China longtermer stuck in Taiwan due to COVID looking for a job/visa advice

Hi everyone! I’ve searched the forums but not finding what I need. If you were in my shoes, but also had your knowledge of Taipei, what would you do?

Been living in China since 2007. Flew with my family to Thailand for vacation during Chinese New Year – literally one day before COVID exploded into the news. Could not get back in before the borders closed, and probably won’t get back soon. Our visa-free extended time in Taiwan will be up eventually, so I’m looking for a job/visa.

We’re in Jingmei 景美 in a friend’s empty apartment. Visa is the main thing. I don’t need/want full-time hours. I’ve got upper-intermediate Chinese (HSK 5), and over ten years ESL/EFL ‘foreign teacher’ experience (split between China, Canada, and Taiwan), ages 2.5-70. If that was you, what kind of job would you look for? Going salary rates, work load, etc.? The stuff I found in the forums seemed dated.

I’m familiar with the (corrupt, poorly regulated, and politicized) ‘English teaching’ scene in my China city, but not in Taipei. And you guys have some horror stories! :sweat_smile: I’m about to start dropping in on the nearby buxibans this afternoon.

Much thanks!

Maybe consider yourself lucky to be stuck in Taiwan vs. China? I couldn’t imagine the horror stories are worse here than the mainland.

As for wages, they seem to be pretty stagnant and from what I know haven’t changed much from when I taught 10 years ago. I would think even dated information would be relevant.


You might want to do something about your usename while you’re at it.


Or just switch to 阿兜仔 to make it local


Oh I’m not complaining! We love it here. Our first year in Asia was in Yonghe in 2006 so we’re super glad to be back and seeing old friends (and new friends). Honestly it’s a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively. But our home/job/life is in China, so we’re aiming to get back.

The horror stories in this forum didn’t seem exceptionally bad. But they did seem common enough that I don’t want to go in blind.

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Tell me more?

You love it here so much you never wanted to move here. :joy::joy::joy:
I’d think about if you want a change of career if I was you, at least I would consider it if looking for a job in Taiwan. An office job these days could easily pay more than an English teacher.


Second that, especially someone who has both high Chinese skills and a college degree.

Editor for publishing companies, trade magazines, work at one of the trade offices. Some of the larger international companies, like HTC or others, I´d start looking at 111 jobs in Neihu area.

Bushiban does not sound like the scene you would actively look for. Beware those places that teach kindergarten illegally, those are not for you.

But if you insist, there are a couple of private schools in Xindian, plus local public schools have well paid English programs. Kid Castle, the largest bushiban for language, has the training center in Dapinglin, close to Jinmei.


Many industries doing much better than English industry in Taiwan (which is shrinking) and offer better conditions and pay and advancement. Am surprised somebody with good Chinese and English would bother with a buxiban job to be honest.


Thanks, everyone! That’s all helpful. My main reasons for thinking of English teaching first was because we’re looking for something ultimately temporary, and we’d done the buxiban thing before. But you guys have me considering other stuff now… I’ve worked for magazines before (writing and editing). Mostly we’re Taipei newbies and just don’t know what’s out there.

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Since when do office job salaries pay more than bushibans? Even if they were the pay for most office jobs is still less than what OP probly earned in China.

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Check into the English teaching threads here, a lot of people seem to struggle with getting regular hours, no work no pay, no paid leave , no bonuses.
I think a regular office job could easily match that in a year and anybody in a managerial position can very easily surpass buxiban salaries.

I was thinking about bushiban teachers that have regular hours equivalent to that of a full-time office job. The office job salaries still are not that much higher and it’s laughable that even NT50-60K is considered good. I worked in China for many years and my salary was always higher than what I earned in Taiwan. Taiwan is a better and safer place ofcourse.

Yes, I thought that was strange, too. All the teachers I know earn over 100K/mo. Only the owners/co-owners of businesses I know earn over 100K. Maybe a couple of drug reps that earn over 100K after bonuses. The salary guys I know top out under 50K with MA/S and decent English.

Some do it’s true , but I also don’t think many teachers earn more than 100k a month, very few in fact. Salaries are going up in Taiwan for office workers and managers. And engineers earn a lot and there are a lot of engineers.

The teachers I know all have over a decade of experience. That’s probably why. I’m too old to know any young up and comers.

Taiwan needs to do something about the low wages or else we will end up like the US is now. At least we have affordable health care here.

Agreed, but more on the income gap thing that is pretty obvious here now (lot of very well off families in Taiwan,this is a very rich country ) and being able to hold onto professional experienced people in Taiwan instead of them leaving overseas. Situation is improving as Taiwan’s economy has been doing better over the last few years.

Molecular engineers?

Like doctors. Even high-end professionals get little here compared to many places abroad, and they probably need to do more work and take on more responsibility for it. Hard to keep talent then.

Semiconductor related…

Yeah, that would be another area in which Taiwan excels. But it’s the same story… much greener fields available. With wages stagnating in many places, they just need to give it that extra effort combined with the relatively low cost of living and decent government services to make it more attractive here.