My suggestion is to definitely search for the right employment for you once you get here. Often the main ‘recruiters’ are chain companies like Hess or Joy. In my experience, and several others I know, they tell you what you want to hear over the phone, then once you arrive it’s a completely different story, and you are basically ‘trapped’ at that point with a hassle out of an often one year contract. They also tend to pay less. It’s best to shop around for the best schedule, environment, income, location etc, that is suited to you once you get a feel for the place and competitors in the market.
An open flight ticket I think is best. I got one that was open for one year. By the end of your probably 1 year contract you might want a vacation, or maybe sooner you’ll decide Taiwan isn’t for you. At least you’ve already got that financially covered and ready to go, incase of any emergency or scenario.
A M.E. Visa is something I too would recommend. It gives you flexible time to search around for the job that’s more likely to be right for you, get settled at your own reasonable pace, and can easily be changed once you find employment; and most importantly helps you avoid being brought over by schools that may not be for you, and that might otherwise have too much control over you for comfort. And yes, keep your story to the guidelines of the Visa, no need to talk about study etc… Worry about that later. Besides, I heard you can still take courses at the Language Institute, as a worker without a student visa (but it won’t be a legitimate language certificate).
Once you arrive here, the first thing you should do is a health check. They are valid for 3 months, but take a week to process. That way, once you find a job, you can be ready immediately to apply for the Work Permit through the school. You’ll need to provide them with the health certificate, and certified copies of your Diploma; bring as many as you can. Also be prepared to provide numerous passport sized photos for your health check, Work Permit application and change of Visa which you will finally do at the Foreign Affairs Police; who will get you that ARC.
September is highest time in competition for a job. You may or may not have an easy time getting a job immediately (under the table or not). Don’t waste time looking. Talk to as many people as you can to also get an idea of where to search. As well, try to keep your employment legit. They have been cracking down on illegal workers (at least in Taipei), and even some schools are getting more demanding about supplying you with an ARC, especially now that teachers can have more than one school on the ARC.
242 huh? Does that have anything to do with the impeccable Industrial band, Front 242?