GEPIK Orientation

Next week my wife and I will be attending the (belated) GEPIK orientation. It’s a five-day retreat with all the other new native English teachers in Gyeonggi province. At the moment it looks like being a five-day paid holiday, with free accommodation and food, even though according to the schedule and outline it will be an opportunity for “learning” and “networking”. Well, I’m hoping to pick up at least a few trips and tricks while there, but at the moment it feels a little like going on veldschool. Let’s hope that I’m wrong.

It’s a bit odd having the orientation only now, four months after the new school year started and many of the new teachers arrived. So I do feel that this event may be of limited value. I’ve already got a good idea of what my job is about, mostly learnt through trial and error after the last few months. Well, more error than trial.

The lack of any orientation or training before starting work at your public school is a major problem in the GEPIK programme. My school was shocked to find out that I hadn’t had any orientation prior to arriving at the school, and this explained why we initially had some tension. We realised that the school expected me to already know what I was meant to do, and I was under the impression that the school was going to tell me exactly what was expected of me. So things only improved after they found out that no, no-one had told me squat before I arrived.

If there is any issue that I’ll raise during our Q&A sessions at the orientation, it will be this. For the rest of the time I plan to sit back and soak up the learning. Let’s hold thumbs that there aren’t any “group activities”. I hate those.

If you want to check out the orientation schedule, click here. For information on what’s expected of participants, click here. You’ll see the veldschool aspect in the last document.


5 responses to “GEPIK Orientation

  1. Thanks for great post. we are flying in on 21 August and going directly to a week orientation which makes sense to me even after 24 years of being an educator. Where did you get programme and what is expected from you as a teacher attending? Will probably get sent to us in due course but I would like to have it now!

  2. Hey bro’ – why didn’t you come and intro yerself! (sorri for the silly english – a bit mixed-up after so many types of english …) – I was the brightly coloured girl there – I think – I got a nice compliment when I got off the bus at Miguen (?) subway on the way back from a Korean man – of course he first asked if I’m from America – you know – there’s only Americans outside of Korea – that kind of thing – then I said no, RSA-Mandela – then he clicked and then he gave me a look and gestured and said something about looking nice – so I said yes RSA rainbow nation – I drew a rainbow in the air, but I’m not sure if that got through – but we parted both loaded with big smiles – he went to catch up with his wife while I hung back for a smoke before going underground … I hope you will have links to lots of pictures … I was hard (I don’ like my body being bossed around by somebody else) but worth it in the end I think – there were some really amazing people in the crowd as well – I hope to bump into some of them again! cheers m (sorri for the silly english again … still a little dizzy … $*@***£!?)

  3. Hi Mandy

    Thanks for the comments on the website. Sorry for the slow reply, but I was away on the orientation and left my computer home on purpose. I’m busy writing some entries on what the orientation was all about. Take a look at these and see if they answer your questions. If not, let me know and I’ll try and answer your questions as best I can.


  4. I have a follow up to this article. Please go to and scroll down till you see the heading ‘Conference held for foreign english teachers’

    Keep well

  5. Thanks for the link.


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