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Students Damaged by `Work and Travel` Are Cropping Up

Posted February. 13, 2003 22:55,   


A college student Ms. Park (22) also made a contract with the G dispatching company last July and planned to leave on around November; however, she could not leave and spent the whole semester, which she absented herself from school, doing nothing.

Students, who participated on the work and travel program, which they could work on part-time and experience the culture, and got damaged, are continued. Not only departures are delayed, but also they cannot get refunds even the programs are canceled.

Around 50 people out of victims made a `gathering of people got canceled and refunded` at an Internet portal site `Daum` in the end of last year and are censuring the bad dispatching companies.

This program, which was superintended by the US Department of State and brought to Korea in 1999, let college students to work part-time at amusements parks, hotels, national parks, and resorts in America for around 4~5 months and to travel for a month.

If they pay 2~3 million won of participation fee, they could be paid 1~1.2 million won a month and learn English as well, so applicants tend to increase recently.

Students applied for this program last year was around 1,500, and the industry looks that around 2,500 students would apply this year.

▽Poor dispatching companies=Out of 26 overseas dispatching companies registered in the Ministry of Labor, the companies specializing in work and travel are 7. And if we add unregistered companies, around 20 companies are in business. The poor companies cannot grasp the situation of the local labor market, so they rely on their agencies in America. Therefore, if the employers break the contract with the agencies, the dispatching companies cannot do anything.

Especially, the American economy has been in the slump since the 9.11 Terror in 2001, employers are frequently breaking contracts.

In case that a contract is broken, the dispatching companies should contact another employer and make a `way`; however, since they rely on agencies, they are just delaying the departure.

▽Shabby administration and supervision=For the requisite of registering for dispatching business, there is no limit of a capital for a private business proprietor (50 million won for an incorporate), and they just need to have an office bigger than 10 pyong and to take out an insurance policy of 50 million won, so this is pointed out as another factor to encourage ill effect.

The supervising Ministry of Labor is doing an actual inspection of work places, working hours, and types of jobs of the participants once for every quarter; however, it is just conventional, so they cannot even grasp the cases.

Dong-Yong Min mindy@donga.com