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Anyone have experience with Teach to Travel Istanbul?

 
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joshfroberg



Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 2:13 pm    Post subject: Anyone have experience with Teach to Travel Istanbul? Reply with quote

I am in the process of applying for a teaching job in Istanbul through the UK company "Teach to Travel". So far, it seems pretty legitimate and thorough- they have sent me extensive information that answers any question I possibly could have had. Salary seems okay (even though I am going through a third party to find a job). It all seems a little too good to be true but what concerns me is that i can only find very little outside info on the company online (only found one external review). Can anyone tell me if they know of this company or have gone through them? Thank you very much.

EslCafe job board link: http://www.eslcafe.com/joblist/index.cgi?read=31764

Company link- http://www.teachtotravel.co.uk/
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elliot_spencer



Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 415

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DON'T DO IT

THEY WILL TAKE 1000 LIRA OF YOUR SALARY FOR THEMSELVES A MONTH
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joshfroberg



Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Elliot,

Thank you very much for the quick response. I was wondering if you could elaborate on your reply- How did you find this out and what experience do you have with the company? I knew that the "catch" was that they would be taking a cut of my paycheck, but didn't realize it would be that much (1000 lr).

Even if they do take 1000, they say that you will be making 2100 a month which, according to some research, is on the average-lower end of what an english teacher can expect to make in Istanbul. My thoughts were that because I have very little experience teaching (this is would be my first paid job overseas), it would be worth it for me to go through this company and sacrifice their cut of my salary for all of the services they offer (help in finding housing, visa assistance etc..). Any thoughts on that?
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Otterman Ollie



Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Posts: 1046
Location: South Western Turkey

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a few contacts who have spent the last year working with this organization, perhaps you can pm me and get a more accurate and detailed response.
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Shalana



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 148
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion, (general rule of thumb if possible) is to not go through a recruiter at all or go through one that gets a one time placement fee from the school. Why should they get a monthly cut of your pay unless they are providing some kind of monthly help for you or you are actually their employee who they are hiring out. Even then, do they deserve to get 1000 lira per month? That seems a little steep.

As for living in Istanbul on 2100 per month, it won't be easy because of housing and transportation costs. If you want to spend money on the weekends on entertainment and going to clubs - forget it. Anything less than 2300 a month, even for a first time qualified teacher, seems like an insult. My advice is keep looking for something better. Try to find a school that will hire you directly, or one that pays an hourly wage and can tell you how many hours per week you will teach and do the math. You can also maybe find one or more private students to round out your monthly income.
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Otterman Ollie



Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Posts: 1046
Location: South Western Turkey

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My understanding is they do provide you with a place to live, maybe you have to share, but at least you will have the support of others and generally those that I have met have come through with a better awareness of their overall teaching ability and good all round experience. In a nut shell, you could do a lot worse, esp on your own.
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svenhassel



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 153
Location: Ayazaga

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a lot of negative reports about TiT, payment issues, failure to provide permits etc. Why would a school not be able to hire it's own teachers? This is a pretty important aspect of running a school, shows a serious lack of competence. Anyway you can read all about this company on the teacher's blacklist on FB. I have never seen anything good said about them.
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Shalana



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 148
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think any school can hire its own teachers. If you start looking at the various tefl sites, most of the adverts are from recruiters. This is a fairly recent trend. I suspect that schools think they will get better teachers if going through a recruiter - supposedly the recruiter is better at finding good foreign teachers and more knowledgeable about foreigners and dealing with foreigners, and that it will save them time and trouble.

Also, many times, a teacher placed by a recruiter works for the recruiter and not the school, so maybe the school doesn't have to provide things like a work permit and health insurance - the recruiting company provides those things. The school simply pays the recruiter x number of lira per month to the recruiter and gets a teacher and the recruiter has to take care of all the details and potential problems a teacher may have. At least this is how it worked back in 2009 when I worked for a recruiter.
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Nebbich



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 8
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:13 am    Post subject: TIT and others Reply with quote

I had an interesting conversation with a senior lawyer the other day...the GM of the local Bar Association. He assured me that the terms and conditions laid out by Teach to Travel/Teachers in Turkey are illegal under Turkish Law. I asked him, how then can they operate (No, I'm not naïve enough to believe the question)...he wanted their details to report to the Ministry. Of course, someone is probably being 'assisted' to turn a blind eye.
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Shalana



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 148
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nebbich, could you elaborate? What is it they are doing that is illegal? Thanks!
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Nebbich



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 8
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:30 am    Post subject: more Reply with quote

According to the lawyer, the charging of $300 for permits etc before you get the job is illegal under the Labour Law. Also, they fact that they cut 1000+/- lira per month from your salary is illegal as the Labour Law says that salaries should be paid directly from the employer to the employee. It seems there's also a provision in the Ministry of Education bylaws. If you know a lawyer...and most long-term teachers here, do, ask them.
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wander&teach



Joined: 15 Nov 2009
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is absurd that people even considering using these types of paid "services", especially in Turkey where everyday teaching jobs are a dime a dozen and the Turkish law is flexible to put it mildly. If you really have your heart set on this place, get on a plane, land and hand out a resume and you will have plenty of offers. Of course if you want to live in Istanbul central the competition will be a little stiffer but outside of that it's a cake walk.
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VictoriaLaoshi



Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Josh,

I worked with Teachers in Turkey / Teach to Travel this year and I thought they were absolutely awful. I beg you, please don't go and work for these people, you will regret it.

The accommodation they promised me was not what I got when I arrived. I complained and they promised they would help me find somewhere else, then basically offered me no help at all until I threatened to leave. At the end of my contract they tried to make me pay the rent for the rest of the month after we left, even though I wasn’t working for them any more. Any time there were problems with the flat (e.e. the shower broke) they refused to help me get in contact with the landlord, even though they were renting the room for me and the landlord didn't speak any English.

When we first got to İstanbul there was another teacher there from South Africa. Her accent was sometimes a little hard to understand, and I believe a couple of the schools she was sent to rejected her. After a few weeks Teach to Travel told her she might as well go home and threw her out of the housing they were providing.

We didn't get our work visas until January, which meant we were working illegally for four months. A fair number of people who were working through them still didn't have their visas by April. At that point the company heard a rumor that immigration might be checking schools, and so they promptly fired 30 people (out of I think around 120) because they didn't have visas. There was nothing those people could do.

They routinely paid us late or made mistakes in how much they paid us, and I'm still waiting for my final pay cheque more than a month after I left the company.

I was placed at a school called Fatih Koleji, which is quite a religious Muslim school. For the most part this wasn't a big problem: dealing with cultural differences is part of being an ESL teacher after all. There were a few odd things, though. Once a colleague showed up in a knee length skirt and leggins and was told she would have to change because she was offending some of the parents, even though she’d worn the same outfit to work several times before with no problem. I don’t mind being asked to dress conservatively, but I hate sudden rule changes. And the kindergarten teachers were not allowed to read the kids books which featured pigs or magic, for example, even though the school provided the book and three quarters of them had pigs in them. The students were pretty badly behaved and we didn’t get much assistance in disciplining them.

Honestly, I would work for Fatih Koleji again quite happily in spite of those things – every school has its own problems, after all – but I would never work with Teach to Travel again. This is just a brief list of some of the major things which pissed me off this year. There were countless other things that I've put out of my mind for my own sanity.

Don't work for them.
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mysterytrain



Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 112
Location: SumUt

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

svenhassel wrote:
There are a lot of negative reports about TiT, payment issues, failure to provide permits etc. Why would a school not be able to hire it's own teachers? This is a pretty important aspect of running a school, shows a serious lack of competence. Anyway you can read all about this company on the teacher's blacklist on FB. I have never seen anything good said about them.


To the best of my knowledge, there is no affiliation or connection between Teachers in Turkey (TiT) and Teach to Travel (TtT). Teach to Travel is a UK based recruiter, Teachers in Turkey is, to the best of my knowledge, a Turkish owned company. They provide similar services to teachers, but if there is indeed no connection between them, they should not be lumped together but considered separately. If there is a connection, I'm happy to be corrected on that point.
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svenhassel



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 153
Location: Ayazaga

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's not difficult to find jobs in the kind of crap schools they have contracts with, so why use them.
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