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Hagwon 101

A Hagwon is a private institute in Korea. It is not to be confused with the public schools since they are often very different in how they operate. In general foreigners start in Hagwons and then gradually enter the public school system if they remain in Korea. This is because while the public school system generally does not pay as well as a Hagwon they are more stable in their operations leading to a greater sense of job security for a long term teacher.
The great thing about Hagwons is that there are a wide variety of curriculums to learn and teaching styles to adapt to. This will lead to you being a well rounded teacher as time goes on. You will also receive a good salary, free housing, and a network to start from.

Hagwons typically take up part of an office building and will have anywhere from 50 – 500 students attending. Classes start in the afternoon and evening since students are in school prior to then so you will work from late afternoon to the evening rather than early morning to afternoon as in a public school. You may have from 4-6 classes a day. Typically hagwons will have smaller numbers of students in a class then a public school which allows for a more intensive learning experience.

Some Hagwons are not as good as others though, and while we at Teaching in Asia urge you to work with us in your application process since we work with reputable schools and screen contracts, you may choose to try and find a Hagwon on your own. Read up online about the schools that you are interested in and what other teachers have said about it. Make sure you read the proposed contract carefully and ask questions about anything you are unclear on. It is best to get an answer now then go and find yourself in a bad situation.

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