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International Institute for Languages

Has anyone here been hired by the International Institute for Languages in Saudi Arabia? They offered me a job teaching English in a medical school in Riyadh. Is that common?

Is what common?

smurfette :

Is what common?

For that organization to offer people jobs in medical schools, universities, etc.

In Saudi Arabia, when a company does not hire you direct, a sponsor (middleman) does all the other work, finding you accommodation and administering your salary.  They also keep your passport.  With this system, problems can arise, late salaries, poor accommodation. Previously, I was with a company called Al Hoty Establishment who were great.

I was offered a 12 month contract with IILSA to teach English to clients of ARAMCO in Ab Qaiq, Eastern Province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In order to avoid the age restriction on visa applicants, IILSA had me apply for a Business Visa for 180 days. During that 180 day period IILSA were to arrange for my work permit.

I applied for a Business visa. IILSA had nominated UAG Turkey as my current employer so as to convince the Saudi Embassy in Australia that I was acting as a Business Advisor. This did not gel with the Saudi visa agency and I was urged to replace this UAG with my own business, Logical English. This I did.

I was issued with a 30 day business visa and it cost a fortune [$700]. However, unbeknown to me, IILSA began to obfuscate on this matter and ultimately ceased communication with me and I was left with no Saudi destination, no employer, and $700 waste of money.

International Institute for Languages is contracted to serve academically ARAMCO. IILSA is, on face value, a dishonest and incompetent company and a complete waste of money and time.

Adrian Keefe MA [Lit]

I was given a Skype interview by the International Institute for Languages, Riyadh. I waited for them to contact me but no-one showed up.  I then sent them a message alerting them to the fact that I was awaiting the interviewer.  They got back and said that the "interviewer hadn't turned up for work" and that they would rearrange an interview.  Shortly after that (maybe an hour or so), they emailed me with a job offer with no interview having taken place!  I also would have had to apply for a Business Visa as I am over 60 but I felt a tad suspicious and never bothered to proceed with the application.  Actually, it is highly unlikely that you will get a job anywhere in the Middle East when you are 60+.

The International Institute for Languages (IIL) is one of the worst employers in all of KSA. Firstly, they won't bring you in on the correct visa, which means you are at a severe disadvantage: no car, no mobile phone, no apartment, no bank account, etc. This puts you at IIL's mercy, and that's exactly where they want you. If it's in IIL's benefit to move their teachers from serviced apartments to the slums at a moments notice to save money that's exactly what they'll do. If they decide to send you to another city in KSA because they feel like it, then pack your bags. If they decide to change overtime pay the night before payday, get ready to take a loss. However if that's not enough to deter you, consider this: several employees who fell out of favor with certain managers had their apartments broken into, when one of the employees called the police and the British Consulate, the manager Muntaser Ali, told him that he'd "have to leave" if he ever contacted either again. I find it odd that an organization would restrict someone from being in touch with his embassy or reporting a crime. It get's even more egregious, however. On another occasion, an American teacher-trainer was physically attacked in the workplace by a manager. Rather than to terminate and take police action against the manager, the teacher was sent home. I worked for IIL for six months, and I witnessed more crime there than in my six years of living in Detroit. It's worth noting that IIL is staffed by mostly Sudanese ex-pats. Sudan isn't exactly known for ethical business practices. Proceed at your own risk, but don't say you weren't warned.

LearnedTeacher123 can I ask you what city you were in? I am going over in two days with this company.

I lived in Dammam, but the work sites were in Abqaiq and Al Hassa. If you aren't being brought in on the prope visa, which would lead to an Iqama, I'd suggest walking away.

HI. Learner. Can you tell me. What kind of visa you were on because i know companies sometimes bring you with business visa just simple fact of faster process.

Please tell me what kind of visa you were on

I was on a 90 day work-visit visa, which they never converted to a proper work visa/iqama.

This company let 6 women on the female side go after less than two months of work. Is that a joke?! They let CINOP walk all over them. I'm no accountant but I know IIL will definitely lose money if they continue to operate this way.(Moderated: do not give names here please) is the worst principal ever...She has let two employees go for no reason at all and then lies about it. CINOP should treat employees with some respect people... and IIL should not let CINOP walk all over them. SERIOUSLY.

My response to this post expresses my thoughts on coming to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) as an ESL Instructor for International Institute for Languages Co. (IIL) in the National Industrial Training Institute (NITI)/Aramco in Al-Ahsa in its project utilizing a partnership with Kaplan Colleges, International. IIL as the  project’s HR provider and Kaplan as provider of the project’s curriculum. My ideas are informed by both what I see on the ground working here through IIL on the this ambitious and forward looking project and a growing sense of historical and social/cultural context as I research what I am encourntering. It is also affected by my background as a business teacher and businessman, freelance business writer and consultant as well as professional pedagogical ESL experience in China, Colombia and Turkey before coming to the KSA. Finally this reflection considers my reactions to current IIL colleagues at Al Hasa NITI and online comments by current and/or former IIL employees elsewhere in the Kingdom.

Starting with the latter, it was a bit surprising to read these comments on this Forum by a former IIL/NITI employee in Dammam which were negative and seem at times hostile. My experience has been completely different.  This reflection, therefore has led me to consider what we as IIL sourced Trainers are doing here: First, we are not ESL teachers in the usual sense. Neither are working with students at a secondary school or institution of higher learning or university but rather with trainees who are paid trainee employees of Aramco and Petrorabigh.

So when those trainees come to our training classes they are in fact at work and the eight classes trainees attend each day are the equivalent of eight hours of work. Hence it is crucial that our work on English language fluency and accuracy not only prepares trainees for technical courses in their assigned job but that we are to model the kinds of attitude and behaviour that will enable them to get, develop and hopefully thrive in their career at Aramco and Petrorabigh. For example, all mobile phones are collected at the beginning of each class of my training classes and only allowed if I am given a written note from their Trainee Surpervisor authorizing the trainee to have it in order to receive an important personal phone call. This brings me to issue of IIL colleagues’ attitudes.

It is, of course, important that we as IIL sourced Trainers have a safe, clean and comfortable place to live but unlike this blogger to whom I posting this response as well as some my current colleagues at Ah-Ahsa NITI, happily I do and am very pleased with way IIL has and is providing all of those things. So when other actual current IIL sourced colleagues also complain about such things, I am impelled to question whether they are focused on what we are doing here. Further, it seems there is an expectation on their part that being an IIL sourced NITI Trainer is suppose to replicate earlier experience at a secondary of tertiary institution delivering foundaton or like courses for academic students. Hence  comments about IIL/NITI/Aramco/Kaplan project quartet don’t resonate with the reality that we are Trainers, training trainees who are actually at work. This brings me to the research I have done on historical, cultural and social context in the Kingdom that beautifully address this.

There are two superbs sources of information for any potenital IIL sourced – they will also benefit current IIL/NITI/Aramco/Kaplan Trainers – Trainer about the history of oil in Saudi Arabia and the provenance of NITI: A Youtube PBS Frontline video –
google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1GTPM_enUS598US598&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#sourceid=chrome-psyapi2&ie=UTF-8&q=niti, hofuf, eastern province, ksa

and

a Petrorabigh press release –
petrorabigh.com/en/Press_Releases/press13.aspx

NITI proper exists to actualize – hence our participation as IIL/NITI/Aramco/Kaplan Trainers also – the Saudization of the oil and related industries in the KSA. Therefore the blogger to whom I am posting this response seems to be unaware of the serious commitment that the project sponsors and providers he seems to denigrate have to this project. The Al-Ahsa NITI training site though still under construction is far enough along to provide an excellent facility in which to hold training classes. When it is completed it will be amazing. So having personally helped several schools and educational organizations in China and Turkey at inception to lay foundations it is exciting and rewarding to borrow from the title of former commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal’s memoir to again have a “share in the task.”

What? I can only imagine that the above mess was drafted by one of the admins at IIL. It certainly wasn't drafted by a native English speaker.

IIL sorted out all my payments and gratuity and flights. No issue with them in my one year contract with them. They often 'subcontract' out teachers to work on Projects and yes, working in some of those Projects (not managed by IIL) can be a headache for some teachers. But working as a contractual worker in KSA = you work month to month and live in an austere environment.

Dear learnedteache123. Thank you for your experience and warning.  Would you hep me with a few questions on IIL, Dammam - Ahsa.

Where was the accommodation (outskirts of Dammam?) - how long was the daily commute basically?

Is the accommodation good and can you come and go as you please? Or is it prison-like.

Thank you very much

Could any one who has experienced IIL help me with a few questions on how bearable it would be to work there, with the purpose of saving for a year. It would be much appreciated.

I've been offered the Has a post and really can't commit until I have some things cleared. To begin:

How long is the commute because I think I've been lied to by the recruiter. She said about an hour after I asked but google maps seems to think closer to two.

Also do they take your passport off you. Can you book a plain ticket and escape at any time?

And lastly when does the day start and end there?

Many thanks

***

Moderated by Christine 9 months ago
Reason : diffamatory comment on public area. Please use your pm if you want to share a particular* experience.

Ah yes, you're questions. I don't know the Has operation and can't inform you about working hours, etc. You can indeed get a plane out of there, mind: most staff are on visas, not iqamas, and it's a relatively straightforward task to leave. Best doing so just after you've been paid... And no, they don't take your passport from you.

hi
i would like to know if there is a scam going around from IIL ?

Yes, I'm pretty sure there's a scam going on with them. But I've not got proof and I have no way to get any proof. They are completely incompetent, one way or another. Working for them, and for NITI and for Kaplan, was a big big mistake for me and for many other teachers too.

When you say ''the Has post'' do you mean: ''Al-Ahsa''? It's not a good place to work and the Western management at NITI are lapdogs for the Saudis: totally corrupt and useless.

Not al hasa bit they mention the university of jeddah al asfan campus tried googling it nothing came up really then I found this post .and someone with a similar situation.
I would really love to teach in Saudi. But don't have time or money to waste on things like these scams.

You're better off trying for a job with a university. You'll get better (longer) holidays and a more established management structure. Many of the newer projects in Saudi, such as NITI (only 2-3 years old) are chaotic and disorganized and very badly managed. Try for somewhere like the universities in Jeddah and Riyadh; you'll have a better time there. NITI Al Ahsa is a mess of a place.

I have worked for ILL (International Institute for Languages) for six months now. I can safely say they are the worst company I have ever worked for in ten years of ESL teaching.

There is zero care or respect for teachers.

They advertise a high salary but this is a lie. Money is deducted from your salary without notice or explanation. 

If you go to get a new visa which is part of your work, they deduct a week's salary from your pay.

Any problems you may have they just don't care. This is the most disgusting downright immoral company I have ever had the misfortune to work for.

I just got my last pay packet and it has been deducted again without any reason. I have finally had enough and I will be off very shortly.

DO NOT GO NEAR THIS COMPANY WITH A BARGE POLE. International institute for languages or ILL as they like to call themselves are a band of thieves and incompetent liars.

Stay away please.

Well, it sounds like your experience there was/is similar to mine. It's a total mess of a place, and I've never come across such dishonest, corrupt and incompetent people. The Western management - Shaf Asif, Fergus Rea, Phillip Harttrup - are in cahoots with Saudi management. They have no problems with lying to your face, with sacking people whenever their Saudi bosses tell them to, and they will never, ever provide support or assistance to teaching staff. Horrible people, and a horrible, rotten mess of a place to work.

Phillip has gone. He actually used to stick up for the western staff. So this is a backwards step unfortunately. There is a new guy in now from Sudan. Mr Mahi. Things are going from bad to worse.

His belief is that to improve the "education" it's the teachers that need policing and not the the useless sacks of s@@t that they call trainees.

The classroom camera's have been switched on not to catch the trainee's out but to catch the teachers.

So if a "trainee" (better known as a spineless shell of a human being) is caught sleeping in class the teacher gets a written warning. Oh yes EVERYTHING is the teachers fault.

So carte blanche has just been dealt to the trainee's that they can now do whatever they want and it's the teacher that will take the fall. Cue even more seeping in class, even more pathetic work dodging behaviour and all the teachers getting the blame.

Good night NITI!

Many thanks for the help on here from everyone. I decided to avoid this place despite the attractiveness of the salary offered and worked here in the UK for the year. Glad I did.

Much appreciated TurkishCoffee & ESL Around The World. Hope the help comes back round to you.

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