Thanks for your message.
I saw a posting of theirs on Dave ESL's Cafe saying they needed teachers in all of their locations. I'd only be interested in working in Taipei.
How are the working conditions and salaries there, as compared with other chain schools? (hess for example)
Are they fairly adept at getting the proper visas and ARC for their teachers?
I have no TEFL certificate and no prior teaching experience. Do you think that would affect my chances of being hired?
Lastly, are there any other reputable chain schools you can recommend to me? I need to pre-arrange a job from America, so that i may begin working soon after my arrival in Taiwan.
They didn't have the Taipei school opened yet,so I don't know what it's like. This is something you'd have to ask them.
Conditions are great. They spend alot of money on environment and supplies. They are also very professional about getting ARCs. But, on that note...if you have been doing your research, you'll have noted that there are alot of rumors of raids going on at schools. It is illegal to have a foriegner teach in a kindy. It always has been, but officials have looked the other way. Now there are lots of stories about teachers being sent packing after being caught in what they thought was a legal position. As I teach adults exclusively now, these changes don't affect me, so I have not followed this issue as closely as others have. YOu can ask AES directly about this, but remember that Taiwanese are quick to label us as "complainers" if we ask too many questions.
If I had to choose between Hess, Kojen, GV, Gram, David's or Jy (or any of the other chains) I'd choose AES.
No TEFL, no problem, at least for AES.
As for salaries, you will make approx. 65,000 NT a month. As you can live in their dorms for 3500 and they feed you 10 meals a week, you can save alot. But you will work your ass off. Kindy all day (8-4), with a foreign co-teacher, which sounds good but I didn't like it. In the evening, you teach a 90 minute buxiban class. You are done by 6, but you will be exhausted. Then you have to do a weekly report for each student in your care (approx 36). That gets very tedious. And, on top of that, you have to do your own lesson planning. This all takes its toll.
I make the same now (okay, a little less) but I only teach 27 hours a week and have no prep or correcting to do.
As for finding a job from overseas, I can say this. I have done that 2x now and lived to regret it. The advice of myself and other posters on the various sites that I respect is to come here and look around. Yes, much more daunting a proposition, but better two weeks of confusion than a year of regret.
Now, there was a blow-out 4 years ago at AES. The teachers, all new to Taipei, started to meet other teachers and realized that our hourly wage was way below what their friends at other schools were making. They did'nt realize that the others were getting limited hours. anyway, they started a big battle with management, started complaining to parents and AES had no choice but to take punitive action (firings). MY opinion was that the teachers were being childish and greedy and that AES staff and management did there level best to handle a tough situation. Now, a word of warning. This fiasco was fueled by 2 foriegners AES employs as managers. Their names are K (CBC guy from Vancouver)(don't remember his last name) and GB (Old American woman, real beeyatch). If you are dealing with these people, beware....they are self-righteous assholes that think they are a gift to the Taiwan ESL business. If it wasn't for these two, I might even consider going back to AES. But they are such that I never would. AES chinese staff and management are great, the schools are clean and modern, the clientele are usually quite well off, but you'll work your ass off to make the same money (less actually) that would be available to you if you came here without a job and spent 2 weeks pounding the pavement.