Before even deciding to take the TEFL course from Oxford Seminars I had quite a few phone and online chats clarifying what I would be expecting from the program. I am an undergraduate student at Long Island University Global College. We spend three and a half years abroad studying in many countries through experiential education. Long Island University Global College is a four year institution were students earn a bachelors degree in Global Studies and are able to pursue their own interests and fine tune their studies by choosing focuses like human rights, fine arts, journalism, and education in a global setting. During their final year, students have the freedom to pursue their own interests with a global twist. An independent study called the Senior Semester is conducted in a country of their choice. For my senior semester I wanted to teach english in Madrid so I took the $1200 course over the summer in order to facilitate my plans. The actual course was a joke. The “60” in class hours were spent reading Dr. Seuss books and talking about class management. We were made to design our perfect classroom with crayons and large pieces of paper, drawing elephants for the letter E and apples for the letter A. I thought about dropping out but I was convinced out of it by OxfordSeminars since they had such a promising “graduate placement service”. I figured I would need all the help I could get finding a position in Madrid that could pay me under the table since I have an american passport instead of a EU passport. The only helpful part from this program were the three grammar and education books I received, and I am assuming even together they don’t amount anything close to the $1200 I paid. I finished my 40 online component in weeks time in order to start looking for a stable job or internship teaching english and once I finished the resume I was asked for by my placement advisor I was told my only option to teach in Spain would be as a conversation assistant in the Catalonia region. “Conversation Assistants will: § Live with a host family/teacher § Work 25 hours a week with students aged 3-16 § Receive a 200€ monthly allowance § Be provided with meals and transportation” Like I said before I had spoken to OxfordSeminars before taking the course specifying I would NEED to live in Madrid for 1 school semester. That I was still in school and I could not sign a contract but after it was all said and done they had 1 connection that wouldn’t even allow me to live on my own. I again voiced my needs to my placement advisor and he assured me that they had a school directory of “all” the language schools in Madrid. He very politely said that there was nothing else they could do so that I should use those resources to find what I needed for myself. Their directory again was disappointing. The numbers were wrong or disconnected, emails had changed, etc. I’ve been making my own directory updating the information on my own for two months. I have sent at least 100 resumes to different schools, and companies with a copy of my certification and it doesn’t seem to count for much. After two months I have started to become desperate because I know that I don’t have much time left for me to plan my semester so I asked for help again to my placement advisor. I said to him that I didn’t care what I got paid or even if I got paid. That what I needed was to teach in MADRID for at least 40 hours a week so my school could count that as credits for class. I received this: “Have you considered applying in person after arriving to Madrid? Doing so may put you at an advantage when searching for ESL jobs from within Spain as you will have your student visa, correct? You may want to check with the Spanish consulate nearest to you to learn about their terms for having exchange students obtain employment on a student visa.” Again, I don’t understand how I can be expected to go to a country without a plan and hope it works out after months of calling, and emails returned saying that I cannot get a work visa with an American passport especially because I am still an undergraduate. Information that OxfordSeminars would be quite aware of when they promised me connections for my senior semester. I understand that if I had chosen a country such as Thailand or Korea I would not be having these problems. Then again I would also not need the certificate if I were teaching in those countries (which I have already done in the past in Thailand, Taiwan and India). I am less than two months away from starting the most important semester of my educational life and I have not only wasted $1200 on this course, I have wasted my time, patience and effort.
This complaint and/or review was posted on HolySmoke.org on 08:24 am, January 12, 2019 (CST) and is a permanent record located at: https://www.holysmoke.org/scam/oxford-seminars-review/.
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