EF English First Reviews

Updated 10 Aug 2020

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3.2
56%
Recommend to a Friend
61%
Approve of CEO
EF English First President 	Jacob Toren (no image)
Jacob Toren
176 Ratings
  1. Helpful (4)

    "Odd but sometimes likeable"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    Fast promotion is possible. Many opportunities for travel. Varied work with good flow of new projects. Some initiatives are interesting, if underfunded.

    Cons

    Difficult to work with many senior staff. Pay is not great. Company culture is a bit odd - desire to ape real or perceived practices of bigger corporations in purely commercial sectors. Irrelevant targets are aggressively pursued. Personality cults develop around certain senior staff making it awkward to criticize many bad and damaging ideas, because they are some VIP's pet project.

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  2. Helpful (9)

    "Great Job, Not a great company"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior English Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Interesting people working with you, the teachers are great. Good potential for moving up the ladder, at least when I was there. Chance to gain different experience in different depts. Some good teacher training, however this is mostly scrapped now.

    Cons

    Terrible working hours and little respect for staff Little coherence internally: Total mismatch of pro ported values and actual actions Appalling management attitudes at the top, continual change for changes sake Business trumps education High turnover of staff, real imbalance in fairness between Chinese and Western staff-though this is changing

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  3. "Good People Questionable Management"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Teacher 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    EF is one of the biggest leaders of education in China so you know it’s gonna be safe legally and financially. The people at my school were super nice and the kids were cute. My Director of Studies was amazing and always put her teachers first.

    Cons

    Communication is really not great between departments. Things always seem to be done last minute and the division of work was always unequal, with local Chinese teachers having more work thrust on them than foreign teachers. The pay is smaller than if you were to work at a kindergarten or other school but worth it for the security. Also there’s a bit of unfair treatment with hardworking staff being overlooked for less competent staff that are friends with management.

  4. "nice comany to work with"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Shanghai, Shanghai
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    nice comany to work with

    Cons

    job not hard for developer

  5. "Stay Clear of EF, Shenyang (Nice City, Bad Company)"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Shenyang, Liaoning
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Shenyang is a beautiful and fun city with a low cost of living. There is a great expat community.

    Cons

    Management was terrible, they were never around, and constantly lost documents. Chinese management loved to promote people who were grossly incompetent they are just puppets who don't have the foreign staffs interest. Management who were competent didn't last long making it unbearable to work. There was a man in the office that would sexually harass other men in the office. This made working uncomfortable when he would make lude comments describing his sexual conquest in gory detail and management in office would laugh about it. When it was brought up management would laugh it off and say that the office space was classified as a "public space" so they can't do anything. The man doing the harassing was part of management. You have to make your own materials. Making your own materials could take a very long and could require you to come in hours before classes to make sure you are prepared. They also use old curriculum and provide no help on the materials. They only care about the money they make from parents. Hours on the weekend were long and tiresome. Teachers who were great at teaching were given back to back classes for a 10 hour period while others would show up work for 2 classes and go home for the rest of the day while others still worked 8 hours for the SAME PAY. Summer course and winter course are not optional. School forces you to work 6 days a week from 8am to 4pm and then regular classes on top of those hours. Days ranged from 8am to 8pm for no extra pay. There are no consecutive days off. Everyone had Monday off, but would receive a random day like Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Only management was allowed 2 consecutive days off. So there was no manager available on Tuesday. Company-wide training is only done on a Monday, so you lost your days off. School wide training was always done on a Wednesday or Thursday so that management was not affected on their day off. It was also mandatory to show up. If you were sick you needed to show up and suck it up. If you went to the hospital and were given a sick note management would claim that it was not sufficient enough and take pay away from you. Pay taken was 2000 RMB at the time that was 1/5 of your salary. Company refused to open bank accounts for anyone who is not management. China operates heavily on a Wechat pay/Alipay system. functioning with no bank account was difficult. Company pays for bills and doesn't allow you to see the bill. When random bills arrive at your apartment like a water or gas bill they are drastically lower than what they are charging you. If you decide to leave this company they will hold your pay and refuse to transfer your visa, unless are willing to involve a lawyer. They heavily pressure you to sign a Chinese document but refuse to translate it for you. The school provides food on the weekends which is terrible and on many occasions gave workers food poisoning. Food is so bad that Chinese staff have said they would rather starve than eat it.

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    EF English First Response

    August 12, 2020Teacher Welfare Director

    We're very concerned with multiple sections of your post and would like to discuss and assist going forward. There's no tolerance for sexual harassment at our schools or offices so will encourage you to reach out to compliance.china@ef.com with a detailed email in order for a formal investigation to take place. Alternatively, you can reach out to me at joanne.vazquez@ef.com and I can personally assist.

  6. "Decent but low paying"

    3.0
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Beijing, Beijing

    I have been working at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    Easy for getting to China and professional, organised and trustworthy company.

    Cons

    Low paying and so large that sometimes there are issues with organisation and workload.

    EF English First Response

    August 7, 2020Teacher Welfare Director

    Thank you for your review and feedback. We're glad we were able to assist with your transition to China and thank you for trusting us with this endeavor. If you would like us to further review any issues in regards to organisation and workload, please email teacher.welfare@ef.com and we'll help look into these matters. Wishing you continued success at EF!

  7. Helpful (1)

    "ok"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Special Education Teacher in Japan, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    good location, nice worker and atmosphere

    Cons

    leverage low salaries, not good promotion

  8. "Nice office and great teamwork"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in Jakarta
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - We're given space to learn and explore - Great team bonding - We have happy hour

    Cons

    nothing to complain about the company

    EF English First Response

    July 15, 2020

    Thank you for your review and your service of 3+ years. Wishing you continued success!

  9. "Do Your Research"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Guangzhou, Guangdong

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    They give you the learning certificate that's required. Housing is also a plus but do your research. The kids are amazing

    Cons

    The pay was horrible compared to other schools or teaching centers. The environment can be biased and racist.

    EF English First Response

    July 15, 2020

    Thank you for your review. The students are in fact amazing and one of the best parts of the job. We're glad you were able to get support regarding housing and certifications. However, we're concerned about your allegations of racism. EF does not tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind. We encourage you to reach out to compliance.china@ef.com with more information so that we may look into the matter.

  10. "Great company to learn from and develop yourself"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Service Consultant 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Nice working environment. Open communication. Positive values. Flexibility. Good level of employee engagement.

    Cons

    Focus on profit. Micromanagement (sometimes).

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