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English First Jobs in Indonesia
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I worked at EF a decade ago, we could only use a maximum of 1 million rupiah in medical costs per contract. $100 per year! Now that's OK if you have the flu and a case of Bali belly once or twice, but if you get into serious trouble, you could be seriously out of pocket. Being in hospital for a few days could cost a couple of thousand dollars at a decent place, so unless you have insurance, you are taking a risk.

When I worked at one school in Jakarta, the owners refused to pay for a senior teacher's surgery and she was over $1000 out of pocket. This was despite a contractual promise to pay for medical expenses. They hadn't actually bought insurance and reneged on the promise. The arguments Plumpy Nut discusses about health are far from alarmist- they are real and serious issues. Expat teachers in Indonesia are often struck down by dengue fever and typhoid- I know several who this has happened to- so lack of health insurance is a real risk. I would certainly advise asking how much EF will pay in the case of a health emergency. If it is a pittance, you should get your own insurance or get a better job.


Last edited by bradleycooper on Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jef dam



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, Plumpy Nut, you've never worked or lived in Indonesia. Cool, although it might be an idea to not advise people about a country you've not worked in.

Bradley, your insistence on turning EVERY SINGLE THREAD into a TBI rant nearly 3 years after your "unfortunate" departure is beyond sad at this stage, that's before even touching on the, what is it, 3 (?) blogs you have on the go. Language school in SE Asia in dodgy practices shocker!!!!!!!!! No doubt this post will be analyzed in depth and I'll be named and shamed on one of your blogs tomorrow. Again.

@ The OP:

The money, the hours, and the health insurance in EF are all terrible. However, if you've never worked in ESL you'd be hard pressed to find a better starting point. They'll hire you unseen, give you a wide variety of classes to teach, they'll sort you out with a place to live, and they'll cover your flights. It's an easy job playing spelling games with rich kids, the money you get is appropriate for the work that you (won't) do. It's a stepping stone, no more, no less.

As with any industry, if you have experience and proper qualifications you can do much, much better than an entry level position, so look around a bit.

Wall Street, TBI, ECC, Direct English, AIM, Enlingua, IALF (if you have a DELTA or MA) will all pay better money and provide better benefits.

If you have any questions or need any help or advice PM me.

Good luck.
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jef Dam manages to launch ad hominem attacks on 2 users in a single post! What gives him the right to call other people's posts "rants" when he angrily disparages everyone who doesn't agree with his opinions? Nor is this aggressive behavior unusual for this poster. I don't know why he feels so threatened by other people's differing experiences, but his desire to invalidate anti-TBI testimonies is strong as he has now got angry about this at least half a dozen times.

To clear the record, I have 1 blog about TBI and the Indonesian TEFL industry, not 3. There was once another one but TBI went to wordpress.com and got it blocked in Indonesia because they didn't want people to know the truth about their dodgy business. I then ordered my own domain at a ".org" site for a mere $17 a year so that they would not be able to shut it down so easily. It has worked a treat and access from within Indonesia is great now.

I stopped work at TBI 18 months ago not 3 years, but Jef Dam has a long history of attacking me on various forums and plays very loose with the truth. He also posted vicious personal attacks against me and other TBI critics on his own blog. But this is all by the by. Letting people know about TBI's shameful practises is too important to be silenced by insults and ad hominem attacks. Therefore, I am still in contact with various former TBI victims who were issued death threats, not paid salaries and other disgusting practises. Their negative testimonials have often been featured on my blog, and they post for no other reason than a desire to help other people stay clear from TBI, where they were humiliated, threatened and worse, all for a handful of rupiah. At least 8 former teachers besides myself have offered similar negative testimonies about TBI.

As for whether $650 to $750 a month at EF Indonesia is going to be enough to live on in 2013, ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you might exact on $22-$25 a day when you have to pay your own rent, electricity and so on. If you are thinking beyond "skint", you are getting close to the mark.
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jef dam



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vicious, angry attacks because people disagree with me Laughing

We'll not discuss the reams and reams and reams of abusive blog posts you wrote about and emails you sent to pretty much everyone you once worked with.

Or how you accuse anyone who has something positive to say about that particular company of being some kind of high-level operative undermining your resistance movement.

http://tbilanguageschool.org/?s=chezal+tudor

FYI, I thought TBI was OK. The money was good, the holidays (which I was not allowed take by my line manager, by the by) were adequate, and the health insurance was top class. From a staff perspective, middle management was poor, I never had any dealings with the upper management, and the teachers working there were for the most part knowledgeable and helpful, regardless of weather or not they complied with DIKNAS regulations.

Do the board a favor and keep the TBI chat to one of the multiple TBI threads that you've started instead making every other thread a one sided discussion about what monsters they are.

@OP:

Apologies for the tangent this thread has taken, I understand it's not helpful in the slightest. Again, if you need any advice or help PM me.
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jef dam wrote:
It's an easy job playing spelling games with rich kids, the money you get is appropriate for the work that you (won't) do. It's a stepping stone, no more, no less.


I started off on EF and focused on that but as Jef Dam has launched a 2nd ad hominem attack on me, let me just respond to his comments. First, he worked for my partner when my partner was a manager at TBI Kuningan and this comment of his above described his work ethic perfectly. He mostly just played games with kids at TBI too and got VERY angry when complaints came in from older learners that he was not a professional teacher. I can assure people that many EF teachers know there is more to TEFL teaching than playng Hangman, but this poster thinks that working for EF means not doing work. It's there in his own words. I can assure people that doing nothing was his decision, as some EF teachers do work hard and care about their students. The company does attract some idle types however. The reasoning seems to be that EF pays peanuts, so I might as well do nothing. I can almost see the logic but it means kids suffer and teachers are supposed to care about kid's education.

Also I'd note that TBI has a long history of using puppets to silence dissent on Dave's ESL Cafe and other forums. The former CELTA trainer was endlessly boasting in meetings that he had "silenced" critics on Dave's ESL Cafe. When I searched through old threads, two users had been attacking critics for years. Every time someone complained about TBI, two particular users would accuse of the same things over and over: "someone with an axe to grind", they have a "bee in their bonnet", "a disgruntled former employee" and "thanks for the rant", were typical comments. In the world of TBI, criticising their company means that you are unreasonable and irrational person. Any negative testimonials against TBI are necessarily "rants". There is a circular logic to it all which invalidates any dissenting views at all. But check the TBI Bekasi thread out to give you some idea of how deep problems go with this company.

Overall, I'm glad Jef Dam has pleasant memories of TBI even though he quit it himself in a very angry, disruptive manner. He has a right to interpret the past as he sees fit, and to rewrite it if he sees fit. I wished he'd stuck to that view without vitriolic attacks on me and Plumpy Nut. But in my view, the TEFL industry in Indonesia ought to raise wages and clean up its act. I now live in another country and even here many TEFL teachers have heard about the DIKNAS regulations and the bad rep of some of the schools and decided it's "too much trouble". EF's wages are too low and need to go up. TBI needs to get rid of its visa scams for unqualified teachers and accept that it is endangering their own reputation and teachers with their reckless conduct.


Last edited by bradleycooper on Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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BekasiWhistle



Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EF offers terrible money and everyone in Jakarta knows it. Some people enjoy their time there but most people are running to the boss for a cash advance before pay day. Personally I wouldn't consider working for them. I've stayed out of work for a couple of months before looking for something else rather than surrendering to EF Swara.

As for TBI, I urge all English teachers to boycott them. Every teacher I know who worked at TBI Bekasi had their phones and wallets robbed in the staff room while they were in class. I was also mugged on pay day in the car park. There were death threats and one teacher ended up in hospital beaten up by 3 thugs on motorbikes just after she quit the school. Death threats were run of the mill. We all were threatened with arrest for working on a tourist visa if we didn't agree to terrible wages. 6 mill a month in my case. OK it's one branch but when we contacted the main branch they never got back to us. Bradley doesn't exaggerate how bad they are.
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Puppets



Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Location: Indonesia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Bradley and Bekasi Whistle. I know people who work for TBI and also worked at EF myself for quite a while.

EF basically take advantage of young travellers. They employ young Uni graduates with no teaching qualifications and have them working at times long hours for 7.5 - 9 million a month including weekends.

Or they employ older guys or girls who basically got fed up of working in England or wherever and came to Indonesia for the easy life.

Like Bradley said, EF have increased their prices a dozen times when I worked for them yet they never gave the teachers pay rises.

As my friend once said to me who works at an International School in Tanggerang "Welcome to real education mate".
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p1randal



Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you have made your point about TBI Mr. Cooper. Why the admins haven't stopped your endless rants is beyond me.
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D-DuB



Joined: 28 Oct 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice everyone.

For the record, for those who asked, my B.A. was not in English. It was in general humanities degree (religious studies & international studies). Is it THAT beneficial to have a degree in English? I sort of wish I majored in English now.. I think I've done an equal amount of reading books and writing papers as an English major.. just in a more specialized field. I guess schools looking for English teachers don't see it that way though..

Also, EF Palembang did offer a shared accomodation...
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D-DuB wrote:
Thanks for the advice everyone.

For the record, for those who asked, my B.A. was not in English. It was in general humanities degree (religious studies & international studies). Is it THAT beneficial to have a degree in English? I sort of wish I majored in English now.. I think I've done an equal amount of reading books and writing papers as an English major.. just in a more specialized field. I guess schools looking for English teachers don't see it that way though...


The problem is not schools. I think many language chains are crying out for more Native Speaker teachers, with or without degrees. The English degree is a requirement of DIKNAS, the Indonesian Dept. Of Ed. However, EF seems to be able to circumvent these regulations due to their connections. Some other schools can't pull this trick.

Palembang is a hot, sweaty place with few expats or tourists. It's a long way from anywhere else really. Still, you will be a minor celebrity if you live there.
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chezal



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bradleycooper wrote:


Palembang is a hot, sweaty place with few expats or tourists. It's a long way from anywhere else really. Still, you will be a minor celebrity if you live there.


If it was me I'd go to Palembang. Sumatra is cheaper than Java with lots of nice places to visit if you don't mind going via bus etc. If you are into the outdoors it is great.
I did 4 years as an ESL teacher in Sumatra from 2004-2008 and loved it for the most part. Yes it can get boring at times but you are forced out of your comfort zone. Yes there may not be many expats but for me that meant my Indonesian became fluent and I still meet up with a number of my good Indonesian friends I made while living there.

I'm now living in Jakarta and enjoy it as well because I have a good mix of friends who are into trail running. Though I don't think i would have enjoyed living here as much if I was on an EF salary. I'm on much more than an ESL salary now as I upped my qualifications so I can work in an international school and still the money disappears every month ;p

At the end of the day a place is what you make it Smile
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Mr. Kalgukshi
Mod Team
Mod Team


Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 5947
Location: FSU 13-0 -- Go 'Noles! 2014 BCS Bowl Champions

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WARNING - THE ONLY ONE THAT WILL BE ISSUED:

Members pursuing individual agendas here and engaging in contentious behavior should expect to be permanently banned along with their ISPs.

Members observing such behavior are requested to advise the Mod Team by Report Post or PM as soon as possible.

Monopolizing and derailing any and all threads with individual agendas is not tolerated here and it is quickly going to end on the Indonesia forum.

I kid you not.
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