EF English First
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An ok place to start, pre-pandemic anyway

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I started at EF Hangzhou in 2019 just before the pandemic and left in 2021 when my contract finished. Overall not a bad experience for myself, but I think this was simply because they liked me (I read prior to accepting my contract that it can be more of a popularity contest, and that wasn’t entirely false). For sure not a bad place to start if you have no teaching experience, but not the kind of place you’ll benefit from long term if you’re serious about a teaching career.Pros:- Great support logistically (finding housing, bank transfers, etc)-Great staff, depending on location-Resources are easy to understand and navigate -Plenty of materials for in-class activities -Good continuous training (Free Cambridge certifications such as TKT and CELTA)-Teaching hours bonus system (Hangzhou)Cons:-Insane work hours during peak periods (Summer 2020 we worked 6-day weeks for 6 weeks with extra classes on top of our regular classes)-VERY low pay compared to what’s offered in China (could have changed since I’ve left, but I was earning roughly ¥5000 less per month than my next job)-Work/life balance can be difficult. Because you don’t have a traditional weekend, it can be difficult to meet people you don’t work with. -Holidays: Plenty of personal leave days, but they don’t make up for the amount of holiday days you would have elsewhere. You have to give a relatively large notice when taking personal leave.-VERY corporate: not the kind of place you should start if you are looking to begin a legitimate teaching career or already have teaching experience.
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Great place to get a start in ESL

I worked within the Suzhou, China branch at EF and I have to say it was the best thing I've done. If you're serious about teaching they offer a lot of training and workshops to improve. Specific to China, getting a legal visa can be difficult, but EF has a long standing there and they rarely have any issues working through legality.Two things of note: 1) Your experience can change largely depending on who is in management. 2) Other schools generally can pay more once you're situated in the country.

优点

They take care of you, training, team building, decent pay.

缺点

Better pay elsewhere, expect to work hard as a real teacher!
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Fun and fantastic life experience

Brilliant opportunity to earn while travelling. Plenty of resources and support for first time ESL teacher and first time in China. Work and office culture is quite laid back.
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There are really great people on the academic side, but the sales side does not care about employees

I came to EF in China in 2019, at the time it was great, really supportive, great training and professional development. Now because of government restrictions in China, the company is struggling financially and it is very clear to all staff. Everything has become about sales, not academic quality. They have increased the workload and decreased pay. After I was promised a monthly bonus to stay on and sign a new contract, they withdrew that promise. Workload constantly increases and the company culture is very "shut up and suck it up." Local staff will not say anything or give any pushback. Foreign staff are outnumbered and left out of all decisions. I rate it low for job security. There are not a lot of opportunities for promotions. They promoted four or five academic directors last summer who have since been demoted again due to lack of money.
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Starts very well and becomes very difficult

In my first year in EF it was lovely, a fair work load, support and good people, I had an amazing boss then that really respected us and protected us from the higher-ups. However as you become more experienced naturally they expect more, which is understandable but, it fast becomes too much. Six classes every day, sometimes six + activities and demo classes. They provide materials which is the excuse for low pay and forgetting teachers need to plan classes but the material is minimal, the classes as given are not very engaging and you need time to rework them. You are given classes with little warning, all the time it’s like they don’t respect we need to plan things and it’s very stressful. On top of it all things change almost every week as the compsny in China seems to be struggling. More work, no pay raise, less teachers, more students, less and less respect and consideration. I heard one manger tell another “teachers are resources” in defence that they would transfer us to another city or sack us. I had times I cried in the bathroom from just being lied to, disrespected and overloaded. Good people in regards to colleagues, and before they left I did have this one amazing boss, but I wouldn’t do it.

优点

Colleagues and people, students are always great too

缺点

Overworked, underpaid, not respected
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May or may not have a qualified boss

If you are looking to head overseas and experience something new and have no clue where to go in life, EF is a great opportunity. However, as a professional educator you are underpaid and they will also try to add to your job description without raising pay. Only two employees are allowed to be off at the same time, you will not receive time off for national holidays, not to mention you only receive about 5 days of paid off time until you earn more. If you are a foreign teacher (native English speaker) you will not be able to take off during the Chinese New Year as everyone goes home and only foreign teachers are left to work. Do not apply for this job during the summer or winter months. Because they have “summer/winter sessions” where everyone is required to be at work regardless of your class schedule. Summer session days were constant 7am-8pm. Like I said, even if you aren’t working you are required to be in the office.

优点

Possible amazing work environment, outside of summer/winter sessions most work days begin around 3pm

缺点

Last minute changes in schedule, no paid or being off on national holidays
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A-Typical, Pandemic Based Experience

Unfortunately, I am unable to give a FULL review of the EF experience as I joined the company and was in training in Shenzhen, literally, when the pandemic began. This meant that our intended training agenda went topsy turvy and the entire company was forced to pivot. That said, they did a FANTASTIC job, at a corporate level of doing just that. There were minor issues at the center level which reflected some breakdowns in top-down communication but, all in all, I'm not dissatisfied with the experience I had whatsoever. Everyone did their best with a less-than-ideal situation and I can only appreciate that, really.

优点

Well organized live training program
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120% profit focussed, few care about education.

Was top pay now average. Academic department are often viewed as problematic (because we care about education as a priority). The other departments focus totally on profit and regularly compromise educational standards in pursuit of an extra RMB.On the plus side, they are loyal and will stick with their staff, (although on these wages they need to be).

优点

Loyalty, you won't struggle for a second contract.

缺点

Profit focus above all else. Esp educational standards.
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Great people, mostly great work

I was teaching adults. You teach a reasonable five 1-hour classes a day, 5 days a week (though the 5 days is shifted from the standard - you will work weekends). The times are nonstandard also, starting and finishing later than business hours on weekdays to accommodate students' work times.The work environment is generally friendly and collaborative, with pretty chill managers, but you do have to train your skills up and justify your position come the bi-annual performance review (with examples of your work), which gets old fast.It got a bit difficult during CoVID, with a restructure disrupting things (centres combining, losing non-teaching staff), and a new-teacher shortage, but it should be smoothing out by now.Teaching adults, you can establish quite good rapport with the regular students, and they are always very hapy to see you. It's quite gratifying to win over the quieter ones too.And you get to experience a new city and country, immersed in the culture. Don't put off travel too much like I did.

优点

Late start, lots of new people

缺点

Late finish, homework
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Good for your first time abroad

Teaching at EF is great for your first year. They hold you hand through the entire visa process and first month within the new country. You get introduced to tons of people and make a great network. The pay is not great, in China you make 13,000rmb starting, while most schools pay 18,000+rmb starting. After your first year, if you want to continue teaching abroad, leave EF and join a real school. But for the first year it's great

优点

get to sleep in 5 days a week.

缺点

Summer and winter "holiday" is your busiest season
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Opportunities for advancement in a short amount of time

You have no control over your schedule. It's not too hard to get promoted and you are evaluated every six months. They offer certification opportunities such as CerTESOL. They hire a diverse range of people, so it will help you become more culturally experienced. You follow their curriculum, so it gives you time to develop your teaching style.

优点

Great onboarding assistance
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Solid place of work for first year teachers in China

While pay is not the highest for foreigners in China, you get a sense of security in the fact it's a well established company. My own EF provides social events and great care for it foreigners occasionally. Although the company as a whole is franchised and therefore their may be variation with other branches. Overall the teaching style is easy to learn and the class sizes are pretty good.

优点

Accommodation allowance, HR that will help with most problems, clear progress routes, flight allowance, healthcare

缺点

Short breaks on busier days, lower pay than smaller companies.
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You can find better

English first may be the easiest job to get into when you’re just starting out but don’t do it. RUN FAR. They will take advantage of all your time, short your pay every month and give a dumb reason why they won’t give you the contract amount. They don’t value their teachers. They only care about money from parents. The students are amazing but their course work is basically busy work. They do train a lot. Management don’t really care about much. They low ball everyone with pay so find a better job preferable a actual school not a language center like this.
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Starting a job there soon

Pay & benefitsMy pay and benefits at EF English First are goodJob security and advancementIn terms of job security at EF English First, I think it is goodCultureCollaboration with my colleagues at EF English First is very rewarding
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What a rollercoaster

It's a great opportunity to work in a foreign country and make new friends. However, you are OVER WORKED especially during the Summer and Winter. You get no weekends off. You might think this okay now, but when you get there you'll regret it. Management is terrible and their's a weird obsession with white people. They also get front seat in promoting and marketing the school. Also,majority of the teachers only stay for 1 year. The students and the PAs are amazing! The children are very disciplined and respectful and the PAs work so hard to assist as much as possible. The best part of working at EF Baotou are the students and the PAs.

优点

Live and work in another country. Teaching experience. Make new friends.

缺点

Management is terrible, Obsession with white people, Male dominated atmosphere, No weekends, No Summer and Winter breaks, High teacher turnover rate.
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EF Xi'an

After a year of leaving EF, reflecting and experiencing a different small-scaled training school I can comfortably say EF only offers two things;- A convenient and supportive entry point to get into China- Opportunities to meet tonnes of people from other culturesYour first year will be full of challenges. I'm just going to list 2 core things which tells you all you need to know about swallowing the pill and getting an easy foot into China, hopefully this will prepare you for the mental and physical exhaustion which you'll experience at EF, but this truly is an honest review and it's worth noting I don't regret my first year at EF, simply for the convenient entry-point into China, but I am thankful to the gods when deliberating about staying or leaving at contract renewal I chose to leave. Point 1On average every EF branch will have a staff turnover of at least 80% every year, in my experience this is what I found and heard over the past 2 years of being in China. Effect: this creates a pretty chaotic and unorganized workplace - managers (Senior teachers/ADOS/DOS) at almost all of EF Xi'an's schools have zero experience, and are often force-promoted. This creates an inadequate workforce and although the savior which keeps many schools running is the passionate teachers at the bottom who work hard for the kids, those just above (Senior Teachers) accept the chaos and un-professionalism as a way of making their own lives easier. In my first year, my original DOS was amazing, shoutout to you (the other flowerpot man who isn't Bill), but the ADOS at the time was force-promoted - 

优点

Convenient Entry, Diverse workforce, Lots of different company events

缺点

It's money-focused, 80% (in my experience) Turn-over amongst both local and foreign staff, extreme levels of unprofessionalism and underqualified persons in managerial positions
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Great for entry level individuals to gain experience

I wouldn't recommend this workplace to anyone but it's a great place to start your career as an ESL teacher. I would suggest joining their competitors.
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Very great starting point for working abroad in China

EF is a fantastic place to take a chance if you are looking to start a career in education without too much prior experience. They give you phenomenal training. The company itself may not be the best fit for every person and work/life balance can be a struggle. A great place to start but not necessarily a great place to progress for all.
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Gateway job for new ESL teachers.

If you're new to ESL teaching and crave stability and avoid risk as a rule (like me) . Then you should apply here. Onboarding process Is smooth, training and development program Is excellent. And dependent which city and country you are applying to the basic salary should allow for a fairly comfortable lifestyle.
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Perfect for a gap-year

From the beginning it was a challenge, but I was able to overcome that. Overall, DO YOUR RESEARCH! I can't emphasis this enough. From the city of your school, to your hours, to the way that housing is going to be handled.
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Good place to built your open mind thinking

In EF there are a lot of different people who have a different nationality, such as the UK or South Africa or the USA. you will influence by their culture.

优点

built your open mind thinking

缺点

limited training
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整体评分

基于275条点评

按类别评分

满分为5 星,工作与生活 为 3.5 星
满分为5 星,薪酬/福利 为 3.1 星
满分为5 星,工作保障/升迁机会 为 3.3 星
满分为5 星,管理方式 为 3.3 星
满分为5 星,企业文化 为 3.5 星
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