Advice for prospective English Teacher seeking Taipei employment + other cities

Hello everyone, I am a soon to be college graduate graduating with a Master of Education in May 2024. My undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Arts degree for English Language and Literature. I am currently looking for English teaching jobs in Taipei, and I am taking a course to get TEFL certified at the moment. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on some of the schools I am looking at right now- Shane English School, Stanford American Language School, Wanfu English, Neurolink English Academy, Tree House Academy, Wego Private School, Hsinchu International Academy, and the government’s Taiwan Foreign Teacher English Program. I am interested in hearing from anyone who has recently worked at one of these schools and/or is in the application process with them about the quality of these places.

While I would prefer somewhere that would let me live in a Taipei apartment, I’m open to being in areas close to Taipei as long as I can live comfortably in a clean apartment with amenities such as electricity, running water, and wi-fi.

@nz is your go to.

It’s a bit of a lottery but if you get a decent public school, it’s definitely better in my opinion. The advantage of cram school is that you typically get fewer hours so you can be more flexible with your time.

Public schools will be full time schedule. It also means you only get time off twice a year basically (plus public holidays). You still work through the summer and winter vacation but you can only use annual leave in either of those times. Most schools won’t tolerate you taking time off outside the summer or winter.


A Masters in education doesn’t typically qualify someone to teach in their own country, which is a requirement for the government schools. However, there is a supply/demand issue so they will often accept a substitute teaching license, which in some places (I’m thinking here some states in the US) is easy to get. If you can get a substitute teaching license easily where you are, I’d suggest that

You don’t need a masters in education to work public schools you need a teachers license or a substitute license but I think only American sub licenses are accepted

Yes, that was my point, the masters isn’t as helpful as a sub license. Even a PhD in Education from my home country doesn’t certify me to teach in my home country!

I didn’t know only US sub licenses were accepted, that would be useful info if true (original poster hasn’t told us where they are)

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I know for a fact us sub licenses are accepted because I got my sub license and then got my full teaching license. For a minute when my license was set to expire, the school was worried they wouldn’t be able to resign my contact, but after I showed that my sub license was still active, it was no problem.

You can buy a sub license for the state of Illinois. It has no requirements except having a bachelor’s degree, submitting a background check and paying a fee


Can anyone do this from anywhere?

I think it has to be from your home country which means only Americans can use American sub license this way.

Now I think about it, it might be that all countries sub licenses are accepted but only the us has this loop hole?

If you mean if you’re American can you do it from Taiwan? The answer is yes, you can file everything online

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I was wrong, you don’t need the background check, only to send official transcripts from your bachelors degree and to pay the fee of course. ($50 fee)


Yikes. Most of those schools are cram schools, so be aware that if you care at all about anything you’ve learned in the course of getting your masters degree, you will want to curl up in a ball and die before your first class has even started if you work at them. They are not educational institutions, but rather babysitting services. This includes any day schools that are private. It’s very telling when a school requires teachers to have “one year of cram school teaching or equivalent” or, even better “a teaching license OR permanent residency through marriage or work”. Don’t go near those schools. They are all jokes and charge parents insane amounts of money for their children to go to them but will pay you pathetically low.

If you’re American and can get a sub license, of the schools you’ve listed, the FET program is the least likely to give you unnecessary amounts of hassle and frustration, but you can search for the things I’ve posted to know that I don’t think very highly of anything related to English education here. The public schools just can’t get away with law breaking the way private ones can. The only reason I’ve stayed as long as I have is that I established my entire adult social life in Taiwan and teaching still pays the bills. But the “WTF” moments I’ve dealt with are insane compared to what I’ve seen in US schools (maybe I just had the best possible opportunities in the US?). As someone who actually cares about what actually works in the world of education, it’s a constant struggle to put up with the utter stupidity of 99.9% of people in charge.

Whatever you do, when you get your contract, make sure you have absolutely everything, to excess, in your contract. Leave nothing out. How many hours will you be teaching? When is your prep time? What time do you need to arrive? What time can you go home? When are school breaks? Do you have off during school breaks? Make sure that’s in there! I was at a job where I found out after I booked my flight home for a break that the other teachers planned to come in every day, even though that time off was something I had specifically quadruple checked was in the contract before I signed. So my colleagues were just stupid, but I could have been in a bad spot if my contract wasn’t clear. If there is expected desk warming, when?Can you go for walks or go out to buy coffee when you’re not teaching? Are there clubs they expect you to run? If so, what clubs and at what additional pay? Is there funding for the club? If not, how are you supposed to run the club properly? Note that in experimental schools there should be a 1:10 ratio of adults to students (by law). Make sure there’s something in the contract that reinforces this, as you could well end up with just yourself and a hundred wildly out of control, no idea what discipline is children and be held accountable when they inevitably do something insanely stupid. Also, make sure that you have in your contract the classes you’re going to teach. If you’re an English teacher, are you teaching English or are they going to have you teach PE or art or music or another subject you are in no way qualified to teach? When I say “ask every question” I do mean ask every question and make sure the answer is clearly written in your contract.

You’ll live and learn, but that’s about all I can say here. Just search my username and read all my rants to understand more😂. PM me if you have specific questions that you don’t think should be posted on a public forum.


Hello, and thank you for the information. Yes, I am an American and based on what everyone has told me- FT seems like my best bet. I was a little concerned about getting a substitute license from Illinois, since that’s not the state I’m from. Is it possible for me to get a substitute teaching license from the state I currently reside in instead? I can start to look into that.

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If you can, let us know how it goes.


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Would it be too late to apply for FT? I’m concerned because I know after Lunar New Year is the best time- I’ve been working on other apps, but I would like to send out the app for this one this weekend since it seems like my best bet. Does anyone have recommendations for…any other reputable schools to apply for? The state of English teaching seems rather dire, but I really do want to come over.

How much teaching experience do you have?

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You don’t need an Illinois-issued drivers license to apply?

And this substitute license allows Americans to teach as a full-time English teacher in public schools in Taiwan? What about other subjects (in English)?

Nobody in Taiwan will care which state you’re from.

In fact, once you move to Taiwan, you won’t legally be from any US state. You will just be a genetic US citizen with Taiwan residency.

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It seems obvious that a university teaching job is right for the OP. However, a while spent in cram schools might be required first

Yeah, it is a crazy loophole, but there are posters on here who have done it:

I figure it is because they can’t get enough fully certified teachers for their needs with what they pay, so this way they get a “certified” teacher without having to raise the pay. 99 times out of 100 it probably doesn’t make a difference, anyways.

If someone has a degree in music, probably they can teach music. The government is pushing EMI but again they don’t have the capacity because of bureaucratic and human resources issues. It would depend on the school offering other things in English and not having someone else who wants to teach the course, and probably teaching English classes would still be required to fill that void. In this case OP has an English major undergrad, so it doesn’t matter


And connections. I took a curious look at the NSTC website today to see if there was anything interesting. I did click on a few language jobs and they all required PhD. Getting the job without a PhD seems possible but difficult…