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View Full Version : BKC IH Moscow - Anyone starting to teach there in Sept. 2010?



honeybee
10-07-2010, 23:23
I received an offer to teach with BKC Moscow, but am getting discouraged coz of all the bad press about them. :whisper:

I am wondering if anyone has had a POSITIVE experience with them??

The contract does have a few shady terms - they set their own exchange rate for the salary, plus a lot of the important things are discussed not in the contract, but in another document called Internal Regulations for teachers.. That document does not have any signatures on it. Plus everything is in English, so apparently void under Russian law anyway.. AM CONCERNED.

Is anyone teaching there now or going to start in September??

FlakeySnowballer
11-07-2010, 00:09
In a new blog by a BKC-IH Moscow teacher called BKC-IH Moscow Sucks: BKC-IH Moscow Should Be Disaffiliated With IHWO (International House), the teacher writes about the following problems that teachers face while working at his school in Podolsk, Moscow.

1. Being forced to illegally work in Russia (a dangerous situation) because BKC Moscow does not have the legal right to currently employ foreigners if their visas expire. BKC IH Moscow instructs its teachers to get "business visas," which are being used by BKC teachers to teach English in Russia, which is strictly against the law - business visas cannot be used to teach. Teachers foot the bill for the visa runs to get these visas, compensated only a fraction of what it costs to leave the country and come back with an illegal visa.

2. Lack of proper ADOS support for the teacher's curriculum.

3. Lies told by the teacher's ADOS.

4. Teachers being told by BKC-IH Moscow to lie to Russian police about where they work. (We will post more about this on an upcoming blog post.)

5. A vindictive director who stopped buying water for the office and shut down internet connections at the school for no reason.

6. Lies told to the teacher by Wayne Rimmer, the director of studies at BKC-IH Moscow.

7. Being forced out of his apartment after being illegally dismissed by BKC-IH Moscow a few weeks ago.

8. Contract violations, emails that were not responded to, and a threat from BKC-IH Moscow's Director of Studies about never being able to work for IH again.

Bels
11-07-2010, 00:22
First of all I am not interested in working for any company in Russia as an EFL Teacher. However I am in adifferent situation from you in that case. My guess is that for whatever reason, you want to tech in Russia for the very first time, then I could only recommend BKC or the other one Language Link, as they are probably the reliable and experienced companies in Russia, especially in moscow , for many years.

I woud look further in this forum for further experiences, and I would also look up Daves esl cafe. Click here http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewforum.php?f=20

Look or search for BKC, and make your mind up from there. Hopefully you will find a mixture of positives and negative reactions from those who have worked there. For me? I think if you are beginner coming to Russia for the first time BKC is your best bet. Itwon't get you a fantastic standard of living, and money spending will be tight for you, especially with the inflation rate we have here. It has been a long time since Moscow has been cheap. in fact on many cases Moscow is the most ensive city in the world. But if you are an adventurous type of person , and don't expect much, and are extremely placid in nature, you might enjoy it. But don't go for other schools, as it might not be safe for you to do so. Especially if it is your first visit. Don't expact a family income, or as claimed a professional middle class income compared to Russians, as such claims are absolute nonsence. Let us be fair about it, the incom you will be offered will be extremely low. But if you are happy with it , then go ahead.

andymackem
12-07-2010, 16:07
Unusually Bels and I are in agreement!

I did two contracts with BKC, Sep 2006-June 2007 followed by March-Dec 2008. I had no big problems with the school on either occasion. They did what they said they would (paid me, housed me, visa-ed me); I did what I said I would (taught people English). I moved on because I got a job in a different industry. However, in the past 18 months I've heard more criticisms of the school, especially since changes in visa legislation made it harder to get the appropriate paperwork for staff.

The income bit is a tough call as well. When I left I was earning about 30,000r / month and had free (albeit rudimentary) accommodation thrown in. Considering that the average Russian salary is somewhere around 25,000r that's not disastrous. It depends what you mean by middle class. Bottom line is you won't starve, but you won't be an oligarch in waiting either. I was able to save a bit on my salary, but supplemented it with other work as well.

If you're determined to come to Russia for an experience, this is perhaps the least painful way to do it. After a bit of time in Moscow you'll start to get a feel for whether you want to stay and how you might manage it with a better deal that BKC can offer.

Bels
13-07-2010, 20:13
Yes it is better being employed with the who you know, and than than who you don't know. We have seen it many times. Go for for Language Link or BKC, althow moaned about from many teachers, at least we don't hear of the disasters compared to those who decide to go for fantastic offers from nobodies. It can happen, but believe me, you need local experience to understand and take such deals.

So for newbies, due to the fact that you have the advantage of having a telephone interview from your home country, and they are actually offering you an expensive package of accomadatio, travel costs, visa and work permit, etc, only Language Link or BKC can look after you.

But don't expect a fantastic salary!! Moscow IS!!!! Expensive!!!!! With the worst inflation rate in the world. Prices keep going up, even though recession is recognised.


Unusually Bels and I are in agreement!

I did two contracts with BKC, Sep 2006-June 2007 followed by March-Dec 2008. I had no big problems with the school on either occasion. They did what they said they would (paid me, housed me, visa-ed me); I did what I said I would (taught people English). I moved on because I got a job in a different industry. However, in the past 18 months I've heard more criticisms of the school, especially since changes in visa legislation made it harder to get the appropriate paperwork for staff.

The income bit is a tough call as well. When I left I was earning about 30,000r / month and had free (albeit rudimentary) accommodation thrown in. Considering that the average Russian salary is somewhere around 25,000r that's not disastrous. It depends what you mean by middle class. Bottom line is you won't starve, but you won't be an oligarch in waiting either. I was able to save a bit on my salary, but supplemented it with other work as well.

If you're determined to come to Russia for an experience, this is perhaps the least painful way to do it. After a bit of time in Moscow you'll start to get a feel for whether you want to stay and how you might manage it with a better deal that BKC can offer.

honeybee
13-07-2010, 20:31
Thanks to all you guys who responded!! This is definitely helpful to clear things up a bit.. Sounds like it should be an OK school. THANKS!

true7north
22-07-2011, 02:46
Hi ...
I'm an ESL teacher from NZ, I was offered a job with both BKC and Language Link both starting in Sep, my question is which school is better to work for? talking in terms of pay, accommodation and support.
I read a lot of negative reviews about BKC, the thing is, my expectations are not very high anyway as i know Russia isn't Japan or south Korea and im doing this fully for the experience.
Also do you guys know if you are allowed to work for 2 different schools under the Russian law?
Your help would be much appreciated.

Periwinkle
22-07-2011, 13:25
I would say both are pretty much the same. Though I know Language Link does contract teachers out to smaller dodgy Russian schools (Not sure about BKC).
I think both are fine as stepping stones - stay for as little time as possible.
Take what you are told by the schools with a grain of salt.

true7north
22-07-2011, 14:50
Thanks Periwinkle
I guess i just feel a bit torn between the 2 schools and making a final decision. I already bought my tickets to Moscow and I arrive there on the 15th of August.
Language Link seems to be very vague, BKC was a lot clearer.
Will have to decide very soon.....
I take it you worked for BKC before?

Cheers

pjw
22-07-2011, 18:00
I received an offer to teach with BKC Moscow, but am getting discouraged coz of all the bad press about them. :whisper:There was bad press about BKC, but I've had no problem with them, in fact the opposite, I've found them to be a very secure employer over the last 18 months. For me, it's been great moving here and BKC have looked after me and given me tons of work. Quite frankly, I can't see how a teacher can badname their workplace, especially while they were still working there. Anyway, if you read between the lines of the employee's complaint blog, you will note that she admitted having only the minimal understanding of grammar but was required to teach it, was getting complaints from students, she was clearly creating her own problems and was not happy here. I don't think BKC can take responsibility for this.


I am wondering if anyone has had a POSITIVE experience with them??

The contract does have a few shady terms - they set their own exchange rate for the salary, plus a lot of the important things are discussed not in the contract, but in another document called Internal Regulations for teachers.. That document does not have any signatures on it. Plus everything is in English, so apparently void under Russian law anyway.. AM CONCERNED.

Is anyone teaching there now or going to start in September??As you say, the BKC contract is in English, so not valid in a Russian court of law, however, it is my experience that BKC keeps their promises, you are housed, paid, always punctually, given visa. You do your work and you'll be fine. I had a colleague who left 2 weeks before her contract finished, she lost her $1,000 bonus and also her visa, and you can imagine how she felt about that, so the school is very strict when it comes to money. On the other hand, it was the teacher who made choices to start working as a betterpaid nanny.
.....The income bit is a tough call as well. When I left I was earning about 30,000r / month and had free (albeit rudimentary) accommodation thrown in. ...........There are 2 styles of employment at BKC, contract teacher and non-contract teacher.

Most newbies are contract, they get a shared flat, other bonuses, metrocard and work a set number of hours, 24 or 30. Big advantage of being a contract teacher is that you are paid whether you teacher the hours or not, in Summer, for example, when hours fall perhaps, one may be teaching 12 hours a week and getting paid according to 30 hour a week contract. Disadvantage is that salary is lower and can only be supplemented with private students on weekends as you should keep time free Monday to Friday for BKC classes.

The other kind of teacher at BKC is non-contract. They are hourly paid, paid strictly for the work they do, 99% of these teachers have their own accommodation, generally work more than the standard 24 or 30 hour contract teacher, I have one colleague who works 70 hours a week plus, non-contract teachers can work at any number of schools or take private students and will be earning easily 4 to 5 times the amount quoted by the poster above. But it's hard work, 9, 10, 11 plus hours a day, but you choose how much you want, nobody forces you, you are your own slavedriver because the work is there, there is less job security, no holiday or sick leave. Even as a non-contract teacher, BKC organises my visa for free, now without me even having to leave RF.

TZski
22-07-2011, 19:41
Thanks Periwinkle
I guess i just feel a bit torn between the 2 schools and making a final decision. I already bought my tickets to Moscow and I arrive there on the 15th of August.
Language Link seems to be very vague, BKC was a lot clearer.
Will have to decide very soon.....
I take it you worked for BKC before?

Cheers

Hello!!

I've worked for both companies in the past...
I would highly recommend working for BKC over Language Link...
BKC was straight up with me all along (even though I broke contract early...) while Language Link screwed around with me from start to finish...
That being said, both companies are OK to work for... just don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed!!
Any questions just PM me...

:soccer:

Rexy
22-07-2011, 23:40
Hello, true7north!

I'm a manager at BKC School and i recommend you to choose our school.
The staff is great and we have cool parties :1306:
We adore our teachers and treat them good)))

true7north
23-07-2011, 02:16
Hey guys

Appreciate all the responses. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm mainly doing this for the experience and my expectations are pretty average but its always good to ask questions.
May get to meet some of you next month.

Cheers