Mr. Lee is a university student who has to pay eight million Won for tuition fees per year. It`s a very heavy burden for him, but most university students in Korea are in the same situation. Fortunately tuition fees is frozen this year, but he is scared to think that tuition fees will increase next semester.
Also he has about one million Won of living expenses every month those include four hundred thousand Won of monthly rent, two hundred thousand Won in educational expenses, one hundred thousand Won for his mobile phone and traffic expenses, plus some extra pocket money. Therefore, he needs a total of ten million Won per a semester to go to the university in Seoul even though he doesn`t waste his money. Mr. Lee feels sorry for imposing all his expenses on his parents this semester, so he started working a part-time job to lighten the financial burden forced on his parents.
Students who work at a part-time job are usually paid 3,500 Won per hour at a convenience store and 4,000 Won per hour at a coffee shop or a pub. Mr. Lee got a part-time job at a coffee shop. He can`t take time off to work at a part-time job during the week because of his classes, so he works three days including the weekend. He can earn about four hundred thousand Won per month through a part-time job. It barely makes up the monthly rent. It`s no wonder that many students take a year off to earn the money for tuition fees. Mr. Lee is also worried whether he has to take a year off to earn money or go to the university with the assistance of a student loan.
It seems to take long time to be recovered from depressed national economic trend. The economic condition has had an effect on the campus. The new semester has begun but many students feel the pressure of the economy. Also freshmen who have just entered the university are nervous about the high education costs. Every year in February all students are faced with high tuition fees and monthly rent. For now, many university students have used student loans, but the interest on a loan is gradually rising. If students continuously use student loans without thinking, they would be loaded with debts after graduating university.
Recently most tenants of one-room apartments nearby the university require deposit money between one million Won and thirty million Won. In reference to the university dormitories or student housing, there has been an increase in competition to pick students because its capacity is limited. Lately, the amount of students who live in student housing complexes as well as friend`s who share rooms to save monthly rent are increasing. After solving these two problems (tuition fee, housing costs), there still is an issue regarding the increase of living expenses caused by skyrocketing prices.
Besides, a student also has to consider their education expenses to prepare taking a job. Most students spend money on learning foreign languages or going overseas training. After all, excessive economic burden drives students into heavy competition for part-time jobs. Because of all economic burdens, doing a part-time job is now essential for students, not a choice. That doesn`t mean all students who want to do a part-time job get a job. In addition, many students are losing their jobs such as tutoring, because of the bad economic conditions.
There is no doubt that students have difficulty getting a job at a coffee shop, bakery, bar, convenience store or even a factory. Students have no choice about their working environment or wages. Worst of all, if an employer doesn`t pay the minimum wage, the students who work part-time jobs can`t complain because of the fear of getting fired. Moreover, even adults who were non-regular workers or unemployed people are jumping into this job competition.
Some of the students who failed to get a job now become an `Albajok` who live on doing several part-time jobs, not one regular job. In an economic depression like now, most of students who enter a company become a non-regular worker not a regular worker. Also, doing several part-time jobs can earn more money than wages of non-regular worker. Among many kinds of part-time jobs, there is a unique part-time job that guarantees high pay such as experimenting with new pharmaceuticals, acting for something the client wants or clothing a corpse.
Because of the increase in students who want to manage their tuition fees and living expenses, these unique part-time jobs that guarantee high wages attract the students` attention. Bioequivalence test (BE Test) called `Maruta Alba` is a sort of human body experimentation that tests the effect of pharmacist`s new drugs. Students are entering for this part-time job more and more because it requires about 3 days and pays 200~400 thousand Won.
Lee Woo-seok (Dept. of Physics, `07) recently participated in a BE test, comparing the effect of one pharmacist`s original drugs with another pharmacist`s designer drugs. He said, "I heard about the BE test from my seniors and I`m attracted to the idea that participating in the BE test will take three days and earn two hundred thousand to one million Won. To participate in the BE test, I had to follow many rules, such as no drinking, no medicines and no food a day before the test. Then, during the test, the doctor drew blood about ten times a day. Drawing blood all day is not easy as I expected.
I got several bruises in my arms. Participating in BE test can earn much more money than doing a common part-time job, however I do not particularly recommend participating in a BE test unless you are in urgent need of money". If someone participate in BE test, they will participate in this test after two or three month, so participating this test is very limited. "After participating in the BE test, it felt so tired and exhausted. Personally, I think doing a regular part-time job is better than participating in the BE test, because having a part-time job can create personal contacts and experience," he added. Several kinds of agency businesses also pay high wages for working time.
It`s a sort of work that buys people who act for something the client wants. Recently private enterprises that are acting for business related to children`s education and child care (such as helping children`s attending school replacing their parents) is an increasing trend. Among several kinds of agency businesses, acting as someone`s girlfriend or boyfriend can earn the highest money. In this case, students can earn between 100 and 200 thousand Won for about 3 hours. Moreover, if students do a great job with the client, they can be paid more than the basic wage. Comparing with common part-time jobs that are paid 3500~5000 Won, it could be called a high-class job.
Lee Su-jeong (Dept. of Public Administration `07) who works a part-time job in the university office and students` dining room said, "I`m doing two part-time jobs, one is doing office work that relates to the university and the other is selling meal tickets, but that doesn`t disturb my studying because I work at the university. Recently, most universities offered diverse part-time jobs to students such as selling meal tickets, arranging books in the library, helping with office work, or tutoring a young family member.
I think we can succeed with both our study and earning money to lighten our financial burden if the university offers more diverse jobs to UOS students." As she said, not only the UOS but also many universities offered part-time jobs to students. With doing part-time jobs in campus, students can save their time, money so they study their major or improve ability such as various certificates or speaking of foreign languages. Above all, the UOS progress volunteering program that called `Saessak Mentoring`. This program makes students help young family members and pays money to students for tutoring.
So if students participate in this program, they can help people and earn money at the same time. There is a saying, `Ask, and you shall receive.` There is no doubt that getting a part-time job recently is very difficult. But if students try very hard to find part-time jobs such as checking on university web site and several part-time job web sites and mobilizing personal relationships, they can get a part-time job as their wish.
The rising financial burdens stress students more and more, and this pressure makes students take part-time jobs instead of doing self-development or studying their major. University is now become a working stage not an educational stage. Doing part-time jobs for managing their living expenses or tuition fees is not bad, of course, but students should not neglect their studies because it is important for their self development, as well as their future. Students have to keep that in mind.