Hello, I’m hoping to start a graduate programme in September, but at the moment I’m unemployed and kicking my heels. Should I be successful, I’m wondering whether you would recommend coming to Taiwan until late summer? Would a 6 month contract be sufficient to get a visa and to claw my way out of the expenses of moving half way across the world? I’m British, qualified, have a couple of years TEFL experience from my time across the Straits, and can speak Mandarin. I’m interested in Taiwan to see how it differs from the mainland, to explore humanistic Buddhism, and to learn a couple of things like paragliding. Thanks in advance for any help! 昊
You’ll probably find that you’ll need to commit to a one year contract in order to get the necessary visa/residency permits.
Don’t do it - you won’t make any money, and you’ll probably end up deeper in debt. Plan on spending at least two years here if you want to make money and live a reasonable lifestyle. The first year is a write-off in terms of getting a good job, start-up costs, etc.
Also, I’m not sure Taiwan has humanistic anything.
Also, I’m not sure Taiwan has humanistic anything. [/quote]
I find the Buddhist centers in Taiwan fairly humanistic but I think yinghao might have had Tzu chi (Cíjī， 慈濟) specifically in mind. If their disaster relief effort is not humanistic, I don’t know what is.
Don’t do it. 6 months is not even close to enough time to save any money.
I’m going to disagree and say why the hell not come over. Yeah, the visa situation will be a problem. Six month contracts don’t exist, so you’ll either have to work illegally with a student visa or be willing to sign and then break a 1-year contract. If you’re fine with either of these options, no, you’re not going to save a big bundle of cash, but it’ll be a far more interesting experience than sitting on your butt unemployed back home.
It will be an interesting experience and there are loads of Buddhist centres and activities to try out around the island but you won’t save money and you’ll have to hope for the best regarding a half decent job in such a short time, that is the truth.
Thanks for your replies! I’m not keen on working illegally so it looks like I might have to break a contract if came to Taiwan. That’s a bit sub-prime, but at least it’s not like my prospective employer and I are equal partners or anything… Presumably I’d have more than covered any hiring costs by then too. It would be a bad idea to admit that I might be leaving in August if successful then, I guess? I would strongly prefer to tell my employer if viable. It’s far from certain that I’d get accepted to the uni course anyway… I’ve been trying to search the forums for what happens when you break your contract- it seems there’d probably be a hefty fine. Is there anywhere that wouldn’t give me a big fine, providing I gave them plenty of notice and was leaving with reasonable justification?
I know I probably wouldn’t get that great a job, but the alternative to teaching somewhere would be getting a probably precarious job without many responsibilities whilst living with my parents, bless them!
Yes Lemur, I was thinking of Ciji! Master Zhengyan is an amazing woman- beats me why Mother Theresa was internationally celebrated but no-one seems to know of Master Zhengyan outside the Chinese and Buddhist worlds. I’d probably investigate Dharma Drum too, since they have a group for foreigners and I’d probably be going to Taipei if I come.
Just don’t sign a contract with a fine or leaving penalty.
Listen, you have to make your own choices so I’m not trying to tell you what to do. I’m just going to say that I planned to be in Taiwan for a year–and was there for 10. Are you sure that if you get into this program you’ll be able to leave Taiwan and go do it? Have enough money? You will not likely have enough to go back “home” and to school after just six months, so I hope you have that worked out seperate.
If you have enough cash to get that round trip ticket (valid for a year) and enough to where you dont have to depend on an income you could set yourself up cheaply (or perhaps afford a hostel) and teach and break a one year contract. Just like bcup said, dont sign one with a hefty penalty.
And do remember you will be taxed at a flat 20pct without any exemptions for working in Taiwan less then 183 days. So at least stay seven months and start in January of the year (or at least where you could stay past 183 days in the calendar year) to get your taxes reduced tremendously.
Its worth it to be in Taiwan for six months if you can manage it financially without undue stress.
And you can teach students privately for more cash (as long as you dont mind being sent out of the country and being banned for a year or something like that).
Defeats the purpose of a contract, doesn’t it?
Six months is more than enough time for a nice working holiday. As far as I know, all schools try to punish you in some way for breaking their contracts - it’s the nature of a contract. The alternative to paying a penalty would be to just pick up and leave one day and not show up for work. This would screw your employers royally and you still would end up leaving without your most recent pay.
I never signed one. The OP would be an employee, not a Dickensian indentured apprentice. For the record; I don’t think it’s fair to kids, if you teach kids, to go home in the middle of the year, but as the OP will be arriving in the middle of the school year anyway to ‘take over’, it’s legitimate to stay until summer.
wtf would anyone agree to that? I can see why a newb with no bargaining power would be bullied into it, but the OP isn’t here with the clock ticking on his ARC or anything.
[quote=“Buttercup”]I never signed one. The OP would be an employee, not a Dickensian indentured apprentice. For the record; I don’t think it’s fair to kids, if you teach kids, to go home in the middle of the year, but as the OP will be arriving in the middle of the school year anyway to ‘take over’, it’s legitimate to stay until summer.
wtf would anyone agree to that? I can see why a newb with no bargaining power would be bullied into it, but the OP isn’t here with the clock ticking on his ARC or anything.[/quote]
But what’s the point of even having a contract if there’s nothing that binds either party to it? By that logic, the employer should also be free of any financial obligation towards you if he wants to dump you in the middle of the year. If you can break the contract without any consequence then it’s totally useless to have one in the first place.
I’d like to think I’ve been smart with the things that I’ve signed - paid vacation, pay raises, paid prep time, paid sick days, perfect attendance bonuses, paid national holidays, paid sick days, paid typhoon days and all that stuff. A penalty for breaking a contract just strikes me as common sense though.
In case I hated the job or had to leave because my family lived on the other side of the world?
Never had a teaching job in my home country or any other country with a financial penalty in it. Why start in Taiwan? I wouldn’t ever a jump ship out of selfishness but I consider myself a pro and refused to be treated like a serf.
There are definitely schools out there that don’t have fines included in their contract. And, if you are taking over after another teacher left, they’ll just be so happy to have someone finish out the term (before summer classes) that they won’t care if you don’t stay the full year.
I’d have to agree that the chances of you saving up cash if you’re only going to be here for 6 months will be slim. But, it’s not impossible. If you are active in seeking out employment and keep your expenses down, at least you shouldn’t be in the hole financially when you leave. If you are trying to make a bit of money, you probably won’t have time to explore the Buddhist centers too much or become involved in their charity works.
You should be able to get a reaching job at 90kNT/month. That’s almost 3kUS$/month. Since you will be in Taiwan just a few months, there won’t be any taxes to be paid. Your ticket (from the US ? UK? ) - round trip - would be at most 1kUS$ (ticket)+bit more. Assuming a rent of 10kNT/month, in 6 months you would earn (6x90kNT)=540kNT, and spend on housing + living + ticket only: (6x10kNT for rent)+(6x25kNT for living)+40kNT (ticket)=250kNT. So, no problem, as compared to the 540kNT salary.
On top of that, you will find Taiwan a rewarding, exciting experience, in a place full of nice people, and you won’t regret ever.
Didn’t we all? Planned to come for a year. Save some money. Travel and head back home and try something new. That was six years, a child and a wedding ago…
Didn’t we all? Planned to come for a year. Save some money. Travel and head back home and try something new. That was six years, a child and a wedding ago…[/quote]
Exactly! For me it was 10 years, a marriage, a baby, and a divorce. I thought Taiwan was going to be just another place I’d never seen before. No one ever tells you how easy a place it is to fall into–like a lover with eyes you can’t wait to drown in, but who smokes and comes in drunk at 2 a.m. at least twice a week. You know it’s bad for you, but it’s somehow so irresistable! Six months in Taiwan with a “maybe” grad school waiting back home sounds to me like a prescription for a life ache.
Won’t be any taxes to be paid where? Check taxation law in your current country of residence. If you are not gone long enough to stop being considered a resident for taxation purposes, then you have to pay taxes in your country of residence even if the money was earned abroad.