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English First Newbie - HELP!
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mikesaidyes



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 16
Location: Sanbon, South Korea

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 2:03 pm    Post subject: English First Newbie - HELP! Reply with quote

So I know that there are horror stories and success stories. I am willing to take all of them with a grain of salt but proceed cautiously.

They offered me a job after one interview. I guess that's the "place a body in a room" approach, huh? I mean I'm qualified and comfortable with the idea, but....

I was just told my contract would be signed upon arrival. Furthermore, I don't want to start until August so they don't have an exact school for me yet.

I'm working with a man named Hendra. Any scoop? Seems odd, but again, this could just be the way it is there, no?

I've requested that I have SOMETHING before I get all the way around the world.

Anyone else recently place with them in Jakarta? I know it all depends on the school, but just curious to know if this is the norm on placement.
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Gajah Oling



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Jawa

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hendra. This must be either EF Solo, Jogja, or Semarang. I posted a couple years back about EF Solo, you can find what I wrote by doing a search on these pages.

Any other questions I can answer if you want to PM me. It's been a while since I worked there, so not sure how much has changed. Probably not too much.
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mikesaidyes



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 16
Location: Sanbon, South Korea

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still too new to PM you. I was told the schools were all in Jakarta. I just find it odd that they claim that everyone they've hired doesn't sign a thing until they get there.

How did your process work with signing/arriving/visas?
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extradross



Joined: 23 Apr 2010
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never known any EF, in fact any school at all, to proceed with the hiring process prior to your arrival. Probably British International etc do when they hire teachers from overseas but EF? Always involves a month or so working illegally before you're dispatched to Singapore.
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Gajah Oling



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Jawa

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What extradross says is my experience. I arrived on a tourist visa and worked for a month (illegally) before being flown to Singapore to get my work visa completed.

If the school is in Jakarta, it's probably a different Hendra.
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mikesaidyes



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 16
Location: Sanbon, South Korea

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. You know us crazy Americans and how we operate job wise. It'd be unheard of to take a job here and not sign anything like that. But again, this is the experience of applying aborad. Well that's definitely reassuring, though, to know that the contract signing when I get there is normal. I would've thought otherwise, but hey, I guess not.

EF seemed legit but I just wanted some extra assurance.

Ah so I get the 30 day visa, cool. I guess I should play it safe and only book a 30 day flight to avoid being haggled by immigration, huh? I'd be flying over on Korean Air so I'm allowed a change of date on my inbound (leg home) free of charge.
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mikesaidyes



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 16
Location: Sanbon, South Korea

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gajah,

Did you enjoy your work there? I know it all depends on the school, but the rumor mill says Jakarta schools are okay. How was your experience with the agency itself?

I mean all I did was one Skype interview and bam, hired. So crazy!
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Ragil



Joined: 26 Jun 2009
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can, if you want, extend a 30-day Visa on Arrival, ONCE only, within the country with your homeward flight booked accordingly (I mean, it would you give you that extra breathing space). Your prospective employer would, in any event, arrange and pay for the extension.
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Gajah Oling



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Jawa

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was a mixed bag. Overall I enjoyed it. The company was straight with me: they paid me on time, reimbursed me for my flight, and basically lived up to the contract. Their number one consideration (and I'm sure this applies to just about any private school in Indonesia) is making money though, and this sometimes caused friction. A common issue went something like this: TOEFL test prep courses I think were the most expensive courses offered at my school. Unfortunately, hardly any of the students who wanted to take these courses were no where near close enough to the level of English ability needed to take them. The school would try to encourage them to take the requisite English courses before taking the TOEFL course, but most just didn't want to. So the school would fudge the students' placement scores so that they could get enough of them to make it worth while to have a TOEFL class. Of the TOEFL classes I taught, I had one student who might have come close to passing. They would do this with other courses as well. It wasn't horrible, but it made it difficult when you had several students who clearly weren't at the level they should be in your class.

Pay wasn't great, but I was able to make a living there and live comfortably enough.

If you can, you should try to talk to the school's DOS and/or some of the other teachers before you go. That will give you the best idea of what kind of work environment you're getting yourself into. At the time I worked there, EF Solo had an excellent DOS (the head of the school was scared of him) and a great crew of teachers, and that made the difference between having a potentially horrible experience in actually having a pleasant one.
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KopiKopi



Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 12:38 am    Post subject: Deportations DO Happen Reply with quote

I worked at an EF, had a fine time, but a year before I worked there two teachers were deported for working illegally. So, SOME EFs are fine, but working without a KITAS, is not a good idea. I work for an international school now and visas were taken care of well before any teaching duties.

I actually got my KITAS well before teaching at EF, also. So, be careful. Immigration in Indo can be rough.
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Tudor



Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wise words. As has been recently reported on a popular expat forum, a new law has been passed (or, at least, will be shortly) whereby the maximum penalty for working illegaly is five years imprisonment. Whilst that may be the absolute worse-case scenario, and many strings can be pulled and palms greased before that eventuality, it is nevertheless food for thought.

However, working on a tourist/business visa whilst waiting for a KITAS does seem to be the norm at many language schools so, as long as you're aware of the potential (albeit unlikely) consequences, it's your call.
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jaybet3



Joined: 15 Dec 2010
Posts: 140
Location: Indonesia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No contract? Why would you take a job in a corrupt country like this without something in writing? Would you take a job in the USA without a contract? Did they tell you the salary?

I just finished a two year at an EF school and saw them do a bait & switch with someone from the states. In emails (which the newbie never kept), he was told the salary would be "X". When he arrived, he was told the salary was two million rupiah less per month. Plus, they tried to screw him at the end of his contract because he only bought a one-way plane ticket and not a round trip (per the contract).

I only worked for one EF group and can say that the owners aren't looking out to help you. They're only interested in how much money they can make.

Now, I hear they're holding the KITAS and Blue Book of one teacher because they're afraid he's going to leave the country.

Think again before coming here without a contract. That's my opinion.
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mikesaidyes



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 16
Location: Sanbon, South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm awaiting something from them, actually. Something that states the general things (salary, benefits, dates) and then all we do is fill in the blanks of the actual school when it's closer to time.

But no, while it may be the thing to do with other countries/schools (like my friend who taught in Cadiz, Spain), I do want SOMETHING up front.

We shall see. We shall see.
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mikesaidyes



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 16
Location: Sanbon, South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the offer I got in a Word doc in e-mail. What say ye, EF'ers?

Since opening we have experienced rapid expansion due to local market demands and the quality of our product, a direct result of an experienced, dedicated and flexible teaching staff.
Our offer:
1. 14 days paid holiday plus the additional 2 weeks school holiday after Ramadhan and during Christmas
2. Roundtrip airfare.
3. The flight ticket must only be done with prior authorization from us, otherwise you won’t be reimbursed. The payment will be made 50% after 3 months and the balance will be paid upon on completion of 12 months contracts.
4. We will pay and provide all necessary legal documents including visas and permits for the period of the agreement.
5. A salary of Rp 7.500.000/month
The overtime is Rp 90.000/contact teaching hour, paid if the teacher has exceeded the compulsory teaching periods/week (24 hours/week)
6. A bonus for one month salary upon contract completion (12 months contract).
7. Housing allowance for the amount of Rp 750.000/month
8. Hospitalization insurance
9. The school provide for medical insurance, which covers hospitalization insurance only. Outpatient expenses are covered up to Rp 1.000.000/year. Expenses relating to pregnancy, venereal diseases, dental and optical treatment, general medical check up are not covered.

A working week is six days from Monday to Saturday (with occasionally on Saturday). Teachers maybe asked to teach any/all levels in our General English program from beginning through advanced and all age groups from five year old to adults. In addition, teachers are expected to be available for TOEFL, Business English and Conversation classes as needed.

Mostly EF classes last for 1 hour and 20 minutes. You will have full use of school facilities including resource books, such as: course books, supplementary exercises and games, photocopying facility and a computer lab.

Working day.
Monday to Saturday. Saturday is also part of working day but for class on Saturday it will be rotated between the full-time teachers/alternate. Teachers may be asked to teach additional classes, when the need for substitution arises, at overtime rates (if exceeded 24 hours contact teaching hours per week). 40 hours duty to stay at school per week for administration duty such as: fill in attendance, make students’ report, class preparation, copy additional materials etc.

For teachers: the working hours is from around 13.30 p.m. or 14.00 p.m. (depending on each school’s policy) to 19.30 p.m. sharp, this is for Monday to Friday. Saturdays will have different timetable and only apply for teachers that are assigned with Saturday classes. Most of the time, class will finish at 14.00 p.m. on Saturdays.

Teachers maybe asked to teach any/all levels in our General English program from beginning through advanced and all age groups from four years old to adults. In addition, teachers are expected to be available for TOEFL, Business English and Conversation classes as needed.

Teaching Schedule
Every effort is made to give teachers equivalent teaching loads and to expose teachers to a variety of levels and different types of courses. Because classes begin or end each week and new classes may be delayed this is not always possible. Teachers with light teaching loads may be scheduled to conduct placement tests, work on projects, or observe other classes.

Students’ often ask for the same teacher again in the next level (and occasionally for a different one). Unless, because of scheduling, there is no alternative, students will not be given the same teacher. Student benefit from being exposed to as wide a range as possible of different accents and teaching styles.

Housing. Housing is shared between 2 or 3 other teachers depend on how big the house is. All utilities expenses are included as long as does not exceed maximum cost that the school has set. Gas for cooking and drinking water is also not provided by the school.

Work permit. All expenses related to work permit will be under our responsibility. This will include:
1. Return flight to Singapore with Garuda because Garuda is the only flight that has quite a lot flight to and from Singapore in one day and also the earliest in comparison to other airlines. The trip to Singapore is only one day leaving at 6.30 in the morning and normally come back at 20.00 or 21.00 flight depends on which time is available. Other alternative would be Lion Air, depending on the seats availability.
2. Visa fee: Sin$260 to be given to our agent in Singapore
3. Pocket money: Sin$50
4. Return Taxi fee from the house to airport in Indonesia
5. Passport size photos
Teachers will enter the country using tourist visa (visa on arrival at the airport) and before the end of the visa (30 days) we will send them to Singapore to get work permit.

Living cost. Example:
Shopping:
(All prices are in Rupiah)

Please be advised that is only an example of the prices for some dairy products or needs. From time to time, there might be some slight differences in prices, however it might be only couple of hundreds Rupiahs.

Rice 1 kilo 9,000
Sugar 1 kilo 11,000
Orange Juice 1 liter 15,000
Eggs I kilo 12,000
Can of Coke 4,000
Chicken 1 kg 25,000
Bread 7,000
Pack of Marlboro cigarettes 12,000
Beef 1 kilo 40,000
Instant noodles 1,500
Chocolate bar 6,000 – 15,000
Many brands of western foods, are available, but for those who do not insist on a purely western diet, you have a fantastic range of fresh fruit and vegetables to choose from. Indonesian food can be very spicy and has rice or noodles. It is possible to buy pork but Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country so eggs, chicken, and beef make up most of the protein. Seafood and fresh water fish are also commonly available and of excellent quality.

Holiday
The contract includes 14 working days of vacation per year in addition to a week at Christmas and a week at the end of Ramadhan period during which times the school is closed. Naturally the school is closed on national holiday.

Insurance
EF does not offer any insurance for personal belongings even those inside an EF house. Medical expenses are covered by EF to teachers on a full time contract (up to Rp 1.000.000/year). In the case of hospitalization teachers are covered by health insurance. As with any health insurance provision there are of course limits, but we feel that the insurance will be adequate for nearly all cases in which in-patient treatment is required.

Salary
The salary is paid monthly (every 26 each month) and is based in Indonesian Rupiah. The cost of living in Indonesia is low compare to western country. However, the salary is not designed to allow the support of dependents nor the repayment of outstanding debts in one’s home country. Locally produced food is extremely cheap but imported alcoholic beverages and dairy products may be considered “occasionally within the budget but pricey”.
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mikesaidyes



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 16
Location: Sanbon, South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clarification: That's the offer I got that they wanted me to accept over e-mail after my interview. I am waiting on something I can sign before hand. Or should that work?
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