Recruiters

After about a million years of foot-dragging and putting it off, I am finally going to Taiwan in about a month (Taipei City).

I still don’t really know what to do. Threads on here have been helpful, though.

I figure when I get there, I’ll get a room in a hostel and try to find a job. Problem is, I don’t know my way around and I won’t have a phone. Shit, I don’t even know if I’ll have internet access. I have a laptop, will it work the same in Taiwan? (Yes, I know that might be the most absurd question you’ve ever seen in the history of earth…) I’m sure there are places with free wi-fi.

Anyway, my point is: am I better off foregoing this job hunting crap when I get there and just get taken care of by a recruiter?

I know the recruiter would be costing me something in terms of salary. In turn, I would want to get some things from the recruiter:

–I want them to take me around to different schools so I can interview easily and check out the places before I make a commitment.
–I want them to not force me to commit to anything ahead of time.
–I want them to be relatively transparent and put things in writing.

In short, if I’m going to “buy” an agent, I might as well be “taken care of.” Is this all too much to ask? Should I just try to do this all on my own?

Of course, I could sign up ahead of time with Hess, but they seem to not want people until June. I want to come before then.

Also, how soon after starting my job can I expect to be paid? I plan on illegally working before making a visa run/getting my ARC.

HESS aren’t the only chain of schools. Try plugging Shane, Gloria, Giraffe into google. One of them will be recruiting sooner and they will pay back your flight fare after 6 months or so.

It’s pointless coming here without a job, in my opinion. Let someone else sort all the shite out for you, and then look for something better once you get here.

I read somewhere that Shane pay awful salaries. I want to work full time and make between 55-60k/month, I don’t think that’s too much to ask. From a chain school, is it?

I had no idea that schools were so accommodating. I just thought people turn up in Taiwan and get interviews.

Will any of them put me up for a while when I get there?

I don’t even mind doing kindy, I guess, although I’d rather avoid it. I’ve learned that rule of law is not a easy concept for the Taiwanese.

All the chain schools pay awful salaries. You can expect to start on around 560NT per hour of teaching. Shane have a cap of 600NT per hour in their DTE’s (direct teaching establishments - the schools they directly own). Don’t know about the other chains. If you work for a franchise you can get more if the owner is willing to negotiate. You will probably start working on around 25 hours a week, so a monthly salary of around 45-50k after tax. Franchise schools typically provide much more hours.

However, once you’ve worked for them for 6 months or so then you will have got your bearings and will be able to sniff out the decent teaching jobs in Taiwan. Seriously, I think this is a much better method of starting off here than just turning up and chancing your arm.

Most chain schools have kindy classes. You will get paid more to teach kindy but you could get deported if you are caught by the authorities. I only know from hearsay, but it seems this doesn’t happen very often with the big chain schools.

I would take any offer of free or discounted accommodation with a large pinch of salt. It’s likely to be pretty bad. Rents aren’t too high here. Even in Taipei.

I’d check out some the horror stories you teachers sometimes find yourselves in with regard to year-long contracts and heavy breach penalties when you discover you’ve signed yourself up with Grendel’s mother for a boss. It seems to be more common among people who sign up with recruiters.

[quote=“jaykay1620”]Will any of them put me up for a while when I get there?quote]

Sorry, missed this one.

Shane put you up in a hotel for a week when you first arrive. I think it’s a fortnight with HESS. Not sure about the other chains. The Shane hotel has free Japanese porn if that’s a deal clincher.

I worked for Shane for two years when I first arrived. I worked in a very well-managed franchise and was taking home an average of 65k a month in my first year. However, I was teaching around 32 hours a week at 560 an hour. On the whole they were a very good employer, although it was clear that their salary increases were non-negotiable (I ended on only 620 per hour). I was paid correctly and on time. I received my flight money back after 6 months, and they sorted out my ARC and tax issues without cocking it up. The owners of my franchise school also helped me find an apartment. I may have got lucky.

In terms of teaching the Shane produced textbooks really aren’t very good, and there isn’t a great deal of training or observation. However, in general they are a pretty good employer.

I agree with Sandman.

Check out my old mucker pubba’s story here

forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?t=65783

and then tell me that recruiters are a good idea.

You don’t need a recruiter. You need enough cash to survive for two months, you need to try a few different teaching situations out to see how you feel about it, and you need to expect nothing for a while. I usually tell newbies to wait for a year before you’re really settled in and comfortably working your butt off and making cash. one year. But they never listen.

The good thing about some of the chain schools is that they will train you a bit. The bad thing is the low pay and hours that intrude on your private teaching.

I’ve had a couple of good short term gigs through agents. Kept the cash flowing while I figured out what I wanted to do. Worked in a huge kindy factory chain school, worked for a bunch of nurses at a hospital, worked for business folks in an office, worked for a clothing manufacturing company, worked in chain schools, worked in private mom and pop buxiban schools, (personal favorite), and you name it. Have done editing work, writing, light carpentry, painting, subbing, and even internet teaching.

Had some bad bosses and some good ones. You can have more than one gig on your ARC. Get two part timers. Get some privates on the side. Help some college kid with an essay. Don’t put all your hopes and ambitions in the hopes that you will magically find a great job with a great boss on your first try, and then suffer through a year’s torment because of it.

I don’t think the teaching work situation is getting any better here, either. Gotta hustle a bit, I think.

Anyone had experience with Footprints? They seem to be a bit Korea-centric.

I went via Footprints when I first came to Taiwan. I was a real n00b; 21 years old, freshly graduated, had never been overseas before, never been on an airplane before, never had a full time job, had hardly been out of my hometown… you get the picture.

So, understandably I was pretty nervous about just landing on some island in the middle of Asia, where I didn’t know a single soul, so I thought I’d better at least have a measure of security, and a recruiter seemed like the safest way to go.

Footprints set me up with Kojen, I got picked up from the airport, got a week of “training”, got a job and an apartment, within easy walking distance of the school, organised by Kojen. So yeah, it was a safe decision.

BUT, I was required to be on a salary contract with Kojen, so in addition to having to be at their beck and call ALL the time, my salary was pretty crap (comparatively).

I also met some other teachers at Kojen who had come through Footprints.

I wouldn’t do it via a recruiter again, simply because of the fact that I now have quite a bit of experience and am somewhat wiser to the ways of the world and more independent.

If you’re a very nervous, completely green n00b, as I was four years ago, I don’t think it would be such a bad thing to go through a reputable recruiter like Footprints though, for your first few months or first year in Taiwan.

I don’t consider myself a noob since I lived in Taiwan twice in the 1980s and I’m still fairly conversant in Mandarin. I’ve also a been working as a certified teacher in an inner city school district in the USA for several years now.
But since I’ve been in a stable position for some time, I’m a bit nervous about just packing up and going without having something lined up, or at least a good prospect.

Well, seeing as you have some experience in Taiwan, Mandarin ability and certification + teaching experience, I don’t think you’d really need to go through a recruiter. Check out some job ads and maybe set up some interviews just before you come. If you’re on a 60 day visa you should have more than enough time to find something decent.

But if you really do feel like you need the security of having something set before you arrive, Footprints would be fine I guess, if you’re fine with working for a not-so-great wage for the first year while you suss out better jobs.

My husband and I first went to Taipei right after 9/11. We had been in contact with Kojen and agreed to work for them. No contracts are signed prior to arriving at Kojen. They picked us up at the airport and put us into a very nice shared 4 b/r apt for one week. They took us to the hospital for our standard tests that all new employees are required to have, they supported us, answered our questions, put us onto the Tsuei Ma Ma Agency to find an apt quickly and they provided us with teacher training during our first week there the Total Physical Response (TPR) method. We didn’t teach much until the second week. We also observed several other teachers teaching which was very beneficial. This first year set me up for teaching at other bushibans after my one year contract expired. I feel I am a good ESL teacher because of Kojen. We both felt it was very worthwhile to work for them in our first year. They always paid on time. They expected us to be reliable, sober and to show up for teaching dressed appropriately; ie, no hairy armpits at the whiteboard!! Actually, I would arrive a couple of hours prior to teaching to prep and socialize with other teachers. Kojen has an excellent teaching library (which was a major factor in choosing them as our school). They have teacher trainers who assist new and experienced teachers, if needed, to prepare their lesson plans for their classes of the day or to answer any questions.

I highly recommend you contact the recruiter at Kojen. Not only do they recruit you but they also answer any or all questions or concerns you may have.

Unfortunately, it is illegal to teach in a kindergarten in Taiwan. Kojen has kindergartens. Ask for a different age group if that’s the level they ask you to teach. It’s a bone of contention for me that it is illegal. By having Chinese teachers as a young child’s first English teacher, the government is ensuring that these youngsters will have a built-in Taiwanese accent!!! What a shame when we native English teachers could provide these little children (who are like sponges) with a lovely native English accent!! Someone needs to lobby the Ministry of Education to get this law changed (but that’s an aside).

My husband used Footprints a couple of years ago. He thought they were excellent. There were some problems at times but the problems originated with the Ministry of Education, NOT Footprints!! My husband was placed in the public school system in a junior high school. It is required that the teacher have a degree in Education, as does my husband. The MOE also likes its teachers to be certified in their native country, however, I know that they will waive that requirement. the MOE is looking for hundreds and hundreds of teachers EACH year. Last year, they found 7. Get your degree in Education, guys. The pay is excellent then (depending on your experience but even newbies will start at over NT$60,000). Also, they pay NT$5000 towards your rent. You get paid holidays, unlike at bushibans. They pay your return airfare unlike at most bushibans.

They only deal with Kojen to my knowledge and recruit with Korea allot more, as the guys that operate it in Vancouver taught there. I also remember that were working on a deal with the Taiwanese government to teach in rural schools.

[quote=“jaykay1620”]After about a million years of foot-dragging and putting it off, I am finally going to Taiwan in about a month (Taipei City).

I still don’t really know what to do. Threads on here have been helpful, though.

I figure when I get there, I’ll get a room in a hostel and try to find a job. Problem is, I don’t know my way around and I won’t have a phone. Shit, I don’t even know if I’ll have internet access. I have a laptop, will it work the same in Taiwan? (Yes, I know that might be the most absurd question you’ve ever seen in the history of earth…) I’m sure there are places with free wi-fi.

Anyway, my point is: am I better off foregoing this job hunting crap when I get there and just get taken care of by a recruiter?

I know the recruiter would be costing me something in terms of salary. In turn, I would want to get some things from the recruiter:

–I want them to take me around to different schools so I can interview easily and check out the places before I make a commitment.
–I want them to not force me to commit to anything ahead of time.
–I want them to be relatively transparent and put things in writing.

In short, if I’m going to “buy” an agent, I might as well be “taken care of.” Is this all too much to ask? Should I just try to do this all on my own?

Of course, I could sign up ahead of time with Hess, but they seem to not want people until June. I want to come before then.

Also, how soon after starting my job can I expect to be paid? I plan on illegally working before making a visa run/getting my ARC.[/quote]

Hi, I did not read your post, but contact Reach To Teach they are the best recruiter in Taiwan, they can help you out and have 300 some teachers on the island.