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Yasar University Izmir, don't do it!!
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burdik



Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 33
Location: izmir

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This topic is a bit old now, but it still comes up when you search 'Yasar Uni' and I do not want people to get the wrong idea when they read some of the things written here, so for whatever it is worth, I'd like to share my experiences at Yasar uni prep school, where I have almost completed my 5th year. (I'm Turkish / a non-native speaker - not part of the administration - and not posting this upon request from anyone)

I do realize that we all come from different backgrounds, have had different working experiences and what one might call a pleasant working environment can be hell for another. I understand that some things are relative and can be interpreted differently by different people. Everybody has their own opinion and all should be respected, and cmann is no exception, however, some of his comments are far from accurate, and when I say comments, I mean the so called facts which he/she refers to as 'a few of the facts I had to learn the hard way', and not his opinions. If you have the patience to read this until the end, I will address some his claims;

cmann's post dates back to -Thu Jul 29, 2010- and seeing he says 'I have [b]just spent the most ghastly year of my life in a hell hole called Yasar University'[/b], one can guess he worked at Yasar uni not long ago. We have been working shifts for the past 3 years, morning shift 8am - 4pm and afternoon shift 11pm - 7pm, so the claim that we work 8:30 - 6 is not quite accurate.

'The students are totally out of control and you will get 0 support from the director' Not all of them, but some students can be hard to manage, but as far as I am concerned, classroom management is an important part of being a teacher, and failure to manage your class effectively is not a good sign if you have chosen teaching for a living. The management, and especially the manager in particular HAS ALWAYS been supportive of the teachers in case of problems with students, and continues to do so. If you read this cmann, please PM me when you (or someone you knew) had a problem regarding the students and did not get support from the management.

Lunch is not great, but it is free cafeteria food, I do complain about it at times too, but calling it inedible 9 out of 10 times and saying 'will be thrown at you like pig swill' is a complete and unfair exaggeration. And there's also the fact that you can bring your own food, or the school is located 5 mins away from downtown Alsancak, where you can find lots of food. You can choose from countless fast food places to fancy restaurants, most of which - even in your apparently high standards cmann - serve edible food.

'No medica\l coverage, just an entitlement to go to a Turkish public hospital, get there a 6am for a blood test or no deal. and filthy. ' After working at Yasar (or any place in turkey for that matter) for 3 or 6 months (not quite sure at the moment) you are entitled to most (if not all)of the rights that a Turkish citizen has with regard to health services, and if that does not satisfy you, working elsewhere in Turkey will not do you any good, since what you are complaining about is mostly related to Turkish health care system, rather than Yasar itself.

'No accommodation provided, a small unfurnished apartment will cost at least 1/3rd. of you salary. ' Foreign teachers are now paid extra to help towards accommodation, but if I am honest, I am not aware whether or not that was the case when you claim to have worked at Yasar. But hey, Turkish teachers do not get that in any institution in Turkey, and we do pay for flats too.

'No flight reimbursement, despite what the contract says, they simply don't pay, get yourself a Turkish lawyer, like you could afford one.' There is flight reimbursement, I know several people who have had it, and it is in their contracts.

'A grand total of 10 working days vacation per year, oh yes and Saturdays count as a working day. ' You get a grand total of 14 working days vacation (as opposed to 10 - which is what you claim) and that is part of the Turkish law, not something Yasar imposes at its own convenience.

'Virtually no technical support, broken down photo copier and no computers or OHP's. ' There are OHP's, and classes with projectors and computers, which you can use whenever you want. Yes, the copiers do break down every now and again, they are attended to ASAP, and I am not aware of invention of copiers & computers that do not breakdown.

'If you are asked to a staff party, don't go they will hit you up for $25 for the privilege of attending.' This one actually made me laugh. In my 5 years of experience at Yasar, there have been staff parties that were paid for by the school (not that they had to), and then there have been staff parties that the teachers had to pay for themselves (if they chose to attend them) but in either case, the staff is INFORMED IN ADVANCE. Somehow you make it sound like you went to one of those parties and were asked for money upon arrival. It is simple really, you know in advance whether or not you will need to pay for attending one, and can choose not to go if paying for your own food and drinks bothers you.

'Up to 30 contact hours per week with classes of 30 ' If by contact hours you mean seeing students in the corridors, then you might be right. If you mean 30 teaching hours, then you are lying.In 5 years, the most I have ever had to teach was 24 hours a week, and that was 5 years ago. For the past 4 years, every teacher, -unless they had other duties (in which case they teach less)-, have taught no more or less than 22 hours a week. The largest classroom I've had,had 25 students in it, and again for the past 3 years I've had an average number of 15-16 students per classroom.

'No teacher resources,the library is a joke.' A teacher resource center has recently been established, tho I say this merely to inform people, you are right, we did not have a teacher resource center before.

'Management thinks nothing of shouting at you in front of the students.' Seriously? Please PM me, and tell me when you were shouted at by the management, and not necessarily in front of the students, can be behind closed doors too. This is an outrageous accusation.

'Most of the administration can hardly speak English and will NEVER give you an answer to any query.' I am not sure who you mean by most of the administration. One of the assistant managers is a native speaker, and the manager is a native-like speaker, and as a native speaker, you must have had dealings with the two of them. I must also add, pretty much like most of the rest of the staff, they are quite helpful.

'Living is very very expensive.' Living is way cheaper than Istanbul, I'll tell you that.

'The city is freezing in winter and stinking hot in summer, your heat/ air con bills will run around $350 per month.' What can I say, global warming must have hit us pretty hard! Yes, it can get cold in winter (tho, we've had a pretty mild winter this year), but stinky in summer? I am going to have to disagree with that too. Where I live, we have 2 air cons working almost all day, and my electricity bill has never exceeded 200 liras, around $125, so $350 is a bit over the top.

'Unlike other Turks the people are the most unfriendly I have ever met, an no one but no one speaks anything but Turkish, even if they can.' So we are a different breed of Turks then? People speaking Turkish in Turkey... interesting. When was the last time you made an effort to talk to a foreigner in his / her language in your own country? Not that I agree with you, people DO try to speak to foreigners in English, and sometimes to the point that it becomes frustrating, but don't you think you are being a bit self centered? Do they have to talk to you in your own language? Shouldn't you try to learn a foreign language, enough to survive at least, if you choose to live in a FOREIGN country?

'The backbiting from the local teachers is beyond belief.' Most of the staff (if not all) is quite helpful and friendly, but then again maybe they weren't to you in particular. I would have a better understanding of that if I knew who you are.

Like I said earlier, everybody interprets things differently, but the claims I tried to address are mostly facts as opposed to opinions. My name is Burak and as mentioned earlier, I have been working at Yasar for almost 5 years now, and I mostly befriend foreign teachers, and even if we were not friends, there is no way I could not know you cmann, that is if you actually worked at Yasar, so please feel free to PM me who you are if you feel like it, because otherwise I am almost certain that you did not actually work here. And if you read this, instead of accusing me of being an agent of the administration, or writing this post because the management asked / forced me to, please come to me with solid facts and try to prove me wrong with facts like I tried to do. Most of the things I have written here are facts. Those who consider working at Yasar, please bear in mind that there are always two sides to a story and should you have any questions, please feel free to ask me and I will try to answer them to the best of my knowledge. Thank you for reading this, and apologies if some of the things I have written here sound like ranting but I am an employee of Yasar and having read this post I felt compelled to answer some of the false allegations and might have ranted a bit during the process due to the biased and unfounded claims.


edit : spelling mistakes
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Chaplin



Joined: 06 Oct 2010
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Burak. That was refreshing to have a balanced point of view put forward.
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burdik



Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 33
Location: izmir

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My pleasure, thank you.
Just trying to give a better insight of what it is like working at Yasar, or mostly what it is not like. Everybody is free not to like it of course, so long as their claims are based on facts.
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cartago



Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 282
Location: Iraq

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never been to Izmir but the Turks I've talked with about it go on like it's such a lovely city. Is it really a dump?
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burdik



Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 33
Location: izmir

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

most of those who are from izmir like to exaggerate it a bit when they talk about it, but it is not a dump, not even close, it is probably one of the best places to live in turkey. I have no idea what bulgaria looked like in the 70's, but that comment, pretty much like cmann's most comments, must also be the product of a delusional mind.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been to Izmir, but only on holiday. Nothing really remarkable either way. Standard sort of Turkish deal in many respects. Was disappointed in one regard: lots of mythology from the rest of Turkey about how 'open-minded' the local females were, from their Homeric heritage it seems, but no trace of that on the ground.

Certainly not a dump. Worth a visit. Beautiful bay. Worthy of a Greek poem at least...
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elpropio14



Joined: 04 Dec 2006
Posts: 6
Location: India

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Burdik, that was indeed a balanced point of view and very well written. In fact I did my CELTA in Izmir at the IUE, although not as dynamic as Istanbul, it is a pleasant city to live in and the weather is better than in Istanbul.
After the CELTA I remember some of us popping in to Yassar just to drop in our CVs, although not really an interview, I must say that the EFL director we had a chat with was really cordial Smile
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ossie39



Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 9:26 pm    Post subject: Yasar University Reply with quote

The topic is not an old one because Yasar University still exists and it still advertises for staff and students. Burdik does state some interesting points in which I am in agreement.
1) There is no obligation for a Turk to speak English, or know it. Yes foreign staff should make more effort to learn some. That said, it is true that few Turks can speak English, especially in what is the 3rd largest Turkish city. In this respect one would think Izmir to be more cosmopolitan. The decrease in language schools generally in Izmir is partly to blame and there are few native English teachers working in them.The language barriers for a foreigner must be a concideration when applying for a job. Turkish teachers of English would not find it difficult to speak English at the place of work. In many university English departments it is strongly encouraged! Why wouldn't it be? Perhaps Yasar Uni. should offer lessons to foreign staff as other employers do.
2) I found the teaching staff at the prep department to be very friendly and helpful. Whilst Burdik makes the point that 'somebody could/would help' , that is to the credit of the teachers and not necessarilly the director or management.
3) Izmir is most certainly not a dump! Is a lovely refined city. There is always something to do. You are absolutely right Burdik. The remarks about the city and people are bitter comments.
4) Regarding the management of students, what are 'hard to manage' students doing in a university???? A potential university teacher would not expect to encounter this. Burdik is right to qualify the statement, some students are a delight! Some are immature idiots who help to devalue the place even further. It's all about the benjamins (money).
5) The food is bloody horrible. It was often greasy and tasteless. Not what you would call a balanced diet. For sure you can bring your own food and nobody expects 'Hilton' standard food. Applicants for jobs are told that food is provided as a 'perk' of the job. Regarding eating locally, it would take 15 minutes to get into Alsancak and 15 minutes back. There wouldn't be much time for lunch. The provision of adequate food outlets is something this establishment should have looked at long ago.
6) Accommodation is an issue because of the heavy start up costs. One month deposit and the cost of an estate agent to what is one third of your monthly salary. At the time of original postings, accommodation allowance did not exist, it may do now, and the amount that may be paid is questionable in terms of worth. It is true that Turkish teachers do not get this payment but regarding Burdak's point, "Two wrongs don't make a right." Perhaps Yasar should be paying the Turkish teachers much more!
7) The photocopiers were constantly breaking down, both of them. This was in part the result ofcontinually copying test papers.
Cool I was never charged to attend a staff function. I attended one which was made compulsory and like everybody was given 1 hour of notice. At times as a sign of goodwill, there was a cake for teachers, an appreciated gesture of middle management trying to work in very awkward and unpleasent circumstances with the hierarchy and owner of the university.
9) At the time of original postings there was no payment of return flight. I believe it is advertised as a job perk now. It seems to be that this would be payable at the end of a completed contract. That means after any summer teaching for students who must repeat exams. It is not possible to predict the number of passes but certainly there would be some. This means in the summer time foreign teachers are surplus and would not be needed because work is given to the Turkish teachers. Whether return flight money is then paid I don't know but it's something to think about.
1O) My experience is that no teacher taught more than 22 lessons per week. The point though is the amount of time that a teacher must stay in the establishment per day. This was 8 until 6.
Burdak shows loyalty to his employer and he makes genuine points, some people do have certain expectations, sometimes unrealistic. As many people posting have stated, Yasar has many many faults and it is a place best avoided because of the owner and croanies, the bad students and a director trying to keep his head above water.
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Lanterne Rouge



Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 17
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just an update on my previous posts on Yasar. I am still working here. It is not perfect but it is continually improving. The big news is that Yasar Prep Class has become the very first in Turkey to be accredited by the CEA (if you don't know who they are, you should! Google them and you will see they are an important US accrediting agency). Both ITU and Bilkent have also gone through or started this process so we are in good company. This shows that there are certain minimum standards here from curriculum through to facilities and staff recruitment. We were subject to a 3 day site inspection and produced a 200 page report detailing every aspect of our operation.

Accreditation is not the be all and end all of course but the fact that we achieved it does contradict many of the more severe criticisms in some of the posts above. I will just repeat that while not perfect, Yasar is as good a place as any in Turkey to work and considerably better than most. Plus the catering supplier has changed and so even the food quality has gone up. Happy days Very Happy
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Lanterne Rouge



Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 17
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry me again. Just one point that needs clearing up. It has been stated and repeated by some of the posters that you have to stay on campus 8-6 or thereabouts. This is absolutely false and calls into question whether any of these posters really worked in the Yasar Prep Class. In fact I am going to stick my neck out and call BS on all of them because their facts are simply wrong and if they had worked here they would know it very well. For the last few years there have been 2 shifts - 8-4 or 11-7. Yes, you are required to stay on campus during those times but not for longer.

Really, it is important to have lots of different opinions on a board such as this but to post blatant inaccuracies is simply dishonest and completely unprofessional!
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ossie39



Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject: Yasar don't do it Reply with quote

That's right Lanterne Rouge, you put the 'red light' on Yasar. Those 'few' people of what must be 30 posters who have posted negative points are all liars and geeks who know nothing at all about that noted establishment Yasar. You would think they would have better things to do with their time than create a 'Dysentry' I mean 'Dynasty' soap opera.
Bilkent are having problems recruiting too and that is why they offer all manner of teaching qualifications and ELT MA degrees for free on condition you commit to a longer contract at the place. There are all kinds of accrediting bodies and some of them mediocre ones. So CEA is an 'important' accrediting agency. Can't say I have read anything about them. What professional body are they or government department or university? Well 'goody gum drops' for you and Yasar, perhaps the inspectors dined at your canteen. Very Happy
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Lanterne Rouge



Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 17
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See, there you go again! “30” people who have posted negative comments?? I did a search back to 2008 and found 7 posters including yourself who claimed to have direct knowledge of Yasar and who posted negative comments. Rema and Temba did not teach in the Prep Class and so I do not know if their comments about the university in general were valid or not, though to be fair some have a ring of truth about them. Otterman Ollie has simply “spoken” with people who worked here. That leaves you, cmann and Historyman who claim directly to have worked in the Prep Class. All of your posts contain multiple factual errors, some of which I have attempted to correct. It is clear, however, that either all or some of you did not in fact work in the Prep Class, or alternatively if you did, are fabricating some details to try to make your points. You choose in which camp you belong. Many of these things are very easily verifiable and do not stand up to even cursory examination. A bit like your “30” posters above really. By the way, I never mentioned “geeks” – is this another elaboration?

As for the CEA, without wishing to do your research for you, it is an organisation originally set up by, amongst others, TESOL (may be you have heard of them?) as a specialised accrediting agency, with the aim of raising standards in the EFL field. They are the only accreditor in this specific field recognised by the US Department of Education and in fact, students who want to come to the US to study in English language programs must register with a CEA accredited institution if they want to get a visa. This, of course, has no direct relevance to Yasar but it does demonstrate the bona fides of the CEA (it is also interesting that you have never heard of them – if you had worked in the Prep Class it would have been IMPOSSIBLE to not know of them since we lived and breathed the process for 2 whole years). As part of their site visit to Yasar, they reviewed the curriculum, the assessment system, the facilities and the recruitment procedures. They attended some of our lessons, spoke to the students and staff and reviewed every aspect of what we do. Their report confirmed that Yasar meets their standards but also made some recommendations for improvement which we are implementing. The only reason I raise the CEA is that it is independent verification that Yasar is not the hell hole as described in some of these posts. Finally, the CEA site reviewers are independent from the CEA and respected members of the ELT profession who receive no remuneration for doing site visits. As delicious as Yasar lunches now are, I think we can trust that this did not swing their opinions behind us Very Happy

To be honest, I have no horse in this race! Indeed, it may be better for my career if no new talented and well-qualified native speakers are hired. However, the ESL Café is an invaluable resource which I myself used when I arrived in Turkey. Yet it is only useful if posters post in good faith and make a clear distinction between their personal opinions and “facts”. This thread, right from the OP, has been filled with inaccuracies and rants. Personally, I think prospective recruits should get a balanced picture and so I have attempted to correct the worst fabrications. While Yasar does not in fact have any recruitment problems – we are swamped with applications by well-qualified candidates (particularly since our accreditation) - it is only fair that prospective candidates get accurate information.

And lastly (I promise!) congratulations on your witty response to my forum name. Unfortunately you are again barking up the wrong tree since it is a reference to cycling and the Tour de France, not prostitution.
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ossie39



Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For 'you' Yasar is at least a fair employer and a respectable establishment it appears. You go to great effort to 'sing their praises'. You are however in a very small minority both on the forum and in general. At least few others have posted in favour of Yasar. You are extremely dismissive of contributors who write negative points and attempt to use your selected idea of validity to counteract them. Regarding some of those negative points you do give grudging acceptance that some of the problems qoted are/were recognisable to you. You say you want to give a true and balanced account but you don't address the problems you recognised. You centre also on the 'Prep School' but there were contributors who wrote about other departments too, all pretty grim. You write "There you go again" , very dismissive statement as though nobody can contribute to the forum but you. The bottom line is you are new and you are not in a position to talk about the past or recent past regardless of your search. 'If' you are new to Turkey or teaching in general then that could call in to question your understanding of what is acceptable or good. I didn't read any 'rants' as you describe it.
Certainly things can change for the positive within any work environment providing there is good will from the very top. In cases there can be big mistakes (a matter of trial and error) or bad practice from the management (exploitation). Often the work environment is much better as a result of former employees speaking out about unaccepted practice. If we say things are much better now (as you say), do you think you may be gaining benefit in your work place as a result of those contributors? Should you be so judgemental to dismiss them? Smile
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Lanterne Rouge



Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 17
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I am dismissive of contributors who post blatant falsehoods for the reason that it is extremely unfair to people seeking accurate information on job opportunities. It pains me to repeat yet again that all opinions are welome. Untruths, however, are not. It has nothing to do with my "selective idea of validity" - we either work 30 hours a week or we do not (we do not); our working hours are either 8-6 or they are not (they are not). I note neither you, cmann nor Historyman have addressed any of the fabrications I have called you out on. You just resort to glib generalities and seek to undermine me. I have worked at Yasar for nearly 3 years and been in Turkey for 4. I am not "new" as you put it and am over 40 years old. I am very aware of what are acceptable workplace conditions. Burdik and I have repeated time and again that we are not saying Yasar is perfect or that nobody can make criticisms. We have simply stated that the "facts" posted are in fact untrue and that it is not such a bad place to work.

I have concentrated on the Prep Class because 1) it is where I work and have knowledge about and 2) it is the only department hiring EFL teachers!!! As such it is the only relevant department for this forum. We are on a different campus to the main departments and I have almost no contact with them. Unlike some of the contributors here, I don't like to comment on something I don't actually know anything about. I made this clear previously.

I have addressed your points in detail probably to the boredom of readers. if there is a specific thing you disagree with me on, please raise it. If you would like me to comment on a particular criticism, again please say so. May be you could also detail whether you did in fact work at the Prep Class in the last 3 years because otherwise I don't see how you are in a better position to me to comment on our working conditions.
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ossie39



Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:39 pm    Post subject: Yasar don't do it Reply with quote

You say you have been in Yasar 3 years and Turkey 4 years . You use strong language like 'falsehoods' and think you hold court like you are calling people to account. You defend this place beyond the call of duty and the Prep school director (Engin) will be proud of you, he scans it often enough . Respectfully, you have a Turkish wife so Yasar is certainly a place in which you might settle in Izmir. You speak from adifferent view point to some foreigners because of a vested interest. You write I personally attacked you (or belitted you) and it is really not my intention to be personal. I don't think I did but I am sorry if it you feel badly treated. If you like it then the place is for you. Basically being called a liar along with other posters is a bit strong, especially from someone who was not at that place from the opening of it, or some time after. I guess 'BS' isn't going near 'B.Sci' but is 'Bull Shit' - I think you could modify your tone simply because somebody doesn't agree. Yes this forum is about EFL but other people can surely articulate their views on Yasar. People do move between departments, including at Yasar. Unless the owner has died can't see how things have changed. Readers will just have to decide for themselves.
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