A Common Way English Teachers Abroad are Cheated: The Vacation Day Trick

A Common Way English Teachers Abroad are Cheated: The Vacation Day Trick

what’s up out there in YouTubeville it’s
Ben BenTeachesEnglishOverseas.com today I want to talk to you about a
topic that is very near and dear to my heart it’s very important to me and it
should be important to you it’s vacation as you’re well aware I’m sure teachers
are known to get a pretty hefty amount of vacation days in comparison to other
fields in America that’s always the joke like all the best three reasons to teach
our June July August right so as a teacher overseas you should and the
operative word here it should be getting a fairly large block of paid vacation if
you are not then it’s possible that you’re being taken advantage of so I’m
going to give you a few scenarios I’m going to tell you one bad scenario one
bad experience that I have and also one very good experience that I had after I
learned my lesson okay so vacation days are going to vary from contract to
contract okay your very worst providers of vacation are almost certainly going
to be your institutions that are private okay you’re I won’t name any schools but
your chain schools your training centers like I always say anybody who’s trying
to really bring a profit out of you and makes money directly off the number of
hours that you spend in the classroom teaching students that they are charging
they are going to try to give you the least amount of vacation possible on the
other end of the spectrum the best job I’ve ever had in my life in terms of
vacation I had six months off a year this was rotational though so that meant
that or that means that I would go work from one month and I would work every
single day 28 days straight and didn’t have students every day Saturday and
Sunday I would be off but I still had to maintain office hours but then I would
have 28 straight days off after that so it was like six months on six months off
each year that was the high end okay now also in the university system
in many different countries you’re going to get around five months vacation if
you negotiate this property okay that means usually about three months in the
summer usually about two months divided up between certain whatever they call
spring or fall break winter break those kinds of times public holidays time off
for finals maybe students are given time to to study so you won’t have to work as
much okay now on the other side can can be very bad so I’m going to give you an
example and I’m going to go ahead and I will just say that it was in Korea and I
hope I don’t offend anybody but I want somebody to watch this video who’s good
who’s gonna pick up on this and say damn this guy just saved me a big headache
because it’s very important to me because I do not want people that run
into the same problems that I had okay so I negotiated a contract in Korea it
took me a while the owner of the institution and I were going back and
forth back and forth so in the end I ended up getting something that I really
liked it was 30 classes a week but I only had to work Monday Wednesday and
Friday okay and there was a lot more that went into it but I was only working
three days a week so the owner basically told me that because of the way that the
contract worked because we were going back and forth on it until the end she
said I can only give you two weeks vacation so I said you know what I’ll
take it two weeks vacation because the numbers penciled out it was a year that
I knew I was going to be busy because I really wanted to make some money and I
wanted to stuff that money in the bank and get it working for me so what
happened well I got there of course you don’t want to request a vacation by the
way because you don’t want to see you know like that that person who arrives
in is immediately making requests right so I waited a good
five months before I requested magnification and at that time I
actually wanted to fly to Hong Kong in order to interview for the NIT scheme
okay so I didn’t tell my employer that I was going to interview for a different
job because in a lot of places you know you don’t want to lie but you also don’t
want to put yourself out there too much because you don’t want to create
animosity or problems for yourself in the workplace if they think that you’re
gonna go right so I request the time off now obviously to fly from Korea to Hong
Kong I can do it pretty quickly but I wanted it at least a day to kind of get
settled enjoy Hong Kong a little bit a lot of
Hong Kong relaxed it was a vacation time right so so I requested the week and the
boss basically told me yeah you don’t have enough days for that and I was like
what how do I not have enough days for that
it says if my contract right here that I have two weeks is it because I’ve only
been here five months so I’ve only earned are you saying that I have to
wait until the end of my contract to earn these days you know I was I was
trying to be opening and honestly I didn’t say well I what about my vacation
no I was like kind of dumbfounded right how if I not earned a week and my boss
looked at me and she said well you only work three days a week so your vacation
is three days now you do have two weeks of vacation so you will get six days off
at some point during the year but you will take these when I tell you you can
take them I was blown away I was just like are you kidding me this is a this
is unbelievable so I went back over the contract I reviewed it and it was at
that point in time when I became very cautious of the way that things are
boarded and I wanted to know exactly on paper how
things were going to go down and now I asked a lot of questions that I didn’t
ask before so what ended up happening in the end was that I was able to get that
trip down to Hong Kong I was only able to stay for two days and basically I
didn’t get as much time off as I wanted because of the travel time in the way
that it worked it was not my best contract but then I run something
oh yes and it’s a I hope that other people are learning from this as well so
be very careful with your vacation days okay now if you also look at the
vacation packages from a lot of different institutions and in my own
country of the United States they do some funny things with the pay it really
varies on your depending upon your school district but some school
districts will pay you for the whole year and they will incrementally
basically the chocolate in the twelfths and they pay you every month there are
other school districts I’ve heard of it don’t pay you during the summer but
during those nine months a year your pay is higher than it would have otherwise
been so as you can see this is very very important because if you are offered a
contract and say $50,000 a year but then you look at the contract dates and you
realize that you’re only being hired for nine months well you’re only getting 75%
of $50,000 and in many circumstances okay so basically we have to be you
don’t have to be really good at math but you have to know what to look for and
you have to really look at how they’re tweaking all these different variables
because sometimes it’s in your favor sometimes it’s not right so you have to
make sure that you clarify all of this stuff or else bad things to happen like
my experience in Korea okay and again not all my experiences in Korea were bad
I’ve met wonderful people at there’s some of my favorite food and I had
really also really good experiences this is just one that I wanted to share
with you okay so in another instance I had another contract where I had the
entire summer paid okay the entire summer paid now some schools
will put it in the fine print that when you are off for the summer you are not
paid a full time rate or they will put something in there like you are paid on
a minimum amount of classes for you’re paid at some special summer rate or
whatever make sure that you clarify and this is very important that when you
analyze a contract you take out all the variables and you can dense it down
dollars in the sense how many hours am i spinning in the seat what are the
benefits that I’m getting what let’s just break it all out and make sure that
I’m 100% certain what’s going down before I sign on this okay so with this
job where I have the summer off you think about that you’re not working and
you have money coming in still now some people obviously they’re going to want
to take a vacation and I did take a lot of vacations I traveled all around the
region where I was working at that time but there are often also opportunities
elsewhere in the world where you could go and maybe work summer camp or you
could go and do some kind of another job and stack money on top of money if there
are a lot of opportunities for this and it can be very helpful so don’t think
that just because the salary on one job looks higher but you don’t get any
vacation you might want to read you might want to adjust the way that you
think about it and make sure that you’re getting the best overall deal it’s very
important to assess all of the benefits all the inputs all of the outputs so
that’s one bad story also that ended up being a good story because that year
that I took that contract I was able to do a lot of stuff that ended up making
a lot more money so always look at your contract dates very first thing most
recently I have noticed a lot of jobs in Asia in order to save money and in order
to make it look like they’re offering more money than they actually are
what they’re doing is hiring you on a nine-month contract now like I always
say was it the bad teacher first or wasn’t
the bad employer first was it the chicken or the egg right so I’ve worked
at places before and they say hey if you agree to stay on the second year or
third year or whatever we’ll give you such and such a bonus usually it’s a
percentage based on the number of years that you spent at the institution we’ll
give you this bonus on top of that we’ll also pay you for the summer well what
did you know it at that school some bad teachers ruin it for everybody because
they would take the money for the summer and then they would leave and never come
back so it created a bunch of new awkward and rules and regulations within
the system like okay we’ll pay you for the summer but you don’t get the money
until you report back for the first day of school next year or something like
that okay so a lot of schools in order to save money they’re doing something
where they will hire you on for a nine-month contract one question that
you should ask if you get a nine month contract in your inbox is hey guys what
if I really love the school and the school really loves me and I decide to
stay on for a second year will you pay me for the summer if so at what rate
will have you paid that’s always a great question to ask me don’t be shy of this
definitely get all your benefits everything ironed out long before you
start trust me they’ll be very very happy that you did
so vacation it could be a wonderful thing you can be on the beach somewhere
you can be drinking a mai tai or doing whatever you want or you could
potentially have no money coming in actually being less than you calculated
you should get for the year and you can being a headache so I hope that
everybody watching this video that’s doing well and I hope that I say it’s
someone a big and a problem disaster alright guys see you next time

24 thoughts on “A Common Way English Teachers Abroad are Cheated: The Vacation Day Trick

  1. Thanks for giving this advice, really appreciate it. and don't be afraid to say the truth just cuz u might offend someone.

  2. I've had friends who taught public school gigs in China and Korea. The guys in China always get a good chunk of vacation. The guys in Korea have to sit in the office while all the Korean teachers are allowed to have a vacation.

  3. This guy takes a long time to get to the point and he repeats himself endlessly. The information is useful but c'mon already.

  4. Wow so strict on the vacation at that Korean school you tought at. They weren't even that strict with vacation days when I was in the army haha!

  5. Some rubbish ALT dispatch agencies in Japan will only give partial pay some months. Avoid these places – unless perhaps you're a first year teacher wanting to get a visa here, and will move on soon after.

  6. It's always good to hear another contract scam to watch for. In my current contract, I failed to clarify whether the salary was "after tax" and now I'm earning almost 3000¥ less than my coworkers. It's infuriating. Someone should make a Wiki of the ways they try to take advantage of unscrupulous foreign teachers

  7. Can dodgy, sneaky teachers/schools, just cut their cr*p and stop ruining good things for everyone else! Sigh haha. Japan used to have schools that would pay your flight ticket, but they stopped doing it because people would take the job then never pitch up for work once in the country.

  8. Hmmmm thank you for the info. I was wondering could you recommend some trustable schools in china to apply for?

  9. Try Vietnam – in most cases ZERO paid holidays. China seems to offer the best contracts… if you can deal with China.

  10. “The handshake seals the contract from the contract
    There’s no turning back
    The turning point of a career in Korea, being insincere”…

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your real-world experience and honestly potentially saving countless hours and thousands of dollars for those taking your advice. I admire your self-less service to the ESL community and taking time out of your day to reduce the potential suffering and pain of learning these lessons the hard way! Thanks, Ben for all that you do. You are a unique and valuable perspective in this industry.

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