Just interested to hear why you decided to teach in Taiwan instead of other countries?

I am just curious as to the reasons why people have chosen to come to Taiwan instead of other countries. Personally my only real reason for coming to teach in Taiwan is because I met a Taiwanese girl at university in Australia a few years ago. She returned to Taiwan earlier this year and I have decided to go and teach in Taichung next January. Erick

A number of reasons. I was interested in traditional Chinese culture and was aware that in some fields and ways it has been better preserved here than in some other places.

I made Taiwanese friends at university (through the Scottish Country Dancing club, actually; a great way to meet people from all over although I know some people wouldn’t be seen dead doing it!) and still keep in frequent contact with them now.

The pay’s not bad and the cost of living is low enough that you can save a decent amount.

I like mountains and the countryside in general.

That’s great. Best wishes with that.

You’re already aware that although you’ve taught in Japan, Taiwan is a completely different experience. I strongly advise you to give it a good chance. Of the negative aspects, there are plenty of posts on these forums. Of the positive, as with any place it can take a little while to really notice them but for me, one of the best is the friendly, relaxed and humorous people.

Taichung is a great place; lots of good nightlife and stuff to do in town, and easy access to some of the best countryside in Taiwan. Private message me when you get here and maybe we can go for a beer or something.

Ditto here… it’s all about the girl… should there be any other reason to be in this God-forsaken country they call Taiwan?

But, for me, teaching is just gonna be a temporary stint cuz:
a) it’s totally unfullfilling teaching kids (the majority of them could really care less about learning English)
b) it’s doing absolutely nothing for my career
c) it’s making me totally lazy!

My reason for coming here to teach was because I had the ultimate goal of getting into a good Chinese literature grad program here eventually after teaching for 2 years, while at the same time improving my Chinese enough to even be competitive on the entrance exam (I couldn’t have really done that in Japan, Korea, or Thailand). Now that I’ve fulfilled my goal, I don’t need to teach anymore … scholarships are a wonderful thing! :smiley:

Gener, I feel a bit sad to read your post and am reminded of the phrase ‘none so blind as those who will not see’.
Of course people get fed up with various things from time to time but blanket discontent such as that which you express is less common.

[quote=“Gener”]But, for me, teaching is just gonna be a temporary stint cuz:
a) it’s totally unfullfilling teaching kids (the majority of them could really care less about learning English)[/quote]

Teaching kids is basically as fulfilling as you want to make it. Every situation has its own particular limitations but a lot can be achieved nonetheless.

You’re talking about motivation. It is sometimes said that in children’s EFL motivation is mostly extrinsic; that is from an external source such as games or rewards. Of course these are important and, if used well, can be an integral part of creative language use, but I have found that children are also capable of intrinsic motivation for language learning; that is from the enjoyment of learning and using a new language itself. This doesn’t mean enjoyment of completing dry grammar exercises but rather enjoyment of using language in a creative way to formulate meaning, such as when doing creative writing to express new ideas or write stories. I realise this sounds a bit seventies but it’s still true.

Children have great flexibility of mind which means that they can learn new languages efficiently and rapidly. I find teaching children’s EFL challenging but immensely rewarding. I hope that you can get such rewards from whatever profession you eventually take up.

why? because america is done. yeah, the corpse will be shaking and giving off spasmodic death twitches for a good time yet. history class taught us that america is a nation of immigrants. “cool” said i. i immigrated from those fair shores before my diploma was even printed. have been here in greater china ever since. why? for me, greater china has more of an upside than staying back home. here i am my own boss, set my own hours and take vacations as i wish. operating a small business back home is a bureaucratic nightmare. no, i will not give back my citizenship. it is a hard-earned tool.

in case you missed it, here is what has happened since i fled: 9/11, bush family inc. hijacked office(can electoral college members abstain from voting?). constitutional freedoms have been curbed. the man who lost to a dead man (ashcroft), despised in his own state has been elevated way past the peter principle. the head judge of the supreme court paints gold strpes on his robe because it saw it in an opera once. plus nobody can tell him what to do. and that’s just the leadership. US troops in over 125 countries (did we rebel because English troop presence). social security access to retirement is going up to 67. “affordable housing” is a thing of the past.shell game. pyramid scheme. who owns/controls america’s money?

greater china, with is myriad parts and noncoordinated gov’t fits me just fine.

Also a good question, Why are you STILL here?
Taiwan is nothing anyone can expect is it?

I am still here because I love the kids. I love everything about teaching to the kids. I love the material things I can provide myself. I love my 2 Taiwanese dogs. I love being able to provide things my gf wants. I love TESCO and Carrefor. I love my scooter. I love Subway. I love taking it easy in the mornings and staying up late every night.

Oh yeah, why are we here. The year we wanted to leave for Korea, they changed the visa requirements. We were left out because we only had a 3 year College + TEFL.

…Ramble On, And now’s the time, the time is now, to sing my song! ~Led Zep

I couldn’t spell Thailmand.

Thanks guys for your replies. It is interesting to here the different reasons why people have chosen to work in Taiwan. Hexuan it reminds me when you say,of course jokingly that you can’t spell Thailmand how many people say to me, so your girlfriend is from Thailand?? And I say no she is from Taiwan, you know that small island next to China. Some people are so stupid and there knowledge of geography is so bad. I think here in Australia that because so many people travel to Thailand for holidays that country becomes ingrained in their minds and they can’t imagine that there could be another asian country that begins with T. It is quite amazing how many times I have had to explain the difference between Thailand and Taiwan. Erick

I decided to teach here because I wanted to learn Chinese and still make some money.

I decided to stay, at first because I was loving the place and making good money, and later because I met a wonderful Taiwanese woman.


I read a quote way back when I was first deciding to come here that answered this same question…It may have appeared on the old Segue website or even Dave’s or Tealit…but if memory serves me correctly (it usually doesn’t :wink: ), I believe Wolf or the old Hygaar wrote

This has held me in good stead as I wander down the path of my future.

Yes I certainly witnessed plenty of “lawless” behaviour on the roads in Taiwan. I have travelled to more than 30 countries and I never before seen anything like that. People in Taiwan just drive or ride however they like without any concern for anybody else. However, I must admit that after only being in Taichung for a couple of weeks this behaviour was beginning to influence me and I found that I was riding my girfriend’s scooter through red lights, but of course very cautiously and also going the wrong way on one way streets. Basically breaking every road rule possible and just feeling as if it was the right or at least normal thing to do. If I drove like that in Australia I would be so poor now because I would have so many fines. My girlfriend thinks I ride like typical Taiwanese do, which I think is a bit of a worry. I have ridden motorbikes both in Australia and Japan before but Taiwan was definitely a new experience for me.

Inertia keeps me here.

All together now:

“On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair…”

I originally wanted to teach and live in Japan because I was interested in Japanese culture. But, I found out that I’d need about U.S. $3,000-$5,000 in start-up costs to survive the first couple of months, which was out of my budget. So I picked Taiwan because it was an easy place to find a job with only a few hundred bucks in your pocket. I planned on staying here for only a year, saving up my money, and then moving on to Japan. But the way things turned out, that’s turned to three years, and I like the lifestyle here I have no more plans to move on.

[quote=“Bu Lai En”]

I decided to stay, at first because I was loving the place and making good money, and later because I met a wonderful Taiwanese woman.


Seriously man, what better reason to stay?

I came here as a Mormon missionary when I was 19, fell in love with the language and the culture (though didn’t like the women much at first), came back on business several times, then finally decided to come back. I got tired of giving more than 50% of my hard-earned income to the fat cats who run my country, and had enough opportunities here to really get ahead. If you really dig into local life (i.e. learn Mandarin, figure out how things work, network with great Taiwanese people), you’ll find an endless source of intellectual, social, and economic opportunity here.

After I spent a quarter studying in France and a semester working on my degree in linguistics working on TESOL, I knew I was going to move abroad before I began my master’s in applied linguistics. Especially after talking to a close friend of mine who had started the MA in linguistics right after finishing her BA. She was in tears because she was teaching a general linguistics course which is usually full of freshman who are only there to get their gen. ed. requirement fulfilled who, if you remember your gen. ed. courses, you could understand how frustrating it could be. I knew that those who spent time abroad got to teach the classes for ESL students and those who had experience teaching children abroad got to teach ESL at the local schools (mostly college students’ and professors’ kids in those programs). I looked at programs in France, Togo, and Russia. Togo was out because you had to pay and as a soon-to-be recent college graduate, I knew I didn’t have money to pay for my work. France was out because it was only a 8-month program, the only option I had without anything more than a degree in French and no EU passport, the start-up costs were too high, and it seemed very disorganized. Russia was out because the currency wouldn’t come out to much when I sent it home to pay off my student debts; plus it’s too flippin’ cold there. While cruising Dave’s ESL Cafe, I came across some ads for teaching in Taiwan. The pay seemed decent, it was an exotic country where I didn’t speak the language so it presented a challenge, and it was warm there. :sunglasses:
Spring 2000, I changed my language from Russian 111 to Chinese 111 and began learning all I could about Chinese culture and language and kept lurking on websites like tealit.com and (then known as) oriented.org, nearly being derailed by the now (deservedly) defunct EPACT recruiting services and an ESL position at a technical college in Hubei Province. 26-1/2 months after taking my first steps on Taiwanese land, I haven’t regretted my decision. Of course, when and if :shock: I leave I will be heading straight for either France or Belgium for an EFL job (provided it’s there for the taking).

I wanted to study Chinese, but also get to know people of many
different ages, professions, interests, etc. I worked in a private
company for awhile and then also started teaching English. I like
the variety of people who I meet. Some I know for long periods of
time and others come and go very quickly.

Hope that all newcomers have some good experiences when they first
arrive which will balance the good and bad later.