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Author Topic: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages  (Read 14784 times)

CaseyOrourke

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Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« on: October 16, 2011, 01:08:38 PM »
I have been working for Ameson for 2 1/2 months now in their TOEFL/AP program, so I figured I would report what has been going on.  For the record I have had excellent support from the HR department in Nanjing. Everytime I text or e-mail them I get a timely response that they received it and I get an answer before COB. I have a Chinese colleuge who like me is employed by Ameson, but has the title of Head of the International Department.  We have another teacher who acts as a liaision between us and the school; she takes no crap from the students and has been 100% supportive of our program.

I get paid on time through direct deposit with no problms. We have a really nice huge three bedroom apartment for just my wife rented my the school.  We got an electric bill which had some charges from before we moved in. We called the landlord to ask what we should do and he said not to worry about it, that was between him and the school. So far the only time we have had to share is on Tuesday nights when they had a female teacher (Chinese female studying for her masters in English) from Shanghai spend the night.  Her contract is done so she won't be coming back.  The company sent a male treacher from Nanjing to take what was extra classes for me, but he is staying in the school teachers lounge. 

We just finished TOEFL, now I'm teaching SAT writing to help them get ready for their SAT to qualify for an American university.  Starting this week the company is sending a math teacher on Tuesday to teach SAT math.  I don't know if it will be a male or female, but if it is female she may be staying with us and if male will probably be in the lounge. After SAT will be the AP program and I am looking forward to that because it means I can get back to teaching history, geography and English lit.

 
So far I can say working for Ameson has been a great experience.  It is a great company and has been an extremely positive experience.

The Local Dialect

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 02:22:45 PM »
That's great Casey. I also taught at an AP program for nearly 3 years and overall it was a very positive experience. These sorts of programs are growing in China and usually they offer a fairly attractive package for teachers with the right qualifications/experience so it is good to see that someone else is doing well at one of these schools.

Shoot, if your school was in Beijing I'd probably be looking into it!

CaseyOrourke

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 11:52:33 AM »
That's great Casey. I also taught at an AP program for nearly 3 years and overall it was a very positive experience. These sorts of programs are growing in China and usually they offer a fairly attractive package for teachers with the right qualifications/experience so it is good to see that someone else is doing well at one of these schools.

Shoot, if your school was in Beijing I'd probably be looking into it!

Ameson has an International Education program at Beijing No 4 High school, 2 West Huangchenggen, North Street, Xicheng, Beijing, Beijing.

The school websites are:
http://www.amesoninstitute.org/school-directory/beijing-no-4-high-school
www.bhsf.cn

Check it out if you are interested, they are beginning to look at teachers for the upcoming school year.

CaseyOrourke

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 07:08:05 AM »
I'm in my second year with Ameson. Once I finished in Kunshan I was told initially I was going to be transferred to the program at Nantong High school, but we ran into some difficulties.  It seems that at the end of the school year, Kunshan Senior High school, who Ameson had a contract with, terminated the lease on our apartment without telling the company or us. It was a crisis especially since Mrs. Casey was 5 months pregnant with Lexi at the time.  Both of us (Me and the company) had to jump through our respective backsides to find someplace for us to stay and to secure our household goods.  Finally the company decided we could store our stuff in the room in the teachers dorm reserved for Ameson's Chinese teachers for the summer and later once we secured housing at my new assignment we could contract movers to move our stuff.

Nantong wanted me to do a demo class, but because of the housing crisis I was unable to get free to do so.  The wife decided we would spend the summer up in in our house in her home city of Yanji where family could help us out.  It was there that I learned I would be going to No. 10 Middle school in Suzhou, Jiangsu.

Frankly I couldn't be happier.  I'm one of five foreign teachers. we all teach varied subjects. I teach history and human geography, another teaches calculas and stastistics, another teaches literature, one teaches physics and the other teaches writing.  The principal and head teacher are absolute gems.  When I needed time off for Lexi's birth without even asking, the principal told me to take the entire week because something like that was to important not to be there.  My desk is in the same office as the principal and head teacher and I am their go to guy when they need advice on proper English wording, American etiquette and to also improve their English.  For a while I was teaching 11 classes a week (5 human geography, 3 US History and Culture and 3 TOEFL Speaking), but when the students of another chinese teacher, who was teaching SAT writing, was finished and the students were taking their SAT's, they gave her my TOEFL classes and I dropped to 8 classes.  When I am not teaching, I'm not required to be in the office unless I want to be.  So when Mrs.Casey and Lexi do arrive, I'll be spending my free time being a daddy.  I learned that after the winter break I'll be picking up 2 more classes in a new program called "Homeroom." None of us know exactly what it entails, but I hope to find out soon.  I also get to write my own tests in all my classes and I get to have some fun with the questions.

This time housing is not problem because the first week the head teacher and I looked at lots apartments till I finally settled on 2 BR on the 19th floor of a brand new highrise (which is a story in itself).  I'm the first person to live there so all the appliances were just out the box and it included a brand new LCD TV.  Time and time again the ladies in the office tell me they appreciate the fact I'm so polite and so helpful around the office.  There has been a few instances I've had to cover a few classes because of oher teachers being sick, but I figured that since they were willing to cover me for that week I was gone, it's not that much to complain about.

milkweed

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2013, 04:08:17 AM »
Their website says they only pay 5000 RMB per month. And its classed as 'a stipend' rather than a salary or wage.

milkweed

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 04:12:29 AM »
And 25 hours of 'educational activities' per week sounds like a big rip-off. Someone behind the scenes will be making good money out of it!

CaseyOrourke

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 12:24:39 PM »
Their website says they only pay 5000 RMB per month. And its classed as 'a stipend' rather than a salary or wage.

And 25 hours of 'educational activities' per week sounds like a big rip-off. Someone behind the scenes will be making good money out of it!

I started last year and was making 10K a month teaching anywhere from 9 to 15 hours a week.  This year I'm making 11.5K teaching 3 hours history and 5 geography.  

This is from the website, but I don't know anybody who started below 10K
Quote
Q: What is the salary range?

 A: Salary range for ESL teachers is monthly between 7,000 – 12,000 RMB (equivalent to 1,000 – 1,800 US$) before tax, for AP Subject teacher between 12,000 – 20,000 RMB (equivalent to 1,800 – 3,000 US$) before tax. A decent life in China, however, would cost around 2,000 RMB (approx. 300 US$) per month for living as you only pay for the food, transportation, clothing and entertainment. Mobile communication costs around 50 RMB (7 US$) per month. Thus you can save as much as 2700 US$ per month.

There was an announcement that with the new contracts, there is a new pay schedule and upgraded benefits package.

http://www.ameson.org/index.php
http://www.ameson.org/ahsp/en/  

ok, update... new program, A Year in China.
http://www.ameson.org/ayc/  
the 5000 a month stipend is offered to college educated professionals who are not regular teachers, the chance to come to China for a year and teach.  They are not considered regular salaried teachers. I don't know where they got 25 hours, because I don't work anywhere near that.  If they like the job, then the next year they can apply to be a regular teacher.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 01:11:37 PM by CaseyOrourke »

The Local Dialect

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 12:41:18 PM »
I am familiar with Ameson in Beijing (although I haven't worked for them) and what Casey says lines up with what I know of them. I don't know any schools that would dream of paying less than 10K a month for the kind of work Ameson would expect you to do.

El Macho

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2013, 12:06:14 AM »
Quote
A decent life in China, however, would cost around 2,000 RMB (approx. 300 US$) per month for living
ahahahahah ahahahahah ahahahahah

I looked at Ameson before and chose not to apply to them because of the ludicrous statement above and their low, low salaries. If the hours/week requirement is low, though, it might be a good gig. How many mandatory hours in the office do you have each week?

CaseyOrourke

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2013, 05:13:11 AM »
Quote
A decent life in China, however, would cost around 2,000 RMB (approx. 300 US$) per month for living
ahahahahah ahahahahah ahahahahah

I looked at Ameson before and chose not to apply to them because of the ludicrous statement above and their low, low salaries. If the hours/week requirement is low, though, it might be a good gig. How many mandatory hours in the office do you have each week?

I'm in my second year, I'm making 11,500 RMB plus 2,000 housing allowance.  I should be getting a new contract offer in a couple of months.  As is, Mrs. Casey saves @ 5,000 a month, and we still can maintain a mostly western lifestyle.

I can't speak for the other programs in Ameson, but in Suzhou we really don't have any mandatory hours, other than class time. Most of the foreigners show up about an hour or so before their classes and might leave soon after they finish their paperwork.  The only reason I spent so much time in the office was because Mrs. Casey was still in NE China with the baby, but now that they are in Suzhou, I'll be spending more time home, and my boss is cool with that.

CaseyOrourke

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2013, 11:59:37 PM »
No office hours is ++good. At my current gig we've got a ton of them…enough that I'm getting close to quitting over them.

No disrespect intended about the salaries (my intended meaning was low low salaries listed on the website), I just hate employers who claim that a ludicrously low amount of money (2,000RMB, 1,000RMB, 10RMB/month) allows for an amazing standard of living in China. It's simply not true unless you're in a third-tier city and/or live like a migrant worker.

What you probably was looking at was this, which is offered to people who are not regular teachers.
http://www.ameson.org/ayc/
Quote
Teach for a year in China
A Year in China (AYC) is designed for college educated, open-minded people seeking to expand their horizons and enhance their careers. Any native English-speaking degree holder is welcome to apply. Spanning one academic year, AYC is designed to enrich career development and personal growth. Immerse yourself in the heart of Chinese society. Reap benefits for future employment in China, or enhanced opportunities in your country and around the world, Learn Mandarin – an asset in business, government and non-profit organizations. What you learn in China can also enhance academic opportunities at graduate schools upon your return. In addition, you will have the ability to travel and experience the vibrancy of China, with plentiful flex and holiday time. Buffering your experience will be comfortable housing within safe environs.

If you are already teaching in China, you would fall into another category and be offered a regular position at a much higher wage. 

I agree that some statements are ludicrous and dated, but it also depends on where you are.  In NE China the average wages I usually see range anywhere from 5000-8000 RMB a month, which is why I like working in the Shanghai area more.

« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 12:10:46 AM by CaseyOrourke »

CaseyOrourke

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 03:07:30 PM »
Our head of HR called me today and offered a me a new contract for the coming school year. I can stay in Suzhou, which thrills my principal. It offers me a huge pay raise (@4,500 RMB a month) and a 15% signing bonus.  I was so floored I said yes before calling Mrs. Casey.  When I did call her she told me to take it, so it looks like I'll be staying another year.

The Local Dialect

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 04:12:54 PM »
Congrats on the great raise Casey, that's awesome for you.

I don't know what info people are looking at saying the salary is low. Ameson's site, because if you're looking at the American High School program, clearly states up to 12K a month for ESL teachers and up to 20k a month for subject teachers, which is pretty standard for work in this sector.

http://www.ameson.org/ahsp/en/teachers/teacher-faq


CaseyOrourke

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 04:31:24 PM »
Congrats on the great raise Casey, that's awesome for you.

I don't know what info people are looking at saying the salary is low. Ameson's site, because if you're looking at the American High School program, clearly states up to 12K a month for ESL teachers and up to 20k a month for subject teachers, which is pretty standard for work in this sector.

http://www.ameson.org/ahsp/en/teachers/teacher-faq



True, but who you going to believe, a post on a website or somebody actually with the company who is giving up to date information.

The Local Dialect

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Re: Ameson Institute of Foreign Languages
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2013, 04:46:54 PM »
Congrats on the great raise Casey, that's awesome for you.

I don't know what info people are looking at saying the salary is low. Ameson's site, because if you're looking at the American High School program, clearly states up to 12K a month for ESL teachers and up to 20k a month for subject teachers, which is pretty standard for work in this sector.

http://www.ameson.org/ahsp/en/teachers/teacher-faq



True, but who you going to believe, a post on a website or somebody actually with the company who is giving up to date information.

No, I think you misunderstood me. I'm saying that what you're posting here about salaries is consistent with what Ameson is posting on their website. Other people are saying there are "low low salaries posted on the website." People must be looking at an outdated site, because 12k for ESL and 20k for subject teaching isn't really "low," especially for a 2nd tier city. And you're a subject teacher, right? Doing mostly social studies courses? So I would imagine you're not getting paid on the ESL teacher scale.