice back in January) and reapplying to EPIK. Our recruiter tells us we could re-apply to EPIK without an interview or a shorter interview. That seems like good luck…maybe? In terms of GEPIK we both applied to a new recruiter for GEPIK and of course my application was delayed. With the Chuseok holiday that means a 5 day delay. Again, people are saying bad luck (and it’s always me, never Chris).

Regardless of luck or not we’re going full force with GEPIK and have EPIK as a backup. We really hope GEPIK can place us sooner than Feb/March. We quit our jobs when we thought EPIK would work out and we’re just sitting around unemployed (it would be so nice not to have to get jobs or to wait until February). Maybe it was all meant to be and we’ll end up with great schools soon.

Full Speed Ahead

After preparing for 8 months and then waiting for about 8 more weeks we at least finally have an answer: no go. I would love to rant and rave about how everything would have worked out if the FBI would’ve actually tried and wouldn’t have lied about “reading prints manually” and all the BS they pulled. But I’m just going to end it there. Yes, it is completely because of the fingerprints/CBC that we aren’t there right now. We truly have been doing our paperwork since back in January, weeks and weeks and weeks before many people (who are currently in Korea right now) had even heard of EPIK. Apply early, they said. But sometimes that’s not enough.

Its super unfair. But we’ll leave it at that and move on.

So now what? We’re sticking with Korea.

 

Private Schools?

We’re really reluctant to do a private school. Every time we get interested in these private schools, or Hagwons, we find someone else’s blog or another cautionary tale that scares us back away. If we were to do a hagwon, we’re really trusting of Say Kimchi Recruiting – supposedly they check out the hagwons first to see if they’re okay. If things go really bad they’ll even try to represent you/work on your side to protect you from a bad hagwon. We’re keeping them in the back of our minds as…

Other Public School Options?!

Currently we’re applying with full force to every public school office of education out there. We had been mislead/misunderstanding of the whole EPIK thing. EPIK seemed to be a nationwide program that umbrella-ed over all the offices of education (OEs). This is not the case. Chungcheongnamdo, Jeollabuk, Jeollanam, Ulsan and Gyeongnam all have been hiring since about early August. They are all independent of EPIK. Some of them seem to have ongoing hiring or hire at strange times (Gyongnam appears to hire in May and November).  We’re applying to some, some aren’t hiring anymore. We’re not going to put too much out there until we know more.