Huayu Scholarship and remotely working in Taiwan

Hello. I recently applied for a Huayu Scholarship in Taiwan and is currently waiting for the result.

I’m currently full time remote employee and it suddenly came up to me if there is a chance to get into the scholarship, is it still possible to continue my remote work legally from Taiwan? As school would just be 2-3months duration. Or am I missing something re:taxes etc?

Also ran into a discussion that for scholarship grantees, they are not allowed to work given the visa, understood its because of a student visa, but even jobs like upwork or other remote work not possible?

I’m an Asian, degree holder, employee for 8 years and remote worker for a year already. Hoping for insights thank you!

What allowed to visa exempt are allowed to other visa holders mostly, if not all.

If you have a client in Taiwan or Taiwanese, or you need to be in Taiwan to do the work, you need a work permit, though there might be rare exceptions.

If not, i don’t think it is clearly prohibited.

You could ask to NIA and WDA. If they would have received enough similar inquiries, they may announce some guidelines.

IIUC you are not entitled for the scholarship if you work.

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This page doesn’t say so, though school might say so.

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Thank you for your insights. Yes I did ask local TECO if working individuals do apply, and they sent me the list of eligibility, and told me I’m eligible. The work part was what they could not vouch for. Work will not have bearing on eligibility but it will seem to have (in terms of legality) once I’m onboarded. I’m assuming too school will not allow remote work.

Sad about this tho, I mentioned my work in my study plan so that might decrease my chances.

Do you already have a pretty advanced grasp of Chinese? I didn’t do any Chinese learning programs in Taiwan, but I did do one in Beijing. Life was pretty much study Chinese 24/7 and maybe go to a Western restaurant or bar(s) on the weekends. If you’re doing the Huayu Scholarship, you have 20 hours of class/week + homework for all those hours. I can’t speak for the intensity of your program, but the idea behind Huayu is that you come to Taiwan to learn Chinese.

Legally, I don’t think anyone is going to come after you (how would they know you’re working remotely if you don’t tell anyone?), but do you have time for that? Studying Chinese at a training center here is generally considered a full time job. There are people who don’t study or do their homework, but then you need to ask yourself: are you here to learn Chinese or getting the scholarship so you can live abroad while making money from both your own work income and the Taiwanese government?
Also, Taiwan is a wonderful country and you’re not going to have the chance to travel if you’re either studying or working most of the time, especially if you have a full time job on a reverse time zone from the one you’ll be living in.

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I thought about enrolling in one of the Mandarin programs on my own (no scholarship) and I don’t think it would be easy to do it while working. Either I wouldn’t learn anything or my work performance would suffer and my employer would notice…

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I used to study Chinese after a full-time office job. My studies suffered. I’m simply too tired to be bothered after an 8-hour job, but I did retain some new learnings if they matter to me (at that time, the many ways you can buy milktea. LOL)

I only lasted a month.

I think it’s doable do if your remote job isn’t a full-time job. Or if it’s results-based, wherein you don’t need to log in everyday but meet deadlines. Or at the very least, it’s a part-time job. As for legality, I don’t think there’s any problem if the company is based abroad. Your more pressing problem should be how you’re going to cash out your payment from here in Taiwan.

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I did online 2 basic mandarin classes in our country. I am applying for the 3months term which is 2-3hrs daily. Before, I was able to work with Chinese nationals and I find Mandarin really interesting (being that as hardest language, and also had some C-drama that I liked) that’s why I really want to reach at least basic fluency (that is, I can do small talk and be understand the response, be immersed, and further study and apply it in daily life in Taiwan but I know it needs more time and immersion than just 3months but I see it as a starting point for practice). That is really the main objective.

I don’t see it as earning money from Taiwan govt, because the stipend will be used for the rentals, enrollment etc … I see it as a privilege given by Taiwan govt… but I get your point. Obviously money is not an issue, I have saved up for this just in case.

I was just wondering if there is a choice for me to not give up my work and be able to study (just like those who get MBAs…)

thank you for your insights. I have saved up for it just incase, in such I would be able to live in Taiwan without the need to withdraw money (this is all basically the plan for now)

Current job is results based. But totally agree. My initial mandarin classes were only once a week and it gave me time to study for the rest of the days. I think it would be different for this one since its daily as well. But I think that’s one of the goals, to be able to be immersed rather than learning it without someone to talk to.

AFAIK, you can use PayPal with ESUN bank here in Taiwan. Other than that, you can still use your local ATM debit card that’s got the VISA Plus feature to withdraw funds from you currency to NTD. I’ve tried mine with Bank of Taiwan ATM and Taishin Bank ATM and they work. I think if you get paid this way, that should be okay. But of course, deductions.

In my experience, both group and one-on-one classes for 3 hours is socially and mentally exhausting. But I guess in your case it will be more manageable since you don’t have to physically come to an office. Good luck!

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It sounds like you want to come here to learn Chinese. I would recommended dedicating all your energy to learning Chinese, if finances allow for that. Trying to juggle work on top of studying will mean less time to practice your Chinese and less time to spend out in the Chinese-speaking world actually using what you learned. Otherwise, there’s little reason to come to Taiwan. You could just take online classes (or 1:1 tutoring) before or after work wherever you live currently. The idea behind going to a country to learn the language is the immersion. Depending on the program, the classroom may or may not provide that. But taking public transit, getting lost, ordering food and drinks in a night market, etc. cannot be replaced by even the best classroom set ups.


“But taking public transit, getting lost, ordering food and drinks in a night market, etc. cannot be replaced by even the best classroom set ups.”
its really the immersion part Im after and learning mandarin along the way.
Totally agree with you. I would have this considered (studying only) once I get in (hopefully first I get in haha).

Appreciate both of your honest inputs. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

On the other hand (studying aside) I really have high admiration for Taiwan and I am really looking forward to get in. I’d probably just take a leave in the company if I get this once in a lifetime opportunity.