Another newbie asking for help

Hey All,

I’m an Australian Born Chinese who is thinking of teaching English in Taiwan next year. HESS had a stall at my University’s Careers Fair, and it looked pretty interesting. (So interesting in fact that I’ve blown off graduate work programs to do this :P)

I’ve read up about the trials and tribulations of FBC people getting work in Taiwan, and I’m prepared to deal with some BS to get a job there. From the sounds of people’s opinions in these forums, a large chain school like HESS seems to be the way to go for people in my position.

So hence my questions relate to HESS:

  • what do people who have worked for HESS think of it?
  • I’ve read that the salary at HESS is lower than that of other schools?
  • does HESS have a universal pay award, or are pay conditions negotiated?

In case it matters, I will be graduating with a (dual degree) Bachelors of Business Management / Information Technology.

Thank you all kindly!

[quote=“spiderman”]Hey All,
I’ve read up about the trials and tribulations of FBC people getting work in Taiwan, and I’m prepared to deal with some BS to get a job there. From the sounds of people’s opinions in these forums, a large chain school like HESS seems to be the way to go for people in my position.

So hence my questions relate to HESS:

  • what do people who have worked for HESS think of it?
  • I’ve read that the salary at HESS is lower than that of other schools?
  • does HESS have a universal pay award, or are pay conditions negotiated?

Thank you all kindly![/quote]

Honestly you could do worse than Hess (did I just say that??) if you have no clue as to what’s going on. There is always a Chinese teacher in the classroom with you. Yes, the pay is crap, but they give some training. Sign but for the minimum hours and see what else you can get on the side IMO.

Or, do what many do, show up and study Chinese for a couple of hours a day and see what’s out there. If you find a good place for you, see if they’ll get you an ARC.

It depends on how long you plan to stay. 2-3 years will give you plenty of time to find out where the money is, if that’s what you’re after…not to mention a more discerning eye about where and who to work for. 1-2 years could be hit or miss.

Keep asking around…

Good luck

[quote=“jdsmith”]
Honestly you could do worse than Hess (did I just say that??) if you have no clue as to what’s going on. There is always a Chinese teacher in the classroom with you. Yes, the pay is crap, but they give some training. Sign but for the minimum hours and see what else you can get on the side IMO.

Or, do what many do, show up and study Chinese for a couple of hours a day and see what’s out there. If you find a good place for you, see if they’ll get you an ARC.

It depends on how long you plan to stay. 2-3 years will give you plenty of time to find out where the money is, if that’s what you’re after…not to mention a more discerning eye about where and who to work for. 1-2 years could be hit or miss.

Keep asking around…

Good luck[/quote]

Thanks for the prompt reply! I i intend to be in Taiwan for 12 months, as HESS has 1-year minimum contracts (Feb06 - Mar07 in my case).

So given that time frame, do you think HESS is a good choice?

[quote]Thanks for the prompt reply! I i intend to be in Taiwan for 12 months, as HESS has 1-year minimum contracts (Feb06 - Mar07 in my case).

So given that time frame, do you think HESS is a good choice?[/quote]

Geez, there are more variables needed to really say yes or no…

where do you want to live?
what activities do you want to do when not working?
Do you want to save money or just take a mental break before grad school?
Do you want night life? Other foreigners to hang out with? Do you speak Chinese?

Bottom line about Hess…is the pay…if you NEED to save money, else where might be better.

You tell me, why did the Hess set-up at your college turn you on to coming to Taiwan? What did you hear? I can try to tell you what THEY meant. :slight_smile:

If it’s anything like it is in NZ, it’s not much to do with what they said as the fact they’re about the only school that does anything like that sort of promotion. Before coming here, I’d heard of exactly two schools in Taiwan - Shane and Hess. And I’m not even sure how I heard of Shane.

True enough…I heard of Hess from the horse’s mouth as it were. I too was pleased by the thought of making 15 US dollars an hour…then I got here and saw people making 30USD an hour.

Keep HESS in mind if you wish, but don’t sign up for anything before landing. Get to Taiwan on a Visitor Visa and have a look around. There are more than enough jobs up for the grab. It’s never wise to sign up for anything before knowing exactly what you’ve committed to. Just my NT$2 worth.

And, take into consideration the things that JD brought up. It’s good to know what you’re doing and the reasons behind it. A good, solid game plan and you can be on your feet running in no time. :wink:

Thanks for all the advice guys…and please keep it coming!!

I heard about HESS like Tetsuo did: I wasn’t even considering going into anything like overseas English teaching until I walked pass the HESS stall. [As a side note: when I said “graduate program”, I meant with an organisation. In Australia you usually only get into middle/upper management positions via a resume filled with work experience; or an in-house graduate program.] I was actually going to apply for work with QANTAS or Accenture, but then realised that I wasn’t ready to face the 9-5 grind, mortgage and 2.4 kids just yet :stuck_out_tongue:

So basically what I really want out of teaching English in Taiwan is the experience itself. Saving some money would be nice, but it is not my primary reason for going. Also, my parents are from Taiwan, so it’s a chance to get to know my roots, as it were.

I WOULD LIKE:

  • to live close to Taipei
  • to be able to join a gym, go indoor rock climbing, and play touch football
  • to be able to watch the State of Origin (QLD vs NSW Rugby League)
  • to DEFINATELY enjoy the night life
  • to hang out with both locals and other foreingers
  • to improve my Mandarin (which is only at a basic conversational level - no literacy level at all)

Oh yeah, and I’d also like to be able to pick up a cheap acoustic guitar, since I don’t wanna bring mine with me (too much baggage and all).

But apart from all that, I’m easy :stuck_out_tongue:

My other main reasons for choosing HESS are that I’m reading about: horror stories of people getting ripped off by their workplaces; FBCs having difficulties getting work; and the fact that HESS is the largest, and arguably most well-known, English school in Taiwan. Also I’m under the impression that they set up bank accounts, get your ARC, and help you find accommodation as well?

Mianboo: I’m not sure if I game enough to wait until I land in Taiwan to get a job. Apart from some of my Dad’s family, whom I’ve never met, I do not know anyone (or anything, really) in Taiwan!

Bottom line there is that I would feel much better having a job lined up before I left.

Well, that was quite a long post! Thanks again for any help guys (and gals)!

Love your avatar by the way, Tetsuo!

Understandable, as it can be a big leap into the unknown, but I stand firm with my advice. I’ve done it, and about to do it again very soon. It was a bit scary, but equally exciting (not knowing anyone, where I’d sleep, eat, work, etc.).

Anyway, it sounds like you have an open attitude. I think you’ll enjoy yourself there. And the Forumosans are a friendly bunch (from my limited interactions here on this site), with a wealth of information to share. Good luck to ya.

Spidey, I’d say take your specs and post them in the Fore Hire forum and see what bites you get.

As for Hess being the biggest…sure, I guess, but there are literaly hundreds of legal schools in Taipei to work for, and if you want the experience of living here more than making moeny, you might think of Global Village, which is more like a chatting school with adults. Although the pay sucks there too as well…but you’re not screaming at kiddlies all day.