Change #1 - Level 3 applicants have been eliminated. I came to Korea three years ago as a level 3 applicant, meaning I only had a bachelors degree. I did not have a background in English, a master's degree, I was not a liscenced teacher, I had no prior teaching experience, and I did not have a TEFL certification of any kind.
Public schools in Korea have begun to consider only applicants at salary level 2 or more this term. With this, the easiest way for most people to get to a level 2 salary is taking a 100hr+ TEFL course. Fortunately, this is something that should pay for itself in the first month with the salary increase. Teachers must register for the TEFL course before applying to the program, the course itself does not need to be finished until July.This actually should produce a more professional workforce and maybe should have been implemented years ago.
Change #2 - No more joint applicants. Two friends, or a couple that wanted to be together that were not married were allowed to apply at the same time and usually were placed at the very least in the same area or city. EPIK does not want to deal with these exceptions anymore.
EPIK has told us that they most likely will not be able to consider non-married joint applicants for positions this term and would prefer non-married joint applicants to apply as single applicants... The program has requested teachers don’t include friends or people you are in a non-married relationship with on your application.Change #3 - Applicants can no longer request a specific city or province to be placed in. On the application, you can only check a box for one of three things: "Provincial Province", "Metropolitan City", or "Seoul". On all previous applications, new teachers chose either metropolitan cities or provinces and ranked them #1 through #5. EPIK is apparently taking away this option to reduce on people complaining about not getting their top choices. EPIK is also stressing that they have the power to place new teachers anywhere in the country and people need to accept the teaching assignment they are given wherever it is.
Change #4 - A GPA requirement is now in effect.
The program has informed us that they will only consider teachers with GPA’s of 2.5 or Above on a 4.0 system this term. If your University does not use 4.0 system, please write down your overall GPA on your application as it will show up on your transcripts. Many universities will use a percentage system, other universities a ranking system with classes or honours, please use this as your GPA on the application. We are advising teachers to apply with a percentage of 70% or higher or with any class/degree level. Teachers who are still in the process of finishing classes should list their current GPA for classes completed. I would advise all teachers with education, english, and post-graduate degrees to send in applications to be considered on a case by case basis.Change #5 - A sample lesson plan must be submitted with the application form. It even says on the application form "Minimum 2 pages, single-spaced". I definitely think this will help weed out people who are not committed enough to even make a 2 page lesson plan when they apply for the program.
The problem with the EPIK application process is they do not hire the best applicants, but for the longest time they have hired anyone willing to get on a plane and move to Korea. It has only been in the last three years that they have received enough applications to fill all the positions they want. They still have the problem, however, that they hire on a first apply, first hired basis. If you meet the minimum requirements and apply early, then the job is guaranteed. It looks like they will still operate that way, but they will continue to creep up their application requirements as long as the supply of applicants exceeds their demand.