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Shenzhen Yantian Foreign Language Primary School
My experience at Yantian Foreign Language Elementary School was unfortunately an unhappy one.
All kinds of misrepresentations actively put forward by "a gang of four" so-called leaders including the headmaster, dean of foreign affairs, the accountant, a Ms Chan who has a finger in the Shenzhen Daily newspaper. For example, my contract stated no weekend work but…weekend work was expected and arranged and this caused some emotional upset - no overtime payment for that work. My contract said teach 16 periods but the leaders scheduled 18 with no extra pay. Nothing about office hours in the contract but you'll be bullied into ridiculously long office hours - like before 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. for a pittance of a pay.

The headmaster is an arrogant person, placed in a position far higher than his natural talent or skill warrants. He won't be around to sign your salary cheque so you'll be paid late. There's basically 'a gang of four' operating in the school who'll try to rip off one or two of the foreigners so that the other foreigners, who haven't been ripped off, will say, "oh, that didn't happen to me, so it mustn't be true." So one foreigner isn't paid flight money but another is.

Had to live in shared accommodation were there is a spy camera for the security staff to keep 24 hour surveillance inside the flat, and the flat is located right beside an army barracks, and there's loads of noisy construction work going on nearby. The flat is also amid factories where factory workers start and end their shifts the same time as the foreigners had to walk to school, everyone had to cross a high and narrow footbridge. The workers spit, ride their bikes into foreigners, stare, …terrible terrible terrible.

I could go on with the negatives, but I'm emotionally drained from the experience and very disappointed because I am highly qualified and took a low China salary so I could do research at the same time but sorry I can't recommend the school as a place to work.

Sarah Jones-Rhys
October 2004