An option that you might want to consider before you just up and arrive in Taiwan. If you do have a qualification that is not equivalent to a BA/BS, and will be dicounted by the MOE [Ministry of Education - the ones who issue you a work permit], you could considering jumping over a BA and going right after a MA.
I had several friends who did just this. They had nver attended or completed a university undergrad program, so back in 1994 or so, when the MOE brought in the new regulations requiring that ALL foreign teachers be from a Native speaking country, and have at least a BA/BS, they could no longer work legally in Taiwan. The MOE made absolutely no exceptions at that time, so many an outstanding, veteran teacher was out of a job.
The enterprising ones, still keen to teach, and with the financial means, apllied to TEFL MA programs in the UK, and Oz. The key factor is that some schools, particularly in the UK, will take a person’s life expereince into consideration, and waive the requisite BA/BS. In other words these guys, with only high-school diplomas and a couple of years of teaching experience were able to attend MA TEFL courses! And…unlike the 2 year program length in the US and Canada, these programs are only one year.
Several of my mates who left Taiwan at that time, kind of “in disgrace” - because they were no longer “qualified” to teach at our language school, were back in 14 months MA’s in hand, working at Universities.
The MOE requires that all English instructors at Taiwan colleges, Jr. Colleges, and Universites have AT LEAST a MA. The reason that those guys, with their MA’s and University jobs couldn’t help laughing at the rest of us who soldiered on at the Language school is that, unlike us, they were getting NT$60,000/month (about US$1,750)for a 12 hour week - as a base pay + 3-4 months of FULL PAY vacation per year. Some of them, at private schools get a month bonus, too. Because their teaching obligations to their schools isn’t too harsh [12-18hrs/wk on average], and is often daytime work, they are free to moonlight elsewhere at high rates of pay. I don’t know a single MA holder in Taipei who make less than NT90,000 a month - working less than 25 hours a week.
In comparison, the average language school teacher works 30 hours a week for his/her NT60,000 and is lucky to get two weeks of paid vacation their first year.
Food for thought.