Dajia? Looking at moving to Taiwan

Hey there first post for me! Looks like a great site!

Am a New Zealander and I am exploring the Taiwan teaching experience option… have previous ESL experience before.
Have really oly had one response to a couple of enquiries and this is for a job in Dajia. I can’t seem to find much info on this place so was wondering if anyone had previously lived there or knew much about the spot… Any info would be great! The job itself seems not bad and has no spilt shifts, 65000 a month and accommodation and wireless paid for with 19-24 teaching hours…

As a side can anyone reccommend any other agencies or schools? Am trying to get there for June all going well so that I am free to be finished for the Football WC in June 2010!!!

Thanks guys!

Dajia is a small city which is the focus of an annual festival - the Dajia Matsu Pilgrimage. I don;t know much else about it, having only been there once, to attend the festival, which took place last month.

Dajia is not a city, but a small town. The only foreign food you will find there is Mcdonalds and KFC. I spent my first 2 years there and have nothing but love for Dajia. It really depends on your goals and personality. When i came to Taiwan, I wanted to save money and immerse myself in the culture. If you fancy pubs, this isn’t the place for you as there aren’t any. There is usually a small, but great group of foreigners there and you will see things you simply could not see in the big cities. I take it you would be working with Mark’s English and using Dewey as a recruiter? Dewey is the only recruiter I’ve come across that is honest. You would be working at a kindergarten and a buxiban I assume. This would be approximately 8-7 M-F and may include Saturdays. They should offer you an airline bonus for completing your contract. The accomadations were not suitable for me, a dorm with several Taiwanese girls. Sounds great but it really isn’t man. Anyway, I was successful with getting an extra 2500NT a month for an apartment and they are cheap there. If you have any more questions, let me know pal.

Hey great info thanks for that!
The person that i have been in email contact with is a person by the name of Destin Hodges and is just a gmail address…

this is what was sent to me. Your input on this would be great you seem to have a great knowedge of the town…

Here is a little more about the position. As far as the working hours, the nice thing about this position is that you have a set schedule from 1:50pm to 9:00pm and that does not change. Here is how those hours will be spent:

Mon Tues Thurs Fri

Three 30-minute kindergarten classes from 2:00 to 3:40 with a 10 minute break in the middle.

After your last class at the kindergarten you will travel to the buxiban (cram school) and work from around 4:00pm to 9:00pm, during which period you will teach anywhere from 2.5 to 4 hours of class. The time that you don’t have classes can be used for lesson preparation, making materials, personal interaction with the students, and making phone calls (we call the students about once a week to ask them review questions covering that week’s lessons).

Wednesdays are a little different. When your three classes at the kindergarten finish at 3:40, you will be asked to stay at the kindie for one-on-one testing with the kids from 4:00p to 4:30p. You will then go to the buxiban, where you will have none or possibly one class. You will most likely use the rest of this time on Wednesday’s to catch up on phone calls, but there is also plenty of time to plan lessons and interact with the students.

We provide all the curriculum and ask teachers to work with our curriculum. However, how the teacher wishes to teach the material is up to them. So there certainly is a level of creativity. Our overall policy is to ensure all children are fully engaged and enjoy the class at the same time as enjoying the class.

Let me tell you a little more about our student population here. At the kindergarten, the students range from 5-7 years old, and there are about 25 students per class; however, you will have one or two cooperating Taiwanese teachers in the room to help. At the buxiban, the students are a bit older, about 9-16 years old with only 4-12 kids per class. You are the only teacher in the classroom at the buxiban, but Taiwanese teachers will be available in the office if you need them.

The total teaching hours per week will be between 19 and 24 hours. Regardless of your actual teaching hours, we would pay you a salary of 65000 TWD per month. In addition to this we will provide you with your own furnished, self–contained accommodation, fully paid for by the school (with the exception of utility bills, estimated at around 500NT per month). The School will also pay for wireless internet service. Furthermore we will provide you with the value of a round trip air ticket from your home country as a bonus on completion of your years contract. We also provide all our teachers with a working ARC and medical insurance. Also, all training time is paid at the full-salaried rate.

It’s illegal for foreigners to work at kindergartens. If the cops catch you, you will be deported. Nonetheless, many people do it.

I’ve been to Dajia frequently on business. It is a typical Sprawl town. There are some resident foreigners who commute to jobs in Taichung, and a few other waiguoren teaching, but otherwise, it’s a country town. Great “wedding cake” (pineapple and a few other flavors) place, and ONE place selling espresso drinks. If you want total immersion in the 'wan, Dajia will do.

Hmmm was not aware that it was illegal to do that thanks for that information…
Does anyone have suggestions of recruiters for the big towns like Taipei and down south? Am trying to get something sorted for June if I do not take this option…

[quote=“lachlanoverseas”]Hmmm was not aware that it was illegal to do that thanks for that information…
Does anyone have suggestions of recruiters for the big towns like Taipei and down south? Am trying to get something sorted for June if I do not take this option…[/quote]
You should reply to this email with the following:
“It is illegal under ROC law for a foreigner to teach kindergarten. Please explain exactly why this kindergarten job you are offering is legal.”
“It is illegal under ROC law for a foreigner to work at an address not stated on his ARC. Will all the addresses at which you expect me to work be included on my ARC?”
You can take this job if you want and you might be lucky enough not to get caught and deported. But it would be interesting to see how the agent responds.

Lies? This is why they get overseas’ folk to do it, not local waiguoren who know the score.

If you are going to do kindy, do it with a chain. Then you are less likely to get busted.

And it seems you’re working at 2 addresses. The address on your ARC must be the address you work at. They can’t both be on there, can they?

EDIT: Sandman already mentioned that, I never read his posts.

There is a good chance you will end up working at a kindergarten. If so, it may as well be in Dajia as it is much much safer than the cities. I do know Destin Hodges as well. Everything he said in that email is pretty much true. However, there will be only ONE local teacher in the class with you. The phone calls are a real drag. Teaching at a kindy is illegal but tolerated, sort of like many of the other laws here.
The free accommodation is ok but you should know that it is in a dorm and there are tight rules. No visitors period.

It is? I never heard that one before. I always thought people sometimes get away with it because the cops are too lazy to raid unless there’s a complaint. Not a chance I’d be willing to take, personally. I’ve seen far too many people deported.

Thanks for all that guys, really doesnt sound as though it is worth the risk, cant afford to be deported!

It is? I never heard that one before. I always thought people sometimes get away with it because the cops are too lazy to raid unless there’s a complaint. Not a chance I’d be willing to take, personally. I’ve seen far too many people deported.[/quote]

Small towns are a gray area. The cops themselves probably have kids at the kindergarten, and they’re much like any other parents - they think a white monkey jumping around will help their kids learn English. And they pretty much leave things alone. Cities and bigger towns are a different story.

I still wouldn’t recommend anyone work in a kindergarten though.

I lived in Dajia for a while. The town can be incredibly boring. You’ll find yourself commuting to Taichung a lot and one way takes about an hour. It’s a good place to save money but I can’t find much else to say about the place.

The entertainment is Dajia is to watch the bus drivers puke binlang juice before they board your bus to drive you to Taichung. I’m talkin’ garden hose size streams… into a bus yard drain, of course, where all refuse in the 'wan goes that will fit through the grate.

Hey lachlanoverseas

I’m also a Nzr and I also arrived in Taiwan with a dodgey job lined up (as it seems you’re considering) and I also worked for Dewey twice. I’ve posted a lot on this forum already – search “Dewey” and you’ll find what I’ve written. There’s also a good basic summary of all the agencies that someone has kindly put together. Basically Dewey used to be a top-notch, honest company, but more recently they’ve started cashing in on their reputation, and screwing over everyone they can. If I hadn’t audited absolutely everything and taken them to the CLA (equivalent of the small claims/disputes tribunal from home), I would have lost thousands, mostly by them overtaxing me and pocketing the difference, among a few other regular “mistakes” like deductions for no reason with no explanation, and no payslips, even when requested.

I would strongly recommend you don’t take that job, or any other one with dewey. It IS illegal and yes, it is very unlikely you’d be deported for it in a small town, but it is still not worth the risk. The job as it was described (salary and hours) doesn’t sound bad (or especially good either) for a buxiban, especially at this time I’d say, but I don’t know how the ESL field is faring the economic storm cos I don’t work in it anymore, but in reality, they pay a lot of money to use Dewey, who basically match schools that can’t find or keep teachers with teachers who can’t find jobs, usually both for good reasons, and they screw both - especially the teacher because tehy are easier to replace - in the process. Of course a part of the reason that they might have trouble is cos of where they are. But do you really want to come to Taiwan and live that rurally? Where in NZ are you from?

Do you speak Chinese? If you don’t (and really, even if you do) I would recommend, if you can, simply bringing a couple of grand NZ$ (that’s an estimate – someone else would have a better idea of how much you’ll need) and just turn up and look for work in the major cities, esp Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung, which I believe isn’t bad with its new MRT now. Whatever you do don’t commit to a job before you come unless it’s a highly reputable company, and certainly not one with dewey.

Any questions feel free to PM me. Otherwise good luck with the move to Taiwan. From my experience, it’s well worth it. It’s a great place to be once you find a good place to work.


Edit: I just realised that it was another poster and not you who mentioned it would be with dewey, but it sounds like one they would administer. So apologies if it isn’t Dewey after all. I’d still recommend not agreeing until you get here though. Also, unless you have lots of ESL experience (you didn’t say how much) in Asia, and you speak Chinese, I would not recommend teaching in a buxiban without a native speaker in the classroom. I would still recommend contacting as many schools as possible (tealit.com is probably your best bet) and deciding when you get here. Just have a return ticket and back up plan, just in case :slight_smile: