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Help! Going abroad without a contract?

 
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AnniMiller



Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject: Help! Going abroad without a contract? Reply with quote

So Language Link have offered me a job and having spoken to someone from the school on Skype this morning, it all seems pretty legit and well-organised.

However, they want me to sign a pre-service agreement now and an official contract once I'm out there. Is there something dodgy about them not giving me an official contract now?!

I really want to make up my mind about this and generally I get a good feeling from the school, but I don't want to take any stupid risks! Anyone got any advice or knowledge on this? Thanks.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contracts, promises, pretty websites, front men (what am I leaving out guys?) don't really mean a lot or matter too much around here. If you have read this site very much, that should be pretty obvious. It is not just one source telling you this, it is the general consensus. Go to the online VN newspapers as well for further confirmation of the landscape. Not meaning to trash the country or people, most of us do love it (and them), or we probably would not be here.

Not to be cute, but if you don't want to take stupid risks, you really should not come over in the first place. Wait till you get out on the major highways on a moto, you need to enjoy the hell out of it cause any moment could be your last. You could pay up and use taxis everywhere and reduce some of the dangers, but regardless, this is not the place you come to avoid risk.

I often find that people coming over are overly focused on a single school or issue, thinking this one issue is of great importance. Most employers will disappoint you, average time on a job is like 3 months or so. I would worry a lot more about other questions, like can you get around okay, how will you do that, housing, having plenty of funds to back up your move, acceptance of the difficulties, who you will use to interface with all the VN for you, understanding your true goals and being certain this is the place to fulfill them. Usually these issues will be of more importance than technical details about work permits, a particular employer or most of the other questions potential newcomers have before coming over.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M-I-S is very right - as per usual on this kind of stuff at least.

You could have a gilt edged signed in blood contract guaranteeing set hours, pay and great benefits only to find they are all cancelled and a new contract handed to you when you're still jet-lagged. What are you going to do about it? Would you even know who to go to to sue for breach of contract?

So - if everything depends on your LL gig working out then don't come here. Chances are they will no mess you around, but if they do there is very little you can do about it.

If you need security, guarantees and whatnot you are heading for the wrong country and probably in the wrong 'career'.

I think LL had a few issues a while back with one long term employee they fell out with and fired. Can't comment on the case since I have only the vaguest impression having met the individual once only and been into LL about twice in total.

They used to have a pretty good reputation but that may have changed. Give them a chance - give Hanoi a chance - if it is Hanoi bring thermal underwear, thick socks, fleeces and a woolly hat cos it's perishing cold already...don't make the mistake I made of giving away all yor warm clothes thinking it was a balmy 30 degrees all year...
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BenE



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly I think you should be ok regardless of what the people above are saying. Language Link don't have a reputation for being the highest paid gig or for having the best hours but they are a reasonably stable place to work in Hanoi. I believe a lot of people posting here are working without a CELTA or degree so are working under the table sans work permit. In this case things are always very unpredictable.

Language Link do provide work permits and working visa unlike many schools so things should be ok. Most teachers I've met seem to finish their contracts and many renew.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Listen to Ben, you have nothing to worry about.

Some peeps on here don't realize that it's not ALL doom and gloom on the work front. I know a couple of ex-Language Linkers and they had nothing bad to say. It's one of the only legit schools in Hanoi that gives you a work permit and year-long multiple entry visa.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 994

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question My question would be:

Why does LL or any other language school in Viet Nam need to recruit teachers from abroad? Question
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sigmoid wrote:
Question My question would be:

Why does LL or any other language school in Viet Nam need to recruit teachers from abroad? Question


The three decent mills, ILA, Apollo, LLV, employ many teachers. Due to the fact that people quit for a multitude of reasons, or they got a better gig elsewhere or their contract is up and it's time to go and travel, the schools are always looking for people. Because there are so many uneducated and oddball characters in Vietnam, HR departments have to put out the tentacles a little further than Vietnam as the supply just isn't there in terms of people with a degree, TEFL-cert and a lack of severe mental issues. Another one might be that people think they can earn bigger bucks doing privates so the mills are scraping the barrel looking for "decent" people. The mills are entry level jobs and usually hire people in their 20's with a sometimes poor work ethic, some of whom get fired. I've left the mill scene which is a good thing, even the better places seem to be full of drunks and pill poppers.

For the other schools, I have no idea why they hire from abroad. Maybe they are a scam and require fresh bodies from abroad as their reputation is so poor no one will work for them for those in the know in Vietnam.

The cynics will come along and say the mills are BS places to work but I disagree, they provide work permits and visas and while you're not going to get rich teaching there, they are good places to cut your teeth in Vietnam.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 492
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sigmoid wrote:
Question My question would be:

Why does LL or any other language school in Viet Nam need to recruit teachers from abroad? Question


Why not? If I ran a language school and had a vacancy, I wouldn't want a couple of qualified applicants to choose from. I would want, for argument's sake, six or seven people to choose from so I can have a better chance of winding up with good staff.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty much what the 1SG Welsh says.

They don't need to but they can so why not?

I think from an employer's perspective providing they have the management hours to spend on the process recruiting from abroad attracts cheaper, more qualified and more compliant staff than relying on the sort of material that walks in off the streets hereabouts.

Many walk-ins could be the best teachers you will ever find - but they advertise and recruit from abroad for the obvious reasons that they can and that it works for them.

To answer the OP question I agree, LL should be OK and you should be alright. If not you can always move on and try elsewhere. There are no 100% guarantees but LL have a fair reputation for not promissing the moon but keeping to what they do promise at least. A friend did her Celta there and had no complaints about them.

I would strongly advise anyone coming in on any kind of contract/offer not to rely on it but to have 3 months living expenses in hand just in case something doesn't work as you'd hoped.

I think 3 months living expences is about $3000 US plus maybe a plane ticket if it really isn't your thing.
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Oh My God



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Help! Going abroad without a contract? Reply with quote

AnniMiller wrote:
So Language Link have offered me a job and having spoken to someone from the school on Skype this morning, it all seems pretty legit and well-organised.

However, they want me to sign a pre-service agreement now and an official contract once I'm out there. Is there something dodgy about them not giving me an official contract now?!

I really want to make up my mind about this and generally I get a good feeling from the school, but I don't want to take any stupid risks! Anyone got any advice or knowledge on this? Thanks.


It's part of OUR nature (as we've been trained) to make a move, even a couple of hundred miles from our home, WITH prearrangements to an already secure new job and settle living space beforehand.

But now we're talking about half way around the world! Yeah, it's a big step. But only a test of your fortitude and adaptability... All who've come here went through the same thing but with different circumstances and the vast majority have individually evolved to this kind of environment. But it's always a test SO many here still harbor resentment for the difficulty of the task. And yes, that makes it easier to see the negative more acutely than the positives.

If you stay here long enough the positives will out-number the negatives but there will ALWAYS be negatives even to other VN.

The point is whether you want to take the test or not!
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