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China Scam or Schemes: HHS 'Cultrual Exchange/ESL/Au Pair' ScamHHS (Homestay Helping Study)
 
This company runs an extremely poor 'cultural exchange' system which in reality works as an unpaid and over-worked au-pair agency.
Myself and many other participants I spoke to in the agency have greatly regretted signing up with HHS. 
 
Examples of some of the behaviour i personally experienced of HHS include:
-my pocket money being withheld and threatened to not be paid after I explained that they number they were offering was lower than our contract agreed to 
-my host families asking me to submit to gynaecological exam in Beijing in one of the cheapest hospitals and my HHS case worker telling the family that this was going to go ahead before asking for my consent
-being fired from my host family for not submitting to the gynaecological exam
-having to live sharing a bed with a member of staff because, although the contract says a hotel with be given in the case of not having a host family, HHS claimed beijing had no available hotel rooms and so placed me with a member of staff that had appalling hygiene, with a unusable and disgusting kitchen and near unusable bathroom due to the unhygienic conditions of the staff member.
-my host family expecting me to work 24/7 as HHS has given them no information previous to my arrival in China that I should work to a roster
-being told that my deposit and that of all the participants in HHS would not be refunded because HHS has run out of money
-asked to change my dietary habits (i eat kosher/vegetarian) because its "bothering your host family" (despite having informed them of my diet many times before arriving in china)

-having the 1.5 days off per week promised in the contract cut to 1 day with no reason given

-promised cultural activies never offered, head that once they went 'bowling' as a cultural activity

-having my hours bumped from 25 per week to 35 with no reason given
-given no work schedule with the host families who themselves were very hesitant to write one down as they prefer the participants to work on-call/24hrs
-being told to not leave the house on days off, or, being told to be home by a curfew, as early as 7pm with one family.
 
other students were offered money to give good recommendations of HHS so although some students might praise the program it's sometimes just to get the bonus money. Though some people have enjoyed the program they usually say its because they and the family themselves made it work and that HHS often hindered rather than helped the participants time.
 
here is the blog post of another participants similar experience= 

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