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Discussion of English language centers
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mediashark
Moderator


Joined: 04 Nov 2004
Posts: 1599

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:40 pm    Post subject: Discussion of English language centers Reply with quote

For those considering taking up teaching English in Moscow, please, please avoid these schools. Many an expat have fallen into their dishonest practises and never seen the money they ought to receive. All they do is to take money from students and never pay up the money owed to teachers.

We can never list every single dishonest language schools. If you do not wish to be burned--make sure you dig around for more info about the school before you teach. If rumours are floating around, it's likely something fishy is going on.

If you have had a bad experience with any of these schools or other schools, please post them here or PM me.

A very good resource for teachers in Moscow is http://www.moscowteachers.com/ and its forum http://www.moscowteachers.com/bb

UPDATED 28 Aug 2006!
The scam report site http://www.harvard-english.info/ has been offline sometime ago, but MoscowTeachers.com have reported that Harvard English is now operating under a new name and website The American Club of Education http://www.english-language.ru/ Keep far, far away from them!

Another one is American Language Center. Notorious spammers too. The CEO had been shot dead, but word is that the language center is still alive and kicking. http://www.mosnews.com/commentary/2005/07/26/spamassassin.shtml

We have also received some negative comments on NY Language Center. Apparently one of the ALC managers is now working there!


Last edited by mediashark on Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:48 pm; edited 3 times in total
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mediashark
Moderator


Joined: 04 Nov 2004
Posts: 1599

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samantha School
www.samantha.ru

Badly run by a spiteful and unprofessional woman who has a history of not paying teachers, sending them home (after providing visa support) just because she didn't like them and humiliating teachers in front of everyone.

Not a pleasant experience, from comments received. Steer clear!
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jwilliams
Lounge Wizard


Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 16777215

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have chosen to delete my post about the Samantha School.

Last edited by jwilliams on Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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mediashark
Moderator


Joined: 04 Nov 2004
Posts: 1599

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing.

I am reminded that there is a new site launched for teachers in Moscow.

http://www.moscowteachers.com/

Also, be very careful with responding to supposedly "private lessons" in The Moscow Times. Some language schools abuse the ads by misrepresenting themselves. If I remember correctly Havard English and ALC also advertise there from time to time with a phone number.

If you do come across such schools who misrepresent themselves in hoping to save a few bucks on advertising fees, something fishy is probably going on.
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brandalpayne11
Talk Show Host


Joined: 09 Sep 2004
Posts: 245
Location: NC, US

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

is it standard practice to recieve living accomodations as part of your retainer pakage from the English schools. (generalize of course, i know you can not speak for every school).

secondly, is it a prerequisit to speak russian. the reason i ask is when i tought in mexico i tought advanced classes in which the ctudents knew enough english to function w / me w / out an interpriter present.

thank you all.

brandal


ps. how has everyone been? i have not visited in a while because i have been traveling extensively.
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ruperthodges
Just Starting


Joined: 14 Nov 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is seriously funny to read about Helen Nijivaya. That woman is a real speciality- her daughter was at uni in London and she tried to get me to get my dad to get her a position in some top firm. When I said he wouldn't be able to do that, she treated me appallingly and did not retain my services after Xmas. Shame- I moved to working for an oil company for $20 an hour- does she still pay the measly $10 after "tax"???? Samantha school is a place you do not want to find yourself if in Moscow. I had my own VISA- do not, gfor God's sake, have Nijivaya sort out your VISA- it's the road to Hell
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Bongo78
Just Starting


Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:08 am    Post subject: Elena Nezhivaya Reply with quote

I don't mean to turn this in to a slaughter, but I worked for Nezhivaya as well. That lady is a double crossing old bag. To her credit, she was reliable about paying me, but maybe she has even sunk lower than before. She tried to get me to be Santa Claus for the Christmas concert. I first said yes, then backed out when I realized I was not going to get paid for it. We basically had a shouting match outside of her front door (I was living next to her at the time unfortunately). I would try to dissuade anyone from working at the Samantha School. She will give you the visa, then will have you by the balls. That's her little tactic. She uses everyone for all their worth and then kicks them out the door. In addition, she treats her Russian employees -who are really nice middle aged women- like absolute crap. Khuii s nei!!!
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ruperthodges
Just Starting


Joined: 14 Nov 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She also hates the kids. That "tax" she charges you is her excuse for knocking $3 an hour off your pay. That tax goes straight in to her pocket. Some of the parents I talked to told me that they were paying about $50 per lesson yet we were getting $0 an hour for teaching classes of 15 5 year olds! Just horrendous.
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jo-jo-7
Just Starting


Joined: 16 Mar 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:00 pm    Post subject: bad schools Reply with quote

I am not a teacher but I was wondering can anyone do something about that women? This is terrible what some of you have been through in this situation. Is there no one that can turn her in to the authorities or have her investigated or does in not work ouit that way there? Mad In the U.S. if a worker was to do that and had several complaints they would be dismissed from the school. Is there no place that you can turn her in?
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jwilliams
Lounge Wizard


Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 16777215

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Post deleted.

Last edited by jwilliams on Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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mediashark
Moderator


Joined: 04 Nov 2004
Posts: 1599

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:27 pm    Post subject: The Good, Bad and the Freelancing.... Reply with quote

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. It's rather sad (well, very sad!) that you have to go through all that. I know teachers do not have it easy in Moscow, there always seems to be 1 trouble-maker per language school (but not anything you can't deal with usually, as in standard office politics), but this woman is outrageous by anyone's standards! I am amazed that they still manage to keep their business, but so did ALC and Harvard English... Evil or Very Mad

Perhaps to help other teachers, it may be a good idea to share some GOOD language schools to work for. Freelancing is difficult, from what I know, as you need to know the area and it's not something for a newcomer.

So far I heard that Language Link and Inlinguia are more reliable as they are large schools. Comments?
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jo-jo-7
Just Starting


Joined: 16 Mar 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:07 pm    Post subject: bad schools Reply with quote

I am going to warn some people who are considering teaching in Russia about this school. I spoke with an advisor in my college because I once thought about teaching American language in Russia, I know some students who were considering taking a trip there and I will pass the word about this school to avoid any hassle from this woman.

Its' a shame that teachers has to go through such a mess. Exclamation
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nikir
Frequent Guest


Joined: 17 Mar 2010
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jwilliams wrote:
It's reassuring to know (at least for my own sanity) that I was not the only one who had problems with Helen Nezhivaya. To answer to jo jo 7's question, Nezhivaya could probably be reported to some authority, but good luck trying to navigate Russian law to get someone to do something about it!

When I was having all those visa problems (the visa she sponsored) I told my story to the American embassy in Moscow. Their response was that they do not intercede in these matters, but good luck! (Real helpful, I know.) So, I have settled for warning other people about her through this useful forum. Beware of the crazy lady!!! Smile

-Jeannine


The representative of your country generally won't get involved unless you are arrested.
Also you have to remeber that when you visit another country laws, mores and conventions can be quite different to those you are accustomed to and this has to be factored into the situation.
If you are genuinely cheated the best way to deal with it is to withdraw your services and move on. Do something else and treat it as a lesson learned.
This woman is getting a lot of exposure here and probably elsewhere in the travelling community and that will eventually level her out. In the meantime she will just go on as she is, preying on the naieve and inexperienced.
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jwilliams
Lounge Wizard


Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 16777215

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Post deleted, thanks.

Last edited by jwilliams on Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Crabman
WayToRussified


Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Posts: 401
Location: Middlesex

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jwilliams wrote:

Anyhow, moving on to a more pleasant topic, I heard that BKC was a good school. Does anyone have any info. on them?


Don't know about BKC. Mediashark mentioned Language Link. For what it is worth, I have a friend who worked there (in Korolev) for 3 years (kept returning on a year to year basis). He had a very positive experience. They also helped him find other employment (job referrals and references) in the Moscow area, when he was looking for something different than teaching English.
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