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Avoid Berlitz Istanbul
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Pretzel



Joined: 14 Apr 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2003 11:42 am    Post subject: Avoid Berlitz Istanbul Reply with quote

As you have all probably seen, Berlitz Istanbul is hiring once again, and I wanted to warn the uninitiated out there that they are a very poorly-run organization and I would advise anyone against taking a job with them. The reason they are always hiring is that their teachers are always quitting. Avoid them like the plague.
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NMB



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Posts: 84
Location: France

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been contacted by Inlingua Istanbul and noticed that their Web site contained "Berlitz." Are they one and the same, or affiliated??
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2003 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://berlitz.generalunion.org/
Check this site out for more info on what life is like working at Berlitz Japan and Korea.

I just finished reading another thread on the Saudi Arabia Forum here at Dave's and it looks like Berlitz in the M.E. offers a pretty weak package for prospective teachers.

I've said this before as well Berlitz has a bad reputation in Taiwan and Korea and, depending on your school, Japan.

If you are patient and look carefully, I believe better schools can be found than Berlitz.

Caveat Emptor


Last edited by Sunpower on Sun Apr 27, 2003 5:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15327

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2003 4:50 pm    Post subject: An ENGLISH Teacher ? Reply with quote

WHO DOES NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHO'S AND WHOSE ?

Shame on you !
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2003 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, thanks!
I copied and pasted it from some other site.
I removed it a week or so ago I thought but didn't save the change on the profile.
I'll, try to get rid of it right now.
Aha, ha!
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caddebostan



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:18 am    Post subject: Berlitz Istanbul Reply with quote

I also advise teachers to avoid Berlitz Istanbul. Speaking from experience, I can say that their management staff is very difficult to work with and they really don't seem to care about their teachers at all. Probably the reason why their turnover is high (the average teacher stay seems to be about two or three months). Also: if you do get into negotiations with these guys, beware the contract. They may tell you it's just a formality, but they're actually very serious about it and may try to pursue you in court if you attempt to quit. It may be worth getting a lawyer to look at it beforehand. Bottom line: it's possible to teach there, but be very wary and stand your ground at every turn.
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stural



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 15
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 10:23 pm    Post subject: Inlingua = Berlitz? Reply with quote

Hi folks,

No one answered the previous poster, is there a sneaky relationship between Inlingua and Berlitz? I've been looking at the Inlingua in Baglarbasi, does anyone know anything? I'm limited in that my credentials are in Spanish, not ESL, and that seems to limit my choices a little bit.

Should I be lying awake tonight like this: Shocked ?

Gracias,
stural
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Iskender



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2003 5:44 pm    Post subject: Berlitz is Fine Reply with quote

I have been working for Berlitz Istanbul for some time. There are teachers here who have been here for a few years. True, some teachers don't stay long, but that is often because of personal problems and it is by no means unique to this center or this country.

The staff is working very hard- because the center is thriving. We get high-caliber students and there is no shortage of work even in this troubled economy. That is why there are often posts recruiting new teachers. The center is expanding quite rapidly.

The charge that "they don't care about the teachers" is, at least in my own experience, untrue. Whenever I had some special needs, I was able to discuss it with the management and they were sympathetic and helpful, to say the least. The teachers are expected to work hard- Berlitz has rigorous standards- but the hard work does not go unappreciated. If the teachers are working hard, the staff and management are working as hard, and seem committed to the constant improvement of the program.

I wouldn't write off working for Berlitz because of the comments of those who have no experience working there (and Berlitz Istanbul is not Berlitz Japan or Saudi Arabia) or who went with no intention of actually working.

I am satisfied with the work and I love living in Istanbul. I also find it comforting to work for a place that is secure and likely to endure the economic rollercoaster when other centers may fold. But the work IS challenging and the schedule is demanding, as I knew it would be before I signed on.
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2003 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
some teachers don't stay long, but that is often because of personal problems

Quote:
. The teachers are expected to work hard- Berlitz has rigorous standards- but the hard work does not go unappreciated.

Quote:
I wouldn't write off working for Berlitz because of the comments of those who have no experience working there (and Berlitz Istanbul is not Berlitz Japan or Saudi Arabia) or who went with no intention of actually working.

- How long have you been working in a management position at Berlitz?
- Are you an I.S.?
- You don't sound like a Berlitz instructor but rather someone who holds a position in H.R.D.

My experience at Berliz in Japan and to a lesser extent Korea was financially lucrative but I DO NOT agree with your statements.

I live and work in Taiwan and they also have a very, very bad reputation for being the opposite of what you say they are.

Strange, eh?

Me thinks Berlitz is Berlitz, wherever you go!

Proceed with caution newbies.
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manc47



Joined: 15 Apr 2003
Posts: 16
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2003 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iskender:

I was offered a position with Berlitz in Beyoglu some weeks ago. Since I'm domiciled in Hong Kong, this entailed packing my belongings, giving notice, arranging transportation etc. One week before I was due to leave Hong Kong I was told by the Berlitz center manager that I could not be hired after all, because the Turkish Ministry of Education had issued a directive that prevented them from recruiting staff in Hong Kong. As far as I know, Turkish schools do not make a practice of recruiting people in Hong Kong, so I found it rather surprising, to say the least, that the MofE would bother formulating and issuing such a specific directive. Predictably, when I asked Berlitz for further clarification (and the name of someone at the ministry with whom I could communicate) my letter was ignored.

I've not been able to determine, by my own efforts, if such a directive was ever issued but I have been offered employment with another Istanbul language school, so I'm very much disposed to believe that I was lied to. If this is an example of the way in which Berlitz treats people I'm not surprised at all that they have such a poor reputation.
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Albulbul



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 364

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2003 5:51 pm    Post subject: Avoid ? Reply with quote

Avoid Berlitz Istanbul ?

I would delete the last word.
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Bogazicibaby



Joined: 22 May 2003
Posts: 68
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2003 6:26 pm    Post subject: I'm a REAL person who worked at Berlitz Istanbul Reply with quote

I know this is a bit late to respond, but I was very moved to reply once I read what Iskender wrote.

I did work at Berlitz Istanbul for an entire year. YES! I finished my contract- but I got stiffed for half of the expenses for getting my work permit. I was told that he was not going to pay for my honeymoon. I left screaming nasty things like you are a lying SOB. He agreed with me and said he had no problems sleeping at night and disinvited me to enter his facility again.

Things are not right in Berlitz Istanbul and Marc47, you hit the nail on the head when you said you may have been lied to. This is the biggest problem of Berlitz in Istanbul. The owner and manager is a pathological liar. He really can not help himself.

just a few examples---I have a friend who went to interview with him for teaching the lawyer class. Another friend, who also finished a full one year contract had totally created the materials and the format of this class. The interviewing friend was told that she could not speak with the previous teacher because said teacher had left Turkey and was back in the US. LIE!!! The interviewing friend had had dinner with the ex-teacher the night before. The interviewing friend was then told that there were no materials to be seen for the class because the ex-teacher took them all when leaving Turkey. LIE!!!!!

The same ex-teacher friend had dinner with the ex-law class. The next day, the class was told that the reason for the delay in restarting their class was that the teacher died. When confronted with the fact that their teacher was very much alive and enjoying sheep for dinner, they were then told that Solmaz never told them it was that teacher, but a teacher. Strange that none of the teachers that were working at Berlitz at the time had heard of any teacher dying.

The personal problems mentioned by Iskender most likely have to do with rotten scheduling of classes, disorganization, weird contracts, low pay, lack of pay for long travel times, and various other job related reasons that have nothing to do with personal problems. I knwo of several instances of teachers during my year and just after who "ditched" Berlitz Turkey.

As far as the center thriving goes- all of the Asian based teachers are having to travel to Europe in order to have classes to teach. There ARE NO CLASSES in the Suadiye branch. It seems ridiculous to say recruiting because of expanding. Summertimes are not good for getting hours at Berlitz Turkey. I know of several instances of teachers who "ditched" Berlitz Turkey

Solmaz does do lip service in regards to "caring" about teachers and students and talks about his "happy family." Unfortunatly, most things come with strings. They also come with nasty things said about the students- "All students at the center are lazy Turkish B*******. He also has an unwritten rule that teachers are not to speak to each other. The Turkish staff is supposed to stop this action.

"The teachers are expected to work hard." Yes indeedy! I went several months working every single day because I needed the hours. I managed to earn an average of about 460 dollars per month for the year I was there. I also spent 6 hours a week travel for one class that paid me for 9 hours of work.

" I am satisfied with the work and I love living in Istanbul. I also find it comforting to work for a place that is secure and likely to endure the economic rollercoaster when other centers may fold."

I admit that I was satisfied with the quality of my students and that when I had a normal schedule, I was satisfied with the work. I too love living in Istanbul, but I find it much much more comforting to work for a University where I have REGULAR hours, am paid at the first of the month instead of two weeks later, actually have insurance and PAID SSK (unlike my entire years time at Berlitz Istanbul), and am paid for vacation time.

There is so much more to be said, but I believe I have said enough. Berlitz Istanbul is an experience I am glad to put behind me. Anyone who is considering working at any location should speak to people who have worked there in the past. I am happy to be finished there.

"I wouldn't write off working for Berlitz because of the comments of those who have no experience working there ..."

I am a real person who worked at Berlitz Istanbul. I have no qualms about signing my name either. I SURVIVED BERLITZ-TURKEY!

Maria Iskenderoglu
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Menina75



Joined: 30 May 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may also be a bit late to post but from my experience with Berlitz Istanbul it is best not to even begin negotiations with them. I accepted a job with them via email and when I came to Turkey highly regretted it. I spent only two days in the Berlitz office and left before my relationship went any further. The management was rude and unthoughtful and my gut told me to get out. I never taught a course there nor did I finish their training.

Just to get an idea of how little time I spent with them I'll give some background info. The training I did do consisted of sitting in a room by myself and watching 8 hours of videos. The next day I sat around my house all day waiting for them to call me and then finally when I was asked in at 3 was rushed through some of their books so that I could teach the next day. It had been my understanding via the emails we had that I would come in and discuss the job but was put in a room with the contract and when I asked questions was told don't worry, just sign. I had purposely not signed the contract from outside of Turkey because I wanted some other people there and the contract itself asked for someone from the AKYO corp (which owns Berlitz) to be there, I felt pressured into signing something I never should have and due to me being too trusting and advice I had received from a TEFL course I took that I could do no better than Berlitz unfortunately I signed.

Before I told them I would not work with them I had two Turkish lawyers look at the contract. Both told me that it is not valid for various reasons. I received a nasty email from the manager and was told not to respond by my lawyer. A couple of months later I received a court order from them asking for over $USD2500 in damages! Luckily I have a lot of connections in Turkey that are taking care of this. None of the other expats here I have spoken to nor any of the heads of other private language schools I have talked with have ever heard of a case like this going this far.

My advice is stay away from a place like Berlitz, go with your gut feeling and check out all your options! Istanbul is a great city, and Turkish people are very kind. If you are thinking about coming here there are many better jobs at private language schools like International House and English Time that not only pay better but treat their workers with more respect. Even better if you enjoy working with children many schools hire foreign staff to teach English. Good Luck and be wary of Berlitz!
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Bogazicibaby



Joined: 22 May 2003
Posts: 68
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:02 pm    Post subject: Beware emails from David Smith from Berlitz Istanbul Reply with quote

I see Berltiz is advertising yet again!! I wanted to add to my previous message for those who just don't know!

Beware of any email from a person named “Dave Smith” in correspondence with Berlitz Istanbul. There is no such person and there has never been any such person at Berlitz Istanbul. “Dave Smith” is a creation of Solmaz, owner and manager of Istanbul Turkey. Several people have fallen for this unethical created version of a “fellow American, who just loves working at Berlitz Istanbul” and have come to Istanbul only to find out that this “great” guy that they had been emailing about working for Berlitz Istanbul is admitted to be Solmaz himself. Solmaz has said that he emails people with the name “Dave Smith” so that people feel good about Berltiz Turkey and want to come work there.

I personally find it disgusting and highly unethical to represent oneself as an American working at Berltiz Istanbul when he is the owner of a franchise with well known problems with many past employees- as well noted on this board.

Don’t just accept any American sounding name as a reference. It is easy to lie via Internet and as stated in the past- it is easy for this person to lie to your face too.

BEWARE !!!!!
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relocatedwill



Joined: 19 Mar 2008
Posts: 2
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed that all the postings on Berlitz Istanbul are several years old. Does anyone have recent experience. Could you let me know right away as I am scheduled to leave in a few days.
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