Need confirmation of gathered information :)

Hello all,

I’ve been researching every aspect of living and teaching in Taiwan for the past month. I’ve gathered tons of information ( I think I could write a book) and now I would like to get confirmation from knowledgeable sources that I’m on the right track. That’s where you come in :smiley:

I’m from Canada, 34, caucasian, bachelor’s degree in English Studies from a French university in Quebec, fluent speaker of English as I’ve lived in the US.

  1. A member of the forum informed me that I might not get a work permit based on the fact that my degree comes from a French university. I know this is the case for South Korea, but I want to confirm this doesn’t apply to Taiwan. I have looked everywhere on the internet and wrote to my local TECO office, to no avail.

I know there was a list of recognized universities used by the MOE and posted on their website until 2006. I have found an archive of that list and my university was on the approved list. But is the list still used? Has there been any changes in the list? From what I gather, I graduated from a large and well-known university, so apart from the language issue, there shouldn’t be a problem here.

I tried writing to the CLA but their email application isn’t working, and I can’t find a way to contact the MOE (their website isn’t the most user-friendly I’ve seen)

I’m confident that there is no issue here, but I need to get confirmation that I won’t have a problem with a degree delivered by a French university (I would translate my degree and have it certified by TECO) before I start investing time and money in any part of the process of moving to Taiwan.

  1. Let’s say, as I expect, that I get confirmation that my degree is recognized. What specific paperwork do I have to get authenticated by TECO here in Canada? I wrote twice and they say it is the school that decides…I know this isn’t true, and I know that I can’t wait to be in Taiwan to get my papers authenticated, so I need to confirm with you guys.
  • original diploma (authenticated or not?)
  • sealed proof of enrollment or sealed proof of diploma or sealed transcript( authenticated by TECO) which one should I get?
  • English translation of my degree (authenticated by TECO)

Anything else? Health check is done in Taiwan.

Do I need a criminal record check? This has to be authenticated also, right?

So, assuming I have all my authenticated paperwork, here’s how I figured this.

I land in Taiwan, visa-exempt for 90 days. I head off to my city of choice (haven’t figured that one out just yet), start looking for a job (no kindy, nothing under 14 hours a week), find one, make my research, sign a one-year contract.

My boss then gets the paperwork done for my work permit and sends this off to the CLA, which then asks for the MOE approval of my degree. I get my work permit, limited to working for this school ONLY, in this particular branch ONLY. I can start teaching legally. My boss then applies for my ARC, which should now be a formality. I receive ARC after making sure my boss doesn’t take too long to send the papers out and delay the process. I can add another school to my ARC. I need the school boss to ask for a second work permit in my name.

Am I missing anything?

As you can see, I’ve done a thorough research job and I’m not asking for much info. I need confirmation that everything is right, so that I can start my TEFL certification, buy a plane ticket and count the days until I leave in July.

Thanks for your help in finalizing the details of the most important project of my life :slight_smile:

There is a MOE representative at your local TECO. He/she should be able to clear the details regarding what kind of certification your school documents need to get your work permit here approved without delay. Get the requirements in writing in any case.

GO to TECO, at least call, do not write, as they have to relay the message to the proper department.
Cultural Division
45 O’Connor St., Suite 1960, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1A4 Canada
Telephone: (613) 231- 4909
FAX: (613) 231- 7058
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Monday to Friday
( Services Division Counter closed at 4:00 PM )

I brought:

  • original diploma (authenticated)
  • sealed transcript( authenticated by TECO, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and everyone who could throw a seal)
  • English translation of my degree (authenticated by TECO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, etc.)
    Remember: the more seals, the bigger teh seals, the shinier, the better.

Aside from your school records, how about relevant experience information? That may come handy for further work opportunities.

I will call tomorrow then and ask to speak to that representative.

You had to translate your degree too? From what language?

Regarding relevant experience info…I’m not sure. I’ve been president of my student association, vice-president of another, and I have co-organized a student conference at post-grad level. I have official certificates to prove it. Maybe I could get these authenticated?

Was a computer lab assistant in university for a semester, also a research assistant for a semester when I was studying for my MA, but I didn’t finish it. That was a long time ago and I don’t have documentation to prove it. I’ve been a freelance translator for 6 years, worked in construction, and retail while I was in school. Unfortunately, I don’t think my work experience is really relevant to teaching kids or to other jobs offered in Taiwan. Maybe I could get into technical writing or translation/editing someday, after I learn Mandarin, since my BA says literature, translation and professional writing. I can talk about theses experiences a lot, so they won’t seem made up hehe. I’ve had experience with kids through sports, but that’s about it. But don’t worry, I’m good at making it sound very interesting to prospective employers :wink:

Thanks for the feedback Icon! :slight_smile:

Any letter you can bring, with a nice seal, will be helpful, really. If you worked at college, you must have had a pay slip, right, someone can sign a letter saying you worked ther efor 2001 to 2003, for example. Trust me, it will come handy and you will find it very difficult to get once you get here.

For any white collar job, you need at least two years of certifiable working experience.

BTW, make several copies of your degree/student records and have those signed/stamped too.

my degree was translated from Spanish to English -they accepted English. The police recortds I had them translated into Chinese, I think, but that was for residency purposes.

Great! I’ll look into it.

Do these copies also need the TECO stamp or will the (free) Ministry of Foreign Affairs stamp be enough? At $16 a pop for the TECO stamp, it kinda adds fast :wink:

OK. I just called the TECO office in Ottawa. Asked to speak to the MOE representative and the guy who answered the phone said he also covered MOE questions (and receptionist as well? one-man army I guess)

He must be the same guy who replied to my emails since he gave me the same non-answers. Said the paperwork I need depends on the school and that I should ask the school…

At least he kinda gave me an answer concerning the recognition of my degree. Said the list of recognized schools is still on the MOE website (have only found the archived list from 2006, and my school was on there). He kinda confirmed that if my school is on the list, my degree is recognized. Hard to get a straight answer I guess.

So, I think it’s almost safe to assume that I shouldn’t have a problem getting my degree recognized for my work permit…is it?

Should I try calling the Toronto office and see if they come up with a better answer?

As for the paperwork I need, I’ll stick to the things you wrote: diploma, translated diploma, sealed transcript, and copies of everything.

[quote=“Cinephile”]Great! I’ll look into it.

Do these copies also need the TECO stamp or will the (free) Ministry of Foreign Affairs stamp be enough? At $16 a pop for the TECO stamp, it kinda adds fast :wink:[/quote]

Yep, that’s why they ask for them.

Try Toronto and Vancouver. Weird, that is not supposed to be a one man army…

OK, I think that’s the best possible answer I can get from them now. Called the Toronto office but they told me basically the same thing as the guy in Ottawa.

So I wrote once more to the Ottawa office, since the guy didn’t seem to really understand what I was asking for on the phone last week, (or wasn’t able to put his answer into words, I don’t know) and got a more thorough answer in writing. Here’s what he wrote:

''I believe there are some confusions. The list on our website is provided by the ministry of education of each province in Canada on lists of university, institute, and community college. Any school from Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and Association of Canadian Community Colleges are also included. This list is not used by the Ministry of Education of ROC(Taiwan) for approval of work permit for foreign English teachers, in fact there is no such list. As I said on the phone, it is not our jurisdiction to determine whether a Canadian institution is recognized or not. It is also up to your employer to determine whether the education received from school is appropriate for the job, not the Ministry of Education of ROC(Taiwan).

Here is the list of schools in the province of Quebec:’ -end quote.

So again, what he’s saying, even though it contradicts what I read on the forum, is that this list is provided by provincial Ministries of Education and they also added the schools listed by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada From what I gather, the list has nothing to do with the MOE requirements. In fact, they don’t seem to have much requirements at all. I really don’t know what it’s used for.

Do schools really look at this list before filing the paperwork for a work permit? Do cram schools really have that much leeway when hiring teachers? That’s what he seems to be advancing.

What is left to know for sure is the exact purpose of having this list on their website, if not for recognition purposes. I’ll try to find that out.

In the meantime, I now believe that I shouldn’t encounter any problems getting my work permit. However, as a precautionary measure, I will try to secure a job before landing in Taiwan, only for this first year. I know it’s not the best course of action, and that I’d have a better chance of finding a more interesting school by applying in person, but I think it would be wiser in my particular situation to have some kind of insurance policy before leaving Canada. I’ve read good things about Reach to Teach, so I’ll apply with them this week and see what they can do for me.

I’ll keep you posted on the outcome :wink: