SMOE

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SMOE Reviews in South Korea

Updated Feb 3, 2014

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3.8 13 reviews

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    • Culture & Values
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    Great opportunity if you are lucky...

    Native English Teacher (Current Employee) Seoul (South Korea)

    ProsThe pay is pretty good.They will always pay you on time and honestly. They do your taxes for you (which are cheap in Korea.) Decent health insurance is provided, as is housing. If you like working with children this is great, and if you are teacher from your own country you can apply your skills and easily perform above expectations. Your school might take you in and treat you as family. You might have the chance to learn Korean. Working in a public school in Korea can also provide an opportunity to build professional skills, and experience multiculturalism from a unique perspective. For example, if you are a white male, when you come to Korea you have to learn to be the super-minority, which is similar to what minorities in American small communities experience all the time. Lessons like that are not available to most people and are an invaluable life experience.

    ConsIt's all luck of the draw as far as what type of housing you get, the quality of your co-teacher/school relationship, how much free time you have, etc. Some people get a sweet deal and others get hell, and there is no way to anticipate which situation you will be places in. I was one of the lucky ones, but I now others who weren't. Also, living in a foreign country can take it's toll on you after several years.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMaybe look at other ways to match NEST to their schools for a better positive match percentage? Also, due to the local currencies volitility it would be nice if severance monies could somehow be available for teachers to buy dollars when the won is highest.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    Great experience but ask lots of questions to your co-teacher about your contract or you could lose money in the process

    Foreign English Teacher (Former Employee) Seoul (South Korea)

    ProsGreat experience; meet great people; students are heartwarming

    ConsDo the same thing everyday; no possibility to grow

    Advice to Senior ManagementTeach co-teachers about foreign teachers contracts so that they answer questions correctly about visa.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Great job and experiences

    Native English Teacher (Former Employee) Seoul (South Korea)

    ProsGood salary when taking into consideration the free apartment and otherwise low cost of living. Rewarding job.

    ConsSome schools can be unsure how to best utilize their native speaker.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEncourage school administration and teachers to involve the native speaker in school activities don't forget to invite them or let them know about events or information which other teachers are aware of.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    Really good 2 years of my life, but not always because of the job

    Native English Teacher (Former Employee) Seoul (South Korea)

    ProsGood pay; they provide housing (I had the most amazing apartment); can form good relationships with co-teachers; seeing progress and excitement to learn in students is very fulfilling (I taught an afterschool class for over a year, and started with the alphabet and got to see them read sentences by the end of my classes with them); good work-life balance

    ConsCommunication can be difficult with other teachers; you must teach by the book; no plan for discipline; some students can be very cynical; depending on your school, you may only see each class once a week; (disclaimer: 1st world problem) they can be stingy with air conditioning/heating

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Native English Teacher

    Native English Teacher (Current Employee) Seoul (South Korea)

    Prosgood first step into the world of ESL teaching. Depending on who you get as your co-teachers/administration, your time spent in Korea can be really great or downright miserable. Considering the actual amount of work you do, the pay is actually decent.

    ConsSMOE isn't really an education office that looks after their NETs. They recently have been implementing changes that are financially impacting the current teachers. A lot of the articles in your contract doesn't matter due to your school's principal holding most of the power(i.e. when you can use your vacation days)

    Advice to Senior ManagementInstead of going to the first idea that comes to mind when it comes to budget restraints(which usually ends up leaving a lot of NETs unhappy), please think of other cost-saving ideas.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Better than Private

    Native English Teacher (Former Employee) Seoul (South Korea)

    ProsGreat benefits for foreign worker in South Korea.

    ConsKorean work culture is quite different from western counterpart. You are expected to arrive to work early and leave late. be ready for last minute changes and accept it all with a smile.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement won't read this.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    awesome cultural experience

    Native English Teacher (Former Employee) Seoul (South Korea)

    Prosgreat hub to get out and see a/several different country/ies with excellent vacation time given as well as accomodations

    Consmany projects will be thrown at you out of nowhere; learn to be flexible and get over the fact. it will happen to everyone

    Advice to Senior Managementgive greater representation to native teachers to voice their concerns and influence policy

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Can't beat the benefits!

    ESL Teacher (Current Employee) Seoul (South Korea)

    ProsGreat benefits and compensation! Good Company

    ConsGetting harder and harder to stay in Seoul. They require more and more as each semester comes!

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt cost less to keep a current teacher then to recruit a new teacher from overseas... If a teacher decided not renew the contract but a month or so down the road has a change of heart you should work with that teacher to secure another position even if they have to take a cut in benefits... Be more flexible to current teacher!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Good way to see the world and teach English to kids in Korea

    Native English Teacher (Current Employee) Seoul (South Korea)

    ProsThe pay is pretty good for the living standards of Korea and the degree of difficulty isn't too hard... many people didn't even have teaching experience before coming here and learned how to teach English on the fly. Vacat

    ConsWhile the rest of the teachers and kids are on vacation, the Native English Teacher (NET) must teach 5 weeks of English camp each break. However, the camp itself isn't too bad and is actually more fun than regular class. Also, the cultural gap is pretty big and some people find it hard to adjust in Korea.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Great company

    Native English Teacher (Former Employee) Seoul (South Korea)

    ProsGood support
    Consistent Pay
    Always fair
    They actually hire foreigners for the office and offer extra classes to make money

    Consschools they place you in is random
    I heard things are getting worse for benefits
    Some schools are nightmares and shouldn't have a foreign teacher

    Advice to Senior ManagementAllows foreigners to participate more in decision making instead of the silly meetings organized every 3 weeks. Remove schools that clearly do not want a foreigner placed in them.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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