Several problems melded together

Dear all,

I’m a new member and didn’t quite know where to post my questions…and apologize beforehand for the long post. Before I decided to post my questions I did my homework and read most of the topics related to my situation but since my problem is unfortunately a mix of probably 3 or 4 forum sections I decided to open a new thread even if I might be flamed irresponsible :slight_smile: I am sorry as It is a long read and thank all of those who will read all the way through to the end and even more, thank those who will give me their kind opinions.

To sum up my heartbroken situation…

I was studying Chinese in Taiwan as an exchange student, fell in love with Taiwan and one special girl and of course had to go back home. Now I’m home, sad, busy with many many things and on top of that trying to figure out a way to get back and wondering how many things I could’ve done while still in Taiwan…up until now it’s probably a classic case.

During my time in TW I applied for a PhD in linguistics at NTU, got awarded by a $30K /month scholarship for 3 years by the government of R.O.C., but unfortunately wasn’t admitted to NTU itself. I know everyone says so – but this time the fault really wasn’t all that mine. My documents were all good, submitted well ahead of time, I had amazing recommendation letters, the problem was in my research plan. I planned to compare a particular grammar feature of Chinese, Hungarian and Slovak. NTU’s linguistic department saw my paper and according to them, since they had no professor who spoke all three languages, they would not accept me, unless at another department of NTU they would find a professor suitable to consult my PhD research plan. Well…at least so they say. The problem was they didn’t tell me so until I went to the department personally. Since there was an interview involved in the application process, and no one had contacted me I wrote, called and wrote again but no reply, until eventually I went there personally and realized what was going on. In my opinion it shouldn’t have been such a big problem whether the professor did or did not speak the 3 languages in question, but I did what I could and rewrote my research plan so that it would almost perfectly suit one of the professors at the department. I came back the next day, they said the research plan was ok, called the deans office for registration details and the answer was that I passed the application deadline…

I of course could apply next year which I will probably do, but to loose one year is a whole lot, not to mention the big question what will I do during that long long time, since I don’t want to be in Europe, but in Taiwan… …I wonder if there was any appeal possible, but it’s too late anyway.

While doing my PhD, I was planning to open a small import/export company doing imports between Taiwan and Europe with commodities like Coffee, Beverages, Tea and so on. This is still my plan, but well… the problem is, that I am still in Europe.

So the first thing that came into my mind was that I should find a decent job in Taiwan, get back as soon as I can, reapply for PhD and start the company in my own good time. Now the way I am spending my days is, that I am looking for jobs in Taiwan which seems like a pretty tough thing to do, since I am in Europe and I didn’t have much response so far. Like many forum members, I speak several languages and since I have been with my girl, my Chinese, thanks to her, has improved incredibly (T.O.P. intermediate/advanced). I have a master’s degree in International relations and diplomacy and soon a bachelor’s in Chinese studies, with numerous previous job experiences… I am sure I am employable, there just has to be something I must be doing wrong:(

I thought of teaching English, but since I am Slovak, even though I have a European passport and lived in New York for a long time, worked as a translator, used to teach English before and so on and so on and so on…most schools will look at my nationality and say no.

I read the business section of this forum and found the amazing post about opening a representative office in TW, but I don’t know whether it would be suitable for what I plan to do. If I was to import say Italian coffee, I was planning to open a small Italian fashion-type Cafe as a showroom, promote my coffee there and slowly build up a distribution network.

If you read so far, thank you

To sum up my questions. If the kind forum members who have the time could give me their advice and their opinion on the following:

  1. If a forum member was to be in my situation…what would he/she do?
  2. how to get back legally
  3. how to get employed
  4. which one would be the best way to set up a company I particularly had in mind
  5. would it be a good idea just to set up a representative office and hope that I will do good business so I can survive in TW?

With the PhD I had everything… my dream academic program, scholarship, my amazing girl and a lot of time to do research about the best way to set up my company, and eventually do so…now I’m home and in a whole heap of trouble…:slight_smile:

Probably a bad idea to start a business with so little time before you (hope to) launch into a Ph. D.

You’ve got an MA in IR. Did you check out the EU Studies Centre at NTU? Or try an EU rep office in Taipei?
You could always come back and register to study Chinese. That would take care of your visa. After that, do you need to work? There’s always private tutoring under the table.

  1. If a forum member was to be in my situation…what would he/she do?
    -) Go to Taiwan, study Chinese for 1 year and teach English (provide enough documents, …) to proof your English knowledge (or do translations)
    If your girl is serious about you, just get married. That would solve all your problems.

  2. how to get back legally
    Get here on a tourist visa, inscribe in a language school, f.i.: TLI, get student ARC and stay in Taiwan legally without too many visa runs to HK

  3. how to get employed
    Start teaching English, get some namecards, make the right contacts and … who knows

  4. which one would be the best way to set up a company I particularly had in mind
    Do a search on this forum

  5. would it be a good idea just to set up a representative office and hope that I will do good business so I can survive in TW?
    It is a gamble. Teaching English could be much easier.

You need to come back to Taiwan and look for a job here, while on the island. It’s impossible to work on from Europe. Basically you will have to ‘wing’ it, I don’t think you are that type of person but that’s what it takes in a place like Taiwan. Plus it’s normal to have these types of obstacles come up every now and then. Come back here, get a job, any job to start, don’t be picky with salary if you are in a hurry to get hired look for sales/marketing for SMEs or large companies with European market, put your resume on, you need a Taiwan mobile number and address and to be available for interview immeidately), work on getting the PhD or whatever else you want to do in that time. You can come in on a visitor visa. You need to get in front of people before they will hire you, that’s the way it goes in most places but especially Taiwan, they don’t really care about your education. Get some balls and do it!
Set up a company later…put that down your list.

Thank you all for your replies.

I did contact the EU trade office in Taipei. They did not respond yet. I can imagine it’s summer and a lot of people are on holidays, but it’s been weeks and so I think it’s a no. The EU trade office does offer internships for up to 6 months but they are all unpaid.

I contacted the German and Italian trade offices but no luck as well, I will keep trying with others.

I didn’t think of enrolling into a Chinese language school, since I didn’t see the ARC advantage before, but thank you for the suggestion. I hope it’s not too late for registration.

I know it’s very difficult to look for a job from Europe, but I’d at least like to have some sort of communication going on with the companies beforehand and know that I might have at least a small chance of getting hired, rather than fly out to Taiwan and to my job search there.

You guys (but I’m only guessing, so forgive me if I’m wrong) probably come from western countries and are used to the process of looking for jobs since you were 16. Where I come from, capitalism hasn’t been around for a very long time and so has the open job market. I’m skeptical about these job-hunting strategies:( In my country, even if you have a superhuman resume, preform like a God on the interview with 30+ companies and have relevant work experience sometimes if you don’t have the contacts, it’s impossible to get hired anywhere. I’m not complaining please don’t get me wrong…it’s just my two cents of worries of why I’m afraid to fly out to Taiwan and hope to get hired in 30 days.