Decisions….any advice?

It’s getting down to crunch time. The end of my contract is less than four months away. I’m in a bit of dilemma…do I renew my contract for the third year or try for a university job? The second major thing weighing on my mind is about getting a puppy.

Staying with EPIK

If I stay with EPIK, I can choose to stay at the same school or to move to another.   In regards to the benefits, I would get a pay increase, a bonus paycheck, and an extra two weeks of vacation. I would also have a guaranteed stay in Gumi. It would also mean that I will have worked with the same company for three years. As for the cons, it means being in a situation that I’m not necessarily keen on. Often times I feel my job serves no purpose and/or I need more co-teacher support but I don’t get it. I struggle to keep students’ attention because they can’t understand me and also because they know that my classroom material is not relevant to their grade or future career. If I stay with EPIK should I stay with my not-so-lovely high school or transfer to an elementary school (same pay but rumoured less work and more student participation)?

Working at a University

Universities tend to have less teaching/classroom hours than my current position. It would be roughly the same pay. All the students ‘must’ pay attention in my class to receive a grade. I will have a curriculum to follow which will, I think, allow me to teach to my full ability. Most foreigners working at a university have a more positive working environment than hagwon (private school) and EPIK (public school) teachers. The not so great thing is that I probably won’t be able to stay in Gumi and would be forced to look into nearby cities. I also would only plan on holding this particular job for only one year. I don’t know if 2 years with EPIK and 1 year at a university would look better on my resume than 3 years with EPIK.


So I’ve been monitoring the Animal Rescue Korea website for available dogs like crazy. I’m very interested in a jindo-mix. Jindos are medium-sized (40~50 lbs) native dogs of Korea. They have a lot of energy and require at least moderate exercise everyday. This isn’t a problem for me because I like to exercise and I’ve always been partial to larger breeds. Unfortunately, not only am I looking at shelter dogs with unknown attitudes towards cats, but jindos also tend to have a high prey-drive. That said, one of the dogs I had looked at recently had a puppy. While I’m not exactly ‘thrilled’ about training a puppy, I am familiar with raising dogs. I won’t be able to adopt the puppy for another month (proper weaning time). That would mean only 3 months in my studio apartment and then I plan on moving to a 1 bedroom (2-room) apartment.   Any advice?  I DO plan on taking my pets with me wherever I move…don’t fret.

This is the mom and her puppy. (Only 2 puppies survived in her litter; the other puppy is already claimed by the shelter owner’s sister.)

Any advice about job situation or puppy situation would be highly appreciated!!!



  1. Keep the job for 1 more year. I hear from other teacher friends that year 3 is when you’ll be in the groove enough yourself to connect with the kids and it’ll look better on your resume. No dog. Dogs are icky. So there. Love from the States yo!

  2. My advice is to adopt out an older-ish dog. Not like an elderly one, maybe one that is 2 or 3. They are least likely to be adopted (in order of least adopted dogs usually goes terminally ill or disabled dogs, elderly dogs then all dogs not puppies) and adopting one out is really giving them a chance. Puppies are adopted out almost instantly in most cases. Mostly because if families come looking for a household dog they lean towards puppies. It’s easier to mold them to the house dynamic and kids. Love. Puppies. Heh. That’s just my knee jerk reaction. Also, I would wait to adopt until after moving. New surrounding stress animals out. Being adopted, then moving will give them a complex. Plus moving with dogs is often a nightmare.

    1. I was initially looking at the older dogs…the problems is that because I like ‘larger’ breeds, the shelters have no idea if the dog will get along with cats. I also am interested in jindos…which have a high prey drive and don’t get along with a cat unless introduced at a young age. Thanks for your advice. ^_^

  3. From what I’ve known about dogs with ‘hunter’ instincts, it’s best to introduce a dog into an environment with a cat already there as a puppy — the cats tend to ‘mother’ them in a way — they stand their ground because the puppies are still a little too silly to fully understand that a cat couldn’t necessarily take them.

    I would say especially if you’re moving soon. While its stressful for a puppy to be in new environments, I’ve noticed older dogs sometimes take the change a little more harshly.

    Anyways, that’s my two cents.

    Those puppies are adorable.

  4. I hope you find that coveted Uni job someday 🙂

    1. Me too but I think it will be at least another year

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