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Travel expenses

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by melmmow, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. melmmow

    melmmow New commenter

    Just thought I would post my experience, as I have seen others ask about this query:
    Had an interview at the end of January for a teaching post in SEA. The school/large company website and TES advert stated that interviews would take place in March and/or schedule Skype interviews. Three days after deadline I received a message (always check your SPAM), saying I had been short listed for interview and this was to take place in a hotel in London (6 plus hours from me on a good day!). At this point it did not specify that travel expenses would be met, although I had read advice on TES that large companies did usually cover expenses. I purchased my travel tickets, including a taxi on the day (to ensure I made the early interview) the total personal cost was £350. Expensive, as I had to get short notice train travel. This also left me with 48 hours to inform my school, complete the necessary paper work and set a full days worth of cover.
    On the day, I did ask about expenses but no one was able to give me an answer (also, it felt so uncomfortable). A week later I was sent an automated (not personalised nor any feedback/reason) email that I had been unsuccessful.
    I have recently emailed about expenses and received a message back - We do not cover travel expenses for interviews regardless of being unsuccessful.
    Conclusion: Deflated and now skint! BEWARE :(
  2. Swarles

    Swarles New commenter

    I've had a completely contrasting experience so thought I'd add my experience to this thread as this offers the other side and perhaps what to look for to know if your travel expenses will be reimbursed.

    I had an interview in January with a 'top tier' school for a teaching post in SEA. During the application process, I was aware of the week when interviews in London would take place, although not when I'd hear back about my application. As it turned out, I received an e-mail inviting me to interview just over a week after the application deadline. In this e-mail it outlined that travel expenses would be reimbursed (up to £100) and a travel expenses claim form was attached for me to complete and bring on the day.

    At the interview, they tackled this very early on (there was a sort of 'briefing' before the interview and it was brought up then) asking for the claims form and proof of travel expenses.

    I have since received n e-mail from the recruitment agent the school uses telling me my claim has been processed and will be with me in due course.

    I had to stay in London a bit longer than I'd have liked to as to keep my travel under £100 I had to buy an off-peak ticket which meant I couldn't leave London until after 7pm (I was ready to catch a train by 5.30pm) but other than that I can't fault the travel expenses process.

    If schools aren't so forthcoming with information about travel expenses I'd perhaps be inclined to think they don't cover them, but would suggest e-mailing in advance to ask if you're unsure. It's not an unreasonable query - and it's fairly common practice for schools to reimburse for this - so I think it's highly unlikely that e-mailing to ask would prejudice a school against employing you.

    Hope that's helpful :) Sorry your experience wasn't so good, Melmmow!
  3. melmmow

    melmmow New commenter

    Hi Swarles - your experience sounds much more above board and how I had hoped/expected it to be based on the advice given. Especially as it was a large company and top tier school.
    I hope the contrast of our experiences will hopefully help others with the process :)
  4. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    @Swarles, there are a few trains that you can travel on with an off peak ticket that leave London before 7pm. Obviously it depends on your route, but having an off peak ticket doesn't necessarily require you to be stuck in London until 7pm. Just information for future reference, in case you didn't know!
  5. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    The lesson here is to always ask in advance, by e-mail, and that is what I do myself. It might feel uncomfortable to ask about money but remember that you aren't asking them for a favour. This is a business matter and an allowance for expenses will have been set (or not) by the school administrators.
  6. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    To play devil's advocate, why should a school pay you to come to an interview? If they paid 350 for every one they interviewed in every post this would soon rack up.
  7. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    Sharing the cost doesn't seem like a lot to ask though.
  8. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    I read the OP and did wonder where they were coming from that cost that much, however I guess that BR or whatever they are called now is very expensive. Personally, I have flown to a couple of places, Bangkok/Shanghai springs to mind x2 and we didn't get any money but then my wife flew Bangkok Abu Dhabi and got everything including the hotel refunded. Perhaps they only refund expenses to successful candidates? At least that will keep the staff sweet....

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