Question regarding timing of finding work in Taiwan as an english teacher :)

Hi everyone, I am new to the forum and hope to get to know some of you over the coming months! I am a 26 year old British-American quite bored of life in the UK and want to make a career shift into teaching, and hopefully university lecturing down the line. I don’t intend to make my move to Taiwan just a one year fleeting thing, I am quite prepared to start a life in Taiwan for at least 2 years.

I wish to make the move to Taiwan and have been looking at moving to Kaohsiung, it seems like the perfect place for me by all accounts so I am determined to make this my city base, hopefully the heat doesn’t affect me too badly!

I know that a lot of you are experienced english teachers so wanted some insight from you. Because of complications at work I won’t be able to leave my job in the UK until the 4th of September, which from what I have gathered is past the current peak hiring season. Do you think I would find a teaching job in Kaohsiung (I have a 4 year degree, 120 hour online teaching cert, and a cheery disposition) if I moved to Taiwan in September? Would I be better to wait until December / January for the next hiring season? Is there such thing as a late December / January hiring season? As there are some seriously conflicting pieces of information online. I really want to make the move as soon as possible, but I am afraid I will arrive in September and not find any work.

Also with regards the tax situation, I gather if I am not living in Taiwan for more than 183 days before the end of the tax year I am subject to a much higher rate of tax. I would assume this is recoverable? How does this work if I move to Taiwan in September, when can I recover the funds from the increased tax rate I will be subject to? How can I do this?

Any help you lovely folk can provide would be awesome!

Wow… 20 minutes of scrolling through this forum, you would think Taiwan is hell on earth. Why are there so many negative people on this forum?! my god…


People tend to bitch more about anything in general than to praise something effusively.

I’m not a teacher, but have read enough on this forum over the years that you can use search function in forum for both tax question and timing to find a job.

However, living here in Kaohsiung I can say you will be making the right choice coming to live in the south.

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Let’s just say, you should learn from others’ experiences.
Find a good reputable employer, or else you will likely need to endure shady and unfair practices.

Also, I doubt that the people who came here were negative people to begin with. I’m sure they were mostly naive and hoping for the best experience. But then they got culture shocked and are having a hard time reconciling how they imagined their work life would be and how it actually is.

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Okay I am reading and trying to decipher what is constructive advice and what is just jaded ‘loser mentality’ english teachers. I would rather really stay away from negative people who don’t work on themselves but rather complain that nothing will change, these people are everywhere not just in Taiwan of course. Can you offer any insight into my question regarding timing of finding teaching work in South Taiwan (Kaohsiung)?

Thank you for the feedback, I am trying to find answers to this as we speak! But it always helps to get some up-to-date information as things are always changing :wink:

Sorry, I can’t. I’m not an English teacher. Maybe others can.

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As for tax, if you live here for more than 183 days before the end of the tax year, tax rate for English teachers is 5% or 12% in most cases. If your income is more that 1,210,000NTD, tax rate for the exceeding income is 20%.

If you live here for less that 183days, you are subject to tax at a flat rate of 18%.

I just did a quick search of Work / Teaching English in Taiwan
Most replies say try contacting places now if you can.
All else fails, land in Taiwan, come to KHH with addresses of English schools in hand (Hess, Giraffe, etc.) and start knocking on doors the old-fashioned way. Just walking the city streets here in the main districts and you can’t help bumping into them on every big block.

At night, head to some bars with foreigners and strike up a conversation.

If you need ideas of where to think of living here in KHH, just PM me. I can go on some more about here.

For cram schools / buxibans, it doesn’t really matter all that much what time of year you apply. There tends to always be a revolving door.

For public / private schools, hiring season started two months ago for the coming school year. It is not too late though. Some schools may be willing to hire you and set up a sub for the first week of school. It is not an ideal situation for them, but if you can convince them you are worth it, it could happen.

What type of learning institution do you prefer to teach at?

Which area will you be living in? Have you decided yet?

There are a few jaded posters here who are regulars that make it seem Taiwan is a terrible place. Take everything you read here with a few grains of salt. Everyone has different circumstances. You have the right mind set. Keep that positive momentum going!

Thank you for your reply! I was intending on doing this however I have read many sources claiming you should never agree to a position before arriving in Taiwan as it is best to get a lay of the land and the market before committing to anything. Would you advise against this and start contacting schools now? I suppose it wouldn’t harm to speak to a few schools even if it doesn’t lead to anything! I will definitely contact you once my departure date gets closer, I have a lot of questions about the industry and Kaohsiung as a city.

I have a good amount of savings so wouldn’t be afraid to arrive in Taiwan without a job, I can certainly bide my time for a month or so after arriving in the country while I look for work.

@wanttoteach, if you are thinking public/private regular schools, you need a teacher licence.

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I want to work at public / private schools, however I have no teaching experience apart from a summer coaching tennis to juniors. I feel confident I will pick it up quickly, however I had come to accept that I may have to work in a Buxiban for the first year while I gain experience. Am I underselling myself? If I do enjoy teaching my aim is to eventually either get my masters degree and start applying for lecturing posts or a become a fully qualified teacher so I can pursue work at international schools etc.

So to answer your question, I feel I am restricted to Buxibans at this stage.

I want to live in Kaohsiung, I have done loads of research on this and I feel this is the best city for me. Where about do you live?

@tando is correct. If you need your employer to supply you with a work visa, then you will need a teaching license to work at a regular public or private school. The only way around that currently is if you have a JFRV (marriage arc) or APRC as they both allow you open work rights.

I would suggest getting your license before coming here if you can wait.

If you are really itching to get here ASAP, then your only legal option is to work at a buxiban.

Great that you did your homework. Have you been there before? Yes, Kaohsiung is hot and it is a spawling city, so best to get a set of wheels or find a school / home near an MRT line.

I live up North in New Taipei City. However, my inlaws live in Kaohsiung and I have spent plenty of time down there.

Kaoshiung is nice for me, but I still need to go to Taipei often for work as it’s where our international customer are mostly. I walk to my office, from a small home so that is nice, but otherwise to get to most shopping places or areas of interest it’s better to have a car. Kaoshiung for the most part is an ok place to drive as most major roads are big (wide) and in general has less traffic than Taipei (although in Taipei city proper things are better the New Taipei City such as Sanchoung which is awful place to drive). I live near the Water Tower/ Civic Center area which is central older area on a small lane, where for the most part part everyone knows people in the area. For Western food/market’s I like Costco and Dollars (kinda like Tesco) but you will need a car to get there or via Taxi. The are two MRT (Rail) lines and a light rail line, but in general few local people use the system as coverage is not as good as Taipei and connecting bus service is poor). The new light rail I like, and the water front area where the light rail runs has become more trendy nicer as things change for the good. The weather is hot, but Taipei has been hotter in the summer recently and this summer here has been cooler but there has been heavy rains these past few weeks as happens in summer here. Cost of living is cheaper ( I get a big house with car park at less rent) than Taipei, and well as food. The downside is flying out, KHH airport has limited flights so have take the train or drive to TPE airport often.

I too am wondering about Kaohsiung in terms of transportation. I don’t drive nor do I intend to. (including scooter).

How essential is a car/scooter in Kaohsiung? I know there are only 2 MRT lines but are most ‘things to do’ located near the stops? As well as the new light rail.

You can always find a way to get somewhere. However, having your own wheels is so much better.
Kaohsiung is better with a car.

I’m a university lecturer in Kaohsiung. There’s plenty of cram schools here that would hire you based on your credentials. If you want to eventually teach at a uni as you say, then you need to get a masters. And even then, you’ll be against stiff competition.

Anyway… Have fun! The heat is unbearable and the traffic is bad, but Taiwanese are all in all a friendly bunch and there’s cool things to see and experience here.

It’s not. I don’t use one and I’m fine. Great MRT and bus system here, second only to Taipei.

You can get by without an car (you can always call a Taxi which there are many, use the APP). The two lines one runs north to South and other East to West, so a lot of areas are not near and if you need be near one of the lines limits your choices. Taxi, language maybe problem, have the place you want to go written in Chinese as sometimes my speaking Chinese is not so clear. Also in KHH (Kaoshiung) less English more Taiwanese (and it seems maybe more Japanese speakers, was at Family Mart and hour ago clerk spoke nice Japanese to me, which happens a lot with young people now to me speaking Japanese), but less English means more chances to speak Chinese (learn) and Kaoshiung people in general are nicer.