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Teaching English in Taiwan
High salaries, plenty of work

Teaching English in Taiwan is a wonderful alternative if you want to experience traditional Chinese culture - as it intersects with Western modernism - yet feel teaching English in China isn't for you.

Taipei TaiwanTaipei - a city among cities

Taiwan, once known as Formosa (I know this from my childhood stamp collection), is the 'other China', the one mainland China is always threaten to invade and reunify. Ties have become closer over the years only to deteriorate with the whoosh of political winds. There are still two Chinas, for better or for worse.

This is a more offbeat destination, not on the usual backpacker trail across Asia, yet you'll find everything you usually find in many parts of Southeast or East Asia: great food, lush rainforests, fabulous beaches and cities that buzz with nightlife. People are welcoming, possibly in part because comparatively fewer Western tourists make it there. And don't forget the hot springs!

There is plenty of work teaching English in Taiwan (although it's not as plentiful as it used to be) and the pay is good - up to US$20 an hour and in some cases even more.

EU citizens can get jobs teaching English in France or teaching English in Spain, so Taiwan is an attractive option if you're from the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. 

Taiwan landscapeTaiwan isn't just Taipei - it's also known for its physical beauty

You can look for a job or a place to stay before getting to Taiwan through one of the many recruitment agencies on the web or through English-language classifieds, some of which are listed in the Resources section below. 

Or, you can wait until you arrive. There are several English-language newspapers with classified ads, and they are crammed full of teaching jobs. Another of my favorites for classifieds is Craigslist. Your hostel should have a bulletin board, and fellow foreigners should be able to give you a few pointers as well.

Are you planning to teach in Taiwan?

You can either find a job before you come or, like many others, come on a visitor or student visa and hope for the best. It's not a terribly difficult process but you do need to have your paperwork in order.

Here's a list of what you need:

  • A job (see resources below)
  • Your original degree (you need a bacherlor's degree to teach in Taiwan)
  • A passport valid for six months or more.
  • A physical examination certificate, which you can do at many Taiwanese hospitals.
  • A passport-sized photo.
  • A signed employment contract.
  • The fee.

English teaching resources for Taiwan

  • The form for your residency card - the Alien Resident Card - can be downloaded here.
  • One of the best web resources for teaching English overseas is always Dave's ESL Cafe.
  • If you're looking for a job, check out the English in Taiwan website classifieds.
  • Toshuo is a personal blog filled with excellent information about teaching in Taiwan.
  • No credentials yet? Register for online TEFL courses at MyTEFL (They'll give readers of Women on the Road a 35% discount if you use my special promo code "SCRIBE35").
  • The foreigners' hotline is 0800-024-1111.