Life in Korea #1: Public Schools vs. Hagwons

So as you may or may not know, I am an ESL teacher in Korea. I’ve been at it for almost 4 years now, so I have quite a bit of experience with things that go on in public schools and hagwons. This comic is the start of another branch of ideas I want to add to this site. I feel the need to make comics about not only Hyo and I, but things in my life and about living and teaching in Korea in general. It’s a bit of a release for me and I enjoy it.

This first episode talks about one of the biggest decisions one has to make regarding coming to teach in Korea for the first time. These are not all the differences, but 8 main ones I focused on. Other differences include difference in pay, and coteachers. There are pros and cons to both. Which one suits you/has suited you the best? I’ve been in both, and I prefer the public schools.

*Note…I know there are exceptions to everything. This was made based on the general consensus from those in the ESL community in Korea and my own experiences :p*





Remember that romanization is only a tool! Try not to depend on it too much and try learning the Korean alphabet and how to pronounce the letters properly to have an easier time learning

Begin your adventure to improving your Korean with our Vocabulary Builder Course. Order before July 22nd for a big discount!

You can also find more products at our store

Related Posts
Trip to Fukuoka
Video About Our Story
  • Patrick07
    Feb 27,2015 at 4:38 pm

    wow … if someday i aplied i think i may go for public school … lol

  • releasethedogs
    Dec 11,2013 at 7:41 pm

    100% truth!

  • Tim
    Nov 5,2013 at 3:24 am

    Ha ha ha true true

  • Tuna Ghost
    Oct 17,2013 at 9:23 am

    It was my experience that too many teachers didn’t realize that you don’t ASK to take a sick day, you TELL your school you’re not coming in because you’re throwing up a lot (regardless if that is the case or not).

    • Tim
      Nov 5,2013 at 4:04 am

      I’m going to try that next time! I like your style tuna.

  • Oct 11,2013 at 2:22 am

    LOL @ that… see you in 20 minutes! -_____-
    This comic is further affirmation that I need to get out of hagwon life fast!

  • Phoenix
    Oct 4,2013 at 12:03 am

    spot on!

  • angela
    Oct 3,2013 at 11:30 pm

    Accurate and hysterical!!!

  • f
    Oct 3,2013 at 6:15 pm

    You forgot about the difference in pay.

    • Dominic 'Dom' Dinkins
      Oct 4,2013 at 12:06 am

      Yea, I really just tried to focus on the main things…I debated adding the comparison in pay though!

  • Oct 3,2013 at 2:34 pm

    Hahaha! Funny. I worked in public school for two years and would have to say that is pretty accurate! 😀

    • Dominic 'Dom' Dinkins
      Oct 3,2013 at 2:45 pm

      Haha thanks and glad you could relate to it! I’ve been in public schools for 3 years and not much has changed.

  • Kahi
    Sep 26,2013 at 4:19 am

    That was awesome! And hilarious!!
    Definitely helped me a lot. I’ve been debating to apply for public school or a hagwon.

    • Dominic 'Dom' Dinkins
      Sep 26,2013 at 3:48 pm

      Glad it could help you out…and you got a laugh out of it! 🙂 It’s definitely one of the important decisions one has to make before deciding to teach here.

Leave a Comment