Newbie wanting to teach in Taiwan - advice wanted

I’m interested in going to Taiwan to teach and would like any feedback or advice if possible.

My background is as follows: I’m 22 and am Chinese (speak Cantonese and little bit of Manderin, born in China but bought up in New Zealand, therefore can be considered as a native English speaker). I have a bachelors degree, teaching certificate and have about 6 months of tutoring experience (tutoring university students website deigsn and database design). I have not decided which city in Taiwan I’ll like to live in yet, but I would like a high paid position while at the same time maximise the amount I can save. In terms of accommodation, I prefer being able to stay with a local family that has a spare bedroom to rent out (I think it would be cheaper and I’ll be able to force myself to improve on my Manderin skills too). In terms of the school, becasue I don’t have real english teaching experience, I don’t mind teaching children or adults, as for adults the only thing I’m worried about is the respect they will give me considering I am quite young.

Any feedback or other useful information would be much appreciated. Thank you. Kind regards.

Lil :smiley:

The most important thing is whetehr or not you’ve got a NZ passport.


Yes I do hold a NZ passport.

Having said this, schools in Taiwan usually favour teachers from USA/ Canada then Australia then New Zealand.

What I’m worried about is, being a Chinese how easy would it for me to find a teaching position and how well will I be treated. I definietly know that a European face is better than an Asian face in terms teaching English.

Would anyone recommend going to teach in Japan instead of Taiwan? Asking just out of interest because I have not officially decided where I’d like to go and teach.


Don’t get too worried about having a New Zealand passport. Although some schools advertise for a “North American accent” I believe those that are stupid enough to do so couldn’t tell the difference between a North American accent and a New Zealand accent anyway.

Unfortunately being of Chinese origin is likely to count against you. Schools never advertise for a “Caucasian” or someone with “blue eyes”, but sadly they often discriminate in this way. Some more about discrimination against overseas Chinese and people whose skin is not the “right” colour can be found in some other threads on forumosa. e.g. I am being discriminated by my own people, To Asian teachers teaching English in Taiwan

You seem perfectly well qualified to teach in Taiwan and I am sure you wil find a job here. Just be aware that you will face some discrimination and my advice for dealing with it is this. If you feel any place you go to is not interested in employing you because of your ethnicity walk out. Don’t waste your time with these ignorant people. Look for a school that is interested in you because of your qualifications, enthusiasm and personality.

Agree. NZ passport and accent no problem. You’d luck out on about 10% of the jobs because of that. Being Chinese on the other hand is more of a problem. You’ll miss out on as many as 90% of the jobs becasue of this. But I still think that you should come here instead of Japan. I had a HK friend with no degree who found work here, so it’s certainly possible. I think yoour two options are as follows:

  1. Arrange a job through one of the big chain schools before you come. I wouldn’t normally recommend this, but they discriminate against overseas Chinese less. Steer clear of Kojen - I’ve heard really bad stories. Everone hates HESS, but they might suit you. Kid Castle is nice. All comparatively low pay though. The big negative here is that you could be posted in some dirty polluted remote shithole.

  2. Come to Taipei, where you’ve got a lot of jobs available. Look around. You could get a much better job this way. The drawback is that it might take a wee while.

Re housing. I strongly advise against trying to get a room with a family. Far from being an opportunity to practice Chinese, they’ll want to use you to practice their English, and teach there kids for free. Also, especially seeing as you’re fairly youg, you won’t have any freedom. They’ll be bothering you because you came home late etc etc. You’ll be like the son or daughter in a conservative Chinese family, and I’m sure you know what that’s like.