We and many of our acquaintances have worked for the company PERSONAL GROWTH in Bogota, Colombia and it is nothing but bad news. If you come to Colombia to work, please do not do it through this company. They as a company and as people are many bad things such as thieves, liars, cheats, unethical, immoral and scammers and those are just a few of the words that begin to describe them. There have been many people who have been paid months late or needed to contact their embassy to ensure payment.
If you work there, you WILL be screwed over eventually. Usually sooner, rather than later. We are sure this email will get flagged/reported by Personal Growth, but this will not stop this movement for the truth.
**PLEASE BE AWARE THAT IF YOU WORK FOR PERSONAL GROWTH, IT IS A VERY RISKY SITUATION TO PUT YOURSELF INTO WHILE IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY.**
There are plenty of other available jobs that you can find in Colombia as a foreigner. If you search the internet for reviews on this company, you may not find many bad reviews on this company, because we know for a fact they pay to have their bad name removed. In addition, when Personal Growth hires you, they hire you to work at a specific location (ex. School, language institute), and this location will pay Personal Growth, say $2,500 USD per month to have you as an employee, and Personal Growth will only pay you about 35-40% of that income. However, when asked about why they were taking the money from some colleagues, the person in charge said, "We only earn $50 off of each employee." He will say it is because they are a nonprofit organization; however, this is just an excuse he uses. If you do the math, you would see that earning $50 a month from each person per month could not keep the business running.
In addition, the international academic director used to make people pay a significant amount of money for their Colombian work visa papers. This is however illegal and I do believe he stopped doing this. He especially did this to people who applied for the positions while still in the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, etc. because he knew they did not know the local rules and they were vulnerable.
Finally, if you are going to work there ignoring this warning, do know that he often switches up the job position you applied for. There have been people who got the job while in their home country, came to Colombia and the director has said "You do not have a job now." Then soon after the director will find them a different job and in one day you can arrive thinking you will be an English teacher, then an hour later a High School Social studies teacher, then finally arrive at being an Elementary Ethics teacher, even though you know nothing about young children, nor ethics.
Also, be aware they will offer you housing through them, and they will OVERCHARGE substantially. One person we know was charged more than a million pesos per month for a very bad and small apartment, which is over half the price they should have paid!
Oh, and it you have a problem/issue/concern, who will you be able to turn to? You will definitely NOT feel comfortable going to the director, as he is NOTORIUOS for rolling his eyes at you/belittling you/and making you feel very embarrassed when you go and talk to him. He always constantly threatens to take away your work visa and fire you. In addition, he has told many of the employees, “YOU ARE EASILY REPLACED.” He has no tact and is an overall BAD PERSON! There are other very shady people who work in his office as well, and they include the lady in charge of finances and the lady in charge of coordination.
Honestly, we could go on forever about other very dangerous and illegal stories regarding this company, but this is enough. If you do not get the point after reading this, then you will be going into a very bad situation.
In conclusion, all of this tends to happen for a few basic reasons:
1) You are a foreigner and usually do not know the laws
2) They take advantage of the fact that you do not have anyone there to help you and that they are your only source of stability
3) They are 100% out for money, and as the director once told a room full of his employees "You are JUST a number to us."
We hope this warning can help someone.
Location: Westerville, Ohio