EF job in Indonesia – avoid or go for it?

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EF job in Indonesia – avoid or go for it?

Unread postby Jedishadow » 25 Aug 2011, 19:35

Hi. I have just passed my Trinity TEFL course and am bound for Indonesia to join my wife out there.

I am now looking for work from here in UK. I have made application to English First and they are offering what looks like an excellent deal in Sidoarjo near Surabaya where my wife has family. On paper it looks excellent – just right for us. Good pay, good conditions, medical insurance, etc, etc.

Buuuttttt, I have read a LOT Of bad stuff about EF online especially on this forum. This was after I made application. EF were recommended to me by my course tutors.

So I am unsure. The fact is that I am leaving for Indonesia in the next few weeks with or without EF to be with my wife. She can get work – she EXTREMELY well qualified and experienced – and support me while I find my feet and look for work myself. So I am NOT purely in the hands of EF.

But, a job on arrival in the right location, good salary, 24 contract hours, etc… it’s not bad on paper! I will be speaking to EF tomorrow and asking them searching questions. I have heard online that the DoS ‘s in EF can be horrible but my wife informs me this is unusual in Indonesian culture. So I do not know what to believe.

Is EF absolutely beyond the pale? Are there ways I can avoid abuse? Is there just internet chatter or are EF/English Town really the pits? If it was awful could I quit or would I be trapped into a contract of legal chains?

I asked on another forum and got zero response. So anyone out there?

Many thanks in advance.
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Re: EF job in Indonesia – avoid or go for it?

Unread postby Alex Case » 29 Aug 2011, 00:55

EF in the UK is fine, but I've never heard anything positive about them in either Indonesia or China. Then again, I don't know if there are any better options, and I think it is mainly franchises so you might get lucky. Have you tried Googling specifically that branch or leaving a question on a local forum? Also, see if they will give you contact details of any previous teachers.

This might be out of date, but I heard from a teacher in London that it is extremely hard to quit early in Indonesia because the schools pay so much for the visa and have such problems finding (legal) replacement teachers.
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Re: EF job in Indonesia – avoid or go for it?

Unread postby TheTruth » 29 Aug 2011, 05:39

Alex,

Let me be of assistance here, please.

EF Indonesia, depending upon which EF group, is actually a slight cut above EF in China, a big slight cut.

But it depends upon the group.

There is the EF Indonesia Group that does Djakarta and that part of the country (I can't remember the name of it) and the EF Indonesia Group that does parts of the country like Bali, and the No. 2 Indonesian city (again excuse me but I can't remember the name).

At one point in time, I was thinking of Indonesia and I applied to both. I flew down to look over the country and the schools. Djakarta was terrible -- Shenzhen maybe even worse. But the No. 2 city and the rest of the country had a great deal of charm, with certain limitations.

If you are considering EF Swara (which I think is the Djakarta one), I would suggest that you avoid it. Djakarta by all standards is an extremely big, and seriously dangerous, city. Surabaya (I just remembered it) is the second-largest city in the country (and I visited it) and the city and the area around it have a great deal of charm, a great, great deal of charm. If it is the EF Surabaya group that are considering you, I would decidedly take it with one CAVEAT.

TRY TO OBTAIN A HOUSING ALLOWANCE. The communal house that they put at your disposition is nothing more than one huge, large frat house. Parties round the clock and people coming and going at all hours. FT's that live in the house generally survive one year only; FT's that had moved outside of the house had stayed 2 - 3 years.

The weather in Surabaya is quite tropical and flooding is NOT uncommon. The city is 1,000% times safer than Djarkata and you should be warned that it is a decidedly Muslim conservative city in all aspects. The local were exceptionally charming, that is for sure. I would take the job for sure. You will be able to save some money plus you will be really able to enjoy a nice part of the country.

Finally, stay off Indonesian inter-island ferries at all costs unless you are an Olympic swimmer in shark-infested waters. Next, Indonesian local airline carriers have a terrible, terrible safety record and GARUDA, the national carrier, was, until quite recently, banned from flying to the EU. I believe that it may still be banned from flying to the US.

You need to exercise a great, great deal of caution in your travel arrangements, less so, however, in your daily living conditions.
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Re: EF job in Indonesia – avoid or go for it?

Unread postby Alex Case » 31 Aug 2011, 22:59

That's a bit off topic - the OP has already decided to go to Sidoarjo and wanted information specifically on that school. I Googled it and couldn't find any negative forum posts, but that is generally true about schools in Indonesia despite their bad reputation. There sure were a lot of job ads for that position though! If they won't put you in touch with former staff, you might be able to track some down through LinkedIn.
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Re: EF job in Indonesia – avoid or go for it?

Unread postby Jedishadow » 04 Sep 2011, 11:05

Many thanks for the information.

The notification that this message had been uploaded went to my spam folder along with an offer for an EF interview at Balikpapan.

i know about the housing situation. Because I married and looking to settle I would not take the supplied housing anyway so I would look for a housing allowance.

I would avoid the Jakarta regoin like the plague for a mass of reasons, not least that it would too much like returning to everything I am trying to escape here in the UK! :-)

Thanks for the feedback. Any word on Balikpapen?
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