I have been working at SeaDragon International Education full-time (More than a year)
Seadragon is a legitimate company who were eventually able to provide the appropriate visa.
Less than two weeks prior to arrival in Hong Kong we were told that instead of the modern, central area we were supposed to be appointed, we were moved to the outskirts of the city, a 2 hour journey to the city centre.
Management and support staff are under-trained and overworked.
The Visa Specialist Department are not completely up to date with visa regulation, which led to multiple teachers being stranded in Hong Kong for two nights. SeaDragon solved this by letting the teachers enter the country on a tourist visa and transferring this to a work permit when in the country. This meant that several teachers were initially forced to work illegally and lie to the police while the transfer was ongoing.
This mistake personally cost each teacher over 300 euro and was never addressed by Seadragon.
The hotel room provided was filthy and involved sharing a room with a stranger. Some of my otherwise potential colleagues left the company at this point.
I have heard other people having positive experiences with specialists, but the specialist for my particular district is appalling.
My colleagues were told that there is very few accommodation opportunities available and were forced to take sub standard housing a considerable distance from the school. They then went on to learn that appropriate accommodation was always available, but the specialist was cutting corners to save time.
I believe this practice is born out of previous foreign teachers leaving their rent contracts early (in some cases from being fired) and their specialists promising to retrieve their deposits by offering this accommodation to new teachers, as "the only option".
Our specialist was also not familiar with our particular district which meant that he had significant trouble setting up internet or dealing with banking issues.
Throughout this we had to put up with a plethora of racist and derogatory comments towards our appearance, gender and "The West".
My colleague eventually reported this Specialist for racism and incompetency to upper management in SeaDragon. They told her they were aware of these issues but were not willing to discipline him.
My other colleague has recently attempted to leave the company only for Seadragon to threaten him that instead of releasing his visa to his new company, they would cancel the visa and force him to leave the country.
Advice to Management
There needs to be a massive improvement in training and support for specialists.
There should be a clear structure whereby complaints and concerns can be brought to upper management, without needing to go through the specialist.
The "on-boarding" procedure for new teachers also needs massive improvements in keeping up to date with current visa law, respecting teachers enough to give them a sanitary hotel room and assigning specialists that are capable and have enough time to properly deal with arising issues.
This will replace the current featured review for targeted profile. Are you sure you want to replace it?
Are you sure you want to remove this review from being featured for targeted profile?