Average total work hours?


I’m new here. I’ll probably be posting often with more questions. :smiley:

I’ve been tossing around the idea of going to Taiwan to teach English for a while. I have a BA and one year of previous teaching experience teaching at a college in Japan. Additionally, I was a Chinese language tutor (hired by my professor) while in college. I speak Japanese and Chinese (Mandarin). I’m guessing that I would only be able to work at a buxiban. (I don’t have TESL/TEFL and can’t really afford one right now.)

I understand that typical teaching hours are around 25 hours a week, when working full time. Does this usually include prep time, grading, etc.?

How many hours can one expect to work being salaried/full time as an ESL instructor in Taiwan?

On a side note, how much can one expect to pay monthly for food and utilities without being excessive?

Thanks for the help!

Some employers don’t want to recognize non-classroom time as work time. Legally speaking, the term “teaching related duties” is supposed to include lesson planning etc.

You roughly spend around 500NT a day on food including three meals and some snacks in between. However, it really depends on your personal diet. Some people like eating western food, which tends to be 500NT a plate, whereas local food like a bento is around 50-100NT.

For utilities, if you’re sharing an apartment with 1-2 other people, it’s normally 1000NT for TV/internet/water. Electricity may vary due to the rates per kilowatt being different in the winter/summer.

Yeah, that’s what I figured. Do you usually get other hours at work to do prep, lesson plans, etc.? Or is it more something you have to do at home?

I’m just trying to figure out, in terms of a visa, if one has to work a set amount of hours to be considered full time; and how many hours one can expect to work teaching full time. Am I working a 35 hour work week, 40 hour, 50 hour???

By bento, do you mean like a Japanese bento? :grinning: I’ve read that most apartments include water and electricity in the rent. Is that true? And I’m guessing that if I do pay for utilities (water/TV/internet), my utilities will be around 3000NT a month. I suppose I’m just trying to figure out if total utilities is going to cost me 20000NT plus a month or more like 5000NT.

On a side note, do any of you factor in an emergency fund? I keep reading blogs that give examples of what one may pay and how you can easily pay off your college loans, but none factor in any sort of emergency fund…even if it’s like 1000NT a month. :neutral_face:

When is work time not work time? I have on multiple occasions asked for the name of a buxiban anywhere in Taiwan that follows the law completely, and I have not received an answer. :cry:

Bento is biandang in Mandarin.

If you want to avoid working additional hours for free at a buxiban make sure you work at one where you won’t have to do any work in outside of actual teaching. This means avoiding places that have you grade tests and homework, make phone calls to parents, and create lesson plans. Usually you’ll be expected to do those things either without pay, or with lower pay.

Bento boxes may seem like a great bargain, and are, but you can’t expect to eat those everyday, it’s just not healthy. You’ll have to spend a bit more to get some quality food in your diet.

You mean bento is bientang in Nipponese.

Bento = bian dang = boxed lunch. I assume the term hails from Japan, but the contents of the boxed lunch are a little different in Taiwan.

Some rentals may include water/cable/internet in their rent, if it includes electricity, that means you’ve hit the jackpot. Everyone’s goal is to have at least one utility covered.

There’s some other threads on here that go in depth on utilities. Use the search function!

No, it’s bento in “Nipponese”. If you want to go Wade-Giles on us, it should be pientang. If you want to go Song Dynasty on us but with modern romanization, apparently the transcription would be the same. Scholars and time travelers are welcome to contest this. (Sorry, no space cadets.)

That’s what I said??
You said “Bento is biandang in Mandarin.”
But “bento” is a Nipponese word.

You’re high, right?

Raccoon, in Chinese, is bear-who-washes.

Happy now? :smiley:


I guess it’s better than goaltender-who-never-washes, which is Mandarin for Brother @Toe_Save

When they say I stink, it’s skill related, not odor-wise.