is a Korean government sponsored program to bring native English teachers into
Korea. It is the counterpart of the Japanese JET and the Chinese NET programs.
Although not a large program, being a Government run program, we have set it aside
for special consideration by those wishing to find out more about EPIK, those
applying, and those already working for the program.
that your contract will be with a Provincial Office of Education, and not the
EPIK Commission. Their legal connection to you ceases (to some degree) once you
are in the Province, however, the designated Supervisor in charge of a POE maintains
KORETTA (Korean English Teacher Training Assistant) Program. (The beginning program.)
Salary paid in $U.S. Whilst Team-teaching was the main role of KORETTA's, some
were placed in Teacher Training Institutes to conduct Teacher Training courses.
There were 3 levels of KORETTA's, according to experience and qualifications,
starting at the lowest level of L3, then L2, and the top level being L1. Pay was
different for all levels. The salaries were U.S.$1,600.00; US$1,800.00; US$2000.00
per month. Contracts were 52 weeks with one month's severance pay upon completion
birth of EPIK, (English Program In Korea.) A new category was added to the L1-L2-L3,
namely R&D, (Research and Development) who received 2.2 million Won per month.
The L3 level now received 1.6 million won, the L2 level 1.8 million Won, and the
L1 Epik 2 million Won a month. A major change in the contract was that EPIKs were
now paid in Won. The contract was only 50 weeks long, with no severance pay at
the end of the first contract, though paid prorated at the end of the second contract.
In December 1997, the IMF crises hit Korea and some EPIKs left the contract as
the value of their Korean Won fell considerably. EPIKs could only renew their
contract 2 times (for a total of 3 years) before their contract would not be renewed.
Those who entered a 4th year had to change Provinces and work for a different
Provincial Office of Education (P.O.E.). Housing accommodation was generally of superior standard
with different home insurance policies available. Maximum class contact time was 25 hours.
Medical Insurance fully paid by Employer.
Whilst some EPIKs
remained in the classroom team teaching, the focus shifted to training Korean
English Teachers, either at the Teacher Training centers, or in the schools. The
R&D category was removed. Deductions to the Korean Pension Fund increased
from 3.0% to 4.5% of the salary. The three year maximum employment term ceiling
was removed and EPIKs could remain in the same POE for a 4th or longer years.
Some EPIKs legally availed themselves of extra earning capacity by teaching Supplementary
English lessons in Middle or High Schools, before or after normal school hours.
increase of 100,000 Won per month for all levels. A reduction in teaching hours
to 22 hours per week occurred in the 9/2002 contract. Again, whilst some EPIKs
were conducting Teacher Training programs at Teacher Training centers or at government
schools, some still continued in the team teaching role. Different Provinces placed
different emphasis on ways to effectively utilize EPIKs.
of 100,000 Won per month for Level 1 EPIKs. Medical benefits to be 50% paid by
Employer; the new contract will be 52 weeks with severance pay included, vacation
time will be increased from 14 days with an additional two weeks, according to
the web site (though it is not exactly clear how many days this entails as of
yet) .~ EPIKs in certain country "zones" will get 100,000 Won per month
more 'for the inconvenience' of rural living. The "zones" are specifically
with the designated, contracted P.O.E.s, which do not include Metropolitan Offices
of Education and Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education.
First Level EPIKs will get a 200,000 Won monthly increase in the new contract.
(but EPIK now inform that what they meant to say is that the pay rise is effective
two years later) thus a clear case of false and misleading advertising on behalf
Once I am assigned to my Provisional office of Education,
will EPIK at KNUE (Korean National University of Education) help me?
Answer. Generally, the POE (Provincial Office of Education)
where you are assigned is where you must take your grievance or dispute. Although
your contract is with the POE, and not EPIK at KNUE, you should approach EPIK
at KNUE with any problems you cannot resolve at your provincial level.
What do I do if I arrive at my new POE and find my
accommodation to be unsatisfactory?
Answer: You must deal directly with the POE and ask
to be relocated to accommodation that is satisfactory. You should make every attempt
to determine your situation before you enter your proposed accommodation - ask
questions of your future POE before you get there. If the POE does not help you
find suitable accommodation, ask EPIK at KNUE to assist you. EPIK did advise us
in April 2003 that, If an EPIK member does not find the accommodation provided
for him/her acceptable, he/she can decline the offered housing and discuss the
matter further with the P.O.E. that he/she is working for. In the meantime, EPIK
members in the past (who have been in this situation) have been housed with a
family or in a hotel until more satisfactory accommodation is found at the POE's
When I joined EPIK, I thought I would be teaching
students only. Now I am teaching Korean Teachers as well but I have no experience.
I am only a Level 3 employee.
Answer. The contract is non specific on who you teach.
You may have to teach elementary students, middle school students, high school
students or Korean teachers. It does not matter what level you are employed at,
Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3. In some Provinces Level 1 EPIKs are teaching elementary
students, whilst in other Provinces Level 3 EPIKs are teaching Korean teachers.
Will EPIK reimburse me for all the travel I do from
school to school?
Answer. Under the 9/2003 contract some EPIKs will receive
extra money for the inconvenience of living in rural areas. However, traveling
between schools is an expense EPIK will not pay for you. You may have to pay substantial
traveling expenses in some situations.
Will I receive back my payment to the National Pension
Some nationalities, Australia and New Zealand do not.
I am working for EPIK in a area close to North Korea, will EPIK repatriate me
out at their expense in the event of escalating tensions?
Answer: Our inquiries to date show there is no plan
to consider such situation at this time.
Will EPIK renew
my contact in a timely fashion?
Answer. Whilst it is clear some POE's, such
as Pusan, are extremely efficient in advising employees at least two months in
advance of renewals and procedures, other POEs may take longer.