Some concerns before leaving the states!

Hi all! I’ve been ruminating for the past few days about the not so distant future and what my situation will be like. Firstly, I’ve gotten a job with the Gloria English School ( of which i’ve heard more good than bad. My contact person there would like to know my itinerary so they can arrange a pick-up at the airport. I have booked and paid for my ticket, leaving the 16th of oct. My dilemma is that the school is located in taoyuan county, not taipei. (albeit very close, milage wise) A very close friend of mine has a girlfriend who studies in the US and is from taipei. She is of the opinion that i should get a job in taipei as it is much easier (in terms of language and transportation) for someone who knows no mandarin. My qualms with this are that i have no housing, no job, and although i haven’t signed a contract with gloria ES, i feel somewhat obligated to fulfill my verbal agreement with them. Any thoughts on my dilemma are greatly appreciated! and ask any questions you like!

Whatever you decide, don’t let this stop you. As of now they have little or nothing invested in you, there is still time before you were expected, it shouldn’t make a huge difference to them one way or the other. Also the prevailing business ethic here is such that if the shoe were on the other foot, no contract, there would be no hesitation before deciding on the side of self interest.

I lived in Taoyuan for a year and I don’t really speak a word of Chinese. Saying that, my girlfriend is local which helps.
There are a fair few foreigners living in Taoyuan and the two Carrefour supermarkets there both have English service tills. You might have problems with some restaurants, but there’d Debbie’s there which is a semi-US style diner which serves decent food for the money and they speak English and there’s also a TGI Friday’s where they speak enough English. Oh, and there’s some Canadian guy that opened up a pizza place near the main train station, although I haven’t been there, so I can’t say if it’s any good or not.
Some other stuff might be a bit harder, but it’s a hop and skip to Taipei and you can either go by the cheap “slow” train or the new high-speed rail which is about NT$110 to get into Taipei during weekends.
However, it can be expensive to get to the high-speed train station, at least compared to the rest of the trip.
With regards to the job, I dunno, I don’t teach, so I can’t help you with that bit.

ahh interesting, i think i’ll plan on spending a few days in taipei looking for a better job. Once over there is is easier to look online or are there adds or other classifieds for english teachers? Should i just wonder around american university until someone offers me a job? hehe

thanks for your help!


Candidly speaking: Living in Taoyuan city is akin to being thrust up your own anal canal. It is dirty, dark and dank. Taipei is a much more pleasant aperture.

mike_rophonechecker - I dunno what part of Taoyuan you lived in, but I don’t think it was the same place where I lived.
There’s nothing wrong with Taoyuan and the places you’re talking about more sounds like certain back alleys in Taipei to me…

Well, but the OP’s school isn’t in Taoyuan City, it’s out in the county.

I’d say take the job and see how it goes. You’ll certainly have language problems but then you will anywhere, Taipei City included – don’t believe for a moment that more than 1% of the people in Taipei can construct a comprehensible sentence of English.

Things’ll be much, much cheaper out in the county, and the pay will probably be about the same. After a few months if it isn’t working out, at least you’ll be on your feet and in a better position to find something else.

Additionally, if you are intending to learn Chinese you will fare much better outside of Taipei, where there is so much English that you will never really be forced to learn. If you wanna learn Chinese you got to have to speak it

I disagree with the previous poster. Most foreigners I know who speak Mandarin well live in the big cities where they can take classes.

Up to you. I learned Chinese by living out in the sticks for three years. Never took a single lesson - free skillsets!

I learned Chinese, never leaving XinYi district! There were tons of Chinese speakers there.

Taoyuan-shi is not my favorite city, but the county has the advantage of containing TPE for those quick getaways to … duh … MNL? HKG? KIX? NRT? oh yeah, charters to PEK. Hmmm, maybe I would just hop on THSR.