Has anyone heard of AAC (Australia Academic Circle)?

Just wondering if anybody has had any experience with this organisation. They place teachers with different schools in Taiwan and also organise student exchange or study of Mandarin at universities and schools in Taiwan. Many teachers seem skeptical of agencies or organisations like this but I was just curious if anyone has had any particular experience with this organisation. I am considering writing them an email with a list of demands including the minimum salary I will accept and teaching hours etc. and just seeing whether they can meet them. What do you guys think?? There website is www.aacircle.com.au

Erick? Why?
You are obviously smart enough to use a computer. That’s all you need to find a job! To keep a job is a different story. And finding a language exchange is as easy as walking down the street.
If I wasn’t helping 2 other teachers I would help you for free.
Forget those organizations, pick up your socks and pound that keyboard.
Check tealit.com there are lots of jobs! Post here again if you need to.

Why not ask Bassman for an interview?
—See its that easy!


I think that was a good heads up. Not necessarily for work but the exchange programs and for teachers the links to camps in Oz is interesting. Actually when I was studying Chinese in Australia and contempltaing my move here that may have helped.

Cheers Erick.

You’re on the money over the job thing though. At least in my humble experience. Plenty of options withought agencies . . . from what I’ve read.


OK, go to the part where they talk about degrees. Then go to the website that offers these degrees. Do you want to work for a company that mentions Catholic Schools and a references that website in the same breath? Sounds like trouble to me!

I understand what you guys are trying to say but don’t you think I might actually be able to negotiate or at least more easily find a better deal through an organisation like this that has connections with a number of schools. If I can stipulate exactly what I want within reason then I can’t see why they cannot meet those demands. Whereas if I approach individual schools and to try to negotiate on my terms I would imagine I would have a bit more difficulty getting exactly what I want?? What do you think?? Erick

Erick, any recruiting organisation, and it doesn’t matter whoses name is linked with it, needs to look after themselves in the process of helping out their clients. It would be a recruiting first if they could give you something that you wouldn’t be able to negotiate on your own. If I were you I’d take everyones advice and give them a miss, unless of course you lack confidence in finding your own gig, but even then, I’d be seeing what I could do on my own first. I’ve just heard too many stories about people who get paid jack shit because they went through a recruiter. Cheers Amos.

Do not sign up with a recruiter.

I think you should come to Taiwan (if you are not here already) with a few $1,000’s. Check this place out. Decide which city you want to live in. Pound the pavement where you want to live. Decide what kind of school you want to work for. What age do you want to teach? Is the curriculum important to you?
Try to find a school that matches what you want. There are soooo many schools. It’s all about making the right match. Ask the foreigners who work in these schools as many questions as you can!
The recruiters are trying to fill positions. They are not trying to make matches. My girlfriend and I were placed in 4 different schools by a recruiter (IACC) before we got smart.


Yeah you could probably negotiate with the schools but believe me, until you set foot here and spend sometime wandering around you are not going to be negotiating on an equal footing. The schools know the situation here and for you (sorry if I’ve assumed wrong and you’re already here) its conceptually difficult to get your head around just how available work is. There are husge discrepancies in pay and conditions and I can tell you that almost without fail every contractual horror story I’ve heard was from people that had signed up before arriving. that’s what the folks above are trying to tell ya.

I couldn’t get my head around it before I came from Oz and was desperate to line something up before hand. I had friends here that were saying much like everyone else is but I had commitments and was desperate. Kind of lined something up, not binding, and it fell through. No problem, picked up something that better suited my needs within a week! That’s by no means unusual by the way.

Finding a job by hitting the pavement is not going to be a problem. Just ensure you have enough to cover say six weeks of living costs, at least, to ensure you don’t just snap up the first thing that comes your way.

You are well on the way already by the by, in that you are on here chatting with folks who’ve been here awhile. Wish I’d had the same. I’m not teaching by the way but I do trust what these folks above are saying and would be really surprised if things had changed so greatly in the three years or so since I stopped. Occasionally when my current job really shits me I think very seriously about returning to teaching, there’s lots of benefits in being a teacher, greater flexibility for example. I’m damned sure that If I dropped this gig today I’d have something sweet within three weeks tops. That would probably be longer than most would take but I’d be really picky.

Good luck


Australian Academic Circle–an oxymoron if ever there was one.


Thanks everyone for your advice. I am currently in Australia but I went to Taiwan last July for about 4 weeks to visit my Taiwanese girlfriend who I met at university in Australia more than two years ago. She lives in Taichung so I am planning on living and working in that city. I wouldn’t be so stupid as to just accept a job with an agency without finding out everything about the particular school. I thought my girlfriend who is in Taichung at the moment could go and check out a prospective school before I would ever commit to any kind of contract. She has had experience at a couple of english schools as an assistant Taiwanese teacher so I think I should trust her judgement. When I previously taught in Japan I was recruited by an agency and I had no problems with them at all. Everything they told me about the job turned out to be true and I was certainly happy with their service. Of course that may not always be the case and I am certainly aware that some agencies are much more concerned with making a profit than assisting teachers needs. I am sure I can find a job just by looking around in Taichung after I arrive but you may have to look for a while before you find anything decent. Also there is certainly no guarantee just by looking at a school and talking to the boss and maybe some of the teachers that you will necessarily know exactly what it is really to work there. You are still taking a risk by physically going to a school and talking to the boss. I am 28 years old and have had a number of jobs in a number of countries throughout my rather short life and I can tell you it is not always easy to gauge exactly what it is like to work for an organisation by talking to the boss or the person who interviews you. Of course they are always going to talk up their company and make it sound like it would be paradise to work for them. They are always so nice and friendly during interviews but after you have been working for them for a couple weeks you soon find out their true colours. Maybe I am not really concerned about this because if I was ripped off I would probably just tell them to f… off and I would leave. I actually left two jobs in Japan before the end of the contracts and everything was fine with the employers so long as I gave them sufficient notice which I did. But I didn’t leave in those cases because I was unhappy with an employer. I was actually very happy with those jobs in Japan and the only reason I left early was so that I could return to Australia to finish my university studies. What happens if you leave before the completion of contracts in Taiwan?? Can you be blacklisted at all?? I think I read somewhere that schools in Taiwan make it a bit harder for you to get employment with other schools if you leave early. In Japan as long as you give sufficient notice I don’t think schools really care that much if you come and go. Cheers Erick

As a fromer recruiter I would say don’t signa contract with a recruiter before you come to Taiwan. Once you are in Taiwan then you can meet a recruiter and look at the jobs he offers you as well as the jobs you look at yoursefl and see which one you like the most, There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s good and bad recruiters and good and bad schools. The other reason some people like to use recruiters is so that they have something lined up straight away, maybe some training and maybe a free ticket to get here. personally I think it’s best to come here and then look, but if you’re the cautious type, then sign up with a big school like Hess, Kid Castle etc instead. They usually pay less and have their own horror stories, but you can more or less trust them to come through with what they promised you.


checked it out… here is a copy of the e-mail they sent in reply to my application:

Thank you for your online application, resume and photo and Welcome to AAC!

AAC is a professional and trustable education consultant. For the purpose of introducing western culture and improving the communities English ability in Taiwan, AAC places teachers at various schools around Taiwan. We assist schools to transform, write effective teaching plans, and look for suitable English teachers, whilst giving these newcomers job training and help them adapt to the life and culture in Taiwan.

The position offers the following:

Standardized Base Salary Table
Educational Background
Base Salary

Bachelors degree + teaching certificate
NT$ 53,000 per month

Bachelors degree
NT$ 50,000 per month

Diploma (min 2 years) + teaching certificate
NT$ 50,000 per month

Teaching Hours
25 hours a week + NT$ 500 per overtime teaching hour.

Working Hours

(Includes teaching hours and breaks in between classes)
40 hours a week.

Attendance Bonus (starting from the 2nd month)

(Perfect attendance, no tardiness)
NT$ 3,000 per month

Airfare Bonus

(Upon completion of 1-year contract)

  • We do not provide airfare in advance
    NT$ 30,000

Paid Leave
14-days a year

Dormitory Accommodation
Usually with big schools that are established and have been around for many years.

Shared Apartment
Usually with new schools or smaller schools.

Housing Subsidy
Most common.

NT$ 5,000/month

No Accommodation and No Housing Subsidy
Usually in bigger cities like Taichung City, Taipei City, and Kaohsiung City.

We will also pick you up and provide temporary accommodation free of charge for the first 3 nights in Taichung to organise your administrative details, visa etc.

Please note that the school withholds a total of NT$24,000 (over 4 months) from the teacher’s salary as a Commitment Guarantee. This Guarantee shall be refunded in full to the TEACHER upon completion of a one (1) year contract as an additional bonus.

To finalise your application, could you please email me a copy of your university degree and passport photo page.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

Homepage: aacircle.com.au
Phone: (04) 1432 5870
Fax: (04) 2376-0496

[quote]Bachelors degree
NT$ 50,000 per month

Diploma (min 2 years) + teaching certificate
NT$ 50,000 per month

Teaching Hours
25 hours a week + NT$ 500 per overtime teaching hour.

Working Hours

(Includes teaching hours and breaks in between classes)
40 hours a week.

Hmmm. About 5K-15K less than what we used to offer for 25 hour a week jobs, but this one is 25 teaching hours, but 40 working hours.

Sounds like a bad deal. You could easily get better than that within a week or two of arriving in Taiwan.


Excuse me while I toss my cookies into my Fear Factor bucket.

Thanks Bushibanned for your efforts and yes if what you say is true I think I will have to give those guys a miss. Sounds like a pretty dodgy deal to me. What about leaving contracts early in Taiwan?? Do schools make it difficult for you to work at another school if you leave early or is it usually not much of a problem?? Thanks Erick


I would suggest that you come here on your own to first get a feel for the teaching scene. I think it is important to decide what age group you want to teach and what teaching style best suits you before signing on to a school.

Some basic things to look for when you walk into a school.

1.) Is it clean? Check out the bathrooms and the kitchen(if there is one). Good schools are clean schools. (I have a full time cleaning lady who cleans our main school from the first floor to the sixth twice a day. It is still hard to keep the place spotless with 500+ students running around. :frowning: )

2.) Are the secretaries friendly, polite, and helpful. How do they greet people coming in the door?

3.) Is there training? If you are new, then training is a must.

4.) Do you get feedback? What type of QC measures, if any, that the school uses.

5.) Is the manager a teacher and/or can he/she teach? Many times a school elevates a teacher to manager based solely on the fact that he/she has been at the school the longest. Way wrong. Look for a school that has someone in charge who you can go to and ask “how can I be a better teacher?”.

6.) Is there a teaching schedule that the schools provides? Are tests standardized?

7.) I wouldn’t worry about money so much(it will come, I shit you not). Be careful listening to other people talk about how much they make. High salaries go to those who have been here a while. And, it doesn’t really matter how much you make, what matters is how much you save.

Hope this helps.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this illegal?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this illegal?[/quote]

Yeah, and at least the school should do is to give the teacher a bit of interest.