The newbie thread


Hello, all I am writing to get a taste of what to expect in Taiwan. I have done a lot of research and I have a friend currently in Kaohsiung and I have discovered that it is probably the place to go. Less expensive than Taipei an with more job opportunities. I am going to have a BA but no TEFL certificate. If there is any advice I can get that would be grand. I will be coming in January and just hoping for the best. Probably have about a grand, hopefully two, will that be enough to survive? Keep the posts flowin! Thanks


You probably need to be a little more specific with your questions.


That will always be a big help. To answer one, with a BA and a passport from a native English speaking nation you don't need a TESOL certificate.

I'll try to keep a summary of useful links here.

Many questions can be answered on the search page, for example questions about the big chains. Try selecting "Teaching English in Taiwan" under "Search in Forums" and "Topic Titles Only" under "Search Within."


Some help below on the money question:

[url= much money should I bring?[/url]
[url= much money can I save?[/url]
How much money needed to get by?

Info on the current job market:

Current Lack of Jobs
Kaohsiung hourly pay rate
[url= is the job market for English teachers right now?[/url]
[url=]Newbie question: how is the job market for English Teachers[/url]
[url=]What's an average salary for a teacher there?[/url]
[url= salary expectations[/url]

Links to posts on how race may affect hiring:

[url= Colour[/url]

Who can teach in Taiwan?

Teach English w/o a passport from 1 of 'the 7 countries'?
Possibility of Teaching ESL for Filipina Instructor

General newbie threads:

Long term prospects of teaching English
How long did it take to get your first teaching job

The kindy issue:

Kindergarten laws

Please Help - I am new to Taipei - and I can't find a job - From US - BA economics

2000 USD is about right. 1000 is a bit low, unless you have a friend to stay with or get accommodation provided by your employer. (KOJEN does this. You pay but they provide a room in an apratment shared with other teachers.) 1000 USD is about 32,000 NTD, which is enough for one month of cheap living. The problem is that to rent a place they may ask for a few months deposit. Also, it make take you 2 weeks to find a job, then another week to actually start working. They may start you on a few classes at first to see how you do, and then give you more over time. But that means you won't be earning much at first, maybe. Then there's the pay system here, which is usually getting paid on the 10th of the following month (sometimes the 5th, sometimes the 15th in different places). Then, there is always a chance you will need to do a visa run to Hong Kong which will burn about 20,000 NTD. So having 2000 USD (= 64,000 NTD) is a safer bet.


I have a few questions regarding the job market right now as well. I have heard that the job market is struggling right now and that it is actually more difficult to get a job now than in previous years. I also heard that many of the school require a demo during the interview to see how you do. I have never taught anything in my life, so I wonder how I would do in this situation. Do you believe I would have any issues getting a job in January, probably in Kaohsiung?


So I'm interested in teaching in Taiwan, ideally in Taipei City but I suppose I can be flexible since jobs are tough to come by. I want to start soon and continue until Aug 2010. I have B.A. but I don't have any teaching certification. I'm Taiwanese-American (harder to get a job, from what I hear). I'm in the US right now. I'm male.

I've been sending out my resume to places I've found on but no luck yet. What should I do? Keep sending them out and hope for the best? Would it be worth it to just go to Taipei (have family in the city) and try to get a job there? Does it hurt that I only want to teach until Aug and a lot of them have one year contracts?

Basically, how bad of a situation am I in? How hard is it gonna be for me to get a job?



These questions have been asked and answered ad nauseum over recent weeks but to condense the answers here are few.

  1. Difficult, possibly.
  2. There are a few chains that hire from OS try Hess for 1
  3. Get your ass out here. Schools are crap at replying to e-mail requests and its easier to find a job on the ground.
  4. There are short term contracts available but think about staying for a year.

Good luck


Yes. These questions have been answered about a million times. Spend the next 12 hours reading through the forum threads and you'll find your answers. Get yourself a big pot of coffee, sit back, relax and start reading here.-->Teaching English In Taiwan.

One piece of advice. I recommend Kojen Language Schools. I know of one branch that currently has three Taiwanese employed and paid as "foreign teachers" because they possess a US passport. They haven't lived in America since they were little children, they are not in Taiwan on their US passport with an ARC card, and they never speak English except when they teach English. Oh, and their English is heavily accented shit. They are absolutely NOT native English speakers. So, if you are the real deal, an American who happens to look Taiwanese, you might try Kojen. If they are willing to hire non-native English speaking passport holders and pass them off as foreign English teachers, then they would surely hire you if there were a position available. :2cents:


Kojen looks alright... it says I can break their 1-yr contract, which is a plus. Since I can't find an e-mail on their site, I assume I should be in Taipei first and then call them?

I've also read a bit about Global Village... I can't even find their contact info! How would I go about applying there?

Oh, and what is the deal with the school year in Taiwan? Does it vary school to school? Would it matter, in terms of just getting a job, if I came now rather than in January?


I wouldn't waste my time trying to contact any schools via email or telephone. The best thing is to just show up in Taiwan and hit the pavement with a nice appearance and a fist full of resumes. I wouldn't mention breaking the contract upfront with any schools. Get the job first, and break it later as long as you give proper notice per your contract. You can just tell them that your personal plans have changed when the time comes to break the contract. For Kojen, you don't need to apply at the main office. You can do that, but it might be better just to get a list of their branches and walk in and speak to the educational directors and try to get hired at the branch closest to where you want to live. If you apply at the head office, they will send you where they want to send you.

Same thing. Get here and then walk into the branch nearest your residence and apply.

There's really no such thing as a "school year" in terms of the cram schools. They operate all year round.

Not if you're looking at a cram school.

Good luck!


Some info on that in these threads:


If you are applying only at the jobs on tealit it may be hard to find a job because you are probably one of many applying for the same job. And if you don't have experience you won't make the cut. That's the problem I had when I first came here. Finally I just started walking around the mrt stations I lived by dropping off resumes at any cram school I saw. I found a job within 2 days of doing that rather than 2 weeks of tealit demos.


Kaohsiung is a little less expensive than Taipei, but you are totally wrong about the job opportunities. Kaohsiung's job market has been very bad lately; tons of teachers competing for very few jobs. Taipei has a lot more jobs available.


I am in the same predicament as the OP. I know everyone says just get to Taiwan and apply at the buxibans themselves. The problem is that I cannot read Chinese and do not have a clue as to how to find a listing of buxibans in my area. I have asked around if there is a phone book but apparently nobody uses them here anymore. I am in the Muzha district of Taipei City. Does anyone know of a way to find listings of buxibans in my area besides using google map? When I searched for buxibans around my area on google maps they gave me random businesses.


It's a lot of leg work, get out there and walk around the schools are easy enough to spot, take a copy of your CV and see what happens or contact HESS or one of the other chains


You really should just walk around your neighbourhood in some nice clothes resumes in hand and call into every buxiban you see. Failing that call some recruiters. If you search this site you will see the ones that are good and the ones that are bad.


Get off the damn computer and out on the street. Look for an elementary school. There will be about 2 or 3 dozen cram schools in the immediate area. Can't miss 'em.

You don't need to read Chinese, either. They generally have English signs.




Call Hess, get an address to a school in a desired location, then go there to find all the smaller schools that were there before they built theirs.


Essentially, is the best idea to just go to Taiwan with no visa, and hit the pavement giving out resumes, and hope for the best? If 30 days elapse, then hop on a plane to Hong Kong or Guam or something and then come back after a few days?

Are there risks that they wont let you back into the country if you do this a few times?

On a slightly related note, what is the dress code for a teacher? Do you have to slacks and a dress shirt? Or is it casual?