Rental stipend as a foreign teacher- weird situation?

Hello everyone,

I’ve recently started working as a teacher in a public high school in Taipei City. The contract I was given (but still have yet to sign) is almost completely based off of the TFETP English Teacher contract, with the two main differences being:

-I am not a teacher, but administrative staff (and legitimately so, based on my responsibilities);
-This contract is offered by Taipei City, rather than Taiwan itself.

My question is as follows. On my contract, it states in Chinese that my salary will “be as according to the TFETP wage schedule” in terms of amount per month, seniority bonuses, etc. However, in the following paragraph, it sets out a rental stipend and flight reimbursement that is less than the TFETP standard. I asked my new manager about the difference and she said that this is just what Taipei City is willing to pay.

Has anyone seen this before? My wife suggested that this might actually be a bonus on top of the rental stiped provided in the TFETP contract rather than Taipei City being cheap. Might that be possible? I’ll call them on Monday to check anyway, but if anyone has experience, it would help me a lot.

fyi, a contract in sy 2021

I don’t know the answer but it’s typical bullshit, not unusual.


Perhaps you should explain the exact difference?

Each city has a slightly different contract

If you are single you don’t really need $80,000 to fly back to America. If you live in Taipei you definitely need $10,000 rent assistance.

In Taipei at least, the flight back to America never covers a spouse or dependants. Or at least my contract didn’t.

But yeah Taipei Moe can be pretty frustrating to work with in my experience.

Individuals schools even will change the contracts. I was given some (quite a few) where monthly pay offered was like 56k/month, when the FET website was quite clear that 62k/month was the starting rate (“back then”). “This is a very good salary” they’d tell me. Sadly, I think theres a foreign teacher who’s been at one of those schools for over a decade who may well have just accepted the scam.

Problem is rental assistance is based on whether or not your spouse (or a blood relative) is joining you, not the COL in the area you live.

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I always assumed they paid for your family to fly. There was a time when you could fly to America for just $30,000 ntd.

The FET contract was 40k each way for the teacher and one spouse/lineal relative. So 80k x 2 ppl. Before 2020, that was premium economy on EVA and there’d still be some wiggle room.

Sure thing. I’ll respond to a couple people here.

MOE: Flight reimbursement for me + my wife, at $40k round trip per person
School: Flight reimbursement for just me, not my wife, at $40k per one-way ticket. (I’m sure someone thought they were being very clever by technically offering the same amount but in a way I couldn’t claim)

MOE: $5k per month rental reimbursement, $10k if married
School: $5k rental reimbursement whether or not I’m married

My working hours are also weird, but in a way that I actually like; I work Tues-Sat, but Saturday only from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Thanks for the replies, everyone! I really appreciate it.

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Is the school flight reimbursement just for your home country or all countries?

(Some contracts include all countries)

If your dates and location are flexible you still can as long as you take a layover in the Philippines.

Hawaii and Los Angeles have flights at 1,000 round trip. (Maybe slightly more). But theres a full 24 hour layover in Manila.

Asiana has a similar deal but it’s more like 1,500. Have to spend a long layover in Seoul.

Prices might have changed but that’s what I found a couple months ago

The contract says that it has to be to the closest airport to my home city, but when I asked about it the secretary of the school said that as long as it was to somewhere in America they would approve it. Sketchy, but probably fine.

Not really sketchy. If for example your family live close to a boarder town and the airport is technically in another country… you can take that plane.

Not that part, what I meant by sketchy is that the contract limits me to one city but the staff say they’ll approve whatever. It would be nicer to have it in writing… otherwise I could totally see me booking a ticket to NYC or something, sending it in to be reimbursed and then getting rejected.

I would suggest insisting on it. I had some difficulty where the Chinese part said they would only reimburse one way tickets (the English part didn’t say the same thing). Had some difficulty getting my round trip tickets reimbursed even though it was cheaper. That’s just the nature of the bureaucracy (Eventually they fixed it and changed the wording in the second contract for me).

Besides, the more clear the contract is, the happier both parties will be in general. Both know what to expect and should have less contention.


you still can

nonstop flight

Which airline?

I wonder if it’s starlux. The results for star lux doesn’t show up properly in Google flights or other flight websites.

They show up but I’ve noticed occasionally the prices are lower on the starlux site sometimes


its 16924 NTD each leg.
So a little over 30K.
But those dates are for LNY, so I’m sure other times of the year will be cheaper.


Good to know it’s an option though