Question for the F Nation

Dear all,

I have been reading this board for a few days now snatching any tiny bit of information I can about Taiwan but I’m still unsure about one or two things.

I am what people would call a fresh grad’ (master degreee in business basically).
My job experience includes 2.5 meaningful internship (a cumulative 12 months “useful” work experience, i.e. not counting the summer job crap) mainly in communication/marketing and for tourism and automotive markets.
My language skills include fluent English (sorry this is not google translated :frowning: ), native French, fluent Spanish and then very little german italian and catalan.
I am heading towards my 25th birthday, have some cash in the bank, know a couple of local taiwanese and am considering moving there for at least the duration of the tourist visa.
Working holidays agreements are not signed yet between France and TW so I cannot forsee this as a solution.

I have a few questions considering job market. I have seen that you are quite straight forward and honest in your answers so I will ask simple questions.

1-Is speaking french a valuable asset for finding jobs in TW? (that includes teaching)
2-Is it possible to teach english as a non-native speaker? (Canadians really have it easy there…)
3-Assuming I’d stay here to learn mandarin, could I get some sort of scolarship? How long would it take me to reach business level if I carefully avoid expats and have a share flat with locals?
4-I’ve came accross some posts saying that some other places in Asia were more welcoming for young expats (namely Singapore, Hong-kong and mainland China), is Taiwan such a no-go for someone who’s looking to build up a career as an expat?

I know I could directly ask french boards but the ones I found are that active and they never disclosed the whole Psychoxiaoje thing (sorry for the spelling).
Hope you can help me with those questions because I wanna be sure before I book the tickets and I am up for living in other asian countries too.

  1. IMO as a non-French speaker, French will only be an asset for very niche opportunities, whether it’s buying from/selling to French speakers, working in Taiwan branches of French companies (SocGen, BNP), doing research with French academia. I have been told that the CCIFT uses English as its lingua franca and it’s website (ccift.org.tw) is in English – as we say in my ol’neighborhood: 'nuff said

  2. Possible? Mais oui – just don’t tell anybody. I remember when the law changed in the '90s that restricted English teaching to only those from “English speaking countries”, that not only excluded teachers who were from India and the Philippines (the largest and third largest English speaking countries in the world) but practically all of Europe. I hope this has changed since then.

  3. I hear you. Compared to China and Vietnam (to name but two of many alternatives), Taiwan seems like a tough choice to make, especially if you plan to return to wherever you are from:

Alain: Je vous ai entendu a passé 3 ans en Thailande - grandes plages, non?
Gerard: Non, j’étais à Taïwan
Alain: Oui, c’est ce que j’ai dit: Thaïlande
Gerard: Ça ne fait rien

However, the cost of living in Taiwan is much lower than Singapore, HK, and Japan (i.e., good luck having any savings as someone just starting out after B-school), and if you are adventurous and give serious thought about where you want to be in 3 (or more) years, Taiwan could be an excellent springboard. And if you are entrepreneurial, there are many ways you can develop contacts for the future – arguably better than the suits in Singapore and HK.

IMHO, China and Vietnam present a different comparison to Taiwan, almost the opposite of Singapore/HK. More opportunity, more needs, and less creature comforts for the young graduate.

Many of us stay in Taiwan because of our parent’s family or because we started families here. If this isn’t one of your reasons to be here, it’s harder to ignore other places closeby Taiwan as valid alternatives (eg. pay scale).

If you want to learn mandarin there are only two real choices, Taiwan and China. It takes a few years to get good Mandarin, probably two years minimum , more years for real fluency and even then reading and writing will be basic. It’s not only the language but learning the culture and ways of doing things which is very different from living in the Western world.