My husband had the same experience with this David from Dewey. He doesn't read the e-mails and he sends the same list of questions to everyone, regardless of their background. He's an idiot and after 3 e-mails, my husband told David not to contact him anymore. You get the sense that they don't know what the hell they're doing over there. They're good at wasting everyone's time.
This is Julie with ACI. Quick clarification with ACI's restriction on age: we have worked with MANY teachers who are older than 35+, and the schools were very happy with them. So, we are not saying that teachers beyond the benchmark of 32 will not get hired, but it can be harder for them. This limit is more or less a guideline, and everyone has the passion and energy for teaching children is still welcome to apply.
Here is a reply to ageism.
DO NOT WORK FOR OR APPLY THROUGH AN AGENT.
Yeah man, cos agents have control on this kind of thing.
Plus, the younger ones are often less likely to realize that the agents are putting them into positions from which they can be fined and deported. Older ones have often been here for longer and tend to be more aware of how they can be exploited.
Check it out -- there's a recruiter advertising right here on this forum for foreign teachers for kindergarten positions in Kaohsiung, "ARC provided." No mention at all that this is illegal and that people DO get caught and deported for this. Often.
Younger people might be more likely to agree with the recruiter's standard line (if they're called on it, that is -- they will NEVER admit to you up front that they're basically crooks) that "Oh, it doesn't matter! This is Taiwan and EVERYBODY does it! It'll NEVER happen to ME!"
Whereas someone with a bit more experience might say "Just because you're happy to offer illegal jobs doesn't mean I'm happy to accept them."
Don't EVER forget! The recruiter gets off scot-free in these scenarios in which they've gulled you into illegal work. YOU are the one who suffers. They get their money either way.
The agents don't have control of that portion of the business, however they do have control over who they do business with and they also have one goal in mind; SCHOOL gets a teacher. NOT A good teacher gets a good school.
If you are in Kaohsiung avoid the agent Simon/Selwyn/ and whatever other name he goes by. He is a seedy guy who lives near minzu rd. Basically he takes all the money he can. Before I know he was bad, he put my at a school where I got paid only 500 an hour and he also charged the school 10000 a month for finding me.
The other 100 to make a complete 600 went to him. The school could not pay me, they had to pay him and he had to pay me.
He was not honest and afterwards I found out he is jut an utter snake. I had told him when I started that I would be going home in June for 2 weeks to visit my family for my sisters graduation and then, though i reminded him monthly, he claimed he didn't know when I was getting ready to leave and took more then half my pay for the month of May saying it was a fee for me needing a sub.
I argued my fee is paid by the hours I don't get paid for June since I am not here and I am not salary.
Then I didn't know as much as I do now (which is still not completely enough) but I wold like to warn all others against him.
I'm working with Julie at ACI right now. She is very informative and she is always quick to reply to any questions I have. We are in the process of finding the right school for me, and I think we have found it. I have tried some of the other agencies and they are definitely not as informative as ACI. Some of them don't even answer your questions, but instead just keep insisting that you sign a contract with lack of information!
I would have to say that while she might answer your questions, she may not necessarily tell the truth. Look at the numerous jobs she post for kindy jobs and doesn't even mention that they are illegal. Precede at your own risk!
Julie was not bad three years ago, but recently I have heard so many negative stuff regarding her service. Three few foreigners I know lost $$$ to either the school or the government because of her not being honest.
To you mind elaborating on how they lost money?
Yes, I think it would be fairer to spell this out more clearly.
The foreigners I met in town, we discussed how we got to Taiwan. Some of them said through ACI, but three of them had really bad experiences with her. Start to swearing as they were talking about how she told them to get a visa and hurry up and come to Taiwan. However as the school that she got them jobs could not get their ARC done in time, they had to leave Taiwan, as they had some problems with extending it. It cost them $10,000 NT to get a quick fly out to HK, not to mention they were short on money as they didn't even receive their first paycheck.
Another foreigner mentioned that she said to her about she wouldn't be taxed before the ARC, but after the school issued her the ARC two months later, her boss charged her triple on her third month's pay because he said the previous two paychecks was not taxed. She also got quite angry that she was a recently graduated from college back in the summer last year, but she said ACI told them school that hired her, then her school told their students' families that she had three plus years of teaching experience. Resulting in a big expectation from the start, and she had no support from her Chinese co-workers because they weren't happy that she was receiving twice as much pay by having only a TEFL certificate/bachelor degree while some of her co-worker's got Master degree, also been working for almost ten years.
Once again you got to chuck the book at ACI. This time you need to look here...
Two glowing and excellent reports about ACI and a very strong rating of 4.6 out of 5.
Sounds very good until you see "Reviewed by firstname.lastname@example.org"
They have gone and reviewed and rated themselves! Good work ACI.
Reach to Teach told me all their positions in Taiwan were filled. :\ Wonder if thats actually true.. prolly not.
Ageism exists at ACI. 40 year old looking for a job. I applied and supplied everything ACI needed; not one email after giving all my documents needed. Four months with ACI and still no call or anything.
See plenty of posts on their websites for jobs but after I called them "sorry, nothing matches for you."
Again, this is coming from another person who told me directly recently.
Not sure what ACI's service is like compare to Dewey/Reach to Teach/and any other recruiter/agency that is out there, but something for certain is that they do charge a way much higher fee on the school who seek their help of finding a teacher.
The above is reasonable, however this is where gets interesting.
Let's just say if Teacher Michael landed his first job in Taiwan, working for Joe's ABC English School in Taipei, when his contract is up, and he renews with Joe's ABC English School, ACI will charge Joe's ABC English School again. When asked why, and what service could ACI had possibility done during the 2nd year around. Their response is:
Because Teacher Michael decided to stay with your school, and I make sure he stay and work for you for another year, and not for a new school, I lose out on making money on Teacher Michael, had I could introduce him to his 2nd job in Taiwan after Joe's ABC English
Fair or not, up to you.
I recently came back to Taiwan after having worked in Nantou County for five years. I needed to return to the USA to finish my master's degree and when it came time to return, I wanted to go to Kaohsiung in order to be closer to my girlfriend. I was looking for an actual school position with the MOE rather than a Cram School job and found out that Dewey was the only organization with which the government in Kaohsiung was working. So, I found a posting by Dewey that claimed to be offering a position with a one year contract, 24 classes per week, with an elementary school classroom environment. After sending them a few emails back and forth about ARCs, teaching environment, and the like, I ended up signing a contract and taking the position.
Oh how shocked I was when I actually arrived in Taiwan. It was not a one year contract. In fact, I was told that I would sign two 6 month contracts due to some sort of legal situation in Kaohsiung City. The school (which has been oh so more helpful than Dewey) informed me that the 2 previous teachers they had did the same thing and that there wasn't a problem. I didn't really have much of a choice, having arrived in Taiwan with 1200 USD to my name and no return ticket, so I agreed. I found out just yesterday, that I had been on the verge of not getting my contract renewed in January of this year because Dewey had stopped supporting teachers for my school and just weren't going to renew my contract. Dewey has only contacted me in the last 30 days with demands for money I gave them in person and didn't bother to tell me I was one week away from being unemployed. Happily enough for me I have a great relationship with the government here and the school worked out a way for me to get the extra six months, but the school itself is arraigning the contract separate from Dewey. So, I still have a job, no thanks to Dewey.
That was just one of two main issues.
I've also discovered that the position is pretty much the exact opposite of what they advertised on their site. The position here at the school is not a classroom teaching environment or anything close to one. It is actually an "English Village" environment where I get to play different rolls in an imitation airport, restaurant, MRT, etc while students from all over the city come in for one day "English Village Experiences." There is no classroom teaching, I teach the same lesson every day over and over again, I do not get to know students because I never see the same ones more than once, and it is the exact opposite of what Dewey told me it would be.
Dewey has done a few things right. They were very helpful in helping me find an apartment and getting settled in. I attribute that more to the my contact guy, who is very nice, than to Dewey though. My other contacts with the organization haven't been nearly as good. Dewey also has helped me a few times in regards to some paperwork issues, drivers license and my ARC. There are a few people who know what they are doing there and I'm sure other people have had good experiences with them.
I have not had a good experience as I am now in a position that is exactly what I did not want to do and had asked a lot of questions in order to not be in this position. I didn't really appreciate the dishonesty involved in the hiring process. I suppose it's possible this happens with all organizations, but I never experienced anything like this when I worked for 5 years in Nantou County with a different group.
ACI now charges 20% commission on your first two paychecks. This ends up being about +/- 20,000nt. $650 usd just to find a job? Wow, no thanks. I don't mind a recruiter getting a commission, but $650 is highway robbery. It seems plenty of fresh off the plane waiguos are willing to pay that instead of hitting the pavement and applying to some schools. Julie seems pretty nice and I've had nice dealings with her, but she's never justified to me why she's entitled to 20k for a minimal amount of work.
This is a REALLY useful thread!
I'd also recommend reading reviews of recruiters/program providers before committing to anything. As everyone has pointed out, some are much better than others. Go Overseas is a good resource for researching recruiters and separating the good from the bad: goteachabroad.com/teach-in-taiwan
And if you've worked with any of these recruiters, give back to the community by leaving a review!