Echo Education Programs
Based in Hangzhou, China. Echo Education is the market leader in recruiting and training American & British university graduates for English teaching positions across China....
Nothing looks great on your résumé than international work experience. Boost your credentials with this by taking up this job offer in China! A modern, well-equipped language...
Echo Education Reviews
Submitted by anonymous - Hangzhou | May 08, 2018
The first thing to say is this ain't no holiday! If you’re looking to bum around in flip flops and waltz into class hungover from the night before then book a flight to Thailand or Cambodia because teaching in China isn’t for you…
I’ve been with Echo 20 months now. Having gone through most of the reviews below i think they are fairly balanced in general. I think one or two teachers want to take a long hard look at themselves though and really put things in perspective. It’s not like those with a gripe to bear are virtuous beyond reproach… it boils down to flexing for more dosh at the end of the day. Certain expectations and mindsets of some foregin ESL teachers are very blinkered… i think it’s the new snowflake generation where they melt away and crumble at the first sign of discomfort and challenge when they are no longer at the centre of the universe
I’ve put in the yards with this job. Tested myself more than at any other point in my life and i’m smashing it. I love this city and i love my school… do i want more money? Of course i do…. but it’s not always that. I’ll be financially driven when i return to London and join the rat race again. life is incredibly short and beautiful. It’s a cliche but you really do have to seize the day and appreciate this kind of opportunity. I take nothing for granted out here. I treasure every moment teaching, hiking, partying, learning mandarin (& failing!) because i know one day i will be back to the mundane London commute … but it’s these memories which will propel me forward
Take a deep breath!
Submitted by Leon - Hangzhou China | May 01, 2018
I’m in two-minds what angle to take with this review… Whether to highlight the good aspects or go to town on the more challenging aspects of the programme and job. I’m going to try and be as balanced as possible and not necessarily spin it excessively to either side.
The first part of the TEFL programme is an industry standard online 120 course which is through TEFLexpress, a company ECHO partners with. It doesn’t necessarily take 120 hours in total, it’s really a guideline. Informative as it is (and challenging in places) you’ll never exposed to “real” teaching. The second part of the TEFL involves a mock classroom and conference room environment (with up to 15 other teachers)... some teacher to teacher teaching and some peer to peer instruction. Overall it’s good but I wasn’t exposed to onsite school locations until I moved to my designation school for observation lessons. I believe they are changing the programme in the future which will involve onsite lessons as well. Again, as the TEFL is gratis it’s still very strong despite the “rushed” feeling towards the end. I might add that I did extensive research in my own time. Watching PPP lessons on YouTube and carefully browsing the teachers resource centre before I arrived. I’n unsure whether other teachers took as much extra time as I did. I would say 50% of teachers in training already had teaching experience in some form or another. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions and learn from their lead.
Honestly, I didn’t particularly enjoy my first week on arrival. It was more my mindset ... I think I put too much pressure on myself and just couldn’t relax. The life orientation was good... I felt a little immature and lost at times asking “stupid questions” ... but the truth is., you have no choice., if you don’t know how things operate. All the information supplied beforehand was good . I felt I had a clear picture of what was going to happen. Nevertheless there’s always a bite to reality when it “actually” happens. I regret not relaxing and absorbing those first few days in China. I think I had a reflex action of stress and panic which was needless. Most the other guys around me seemed ok but this was my first time out of Europe, shall we say: things were a little enlightening!
I was also under the impression that the first time I met the pre-existing teachers at my placement school they were a bit stand offish. Handshakes seemed insincere and several off them constantly moaned everything from office supplies to quality of toilet paper! After a couple of days I thought it best to really focus my mind on the positives and to remove myself from negative conversations. I think negativity is like a disease, it can spread from one person to another,
I’m happy to say things are going well now. I’m adapting to my teaching schedule well. I keep the positive people around me close and the negative people at arms length. I haven’t seen much of the city or any other cities in China for that fact as I’ve been etching away at teaching. I’m looking forward to the rest of this journey and I’m staying positive
Submitted by Bonnie - Taizhou China | April 24, 2018
What a great year. I got exactly what i wanted from this experience. The plan was always one year and I’m falling a little short as i have to return to Ireland next month due to a family situation. Nevertheless i think I’m going to return home a changed person… for the better. I don’t know if my travelling days are over. I can see myself living abroad again for another year somewhere.
As for China. I think it’s a case of adapting and soaking in the experience. I find it easy to make friends here and politeness is respected and rewarded. I’ve missed my friends and family back home but the past 8 months have gone incredibly quick. My heart is kind of heavy and i have been tempted to stay for another year because the truth is you do become close to the children… in fact it’s probably dissuaded me from becoming a teacher back home long term as i don’t think i could deal with he constant worrying the pupil's welfare. I have a new found respect for teachers… we can have a real and genuine effect of students .
I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I’ve had support when i needed it and i believe i’ve acquired more worldly knowledge in these past few months than in my previous 22 years on this planet.
Next time you feel like bad mouthing teachers or mocking someone who decides to take this as a career… have a little consideration. These are important roles for our societies
Reasonable programme and placement
Submitted by Craig Boshell - Haining China | April 16, 2018
Tefl Course Content/ training = 8/10
Online 120 is comprehensive. The arrival TEFL is a combination of life orientation and classroom management. These lessons are mock lessons and often involve adults rather than children. Further observation lessons undertaken at school before full schedule commenced. But the whole thing is FREE which makes it very very attractive
Plenty of material available online and through various log-in systems. These are quite standard but are a good base to develop your own lesson plans from.
Visa Application= 6/10
China appears to be more beaurcpatic and slow than other countries. Everything appears very legitimate and serious with details. There’s no skipping over requirements. Was guided well but the whole process took almost 7 weeks. Once you receive residence permit in your passport you won’t have to deal with any of the red tape anymore.
Professionalism/ Transparency= 9/10
Received accurate details of my school, accommodation and local amenities nearly one month before a flew out. I gave certain stipulations and broad guidelines as to what i’d accept in terms on location and children’s ages. All these were met and i’m very happy.
Community and Lifestyle 7/10
Cost of living is a little more than anticipated but this is representative of living in central downtown area. Nice local international community. Plenty of activities to do weekends. Pollution isn’t bad here and local scenery is splendid
Pay and bonuses / working hours = 7/10
Work bonuses are nearly non-existent but you do get paid overtime. Travel bonuses are replacements for salary in school holidays. Base salary is reasonable for entry level as accommodation is free. Low tax rate. Comfortable living. Plenty of scope for private tuition work and easy to find . Teaching hours are quite low… schedule between 12-16 hours per week. Office hours flexible
Overall this is a good solid programme that gets you into genuine hands-on teaching with real results
Take the ride and buckle up
Submitted by Dan Coconatis - Zhejiang China | April 09, 2018
i’m in a good mood today as the weather is gorgeous here in Hangzhou…. i think the weather is a fair reflection of life in China. When the weather is good, it’s exceptionally good…. blissful, perfection even. But when the weather is bad, it's pretty grim! i think after 2 years in China… this is what China feels like for me…. a rollercoaster with incredible highs and then days with dips and twists. I think it’s unfair to sugar-coat the entire experience but what i will say is overall these highs outstrip the dips and turns… it’s what i signed up for and no life-changing experience is ever plain-sailing.
What i did want from my school and agency was reassurance and transparency. A small problem can delveop into a big problem if your school isn’t competent. There’s also safety in numbers with Echo, due to the volume of teachers they hire… it means they need to have good systems in place. So, yeah… Echo got me my work permit without any undue stress. They filled in the blanks when i was clueless and for the first month i felt very well-looked after. What i will say is though… once you “get settled” day to day with Echo kinda wains… I’m not saying this is a bad thing.. but it’s more a case of me having to reach out to them rather than visa- versa. After one month most day to day enquires and formalities are between me and head of department at school. If there are any visa issues or housing issues i still deal with Echo but these are few and far between.
So here’s the thing… Echo are legit… they do what they say and you get good comprehensive orientation… but its not like you're a close family-member with them or anything like that!. They’re kind of like fair-weather friends … like everything in China. Having said that… i still recommend this company and programme and have never experienced anything but professionalism and upfrontness with them.