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WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 01 Jun 2012, 15:20
by robertian
Beware this company. They are currently (1st June 2012) advertising for English instructors for their TVTC program in various centers in Saudi Arabia. However, new employees will find that their contracts are not with Interlink but with a Saudi company called English Gate Academy (EGA) who have a contract with TVTC to supply English instructors. And this is where the problems lie. EGA treats teachers with disdain. They send them on visa runs and will not pay expenses. They deduct money for teaching days missed as a consequence of EGA's inefficiencies. They have victimized some individuals for daring to question them. They deduct money for housing unfairly. The company's accountant acts unilaterally and unfairly and deducts money directly from teachers' salaries at a whim. There is no recourse. Also, they will not issue letters of no objection (needed to obtain another job in the kingdom) even though teachers have fully complied with and completed their contracts. They will try to withhold your passports, even though this is contrary to international and Saudi law. Contract renewals are not at the discretion of the site directors (the teachers' line managers) but are issued by EGA admin staff, particularly the accountant whose knowledge of pedagogy and teaching ability is zero!
My advice: stay away from this company.

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 05 Jun 2012, 05:28
by LJTeacher
Can you give me an update as to your situation with Interlink? They have offered me a position, and I have heard a mix of "bad" and "it's ok".

I'd appreciate your current insights.


Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 11 Jun 2012, 22:43
by twinmaster
Thanks for this update, I was offered a position and was supposed to fly over at the end of August, but I've just sent an email saying I'm no longer on board.

Based on the recent (and older) posts and reviews and warnings on a few sites I don't want to take the risk.

I'm making 52K baht a month in Bangkok, which is $1,000 or so less, but that's not worth being miserable in a bad situation that appears to be spinning out of control.

I know it's tempting, and one can always think positively and hope for the best, but based on this review and others I've decided it's just not worth it.

Thanks to A. Case for all his great worksheets over the years!

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 04:16
by lalala
Hi All:

I need to tell you my experience with this company. I was recruited by INTERLINK, but when I saw the contract I realize it was with EGA. This company has been a mess and complete chaos since the beginning. A lot of things were negative and bad in general. The visa issue was a big problem, and a lot of teachers left because they could not bring their wives with them. The accommodation was also very bad at times. I just feel tired of listing the issues, but I would like to recommend to anybody not to work for this company. Be very careful, and do not accept...

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 17 Oct 2012, 13:09
by manama
Hi everyone,
I've been working in KSA for a few months now, and honestly I disagree with everything, that's been said here. Problems with visa, passport, money...?! Nobody was trying to withhold my passport, I got it back along with my residence card and multiple entry visa. I am being paid on time. Money is decent. I have really good accommodation, that I don't need to pay for. There are guys who came here together with wives. People extend their contracts and don't even plan on going home or anywhere else. Working conditions are really good.
I have worked in China before and even though I did enjoy it generally, maybe mostly because I liked the place, KSA - as far as working conditions are concerned - is such a better choice.

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 19 Oct 2012, 19:56
by Alex Case
Are you working for/ through Interlink?

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 27 Nov 2012, 21:24
by manama
Yes :)

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 12 Sep 2013, 13:52
by markisapayne
I also couldn't disagree more...a little inquisitive as to where the original person who posted was based?

I keep my passport (I believe that's a national policy), I usually get paid early, I chose my apartment and they pay me too much so I keep the extra, they've never deducted money from me, and a colleague who left last year (who wasn't a favourite of the company's at all) got a letter of no objection no problem. Contract renewals were simply a formality last just ticked some boxes and signed on the dotted line. I really have no complaints... Perhaps it depends on where you're based and who your site director is... But nothing that was in the original post has been my experience.

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 22 Apr 2014, 14:27
by majedn
It would be really appreciated if all teachers can place what cities they were placed when working with Interlink/EGA.

I recently got a job offer trying to push for a position in Madinah.

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 24 Apr 2014, 09:52
by Susan
Yes, agreed. For chain schools, it can depend on which branch someone works at.

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 12 May 2014, 08:41
by zavier
Could manama and markisapayne share with us the locations of the branches they are currently working, please? I got an interview tomorrow with a Mr. Muscat for Interlink and the application has been made through English Today recruitment. I also have my concerns after reading this:
And I wonder if it's worth it working for this company.
Thanks in advance.

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 26 May 2014, 03:18
by Blink
Beware, this company now has agents in Beijing ("Peter") and in Shanghai ("Joanne") who are recruiting teachers for this "questionable" operation. They are doing their interviews in the coffee shops of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. They say they are only here for 10 days. Watch Out!

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 08 Jun 2014, 11:23
by manama
It doesn't matter where you work, people from various sites encounter similar problems like:
- they are not paid on time (delays up to over a month)
- company changes the curriculum very often
I'm not sure whether people will be provided with free accommodation next year or just allowance. The first option is obviously better, since it's not that easy to rent sth decent in KSA.

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 18 Nov 2014, 08:54
by monkeyboy
I have to disagree with almost all that's been written about INTERLINK and EGA here. The reason there are two companies running side by side is due to Saudi law stating you have to have a Saudi partner on board to have a company here. That's part and parcel of business life. That out of the way, they're a trustworthy company and I've been with them for three years, many of my peers longer. We've all been paid absolutely on time and that's a lot more than can be said for some other companies here. The sites are generally pretty good and although some are a little run down, I've worked in much worse places. I think the negative feedback has been from teachers who haven't had their contracts renewed ad are getting a few digs in. There's decent scope for promotion and you tend to get the choice of the city you want to go in your second year, Medinah being the obvious exception due to volume of requests for the city and its religious connections. I'd absolutely recommend and I'll definitely sign for a fourth year.

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 22 Jan 2015, 08:32
by fsrensburg
Hi everyone,

I thought that I would add my two cents to this forum.

Interlink offered me a job last year. As most people, I did a lot of research on the company and found some negative forums and articles. I was skeptical, but a friend within the company convinced me to join, and I'm so happy I did.

This is the third company I have worked for in Saudi and by far the best so far. I've been working for them now for four months in Riyadh. I find that they try to take care of my requests and unlike my previous companies (which I'm sure I can't mention) they always have open channels of communication (so important). Today is the 22 and I just received an sms confirming my salary has been payed in.

Feel free to e-mail me or send me a message if you have any questions, its always good to talk to someone with first hand experience in the good and the bad.


Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 21:19
by M-St-Just
I have an offer from Interlink that I need to make a decision on asap. I know Interlink USA is legit enough, though maybe not as good as my current program. Any help? It looks pretty good on the salary, and some of the things about the teaching methods look good for professional development, but I don't want to end up in a bad situation, and as a woman especially I need a place I'll be safe and able to connect with people.

What I think might be as helpful as knowing the city is knowing whether the good experiences are from male or female teachers.

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 03 Apr 2015, 07:04
by EastJewel
Hi all,

I worked for Interlink at Al Yamamah U, in the PYP program for about 2 months. I was a direct hire.

Good and bad:

1) The salary is generally lower than most programming of a similar nature in KSA, they do nickel and dime you a bit, but not too bad.

2) The Riyadh accommodations are very nice!

3) The program's quality, in terms of instructional delivery, is far better than any other I know of--you will be able to take a certain degree of pride in your work.

4) The students are not running the school as seems to be the case in many other programs.

5) The teaching team was generally pleasant, with one or two exceptions (what you gonna do, huh?)

6) Dr. Nebila is knowledgeable, and supports research-based pedagogy, provides trainings, and supports teachers engaged in enrichment activities (although we can be pretty sure she doesn't like me anymore, since I quit after only 2 months, :(

7) The admin staff is cool

8) The management team (Coordinators, plus Program Manager) is not cool. I found that they possessed a poor sense of professionalism, behaved like they just "got a brand new bag," so to speak, and were at the formative stages of creating a police-like environment (fingerprint and face recognition at morning and afternoon check-in and out--where are you going to go???? The bus takes you to and fro, and the U is in the middle of nowhere!) While most teachers seemed fairly level-headed, the management team came across as flakes, or perhaps people you would be nervous about leaving your pet with while on holiday. They do try to withhold your passport, which is standard on an iqama, but not allowed for business visas, but they want to keep you imprisoned either way. If you haven't an iqama, and they take your passport, you are not able to send money out, or do anything that requires ID, so it is a problem. They give you a photo copy of a letter in lieu of your passport if you are on a business visa. Nebila has every faith in these people, I imagine over time, they will reveal themselves as far less than what she could actually have in their place. Maybe some management training, including some basics in professional etiquette, and ethics (which may be over their heads) would help solve the problems on the mid-level management issues. Teachers typically come to management with no real training, so I understand, but it is difficult to work under nonetheless.

9) The facilities are lovely at the U.

10) You will fit in fine, if you are into the pseudo sciences, read junk, like to play psychologist and irrationally analyze and draw the most ridiculous conclusions possible about every action and speech act of people around you, don't mind being lied to and manipulated by people from English-speaking countries about things that really are not important enough to lie about--it seems just to be an exercise of wee power, and are generally submissive about having some goofus with a little newfound power try to run your life for you, invade your privacy, and completely objectify you.

11) The teaching team is very diverse, with people from nearly everywhere, all ages (some way past 58 too), all were hardworking that I could see.

12) They do not offer international deposit of salary, so if you do not get an iqama, for whatever the reason (and there are those who have good reason) then you are stuck with large sums of cash and no way to get it out of the country.

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 17 Apr 2015, 01:46
by nperryman

What happened after your interview? I also had an interview through English Today Recruitment with a Mr. Mureed. Nothing that I read in the materials sent say anything about being affiliated with Interlink. However, in a previous email from the same company, I was sent a sample contract that was under the name Arabian Education and Training Group. Upon researching this group, I only came across negative reviews from people who worked for AETG.

Any additional information on these companies would be much appreciated.

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 20 May 2015, 07:07
by Jani007
I hugely disagree with you. I found English Today Recruitment absolutely professional. They gave me fantastic accommodation, assistance and excellent salary package. I was placed three times by them after finished my contract. Firstly, they placed me with INTERLINK and second time , with King Saud University and now with Princess Nora University.

I would recommend you the only professional company " English Today Recruitment" Please don't trust other recruiters.

Jennifer Micheal

Re: WARNING: Interlink jobs in Saudi Arabia

Posted: 01 Dec 2015, 09:57
by gulftalent
INTERLINK/EGA is a company that has a few different contracts and are constantly looking for new employees. From their policies are open deception, cheating, and stealing from their employees. There are now in the country a number of lawsuits against this company for their lack of paying their employees their salaries and there end of service bonus. They have been known for other lesser infractions, such as shorting employees on their flight money and not paying them for their sick days. They are on the brink of a class action suit by a large number of their teachers for the same issues regarding their pay.
The foundation of their contract is a lie. They try to deceive their teachers to think that they are receiving their end of service payment at the end of every year. This is actually a common practice for many companies. If you are desperate, and you don't mind being cheated, then this is one of the better places to work. But if you value integrity then I would strongly suggest you stay far away.