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I'd like opinions on this job please!
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Gibuchi



Joined: 26 Feb 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:57 am    Post subject: I'd like opinions on this job please! Reply with quote

I've got an interview with a company, (I think people round these parts would call it a (English mill', or something). These are the specs of the company:

Beijing
5 day work week of 35 hours
up to 25 teaching hours
10 hours of administrative work
The day starts in the afternoon for approximately 6 hours, and 9 hours on Saturday and Sunday
They said I would be tier 4, making 8000RMB base
In addition to 50RMB per teaching hour
A 3000RMB living allowance (we find our own accommodation)
10,000RMB flight allowance paid upon completion of contract
And a completion bonus of 6000RMB
Pre-made lesson plans, with opportunity to supplement as we see fit
We come in with an "F" visa we supply for ourselves, then we switch over to a "Z" visa after the "F" expires (take a jaunt to HK or somewhere to comply with regulations, covered by the company as part of the 10,000 flight allowance)

As for holidays off, I think it's only public holidays (Christmas, new years, etc.), but otherwise, it's a year round, 1 year contract.

As for me, this would be my first teaching position abroad as an ESL (no previous ESL teaching experience). I have academic teaching experience (working with developmentally disabled children, teaching assistant, etc., and am an online adjunct faculty designing and teaching 2 courses for a professional school, starting in the fall). I recently became TESOL certified with a 100 hour course.

I have a follow-up interview here shortly, and would appreciate any advice people would like to lend. Thanks in advance!

~Gibuchi
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1544
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:44 am    Post subject: Re: I'd like opinions on this job please! Reply with quote

Gibuchi wrote:
I've got an interview with a company, (I think people round these parts would call it a (English mill', or something). These are the specs of the company:

Beijing
5 day work week of 35 hours
up to 25 teaching hours
10 hours of administrative work
The day starts in the afternoon for approximately 6 hours, and 9 hours on Saturday and Sunday
They said I would be tier 4, making 8000RMB base
In addition to 50RMB per teaching hour
A 3000RMB living allowance (we find our own accommodation)
10,000RMB flight allowance paid upon completion of contract
And a completion bonus of 6000RMB
Pre-made lesson plans, with opportunity to supplement as we see fit
We come in with an "F" visa we supply for ourselves, then we switch over to a "Z" visa after the "F" expires (take a jaunt to HK or somewhere to comply with regulations, covered by the company as part of the 10,000 flight allowance)

As for holidays off, I think it's only public holidays (Christmas, new years, etc.), but otherwise, it's a year round, 1 year contract.

As for me, this would be my first teaching position abroad as an ESL (no previous ESL teaching experience). I have academic teaching experience (working with developmentally disabled children, teaching assistant, etc., and am an online adjunct faculty designing and teaching 2 courses for a professional school, starting in the fall). I recently became TESOL certified with a 100 hour course.

I have a follow-up interview here shortly, and would appreciate any advice people would like to lend. Thanks in advance!

~Gibuchi


I'd decline.

I penciled this job out at 13k+/month (8000 + 50*100 hours) which is ok, but that is a lot of hours (if you get the hours). I don't know whether or not 3000 is sufficient for Beijing rent but you could probably get something decent for that (with most jobs outside of the largest cities, an apartment is provided at no cost). Maybe some Beijingers will add their opinions. Would it be reasonably near the job? Beijing is a place where it is easy to spend money.

On the plus side, the hours seem to be grouped well, i.e. no split shifts. Weekends are to be expected for language school jobs. (on edit: perhaps the weekends are split shifts. Long lunches are common in China.)

But the killer for me is two-fold:

1. coming over on an f-visa; and

2. IF they still keep you by the time it expires, YOU pay to go to HK on your so-called flight allowance.

Starting with the latter: most contracts with foreigners teaching EFL in China offer either flight reimbursement (one-way for 6 months, round-trip for 1 year) or a travel bonus that covers a substantial portion of the cost. Many pay this even if the foreign teacher doesn't end up returning home that year. Why should YOU have to pay for a flight to get an employment visa (and hotels, and other expenses) when the company should sponsor you for an employment visa from the get go?

The reason is either that they are not qualified to sponsor working visas for foreign teachers, or they want to avoid the risk that they don't like or don't end up needing you. YOU are assuming all of the risk of this venture. The school can make up any excuse or just tell you to take a flying bleep and you are now on an expensive Beijing holiday without a job. This is a huge red flag. Pass on them.
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Gibuchi



Joined: 26 Feb 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick reply Raodwalker!

I just completed the second interview, and forgot to mention a few things in the original post:

In coming to China, we're supplied with a hotel room for 15, which we're encouraged to find our accommodations in that time period

This is what they say about the visas:
What kind of visas are offered?
We recommend that everyone apply for the F visa when coming to
China, as it makes getting into the country easier.We do this because
dealing with visas and switching them over to more appropriate visas is
a lot easier domestically.
When applying for the visa, we encourage new teachers to say that they
are going to be a consultant for an English company(with no income) or
that they are coming as a cultural ambassador (cultural exchange).
Most westerners who come here to teach do so in this manner and
remain on this visa until they leave. The company will renew your visa
domestically and cover the costs each time the visaexpires.
Z Work Visa
If teachers qualify for a Z work visa, we will convert your Fvisa for you
once you arrive. To qualify for the Z visa, teachers need to have a four
year college degree, have two years out-of-college work experience, be
25 years-old, and take the health exam at one of (Ithink) two
state-approved hospitals here in Beijing.
F Business Visa
As many candidates do not have 2 years working experience, you can
also come to China by applying for and staying on an F business visa.
The school will email you a scanned copy of the business invitation
letter. Please print it in color and take it to the nearby Chinese consulate
to apply for the F visa. Remember, this time you are applying for an F
business visa for business purposes and business purposes only. If you
tell the consulate you are traveling to China to teach English, you may
be required to show proof of more teaching credentials. It may cost you
more problems. After you land in China, the school will assist you in
getting the visa extension and will pay the visa extension fee. It is quite
common for teachers to come to China in this way. It is up to your
judgmentto evaluate your qualification to apply for the Z or F visa.
No matter which visa new teachers end up on, once they get here and
find an apartment, they will need to register with the police department
at your new address.

Additionally, there's a contract to be signed for a 1 year commitment (though as I'm reading, dishonoring contracts has been known).

Still decline?
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3233

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
5 day work week of 35 hours


A resounding, unequivocal NO! I don't think ANY amount of money could make me do this. (Well, you know what I mean.)
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1544
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gibuchi wrote:
Thanks for the quick reply Raodwalker!


What kind of visas are offered?
We recommend that everyone apply for the F visa when coming to
China, as it makes getting into the country easier.We do this because
dealing with visas and switching them over to more appropriate visas is
a lot easier domestically.


I believe this is a lie. The school needs the same documentation for a z-visa regardless, and it's certainly not easier for you to fly to HK or wherever to go to the consulate (IF that consulate will agree to process your visa- they may not if it isn't your home country). It's easier for them to get rid of you if they don't like you or don't need you. Who are you going to complain to?


When applying for the visa, we encourage new teachers to say that they
are going to be a consultant for an English company(with no income)
or
... Again, who are you going to complain to when you LIED to the government to get your f-visa? But they aren't honoring the contract! Get yourself a Beijing lawyer at your expense and fight them in Chinese court! That'll show them!

Z Work Visa
If teachers qualify for a Z work visa, we will convert your Fvisa for you
once you arrive. To qualify for the Z visa, teachers need to have a four
year college degree, have two years out-of-college work experience, be
25 years-old, and take the health exam at one of (Ithink) two
state-approved hospitals here in Beijing.
F Business Visa
...
It is up to your
judgmentto evaluate your qualification to apply for the Z or F visa.


Clarification: You cannot apply for a z-visa without documents supplied by the sponsoring school. The school needs to obtain a working permit based on your qualifications, and then a "Visa Notification" aka "invitation letter" from the government to send to you in hard copy, for you to take to the consulate.

No matter which visa new teachers end up on, once they get here and
find an apartment, they will need to register with the police department
at your new address.
TRUE!

Additionally, there's a contract to be signed for a 1 year commitment (though as I'm reading, dishonoring contracts has been known).

Still decline?


One year contracts are the norm for foreign teachers, except perhaps for true international schools.

Yes, still decline. What is your degree? You seem to have two years teaching experience. It doesn't have to be in EFL/ESL. Many schools will offer you a z-visa if you remotely qualify. A school that sponsors you for a z-visa from the get go has spent time and money investing in having you teach at their school. They are less likely to screw you than a school that advises you to come over on false pretenses and that knows that you are not in kosher status. (There are teachers working in China on visas other than z-visas, but if you aren't desperate, I don't advise it.)
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Gibuchi



Joined: 26 Feb 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My degrees are in Behavioral Psychology, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

I'm eager to leave, to be honest, and this is the first place that has the minimum requirements that I need to survive in a place other than where I'm at. I intend to supplement the income with either private lessons (see what the market is when I get there), or an under-the-table bartending job or the the like. The biggest obstacle I'm seeing, is I have no experience, so Japanese jobs are hard to come by, and Euro jobs don't seem too common. I can't take the best route, and go to a country to start knocking on doors, and I'm not interested in the middle east, or Korea.
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Nkengaola



Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Wanzhou, Chongqing

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in a third tier city, and I make 7,600 RMB, and I get housing. I don't see how you could survive in Beijing only making 8,000 RMB.

You CAN get a job with your qualifications. Coming over illegally is asking for trouble. If you are set in working in one of the first tier cities, you're going to need more money.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2643
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has the school mentioned a visa trip to HK?
That's a 3.5 hour flight.
You are closer to Seoul (1.5 hours).
A legit school in Beijing would mention that IMO.
I note your eagerness to leave and that could be financial.
But many posters have stated you need a wad of backup cash if you come on anything other than the normal visa.
On balance - too much downside to this one.
Sorry Sad
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Gibuchi



Joined: 26 Feb 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like to hear the feedback that you're all giving!

You were right Non Sequitur, part of it is financial, part of it is urge to get out while I can, before I'm stuck in a soul-sucking, ok-paying, gray job that I'd have to work 51 weeks to finally take a 1 week vacation. wash-rinse-repeat. Not my cup of tea.

Yes, they mentioned that teachers leave the country (to Korea or HK, or wherever they choose), to comply with the regulations.
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doogsville



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 700
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't do it. Take your time, you have plenty of it. First of all the money is not good, and secondly, they are encouraging you, no, telling you, to lie and break the law. Also they are lying to you. It is not a 'lot easier domestically' to deal with visas, and no one should be 'switching' your visa anyway. They should be providing you with the relevant paperwork to enable you to get a Z visa at home, come over using that, then get your residence permit when your here. This forum is awash with advice about that. Do not, under any circumstances, trust these people. If they cannot provide you with the proper papers, then they most likely don't have a licence to employ foreign teachers, and may not even have a licence to run an English school.

Sometimes it seems that there are more scamming, money hungry, criminally minded businesses out there pretending to be English schools than there are honest, reliable, genuine schools. But they are out there, so it's worth taking the time to find one.

As much as you feel your life sucks at the moment, ask yourself if being overworked and underpaid, illegally, with a very real chance of being caught, in a foreign country, thousands of kilometres from home, would suck any less. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the pollution in Beijing.

Keep looking.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2643
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're 30 or under go on a working holiday to Australia or NZ.
You'll mix with a lot of younger people from different countries some of whom will be considering becoming FTs, or have done it.
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3325
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

why are you even considering this?




Gibuchi wrote:
...We recommend that everyone apply for the F visa when coming to
China, as it makes getting into the country easier.We do this because
dealing with visas and switching them over to more appropriate visas is
a lot easier domestically.
When applying for the visa, we encourage new teachers to say that they
are going to be a consultant for an English company(with no income) or
that they are coming as a cultural ambassador (cultural exchange).
Most westerners who come here to teach do so in this manner and
remain on this visa until they leave. The company will renew your visa
domestically and cover the costs each time the visaexpires.
Z Work Visa
If teachers qualify for a Z work visa, we will convert your Fvisa for you
once you arrive. To qualify for the Z visa, teachers need to have a four
year college degree, have two years out-of-college work experience, be
25 years-old, and take the health exam at one of (Ithink) two
state-approved hospitals here in Beijing.
F Business Visa
As many candidates do not have 2 years working experience, you can
also come to China by applying for and staying on an F business visa.
....... Remember, this time you are applying for an F
business visa for business purposes and business purposes only. If you
tell the consulate you are traveling to China to teach English, you may
be required to show proof of more teaching credentials. It may cost you
more problems. After you land in China, the school will assist you in
getting the visa extension and will pay the visa extension fee. It is quite
common for teachers to come to China in this way. It is up to your
judgment
to evaluate your qualification to apply for the Z or F visa.
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Gibuchi



Joined: 26 Feb 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Choudoufu: Because I don't have experience, and no other place has offered me anything yet, for the 3 months that I have been looking. A place is better than no place

Non Sequitur: In an ideal world, I would definitely do that, as I hear the best jobs aren't advertised online. I'm not in an ideal world right now.

doogsville: I agree. I turned down a job in the UK tutoring a 4 year old Chinese girl. pay was 2000 Pounds, room and board, 20 hours a week. Too good to be true. But when there is nothing rolling in...it all seems too good to be true.

So I'm hearing a lot of 'no' from the responders. What alternatives would you suggest? Besides "keep on looking", or "keep on applying". I'm doing that, to no avail.

Again, thanks for the feedback!
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rogerwilco



Joined: 10 Jun 2010
Posts: 1188

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gibuchi wrote:

Still decline?


Yes.
The school is lying to you, and is also asking you to lie.
Do you think that the lies will stop after you have arrived in China ?

What will you do if the school does not like you, fires you, and you are left with no salary and no way home ?


Last edited by rogerwilco on Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3325
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, ok.....THIS one has got to be Hewlett!
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