Cost of Moving to Taiwan

You can also consider other southeast Asian countries.

CCP expansionism is most definitely the greatest threat in Asia and on the planet.

I would really like to be there by August/September if I can. But I hear ya, I aslo don’t want to rush into anything.

Some schools/agents might provide accommodation or help/recommendation on housing for foreign teachers.

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For what it’s worth, this is my experience last November 2020 (finance industry office job), assuming:
a. You already have a job offer.
b. Your employer will secure your work permit for you.
c. There is a TECO near you.

Then here’s a generous breakdown of what I had to spend on

  1. 50 USD - Securing all necessary documents (birth certificate, diploma, transcripts, security clearance, employment history)
  2. 450 USD - Translating all documents
  3. 350 USD - Notarization and getting my documents authenticated by various local government institutions (+ translating the authentications themselves)
  4. 200 USD - TECO authentication (reimbursed)
  5. 30 USD - Shipping all the documents above to my employer to get my work permit (reimbursed)
  6. 100 USD - Visa application (reimbursed)
  7. 300 USD - Flight ticket (reimbursed)
  8. 0 - Quarantine
  9. 30 USD - HSR ticket back to Taipei
  10. 300 USD - 2 week stay at an Airbnb while searching for a long term rental
  11. 1100 USD - 1 month advance, 1 month deposit, and rent in Taipei. Having a local who can help you deal with landlords will make things smoother.

So less than 3000 USD in my case but your mileage may vary.
You might have to travel and stay in a different city if there’s no TECO near you (worst case scenario they will ask you to visit in person for an interview).
Your home country might have different requirements.
The WDA might ask for more supporting documents for your work permit application.
Your employer might not reimburse anything or they might completely cover your ass including temporary housing.
You might be shipping several boxes of your belongings or you might just need your carry on luggage.
You might insist on staying on a fancy quarantine hotel or you might be forced to stay in a group quarantine facility.
You might want a fancy apartment in Taipei or you might want to stay in Nantou.


Yar, something in common with South Korea is the open question of when and how reunification will next be attempted.

Get a good CV together and start applying. There are threads on here about stuff like when is the hiring season for schools (usually in the spring) so now is probably the time to get cracking. Absolutely don’t take the first offer right away, and come back here to get more free advice from those who have been teaching on the island a long time. They can advise on schools and remuneration and so forth.

The first thing is to get a job that you want, everything else will depend on that

No friends on the ground, sadly. I definitely need to do a lot more research into the rental process there.

When I first came over, everything came in two suitcases. Everything else, I bought here in terms of winter clothing and household necessities. Unless you’re two feet taller than your average person, you won’t have any issues finding clothes in Taiwan.

Eventually, I had friends/family bring some things over in their suitcases, but most things I ended up buying here.

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Thank you! Will update my CV and get cracking then. Already learning so much from this post so I will definitely be asking for some advice if/when I get some job offers.

I’m 100% going this route. I don’t think I want to go through the headache (or added cost) of shipping anything. My plan is just to bring two large suitcases and a carry on. Anything else, I will just get there as suggested. I’m 5’ 4", so pretty average in height, but I am plus sized so not sure if Taiwan would be size inclusive (not expecting them to be, so planning to be strategic about the clothes I bring).

Either you’re really committed, or you don’t have many possessions!

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This is my fourth overseas country, after spending 8 years in Canada for school I’m ready for another long stint abroad. My folks don’t have space to store it, so yeah I downsized to under 4 cubic metres and put it on a boat. Mostly books and souvenirs (carpets and carvings), but I have towels and bedding because I remember seeing on a thread those are good things to bring.


This is a small detail that is important; bring new bills. In 2008 I came with US$1,500 in cash in my pocket and had a heck of a time exchanging about $600 of it because the bills were “old.” I had to run all over Taipei until I finally found a bank that would exchange those bills, with a steep fee attached.

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I just bought NTD before I came, found the best exchange rates in my city while I was waiting to fly (and asked Formosans how much to bring!)

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A certified teacher can work in public schools. The recruiters for public schools will help you find a school, find an apartment, get a checking account, all kind of help. The school will reimburse you for the cost of the flight to and from Taiwan. Base pay is between $65,000 and $75,000.

Unfortunately, you are often put on an island with no other foreigners. The recruiters also friend to try and place you in the least desirable locations. You will need to teach 22-24 classes every week. Much of you time will be spent warming your desk as you are required to be at the school from 8:00 to 5:00. 70-80% of the kids you will be teaching are very low level so you will have your work cut out for you. Don’t expect any help if you struggle.

Do your research on culture shock and Taiwanese culture because things work a little different here. Luckily you found Forumosa, which has a great group of expats that have been there and done that :blush:

How much money do you need? Not counting covid quarantine… $4000 to call it an adventure :cowboy_hat_face:


Since you’re licensed, I’d recommend applying to the FET program directly if you’re looking to work in the public schools:

An FYI: You will find that 99.9% of what you learned in teacher school will not be applicable in the public schools here. The ONLY thing that matters in the public schools here (and anywhere else in Asia) is passing standardized tests and the kids know this from grade 1. So…don’t hold your breath.


Thank you so much. So glad I found this forum, I’m already learning a lot!

Thank you, will look into FET. Do you know if Teach Taiwan has similar programs/schools as FET? Or are they completely different systems?

I’ve worked with Teach Taiwan and Dewey in the past. They all offer teachers the same contract (basically) from the government. I don’t know about FET.

The FET contract is what you sign when you teach in any public school here, regardless of how you were recruited. Be careful though. Starting salary is around 62,000 if you have a BA and no previous full time teaching experience. Some contracts offer significantly less than that.

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Thank you for clarifying.