Recruiter In Korea

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Archive for December 2009

Foreign taxpayers to enjoy deductions, online services

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Good news for foreigners residing in Korea.

Foreign taxpayers to enjoy deductions, online services
Limit for medical expenses raised, filing guide released
December 23, 2009

Foreign wage earners residing in Korea can take tax deductions on up to 7 million won ($5,900) worth of medical expenses for their dependent family members this year, up from 5 million won last year, the National Tax Service said yesterday, with plastic surgery costs also to be included until the end of this year.

The National Tax Service yesterday released a guide for foreign workers in Korea looking to file their year-end tax settlement forms, summarizing what had been changed from 2008.

All workers who earn wage income here are subject to the year-end tax settlement, except for workers on daily contracts. They must submit year-end tax settlement forms with supporting documents to their withholding agents, usually their employers, by the end of January.

The agency recommended foreign workers refer to its “Easy Guide,” available on the NTS English Web site, http://www.nts.go.kr/eng.

According to the tax agency, the number of foreigners filing tax settlements has steadily increased to 345,000 last year from 282,000 in 2007 and 242,000 in 2006.

Foreign workers get special tax benefits. They can choose between exempting 30 percent of their wages earned in Korea from tax altogether, or a 15 percent flat tax on their total wages. Pay for engineers from abroad working on technology-transfer contracts here or for researchers in laboratories is exempt from all wage income tax for five years.

Any foreigner who is a resident of a country with an educational tax exemption provision in a tax treaty with Korea will see all income from teaching in authorized schools exempt from tax for up to two years.

Only residents of Korea are entitled to personal deductions for dependent relatives and “special deductions” for insurance premium payments, educational and medical expenses and others. Anyone whose “domicile” is in Korea or whose occupation requires a “place of residence” in Korea for at least one year or more is regarded as a resident, however.

Falling under “other income deductions” are special benefits for credit card spending and some savings accounts, also granted only to Korean residents.

The only personal deductions available to non-residents are those applicable to the taxpayer. They include a basic deduction on 1.5 million won and an additional deduction on 1 million won for seniors aged 70 or older.

By Moon So-young [symoon@joongang.co.kr]

Better get a Korean to translate/retrieve the documents for you though:

A foreign resident of Korea equipped with a Public Internet Certificate can easily acquire supporting documents, such as tuition bills or credit card bills, needed to claim deductions online at the NTS’s year-end tax settlement Web site, http://www.yesone.go.kr.

However, as of now, the site is only available in the Korean language.

“We are preparing to launch an English-language simplified year-end tax settlement Web site,” said Lee Dong-shin, who manages affairs related to international taxes at the NTS. “The service will be available starting with next year’s year-end tax settlement.”

Written by recruiterinkorea

December 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm

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More People Means More Jobs, Productivity, Study Finds

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I don’t think this article makes sense.  Sure more people=more jobs but it also=more expenses.  People are not commodities and they must live and eat too.  So this may benefit the ‘people’ tending to ‘people’ but what about the ‘people’ being tended too?  Where are their jobs going to come from?

More People Means More Jobs, Productivity, Study Finds

The birth of one person generates an average of W1.2 billion in production and jobs for 1.15 people during their lifetime, a study claims (US$1=W1,180). The Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs said Tuesday that it asked Kim Hyun-sook of Soongsil University and Woo Suk-jin of Myongji University to study the effects of childbirth on job creation and productivity.

The study is based on the analysis of individual consumption patterns and their impact on related industries at each development stage — infancy, schooling, work and retirement.

In infancy, a child generates production worth W44 million and jobs for 0.17 people in such sectors as the medical and childcare and infant formula production industries. During the school years, a child creates jobs for 0.72 people while increasing productive effects to W229 million, mostly in education services and the stationery and publication industries. Researchers say say a child’s actual consumption is about half the volume of production it creates. They estimate that bringing up one child from delivery to college graduation costs W140 million.

Working-age individuals generate the production effect of W393 million and jobs for 0.067 people. In the retirement period, one person creates W217 million in production and jobs for 0.13 people in related industries like the medical service. Over a lifetime, a person also generates production effects of W344 million and jobs for 0.065 people by buying houses and cars. Even before entering the labor market, a person creates jobs for 0.885 people from birth through schooling, according to the study.

Kim said, “If the total birthrate jumps 5 percent from 1.19 in 2008 to 1.26, individuals will generate W970 billion in production and jobs for 3,700 people in infancy alone.” Kim Yong-soo of the Health Ministry, said, “Many people have warned that a low birthrate will weaken the nation’s mid- and long-term growth potential. The results of the study prove the warning, indicating that a low birthrate can result in fewer jobs in the near future.”

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 23, 2009 11:48 KST

Written by recruiterinkorea

December 23, 2009 at 2:00 pm

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All Teachers to Be Subject to Evaluation

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Well according to the article, it looks like it’s regarding Korean teachers in the public school system.  Ummm, you mean that they weren’t evaluating them up to now?

Guess not:

Until now, the ministry has set faculty quotas for each state university and given budgets in accordance with the number of professors who can earn salaries in proportion to their work experience regardless of their achievements.

Looks like the government is trying to get its act together for public school reform one step at a time.

Written by recruiterinkorea

December 23, 2009 at 1:53 pm

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South Korean ‘Spec’ Craze

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Interesting article from Hankyoreh.  Very true in my opinion and a big (perhaps the only?) reason that there are so many foreigners in Korea teaching English.  It’s a vicious rat-race but how many of the tens of millions can actually claim success?

Seems like the only ones that can get ahead are the ones with money.  Regardless, it truly sucks to be a kid in this country.

» A graphic illustration of what the spec craze in South Korea requires in terms of excessive competition on examination scores, language acquisition and internship experience.

South Korea is in 2009 a “Republic of Specs.” The word “spec,” used to refer to an individual’s academic and career background, has infected everyone. Everyone is perceived through these specs. Teens for universities they are attempting to get into, those in their 20s job seeking, those in their 30s and 40s seeking marriage and promotion, and even those who are older for retirement. Since the atmosphere in which these specs matter has been forced upon us, being able to reflect and live a beautiful life have taken a back seat. The names below are pseudonyms.

The brutal life of elementary school students

It is 7:00 a.m. Mom wakes me up. My name is Kang Saet-byeol. I am 11-years-old and a fifth grader attending an elementary school in Seoul’s Gangseo neighborhood. As soon as I wake up, I have to finish my homework since I have no time in the afternoons. At 2:00 p.m., I attend piano lessons. When that is over, I attend an English language academy to study for the TOEIC since it is required in order to get into an international middle school. Afterwards, I study math. At 5:00 p.m., I go home where a tutor is waiting for me. When vacation comes, my friend and I will go to an English camp in Canada. What am I to do? I want to play, however, I have to go an academy. Only there can I meet my friends.

High school teens with no time to rest
Elementary school kids are crybabies. You, too, will have to go to a multi-subject academy during your middle school years, and Korean, English and Math academies in high school. My name is Kim Yu-na. I am a senior at a high school in Anyang located in the Gyeonggi region. Yesterday, my university entrance exam scores came in. Getting into college during the regular admissions period looks like it will be tough, so I will have to look into other ways to get into school. I found a school though that does not require an essay test, but it still requires aptitude tests. Nowadays, my friends are studying for the TOEFL, TEPS, the SAT and even U.S. AP exams.

The wonderful ‘Lee Taebaek’ Years

After you graduate, you are considered a “Lee Taebaek,” a pun suggesting half of the population in their 20s are unemployed. I will be 29-years-old next year, and I am still looking for a job. I have specs coming out of my ears. I majored in Vietnamese at a decent university in Seoul and my minor was journalism. I scored an 860 on the TOEIC and earned a grade point average of 3.47. I also spent a year in Vietnam. After graduating in 2006, I worked as an intern at a computer gaming company, but when I was not rehired, I took work as an interpreter and translator for a year. I also participated in an overseas internship sponsored by KOTRA. Still, those wicked big companies just look at my documents and dismiss me.

Why is South Korea’s society so strangled by specs? Experts diagnose that the insecurity produced by excessive competition and the struggle to survive is producing this “spec craze.” Accordingly, it easily leads to the indiscriminate accumulation of specs, and it has even lead to the problem of accumulating “false specs” in order to secure college admission. Instances of high schools forging volunteer work certificates or over-issuing testimonials have been discovered. Lee Cheol-ho, chairman of Antihakbul.org’s policy committee, says the Lee administration’s new educational policy that promotes an admission officer system and foreign language high school reforms is responsible for increasing the numbers of high school students engaged in collecting specs. Lee says as students get caught up in building up specs, they are unable to look at the world more broadly and may get lost in their own vanity.

Please direct questions or comments to [englishhani@hani.co.kr]

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December 22, 2009 at 1:27 pm

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Singles Account for 20% of Households

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One of the few readable articles on Korea Times.

Statistics Korea reported Monday that one-member households accounted for 20.1 percent of the total in 2008, up from 15.6 percent in 2000 and 6.9 percent in 1985.

The ratio will likely continue to rise in the future, with more senior citizens living alone in line with an increasing life expectancy.

Additionally, many young adults these days are delaying marriage and choosing to live alone due to financial and other reasons, while more single women are living on their own amid the rising divorce rate.

The statistical office said views regarding the institution of marriage are changing here, with 27.7 percent of the population saying marriage was a matter of choice last year, up from 24 percent in 1998. Only 68 percent thought it was of major importance that men and women tie the knot, down from 73.9 percent over the 10-year period.

Found this statement interesting:

Meanwhile, it said that Korea spends less than other OECD member economies in public education, but that students here perform better academically on the back of booming private education.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy spent $2,426 per head in 2005 to educate pre-school aged students, ranking 24th among 25 OECD members.

The OECD average was $4,888. The story was pretty much the same for Korea’s expenditure on elementary, middle and high school students, as well as collegians.

However, Korean students scored much higher grades in reading, mathematics and science than their OECD peers, ranking within the top five for the respective subjects. Their superior academic performance is attributed to widespread private education here.

I guess that’s perhaps even ‘public’ education systems here are user-based meaning that there is a tuition to send kids to school which allows less taxpayer’s money to be allocated to public education.

In other countries, many who fall behind in public school go to private learning institutes to catch up. But here, the more academically excellent a student is, the more likely it is that he or she is enrolled in private institutes.

Additionally, the richer parents are, the more they spend on children’s private education.

Korea’s employment rate is not higher than the OECD average, contradicting the widely-held belief that the labor market conditions here are better than those of advanced economies.

The country’s jobless rate stood at 3.34 percent in 2008, much lower than the OECD average of 6.05 percent. But the employment rate, which measures the percentage of employed people aged 15-64 against the entire working-age population, came to 63.8 percent in 2008, lower than the OECD’s average 66.5 percent.

Additionally, the employment rate of those aged 15-29 stood at 41.3 percent, lower than the 59.6 percent in Canada and 51.2 percent in the United States.

And:

It said this discrepancy is due to Korea’s larger economically inactive population, which makes its jobless rate appear lower, as those who have given up seeking jobs and are staying home are not classified as unemployed.

Now this is true.  I know of countless able-bodied men and women who simply choose not to work.  I’m not talking about college-aged students; these are folks in their late-twenties and thirties.

With the introduction of a five-day workweek, Koreans are now enjoying more leisure activities and spend more money on outdoor activities. The nation spent 4.5 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on leisure and cultural activities, much lower than Iceland’s 9.9 percent and Britain’s 8.6 percent.

More Koreans feel insecure about their safety and less trustworthy about others. About 61.4 percent of Koreans said the society has become more dangerous, due mainly to rising heinous crimes, the office said.


What the hell does this have to do with the article?!?!
Only 28.2 percent of Koreans said people are trustworthy, the 14th lowest rate among 19 OECD member countries. About 68 percent of Swedish and 58.9 percent of Finish respondents said they trust other members of society.

leehs@koreatimes.co.kr

Written by recruiterinkorea

December 22, 2009 at 10:05 am

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Take everything you read with a grain of salt…

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Perhaps I’m stating the obvious but remember to not believe everything you read on the internet.  What I mean by this are the reviews of hagwons and recruiters, mostly on Dave’s.  Of course most of these reviews are negative and and most of the time these recruiters (and hagwons) deserve the negative publicity.  I’ve never once seen a school or recruiter get 100% positive reviews.  With regards to schools/hagwons, even the best of the best (great management, follows the contract to a tee, always paid on time and in full, etc), will have a negative review.  Nowhere is perfect and one would be very hard pressed if he/she sought out that ‘perfect’ position.

I think most of the complaints that instructors face are warranted whether they be major issues or small.  However, through my experience, I’ve met/spoken to a lot of you cuckoos too.   Sometimes these guys just want to stir the pot and create havoc for something that never happened.  Perhaps they’re disgruntled or just have a chip on their shoulder.  I know that lots of these guys have a severe lack of self-awareness, but in the case that you do exhibit some sense of your distorted personality, stay at home (home being your home country).  You’ll save yourself and lots of others much trouble.

Don’t believe everything you read.  A school that previously had a poor reputation may have changed ownership and things are on the up and up.  Who knows?  Best thing to always do, speak to current instructors and faculties at the school.

Written by recruiterinkorea

December 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm

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Oh Korea Times

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Another piece of outstanding journalism the Korea Times.

A teenage girl distracted one driver by flashing her breasts at passing motorists and got hit by the car in New Zealand.

According to The Southland Times, Cherelle May Dudfield, 18, dared to flash passing cars in the southern city of Invercargill after a night out drinking with her friends on Sept. 27.

She claimed that she was egged on by her friend. “She tried to run from its path when she saw a car coming toward her but she got hit by a distracted driver. She rolled over the bonnet of the car and cracked the windscreen but she had not suffered any big injuries,” police prosecutor Sergeant Rob Mills said.

Duty solicitor John Fraser said while Dudfield’s actions had been “stupidity in the extreme,” there was a question whether the driver could have been more careful. However, Fraser conceded the driver could have been distracted.

Judge David Holderness called her actions dangerous, adding that she was lucky not to have been badly hurt. She was convicted this week and fined $275 for her September incident.

Can someone tell me how this news is relevant to Korea?  It seems that they’re running out of reporters (and definitely short of an editor) as there are a lot of submissions originally written in Korean then translated to English (한글 번역).

Soooo stupid but too funny!  Keep up the ‘great’ work Korea Times!

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December 18, 2009 at 11:56 am

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