EF English First Reviews

Updated Aug 10, 2020

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3.2
56%
Recommend to a Friend
61%
Approve of CEO
EF English First President 	Jacob Toren (no image)
Jacob Toren
176 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "make it very difficult to leave company for another job in China(in 54 reviews)

  • "Production schedule isn't aligned with Chinese National holidays so cannot plan holidays in advance(in 31 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "English Teacher"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    Great company atmosphere and people.

    Cons

    No comments. Great culture and communication.

    EF English First Response

    March 24, 2019Vice President

    Thanks for your feedback! We're so happy to hear you enjoy and appreciate our company culture and environment. One of the things we really focus on is making sure our teachers have a happy environment to work in and we try to create a culture of open communication to make sure all of our teachers feel valued and supported throughout their time with us. Thank you for all that you do.

  2. "Teaching is like performing"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great camaraderie among coworkers.

    Cons

    Challenging workload at times. Difficult for newcomers to get a steady work; opportunities are based on a teacher's seniority.


  3. "Foreign English Teacher"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign English Teacher 
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Excellent compensation. There's also excellent support from local staff for help with visas, settling in, housing, healthcare and more.

    Cons

    The workload is too high. Teachers very often teach more than 24 contact hours each week, which is exhausting and unfortunately makes teaching quality lessons to all students impossible.

    Continue reading

    EF English First Response

    March 24, 2019Vice President

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at EF. It's a big commitment to come to China, and we do our best to make the relocation as smooth and worry-free as possible. We are therefore very happy to hear that you had a very positive onboarding and felt well looked after from our local staff. We understand that teaching is very demanding. We try to keep all teachers at or below their contract hours as this is in the best interest of our teachers and the quality of our classes. On those occasions when teaching hours do exceed contract hours, we do compensate for the extra hours. Thank you for your suggestion on providing more training to our support staff including our teacher assistants. This is an area that is often overlooked and one that we could, and should, focus more attention on.

  4. "Teacher"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    a lot of opportunity

    Cons

    does not pay for accommodations

  5. Helpful (2)

    "A Great company to work for!"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    ESL Teacher 
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First

    Pros

    They allowed me to work independently and come up with my own ideas for Life Clubs. Fellow employees were very friendly and worked together as a team.

    Cons

    Had to spend downtime in the office when we didn't have any classes. Management wasn't always flexible about giving us the ability to change our schedule.

    Continue reading
  6. "Good People Questionable Management"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Teacher 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    EF is one of the biggest leaders of education in China so you know it’s gonna be safe legally and financially. The people at my school were super nice and the kids were cute. My Director of Studies was amazing and always put her teachers first.

    Cons

    Communication is really not great between departments. Things always seem to be done last minute and the division of work was always unequal, with local Chinese teachers having more work thrust on them than foreign teachers. The pay is smaller than if you were to work at a kindergarten or other school but worth it for the security. Also there’s a bit of unfair treatment with hardworking staff being overlooked for less competent staff that are friends with management.

  7. "nice comany to work with"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Shanghai, Shanghai
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    nice comany to work with

    Cons

    job not hard for developer

  8. "Stay Clear of EF, Shenyang (Nice City, Bad Company)"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Shenyang, Liaoning
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Shenyang is a beautiful and fun city with a low cost of living. There is a great expat community.

    Cons

    Management was terrible, they were never around, and constantly lost documents. Chinese management loved to promote people who were grossly incompetent they are just puppets who don't have the foreign staffs interest. Management who were competent didn't last long making it unbearable to work. There was a man in the office that would sexually harass other men in the office. This made working uncomfortable when he would make lude comments describing his sexual conquest in gory detail and management in office would laugh about it. When it was brought up management would laugh it off and say that the office space was classified as a "public space" so they can't do anything. The man doing the harassing was part of management. You have to make your own materials. Making your own materials could take a very long and could require you to come in hours before classes to make sure you are prepared. They also use old curriculum and provide no help on the materials. They only care about the money they make from parents. Hours on the weekend were long and tiresome. Teachers who were great at teaching were given back to back classes for a 10 hour period while others would show up work for 2 classes and go home for the rest of the day while others still worked 8 hours for the SAME PAY. Summer course and winter course are not optional. School forces you to work 6 days a week from 8am to 4pm and then regular classes on top of those hours. Days ranged from 8am to 8pm for no extra pay. There are no consecutive days off. Everyone had Monday off, but would receive a random day like Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Only management was allowed 2 consecutive days off. So there was no manager available on Tuesday. Company-wide training is only done on a Monday, so you lost your days off. School wide training was always done on a Wednesday or Thursday so that management was not affected on their day off. It was also mandatory to show up. If you were sick you needed to show up and suck it up. If you went to the hospital and were given a sick note management would claim that it was not sufficient enough and take pay away from you. Pay taken was 2000 RMB at the time that was 1/5 of your salary. Company refused to open bank accounts for anyone who is not management. China operates heavily on a Wechat pay/Alipay system. functioning with no bank account was difficult. Company pays for bills and doesn't allow you to see the bill. When random bills arrive at your apartment like a water or gas bill they are drastically lower than what they are charging you. If you decide to leave this company they will hold your pay and refuse to transfer your visa, unless are willing to involve a lawyer. They heavily pressure you to sign a Chinese document but refuse to translate it for you. The school provides food on the weekends which is terrible and on many occasions gave workers food poisoning. Food is so bad that Chinese staff have said they would rather starve than eat it.

    Continue reading

    EF English First Response

    August 12, 2020Teacher Welfare Director

    We're very concerned with multiple sections of your post and would like to discuss and assist going forward. There's no tolerance for sexual harassment at our schools or offices so will encourage you to reach out to compliance.china@ef.com with a detailed email in order for a formal investigation to take place. Alternatively, you can reach out to me at joanne.vazquez@ef.com and I can personally assist.

  9. "Decent but low paying"

    3.0
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Beijing, Beijing

    I have been working at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    Easy for getting to China and professional, organised and trustworthy company.

    Cons

    Low paying and so large that sometimes there are issues with organisation and workload.

    EF English First Response

    August 7, 2020Teacher Welfare Director

    Thank you for your review and feedback. We're glad we were able to assist with your transition to China and thank you for trusting us with this endeavor. If you would like us to further review any issues in regards to organisation and workload, please email teacher.welfare@ef.com and we'll help look into these matters. Wishing you continued success at EF!

  10. Helpful (1)

    "ok"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Special Education Teacher in Japan, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    good location, nice worker and atmosphere

    Cons

    leverage low salaries, not good promotion

Found 459 reviews