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Korea, South in Asia (School): Institute I-Garten (IDEA KIDS ASSETS) - Franchise - South Korea Institute I-Garten formerly IDEA KIDS ASSETS is part of the Chungdahm group and is a franchise located in South Korea.

 

Address: Headquarters - 4, 15F, Shinyoung Bldg. 68-5, Chungdahm-dong, Gangnam-gu Seoul, 135-953 Korea.

Website: Institute I-Garten formerly IDEA KIDS ASSETS - Unknown

 

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1.3/5 from 3 ratings.
  • Experience
  • Professionalism
  • Work location
  • Living situation
  • Pay & benefits
  • Support & facilities
  • Health & safety
Summary rating
Reviewer
1 rating(s).
Watch Out!
2 years ago.
Experience
Professionalism
Work location
Living situation
Pay & benefits
Support & facilities
Health & safety
Institute Review
Having left the school before the merger/buy out, I am glad I did. I didn't have the best experience working there and it seems to have gotten worse since I left. I'll start at the beginning.

I was the first teacher they employed that needed housing provided by the school (a norm at most hagwons), I wasn't expecting much in terms of space (I had already been in Korea for 2 years). The apartment they found for me and expected me to live in had no window, okay a bit of an exaggeration, it did have a window but that looked out onto a corridor/storage area inside the building, so I had no fresh air or natural light. Also when I first arrived the apartment was filthy (dirty tissues, black toilet, not going to say anymore), when I contacted the supervisor about the fact that I wasn't happy with where they have placed me, and that it was filthy, she suggested I clean it myself and make do, when I refused they made me pay for a cleaner! I started to get sick a week into living there and asked to move to somewhere with fresh air and light - I got moved to a bas*m*nt apartment, a small step up.

Surviving the school was made easy by having friends there, who were also being treated equally as bad.
I am a qualified teacher and did not appreciate being told, on a regular basis, how to teach, or teach my own language!

Messages as to what was needed to be done were never correct, and if we did something we were told to do, but the director didn't approve, it became our fault and we "should have known better".

When it came to finishing up my contract and asking about flight money, I was told that I would be given 800,000 won for a flight (even though my contract stipulates the school will PAY FOR A FLIGHT HOME), when questioning why not the full amount, the answer I got back was that is how much teachers got when they left 3 years ago!

The supervisor expected me to move out of my apartment a week early so the new teacher could move in, and expected me to move in with a co-worker (without checking with her first), but then a day later asked if I could change my flight and stay an extra week to help with orientation (as if they would pay the extra price to change my ticket).

I never once felt that I could go to the ‘supervisor’ and ask for help with anything because there were times when she would just say that it wasn’t her job, she was only meant to translate for us (she couldn’t even do that correctly).
The Korean teachers are worked to the bone, and the English teachers are made to feel bad if they are not staying late on a daily basis or coming in on the weekends. Comparisons are made between you and past staff members whom you never met and how they did things.

The director is crazy and expects a lot from all the teachers. You are to look happy at all times, even going to the bathroom, because if you don't look happy all the time then you must not enjoy working there...
Institution Location
Cheongdam, Seoul
Relationship
Past employee
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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful
Reviewer
1 rating(s).
2 helpful voted.
Stay Away!
2 years ago.
Experience
Professionalism
Work location
Pay & benefits
Support & facilities
Health & safety
Institute Review
Chungdahm Institute I-Garten (formally IDEA KIDS ASSETS) Cheongdam, Seoul

Recently this school was involved in some sort of merger/buy out of Chungdahm Institute. It was recently independent and known as IDEA KIDS ASSETS, but is now known as Chungdahm I-Garten. Yes, the same Chungdahm Institute branch that has affected many others throughout Korea. They recently started to try and teach pre-school ages Korean 3-7. There’s only one other school in Seocho, so this whole new age group is completely new to them.

This school is located a short 5min walk from Cheongdam station. Its located in the rich area of Cheongdam and often referred to as the Beverly Hill. This means there are rich parents/celebrities and spoiled and rude kids in the school. No one lives here, everyone travels to work here.

Ill preface by saying the only reason I stayed for 2 years was because of the company of friends and a higher housing allowance than any other school Ive seen or worked for.

Just stay away from this school. Their job postings are questionable at best. False advertising is common, and this school excels at false facades. Labeled as a Korean/English pre-school, you will always have some form of unwarranted micro-managing from someone who’s not in a teaching position. In other words, you have a Korean person (manager, director, or just a co-teacher who all speak no English) telling you how to teach, when they have no concept of your materials or schedules. If an personal problem or issue arises with your job or lifestyle, your supervisor will threaten to not help you with anything because it is not her job, but she is the only Korean to translate what comes down the line to you. In essence, you need to follow what they say or your wrong, and if it’s not up to the other Koreans’ standards, your still wrong.

What you’re actually expected to do varies greatly from what they say in the interview. The mislabeling of your job title is never explained and your required duties are always changing to make you more of a part-time observer of students instead of a Teacher. Even the working times have English teachers from 9-5 but Koreans 9-6. They constantly throw this in your face saying Koreans are working longer so you should stay later and work harder.
Forcing you into uncomfortable positions is also constant. Threatening to not pay severance or a monthly salary if your open class doesn’t go well or parents complain. Never being notified of a major monthly event until a few weeks prior or told at the last minute on the day of the event that another thing has changed or your responsibilities have changed. For example, telling English teachers they are not going on a field trip so they should use the time to prepared for monthly reports, but on the day of the trip, telling them they have to go with and that reports are due sooner. No thought is given to what you are doing, you are just expected to act like a Korean and get it done, preferably by staying later without extra pay.

Moms control most of the decision making as they are paying an arm and leg each month for tuition. Complaints of not smiling in the morning, your voice sounds scary, or even a male teacher getting his haircut too short, and students going home and crying because of it. These students’ age ranges from Korean 3-7. Apparently a 3yr discusses the finer points of your teaching and clothing style and it’s always wrong.

Every solution to every teaching issue is to use a song CD or flashcards.

Overtime is a joke and the contract mislabels how that’s handled. Even negotiating pension/health insurance is sketchy and vastly delayed from when you start.
Housing money, maintenance fees have gone unpaid from previous teacher and the school had attached late payments onto my coworkers paycheck, siting they didn’t know about it but you are in charge of it now.

Over the last 2 years of working here, 10 Koreans have simply walked out without a word. Numerous times a Korean will not show up to work and nothing is penalized towards them. 3 Foreigners have quit early into their contracts, and as this new transition from the old school style to the new Chungdahm style, all 4 current English teachers are leaving. Upon trying to only stick to their motto of hiring only in Korea, they attempted to hire a man from the US, and at first thought it was simply acceptable to have them only purchase a one way ticket from Air China with numerous stops. Air China was the cheapest flight and the thought of spending more than 500 dollars was too much to them.

They don’t value anyone who works here and this should be one of the biggest red flags as anyone who has been in Korea long enough knows, being valued at a school is a good quality of a school. The ones here now with E2s were scared they would be kicked out on unfair terms and conditions.

So the name: Chungdahm I-Garten

The place: Cheongdam, Gangnam Seoul

The advice- Run, run away and never come back.
Institution Location
located 5min walk from Cheongdam Station Exit 12
Relationship
Value the opinions of the ones actually working day in and day out with the students. Not everything can be solved with Korean Style
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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful
Reviewer
1 rating(s).
2 helpful voted.
Please be cautious
2 years ago.
Experience
Professionalism
Work location
Living situation
Pay & benefits
Support & facilities
Health & safety
Institute Review
To be fair, this hagwon is just like all other hagwons. It’s disorganized and the management has no clue what they are doing. They cater to the parents regardless of what the students need. The director treats the Korean and English teachers so poorly that in less than a year, we’ve cycled through at least 6 teachers.
The biggest issues with the school is their inability to comprehend their own contracts. Pension and health insurance were included in their job posting and indicated in the contract. However, it took almost 3 months with nonstop badgering until the school properly registered English teachers into the pension/health insurance programs. An English teacher had pension deducted from his paycheck but it wasn’t paid into his pension account. Even with proof from the pension office, the school has refused to refund his money.
Another instance was when the school tried to deduct an English teacher’s pay because of vacation days. The supervisor stated that because the English teacher did not teach over vacation days, she would not be paid. Our contract clearly states we have paid vacation days. This teacher had to show her contract to the supervisor, who had drafted the contracts, to prove that the vacation days were paid for.
The school’s contract includes one-way airfare, but please be warned that the school will NOT reimburse you for full amount of the airfare.
The management will attempt to charge the teachers money on their housing. If you ask prior to your contract signing, the supervisor will deny a maintenance fee, etc. However mid-year, it was suddenly said that we would have to pay a ‘lump sum maintenance fee,’ but they could not provide a bill for it. They will make a lot of contradictory statements.
The school will also make you work random Sat*r*ays and special events after work hours without any overtime pay. We’ve also been threatened at having our severance withhold for obscure reasons. Also with teacher quitting, the school will try to load your days full of classes and you still won’t receive any overtime pay.
I’d like for anyone who is considering this position, while the Korean teachers are very kind, management causes a lot of discord between Korean and English teachers. You will have to avidly fight for the clauses detailed in your contract due to the supervisor not understanding her own drafted contract. The management has no loyalty to Korean or English teachers.

Institution Location
Chungdahm, Seoul
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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful

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