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Arrive in China before placement?


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Ok I am working with a company based in china, called TEFL369.

I have interviewed with them, interviewed with a school they matched me with. I did not feel was a fit for the school they matched.

The interviewer from the school was 45 minutes late for the skype meeting, and when I notified the agency that I was still sitting there waiting for the school, the school suddenly appeared onto skype. When we finally connected, the school interviewer was rude and in a rush and kept calling me by the wrong name.

Fast forward, i told the agency I did not wish to work with this school. They offered to find me a different school.

I have never had any issues with the agency, themselves. They have been nothing but polite.

Ok so fast forward again. I spoke with the agency more again today and they explained that an option for me would be to arrive in China, WITHOUT A PLACEMENT CONFIRMED, to interview in person. 

They basically explained that with the Chinese Holiday most schools will be shut down until mid February, and it will be better to interview in person, they offered to send a Chinese colleague with me to interview, and promised accommodation as long as I am signed with them. 

They advised me of several stories of teachers who arrived in China only to be placed days later, others were placed weeks later. 


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I think I accidentally submitted my last post too early.

Here are the main points because I don't feel like typing all of this over again,


1. I am working with a teaching agency in China. They offer 5000RMB and an apartment along with several other accommodations such as visa and airfare reimbursement, and bonus.

2. They matched me with a school which i interviewed with and I did not like. They interviewer was 45 minutes late, was rude, and kept calling me by the wrong name. i ask to be placed with another school.

3. The agency offered to match me with another school with no problem.

4. They also offered me the option of arriving to China WITHOUT A PLACEMENT SECURED, and offered to accommodate me as long as I am signed with them in the interim.




They sent me a contract that outlines my dates of arrival, and my pay once i start teaching. The pay once i begin teaching is 5000RMB monthly. 

My questions is, how can an agency be so sure that I will be placed, to the point where they are willing to pay for my apartment?

Is this common practice?

I have it in writing, but it that enough?


Here are a few excerpts of the messages they sent me:


"Thank you for both of your emails,  as long as you are with us in China we will always provide accommodation. Normally all schools from kindergarten to universities ask us to provide them with Foreign English Teachers. I'm sure there will be a school amongst them that you will be perfect for.

I can totally understand your nerves as I have been there, but I had so much help and support from the company when I came out I wasn't  worried after I was taken out of a school because I was unhappy, our manager himself does prefer the teachers to come out without a job because he realises that face to face interviews are better.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or queries we are all here to help you."
"Thank you for your email, it wouldn't be worth coming to China before the 13th Feb because of the Chinese New Year All China shuts and all schools will close for a month. Some schools do not even come to us for teachers until about 2 days before they are needed as well. 
Please do not worry about accommodation as while you are with us you will be provided with accommodation. 
Our manager never lets any teacher go for too long without a placement so if my colleagues in the office can't find you a placement our manager will find you a placement. So please believe me when I say as a company we will find you a placement without a doubt.
Our manager has his own contacts who prefer just to contact him. Also he has been in the job for coming up to 14  years and  he has never failed in placing a teacher.
Please don't hesitate if I you have any further questions, queries or concerns we are here to help."
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Is there any reason you're going through this agency rather than applying directly for jobs? It's likely you'll be getting paid less through an agency than you would normally.

If there isn't any particular reason then I would just wash my hands of them and apply directly OR perhaps go through an agency based in your home country or at least a native speaking one.

I assume by 'placement' you mean them 'placing you' somewhere rather than it being 'a placement' as such (which usually applies to work experience or something more short term).

You say they're willing to provide accommodation when you arrive but you don't mention anything about your visa. Do they claim to be able to provide you with a work [Z] visa? Are they asking you to come on a tourist [L]?

I would definitely not just fly to China on the say so of this company. If you're going over on a tourist visa by flights you've paid for yourself, the company has nothing to lose saying 'oh yeah, we'll help you with a place to stay and find you a job'. However, if they're going to go through the relative trouble of sorting you out with a Z visa (which has to be tied to an employer/school) while you're in your home country, then bring you over on that, legal and ready to work... perhaps I'd be more trusting.

As it is, you don't even know which school and, it seems, which part of the country you'd be working in. This vague claim about having an experienced manager just sounds like something to get you to go over there.

I wouldn't commit to anything until you know the exact location and school you'll be working in. I certainly wouldn't get on a plane without the correct Visa in my passport first.

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You're working. You're getting paid. It's a job. Try telling the local police, who earn less than you, that it's only 5,000Y a month so it's not a proper job.


Things might work out. Things probably do for some people. But I wouldn't be trying it. 

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It's legal to work under a work visa. A business visa is basically when you're looking to come over for business meetings etc. A tourist visa is for ... Doing tourist things!

It's hard to see what an "English teaching internship" could be other than what Roddy describes above. It's not that "China internships" are no good, it's more like an "English teaching internship" doesn't make much sense. You'd just be thrown in a room and told to teach essentially. 'd move on from this idea.

For another profession perhaps you could be looking at something better. However, I think all over the world "internships" are abused by companies to get cheap/free labour. You have to trust the company or agency enough so that they actually have a "plan" for you rather than just using you. Anyway, that's a bit off topic.

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Is the agency called "InternTrip", based in Qingdao? Your post sounds like what they tried to pull on me, especially signing a blank contract thing. If it is, the company's a scam. The only thing I didn't see in your post that happened to me was that they tried to charge me money before I could use their agency but I already knew it was a scam even before they asked me for payment. 


Edited by request: Basically what happened to me was they appeared friendly at first (although I think I may have only thought so because the person helping me was American and wrote more fluently in English, although there were still many grammar mistakes but no big deal. Chinese recruiters were more curt which could seem standoffish but that's just the language barrier) but then he realized that I was Asian. He completely changed his attitude towards me and said it would be extremely difficult for me to find a job and that's when he said that I must agree to not contact any other recruiters if I work with them. In addition, I should pay them to prove that I'm dedicated to them. They said they would GUARANTEE me an interview (but not a job) but that sounded so fishy to me. How can they guarantee an interview when they haven't even asked for my qualifications or resume yet?! I have a feeling that they'll just have a random person interview me since how would I know if they're really working at the school or not? 


About the racist part, after he kept saying that Chinese people don't like other Asians teaching them English he went on and said that 'black people' are the worst and "no Chinese can trust them" and they scare all students from pre-school kids to university students. And they make other teachers uncomfortable. I have no idea why he started ranting about 'black people' but he just kept going on and it started getting super scary.


I had tried to defend both myself, as an Asian, and people of African descent but his ranting started to scare me and he some of my information and facebook (but still didn't care about my resume, ha) so I decided to tell him politely that I would contact him in 2 months when I was closer to preparing to go to China. He kept insisting me to pay him a deposit now. But I just kept repeating that I would contact him in 2 months politely and he threatened that I wouldn't find a better agency... but finally stopped and said he will be waiting for my email in 2 months. 


I did not contact him after 2 months and will never contact them again. I was legitimately scared. I hope he has forgotten about me and won't hound me on facebook or something. 


I have a lot more information about this InternTrip agency so if it's the one you're in talks with, I'll can provide more information (the paying for their services was totally nonsensical and I felt that he was making it up on the spot) otherwise, I'll stop now since this post is getting long!

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  • 1 month later...
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Firstly TEFL369 is nothing what so ever to do with Interntrip Qingdao.


TEFL369 is a registered recruitment agency in China managed by a westerner from England.


If you were to look at the TEFL369 site you would see for yourself, we do not charge a fee to join our internship program, and we co-operate with the PSB as well (who monitor the visas) So please run down a company you know nothing about.

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