This afternoon I had nothing much to do, so I thought a bit of investigative research was in order and since I’m a bit of a nerd, this could actually be good-fun!
So I started to do some digging on the net, primarily focused around teaching in Changchun. Found some useful stuff, but mostly pretty poor disinformation. Lots of job ads, mainly for un-licenced illegal language schools, or those really bogus recruiters that have such a bad name in Changchun no-one here would ever agree to work for them – so they use the net to hire their unsuspecting victims!
There I found this review Changchun Star Education Company – the first review I have found on them anywhere on the web! And I have looked Everywhere!!! Yes, I thought. Some Information from another former teacher! I knew I wasn’t the only one!
Posted By: Johan
Date: 23 January 2005
In Response To: Visa advice for China (Dos)
I am so sad that I did not read your information with regards to Vis.
I came to china with a “Z” visa. I was employed by a company Star Education in Changchun, Jilin province. This company treated me and other Foreign teachers like S-h-i-…
Well 1 of them left the country already, after threats from the company. I try to stick it out, now they refuse to hand me back my passport, and demand that I give them 2000USD to get my passport back, which I refused. I am now travelling between different departments, and cannot find a person responsible enough to get my passport back. Unfortunately I am far from Beijign and therefore far from my Embassy. If you can assist me I will appreciate it. I believe that I am a good teacher, and would like to stay longer in China, but this Star Education is leaving a very bad taste in my mouth.
You can also contact me on my mobile 13500975013
I am of to bed, as I will travel tomorrow yet again to Changchun, 400km away, to see another official who will talk again.
As I read this i thought it sounded a little odd, badly put together, simple mistakes, tense irregularities – like it had been written by a non-native speaker, like reading one of my student’s work. Some of the choice or wording seem a little weird and the information within it even I find difficult to believe. Also Johan is rather a strange name for a native speaker (Cruyff i hear you say) , though this doesn’t mean he couldn’t have worked for Star, as they hire plenty of non native white-faces.
I know that many of the Foreign Teachers at Star let them keep their passports in the company safe for security reasons, but this is the choice of the teacher. Personally, I would never let anyone else keep my passport, but many like it to be kept under lock and key, in a safe place. I also know that those teachers had to sign a form stating that they give their permission for the company to keep their passports.
Holding a passport is actually one of the few things that can get a company into trouble, of course though, if it has the right connections then this problem can quickly disappear.
I then found this review on the same website:
TIANSHUO, CHANGCHUN, JILIN PROVINCE,
Posted By: Johan
Date: 24 February 2005
TIANSHUO IN CHANGCHUN, JILIN PROVINCE, are a great company!!!
I sometimes read remarks about some schools, recruiters and then I wonder how much of is truth or how much is garbage….
Myself and more than 70 other foreign teachers work for Tianshuo, and we are happy.
I contacted, sorry tried to contact, one of this so-called complainers, and I got through to a Chinese company, makes you think, doesn’t it.
Tianshuo, cares for its teachers, and believe in an open door policy, they frequently asks for feedback, to make life easier for its teachers….remember This is China !!, and many teachers have a problem to adapt after the initial holiday feeling. When they realize that they have to work to earn money, and that Chinese students are keen to study.
SO for all the teachers who think to come to China and TEACH, I personally recommend Tianshuo in Changchun..they are the best.
email@example.com (and this is my real name, for the people who want to write or complain, use your real name)
This made me laugh. What a load of rubbish.
Tianshuo or TS Education Language in their current guise (they like to change names a lot for obvious reasons) is a truely disgusting company. I went to their offices once (in the 21st century building, jiefang da lu) and they offered me a contract that I politely refused. I was introduced to them by the police, and I now know that they are ‘run’ by the police. They have .very serious guanxi in Changchun and have total impunity from any wrongdoing. Furthermore, they treat their staff like pieces of 屎 , and you will have problems, then you are shafted. They have stolen passports before, I know of at least one person who had this happen to them. The embassy got involved, and were powerless as TS said that the Teacher owed them money which of course he did not.
They have many Pilipinos working as ‘foreign experts’ who are farmed out to schools all over the province, they give their Pilipinos 1500-2000 a month, and a ‘private room’ to live in. Means that TS can rake in the profits at the expense of the teacher, paying half what they should pay to a Foreign teacher and giving them a hole to live in. Also like Star they are prone to deduct ‘fees’ from your wages, so you’ll seldom get a full pay-packet.
Anyway, Johan is a make-believe character created by someone at TS / Tianshuo/ Tianyuan (whatever the’re called now) Made me laugh anyway.
Either way, If there were a football division for employers in Changchun, Star and Tianshuo would be propping up the two lowest spots.
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