So as I have stated previously, I am currently working as a teacher in South Korea. I was recruited for this job by Canadian connections and JLP. I work at two middle school in gwangyang, one of the 5 cities in Jeollanam-do.
For anyone interested in teaching in Korea, JLP has the most benefits. The benefits include: 24 paid winter vacation days, 8 paid summer vacation days, all national holidays, flights to and from Korea, 50% covered insurance and severance (which at the end of the contract is the equivalent of one full month of pay), a fully furnished and free apartment, as well as over 2mil won per month. I make 2.4 million won a month, but after deductions for lunch, insurance, and severance, I make about 2.1 million which is the equivalent of 1900$ a month. Which is amazing considering that bills for the months (phone, gas, electricity) are only 100,000₩ a month. My phone bill is 90k due to the fact that I bought a brand new phone at skt. The rest of my bills are about 3000 won each. Super cheap cost of living!
Anyway, enough about teaching in Korea. I’m writing to talk about maximizing your vacation time! As I said, you will have 24 days of paid vacation (or 18 if you work for EPIK) and you can take this time off when school isn’t in session. Some schools are strictly to the book and will count national holidays and all weekends which can make your vacation time seem much shorter than it should be. My school, however, is different. My vice principal is incredibly sweet and genuinely cares about me even though he can’t speak English. On top of that, my coteachers last day was the last day of the semester and right after she wrote down my vacation days. I ended up being forced to take more days, as ‘I didn’t have enough’. WORKS FOR ME! Okay so I will give you my calendar days off, as well as my REAL vacation days.
January 14- 22 (Okinawa from 15-19)
January 25-30 (Fukuoka and Nagasaki 26-30, but the 27-30 are a national holiday so they don’t count against vacation time, although many of my friends had their schools count it which is technically breaking contract.. But that’s none of my business)
February 2-5 (these are the extra days. She said I only had 22 of the 24 so I should take a Thursday and Friday off. Some schools would count the weekend, mine did not)
February 11-27 (Taiwan from 12-26! I can’t wait to see the whole country!)
March 1 is a national holiday so that will be nice.
The days that I’m not on vacation, (like… 4) I will have to come in to desk warm from 9 to 4. Not bad considering I will probably be sent home early. But if I’m not, I’m fully prepared to lesson plan and plan for my trips!!
In Korea, there is a random week of school in February that makes no sense. They have vacation before and after it. They are still in the same grade as the previous year so I’m really not to sure what it means. Graduation is on that Friday then a few weeks later they start the new school year. There will be no English teachers at that time so I’m not entirely sure what it will mean for me!
So! To maximize your vacation time, you do have to be lucky enough to be placed at a school with a nice VP, and coteachers that don’t think counting weekends is fair. But there is something you can do!! Don’t put vacation days before and after a weekend or those two days will count. Same with national holidays. Don’t out the days before and after the holiday or the holiday will count. If you do monday-thursday, but leave for your trip after work on Friday you now have 6.5 says for the price of 4!
Good luck on your vacation planning.
I am so excited to see two new countries in two months! Now I will be at 21 countries. Only 2 more until I reach my goal of seeing as many countries as my age!