Skin Colour

Hi there,

I’m looking to teach in Taiwan next year and were talking to some people and they said it may be harder for me to find a job there as I look completely Asian.
Is this true? I really hope not… :noway:

Hi HL,

The short answer is yes it will be harder, but not impossible. Here are some relevant threads:


My boyfriend is Taiwanese American, and he’s currently working as an ESL teacher in Hsinchu. I can say that his experience finding a position was definitely more difficult than my own, based solely on ethnicity and looks. He applied for about 25 jobs, and was only accepted to two. Of the people who rejected him, several flat out told him that it was because he looked Chinese.

You certainly can find a good job, just be prepared for some rejections along the way. Good luck!

I used to be a former “bait”, white skin, from the States working in a kindergarten in Kaohsiung but my ex-boss told me that I was going to be the PR of his school. All the parents thought that their kids (kinder) were taking lessons from me, but not, the school couldn’t afford to pay high salaries to western teachers so they hired chinese teachers to teach the kids and my boss told me that he only needed me as PR and because I don’t have any rudimentary Chinese to communicate with the students, I was better off working in the PR plus editing their school material. But then I found some other job that I liked better and left that school.

And daisyhotkiss is not a native speaker, either, which shows what you are up against. In some schools, they want white people. Native speaking teachers cost more for the parents and the parents accuse schools of ‘cheating’ them by providing ‘Taiwanese’ teachers yet charging for ‘foreigners’, even if you are a native speaker.

Lots of people do fine, though, and better than foreigners, if they have the snaps, because of their bilinguality. Personality counts, as does teaching ability, language skill and education. Stress that you are a ‘real’ foreigner, not a local who has studied abroad.

They hired me for my western looks, like some schools around the island. Here some locals value A LOT the appearance and looks, not exactly your degree or experience, so yes, if you look asian, it is going to be difficult unless you accept the local wage.

My school hires ABCs specifically to teach their phonics program and it pays pretty well from what I understand.

Thanks so much for the great info guys! I’ll try my best to get a good job in Taiwan and not let the Asian looking thing get me down!

it’s just like we are isolated in our own land, ironically many locals tend to leave to other places.

Not really. The OP is a native speaker who looks Asian, from what I understand, and wants to know about whether other Asian-looking teachers have experienced racial discrimination. Taiwanese people are not discriminated against as they are allowed to apply for any job they like and if they have native speaker standard English and Chinese skills, they’ll be hired. People from other countries are not allowed to apply for most jobs in Taiwan and can only get work permits for certain jobs that the government decide there is a shortage of qualified locals.