Westgate Instructor Reviews | Glassdoor

Westgate Instructor Reviews

Updated Oct 29, 2019

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2.2
33%
Recommend to a Friend
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Well Organized and Enjoyable Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - English Instructor 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Westgate

    Pros

    They prepare you well with online training before your departure to Japan. The classes that you teach are very well thought-out with great lesson plans that decrease the amount of prep time required of you. The company treats you very professionally and the students are fun to work with.

    Cons

    The commute from your housing can be quite long and they forbid spending any time with your students outside of work. Understandable from their point of view, but one of the most enjoyable aspects of teaching abroad.

    Advice to Management

    Cutting down on commute distance/time would be a positive move.

    Westgate2017-09-26
  2. "Exploitative"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Instructor in Tokyo
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Westgate full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Lesson plans are provided, although these are generally quite limited in their appeal and require lots of tweaking. The students were great.

    Cons

    1. Set-up costs were unexpectedly high. Had to pay for everything including: toilet brush, dustpan/ brush, carpet cleaner, prper clothes hangars, bath mat, iron and ironing board. 2. The futon was just a thin quilt and consequently very uncomfortable. 3. Resource books were either unavailable or had crucial pages missing. 4. Had to be there for a long 10 hour day, but you only get paid for 5 1/2 hours. Don't... even get paid for the English Challenge, and I always had students turn up for this. 5. Weren't allowed to leave the university grounds during unpaid, non-teaching breaks 6. Support was superficial or non-existent. 7. Discouraged from socializing with Japanese staff. 8. I was the only English language instructor on my campus and the experience became painfully lonely and isolating.

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    Advice to Management

    Treat staff the way you would like to be treated in a foreign coutry.

    Westgate2019-10-30
  3. "Westgate Corp. University Teaching Positions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - EFL Instructor in Yokohama, Kanagawa
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Westgate full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Many opportunities to work at various universities in Tokyo and Yokohama

    Cons

    Housing is too small and located far away from train stations. After a 15-20 minute walk, you’ll then average a one hour commute on a super crowded train to your workplace.

    Advice to Management

    Offer more convenient housing and you’ll retain more teachers

    Westgate2019-09-24
  4. Helpful (2)

    "Cold, unsupportive, corporate entity stuck in the 1980s"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Instructor in Tokyo
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Westgate for more than a year

    Pros

    Teaching freedom. Teachers have flexibility in terms of teaching style. Not much oversight. Students are usually great, although motivation to learn can depend on the program.

    Cons

    Terrible lesson plans and material to work with. Provided lessons were almost entirely useless filled with grammatical errors, awkward dialogues. No use of powerpoint or computers during class. Writing on a chalkboard is your only real option. Contracts are only per semester. No guarantees for renewal. Company housing is overpriced. Rules regarding staying in Japan/traveling during vacations are strict. Management... is extremely ambiguous about everything.

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    Advice to Management

    Update those lesson plans. Allow teachers to use laptops in class. Have more transparency

    Westgate2019-01-15
  5. Helpful (5)

    "A Total Scam"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructor in Tokyo
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Westgate full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Everything is done for you.

    Cons

    Everything is done for you - that is, they control every aspect of your life, from where you live (a minimum one-hour commute in Tokyo's hellish subway system), to where you work (you're only informed a week prior to the start of the term to limit your options), what you teach (utterly cliche' ESL, to when you can arrive, and when you must depart, the country. The pay is low, the hours are long, they force you to... use their accommodation and then completely overcharge you, and there are absolutely NO benefits - not even a sick day. Sound like fun? Avoid like the plague.....

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    Advice to Management

    Stop being greedy, deceptive, and obsessively controlling, and learn to treat your faculty with the respect they deserve.

    Westgate2018-12-17
  6. Helpful (12)

    "A Total Ripoff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructor, College Or University in Tokyo
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Westgate full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    If you've never been to Japan before, this would simplify the process (but at a cost!).

    Cons

    This is a greedy, unethical company, and should not be mistaken with a bona-fide educational institution. The staff (both Japanese and foreign) are dishonest and unscrupulous, and will gladly toe the company line to receive their paycheck. You are forced to use the totally overpriced housing, are required to endure grueling and unnecessarily long commutes, receive a low salary with no benefits, and the teaching... itself is nothing more than standard (and often silly) ESL, not university instruction. As part of their ongoing ripoff campaign, Westgate recently switched to paying on an hourly basis (rather than a monthly salary), which guarantees that you don't even get paid for the occasional national holiday. You'd be much better off, and better paid, working for one of the many ESL chain schools. Avoid Westgate like the plague.....

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    Advice to Management

    Start acting in a fair and reasonable manner rather than as a selfish, greedy child.....

    Westgate2018-03-30
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Supportive company, but contracts too short"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - English Instructor in Tokyo
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Westgate for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Can work in universities teaching adult students only

    Cons

    Most contracts are only for 8 to 9 months out of the year, so there will be large gaps in your yearly salary if you try to stay in Japan long-term.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more options for long-term employees to improve their salaries and conditions of emplyment.

    Westgate2018-02-19
  8. Helpful (3)

    "Worst Dispatch Company."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - English Instructor in Tokyo
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Westgate for more than a year

    Pros

    It's amazing the fact they can still pay you, but they make a bulk of the profits. If you're lucky you get coordinating staff that are courteous and aware of your needs. But even those find better jobs elsewhere. Sometimes, just sometimes, you feel you're making a difference.

    Cons

    For starters they overcharged housing, you rarely get the contracts you want, the interview process is tedious and unnecessarily long. Once you do get the job, they monitor you like a mother would to her two year old boy. Respect seems to go only in one direction. The classes are cookie cutter and there is little room to improvise and if you do you no longer have the strength because of the amount of sheer hours you... pull in. The state of unis now in Japan heavily rely on companies such as this crapstorm of an institution to pump out short term teachers at the lowest cost. This is turn affects the quality of what's being taught. If you thought highschool students were difficult wait till you experience the low ranked colleges they send you too. Sadly, it's the state of the current education environment in Japan. This company knows this well and takes advantage of both the schools and sadly its employees. Would not recommend. At. All.

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    Advice to Management

    Take a look at the mirror and reevaluate your company values and perhaps your conscience if there's any scrap of that left.

    Westgate2017-12-08
  9. Helpful (4)

    "Good foot into Japan and EFL Teaching experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Instructor in Saitama
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Westgate full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Very (very) little planning required for lessons as plans are already provided giving a convenient basis to which you can either replicate or play-around with (very important as long days plus commutes will give you very little to plan); They make things very easy for you regarding logistics (the airport pickup and taking you to your apartment, opening a bank account and organising residency permits etc).; (My... own experience) I had a fantastic DOS in every possible way you can think of; Plenty of printing credit provided; The university I was assigned to's cafeteria had exceptional food (we're talking about Japan here) at a decent price; Plenty of empty slots in the day to plan for the next day, eat more, change your lesson's up a bit, or chat with students; They provide you with a work phone; Short (termly contract) prevents you from having to commit for a long time (that could be a con for some); The term's training workshop wasn't compulsory to go to but would recommend, the trip into Tokyo was paid for and the buffet and open bar afterwards was phenomenal; A decent amount of national holidays off (not in the Spring term!) considering you're working in Japan;

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    Cons

    The only cons are: Apartment prices are ridiculously high, and Westgate makes it very difficult for you to find your own accommodation (they didn't tell me where I was assigned until 2 days before departure). They get away with it because a) the late assignment and b) it's probably very difficult for foreigners to secure accommodation for a 3 months period; THERE'S NO WIFI PROVIDED TO TEACHERS ON CAMPUS - I mean,... really? It's Japan, where they have wifi in the 7-Elevens! (This might've been the case with my assigned uni only); And in addition to wifi... Westgate lesson's are not electronic - no wifi, no interactive whiteboard, just back-to-basics whiteboard and markers. This is strange for a country so waste-environment conscious, because you're forced to do a lot of printing (and even this is limited - printing credits);

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    Advice to Management

    Offer longer contracts to committed teachers; Notify teachers in advance where they're going to live and work - a few days before is quite disrespectful;

    Westgate2017-05-03
  10. Helpful (6)

    "Could've been so much more"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - English Instructor in Tokyo
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Westgate full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great to teach university students and to be in a university environment. Flights and travel to and from work paid for. Accommodation arranged for you. Coordinators are lovely people to work with. No micromanaging, unless there are serious problems with the way you teach. Daily lesson plans are provided with freedom to stray from it as long as you're teaching the target language etc. Shortly after arriving in Japan... they will go with you to your local government building to arrange all the paperwork and to set up a bank account for you (at the Post Office) as well as your National Health Insurance. Good as a way to see, understand and get used to Japan for a short period of time. You also get to have a professor's visa and be called one if you like. It's only in name though.

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    Cons

    Accommodation arranged by Westgate is overpriced at 81,000 yen. It is common knowledge that they get a cut of that amount. It's cheaper if you can find your own accommodation, but then there are rules around that too. On the subject of rules - there are too many. WAY TOO MANY. Then again, I guess that's Japan for you - a place of rules that almost all Japanese people obey. That's why they have such a low level of... crime in the country but it will definitely be a bit overwhelming for a newcomer. Expect to be treated like a child at the start. They also only offer contracts to cover each term so you're supposed to fly back home and come back again for the next term. The time in between two terms is not a paid holiday though. This is their way of cutting costs and not paying a gram more than they can get away with. They also don't pay any pension contributions. It's pretty clear that they are avoiding this and it should be mandatory but it isn't mentioned. I'm sure it will catch up with them in years to come when the government finally realises this. You also don't get to know where yo will work and where they have arranged your accommodation to be until about a week before you fly to Japan for the start of term. They do acknowledge requests but you could end up anywhere in Saitama, Tokyo, Kanagawa or Nagoya. Expect long commute times to and from work. This is something that is true for many Japanese people as many will commute for and hour or two into Tokyo for work. There also don't seem to be any real opportunities to move up in the company. They notified instructors, including myself, that they will only increase your salary by 5,000yen ONCE if you renew your contract for further terms, regardless of how many terms you may continue to work with them. This is like a slap in the face. Like I said, it's okay if you want to see Japan and test the water to see if you want to continue working there, but there's not much point in sticking around for more than a couple of terms with Westgate as they don't appreciate loyalty and commitment.

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    Advice to Management

    Offer proper annual contracts that value good instructors, instead of termly (3 or 4 month) contracts. That way you'll get a bunch of well trained professionals instead of transient teachers who may treat it as a holiday job for a few months before moving on. It's better for the students and better for the teachers too. Also offer pay rises for loyal employees and clarify any way of working up to more senior... positions. Be more transparent and reasonable with accommodation and the amount of rent paid as well. Also, don't treat adults like children.

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    Westgate2017-02-13
Found 11 reviews