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Greetings from Down Under

 
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JakartaBound



Joined: 21 May 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 1:54 pm    Post subject: Greetings from Down Under Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I am JakartaBound.

Looking for advice and guidance at the beginning of my life long English teaching career.

Smile
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princesss



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 139
Location: japan/indo/aust

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will get more useful and tailored advice if you give us some idea about your educational qualifications. Do you have a degree or a TEFL certificate?
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 909

PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

***********

Last edited by plumpy nut on Sun May 26, 2013 5:33 pm; edited 2 times in total
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princesss



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 139
Location: japan/indo/aust

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first thing to mention is that the "informal" language schools here are not doing well at the moment. The government has adopted a very anti-Western stance. Unless you have a particular reason to want to be in Indonesia, you will easily get more money in Thailand or China.

The main employer is EF but they pay only around $700-$800 a month (paid in local currency). This EF salary has not gone up much in Jakarta in the best part of 10 years. It is more than most locals earn but whereas local wages have risen, this EF wage has not. You can also be sure EF courses have gone up in price!

Yes you can live on the EF wage but many 20-something EF teachers fall into the trap of living a party lifestyle for the first 2 weeks of the month and then having no money for 2 weeks per month. I've met many EF teachers who end up going for salary advances by the 20th of every month. It turns into a bad cycle where they never really have enough money. If you don't drink and go clubbing you are probably ok, but don't expect many frills.

Most of the other schools will require a Degree in English, though they may employ you part-time (and illegally) as some kind of 'dirty little secret' working on a business or tourist visa. These schools have zero loyalty towards expat teachers and if immigration catches you, they might pay a bribe or you might be deported. But you have to ask yourself how appealing a career choice all this really is.
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newtefl168



Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello princess
could you give some more details on how the government has taken an anti western stance?
I was thinking of applying for a job in Indonesian, but away from Jakarta, is the anti western stance less enforced/noticeable away from the big cities?
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princesss



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 139
Location: japan/indo/aust

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indonesia now has arguably the toughest rules in Asia in terms of getting a work visa for expat teachers. To be legally employed here you need to have a Degree in English (English lit, TEFL etc.) and it is very important you find this word 'English' on your degree. It isn't even good enough to have a Degree in Education if you work for the small language schools. This has created a ridiculous situation where it is easier to get a KITAS (work visa) for a job at an international school or National Plus school paying big salaries than at some small language academies paying small salaries. DIKNAS the department which enforces this has a reputation for being anti-Westerner and schools always send Indonesian faces to deal with them. They don't like foreigners. (They had talked of bringing in Indonesian language tests for English teachers in the past as a way of weeding out unwanted expats.) This bad attitude is not reflected in Indonesian society at large (IMHO).

There is also the issue of rising Islamism in Indonesia. You used to be able to buy wine easily a few years ago. Now it is restricted to a few shops in south Jakarta and you pay through the nose. The most popular expat bar in Bandung (Cloud 9) was closed down a few years ago after an Islamist mob picketed it for spreading anti-Islamic values. Government in Indonesia seems to be increasingly dictated to by the mob. This is an issue for an expat community where much of the socializing is lubricated with alcohol.

On the other hand Indonesia's bureaucratic madness can sometimes work in your favor. Indonesia does very badly on corruption ratings and the schools are often no exception. They are often set up as charities to avoid paying tax and so on. Many of them will slip bribes to get around these rules. The main thing to know is whether your school can get you a KITAS. Do not accept being offered a business consultancy visa or a social visa or anything else. You need a KITAS to work legally. If your school can promise you this, you will be okay.
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JakartaBound



Joined: 21 May 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you

As long as they offer KITAS everything will be fine
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newtefl168



Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Princesss,

with regards to KITAS how trust worthy are schools at holding up their end of the deal, if the school tell's you they will get you a working visa do they normally get you the visa?
in china almost every school promises their teachers a Z visa but then after a month or so (depending on the probation period ) the school will come up with some excuse that they can not get a work visa and often will ask the teacher to work on a business visa while they sort out the application, and more often then not the Z visa never appears.
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princesss



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 139
Location: japan/indo/aust

PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know of cases of that happening in Indonesia too. It happened to some teachers at TBI Bekasi and the head office did nothing to help them. Basically, unless you have an English degree there is no guarantee they will be able to get you a KITAS (work visa), regardless of what they say. Many other teachers were lied to by TBI that teachers were able to work on business consultant visas, which is not the case. The teachers working on these were being flown back and forward to Singapore every 2 months and none of their teaching was legal! Elaborate scams have become more common.

I have heard many differing stories about EF. I heard of one group of teachers who were registered on missionary visas and were being transferred between different schools every couple of months! Basically if you are being rotated being schools or put on a missionary visa, you know something is amiss. Overall there is just no way the vast majority of EF teachers have English degrees, so it seems likely that some kind of hanky-panky is going on. One 23 year old without a degree was on here asking whether he should accept a job offer from EF Depok just a few weeks ago. He sure can't be legally employed according to the regulations but he received a job offer. You tell me what's going on. I'm sure some EF franchises must have "back door" channels with Indonesian authorities.

There are no longer any clear answers in the TEFL industry in Indonesia. What seems certain is that a large number of teachers are now working illegally and what recourse do they have to justice if their employer takes advantage of them?

To get a KITAS you now need to do a large number of preliminaries. You need to get a medical test to check you are not HIV positive. You also need to get blood tests to make sure you have no heroin, marijuana or cocaine in your blood stream. You also need to sign a form which says that you aren't a Christian evangelist or a terrorist. I know how stupid this is, but you have to swear you aren't a terrorist. If you are outside the country and your employer hasn't mentioned any of this, it may be a sign they don't really intend to get you a work visa. They should all be done as part of the KITAS application process.

Ideally, you would apply for your KITAS in Indonesia many months before you wanted to start work, because the authorities take months and months to process everything now. But in the real world that won't always be possible. Hope this information makes things a bit clearer.
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Puppets



Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 30
Location: Indonesia

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Princess is right, many companies will ask you to come on a Tourist Visa first to Indonesia but they won't allow you to work on it, so you may have a month travelling around before you are actually sent to Singapore to get your Kitas.

Swara will give you everything back but you will work on a Tourist Visa for a month or two and maybe longer depending on what is happening with immigration.

I think more and more teachers in Swara now hold degrees as they are basically Uni students who want to travel for a year or two. This doesn't mean they are qualified teachers though. Some may have an English degree, others have degrees in Law or Media Studies or something.

I do know qualified teachers who work at International Schools and they earn much more money than any of the franchise schools are willing to pay.

If you are a Uni student who just wants a year of fun, then by all means have a year or two at Swara or any other Franchise School but if you really want to teach and get some money for it, then International Schools or National Plus Schools are the place to go. They'll give you around 15 to 20 million and more in some cases rather than 7 - 11 what many Franchises well pay you.
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newtefl168



Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was just wondering is it a problem to change schools once in Indonesia?

is it possible to work at a franchise school complete the contract and then change employers? if i start work at franchise school will that be the only place i can work for my time in Indonesia?
I plan to spent a few years in Indonesia and i don't mind the pitfalls of working for a franchise for a year but would i be tied to that employer for the rest of my time there?
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 218

PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will need to find a sponsor to get you a KITAS. Legally you are tied to the employer who gets you a KITAS and you are not permitted to work for anyone else, even on a part-time basis. In reality, many teachers work at two or more venues but it is worth remembering that your first allegiance should be to the employer who gets your KITAS. You are only allowed to remain in Indonesia as long as they sponsor you.

Many people do a bit of freelance work, but it is certainly not legal. People have been deported in the past for doing the most trivial of side jobs, and your employer can also be levied with a hefty fine. The rule of thumb for second jobs is absolute discretion. I wouldn't tell people you were doing it who didn't need to know.

The KITAS lasts for 1 year. After you have completed your contract, you are free to seek out another employer. Some people on here have reported that their employer tried to confiscate their passport while they were in Indonesia to ensure they couldn't run off. This is totally illegal on behalf of the employer, but they are within their rights to insist you complete your contract or at least pay any contractual fees for breaking it. Research your school carefully before signing up to anything.
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