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Westgate Corporation...any info?

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  • #16
    Re: Westgate Corporation...any info?

    Thanks for that Glenski

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    • #17
      Re: Westgate Corporation...any info?

      Ditto what Glenski said.

      The unpaid holiday is a killer, in the sense it is too long to go without cash to stay at Westgate permanently. Hooking up enough temporary work and/or private students for the short break is just too awkward and you'd be better off just not bothering and going elsewhere. This is where their system breaks down, they can't hold staff, but it's good as a springboard to getting to Japan or the Tokyo region, which is what I wanted at the time.

      During my break I left and returned to Mie-ken. Most people leave, the only guy who stayed from my school has a permanent spot. But there are always a few repeaters too because the work is pretty sweet.
      Markos

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      • #18
        Re: Westgate Corporation...any info?

        Thanks, Markos!

        2 more quick questions:


        1) If you want to stay in Japan after your initial contract is completed, what happens to your ticket money? Can you decide to stay in Japan and live/work somewhere else? What happens to your visa?

        2) Do they really have a "no overnight guests" policy in the Westgate-provided apartments? I am in my early 30's, so that would be quite a switch in terms of going back to summer-camp style rules. I guess I could do it for a few months, anyway, or find a GF with her own place!

        Thanks again...

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        • #19
          Have a look at those Dave's threads. The pro's and cons are layed out there.

          I will say this much they play the rent game al la NOVA et all making a little cash off you.

          A 3 month contract! I might wipe my a** with it but that's about it!

          Management: oyaji tard style that only newbies will tolerate!!

          Comment


          • #20
            1) If you want to stay in Japan after your initial contract is completed, what happens to your ticket money? Can you decide to stay in Japan and live/work somewhere else? What happens to your visa?
            After your contract with Westgate, you will have been paid for your airfare. You have a full working visa in hand. However, you have to vacate any housing they have provided and look for work for another 3 months because they won't renew you for consecutive terms.

            So, you will have to find housing for yourself and either live off of your savings or find supplemental work with the visa in hand. It stays with you.

            2) Do they really have a "no overnight guests" policy in the Westgate-provided apartments? I am in my early 30's, so that would be quite a switch in terms of going back to summer-camp style rules. I guess I could do it for a few months, anyway, or find a GF with her own place!

            I think this policy is true. Sucks, but I think it is so. Never worked for them myself.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Glenski
              2) Do they really have a "no overnight guests" policy in the Westgate-provided apartments? I am in my early 30's, so that would be quite a switch in terms of going back to summer-camp style rules. I guess I could do it for a few months, anyway, or find a GF with her own place!

              I think this policy is true. Sucks, but I think it is so. Never worked for them myself.
              Depending exactly upon the type of contract/agreement regarding the accomodation this may or may not be legal. And even if it is legal it doesn't mean that people hjave to sit back and accept such draconian regulations.

              Join a union and help to fight this kind of thing.

              www.generalunion.org

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              • #22
                December-March...no term??!!

                I just checked back with them (Westgate) regarding the Uni jobs...and it seems like they don't have ANY class options except start dates in September and then later on in April??!! Dang...I was thinking I might have been able to get back to Japan around December and start then. Now, I'd have to cool my heels here until Spring...

                Japan...when you're there, it's really hard to leave...and once you leave, it's dang near impossible to get back!! How can I return??

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                • #23
                  Japan...when you're there, it's really hard to leave...and once you leave, it's dang near impossible to get back!! How can I return??[/QUOTE]

                  Wait till spring and get a real job with a one year contract!

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                  • #24
                    Westgate.

                    I worked for Westgate for one term, earlier this year and it seems to be where you are placed whether or not you have a good experience. I had a good experience with my PC (program coordinator) who is Japanese and my students. I worked for their University program.
                    The rent seems to be a big issue and I didn`t know much about it until after I arrived. I moved out two weeks later, which they were ok about but took 10,000 out to cancel the 1ldk apartment.
                    Their website claim they find high quality apartments that Westerners are accustomed to but in fact they are not. They are cheap rooming apartments, where my collegue and I lived, students would rent these out. Mine was pathetic, especially since the rent price is so high. I would of never chosen the place if I had known. Be wary of this. They don`t allow guests after 10pm which is an invasion of privacy.
                    Overall, it`s a good start to work off but many don`t continue. The management is abit cold and you never hear from anyone except your PC once a week. The classes get a groundhog day feeling since you plan for one lesson to teach for the whole day. Whether or not it`s changed is upto the teacher, many don`t. I did or else I went crazy but expect long office hours. I`ve read elsewhere that Westgate treat you worse the longer you work for them. This is because they don`t want to hire old faces and many people move out of their overpriced accomodations which means they can`t make money off them . Stick with your collegues, they are your only support. If you can speak Japanese or are learning, use any chance you get to speak with the other Japanese collegues at your University.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Visa

                      I nearly forgot.

                      There is one issue with the visa if you work for Westgate`s University program. Because you teach on University grounds, your visa is different than a standard teacher/instructor`s. You title is professor which I had problems with. This only allows you to certain jobs under the title, just like if you came here under another title. The field is very limited and many Schools are not legally allowed to employ you, even normal eikaiwas. You wouldn`t want to work illegally now, would you? You would have to inform and enquire into this to your next employer, others probably go back to their countries to get a new visa.

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                      • #26
                        NOW THAT WAS TRULY Ageless advice.
                        Thanks for that, man. Some of us may have too Westgate sooner or later, but its nice to know what U R getting into.

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                        • #27
                          The truth about WESTGATE CORPORATION 2004

                          (http://www.eslcafe.com/jobinfo/asia/...8861-43406.txt)

                          I worked for the Spring term for Westgate Corporation, this being for a total of 10 actual weeks. After having taught at other Eikaiwas (English Conversation School), what did I actually think of Westgate Corporation, how does it compare to the other Schools?
                          I originally didn`t know much about what Westgate is all about but I was attracted to the fact that I would be teaching at a University. I went through their lengthy application process which of course was a part of the process. Westgate were very helpful, my telephone interview was with a Japanese lady whom I thought sounded so nice and it was a relief to hear a nice voice of a polite interviewer. They answered any enquiries promptly and I was more than happy to be dealing with the actual Human Resources Director directly. I thought this company had alot of promise, everything was so smooth and friendly. Anyway, to let you all know, you`re probably wondering why I keep referring to the past tense when I state that they were friendly and caring. The first day that we (myself and other new teachers that came on the same day) arrived in Tokyo, things started changing. Try to visualise a long plane flight, your legs are tired and your belly empty, you obviously want to stretch out and relax, right? Well, we quickly got into our designated groups of where we were planning to go and had to catch our trains. Of course, we were like " What!? Another 2 hours sitting down?" But we thought at least we could eat. No, the staff had arranged our train (my group bound for Aichi Prefecture) almost immediately, there was no time to eat. I basically arrived at my apartment after 11 at night. I was dead, but the person who excorted me to my apartment didn`t tell me where the closest convenient store was or anything. No map, no directions, I did ask but she didn`t know. She was in a rush to get home, I felt, so I had nothing to eat that first night. After I met my colleugue at the same University, she also had the same experience. We were both so annoyed by it all....I actually was in a state of thinking "Maybe, I`ve made a big mistake." Naturally, though, I thought better of it. After all, I`m not new to Japan and it takes alot to get me thinking like how I did on that first night. So, what is working for Westgate actually like??
                          First, and foremost, you have next to no contact with anyone once you arrive. This was such a contrast compared to how I was treated back home. You usually see your PC (Program Coordinator) once a week, they are efficient about work, efficient at what they have to do for their job. So, if you`re expecting to feel important, think otherwise. Like I said, you and your other collegues are left to your own devices, I got into trouble because I asked a question to the Human Resources Director instead of addressing it to my PC. Everything had to be addressed to your PC, you just don`t contact anyone else.
                          Secondly, the work hours. How strange how some teachers only teach 5 full classes but others had to teach 7 full classes yet get paid the same amount. The actual teaching hours are not long but the office hours are. I had to be at the University from 9:10 am till 6:10, 5 days a week. What makes the day drag is the fact that you have to teach the same lesson all day. Of course, this information is not told to new teachers until training, when you are already in Japan. Some people may ask "Well, why don`t you just make your lessons different each lesson?" I did at times, yes and it added variety but most of the time, you just don`t have time to think up new ideas. I was good making changes during the lesson but even that gets strained when you have to teach 7 classes. Also, there is a tendency to fall back on these principles: why stress yourself over new lesson content when you can get away with teaching the same lesson which worked well previously? When you are not teaching you have a break. But, this is decieving because it`s not really a break. If you happen to teach the same amount of lessons that I had to then you have one to plan for the day, and one to input student attendance and start to plan the next day.
                          Thirdly, the amount of contact you have to have with the students can get tiring. Because you see every student everyday, things get tiring. I mean, you can`t ask a student "Hey, whatcha been upto?" everyday now, can you? I had very good students. The students were mt life, I had a good time, really. But when Westgate says that you have to have lunch with your students (students that have time to have lunch with you) and they state this in a form that you give them, it`s abit too much. Honestly, every teacher needs a rest time just to collect their thoughts, rest the mouth and chill-out for a while but many times, I had to keep active and at "attention" for hours on end because I also had to have lunch with students.
                          Fourthly, Westgate rip you off with their accommodation. I originally stayed by myself in a 1 LDK close to the University until I couldn`t bear it and moved out to live with a friend. A friend who was, fortunately, renting out a 2 LDK which cost less than the one I was occupying in originally. I wanted to find out how much my one was really worth so I went to the main office where I could find out about accommodation, how much, and so on. I found out that the apartment building that I was in was designed for solo students, on low part-time income, with a rental fee of 30,000 yen cheaper per month. The conditions and size are not upto Western standards like what Westgate state, it`s all a scam sadly.
                          Fifth, Westgate just seem so distrusting of teachers. They check up (mostly your PC of course) on everything, they give you a cellphone with which you can only call them and nobody else and to top it off, the leaving party that you have on the final day requires a supervisor present at all times. What is up with that? The students must think we might try to drug them or something. It would of being nice just to say goodbye without needing some watchdog sniffing around.
                          Overall, I don`t recommend Westgate Corporation. This company could be so much more promising in so many more ways. People don`t expect much, if you are wise, but people do require a more personal touch that Westgate just don`t give. It`s an easy setup but the truth is Westgate is just another Eikaiwa, only being on University grounds that`s all. If Westgate could only listen to it`s teachers more, improve it`s housing and price, it`s personalisation, it`s amount of working hours, and finally it`s understanding and trust of teachers, it would be a good company indeed. The question is will they change? Do they want to change? Is the company expanding profit while leaving teachers behind? I think, maybe they won`t. BTW: I have had time to read what other people have written about Westgate on the internet and here, for example, and I agree. If you have any questions, whatsoever, about Westgate Corporation, feel free to drop me a bell.
                          Mark-needham3@yahoo.com
                          16/07/04
                          Aichi Prefecture, JAPAN
                          Posted: July 16, 2004

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                          • #28
                            westgate 2004

                            Now you`ve heard it from the horse`s mouth.

                            -Like I added on, it`s a good start to work off if it wasn`t for the visa....

                            -I remember clearly one time my friend came over around 7 pm but a little while later, a guy came to drop off a letter and asked what my friend was doing here and if I was living alone. This was when I was staying in the provided 1LDK at the time. Westgate doesn`t allow guests to stay the night or to even stay after 10pm. This you would of heard about countless times. My question is who on earth would ask why my friend was here and if I was living by myself?
                            The letter was legitimate and all so I found the whole thing bizzarre.

                            Is this an invasion of simple human privacy/rights or what?

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