Questions: Finding a job, finances, etc

I have a few questions that have arisen from responses to some of my previous posts, resources that I’ve been reading in preparation for moving, etc… I’ve tried doing searches of the forums to find the answers, but haven’t found what I’m looking for. Please feel free to just refer me to a particular post, if the question has already been answered. Or, you can refer me to a website or resource that will answer my question. Thanks.

  1. Due to the current state of the economy, how many teaching and non-teaching jobs are available right now?

  2. What type of non-teaching jobs might be available to someone who doesn’t, yet, speak Mandarin?

  3. Would it be easier or smarter to try to find a job once I move to Taiwan? Or, is it possible to find a (legitimate) one while I’m still in the US? (The idea of moving over without a job seems a littel risky. And, I don’t really have the money to make a job hunting trip, come back and then move again.)

  4. If I don’t have a job prior to moving, do I come over on a tourist visa?

  5. Someone suggested bring my university degrees/diplomas over. Can I bring copies? Or, should I bring the originals?

  6. How much money should I bring over with me when I move, to hold me over till I get my first paycheck? (In NT$ is fine)

  7. I know that I can’t get a bank account or credit card till I have my ARC. If I use my US based credit cards, will there be any extra fees or charges?

  8. How easy is it to transfer money to the US? Is this done electronicly? Do I need to send a check through the mail? How long will it take?

  9. Can I set up an e-bill pay system with a Taiwanese bank? Will it allow me to pay US bills?

  10. I’m 6’6" tall… What is the average height of things – doorways, MRT cars, ceilings, etc… in Taiwan? Will I have to duck all the time? Will I fit into an average taxi’s back seat?

  11. I’m trying to stock up on clothes and shoes. Any recommendations for fabrics I should be considering?

  12. My boyfriend says it is very humid there year round. How cold/warm does it get? What should I be considering as far as types of clothes – jackets, shirts, pants, shorts, etc…?

I guess that’s it for now… enough I know Thanks in advance for any and all help.


  1. There are always teaching jobs. There always seem to be two or three technical writing or marketing type jobs listed in the papers. Keep in mind that these will be entry level positions and that salaries are significantly lower than in the US/Canada. Taxes are lower too though :slight_smile:

  2. Look through the posts in the tech forum on this. Mandarin is usually irrelevant since your being hired for your English-speaking skills anyway.

3.You can try to find a job before you come but you probably won’t have much luck.Employers usually like to see that you are actually here in Taiwan before they will hire you.

  1. Yes.

  2. Bring the originals.

  3. US$1000 (assumimg a modest lifestyle without going to bars or eating western food out etc.)


  1. This is a hassle. You’ll have to go to a bank and do an electronic wire transfer. This ends up costing NT$400~500 each time (ICBC, anybody know a cheaper one?). I keep a checking account in the states to pay bills there.

  2. No.

  3. You’re too tall for Taiwan. You won’t be able to stand up stand upright in the MRT and you will be constantly ducking to avoid low-hanging signs and the like. You will be unable to buy clothes or shoes off the rack, so stock up. I think you will be able to cram yourself into most taxis though. Having said that, I’ve seen some really tall foreigners in Taiwan (6-8+), so I guess it’s possible to live here and be that tall.

  4. ??

  5. It’s very, very hot in the summer and surprisingly cold in the winter (at least in northern Taiwan). This is because there is no heating, so if it’s humid and 40 degrees outside, it’s humid and 40 degress inside. If you will be here then, definitely bring a few wool sweaters, polartec fleece, and a light jacket.I personally can never get warm in winter here unless I’m exercising or in a hot spring. For the summer you will want a large collection of the lightest-weight clothing you can find. I’d also recommend a pair (no two) of comfortable but semi-enclosed sandals.

You should also poke around the front page of Oriented. There are several articles there that answer many of your questions. Oh, and I’d also suggest that you buy a copy of the Lonely Planet guide to Taiwan before you arrive.



Actually you can easily get a bank account without an ARC and you willneed original of your degree)


  1. cotton, linen, cock, oops, i mean seersucker…

Thanks for the information, Feiren. Though, I’ve never been told I was TOO TALL for a country before. Even here in the US, I’ve had to deal with things being too small for me – plane seats, bus seats, theatre seats, metro cars, etc… I guess I can survive living in “tiny” Taiwan.

If I move to Taiwan, prior to finding a job, how easy do you think it will be to find a job? I won’t be able to support myself long without a job. And, I can’t (and don’t want to) expect my bf to support me for long, either.

Alien… I’m familiar with the first kind of sucker you started to mention. I’m not sure, though, I know what a seersucker is.


A weeks solid job hunting should give you the choice of a couple of jobs.

Tranferring money to an overseas bank account is very easy. You just need your passport and the fee is about NT$300. You can open a bank account with only your passport.

Definitely buy some shoes before you come. And given Taiwan’s hot humid summers some 100% cotton or linen clothes.

How hard is it to find a non-techning, non-editing job in Taipei or in Hsinchu, like for instance in sales/marketing?

What’s the pay like?

I have a Masters in Asian studies with a minor in Business. I speak mandarin and reads/writes Chinese.

I am scheduled to get an open work permit soon and have 2 years of Taiwan experience.

Originally posted by LJ: If I move to Taiwan, prior to finding a job, how easy do you think it will be to find a job? I won't be able to support myself long without a job. And, I can't (and don't want to) expect my bf to support me for long, either.

Your “white skin” is enough to guarantee you an English-teaching job. I bet in a week’s time you could easily secure an English teaching job for yourself (especially in bushibans or cram schools that don’t provide ARC). One too many.

I want to work for a place that provides an ARC. I don’t want to be illegal. The last thing I need is to move there, get found out, and be deported. One of the reasons I’m moving is so I’m not half way around the world from my bf. Being deported will defeat that purpose.

I do realize that people do it. I don’t want to take that chance.



No personal experience of the Buxiban scene, but it seems that it’s not too hard to find employment as an English teacher if you are willing to sign up for one year. At least the China Post, Tealit etc seem rather full with techning jobs (WITH work permits provided for the “right” candidate). Try Hess. With their reputation, they must have lots of urgent vacancies . All you need is a university degree, experience not required.

Where will you be in Taiwan? It is much easier to give you a hint of where to look for jobs or positions and possible what to avoid if we know where you are headed. Most cities will have al large variety of bushi bans for you to choose from; legally or otherwise.

The humidity here is horrendous so seriously consider 100% cotton for everything summer-y. Close-toed shoes are professionally accepted (even if the backs are non-existant).

You can do a lot of research on bushi-bans from where you sit now. Many of them have web pages with lots-o information.

BANK ACCOUNT: ICBC charges 100NT for a certified (bank issue) check. Its another 40 or 80 to post it registered mail at the post office. Works for me… and the charge is for the conversion of NT to U$.

Ladydragon, et al…

I will be moving to Taipei specifically. My bf lives there. So, that is the location of choice. I’ve decided, due to overwhelming advice, to just come over and try to find a job. My plan is to make the move next month, on 15 May. I still want to make contacts, etc… prior to coming. Maybe even set up some interviews for when I get there. Any suggestions would be helpful.

I’m assuming I need a tourist visa prior to coming over. Any suggestions? Please feel free to refer me to another post on the site. I’ve not taken the time to search for the info myself. Also, any idea how long it takes to get approved for one?

Thanks in advance.