If you consider yourself a city person, Taipei is a great place to teach. There are always many teaching position open, both part and full time throughout the year. But the key factor for many teachers is really the convenience. Unlike a lot of other cities in Taiwan, the nightlife in Taipei is vibrant and you won’t run out of places to go anytime soon. Italian, Japanese, French, German and any other cuisine you can imagine is readily available. Plus, there are tons of malls, night markets and bargain stores  so you can shop until you drop.

Teaching English in Taipei

Teaching English in Taipei

Their are a few drawbacks to living in Taipei though as well. At nearly 3 million people, it is densely packed. So it can take a bit of time to get used to the crowded conditions, especially if you are from the suburbs or a more rural town. Also, the wages (relative to living expenses) are not as good as in many smaller cities throughout Taiwan. But in many of these smaller towns, there is really not that much to do throughout the year.

So if you’ve got the city life of Taiwan in your sights, try teaching English in Taipei. You won’t regret it.

I’ve been asked this question quite a bit, so here goes …

Legally? No you cannot. To get a work visa, you must have a BA degree from a 4 year university.

But, I know of two workarounds that people have used.

College Diploma

1.) Working off-the-books

I know a few people still teach, get paid off the books (no taxes) and then either (A) leave the country every 60 days to renew their visa or (B) Enroll in a language school (getting a student visa) and then teach on the side.

2.) Using a fake diploma

This one takes pretty big cojones but I did meet someone who did this. They borrowed a friend’s degree, scanned it and doctored the name using Photoshop. I never saw the final results, but apparently it must have looked pretty good because he was approved for his work visa and permit.

That being said, both methods are risky business. You can get deported for either one if you are caught, but many people do get away with it.

Sunrise at Kenting Beach

Sunrise at Kenting Beach

Aside from being fun and interesting place, filled with tons of culture and friendly people, teaching in Taiwan is also a great way to beat the recession. In Taiwan, jobs for English teachers are abundant, the requirements are minimal, and the pay is generous. The cost of living in Taiwan is low, the climate is very pleasant, and the people are very welcoming to foreigner. But there are lots of places in Asia to teach English, you may say. Why Taiwan?

Reason 1: The pay

There are three major English teaching destinations in Asia: Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. It is easy to find work teaching English almost anywhere in Asia, but most other countries are relatively poor, which translates into little or no savings for the teacher.

Teaching Jobs in Taiwan pay between about  US$18 – $25 per hour and the costs of living (depending on where you live) can be 25% – 50-% lower than it would be in most Western countries. The pay in Korea is currently very similar to Taiwan. Japan can be a wonderful place to teach, but the extremely high costs of living tend to cancel out any savings

Reason 2: Weather

Unlike Japan, and Korea, Taiwan does not  have cold winters and it never snows.  Taiwan is a sub-tropical island with the southern part being  on the same latitude as places like Puerto Vallarta Mexico, and Northern Vietnam. Once you get outside of Taipei, you ‘ll quickly see that Taiwan is filled with sand beaches, palm trees, and lush jungles.

Reason 3: People

This probably should have been listed at #1. The people in Taiwan are possibly the friendliest people in the world when it comes to welcoming foreigners. Crime is almost non-existent and if you get lost, people will go out of their way to help you out. In comparison, Japan and Korea have a reputation for being a bit xenophobic towards foreigners at times.

So if you’re looking for great pay, friendly people and a dose of tropical paradise, you simply can’t beat the Taiwan experience.

Probably not. Accepting employment ahead of time usually works to your disadvantage.

First, you are accepting a position with a school who you know little or nothing about. If you get there and the school is a dive or you boss ends up being a jerk, there is little that you can do since you are already committed to a one year contract.

Secondly, your salary will also suffer. Recruiters are paid a fairly large upfront payment by schools whenever they place a teacher in a job. They also usually get a bonus of after that teacher completes his/her contract or signs a new one. Recruiters take advantage of the fact that foreigners don’t know the normal pay scale in Taiwan and will offer smaller salaries with less hours.

There are always plenty of job openings for teachers in Taiwan. Fly over, take some time and go on some interviews. You’ll be glad you did.

Welcome to my blog about teaching English in Taiwan. I’ve been loved it over here for the past five years. So, I’ll fire out some tips from time to time about teaching ESL and what life in general is like over here.

If you’re itching for some more info, I also have some job hunting tips posted on my teaching English in Taiwan page over at Squidoo. So enjoy!

Flag of Taipei

Flag of Taipei

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