I did as much research as I could on the internet before I decided for sure I would take the rumored midnight run from my Hagwon. My main concern was that I would somehow be blacklisted at immigration and not be able to return to Korea for some time as an English teacher again. As far as I could tell,as badly as your employer wants to screw you with immigration like you may have screwed them leaving them without a teacher and no notice, there was nothing your employer could do to you for leaving. As long as I cancelled my visa at airport immigration on my way out by handing in my Alien Registration Card, I should be able to turn right around and submit documents for a new job immediately after I’ve left Korea. But first I need to make it out of Korea.When 9 am rolls around, I’m heading with my two bags for a bank near the school to send my money home. My transfer goes smoothly and the exchange rate is good. When 9.40 comes the phone calls from the school start, it takes five calls before they stop and I assume they are starting to figure it out. A few minutes later I get a text from a friend on the inside who tells me they checked my apartment, the Director knows it’s empty. Since I was still in the neighborhood that the school and my apartment was in, I try to stay hidden on side streets so I won’t be spotted by anyone from the school driving around until I know the field trip must be well underway. I head for the airport early, my flight isn’t until around 5pm. When I get there I know the last hurdle in my run is immigration. I’m confident I’ll walk straight through with no problems but still there is a small thought in my mind about the possibility that the school might have found a way for immigration to question me further or perhaps hold me. When I turn in my ARC at the desk and ask the woman to cancel my visa it passes unquestioned without raising an eyebrow. Everything goes smoothly and I make it out of Korea just as I thought I would.
Sometimes you just need to quit a job in Korea, whether you’re getting out of Korea for good, or you’re immediately coming back like me. It passes with deserved guilt, but you can work that much harder at your next job in Korea to offset the bad feelings towards foreigners you left on your way out last time.