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Review of EF Bekasi and Kalimalang

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Joined: 04 May 2015
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 3:29 pm    Post subject: Review of EF Bekasi and Kalimalang Reply with quote

Hi, I wanted to write a short review of EF in Bekasi and Kalimalang at which I worked recently. Hopefully this review may offer some guidance to those who like myself had seen their ad for teachers.

Overall my impressions were positive. I'll quickly sketch my experience over my tenure and of some of those with whom I worked.

I arrived to find that most of the foreign staff were quite clean-cut and decent people which is not what I had expected frankly. All together there are about ten foreign teachers at Bekasi and twice that at Kalimalang, the two being sister campuses.

I was picked up at the airport, there was a day of rest, and then three or so days of class observations and training. For those who do not know, EF has a very extensive curriculum and multimedia support for the lessons and administration.

The institutes are of very modern interior design, the teachers rooms are comfortable enough and the classrooms are impressively color coordinated with computers, and smartboards. There is a computer lab too.

The teachers accommodation in Bekasi was a little crowded; all ten or so teachers may be found in the one house which is a short five minute walk around the corner in a very fine upper or middle class complex with park and so on. The character of the teachers was reasonable but much too loud and messy to my taste although it would probably suit many recently graduated young men. The accommodation at Kalimalang is a bit of a distance to walk, but with only two or three teachers per house a little more peaceful.

The directors of the campuses were Greg and Linda, both of whom where very pleasant and reasonable people. Linda might be described as rather hands-off in her management style, Greg might be accused of being a teeny bit eccentric, I found him to have a slightly boyish manner; he was always very good to me though some said they found him a little bulldogish. The owner of the branches was apparently Rubby, a foreigner, of whom I saw very little. The local staff and office boys and course-counselors were were all very nice and maybe a bit distant.

There were generally five working days to a week, this occasionally became six when there was some sickness among the teachers or there was a special even such as an Open House or a Selling Bee. I personally had fun with the special events which included a trip to the Fire Station and Wendy's hamburger restaurant although someone might prefer their free-time? There are of course not a few holidays, long weekends, and contract holidays making for generally plenty of time-off.

All work and teaching rooms are air-conditioned, though a few not well.

It was required to be at the campus 2 hours before classes started for prep; or 40 minutes per class if less than 3 classes; I found this to be a bit much and most of the teachers were on the email or Youtube much of the prep time -- this may have been what led to some kind of net-nanny being installed on the computers limiting their use to wikipedia and the EF hosted sites.

EF held professional development workshops every Friday for ninety minutes which were usually focused on some topic relating to the TKT exam which all teachers must take at least one module of; some teachers were able to bang off several and the cost of sitting these examinations was paid for by EF.

There is an annual drug test which was performed as I recall at Prodia Labs following the unfortunate arrest of one teacher for possession of marijuana at Kalimalang and his subsequent death in custody. The test was for cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine, and opiates.

In lieu of English, Linguistics etc degrees, EF has a deal to criminal record check foreign staff in order to acquire IMTA visas; if one hasn't brought a recent check with them then one is contracted by EF.

Pay was accurate and on time. In one case I found a small miscalculation which was corrected the next month, for me. Two teachers who I was aware of were however very sore about not having their flight expenses refunded; in light of the cost of the tickets and being under the impression they would have their travel costs reimbursed these teachers annoyance seems understandable. These teachers were not singled out for revenge but it had something to do with some technical wording about the starting and ending cities of the round-trip not being identical?

Contrary to what is sometimes said about EF in Indonesia, my experience was very positive; I worked with professional and clean-cut people, the institute is very modern, and the curriculum, support, philosophy, and organization is superior to what I have seen at any other language school so far. The starting salary is not enormous; however, raises, favorable readjustments of the contract, overtime, extra gigs, and bonuses raised it very significantly quickly at least for me.

It is unlikely I will return to EF Bekasi or Kalimalang in the future as I have since gotten involved in other things so there is no reason for me to paint an overly rosy picture; I think I have described objectively the few irksome points as well so that anyone wishing to work there in the near future will probably find things much as I have described.
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Joined: 02 Jul 2014
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a very helpful post. I have also had a good experience overall with EF Indonesia so far. I work at one of the Adult Centres. They have treated me well.

Just with respect to the drug issue in Indonesia, I think it bears repeating that you should not come to Indonesia if you are a heavy pot smoker. Even having one joint can land you in jail in this country, and you don't want to end up in a jail in Indonesia for any reason.
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