As someone who participates in ‘Connect with a Teacher’, I have some recurring questions people have for me in regards to ChungDahm Learning. They are questions they want answered before accepting a contract. I believe these to be good questions that one really should ask to feel as reassured and prepared to work in South Korea. Thus, I have compiled a few and want to answer them to the best of my ability for you.
*Note: These questions are answered based on my experience working at my branch, so there may be slight differences depending on your location. I work for an April ChungDahm, not a CDI branch.*
- Will my flight to Korea be paid for in advance or will I be reimbursed later?
From my understanding, your airfare will be reimbursed along with your first paycheck regardless of what branch you work at. It was stipulated in my contract. I started working the last week of November/first week of December. Thus, when everyone received a paycheck for the month of November, I received a paycheck for three days worked and the reimbursement of my airfare.
- What are my teaching hours? What breaks do I get during the day?
My teaching hours for an April Chungdahm (not CDI) are from 2:30pm-7:30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I teach from 3:30pm-8:30pm. While teaching I only get 5 minute breaks between class, as these are like ‘passing periods’ for the students. At my branch, I must come into work everyday at 1pm and can leave at 9pm - 8 hours of work time per day. During the time outside of the classroom, one does all their prep work and grading. It is during this time that I am allowed to leave the school to buy snacks, a coffee and a meal to bring back and eat while working.
- Are my accommodations paid for?
Whether or not your contract is a housing or non-housing contract will determine this factor. I personally have my accommodations paid for. If you would like to have photos of your place before your arrival and wonder about what furnishings are provided, then you should contact your employer. Just know that you shouldn’t be so picky to expect a luxurious place, but a clean place in a secure building.
Here is a link that provides some information and pictures of my current apartment:
- How far is my accommodation from the school?
I am less than a 10 minute walk from my workplace. I know a few teachers at different branches that are equally as close. So far I haven’t heard of anyone being more than 20 minutes away from their workplace with public transportation.
- What bills will I be expected to pay for?
Personally, other than my accommodations, I pay all my bills. I pay the building maintenance fee, WiFi, gas, water, electricity, and cell phone bills on my own.
Here is a link to an article where I give a comprehensive break down of my utility bills:
Also, here is a link to an article about cell phone contracts in Korea:
- Is a meal provided for me at school?
No. At least not at my branch. However, I don’t think a lot of branches offer food. I’ve only heard of one fellow teacher mention she gets meals and she works for ChungDahm iGarten.
- Do I have to plan a lesson?
Nope! It’s the beauty of working for ChungDahm Learning.
Here is a link to a link of an article where this perk is talked about in detail:
- What is the maximum class size I will have?
Currently, my largest class is 13 students. Class sizes at my branch range from 1 to 13 students. The class sizes fluctuate as students add, drop, level up, or transfer throughout the year.
- What taxes or pension fees will be taken off my monthly salary?
There is a 10% tax that gets taken from each paycheck. Also, I get my pension fee and medical insurance fee deducted from my paycheck. Pension will be returned to you at the end of the year.
- Can I pay off my student loans with a ChungDahm Learning teacher position?
YES! I paid off my student loans just last month.
Here is a link to the article where I give in detail insight to how I payed off my student loans while teaching in Seoul:
So, those are all the questions I compiled from the many curious inquiries I receive from individuals like yourself that are curious about teaching abroad in Korea through Aclipse. I hope to have answered many of your pending questions. Also, I hope to receive many more questions, so I can do a follow up article answering even more of the questions from future Aclipse recruits.
Giselle Moreno is from California, USA where she attended the University of California, Riverside. While a student, she always worked with international students and she decided to teach English abroad upon graduating during her third year of university. It was through the experiences of being an English tutor for international students that she felt really fulfilled. She found it particularly easy to get along with Korean students which is why she decided to pursue a teaching opportunity in Korea. She even attended Yonsei University in Seoul for a semester as a study abroad student and fell in love with the city. She is currently working at ChungDahm Learning’s April Daechi branch located in Gangnam, Seoul.