Suzhou Foreign Language School (SFLS) [苏州外国语学校]

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This boarding school offers K-12 programs on a huge, scenic campus. Contemporary classes in everything from ''industrial art'' to embroidery.

Reviews (5)

Dec 28, 2020 19:06

Suzhou Foreign Language School Zhenjiang Campus (2019-2020)

So I started working there summer 2019, a few weeks before the opening day and the beginning of a new beautiful hopeful l journey. The school was still a construction sight but no worries everything is new and things need “time” to get better... did they get better... well no. The first few weeks before the very first semester started a lot of questions had been asked about teaching resources / materials / books etc just like any other normal teaching job you ask what does the school want us to use... however nothing came my way or any other teachers way. Precious time was wasted. Day 1 of the first semester the children are coming in the afternoon... teachers were still waiting... they tell me that they have a schedule for me to work both in their kindergarten at a separate campus 45 minutes away as well as working in their primary school shared campus.... i asked how come and where which place has my visa been processed through... after waiting several hours they tell me; sorry your visa is processed through our kindergarten as we don’t yet have a business licence to legally hire you or any other member of staff at the primary school. So i asked you want to me to work illegally at the primary school and legally at the kindergarten and they said yes, keep it hush hush... i said no and went to the kindergarten to where i have remained legally processed every since but not without some tedious attempts and cunning bribes of my will to try and get me into the primary school. By the end of semester 1 they had then got this licence and asked again to which i refused as i was already in full swing of teaching my kids and making plans for 3 years of kindergarten. Teaching materials/resources everything is is pretty much provided and bought by myself and the school are very reluctant to buy. Even after asking multiple times, acquiring things can be tedious, tiring and an unnecessary game of tug-of-war when you want to deliver quality classes to children. And even simple classroom items are often hard to obtain unless you buy yourself or they ask the parents to buy colours, scissors etc for the children to use...

1st year done and dusted, had time to reflect and accepted that i can put up with them... it’s okay for me to buy whatever i need for the children and things should get better... when renewing my 2nd year they handed me a new contract. It got worse, not better or even staying the same. I contacted a Chinese lawyer and highlighted some big issues within the contract and they stated that this is illegal. I told the school about this and they had a quick change of heart and gave me the same contract conditions for my second year. Year 2 starts and we have more students, more classes and another international class. The school as 3 tiers of classes. International class where parents pay the most money and have a foreign teacher like myself to accompany and teach the students all week. Experimental class is the middle tier; Not as expensive as international class as parents pay for a Chinese teacher to teach most of the student’s English classes and the FT will teach 2 a week. The cheapest is basic class which at first had no foreign interaction but of course more lies.. as time goes on the educational bureau investigate and this company has told the tax office we only have basic classes so when they come we have to hide most of our work, schedules etc.. and answer no questions...

So year 2 has started, 2 international classes. Each International class has their own FT and the other classes are shared equally... yay! another foreign teacher...a few weeks go by and it’s clear this new FT doesn’t want to do much and the management deem that the new FT needs more time to adapt and improve even after the FT has been given a lot of resources and help to begin with by myself. So i was a told to take the responsibility of teaching his class which made the management happy as last year she had promised all the parents that i would be the teacher of their children, i told them this has to be a temporary solution and the parents need to be informed that the new FT will soon take the full responsibility... Just before Christmas and i end up hospitalised needing surgery on my knee. When i was being admitted to the hospital they asked for my health insurance so they can determine what services to provide, sure not a problem it;s written in my contract that i have health insurance... however HR couldn’t provide details, eventually told me I do have health insurance here’s my code and i need to contact them myself... After the surgery i went to the insurance company with my wife to find out the details and it turned out using my passport we found a very good group health insurance. This information would’ve been great before the surgery so the hospital could determine what services to provide... the silver lining in all this uncooperative and uncaring ordeal is that through my lawyer i found out about the “social insurance law” 2011 stating that all foreigners legally working in china are lawful entitled to social security. And that employers who don’t register within 30 days can face punishment from the governing bureau. I legally terminated my contracted under the Chinese labour law. I went to collect my belongings from the kindergarten and the kindergarten principal attempted to forcefully detain myself and my wife and locked us in. After she made a big scene we jumped the fence with our belongings. So I've left them and I’m fighting a legal battle. I’ll now join the other over 100 Chinese & Foreign teachers who’ve been hired and have left since the school began last year. To better things, think again about why you’d take a job here, they clearly don’t care for you.. Feel free if you have any further questions about my time and experiences whilst working for SFLS.

Mar 06, 2016 13:59

Hello, school my name is marc, how are you guys nice to meets you, I am born Nigeria British citizen,applying for a company job or a teaching job in China, and also I'm a permanent residency holder of Shanghai, China's., also a trained teacher in TEFL with a DEGREE certificate in management/accounting. I would like to work in any perimeters of your vacancy areas. You can reach me at my mobile number or through via email. I Will be glad to hear from you soon thank you.13636409587,13120683462

Nov 28, 2012 01:24

Having worked at the school for 2 years, I would recommend it. The pay is quite generous, the accommodation they provide is quite good on campus, (it's a bit like a hotel room), it's a little small, but well maintained and it does have AC. I quite enjoyed living on campus, it's good for your social life , convenient for work and it's FREE. The school may also offer an accommodation allowance 1500rmb 500 utilities (understandably they would prefer teachers on campus because it saves them money).
I have ready many rotten reviews about the school and I think it's a bit pathetic when people name drop and add insults, such as somebodies weight.
Despite all the good things about the school, there are also some bad..There is some very bad/ awful middle management. To be honest I think that they are not interested at the top, they prefer to be blissfully unaware of who is professional and performing well and who is here just to party.
The school has a great reputation in China and that is down to the huge success of the high school department. They have achieved world records in some departments and have students going to top universities all over the world. If you talk to any of the students in grade 6 or above you will be amazed at how clever they are and how good their English is. The school is so good it turns many students away. The students are rich and I think they are well disciplined compared to other government schools I have worked at. SFLS gives generous paid holidays, including 1 month at spring festival, October week and a few days here and there. If you are renewed they will pay you for 1 month of the summer holiday and they give 12,200rmb travel allowance every year (10,000 for flights/taxis/trains 1,100 per semester).
I would suggest giving this school a try, Suzhou is a great city to live, perhaps the best in China. The salary is quite good and the school is generous.

Oct 12, 2011 21:14

Please don't believe a word this C. Worthington troll says. He worked at this school in 2009 for all of 10 weeks. He couldn't handle the workload and the job duties with which he was tasked. He is EVERYWHERE on the internet under a host of names slinging his mud and hatred.

The campus is about 15 years old. This year many of the classrooms received new electronic "smart" white boards which many teachers love. There are 34 foreign teachers (as of this writing) on campus, professional, kind, even-tempered.

The above poster never even lived on campus. He was given a nice, two-bedroom dig right across the street. He and his five cats destroyed it before he left. I won't comment on the school-ground accommodations as the school pays for my nice, modern two bedroom flat, situated on the 9th floor with a balcony that overlooks a gated community and my school just to my right. They pay for all utilities except for my personal mobile phone and satellite system.

Please contact the school and ask for current FTs' emails or phone numbers. I'm sure you will find many responses that totally contradict the one above. Thank you and good luck in your job search.

C. Worthington
Aug 18, 2011 16:17

This school is an absolute AVOID if you are a foreign teacher looking for a job in China. The living conditions for foreign teachers are probably among the worst in China. If you live on campus, you will be crammed into a small, dark, dingy, unheated, moldy one-room apartment with a plywood door. You can easily hear your neighbors and they can hear you. The apartment is NOT heated and winters in Suzhou can be cold. Notwithstanding the comments above, the campus is NOT pretty at all. NOT at all. It looks like a 19th Century reformatory for wayward boys. The students are fine if you like spoiled little rich kid who expect the foreign teacher monkey to dance and sing. The worst, however, are the foreign managers. The Chinese administration is shrew -- they don't do the dirty work. They turn the dirty work over to their middle-level foreign managers. All of them, or almost most of them, are terribly, terribly fat OVERWEIGHT white Americans. One was a prison guard in the United States; another was a pizza delivery boy, etc, etc. Do not even consider this school at all. Just read the comments about it all over the Internet. It has a terrible name.

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