EF English First Reviews | Glassdoor

EF English First Reviews

Updated August 16, 2018
269 reviews

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3.7
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Jacob Toren
98 Ratings

269 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Paid on time AND received full value of benefits (didn't have to beg for airfare subsidies etc)" (in 16 reviews)

  • "very friendly work environment, open and communicative, very high sense of happiness in this company" (in 19 reviews)

Cons
  • "The hours can be very long, especially when there are summer and winter courses" (in 11 reviews)

  • "Work/life balance sucks due to long hours and weird schedule" (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager
    Current Employee - Project Manager
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great opportunities, cool working environment with
    international colleagues. You have the chance to choose and conduct projects
    that interest you since they believe employees will perform better when they
    like what they are doing.

    Cons

    Sometimes working hours can be long, but well valued and
    compensated


  2. "Luck of the Draw"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    If you get lucky, unlike me, you could be at a very productive and professional center. Other teachers I know feel very supported by management, have all the supplies they need, and feel prepared for class each day. You will also always be paid on time, which can not always be said for ESL teaching companies. There is also a huge amount of opportunities and venues both in and out of teaching, all within the EF brand.

    Cons

    If you get unlucky, like me, you can end up in an absolutely awful center. Management is inexperienced and untrustworthy and every day will be a challenge to prepare for classes. You may never know how many kids to prepare for in a class (happened to me yesterday morning: my class tripled in size with no warning). Your PA's will throw you under the bus at any opportunity to cover themselves. Entire classes may appear on your schedule with no notice. Once a safety issue arose and we were told to lie to the parents about their students' safety to not incite a panic. The pay, while on time, is low for the standard you see amongst other companies. With the insurance they provide, you pay all your doctor bills up front and have to submit a claim to get reimbursed, but no one I know has ever gotten reimbursed. You get very little annual leave. And all those other job opportunities, you have to make it at least through your year to get to them. If you're struggling like I am, that year could feel like 5.

    Advice to Management

    The standard of centers needs to be the same across the board. Many other teachers I know have fabulous centers that are very productive and have a good working environment. Other centers are almost famously underperforming and the entire staff is unhappy. Every manager higher and higher that I've spoken to is acutely aware of which centers are the "problem centers", but nothing is being done to correct it.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Racist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    get you to china for sure

    Cons

    they only need white people, don't even apply if you are not white.

    Advice to Management

    stop lying on the ads


  4. Helpful (6)

    "Racist and will treat you like trash. If you aren’t white don’t apply!!!! Please stay away from this company!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Teacher in China, ME
    Former Employee - English Teacher in China, ME
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    They will like only white people. If you are white this is great for you!

    Cons

    They will only treat white people like gods. If you are darker than white you will be harassed, watched like a criminal, ignored and forced into slavery like conditions.

    Advice to Management

    Warn anyone not white because you cause psychological damage to ANY minority.
    If you hire anyone yellow, brown or black tell them your racist history so they don’t get stuck in modern slavery

    EF English First Response

    Jul 4, 2018 – Vice President

    We are extremely disappointed to hear your negative feelings. EF has been opening the world through education for over 60 years and we pride ourselves on being an equal opportunities employer with an... More


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Great Opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    EF takes care of all your visa needs. I really like the hours and this company provides great opportunities!

    Cons

    It's not the highest paying training center and not that much annual leave when you start out.

    EF English First Response

    Apr 26, 2018 – Vice President

    Thank you for your positive feedback!


  6. "Makes the process of transitioning to a new country easy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Online ESL Teacher in Miami, FL
    Current Employee - Online ESL Teacher in Miami, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I get to work with amazing people and make new friends for life. Living and staying in China allows me the opportunity to travel to other countries cheaply and easily. The actual work is easy and not stressful at all. The teaching environment is well-done, usually very well thought through and provides people with a very nice experience here.

    Cons

    poor management as so far


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Good Opportunity with some Good People, Corrupt Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at EF English First (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Other teachers are usually friendly
    Got me to China

    Cons

    Convoluted, long hours, dishonest, corrupt.

    EF English First Response

    Apr 26, 2018 – Vice President

    Thank you for addressing your concerns. Please email teacher.feedback@ef.com as we'd love to follow up with your concerns.

  8. Helpful (11)

    "Just Run Away...RUN"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Foreign Language Teacher
    Current Employee - Foreign Language Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Well...they get you to China I suppose.

    Cons

    Makes it deliberately difficult for you to go to another company by messing with your visa if they decide to fire you or you leave. This can't possibly be legal.

    You cannot trust anyone in management not to throw you under the bus if you have even a single issue.

    You only get 10 days annual leave. 10.

    Teachers are stressed out and overworked...and no one really cares because you should feel "lucky to be here." So lucky you will skip meals.

    The threat of being fired is constant and thus there is no room to feel comfortable. You never get to feel like your improvements matter. Is there any surprise the turn over rate is horrible? Not really.

    There isn't any actual training. Every single thing is just a test despite them claiming it's training. And if you make mistakes at "regional training" it will be held over your head when you get to your individual center.

    They can absolutely fire you without 3 days notice. I watched it happen. And if you are fired you will owe them money for the housing advance.

    Why is there no HR department? No really who are you meant to talk to about anything without facing consequences?

    They hold your reimbursement hostage so good luck with that.

    They ironically never use constructive feedback. I say ironic because they say that's what you should do when teaching...and every other company knows training=teaching you new employees not humiliating them for not being perfect at a job they have no experience in. Why bother recruit people with no experience in the first place?

    Advice to Management

    Be honest with people during the recruitment process. Also legitimate companies have a HR department so that you can avoid favoritism or unfair repercussions for making simple complaints.

    EF English First Response

    Apr 26, 2018 – Vice President

    Thank you for your feedback. We're sorry to hear of your experiences. Please email us at teacher.feedback@ef.com so we can better address your concerns.


  9. Helpful (11)

    "Good way to get your feet wet in China"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First (More than a year)

    Pros

    Easy work, Management stays off your back

    Cons

    Some serious ageism going on

    Advice to Management

    I arrived at the company almost a year ago. My manager trained me for two hours on my first day on the job...and then a few months later - he chatted to me for ten minutes because he wanted to interview each member of the team individually. That has been the extent of my interaction with my manager. In all the months since, I have never had my work reviewed or commented on. He has never asked me about my classes. I was never rebuked or praised in my ten months with the company. About the only meaningful conversation I had with my manager as of late was when he asked me to falsify his CertDiptesol paperwork. To be honest...if it weren't for the headache of finding someone to cover my classes, I don't think management would notice if I were alive or dead. I was never given one of those nifty pink lanyards and it took them six months to get my picture on the wall. However, during my time with the company, my EEAs have always been well attended, I have never been late for a class and have always been prepared. I have also worked very hard on the Corporate Solutions side of the business and have done quite well there...so well in fact that I was being interviewed for a promotion. I turned it down because I have had enough of working overseas and wish to return to America. The pay is mediocre, but that is fair enough since the work is quite easy.

    I did state as a con that I believe there is a lot of prejudice against people over forty years old. Everyone on the Shanghai management team seem to be in either their late twenties to early thirties.

    Having said all that, I have always been paid on time and the on-boarding process made the transition to China a relatively pleasant experience. There are many opportunities to be found in China and I would recommend EF as a way to explore the landscape and put your ambition to work.

    EF English First Response

    Dec 26, 2017 – Vice President

    Hello, thank you for your feedback and honest advice. It is not normal to only have 2 hours of training once you've finished with the on-boarding process and have arrived at your center. Please email... More


  10. "English Teacher and School Activity Coordinator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    A lot of advancement opportunities and great experience if you want to have a career in TEFL or School management.

    Cons

    Sometimes the cultural difference in running a company can be a little difficult


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