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Blacklisted: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!I worked last year for them, and my experiences with them were not good at all. They are agents in that they hire out foreign teachers to partner schools within their network, and the foreign teachers have a contract with this company directly, and not with the school.

First of all, they will make you sign one or several contracts but you will never see a properly counter-signed contract copy for yourself, and in such a case it is not a legally binding contract, right? Second, the pay is mostly late, some teachers had to wait one and half a month until they were paid. Third, your first three days will always be in their headquarters in Hangzhou before they transfer you to the school assigned to you. In that case, you have to pay the travel expenses yourself, although in China it's normally the employer who does or who will refund your expenses. They also basically refund your expenses, but you have to fill in lots of so-called application forms to keep a lot of otherwise useless people in their office busy. A simple ticket to show should be enough to keep bureaucracy to a minimum level, but they make it really hard for you.

During the summer and winter holidays there is no pay, they pay you only for the days you have been actually teaching. Their system of control is 130 %, you have to fill several papers each month and send them from your school somewhere in China to their head office until you receive your monthly pay. There are delays in sending these papers sometimes, and your salary will also be delayed then. The schools pay them in advance, so they should be able to pay their teachers in full or on time. Who wants to fill in unnecessary paperwork after a month's hard work to get the salary one has rightly earned? The teacher is better off when working for a school directly as there will be no delays, and if the teacher missed some classes, also the school can make the necessary salary deductions. Why do you need an agent for that, I can't see any sense in that! This tremendous bureaucracy causing delay in the salaries to be paid has a system as they seem to work with that money meanwhile in other areas while the teacher is waiting for his pay and has to phone the head office to ask for his money. This is causing unneccessary stress and takes too much of your time, so why should you work for them if there is always such a hassle to get your money? Only fools would do, right? The same with airfare reimbursement and other benefits promised to you in their so-called "contracts".

They have a company apartment that was dirty and run-down when I was there. They put you together with sick or other kind of crazy people that you don't know to share this apartment before you move on to other schools - broken chairs, smelling beds that other people have slept in before and leaking toilettes and showers - this is the kind of standard you can expect.If you tell them about it,. either nothing happens or they are far too slow to do something about it. Many teachers have not renewed their contract with them because of the way they have been treated.

If you don't want unnecessary hassle, stay away from them - this is a well-meant advice.

There is hardly anything professional in this company. While they are not only agents, but also active in other business fields, it is all done with such a high degree of unprofessionalism and dilettantism that you can only wonder how they get away with it.

I suggest give such agents a miss and don't work for them, they are only there to make your li8fe miserable!

Comments  

+4 # RE: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!phoenix 2012-06-15 20:24
thank you for the heads up, seems i dodged a bullet as I did an interview with them a while back. My spider senses were tingling so I turned them down Im glad i did if what you are saying is true.

Phoenix o_O
+3 # More on China TEFL Network Helen Group here:Screagan 2012-06-25 19:30
Here is some more on them:

eslteachersboard.com/.../...
+10 # RE: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!teachfortoday 2012-07-25 06:09
I worked for them two years ago, and everything written about them is true and sometimes even worse.
Money is a constant hassle. Promises made and broken.
Stay away from these thieves and liars !
# RE: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!Guest 2012-09-27 14:57
This comment has been deleted by Administrator
+8 # RE: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!manasyt 2012-11-15 02:01
Same with me...My first year in China was HELL because of them...avoid them like the plague!!!
+4 # Pentatonic Music CollectionThomas Robertson 2013-02-25 12:30
I should have clicked onto this page six months ago.
That was when Helen Group sent me on a job, promising that I could stay on the job indefinitely as long as both the employer and I are happy.
But for reasons known only to Helen Group and God, they wrote a contract saying that my employment was limited to six months and cannot be renewed.
The school wants me to stay and I want to stay, but that is impossible.
So now I'm busy packing my boxes to move to another job.
+7 # Pentatonic Music CollectionThomas Robertson 2013-02-28 10:53
I am just now finishing up a job with Helen Group and have accepted a new job with another agency.

They called me and told me that I was legally obligated to stay with them until the end of my contract, but I told them to go to Hell.

So they tried another approach.
They wrote me a letter which said:


Dear Thomas Robertson,

This is a letter from Zhangcheng Tong (Manager of HR) and Richard Lee (Manager of FAO) written on behalf of Hangzhou Zhejhiang University Helen China TEFL Network Co., Ltd (abbreviated as China TEFL Network or CTN). By this Letter of Notification we would like to inform you officially of the following facts:

1. Hangzhou Zhejiang University Helen China TEFL Network Co., Ltd is the first Company and one of the 32 companies in China up to this moment registered and authorized by the State Administration for Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA) to recruit and assign foreign teachers to certified schools around China.

2. On Feb. 10th one of our recruiting staff, Jane Qin, resigned from the Company, so any conducts and words from her after that date does not represent our Company.

3. Our recent investigation has shown that, some previous staff resigned, and even some one still in the Company at this moment, under the drive of their own economic interest, has built a team of partners of crime and involved in the theft of commercial secrets from the Company, which is obviously against the Chinese law.

4. The team of partners of crime made up untruthful stories and sent them through e-mails or phone calls to some of our present foreign teachers of our Company, sent to foreign foreign teachers who has received legal visa invitation from the Company and on their way to entering China, just for one aim, to hold back the Company’s foreign teachers and introduce teachers to other schools they contacted and make illegal money. Their behaviors have violated the Chinese Law. All these illegal conducts has resulted in causing severe loss to the Company and the schools both in reputation and economy. They also caused negative influence to our foreign teachers and their legality of working in China.

5. Fortunate enough, most of our foreign teachers don’t believe their words and conducts. Some of our teachers reported to our Company on these illegal things. The Company has started to collect evidences of the crimes and has reported to the local the PSB (Public Security Bureau) in Hangzhou on the crimes. More other evidences of the crimes from our foreign teachers are welcome to provide to us if you have any.

By this letter of Notification, here we would kindly again remind everyone of the teachers that when you apply for a position in China through an agency, the first and most important thing you should do is that you should ask the agency for a copy of their license from SAFEA to make sure if the agency is legal or not.

As for the list of legal 32 companies in China up to now, please check SAFEA website (www.safea.gov.cn/.../) for more details, and please check our Company’s website for our license copy (en.chinatefl.com/.../...). Please do not trust any gossip or rumors from those partners of crime and not to be deceived easily.

Any further questions or any help from our BPO schools or from our Company, please contact us by e-mail at ; .

HR Manager & FAP Manager
Hangzhou Zhejiang University Helen China TEFL Network Co., Ltd
Feburary 26, 02013

Doesn't your heart just bleed for those fine men and women?
+4 # Pentatonic Music CollectionThomas Robertson 2013-02-28 11:01
For those who have not read my earlier posts, I am currently finishing a job with Helen Group and have accepted a new job with another agency.

Helen Group called me and told me that I was legally obligated to stay with them until my contract expired. I told them to go to Hell.

So now they are trying another approach.

At 3:40 today, just as the children were coming into the classroom, two guys came in.
One was a Chinese person who spoke English, one was a Chinese person who didn't.
They handed me the letter which I copied onto another post.

They stayed and talked to me for the whole class period.
They did their dangdest to talk me into choosing one of two schools which they are offering me.
The teaching assistant did an admirable job of keeping the class in session, despite all the confusion.


They asked me to share whatever was on my mind.
So I asked them:

■ Why did they promise me I could stay in the school as long as long as both parties were happy, only to throw me out after three months?

They told me the director didn't want me there any longer.
The director had told me that she was very happy with my work, but the agency was making continued employmenht impossible.
I hope it is the director who is telling the truth.

Anyway, this was the only question for which I could get any answer.

■ Why was there another teacher in the school, working with another agency, receiving 6000 a month when I was receiving only 5000 a month?

Was that all the fault of these villanous former employees?

No answer here.

■ Why won't the agency give me more information about the schools which they have chosen for me?
They won't even tell me what age group I would work with!

No answer here either.

■ If Helen Group is so reputable, why did the police in Yuhuan tell my current employer not to do further business with them?

No answer here either.

■ Last but not least, if they're not too busy to drive all the way over here, why are they too busy to wait until after class?

To me, that showed how much importance they put on the children's needs and the teacher's responsibility.

No answer here either.
+6 # RE: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!rgnna 2013-10-18 20:20
Beware of them! They are sly as wolf. They give false promises. Glad I came to this forum as I was about to have an interview with them. My gut feelings were right.
+1 # RE: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!Sharon 2014-07-02 01:06
Quoting rgnna:
Beware of them! They are sly as wolf. They give false promises. Glad I came to this forum as I was about to have an interview with them. My gut feelings were right.

Quoting rgnna:
Beware of them! They are sly as wolf. They give false promises. Glad I came to this forum as I was about to have an interview with them. My gut feelings were right.


This Woman and her company have been blacklisted by the China Foreign Teachers Union since 2010. Teachers need to start checking this list before they take any new teaching job in China. You can find this HUGE blacklist at:

www.ChinaForeignTeachersUnion. org

And if Helen tells you the sky is blue, be sure to check yourself. This witch will say anything to sign you up, and put nothing specific in writing. My roomie got swindled by her in 2012.
3.0/5 from 6 ratings.
  • Experience
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  • Pay & benefits
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Summary rating
Helen Group aka Chinese TEFL
4 years ago.
Experience
Professionalism
Work location
Living situation
Pay & benefits
Support & facilities
Health & safety
Institute Review
Helen Group are a bunch of crooks they put you in disgusting apartments that are filthy!!  They say you will get Chinese lessons that they are taking out of your pay which they NEVER do.  They find every way they can to take as much money from you as possible while paying you less compared to other teachers.  Do not sign up with this company!! They do not help you in anyway they just try to scam as much money out of you as they can.  There office has a sign saying 'Committed to excellence' but the ironic part is it's missing letters and looks rundown.  The sign perfectly represents the companies values.  The place you will live at has roaches and rats so be warned.  Pay is substandard go to www.shenzhenparty.com and you will see how much other companies offer in pay.  Chinese Tefl Helen group will do switch the contract when you get to China they are not trustworthy and do nothing to help you.  Google the company.
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4 years ago.
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China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!
4 years ago.
Institute Review
Hate to say it but... we told you so. This outfit has been blacklisted as far back as 2010 by the CFTU and we sent out no less than five scam alerts about them over the past five years, yet they keep finding new prey to feed on. Teachers please!!!!  Tell all of your colleagues to visit our CFTU blacklist of School schools, recruiters, and agencies before even sending a resume out to an unknown entity.  There are currently 493 blacklisted ent*t*es, about 10% of whom are ident*t*es thieves. Watch your back and visit http://www.ChinaForeignTeachersUnion.org. Our black and white lists are updated every 90 days.
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4 years ago.
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China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!
4 years ago.
Institute Review
I worked for them for several years with no problems. However in 2013 I discovered that I had been in China illegally since 2011, or from the beginning.

1) must have papers for the city where you are working, not Hangzhou 2) I was paid on time but my school was very diligent to help me 3) rip off low salary - I discovered after I was in China for about 4 months that all the ESL teachers / even Chinese teachers were making 30 percent to double what Helen ESL paid me to do the same work hours. 4) No bonus at holidays, no hiring bonus, no year end bonus - and difficult to get reimbursed on return ticket - you prepay it, file forms, get money about July 5 to July 10 for contract ending 30 June -- or AFTER your one year VISA has expired.

5) many people had to travel to Hong Kong on their OWN MONEY to get 30 day VISAs 6) many people working for months on tourist or business VISA not teachers papers --

must have three documents to officially work as a ESL teacher in China - do your homework -- Resident Permit for the CITY where you are teaching, VISA issued to the City where you are Teaching (not Hangzhou), Work Permit and PHYSICAL must occur (a) before you leave home country and (b) in the city where you will be teaching official Quarantine Medical offices (NOT Hangzhou) -- I had to have multiple contracts, multiple Resident permits AFTER under 60 day house arrest by police!!

When we were summoned to the police station in 2013 for an investigation of our papers, Helen China ESL did not send a translator to assist us during the police investigation of our papers. Helen ESL did not correct our papers, they removed us (about 30 persons in 2013) from our schools and sent us to w*o*e filled region just north of Hong Kong where prostitution filled the hotel where we were staying. Rat and roach infested apartments, filthy living conditions with u*i*e stained mattress that I was told I would need to pay to replace --   

ON WEB SITES OR INTERNET DO NOT USE SAME URL / IP ADDRESS -- BECAUSE IF YOU COMPLAIN, THEY WILL TELL YOU THAT YOU THAT YOU ARE IN BREACH OF CONTRACT AND MUST REMOVE ALL INTERNET POSTS OR BE IMMEDIATELY FIRED. For example, in 2011 and back in 2012 I said that  persons should carefully read their contracts when coming to work for Chinese companies because Helen ESL does BAIT AND SWITCH Contracts, multiple contracts. I was threatened of being fired several days later and had to do a removal of all internet postings!!

They also kept the luggage of teachers for months AFTER they promised to ship it to their new school in Hong Kong.  I never received mine. I lost almost everything I owned with zero reimburs*m*nt from Helen Group. DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING THEY TELL YOU. Sadly the staff that hired me is no longer with the company. Notice that I do not name names? If you use names, you can be sued for slander or damaged to their reputation - which is HUGE legal problem for you if you remain in China.

RUN RUN RUN from this company. Too bad that they control much of an entire region's teacher contracts too. You cannot win in  a legal battle against them. Just do not get involved with them and avoid their company.
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  • Joshua Hernandez 4 years ago.
    Everything said about this company is true. I was probably one of the luckiest people that worked for this company. My apartment wasn't too bad in Shenzhen. I knew other teachers that had rat and roaches in their apartments. My pay was always on time, but was lower than they said when I was in the USA. I taught English in Korea for 3 years and made three times what Helen paid me. I work in Taiwan now and make about that same amount. With this low pay, they also expect you to get to your school everyday, eat, pay your bills like phone, power, gas, etc. And then the Visa process, what a pain in the rear. In fact during our group's Visa process, one teaching from the USA stormed off. We never heard from him again.

    And once you get to your school, you'll find that everyone is making way more then you. I had many Chinese recruiters call me while living in Shenzhen that told me that I was getting ripped off and that my pay was so low, especially for living in Shenzhen, one of the most expensive towns in China. They told me that I should be getting at least twice or three times what I was making working for Helen. All the foreign teachers at my school were making at least twice what I was making as well as other Chinese teachers I met. I met teachers in Shenzhen, the same thing. I worked at various tutoring jobs in Shenzhen just so I could live well enough and send money home like I did in Korea.

    I always suspected our Visas were not legit. Why on Earth do we have to go to Hangzhou for our Visas? When they lured me in from the USA, they never mentioned that I would have to go to Hangzhou before I go to Shenzhen. They told me this one week before I was to come to China. I had bought a ticket to Hong Kong because of it's closeness to Shenzhen, thinking that I could look around Hong Kong and then head to Shenzhen. But, they told me that I needed to conduct my Visa process in Hangzhou. A school in Shenzhen later told me that many of their teachers fly to Hong Kong. When I bought a ticket to Hangzhou, this out of my own pocket of course, they told me that I needed to purchase a ticket, again out of my own pocket, to Shenzhen. After arriving in Shenzhen, I had to wait for them to find me a school to work at. I've heard of people waiting for a month to get placed in a school. You usually don't get paid for this wait, even though they promise you that you get half pay for this period and holidays. I was lucky, I actually did get half pay. However this last summer, I got a big f*t zero for a pay check, just like ever one else for the company. I talked to another teacher that said he got paid for holiday pay. Yep, and no end of contract bonus. In Korea, I got a bonus of a pay check for finishing my end of the year contract, plus a plane ticket home. I heard from one teacher in New York that he had to repeatedly ask this company to reimburse his plane ticket. By this I mean, he had to pay for his ticket back to the USA out of his own money.

    The most hilarious part of all this way there was a coordinator in Shenzhen, and I say coordinator loosely, that made a good salary, got his expenses paid by the company and had his own apartment. All this because he had a worthless Master's degree. I had three years experience teaching in Korea and have worked at schools and kids back in the USA. This person made three times what everyone else made. The things he coordinated were a joke. We had mandatory meetings about how to be a better teacher. I never learned one usefully thing at these meetings and they were a waste of time. I usually ended up giving other teachers advise about teaching more than this person. Total joke.

    I'm surprised that you stayed with this company as long as you have. No offense, but the only people that seem to continue year after year with the company are people from non-English speaking companies where the economy s*c*s, rejects, reprobates and r*t*r*s. There were even a few male teachers that are borderline p*d*philes. I'm sure there are straight out p*d*philes that work for this company, I've heard story in fact to this belief. It seems like you can write very clearly and concisely, so I'm sure you could find a way better job. Look on some website. I've found many, many jobs better than working for Helen. I wish I had only known back on November 2013 what I was getting into.

    I'm not worried about this company trying to sue me, I don't live in China anymore. I didn't even make it to the end of my contract. I stayed 8 moths, but found a better paying job in Taiwan. I left ASAP and didn't even tell the company I quit. I figure that they lied to me, so I don't owe them anything. And Chinese people always say that Taiwan belongs to China. If Taiwan belongs to China, why do they need a Visa to come here, or even Hong Kong? And if I ever do work in China, I certainly work be working for Helen Group ever again. I wouldn't even mention this company to anyone in my school if I work back in China. My advice to you is, if you haven't already, find a new job ASAP.
China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!
4 years ago.
Institute Review
I wasn't going to actually write something about this company, but I felt like I actually should warn some people about Helen Group. Where do I start? I want to make on thing clear, I don't have anything personally in the company and there are some nice Chinese people in the company. But, I'm sure they are getting ripped off, just like 99% of the teachers. I'll get into what I mean by "99% of the teachers. I just moved here to Taiwan about a month ago for a way better paying job and only did 8 months of a year contract. I don't regret leaving this company, but do miss the life that I had built in Shenzhen, where I was assigned. If Helen had been a better company to work for, I'd be in Shenzhen right now. I'm not the only teacher that quit working for this company in the 8 months I was in Shenzhen and I'm sure I won't be the last. I'm not doing this out of spite towards Helen Group and its employees, this is a warning to future teachers who would like to enjoy their teaching experience in China. China is an interesting country to be sure, both good and bad. However, if you want to enjoy your teaching experience, find another way to do it than going through Helen Group.

For one thing, like everyone else has stated, this company makes promises and will keep very few of them. I was promised more pay than I actually received after arriving in China. I worked in Shenzhen, China which is an expensive city, like Shanghai and Beijing. However, my pay was not enough to cover your expenses while living there. Not only did they lower my pay after arriving in China, they don't pay you for holidays. However, they say that they will pay you have, but once you get into China, that will all change. I was one of the lucky people in Shenzhen, my pay was even better than about half the teachers Helen employed. I heard that some teachers made 4000 RMB or less, especially no native English teachers Helen regularly employs from other countries and not English speaking country. They end up paying them s*a*e wages because they know they can do it because they are not native English speakers. Also, if you do not have a Bachelor's degree, they will try and also give you a low wage. All this while one of the coordinators (I will not mention his name because I actually like the person) gets paid two or three times what they rest of us make, all because he has a PhD in some worthless major. I actually had over 3 years experience teaching in Korea, have worked in education in the past and have been in management, so I had way more experience that this person. Also, the things he had to coordinate were a joke. Meetings about our school and training on how to be a better teacher. I never learned one useful thing from these meeting and these meeting were mandatory or we would get docked on pay. A waste of time.

Second, this company will also promise you things you are guaranteed for your apartment, but you will never see any of these things. Things like a microwave, free Internet as well as some basic things will be stated in your contract, but you can forget ever getting them. You'll pay for your own Internet once you get to your apartment and they'll say that the microwaves are coming, but they never will. Also, some apartments are even worse than mine. I was lucky, my apartment was not all that bad, but I did have a roommate. I don't really mind having a roommate and my roommate was actually a pretty good person, but I had nothing in common with him and it would have been better to live alone in some ways like I did in Korea and do in Taiwan, all this provided by the school. I've heard stories of people having some really bad roommates with this company, but that's not even the worst of it. Some apartments are horrible in terms of living conditions. Again, I was lucky, but I've heard horror stories. Some apartments had serious vermin problems, and what I mean by vermin, I mean rats. I had c*c*roaches in my apartment, even in my room. This can be expected in Shenzhen and I have c*c*roaches in my kitchen here in Taiwan. But, rats?!?! A fellow employee told me he actually had rats in his apartment. It's like throwing dice. Some people get lucky and have good apartments like I did, but the other half will not be so fortunate. Another fellow employee that I know didn't have air conditioning in his apartment. If you know anything about Shenzhen, or China for that matter, you will know that air con is a must. In fact, when they asked the company to fix the air con, Helen Group told them that they must pay to fix it out of their own pocket. And when they couldn't pay to fix the air con in the living room, the company told them to break the other air con in the bed rooms. Great company policy, right? You need to know your place in the Helen hierarchy. All this while the coordinator gets a nice salary and unshared accommodations. Oh way, and all expenses in the apartment paid. 

And you can forget about traveling or eating well. You're low salary will not allow for it. If you save enough, you might be able to see some nearby cities, but the only traveling you'll do is to get your Visa done in Hangzhou where the company is based out of, and Hong Kong where you'll do the final step of your Visa, at the last minute by the way, so you'll never know if you're allowed to stay and teach in China. And, if you are working in Shenzhen, why do you have to do your Visa in Hangzhou? Because you're Visa is based out of Hangzhou and not the city you actually work in. I'm sure there is some sneaky reason that they do this, that's my only guess. Actually, that's what I've heard and read. And, your salary will be so low, you'll be eating at home or at your school. Forget going out to enjoy the night life or a good restaurant, you'll never have enough money to do any of this. All the money you'll make will go to towards traveling to your school, your phone bill, utilities and just being able to eat at home or some street food. Granted, China can does have some really good food places for cheap, but it would be nice to be able to actually go to a nice restaurant or go out and drink at a bar or night club. You'll never have enough money to do any other this or travel. I mean, isn't this one of the reasons that you came to China, to experience the culture? The only culture you'll get will be through your school or the China friends you make that might invite you over to their homes for dinner. Also, they'll never deliver on the free Chinese lessons. Actually, I take that back, they'll finally get around to it, about 6 months after you arrive in China. Now this is just a rumor, but I heard that the coordinator gets his vacation and travel paid by the company, only because he has a PhD, but I was a more experienced teacher than this person. 

I never made it until the end of the contract, but the are suppose to give you 5000 RMB towards your plane ticket, or so they say. Let me explain why this is not a good deal, I'm from the USA and flew out from Oregon (I'm actually from Minnesota, but stay with a friend before traveling to China). However, my ticket came up to way more than 5000 RMB. This is only about $815 US. My ticket to China was more than $800, but just to Hong Kong. I flew into Hong Kong because that's it's next to Shenzhen and this is where I was to work. One week before I was to leave for China, they told me I needed to fly to Hangzhou. So, in addition to going to paying to fly to Hong Kong, I was now expected to get another ticket to Hangzhou, which cost me an additional $200 to 300. Also, I paid for extra luggage, so I had to pay for all that as well. A fellow teacher just went back to New York after finishing his contract, but told me he had to ask Helen repeatedly to reimburse him for the plane ticket back to the USA, this after he paid just to make it back home. He wanted to change jobs, but Helen cancelled his Visa because he didn't agree to resign with them. Class act all the way on the part of the Helen Group. 

Once you arrive in Hangzhou, you will have to travel to the city where your school is located. Guess who pays for this initially? You guess it, you. To be fair, they will reimburse you, but after paying for the trip from your country to China, why am I expected to pay to get to the city where I was assigned my school. Helen Group will just assume you are a foreigner and have all the money in the world, so this shouldn't be a problem for you at all. When I told them I was broke, they thought maybe we were going to have a problem. Why couldn't I pay for it? After all, all us foreigners are rich, right? I eventually used my credit card. This is not the last time you will be expected to do this, you'll have to do this when you go to Hangzhou for anything concerning your Visa, and to Hong Kong as well. Keep your receipt. However, you'll pay more for your trip to these places than the Helen company will. All this while you are making really low pay. 

My final rant will be this. At your school, you'll also be expected to keep track of all the hours you put in at your school. You'll be the only foreign teacher at the school that does this. None of the other foreign teachers had to do this each month and the director at my school thought, "Why do you have to do this"? You'll also find that other teachers at your school will be making more than you are. Even another teacher that I knew that was employed by another agency made more than I did. The teachers employed directly by the school are making even more. I've heard of examples where the other foreign teachers making twice as much as you will working for Helen. I wonder who get all the extra money? I can only guess. Forget getting paid for holidays, or days off, or summer and winter break. To be fair, Helen paid me half for winter break, I suppose they didn't want me to starve to death. But during this last summer, my last pay check was a big f*t 0. I also had another month of summer break and I spoke with a teacher working for Helen that said they throw him a bone and he got about 2000 RMB. But remember, you have to pay for your expenses like getting to your school, food, utilities and phone bill. I guess Helen Group justifies this because you have a roof over your head and, get this because they actually told a teacher this, you get to eat for free at your school. 

Well, I'm sure that there are a few more things I could mention, but I'll either let you decide or find out for your self. But if you read this and still decide to work for Helen, don't say you were not warned. I wish I had looked up this company before taking the job through this company. I'm in Taiwan now, but wouldn't rule out teaching in China again. I actually had many tutoring jobs on the side and was able to make good money that way. In fact, I made more money tutoring then working for Helen. However, I worked way harder than I needed to and would have been happy just to work at one school and tutor for a little bit instead of making a career out of tutoring just to make ends meet. Anyways, I hope this helps people that would like to teach in China. China can be a good place to teach and I found Chinese people to be really nice. However, you're time there will be living slim or frustrating, unless you have an unlimited amount of money from your home country or a pension to live off of. In that case, you are doing it for the experience. Still, there are better ways to do it than going through the Helen Group. I still to this day get offers from China for better pay and living situations. You have been warned if you are reading this.  
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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful
  • Corrine Smith 4 years ago.
    This is a balanced and accurate depiction of treatment of employees working for Helen Group in 2013-2014. Over 30 persons were very frustrated and really loved their kids and their schools, but misleading contracts, extortion and bait/switch contracts - I lived of my income mostly from 2012/2013 for the last six months I was there. Sadly Helen Group ESL gives China a bad reputation as a place to work.

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