For anyone who is considering, or will soon be beginning, the process of applying to EPIK (English Program in Korea) I hope that this can be useful in some way.
For everyone else, I’m sorry this is pretty much completely irrelevant. More interesting content to follow as I move out of the country in less than a month. 19 days actually. Holy cow. Yea, let’s just move on shall we?
You’ve decide to move to South Korea to teach! Congrats! I have absolutely no advice for you as to whether that was a wise life decision or not, seeing as I haven’t actually gotten there yet. But what I do have is a wealth of information about how to apply to EPIK. Because I have done it, not once (even though once would be enough to make you pull you hair out) but twice.
And while there are many many things I could discuss about the EPIK Application process, (which I might at a later date) the thing I want to go over today are the differences between applying to EPIK using a recruiter vs. applying directly. Let’s begin, shall we?
Recruiter vs. Direct
The jury is still out as to whose fault it was that I didn’t make it into the Fall 2016 intake, but I maintain that it was not my fault. Actually I don’t really think it was anyone’s fault, but waking up to an email out of the blue from my recruiter telling me “thanks for all your hard work collecting documents and wading through bureaucracy, but you’re too late. They’re not giving placements any more.” (Okay, no he didn’t really say it exactly those words.)
But I digress. I applied to the Fall 2016 intake for EPIK through a recruiting company called Reach to Teach and up until that rather unpleasant email, I had a perfectly enjoyable experience with them. My recruiter was very helpful and personable. Even now I don’t entirely blame them for what happened. It was because I declared two minors at the end of my junior year of college and needed an extra summer semester to finish the classes before I graduated. So I graduated in June, and therefore got my diploma in July and by that time it was pushing it. Again, not my fault exactly, and not theirs either.
However. Having done the entire process once more, this time by applying directly to EPIK, I would highly recommend that.
I think the appeal of using a recruiter comes from a fear of EPIK, which I understand. The application comes off as incredibly detailed and their requirements incredibly strict. I thought that by using a recruiter it was like having an extra set of eyes to double-check that I had done everything right. And while that’s true, it’s not exactly necessary. If you need to change something on your application EPIK will tell you. They even give you a specific email address to use if you have any questions.
Then if you make it to the interview, the person who interview’s you becomes your EPIK coordinator. And if you pass the interview they are the person who you will continue to be in contact with for the rest of the process.
My EPIK coordinator has been far more helpful, timely, and honest with me than my recruiter ever was.
And of course, arguably, the biggest reason to apply directly is that you will find out your placement way before the people who use recruiters. I had all my documents prepared super early and ended up getting my placement on the very first day that they started telling people. (For us that was December 14th.) But here we are 28 days away from the first day of orientation and there are still people who haven’t been told where they are going to live!
So it isn’t that there aren’t benefits to applying with a recruiter, it’s that there are NO drawback to applying directly! All the support you want from a recruiter is available from EPIK directly and you get the advantage of finding your placement out way sooner.
I hope this was helpful to someone! If anyone is starting to think about applying to the next EPIK intake let me know! I’d be happy to help in any way that I can!
Thanks, have a lovely day!! ^^