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Are these scams? (or is China the new Middle East of ESL?)
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muubagsh



Joined: 27 Nov 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:57 pm    Post subject: Are these scams? (or is China the new Middle East of ESL?) Reply with quote

I am now at a teaching job in Central Asia that I would like to get out of, and am looking into relocating to China. The teaching job market in China and the information about it that I am seeing, are a bit perplexing in terms of the huge disparities in pay vs. teaching hours between different jobs. I am aware that salaries (and cost of living) will be higher in the capital and major coastal cities. But are jobs that offer easy workload for huge salaries and only basic qualifications likely dismissed as bait-and-switch scams?

In particular, I am looking at a couple of jobs: one in Zhengzhou offers ¥18,000 for 20 hours a week and and a free apartment. One in Beijing offers ¥25,000 and free housing for less than 20 hours per week. It's not clear from the posts if they are coming from recruiters or directly from schools (they are posted recently on www.chinajoblist.com ) and they claim to just require a degree, TEFL and some minimal experience.

Before I spend a bunch of time applying to this kind of job, I would like to get an idea of whether they are likely to be legit at all. Any advice would be appreciated.


Last edited by muubagsh on Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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dongbei united



Joined: 28 Feb 2014
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to show us specific offers, don't just reference a domain name.

Is this for English teaching only, or do they want math or science taught?

Next, you need to realize that salaries vary in China. If you work at a college you get more time off and might have a salary between 5-7,000 RMB.

If you live in a rural area the salaries and prices are lower, figure 7-9,000 RMB at your average language school.

I ate a Chinese meal in central Beijing 2 weeks ago for 20 RMB and it was crap, not even the Chinese liked it (they kept telling me to eat more). I ordered the same meal today in a rural district of Beijing for 12 RMB and it is the best I have had.

There are "Tier 1" to "Tier 3" cities mentioned, this means Beijing and Shanghai are pretty much the tops and maybe Shenzhen if you are a southern person. Tier 2 means better living conditions usually but not the amenities. Tier 3 are for the crocodile type who like to venture into "unknown land". I only lasted 3 weeks in one before the crap running down the hills, smelly sewer smell from the toilet, cockroaches at night, and sticky walls got to me.

If you can be a slave to the kindy students, go to central Beijing, maybe Shanghai. Rich folk will love you for your babysitting services.

The salaries you mentioned are high, so I question them.

"One in Beijing offers ¥25,000"

Teaching whom? Teaching them what? Usually, you are lucky to get 8,000 without much slavery. More than that, you pay housing and have 25 hour classes with 15 hour office hours.

Give us EXACT details of your dealio. This includes monthly salary, apartment photos, classroom photos, vacation information, airfare conditions, length of contract term (8, 10, 12, more?)

Remember, "'Only You Can Prevent Wildfires."
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1382

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mean no disrespect, but it's advisable that one do his own homework. How do you know if the anonymous people on a forum are giving you truthful information?
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Hatcher



Joined: 20 Mar 2008
Posts: 263

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 25,000 RMB offer is from BJ High School 80... Big time program.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2476
Location: China

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to clarify on Tier 1 etc.
Chinese car number plates incorporate a numeral 1, 2 etc which indicates the status of a city in the provincial pecking order.
For example in Liaoning, Shenyang plates have '1', Dalian '2' but just how far down it goes I'm not sure.
This is a bit off the thread but good to remember that Chinese municipalities are huge in area. This means that quoted population figures include people living in locations that are hours away by train.
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toteach



Joined: 29 Dec 2008
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

18,000 to 25,000 for less than 20 hours with basic qualifications? Apply!

If it's for the coming semester, they're in a bind and need someone ASAP. But why? Maybe the location is remote or the job really is terrible. Still, at those wages it'd be worth looking into. (Is housing paid? Airfare? Legal working status?)
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2476
Location: China

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too good to miss but maybe too good to be true.
I'd look at the thread Job Offer Checklist which was reprised a month or so ago and if it meets the those criteria + plus the 20K I can only say congratulations!
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Buckeye Bob



Joined: 11 Aug 2014
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:35 am    Post subject: Re: Are these scams? (Question from teacher new to China) Reply with quote

muubagsh wrote:
I am now at a teaching job in Central Asia that I would like to get out of, and am looking into relocating to China. The teaching job market in China and the information about it that I am seeing, are a bit perplexing in terms of the huge disparities in pay vs. teaching hours between different jobs. I am aware that salaries (and cost of living) will be higher in the capital and major coastal cities. But are jobs that offer easy workload for huge salaries and only basic qualifications likely dismissed as bait-and-switch scams?

In particular, I am looking at a couple of jobs: one in Zhengzhou offers ¥18,000 for 20 hours a week and and a free apartment. One in Beijing offers ¥25,000 and free housing for less than 20 hours per week. It's not clear from the posts if they are coming from recruiters or directly from schools (they are posted recently on www.chinajoblist.com ) and they claim to just require a degree, TEFL and some minimal experience.

Before I spend a bunch of time applying to this kind of job, I would like to get an idea of whether they are likely to be legit at all. Any advice would be appreciated.


Suggestion: Look up each school and agent that you deal with on these China blacklists:

http://www.ESLWatch.info
http://www.ChinaForeignTeachersUnion.org
http://www.GlobalBlackList.org
http://WorldWolfWatch.wordpress.com
http://ChinaScamPatrol.wordpress.com

If this is too much work (depending on how many schools and agents you are dealing with), you might just want to send them this form letter and see how they respond. Those that have nothing to hide will cooperate with you and provide the information you request. Those that do not should probably just be avoided. Here is where you can download the letter I am talking about:

http://englishpost.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=254&highlight=tips%2Bchina%2Bforeign%2Bteachers
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1382

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bucko,

Since you have seen fit to defame a multitude of people in the industry, could you please publish your real name and contact information (email address, phone number, location)? I am sure that the recruiters you've done a hatchet job would like to talk to you.

Fair is fair.
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Buckeye Bob



Joined: 11 Aug 2014
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Powell wrote:
Bucko,

Since you have seen fit to defame a multitude of people in the industry, could you please publish your real name and contact information (email address, phone number, location)? I am sure that the recruiters you've done a hatchet job would like to talk to you.

Fair is fair.


Hey "Bucko",

I have not defamed anyone on this forum. I have relayed information just like you have in some of your past posts. And I'm sorry Bud but can you please give me a link to your post where you appointed yourself as moderator and resident bully? All you do is insult new people who disagree with you and try to chase them away with King Kong. When you are right I have agreed with you and disagreed when you gave bad information. Get over it already.
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muubagsh



Joined: 27 Nov 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to those who offered useful replies. Maybe I should have been clearer, the gist of my question was not that I wanted a detailed analysis of if some job offers were scams, but simply to know if, in general, there really are deals that good floating around the ESL job market in China.

Regarding my situation, the school in Beijing never responded to me. The school in Zhengzhou offered me the job, but I backed out after reading about the air pollution there. I'm now negotiating with an offer for 13,000/month, 22 classes per week, in a small city in Gansu, and have had a few other offers in that range. (I have been frustrated with trying to find out more about housing. Some people have suggested you should get them to send pictures of the housing they offer, but all recruiters/employers I've been in contact with make excuses about this).

So far, it looks like the answer to my original question is "yes." I guess this is surprising to me, because the conventional wisdom is that if you want to make money teaching ESL, the Middle East/Gulf is your first choice, Korea/Taiwan are your second choices, and China is way down on the third tier somewhere. However, taking into account pay, benefits, hours, and required qualifications, I am not seeing anything in Korea, Taiwan or places like Saudi Arabia that is much better or even as good as what seems to be available in China. I'm still wondering what the catch is.
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toteach



Joined: 29 Dec 2008
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "catch" with your current job offer might simply be the location. It may be very expensive to travel to your location, and once you're there, there might no be any option to leave... But the plus side is that Gansu is going to have a cheaper cost of living than Beijing.

Make sure that your contract indicates that all utilities are paid for by the school--including heat. It's going to be cold in the winter! Also, how many students are in your classes? Ensure that it's not 60!
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 1334

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

muubagsh wrote:
Thanks to those who offered useful replies. Maybe I should have been clearer, the gist of my question was not that I wanted a detailed analysis of if some job offers were scams, but simply to know if, in general, there really are deals that good floating around the ESL job market in China.

Regarding my situation, the school in Beijing never responded to me. The school in Zhengzhou offered me the job, but I backed out after reading about the air pollution there. I'm now negotiating with an offer for 13,000/month, 22 classes per week, in a small city in Gansu, and have had a few other offers in that range. (I have been frustrated with trying to find out more about housing. Some people have suggested you should get them to send pictures of the housing they offer, but all recruiters/employers I've been in contact with make excuses about this).

So far, it looks like the answer to my original question is "yes." I guess this is surprising to me, because the conventional wisdom is that if you want to make money teaching ESL, the Middle East/Gulf is your first choice, Korea/Taiwan are your second choices, and China is way down on the third tier somewhere. However, taking into account pay, benefits, hours, and required qualifications, I am not seeing anything in Korea, Taiwan or places like Saudi Arabia that is much better or even as good as what seems to be available in China. I'm still wondering what the catch is.


The middle east's money exceeds that of China, with a few exceptions. A point worth remembering is those with fewer qualifications / less experience will have an easier time finding a job and making money in China than anywhere else (or so I'm lead to believe). If you take a person with an online cert, no experience (and perhaps even no degree), they could find work in China at a questionable employer for 8k a month, then moonlight privates to bump this up, possibly doubling that. They could not find work in the ME. Equally, a teacher with 10 years experience, relevant MA, and a DELTA could find work in China OR the middle east fairly easily - and make a lot more in the ME.

You can make money in China, no doubt about it. Though how you do this is a question of ethics. By this I mean that strictly speaking you're only meant to work for your employer (who provides your visa), unless you have their permission and they fill out the additional paperwork (as if you're working more, you should be taxed more). In reality many FTs take on part-time work, either not telling their employer or their employer turning a blind-eye. This is where the real money is for the most part.

Save for international schools or joint-venture unis, salaries for the public sector are generally around 4-6k for unis, and can go up to 10-12k for other ages depending on the location (coastal areas pay more than inland - but have a higher cost of living). These are general prices - exceptions can and do exist. The private sector makes their own rules but generally you're looking at anything from 8k-15k for 25 teaching hours per week - note accommodation and other perks are not included.
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toteach



Joined: 29 Dec 2008
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not tell the school or recruiter that you'd like so speak to a current foreign teacher before you sign the contract? It'll be inconvenient for them, but it's important for you to have someone answer your questions...
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3701 W.119th



Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 42
Location: Wuxi

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Are these scams? (Question from teacher new to China) Reply with quote

Buckeye Bob wrote:
muubagsh wrote:
I am now at a teaching job in Central Asia that I would like to get out of, and am looking into relocating to China. The teaching job market in China and the information about it that I am seeing, are a bit perplexing in terms of the huge disparities in pay vs. teaching hours between different jobs. I am aware that salaries (and cost of living) will be higher in the capital and major coastal cities. But are jobs that offer easy workload for huge salaries and only basic qualifications likely dismissed as bait-and-switch scams?

In particular, I am looking at a couple of jobs: one in Zhengzhou offers ¥18,000 for 20 hours a week and and a free apartment. One in Beijing offers ¥25,000 and free housing for less than 20 hours per week. It's not clear from the posts if they are coming from recruiters or directly from schools (they are posted recently on www.chinajoblist.com ) and they claim to just require a degree, TEFL and some minimal experience.

Before I spend a bunch of time applying to this kind of job, I would like to get an idea of whether they are likely to be legit at all. Any advice would be appreciated.


Suggestion: Look up each school and agent that you deal with on these China blacklists:

http://www.ESLWatch.info
http://www.ChinaForeignTeachersUnion.org
http://www.GlobalBlackList.org
http://WorldWolfWatch.wordpress.com
http://ChinaScamPatrol.wordpress.com

If this is too much work (depending on how many schools and agents you are dealing with), you might just want to send them this form letter and see how they respond. Those that have nothing to hide will cooperate with you and provide the information you request. Those that do not should probably just be avoided. Here is where you can download the letter I am talking about:

http://englishpost.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=254&highlight=tips%2Bchina%2Bforeign%2Bteachers


Have you ever sent that letter to anyone, and actually had a response?
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