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Central European Teaching Program Warning -
zoelle's profile picture
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I’m writing to alert all you potential teach English abroad candidates about the terrible experience I had with CETP. They offered me a contract for 22 hours per week to teach English in a pre-school in Prague. My specialty is incorporating music and drama with English. They assured me there would be a full time Czech teacher at the school with whom I would be working as a part time specialty teacher. They were to have gotten me a work permit. I was promised adequate living quarters and private bathroom. I asked repeatedly to speak with the Czech teacher so I could begin planning before I arrived and was told it was complicated and they would explain everything once I was there. When I arrived I found that the room was about 5’ x 8’ and didn’t have a closet to hang my clothes. The bathroom next to my room was equipped with toddler sized toilet and sink, and the only adult sized facilities were downstairs and for the use of all adults. Within two days they told me that there was no Czech teacher and that I was expected to be with the children from 7 AM to 6 PM 5 days per week and to plan and implement the entire curriculum myself. They offered no pay increase and expected that $1000 per month would be a fair wage. Honestly I thought it was hugely irresponsible on their part to hire a teacher without this type of teaching experience who spoke only a couple of words of Czech and had no medical training of any kid. I couldn’t imagine what would have happened had any of the children taken ill or had an accident – I would have been more lost than they!I tried to negotiate with them and asked at least that someone help with the curriculum planning as I have never been a traditional teacher and they refused. At that point they declared the contract void and dropped me at a hotel with the equivalent of $50. They refused to answer any further correspondence. They never got me a work permit. I took legal action but they refused to compensate for my costs in accepting they position. They also slandered me to my lawyer. I ended up stranded in Prague having run out of money several weeks later. I also have a potentially fatal health problem which they were aware of and I was without medical insurance or the means to pay for my medications and supplements. This was all fine with them. Yet they state in their advertisements that they will hold your hand through any problem you have while there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are reputable agencies that offer travel expenses paid by the school and reasonable salaries, not to mention having the decency to tell you what the job is before you arrive. CETP’s $2500 program fee will mean that you are working for 6 months just to pay for your job. They do offer an initially supportive environment but expect that that will be sufficient to override the outrageous demands they make on you. They manipulate and bully. They do not charge the schools a fee for finding the teacher; they charge you. Their loyalty is with the schools and they court the school’s favor at your expense. Don’t waste your time and money!