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Korea, South in Asia (school): International English School - International School - South KoreaInternational English School is an international school located in Wonju, South Korea.

 

Address: Musil-ro 181, Wonju-si, Gangwon-do, 220-040, South Korea.

Website: International English School

 

 

 

 

3.0/5 from 2 ratings.
  • Experience
  • Professionalism
  • Work location
  • Living situation
  • Pay & benefits
  • Support & facilities
  • Health & safety
Summary rating
Reviewer
1 rating(s).
4 helpful voted.
Absolute disgrace of a school - famous for the number of teachers who quit - watch out!
25 days ago.
Experience
Professionalism
Work location
Living situation
Pay & benefits
Support & facilities
Health & safety
Institute Review
Wonju is a lovely small town and the students at the school are so sweet, so clever, and so kind. When the head teacher would come in and shout nonsense at me they would always try to comfort me afterwards and tell me not to worry about what that "angry Grandpa" says. Of course I didn't want them to think they needed to comfort me or see any of that play out especially because it was wasting the time they paid money to be learning during, but it was still sweet to see kids be so innocent and kind in such a situation.

The school and the apartments for teachers are so dirty. You will find huge gray and black dust clumps everywhere as well as doors and walls tinted grey from never being cleaned. When I was there I gave everything a few times over with a clorox wipe and it lifted a significant amount of the grey tinge.

The school is all about making money and using cheap sales tactics, the actual quality of education there is so low its pretty much nonexistent. You could always tell which kids came from which schools because their English level was directly related to the school they went to in the daytime, not anything done at the Hagwon. For just one example of the cheap sales tactics they relied on over actual results and quality, T=they tried their best to shout at us teachers and berates us until we would tell our students "this is the only place in the whole world you can really learn English if you don't come here you will never be able to learn it and if you don't learn English you will never succeed at anything in life." This is some nonsense the head teacher would drone on about on repeat. I think he may actually believe it himself but its so ridiculous I can't fully accept that as the case. Even the youngest kids never fell for it, they would always make fun of him behind his back for his less than logical rants among many other things. At least they were learning English when they would try to mock him for what he said lol.

They had us treat the kids differently depending on how rich the families are and how many potential referrals can come from the parents. I had one young boy who loved to bully his classmates, but his mother was apparently very well connected and the family rich, so I was shouted at to never say no to him or discipline him in any way, but if any of the kids he was poking or punching or slapping would do it to him back they would have to stand at the wall with their arms above their head in timeout. Obviously the kids saw the pattern right away (anything "so unfair" is definitely something kids that age will catch on to right away) so between the bullying and the lack of respect the kids had for the system the learning environment was constantly disrupted. How was I told to deal with this? I believe the exact words were "Just yell at them until you make them cry. Don't stop until you see tears. This is the only way to break them into our system." Literally "break them into our system" like this is a prison camp or a breeding facility for animals.

The materials they use are photocopies of an old book that was covered in whiteout blotches and extra words written in unsophisticatedly. A lot of what they teach is incorrect or heinously outdated (IE "u*d*e*" "boxers" and "underwear" are all incorrect the students, both boys and girls, can ONLY call them "p*n*i*s" and "beatbox" isn't a real word it "almost was in the 80s but nobody has said it ever since and if you use it in the US people will stare at you like you're an idiot because it's not a good word they don't know what it means") reflective of how old and out of touch the head teacher is. The other teachers and I would always chat in comedic horror about the day one of the boys grows up, goes abroad, and says anything about his "p*n*i*s" to his friends.

They also demanded I work when I had food poisoning (and active double-end excretion); the principal just said something along the lines of "go to the bathroom when you need to, then just go back to the classroom. You don't even have to say anything, you just have to be there at least once per class so we don't have to cancel the classes." (but in broken English because ironically the principal's English was awful) Then I got in trouble for chewing gum, despite it being an attempt to spare my students of my v*m*t breath and general disgusting odors as much as possible, and despite the fact that I was there with back to back rounds of v*m*ting and diarrhea and they were so unappreciative they were literally shouting at me about walking out of the bathroom with gum in my mouth as if it were any other day and I were just chewing gum for the fun of it. It also really creeped me out the way the principal dealt with my food poisoning in terms of trying to stop me from talking to any doctors etc and just being super controlling about it. Kind of like the way they didn't let us open or pay our own bills - the principal was adamant we just hand them over and let them deduct it from our pay without checking LOL wonder why. The first time I got a bill I just went and paid it myself, as they never said anything about it to me (there was no orientation btw they just let you sit in on classes of the teacher you're replacing and ask you to duplicate what they did) and I just assumed I'm an adult I have a job I pay my bills. The principal shouted at me about it in broken English insisting "ANY MAIL YOU GET, YOU BRING ME, ALL MAIL YOU GET, BRING ME!" on an endless loop for at least a few minutes (as if once isn't enough to understand that statement?), and I'm just in my head like "lol so if I get a birthday card from my dad bring that to you?" but obviously I could read the subtext that it was about bills and not birthday cards (unless the birthday card would have money in it, then I'm sure they'd want it haha) and I asked my coworker about it later and she filled me in fully.

I always got the impression that the head teacher really resented that my education level was higher than his and that I didn't pretend to fall for any of his nonsense. He was also weirdly compet*t*ve about gifts from students. He would only rarely get any, whereas the other teachers got them often. One day another teacher got a bunch of stickers from a student and she put them up on her board (as we do whenever we get such type of gifts). The next time he came into her room he got visibly upset when he saw them and started obsessing about them, asking her all sorts of questions about which students gave her gifts and how many did she usually get etc etc and then going on to waste her time talking on end about how she "wouldn't even believe all the gifts" he gets "from students" "too many to even display them all" etc etc. It was so pathetic in a weird compet*t*ve kind of way it was actually really sad. Then when she came back to her room after lunch she saw him in their trying to remove all the stickers from her board. He said it was "too cluttered" and he needed to. So deranged.

Honestly there's so much more I could say and some of it a lot worse but I feel like those small bits of info give a clear insight into how the school is. Overall, its a depressing, disturbing place, famous in Wonju for losing teachers within 1-3 months of their joining, and struggling to fill classes (despite claiming they have a long long waiting list). The teacher I replaced made it so much longer than most do because she was consistently promised a glowing character recommendation for a compet*t*ve post graduate program she really wanted to get into, but when the letter of recommendation finally came it was actually just boldly defamatory towards her. The worst part is she wanted to screen it first just to be safe (because the head teacher is such a loon she thought he might write something so silly the school wouldn't take it seriously) so the head teacher sent directly to her by email, knowingly, a long list of insults in the (very loose) form of a letter of recommendation. He is absolutely shameless and completely lacks class, integrity, and professionalism - not to mention connection to reality and emotional stability. The principal is so depressed, disempowered, and low self esteem which everyone thinks is the result of working with the temper-tantrum prone less than intelligent head teacher for so long. But she does it for the money (btw she seems to absolutely detest being around the kids and often b*o*s up at them spontaneously or just walks away from them to bang her head on her desk and talk to herself under her breath) while it seems the head teacher does it because its the only place in the world he could manage to create where he could indulge his own self-delusions. He would never in a million years be able to teach in the US (where he's from) and he certainly would never be able to work under anybody else without getting fired. One of my coworkers while I was there was convinced he had autism based on how he conducted himself but I really don't think so. Autism is not that dark.

The pros
Wonju is a lovely small town and the students at the school are so sweet, so clever, and so kind. When the head teacher would come in and shout nonsense at me they would always try to comfort me afterwards and tell me not to worry about what that "angry Grandpa" says. Of course I didn't want them to think they needed to comfort me or see any of that play out especially because it was wasting the time they paid money to be learning during, but it was still sweet to see kids be so innocent and kind in such a situation.
The cons
The school and the apartments for teachers are so dirty. You will find huge gray and black dust clumps everywhere as well as doors and walls tinted grey from never being cleaned. When I was there I gave everything a few times over with a clorox wipe and it lifted a significant amount of the grey tinge.

The school is all about making money and using cheap sales tactics, the actual quality of education there is so low its pretty much nonexistent. You could always tell which kids came from which schools because their English level was directly related to the school they went to in the daytime, not anything done at the Hagwon. For just one example of the cheap sales tactics they relied on over actual results and quality, T=they tried their best to shout at us teachers and berates us until we would tell our students "this is the only place in the whole world you can really learn English if you don't come here you will never be able to learn it and if you don't learn English you will never succeed at anything in life." This is some nonsense the head teacher would drone on about on repeat. I think he may actually believe it himself but its so ridiculous I can't fully accept that as the case. Even the youngest kids never fell for it, they would always make fun of him behind his back for his less than logical rants among many other things. At least they were learning English when they would try to mock him for what he said lol.

They had us treat the kids differently depending on how rich the families are and how many potential referrals can come from the parents. I had one young boy who loved to bully his classmates, but his mother was apparently very well connected and the family rich, so I was shouted at to never say no to him or discipline him in any way, but if any of the kids he was poking or punching or slapping would do it to him back they would have to stand at the wall with their arms above their head in timeout. Obviously the kids saw the pattern right away (anything "so unfair" is definitely something kids that age will catch on to right away) so between the bullying and the lack of respect the kids had for the system the learning environment was constantly disrupted. How was I told to deal with this? I believe the exact words were "Just yell at them until you make them cry. Don't stop until you see tears. This is the only way to break them into our system." Literally "break them into our system" like this is a prison camp or a breeding facility for animals.

The materials they use are photocopies of an old book that was covered in whiteout blotches and extra words written in unsophisticatedly. A lot of what they teach is incorrect or heinously outdated (IE "u*d*e*" "boxers" and "underwear" are all incorrect the students, both boys and girls, can ONLY call them "p*n*i*s" and "beatbox" isn't a real word it "almost was in the 80s but nobody has said it ever since and if you use it in the US people will stare at you like you're an idiot because it's not a good word they don't know what it means") reflective of how old and out of touch the head teacher is. The other teachers and I would always chat in comedic horror about the day one of the boys grows up, goes abroad, and says anything about his "p*n*i*s" to his friends.

They also demanded I work when I had food poisoning (and active double-end excretion); the principal just said something along the lines of "go to the bathroom when you need to, then just go back to the classroom. You don't even have to say anything, you just have to be there at least once per class so we don't have to cancel the classes." (but in broken English because ironically the principal's English was awful) Then I got in trouble for chewing gum, despite it being an attempt to spare my students of my v*m*t breath and general disgusting odors as much as possible, and despite the fact that I was there with back to back rounds of v*m*ting and diarrhea and they were so unappreciative they were literally shouting at me about walking out of the bathroom with gum in my mouth as if it were any other day and I were just chewing gum for the fun of it. It also really creeped me out the way the principal dealt with my food poisoning in terms of trying to stop me from talking to any doctors etc and just being super controlling about it. Kind of like the way they didn't let us open or pay our own bills - the principal was adamant we just hand them over and let them deduct it from our pay without checking LOL wonder why. The first time I got a bill I just went and paid it myself, as they never said anything about it to me (there was no orientation btw they just let you sit in on classes of the teacher you're replacing and ask you to duplicate what they did) and I just assumed I'm an adult I have a job I pay my bills. The principal shouted at me about it in broken English insisting "ANY MAIL YOU GET, YOU BRING ME, ALL MAIL YOU GET, BRING ME!" on an endless loop for at least a few minutes (as if once isn't enough to understand that statement?), and I'm just in my head like "lol so if I get a birthday card from my dad bring that to you?" but obviously I could read the subtext that it was about bills and not birthday cards (unless the birthday card would have money in it, then I'm sure they'd want it haha) and I asked my coworker about it later and she filled me in fully.

I always got the impression that the head teacher really resented that my education level was higher than his and that I didn't pretend to fall for any of his nonsense. He was also weirdly compet*t*ve about gifts from students. He would only rarely get any, whereas the other teachers got them often. One day another teacher got a bunch of stickers from a student and she put them up on her board (as we do whenever we get such type of gifts). The next time he came into her room he got visibly upset when he saw them and started obsessing about them, asking her all sorts of questions about which students gave her gifts and how many did she usually get etc etc and then going on to waste her time talking on end about how she "wouldn't even believe all the gifts" he gets "from students" "too many to even display them all" etc etc. It was so pathetic in a weird compet*t*ve kind of way it was actually really sad. Then when she came back to her room after lunch she saw him in their trying to remove all the stickers from her board. He said it was "too cluttered" and he needed to. So deranged.

Honestly there's so much more I could say and some of it a lot worse but I feel like those small bits of info give a clear insight into how the school is. Overall, its a depressing, disturbing place, famous in Wonju for losing teachers within 1-3 months of their joining, and struggling to fill classes (despite claiming they have a long long waiting list). The teacher I replaced made it so much longer than most do because she was consistently promised a glowing character recommendation for a compet*t*ve post graduate program she really wanted to get into, but when the letter of recommendation finally came it was actually just boldly defamatory towards her. The worst part is she wanted to screen it first just to be safe (because the head teacher is such a loon she thought he might write something so silly the school wouldn't take it seriously) so the head teacher sent directly to her by email, knowingly, a long list of insults in the (very loose) form of a letter of recommendation. He is absolutely shameless and completely lacks class, integrity, and professionalism - not to mention connection to reality and emotional stability. The principal is so depressed, disempowered, and low self esteem which everyone thinks is the result of working with the temper-tantrum prone less than intelligent head teacher for so long. But she does it for the money (btw she seems to absolutely detest being around the kids and often b*o*s up at them spontaneously or just walks away from them to bang her head on her desk and talk to herself under her breath) while it seems the head teacher does it because its the only place in the world he could manage to create where he could indulge his own self-delusions. He would never in a million years be able to teach in the US (where he's from) and he certainly would never be able to work under anybody else without getting fired. One of my coworkers while I was there was convinced he had autism based on how he conducted himself but I really don't think so. Autism is not that dark.

Institution Location
Wonju South Korea

Musil-ro 181, Wonju-si, Gangwon-do, 220-040, South Korea
Relationship
Former teacher.
Show more
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Reviewer
1 rating(s).
1 helpful voted.
My Best School!
1 years ago.
Experience
Professionalism
Work location
Living situation
Pay & benefits
Support & facilities
Health & safety
Institute Review
Hello. It looks like I'm the first one to write a review about this school. I'm a student who has been studying English (of course) at this school for 14 years. This school is a hogwan and among all the schools that I have attended, I'm sure that this school's the best school in my life. Although it is focused on teaching English, we also learn a lot of other things. They teach math, social science and science in English and it helped me understand the differences between Korean and U.S. subjects. The principal and teachers are all nice. I can see that they are all helping students study well and truly want them to be successful in their futures. Soon, I'll leave to go to a university in the U.S. It's really hard to be accepted to U.S. schools if you're a student who only went to a regular high school in Wonju and never lived in or visited English speaking countries. It would've not be possible if the principal and the head teacher of this school didn't help me. I'm really grateful for their assistance and care. I will never forget my time and experience at this school even after I fly off to the U.S.
P.S. I'm a student, however, I know that every teacher who works here stays in a condo which is really close to this school (it takes 5-10 minutes to walk from their condos to here). I have seen some of them and they looked nice and big for one person.
The pros
Nice teachers and a principal who really care about students.
Tons of books.
Many video rooms & computers loaded with tons of videos.
Nice environment to study.
Small class size (m*x*mum 5 students in one class), but not a small school.
The cons
There's no traffic light for a crosswalk in front of this school. (It's not this school's fault, though...)
Institution Location
This school is located at Musilro 181, Wonju, Kangwondo, South Korea.
Relationship
I'm a student who has been studying at this school for 14 years.
Show more
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful

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