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Pushover12345 - 2017-12-19
In response to BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING (Teacher12345)

I can confirm that AIEP is willing to provide you with your very own teach-abroad nightmare. However, I will try to mention the good along with the horrible.

If you decide to sign a contract with AIEP, you should be ready to step out of your comfort zone... way out! Most of the schools are in very small cities by Chinese standards. The positive side of this, in my experience, is that daily life can be reasonably cheap if your goal is to save money. However, you will likely be stared at a lot. Also, you cannot be sure that you will actually be teaching at the school listed on your contract. If there is a change, you will be told at the last minute, after you have arrived in China. One teacher was told one week into teaching after he had settled into his apartment. The different schools have different living conditions, so it's hard to say what sort of accommodation you will have. I think I was lucky compared to some other teachers. Another uncomfortable factor is that they sometimes have trouble hiring and retaining teaching assistants who can speak and understand a satisfactory level of English. So if you have an emergency, you may be relying on someone with whom you cannot communicate, and I found that pretty scary.

In my school, we had six weeks off in the winter and eight weeks off in the summer. Some travel enthusiasts may find this attractive. To me, that was too much time off (because, of course, the vacation pay is very low.) The reason I mention this is that the salary can sound very high, but you must consider that you are not being paid this salary for all 10 months of your contract: only when you are teaching. So former university teachers have remarked that they didn't actually end up making more money by taking a job with AIEP.
As for my own experience, Susan and Brian made me feel very comfortable and taken care of in the beginning. The company took good care of myself and my husband for a year. After we signed on for our second contract, things changed.

As for the contract, you can't really believe a word of it. Anything in the contract that is to your benefit as the teacher will be ignored. The reason things turned into a nightmare for me is that I asked to resign. My husband and I did this by the terms of the contract. According to Chinese labor laws, several of the clauses in the contract are actually illegal. However, we did as they asked and gave 60 days notice (it's illegal to ask for more than 30.) We assumed we would be charged the ridiculous 8000 RMB each fee for breaking the contract (although breach of contract penalties are also illegal). However, Susan came back with a ridiculous amount of money we owed the company for things that were neither in our contract nor agreed upon. It amounted to almost the rest of the pay we would make for the entire semester. To ensure that we would not "run away in the middle of the night," she decided to withhold the amount owed from our salary (read: not pay us). She told us we would be paid two months later. I can't imagine at this point that she actually wanted us to stay. Who would believe that any person would stay and work in a job where they are not being paid? My husband lost two months of pay and I lost one. Having decided not work for free another day, we left immediately.

I would definitely strongly caution anyone to stay away from this company. Some teachers may have a good experience, but it's a gamble that could go very wrong.

Messages In This Thread
BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- Teacher12345 -- 2016-06-09
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- Pushover12345 -- 2017-12-19
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- Dan -- 2017-05-27
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- caring -- 2017-05-27
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- San -- 2017-05-31
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- teachingcouple -- 2017-07-03
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- FTinPRC -- 2017-07-03
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- expat hubby -- 2017-07-03
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- Doug Wilson -- 2017-02-05
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- Bj Noone -- 2017-05-02
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- FTinPRC -- 2017-05-03
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- Trump diplomacy -- 2017-02-06
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- Teacher In China -- 2017-01-08
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- Gav -- 2016-11-23
Re BEWARE OF AIEP—BEIJING -- Irishteach -- 2017-02-03
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