EPIK Timeline

If you’re anything like I was at the beginning of your process of even thinking of applying to EPIK, you are incredibly interested in specific timelines of how long it takes between application and arrival in Korea (and also some associated costs).  Here’s a timeline of my application process, bearing in mind that I applied pretty early (which I’d recommend), I’m Canadian (American background checks are a bit more convoluted) and that I worked with a recruiter (Korvia).

 

2015

  • Early to mid-August
    • Started thinking about and researching EPIK and the application process
    • Researched what MOE/POE I wanted to apply for
    • Looked into schools to complete my TESL
    • Filled out Korvia’s application/screening form
    • Requested extra transcripts from my school (no cost, woo)
    • Renewed my passport
  • Mid- to late August
    • Passed Korvia’s pre-screening, was assigned a coordinator at Korvia (Sarah, she was wonderful.)
    • Applied to and interviewed for the Canadian Centre for Language and Cultural Studies where I wanted to (and would do) my TESL course.
    • Asked two people for future reference letters.
      • I was initially operating under the assumption that applications would open in October, which would allow me to have completed some actual TESL training before filling out my application, but that was moved up to September 1st in late August.
    • Frantically updated my referees that I would need letters much sooner than I’d initially said.
    • Started working on EPIK application, specifically researching how to do a lesson plan.
  •   August 28th
    • Applied for a police check. My local station had a fingerprint scanner, thankfully, so I could just do it there.
  • August 31st
    • Applied for a second police check, because I noticed that my receipt didn’t have my middle names on it, and for some reason they had checked that I wanted my results in French. ($85 total for the police check)
  • September 2nd
    • Finished my application, submitted it to Sarah at Korvia for review
  • September 5th
    • Went to the drugstore, got some of course incredibly flattering passport photos done, to use in the EPIK application. ($14)
  • September 6th
    • Digital scans of my reference letters arrived
      • Note: don’t be like me, ask for the hardcopies soon thereafter, and make sure they aren’t, for some reason, digitally signed (more on that below).
    • Submitted final application to Korvia
  • September 7th
    • Korvia submitted my application to EPIK
  • September 9th
    • Started my TESL course at CCLCS. Tuition and text books totalled around $1800*.  I lived with my Aunt in Toronto, so I saved on housing, just had some transportation costs via the TTC.
      • *There are tons of inexpensive online certifications out there.  I am fortunate enough to have the financial support of my parents which allowed me to do the in-class option, which was a just wonderful experience for me. I couldn’t be happier with CCLCS and recommend them to anyone in the Toronto area who is interested in TESL abroad or in Canada. Bonus: it’s situated in Koreatown.
  • Somewhere in here
    • Had my mother pick up my completed police check
  • October 9th
    • Finished my TESL (in-class portion)
  • October 19th
    • Received an e-mail invitation to an EPIK interview
  • October 26th
    • 12:30 a.m.: pre-interview with Sarah from Korvia to test my connection.
    • 1:10 a.m.: EPIK interview. Done via Skype, lasted about 20-30 minutes.
    • 8:10 p.m.: received notice that I had passed the interview.
    • Asked my referees for the physical copies of my reference letters. (Should have done this earlier.)
  • October 27th to 30th
    • Photocopied everything. Passport, police check, degree.
    • Had my degree and police check notarized. A family friend is a lawyer/notary public and, amazingly, did this free of charge.
    • Went to the Korean Consulate in Toronto to have consular seals affixed to my background check.
    • Received both reference letters.
    • Mailed my documents to Korvia. ($72 via Canada Post)
  • November 1st
    • Documents arrived in Korea
  • November 2nd
    • Notified that one of my reference letters had a digital, not ink signature. I hadn’t checked the sealed envelope before sending it, assuming it would be the original letter.
    • Requested a second, signed reference letter.
  • November 3rd
    • Returned to Toronto to begin my TESL Practicum (practical teaching in a CCLCS-affiliated LINC school
  • November 4th to 12th
    • TESL Practicum
      • (Best week ever.)
  • November 5th
    • Second copy of reference letter resent. (~$70)
  • November 9th 
    • All documents forwarded to EPIK from Korvia
  • December 9th
    • Received my placement: Gwangju!
  • December 30th
    • E-mailed notice that my contract package had been shipped.

 

2016

  • January 4th
    • NOA and contract package arrived
    • Purchased my plane ticket ($1,080)
      • It’s recommended to wait until you have your visa in-hand before doing this, but I took the gamble
  • January 6th
    • Went to Wal-mart to pick up 8 copies of a passport photo. ($48)
  • January 7th
    • Applied for my visa at the Toronto Korean Consulate ($72)
  • January 11th
    • Submitted a digital scan of my TESL certificate
      • (Whoops, delayed submitting my final project for way too long.)
  • January 12th
    • Invitation to complete EPIK Pre-Orientation.
  • January 15th
    • Picked up my visa from the Consulate.
  • January 19th
    • Received my Orientation Itinerary.
  • February 17th
    • Departure date!  Toronto –> Vancouver –> Seoul (February 18th)