Teaching English in Taiwan

The Ultimate guide to teaching English in Taiwan

Why teach in Taiwan?

If you are dreaming of living and teaching English in Asia, Taiwan is a great destination! The country has beautiful sceneries, good weather year-round, delicious food, and high demand for ESL teachers. From the exciting capital Taipei to beautiful port city Kaohsiung, and art lover’s city of Taichung, there’s something for everyone in Taiwan.

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Teaching-English-in-Taiwan-Salary

Teaching English in Taiwan Salary

The average salary for an ESL teacher in Taiwan ranges from $2,000 to $2,400 (60,000 to 75,000 NT$) per month. It varies depending on your qualifications, the type of job you choose, where you teach, etc.

 

What Are the Job Requirements?

The requirements for ESL teaching jobs in Taiwan are quite strict, mostly due to the country’s visa requirements to work as a foreigner. You must have:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree or above
  • TEFL/TESOL/CELTA Certificate or an equivalent of 2 years of proven teaching experience
  • No Criminal Record
  • A completed medical examination (performed in Taiwan)
  • A passport from one of these English-speaking countries: UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand
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Types of ESL Teaching Jobs in Taiwan

ESL teaching opportunities in Taiwan include:

  • Elementary and kindergarten “buxibans” aka private after-school learning institutions: It generally requires lots of energy and enthusiasm to teach younger students.
  • High school buxibans: These positions are rare, mostly test prep courses like TOEFL or IELTS. You’ll need extra preparation for advanced teaching materials.
  • Private schools: Foreigner ESL teachers can get hired full-time at private schools in Taiwan too. Work is demanding but the pay is great.
  • Public schools: There’s never a shortage of teaching jobs in Taiwan public schools. You’ll get other benefits on top of your monthly compensation such as performance bonus, housing allowance, airfare, health insurance and paid vacation.
  • Universities: There are some (yet hard-to-find) teaching opportunities for foreigners at universities in Taiwan if you have the required credentials and teaching experiences. You’ll need a minimum of a Master’s Degree.
  • Tutoring: While this is a good way to earn money in Taiwan, you’ll need a permanent residency that allows you to work independently. If you obtain your work visa through a school, you must work for them.

How to Get a Job in Taiwan?

There are numerous platforms and recruiting agencies out there you can look into. We can find a list of local schools in Taiwan here or help you find English teaching jobs in Taiwan! There are numerous daily job postings for teaching English abroad on our “Teach English Abroad Jobs” Facebook group.

Overall, it’s not recommended to arrive in Taiwan on a visitor’s visa then look for work. If Taiwan immigration knows that you’re looking for a job on such a short-term visa, you’ll not be granted the visa or worse, banned from the country for five years.

The Cost of Living in Taiwan

The cost of living in Taiwan is affordable, compared to other countries. Here’s an example of basic costs in Taiwan per month:

  • Rent: ~$160 in rural areas or ~$500 in cities for a room in a shared flat. However, in a lot of teaching job contracts in Taiwan, this should be covered by your employer.
  • Utilities: ~$60.
  • Phone & Internet: ~$10 to $20.
  • Food: It can be as low as $3 per meal if you eat at local restaurants or street stalls. Western restaurants are expensive though. You may also cook at home to save on food.
  • Transportation: The MRT in Taipei is extremely clean, efficient, and cheap. Taxis aren’t expensive either. You can get your own scooter or bike to get around as well!
  • Insurance: The healthcare system in Taiwan is advanced while the costs are low. Moreover, employers are legally required to cover their employees’ health insurance.
  •  To sum up, with the salary listed above, you can save a substantial amount of money while teaching English in Taiwan, up to $1,000 per month

Quick Facts About Taiwan

  • The capital of Taiwan is Taipei.
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese.
  • Population: 23.6 million (2018).
  • Currency: New Taiwan Dollar (NT$).
  • Climate: Subtropical in the north, tropical in the south. It’s very hot and humid during the summer (from April/May to October/November).
  • Adult literacy rate in Taiwan: 96%.
  • Tipping is not customary in Taiwan.
  • Lunch nap is a thing here!.

Where Should I Live and Teach in Taiwan?

Most ESL teaching jobs in Taiwan come from these four major cities:

  • Taipei is the capital and largest city in Taiwan. The city’s significantly high number of English teaching jobs makes Taipei most accommodating for foreigners. Taipei is also an epicenter of publishing, arts, and music, while being the most expensive city to live in with furious job competition.

  • In the south of Taiwan, Kaohsiung is an industrial city and the second largest city. It has modern facilities, yet is lesser known to many Westerners living in Taiwan. The population of ESL teachers here in the past few years has grown rapidly.

  • Located a few hours south of Taipei, Taichung also has numerous English teachers. Taichung is packed with foreigner-owned restaurants and bars in one small area of the city. It’s the third largest city in Taiwan with more affordable real estate and great weather year-round.

  • Tainan is a smaller city with fewer teaching jobs, thus weaker competition. You’ll find a bit more of a culture shock living in this area if you don’t know the language. However, there’s a small bonding foreigner community living in this area.

The Working Environment for ESL Teachers in Taiwan

Firstly, it helps to understand that Chinese parents have high expectations for their kids and use a different approach than Westerners do. The education system in Taiwan focuses on immediate results and usually employs memorization. Thus, examination and test scores are often the main metrics of measuring students’ success.

The work hours vary upon schools. On average, you’ll teach around 20 hours a week, excluding time spent preparing your lessons. For public school positions, you’re expected to work business hours (8am to 4pm Monday through Friday or 9am to 3pm for kindergartens). Buxibans/cram schools will have evening and weekend classes.

Transportation in Taiwan: Get Around and Explore

Owning a car in crowded metropolitan areas in Taiwan is pretty luxurious! The locals rely on public transportation, ride-sharing apps (Didi/Uber), taxi, or their own bike and scooter:

  • Taxis are meter-based and easy to find in large cities. However, most taxi drivers do not speak English, thus get your destination name written down in Chinese by somebody who knows Mandarin before you try to get a ride.
    Metro (MRT) works in Taipei and Kaohsiung from 6am to midnight. It’s the most convenient way to travel with relatively cheap fares. FYI, the prepaid “Easy Card” gives 20% discount.
    Bus is the cheapest way to travel around Taiwan with connections between cities. A one-way bus journey costs just 50 cents. However in Taipei, the prices base on distance traveled.
    Taiwan’s railway track covers almost 1,500 kilometers all around the country, offering a convenient way to go from major towns and cities to one another. It’s advisable to book a ticket in advance and collect it at the station or at a post office.
    Taiwan high-speed rail (THSR) runs along the west coast for 345 kilometers with 8 stations, from Taipei to Zuoying. This means that you can travel from Taipei to Kaohsiung in just 2 hours! It’s also recommended to book THSR ticket in advance.
 
  • Taiwan has many beautiful destinations to explore, from urban cities to nice beaches, tall mountains, and amazing hot springs. It’s also a paradise for foodies! The best meals you can get are at the smallest street stalls with just a few plastic chairs as well as at night markets in Taipei. Food is cheap and delicious!

Lifestyle

You don’t need to know Mandarin to live and teach English in Taiwan, though it would definitely help make your life easier outside of your school. There’s a large Buddhist population in Taiwan with many vegetarian options. There’s no tipping culture in Taiwan, so just pay the exact amount written on the bill.

Taiwanese people are friendly. You’ll see that young people are often occupied with their smartphones and electronic devices (but so are people all over the world!)

The work hours vary upon schools. On average, you’ll teach around 20 hours a week, excluding time spent preparing your lessons. For public school positions, you’re expected to work business hours (8am to 4pm Monday through Friday or 9am to 3pm for kindergartens). Buxibans/cram schools will have evening and weekend classes.

What Do I Need to Get My English Teaching Visa for Taiwan?

Here are some basic requirements you need to meet before you qualify for a visa and work permit in Taiwan:

  • You must hold a passport from a native English speaking country (valid for at least 6 months)

  • You must have a University degree (original copy)

  • You must have a job offer from a school or institution in Taiwan willing to sponsor your work permit

  • You must pass a criminal background check and a health check

  • You must provide 2 passport photos and a copy of flight itineraries

This work visa will enable you to achieve your Alien Resident Certificate, basically your ID and your visa in Taiwan, which allows you to own a scooter and rent an apartment in your name.

While the process seems lengthy, don’t worry because your employer or recruiting company will help guide you through this.

Are you looking for opportunities to teach English abroad in Taiwan? Check out our Teach English Abroad Facebook group for daily job listings.

The work hours vary upon schools. On average, you’ll teach around 20 hours a week, excluding time spent preparing your lessons. For public school positions, you’re expected to work business hours (8am to 4pm Monday through Friday or 9am to 3pm for kindergartens). Buxibans/cram schools will have evening and weekend classes.

Local Schools in Taiwan

HESS

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Lists Of Teach Abroad Jobs

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