Hi, I decided to create an account solely to warn people about this place. Lord knows I wish someone had before I moved across the world for it. I just want to make clear that I encourage anyone considering teaching in South Korea to do it, it is a wonderful place to live and work. I just want to prevent anyone from going through what I did, so without further ado, let’s jump right in.
To start with, management at this private language institute are pathological liars and completely mo*a*l* bankrupt as well as self-delusional. They truly believe they are good people, yet from the moment they picked me up from the airport, they almost did nothing but lie. They kept telling me how glad they were to have me join because all the other teachers were giving them so much drama. Queue story after story about how bad my co-workers were, whom once I met them were all lovely people and very professional. Lie number 1.
When we arrived in Gunsan, the apartment they had sent me pictures of were nowhere to be seen. Lie number 2. They did however provide me with a nice apartment with the caveat that I will have to move to another apartment in a few months, but they assured me that I could stay put if I really wanted. Lie number 3.
Around a month later I was suddenly told that I had to pay an additional 150,000 won per month if I opted to stay in the provided apartment and that the new apartment will no longer be just next door, in fact, they were not even sure where the new apartment will be as they were still trying to acquire a place. Lie number 4. I reconfirmed after this new development that I will still be allowed to stay in the initially provided apartment if I paid the extra 150,000 won a month and they said I could. Lie number 5. Literally the morning after confirming that this was the case, they just informed me that I will HAVE TO move to the new place once they finally found it. No discussion to be had. When I pointed out this was not what we had agreed to, the academy owner just shrugged.
By now I’m sure I’ve established you shouldn’t trust management at this school, but why call them mo*a*l* bankrupt? Well, like most private language institutes, they have CCTV cameras in every classroom which they monitor from their office. However unlike most schools, they have a camera in the teachers’ office/lounge as well. Upon first starting at the school they assured me that not only was the camera off, but that it was disabled and that re-enabling it required them to call in a security specialist. I’m sure you can predict where this is going.
From the moment I arrived, all my co-workers were always on edge. Everyone had a story of management coming down on them for something said in the privacy of the teachers’ office. My employment was literally terminated because I put up a laminated picture of a kitten that obstructed the view of said “disabled” camera. The official reason? “Inappropriate behaviour and tampering with the security system.” No notice was given, no evidence of said “inappropriate behaviour” and the picture of the kitten was a few centimetres away from the camera and could only be seen by the staff. I was simply told the next morning that they had terminated my visa and that I had 24 hours to vacate the provided apartment.
Please note that not only was this done in the middle of winter, but also when there was an uptake in Covid-19 cases in Gunsan; meaning that bus travel was suspended and most establishments closed. To compound just this completely immoral behaviour, they didn’t even have anyone waiting to move into the apartment they were kicking me out of. I was terminated in the beginning of the month so rent had already been paid for the month as well.
They did it for no other reason than they wanted to throw me out on the street because it would hurt me. Doubly so if you consider that at the time, you first needed to obtain a negative PCR Covid-19 test BEFORE you were allowed to board your flight. A test that if you were lucky took a day, making it impossible to leave before being out in the cold with nowhere to go. They also didn’t pay me for those last few days of work, instead they charged me for the whole month’s utilities and added a few extra “expenses” so that not only they don’t have to pay me, but that according to them, I owe them money.
Unfortunately, there are so many more examples I can give of the owner and her partner’s horrible behaviour, but this review is already pretty lengthy. I’ll just leave you with this; a common occurrence at the school was the owner and her partner screaming at children aged between 5 – 9 for the most absurd reasons. One of said children was a child whom many of the staff believed might be on the spectrum. Also know that the owner of the institute is Canadian and that she also runs a recruitment agency called: Wandering Teacher Recruitment.
Considering the crazy behaviour I saw at the school, the general unhappiness of the staff and the stories of how they had s*r*wed over past and present co-workers, I was surprised that there hadn’t been any negative reviews when I first looked up the school. I now know the reason for that is there’s a completely bogus NDA clause in the contract that management uses to scare employees past and present into keeping quiet. If you still want to work there after reading all this, go ahead. I just thought someone should put a red flag out there for people googling the place.
-The students are very enthusiastic and respectful.
-Excluding management, the staff are all really nice people.
-Management will lie to you from day 1 and when caught in a lie they lash out.
-Management has a "everyone is against us" mentality.
-Management is ironically very poor at managing the staff which leads even new arrivals to become disillusioned very quickly.
Advice to Management
You need to understand that there isn't a single teacher who steps off a plane and have it in for you. It is your actions that causes the staff to become unhappy and until you are willing to accept responsibility for your actions, nothing will change. A good guide is to treat people how you would want to be treated, that includes the students. Shouting at small children is not behaviour befitting an adult, much less an educator.
2F 201 (Samsung Sherville Sangga 2F)