Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Apollo vs. ILA
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Vietnam
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
jwjpilot



Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:42 pm    Post subject: Apollo vs. ILA Reply with quote

A friend and I are planning on moving to Ho Chi Minh City in January or early February 2013. We both have bachelors degrees and CELTAs. One of us has has 2 years of experience and the other has 4 years. All of our experience has been in Latin America. We're from the USA and England and both in our early 30's if that's important.

We've seen quite a few advertisements for Apollo and ILA, but we're wondering what the work situation is currently like with these two institutes.
Specifically, how do they currently compare in terms of teacher development, pay, and benefits? In addition, how well do they treat their teachers?

Are there other work options given our experience levels we might look into?

Many Thanks!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 318

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coke v Pepsi anyone? If that is the sort of thing you like then this is the sort of thing you like.

These mills are always turning over staff. From what you say of your CV you look overqualified to work there - you'll might find yourself knowing more than the management!

Once upon a time I worked for an Apollo - not impressed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cb400



Joined: 27 Sep 2010
Posts: 168
Location: Hanoi

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apollo is bottom of the barrel, ILA is a step up.

A good place to start off from, thats about it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Dekadan



Joined: 09 Dec 2011
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the others have stated, they're mill schools. If you prefer to get a job before landing, then these are okay ways to go. I worked for ILA a couple of years ago and they were good for relatively new teachers. They pick you up at the airport, put you up in a hotel for a week (admittedly, not a hotel I would have chosen to stay in), give you free Vietnamese lessons, orientation, and there are professional development workshops that have to be attended each month (I think you have to do 2 a month). Some of the workshops were good, some not so good, and it largely depended on the trainer who was giving them - but isn't that similar to any class? The class is only as good as the teacher giving it.

ILA does offer the Delta to its employees at a discounted price. If you stay with them for a few years you can make the complete cost back.

The pay wasn't the best, but it was reliable. I was making $19/hr two years ago, not sure what it is now. You can also get shorter-length full-time contracts: 9 months as opposed to 1 year. Once you're on the ground you can start networking and working towards getting a better job. That's really the name of this game just about anywhere in the world: it's not so much what you know, but who you know.

You could also look into getting into the British Council there. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be British to get in there. I had an American friend working there.

Good luck!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 539
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dekadan wrote:


You could also look into getting into the British Council there. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be British to get in there. I had an American friend working there.


Yep. You don't need to be British to work in the British Council here and they are definitely one of the top gigs in Vietnam. There are a few countries where you do need to have a British passport (Thailand and Egypt spring to mind), but they are the exception rather than the rule. In these countries, it's not even the Council's call and that's a decision that has been made by the various governments who give the B.C. preferential treatment when it comes to visas.

My understanding is that the Council is a very bureaucratic organization and the full-time teachers work very hard. However, there are plenty of good things about working there as well. Very good pay, benefits and they will even pay for your DELTA. However, the best thing about them, IMHO, is their network and they have centers throughout the world and the opportunities to explore new places are awesome! Cool
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jwjpilot



Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies and advice.

After I posted yesterday, I saw that the British Council offers about $30 an hour to start. That's way better than the $19 or ILA offers, so that may be a good choice for us.

Besides the British Council, are there any other places could we apply at before coming that would be more appropriate for our experience levels?

Cheers
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dekadan



Joined: 09 Dec 2011
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please keep in mind that the $19/hour is a figure that's two years old. I've no doubt that it's different now, though undoubtedly lower than BC. The challenge with BC is getting into it!

I've also heard that ACET and RMIT are good places. Just do a look-through of the threads, there's lots of information out there.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1002

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
A friend and I are planning on moving to Ho Chi Minh City in January or early February 2013.


I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Tết [Lunar New Year festival], which apparently officially falls on 09 - 12 Feb this coming year. Schools and many other places will be closed at least a few days before and afterwards.

It's no big deal if you come out that time, but generally hiring slows down during this part of the year.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kornan DeKobb



Joined: 24 Jan 2010
Posts: 242

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cb400 wrote:
Apollo is bottom of the barrel, ILA is a step up.

ou got that wrong. ILA sucks. I liked Apollo.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
inhanoi



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kornan, you have a long history on here of bashing ILA because they wouldn't hire you after awarding you a CELTA.

Saying that they "suck" is highly misleading since you never taught for them.
ILA is a good solid place for a new-ish teacher to get started in VN. That's a fact.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jwjpilot



Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone one know any details about the contract terms and conditions that ILA offers? We're wondering about things such as guaranteed teaching hours, etc...

Thanks
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1002

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Does anyone one know any details about the contract terms and conditions that ILA offers? We're wondering about things such as guaranteed teaching hours, etc...


ILA probably knows. Have you checked with them? Rolling Eyes
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jwjpilot



Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
ILA probably knows. Have you checked with them? Rolling Eyes


Imagine that!

No, I was hoping to be able to go into negotiating contract terms with some idea of what is typical for them to offer.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 778

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If people want to deal with an outfit like that, they can take their chances. Don't say you weren't warned.


I think it is impressive that you got them to change their advertising on this, remarkable in fact. As far as dealing with an outfit like this, seems to me that most of us do not have much choice. Actually, ILA can be pretty choosy about who they employ, as despite their flaws, they seem pretty good compared to the rest of the heap. This is not so much a compliment for them as a condemnation of the industry as a whole.

With reference to OP (or anyone seeking a job from abroad), my suggestion is do not get too fixated on any one employer. If you spend some time reading this site in depth, you will realize that almost all of these employers have some very mickey mouse characteristics. Even if an employer will hire you from abroad, remember the average time on a job is a few months. Mostly this is because of disappointment with the reality of the job.

We really should create a thread dedicated to job search here. So many of the things that are important in the west are not important here. For the natives, it is worse, some of the best jobs are directly purchased! I don't think that is common in ESL for the expats, but I have been told that the natives who teach English here often purchase their jobs. It is worth remembering, so you will understand the way this system works and the mindset of the people you are dealing with. Even if interviewing with a westerner, he is most likely having to follow a VN process. Additionally, westerners can eventually take on some of the negative characteristics of the people who dominate business here.

This is a great place to live if you don't need their job. Eventually you may find someplace that actually treats you with care and respect, but it may take half a dozen attempts to achieve. The overhang of people who can do low level work means that the employer has the advantage in most cases. If you are qualified to teach at the higher levels AND you comport yourself as a professional, you may find that the tables are turned. I do think that if you are over 40, that should be your profile. These older guys trying to teach kids are courting disaster, in my opinion. Even if they can do it, the employers are mostly seeking young people for that work, so the older guys get the worst jobs, if anything. Add booze, smokes, too much sun and air pollution to the mix, it aint pretty what life can do to us. If you ARE older, better to present yourself as a professional, and get your skills up to where there is no question that you are at a higher level than the young people who just troop in and out every six months.

For any of us seeking work, we should also consider the nation as 3 or 4 locations, each one with advantages and disadvantages. This has been discussed a lot, maybe we can collect some of this and put it in a job search thread. This is not the definitive report, but essentially you have:

HCMC - the highest number of jobs, not the highest pay, never cool, often way too hot and rainy, the most active and available social life, crazy traffic, terrible air. Easy to find some very nice experiences, also easy to find people trying to take financial advantage of you. Highest level of English skills, but even that is not great. I think this is where the greatest number of our guys end up. Outlying districts have a much lower density of expats, so the experience is not the same as it is for the guys in the center of the city.

Ha Noi - second highest number of jobs, but seems to have more OPEN jobs at all times, highest pay, weather can be quite cool in the winter with not a heater to be found, social life more for the natives, some of the expats find the experience to be dreadful, natives generally ruder to the expats (not every native of course), traffic worse than HCMC, air maybe not as bad as HCMC, or maybe the same, probably depends on the intersection. Some of the students are quite serious, as they are (were) not as westernized as in the south, but this is changing rapidly all over the nation (for the worse). HN and HCMC both have the best chance of finding western type items, larger shoes, catsup, longer pants, whatever. Other locations can be problematic in that regard, but it is gradually improving.

Obviously, both HN and HCMC were opposing capitols, and so the regions still have some noticeable differences relating to those times. I have been told that we had Pepsi in the north and Coke in the south, also Hondas in the south and forget what was in the north, of course the Minsks came from up there. Japan was allied with the west and not shipping bikes there, I think. Some older architecture remains in the north, in the south it is more covered or replaced. More Russian influences up there, though now it seems like it never happened. Very rare to see Cyrillic script anywhere in VN now, but English is everywhere. These subtle differences are interesting, but likely not of importance to the job seeker. Maybe most important is the more aggressive nature of the northerner.

You may be able to lump Hai Phong in with Ha Noi, though it is not the same, and likely does not have the same level of need for teachers. Some folks say this is the worst city in terms of corruption, also some very openly available "social" activities not seen at this same level elsewhere in VN. Most of our guys seem to hate it.

Nicer cities such as Vung Tau, Da Nang, My Tho, Da Lat, Can Tho, Ha Long and maybe a few others - harder to find work or a lot of hours, pay is likely lower (but for high level work maybe good pay), costs should be lower, certainly the traffic and air pollution should not be as bad, (but at some spots it can still be dreadful) can find a much nicer attitude from the locals, but any time you are in a tourist area it can degrade significantly (true all over the nation). Social life is not as active, and your shenanigans are more open to notice and judgment, meaning harder to get a nicer local to openly get involved without a full commitment on your end.

Outlying areas - similar to the nicer cities in most ways, but with some big differences. Pay can be pretty good, as very hard for employers to get you to come to the boonies, costs can be low, bring your own social life, get ready to be an object of curiosity, fascination, idolization, and occasional contempt. Very low levels of English skills generally.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 539
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jwjpilot wrote:


No, I was hoping to be able to go into negotiating contract terms with some idea of what is typical for them to offer.


As Mark said (good post by the way) it's probably not worth getting to set on any particular employer before arriving here. Besides, starting as a teacher for a large chain like that, I wouldn't think that negotiations will be a factor. Although I could be wrong, I think they will just have a standard starting contract and you can pretty much either take it or leave it. In regards, to your question relating to the conditions offered there, sorry, but others here will be much more knowledgeable than me on that score.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Vietnam All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC