One of the best places for teaching English overseas is the small but spectacular island-nation of Taiwan. For those of you who don’t know, and often confuse Taiwan with Thailand or some place in China, the country is located 60 km (99 miles) from China, across the Taiwan Strait. After living in Taiwan for a little over two years, I fell in love with the beautiful island. Taiwan is so much more than a high-tech urban jungle that exports products to the U.S. And Canada; it’s a multi-faceted nation that will appeal to the most adventurous of travelers. But first—let’s talk about teaching/living here and what you can expect.
Why Teach English in Taiwan?
This is a guest post by the talented travel blogger Rhonda Mix.
How does one find a job in Taiwan?
Avoid recruiters/placement agencies if at all possible. While some of them are legit, the majority of these headhunters place teachers in shady schools with equally shady contracts. Naively, I made the mistake of signing on with one such school through a recruiting agency while I still remained in the U.S. I stayed at the school for only a couple of months before finding a much better job on my own after I discovered the school ran on unscrupulous business practices. Word of advice? Secure a 90 day tourist Visa and look for jobs to begin the ARC process asap when you arrive in the country. Visit the schools, talk to the employees, do online research on bulletin boards and forums. One of the best places to find legitimate jobs is Tealit.com. During my two years living in Taiwan I worked for two wonderful schools I found through this site.
Though the pay is not quite as high as Korea, most English teachers can expect to live comfortably and save at the same time due to the low cost of living. An average starting salary is around 60,000 NT per month (about 1,933.55 U.S. Dollars). Apartments are fairly cheap depending on where you choose to live and some schools offer subsidized living as part of the employment agreement. Some schools offer a bonus and/or flight home as a reward for completing the duration of your contract.
The hours and days you work will vary from school to school so this is important to understand when looking for a job. Some schools will offer weekends off while others require working weekends, various shifts, and even traveling to various branches of the school. Another reason why it’s critical to do your research before signing a contract.
What’s teaching in Taiwan like?
I really enjoyed teaching ESL in Taiwan. My personal favorites were the little kids—these kids came in knowing absolutely nothing and I started them on the basics, such as ABC’s. By the end of the year they were reading short books and sending me text messages on my phone. With this age group a lot of drawing, miming, acting, music, and flash cards will come in handy. I also taught grade-school and junior high aged students. These students were a little more difficult as their Chinese school schedules can become very hectic and the last thing they want to do is sit and hear their foreign teacher blab away at the buxiban at the end of the day. For these kids it’s best to have entertaining games and group activities available to keep their attention. A great place for gathering ideas is Dave’s ESL Cafe.
What’s living in Taiwan like?
Be prepared for an assault on your senses. Taiwan is not for the faint of heart and from personal experience you’ll either love it or hate it. The cities can be chaotic—be prepared to dodge an endless parade of scooters, cars, trucks, food vendors, elderly people riding bicycles and motorized wheelchairs, pedestrians, and aggressive street dogs at any given moment. Pedestrians do not have the right-of-way and traffic lights are optional. If you’re up for the challenge, driving is quite the adventure and also extremely dangerous, so be on guard. Public transportation, such as the MRT, HSR, or bus system can be very crowded as well. Locals will be violating your personal space on all levels. People walk fast, talk fast, and frequently don’t look where they’re going. Sometimes the stench from the sewer vents rises up in the heat of the summer…competing for the stinkiest award with the stinky tofu vendors lining the streets.
Despite these unpleasantries however, Taiwan has more positives than negatives. The cities, crowded as they are, depict a colorful blend of tradition and modernity. Temples and lively food markets spring up between shopping malls and business districts. Outside the cities, in the Taiwanese countryside, the mountains, villages, and coastline ignite a passion that seduces and enchants those looking for an escape from city living. I fell in love with the more remote regions of Taiwan. In these regions visitors will discover Taiwan as it once was, a truly majestic island full of mystery and deep cultural roots.
Best places to explore:
Some of my favorites include Yangmingshan Mountain and its hot springs, Shilin Night Market, Taroko Gorge and Hualien, Sun Moon Lake in Nantou, Kaohsiung, Sun Link Sea, Hehuan mountain, Chingjing Farm near Puli, Maokong Tea Fields, and Fulong beach. Other hotspots are Kenting National Park, Jade Mountain, Orchid Island, Green Island, and Penghu Island. There are many more beautiful places for nature lovers, hikers, climbers, surfers, and outdoor enthusiasts to discover as well.
If you want to live in Taiwan, you must keep an open mind and open heart. The people of Taiwan are some of the nicest you’ll meet but at the same time foreigners should not take advantage of their hospitality. Though many Taiwanese do speak English, it’s best to learn as much Mandarin as you possibly can, especially if you’ll be working in the more remote regions where English is very rarely spoken. For more information on living/working in Taiwan, please visit Tealit’s ARC, Working, and Contracts page.
This is a guest post from Rhonda Mix – a freelance photographer & writer with extensive experience living overseas, traveling abroad and teaching English in Taiwan. Connect with Rhonda on her popular travel blogs Bamboo Butterfly & Midwestern Adventures and be sure to follow her on twitter and facebook as well.
How To Find A Job Teaching English in Taiwan
Teaching English in Taiwan is a popular career choice for individuals seeking to work abroad. Taiwan’s demand for English teachers has grown substantially in recent years, offering numerous opportunities for qualified and dedicated teachers. In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to find a job teaching English in Taiwan.
The first step to teaching English in Taiwan is to determine your eligibility. To teach English in Taiwan, you must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, possess a clean criminal record, and be a citizen of a country where English is the primary language. Additionally, possessing a teaching certificate or TESOL/TEFL certification is preferred, but not always necessary.
After determining eligibility, the second step is to research job opportunities. A popular way to find teaching jobs in Taiwan is through online job boards such as Teachaway, Dave’s ESL Cafe, or ESL101. Another option is to use a recruitment agency specializing in placing English teachers in Taiwan, such as Reach to Teach, HESS International Educational Group, or Teach Taiwan.
The third step is to prepare your documents. Before applying for a teaching job in Taiwan, you will need to have several documents ready, including your resume, cover letter, copies of your passport and degree, a recent photo, and a criminal background check. You may also need to obtain a health certificate and a certificate of English proficiency.
Once your documents are prepared, the fourth step is to apply for jobs. Some job postings may require you to complete an online application or submit your documents through email. It’s essential to tailor your application to each job, emphasizing your relevant experience and qualifications.
If your application is successful, the fifth step is to attend an interview. The interview may be conducted over the phone, via video call, or in-person if you are already in Taiwan. During the interview, the employer may ask about your teaching philosophy, your experience working with children or adults, and your willingness to adapt to a new culture.
The sixth and final step is to obtain a work permit. Before you can start teaching in Taiwan, you will need to obtain a work permit. Your employer will typically apply for this on your behalf, but you will need to provide additional documents such as your diploma and health certificate. The process can take several weeks, so it’s essential to plan accordingly.
Finding a job teaching English in Taiwan requires research, preparation, and perseverance. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of finding a teaching position that is both rewarding and fulfilling. It’s important to remain patient and flexible throughout the hiring process, as the teaching culture in Taiwan may differ from what you are used to. With the right qualifications and attitude, however, you can embark on an exciting and fulfilling teaching adventure in Taiwan.
Where To Travel In Taiwan While Teaching English
Taiwan is a beautiful country with a rich culture and history, making it an ideal destination for travelers. If you are teaching English in Taiwan and have some free time, there are numerous places to explore and experience. In this article, we provide some suggestions on where to travel in Taiwan while teaching English.
One of the must-visit places in Taiwan is Taipei, the capital city. Taipei offers a blend of modern city life and traditional culture. Taipei 101, once the tallest building in the world, is a popular attraction with its observation deck offering stunning views of the city. The National Palace Museum is another popular destination, displaying thousands of years of Chinese history and culture. Taipei also has numerous night markets, where visitors can sample local street food and immerse themselves in the vibrant night market culture.
Another must-visit destination is the stunning Taroko Gorge, located in the eastern part of Taiwan. The Taroko Gorge is a natural wonder featuring towering cliffs, deep valleys, and crystal-clear rivers. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike through the gorge and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. The area also features several hot springs and is home to the indigenous Taroko people.
For those interested in history, the town of Tainan is an excellent destination to explore Taiwan’s past. Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan and is known for its well-preserved historic sites, including temples, shrines, and fortresses. Visitors can also experience the traditional Taiwanese lifestyle by visiting local markets and sampling the local delicacies.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed destination, the coastal town of Kenting is an excellent choice. Kenting is a popular beach destination with clear blue waters and white sand beaches. Visitors can enjoy a range of water activities, including swimming, snorkeling, and surfing. Kenting is also home to several nature reserves and parks, making it a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts.
Taiwan offers a diverse range of destinations for travelers to explore and experience. While teaching English in Taiwan, taking some time to travel and explore the country can be an enriching and rewarding experience. From vibrant cities to stunning natural wonders, Taiwan has something to offer everyone.