EF English First Reviews | Glassdoor.com.au

EF English First Reviews

Updated 13 December 2018
285 reviews

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3.5
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Jacob Toren
112 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Paid on time AND received full value of benefits (didn't have to beg for airfare subsidies etc)" (in 16 reviews)

  • "The teaching team and work environment are great" (in 19 reviews)

Cons
  • "Work/life balance sucks due to long hours and weird schedule" (in 20 reviews)

  • "The hours can be very long, especially when there are summer and winter courses" (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great experience!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in Brisbane
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in Brisbane
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fun kids, new city, decent pay

    Cons

    Can't think of anything at the moment

    Advice to Management

    Depends on your centre, management was good in mine so keep it up! More team building events for staff


  2. "Good support and a good environment, expect long hours if you teach adults."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in Shanghai, Shanghai (China)
    Current Employee - Teacher in Shanghai, Shanghai (China)

    I have been working at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    EF provides you with a few great essentials on your arrival and you'll have many opportunities to meet people from other centers, so you can adapt to life in a foreign place easily and have some career support.

    Cons

    Bonuses are rare. If you teach adults, you'll be at work 9 hours a day with a 50 min break, and it gets tiring.

    Advice to Management

    Teachers in adult EFEC centers work hard while they could be making more money elsewhere, so making bonuses more achievable would motivate them to do good work. It's rare enough that many employees aren't even trying for it, as it's not worth the burnout.

  3. "Exciting TRT events, Systematic Teacher development Path and opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Teacher in Shanghai, Shanghai (China)
    Current Employee - Senior Teacher in Shanghai, Shanghai (China)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    This is a great foreign company where you can experience different cultures and meet people from different countries. The development path is getting more and more clearer and systematic through years. The working environment is nice, ease and professional. As long as you want to shine, there are many opportunities open every year now. The training sessions for teaching and leadership is very systematic and well organized. Promotions can be very fast in current career development path. Career opportunities are fair and also challenging. You can always learn new things from colleagues. Escape from all peak hours of Shanghai. Many annual leaves.

    Cons

    Being a kids and teens teacher, you need to work at the weekends and the schedule is usually busy at the weekends.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more help and guidelines to every individual teacher development.


  4. "Teacher events"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Always good to see other EF staff members from other schools. Good working environment, at my current location. Can't honestly state how all schools operate.

    Cons

    Communiction issues, sometimes understaning the true meaning of the conversation can be challenging. Just another adventure working in China.


  5. "Awesomeness!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - International Teacher for Adults in Beijing, Beijing (China)
    Current Employee - International Teacher for Adults in Beijing, Beijing (China)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    *Living in a new country
    *Friendly local and international staff
    *Training opportunities
    *Team building events
    *Fairly consistent work schedule
    *The job is EXCEPTIONALLY rewarding
    *A clear description of the path for promotions
    *The company splits the cost of health insurance

    Cons

    *Things can be very poorly organized sometimes.
    *The pay compared to other places is low but it is made up by having lots of teambuilding and free events for the staff
    *Not a con for me but for some, the hours are pretty late. You normally work from 10 or 11 am until 8:30 or 9:30 pm.
    *You get two days off a week but they are usually during the week. (Again, not a problem for me)

    Advice to Management

    A little bit more communication and organization within the company would be great. Big changes happen VERY quickly with little to no notice and with out explanation. This can make things feel very hectic and frustrating. Overall though, I think EF is a fantastic place to work.


  6. "Residence Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Resident Assistant
    Former Employee - Resident Assistant
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good and friendly teams
    Very busy

    Cons

    Long hours
    During the end of summer, there is not much to do.


  7. "Excellent company to start an ESL career with"

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

    I have been working at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    Above board onboarding (visa, insurance, housing support, socially, culturally)
    Opportunities to develop yourself (but needs intrinsic motivation)
    Huge support network (both across China and within your city)
    Constantly innovating and improving to keep ahead of the market trends
    Some excellent line managers
    Great company mission

    Cons

    Slightly strange schedule if you are used to your weekend being on the weekend.
    The constant evolution of materials and processes means you have to be able to adapt to change quickly.
    You might get unlucky with your center (particularly with regards to the franchise schools)

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. Keep an eye on your franchised centers employee engagement survey suggestions

  8. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    Great staff to help you through the hiring and teaching process.

    Cons

    The assessment is a little too detailed.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Central Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Shanghai, Shanghai (China)
    Current Employee - Manager in Shanghai, Shanghai (China)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    1) International Company. You *have* to work with people with diverse backgrounds and from various nationalities. I find this extremely valuable on a personal level.
    2) Opportunities (for change and growth) - Within 5 years I have changed 3 times job (through promotion or horizontal transfer) or twice location (London - Shanghai).
    3) Education Sector - you have an impact. On your students, on your colleagues, on yourself. If you are passionate about growing people around you and growing yourself, then this is the right place.
    4) Freedom: The company is quite flexible. As long as you get the job done, you are pretty free to explore new areas related to your job. Nobody will micro-manage because there is trust that you will make your job happen.
    5) Innovative and constantly moving/changing/improving. In five years I cannot recognize the company I started with. Not everything is golden and great but it seems that the company itself wants to aim for better/higher. As an employee, I appreciate that there is flexibility in the way things are done and there is an ambition for the better.

    Cons

    1) Luck: Like in most jobs, your happiness will depend on the manager you have. If you are "unlucky", you might get a bad experience. I have had that experience myself with a pretty bad and uncapable manager and I tried to make the most out of it. It wasn't a pleasant 8 months but I had decided to learn form it and I did. I grew in a better, more patient manager myself after this.
    2) Ownership: It all depends on you: Your growth mainly depends on you so you have to be pro-active. If you are, then nobody will stop you. Being motivated and ambitious is the way to get stuff moved around here. (whether your working conditions or your salary or your career growth). You cannot expect stuff to happen "just because", you'll have to vouch and fight for it. That's when it happens.
    3) Work hard-play hard: Get ready to work hard. You can have long hours sometimes. I see it as a way to learn more but it can get exhausting too.


  10. "Worth the experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in China, ME (US)
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in China, ME (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great employee benefits such as furnished apartment, monthly team building,end of contract bonus, medical aid options.

    Cons

    You don't get a weekend or school holidays off as those are actually peak times :(

    Advice to Management

    DOS was really amazing. Very accomodating and flexible.