I signed a contract for one year on a work/residence visa for Pingxiang Experimental School in Pingxiang City, Jiangxi, China, a city of 3 million people, and i accepted a salary based on that population size and proximity to city amenities. The agency i used did a 'bait and switch' though and actually sent me to a school called Pingxiang Enxin Experimental School in Shangli County (an hour away from the city of Pingxiang, but administered by that jurisdiction), Jiangxi, China. Shangli is a village of about 500k people with no train station, shopping mall, recreational facilities or even proper hospital. Not what i signed up for at all! The school did not adhere to most of the clauses in the contract (including not providing internet), would not provide me with a signed and chopped copy of said contract and had the agency pay me the majority of my salary by bank transfer while they paid me the balance - in cash and days late. Since my direct employer was not the agency, but the school, it was certainly suspect. My requests for a paystub or proof that my taxes and remittances had been paid were ignored. The teacher responsible for assisting the foreign teachers was a high school teacher himself and did not know anything about the primary and middle school schedules, which is what i taught. They did not provide me with a schedule for class cancellations or holidays (as per my contract), making it difficult to plan trips into the city. None of the computers in the classrooms worked properly to present PowerPoint presentations, no details on proficiency levels or any form of curriculum were provided and some of the teachers did not speak English to provide assistance in translation for the younger students. I was initially told that the students had poor english skills but in fact, they had little to no English skills and many were not particularly motivated to learn or practice, knowing that the foreign teacher class was not of great importance. I often found myself giving lessons with the aid of my phone translator app and a bluetooth speaker so the students could understand. The residence, was horrendous. It was filthy when i arrived and was nowhere close to what was described for the school 'Pingxiang Experimental School'. It was right on campus in the boys dormatory (i am female) which meant that it was very noisy when the students did not have class and i was woken up every day at 5:50am (including evey second weekend) by the whistles and bugle calls amd music to get the students up. I had birds living in the celing, insects (roaches, centipedes, spiders) and inadequate plumbing that meant a very foul raw sewage odor was ever present. Needless to say there were no western style toilet facilities as indicated in the schools description and the toilet leaked water all over the floor with every flush. There was even a power outage for almost 12 hours that was apparently planned, but no one saw it necessary to inform me so i could go elsewhere. I later found out (surprise!) that if i wanted to leave the campus at night, i had to go and stay at a hotel because after a certain hour, the guard locked the gate and went home so i was locked out of the school grounds, and therefore my dorm. The town itself is not used to foreigners and many people were quite sus*i*ious and not particularly friendly; laughing, staring and mocking cries of "HELLOOOOO" were the norm. Someone even threw an apple core at me as i walked down the street one day. This school was absolutely miserable to work at. No support, no respect for the contract and terrible living conditions. At this point, i have found another position and consulted with an attorney who told me i can give one months notice and leave to work elsewhere, and he would help me (for a fee, of course) if i had any trouble getting my final pay or release letter. I'm likely going to be retaining him to negotiate my release in view of the sketchy circumstances.
- The cafeteria food was good.
- Not as advertised in online descriptions at all.
- Not very professional with respect to contract adherance and dissemination of information relevant to work environment, procedures.
- Not in a major metropolitan area with ease of access to city amenities
平乡恩信实验学校 Shangli County, Jiangxi, China