Take a job in the suburbs or hold out?

I have been offerred a job (or at least a tryout) at a buxiban appx. 40-50 min. outside Taipei. It’s over 30 hours a week and I get paid 550/hr (I know 600 is average for first-timers). So far I have not had any luck even getting an interview in Taipei city, so I’m wondering if I should just take the job out in the sticks where the director warned me, “there’s not much to do.” Another negative is I have to work Saturday every other weekend, which wouldn’t be a big deal if I wasn’t planning to return to Taipei on the weekends.

Is it really that difficult to get a job as a first-timer in Taipei city? Especially if you’re an ABC? I would like to live closer to the city where my relatives are but if it’s not to be, I will move to the sticks and deal with it. However, if I fulfill my one-year contract and come back to Taipei with one year’s experience, will my marketability improve significantly?

Oh yeah, on the plus side, they will provide a room for me (unfurnished). That’s extra money saved, I guess. However, in the city I can always go to my relatives’ place for a meal.

Where are you talking about?

Linkuo. I believe it borders Taoyuan. It’s to the far west of Taipei County.

Hmm, I’d wait for a better offer.

Yep… you have to ask yourself the question “Why are they offering a room?” If they aren’t very busy then somethings amiss. Plus, if you took the job and accepted the room, well… all I can say is “Bye-bye privacy”

Taoyuan City isn’t bad, it’s pretty convenient to get into the city. But, going out into Taoyuan county isn’t something I’d advise. Basically, it means a bus trip to get somewhere convenient to go other places that are fun.

However, you may have trouble finding work as an ABC. Some schools are biased towards foreign-looking people even though you’re a native speaker. If you’re getting that kind of wage, I’d suggest going with a larger school like Hess or Kojen where you can get hired easily enough and do your best to get placed near your family.

which school in Linkou?

I started my Taiwan life out there, 18 months ago and I lasted a month Before realizing that Taipei is much better.

All the people I knew out there planned on saving a lot of money and managed to do so. Weekends were often spent in the city in the expat bars.

My advice would be to hold out or move there and drive a scooter. It’s not the worst place in the world but I found Taipei one hell of a lot better.

living out in the sticks ain’t so bad, but you gotta have a) a good escape route/ plan/ transportation b) a good honest job and c) privacy (you don’t want to be stuck living with who knows what or even your employers family-uh-uh. You didn’t write about much in your post but to me it doesn’t sound like a great situation to be stuck in.

If it’s one of your first jobs, I would find a job with one of the more established schools like HESS closer to easily availiable transport an/or your family and pick your own place to live. There are lots of opportunities for renting a room with someone closer to where you actually want to be.

Good luck!

Thanks for all your advice. I visited the location today and it’s one of those developing towns with vast stretches of open land and massive housing projects going up all over. The school itself is located in one of the commercial areas where there are a few fast food places, a Blockbuster, and the requisite Taiwanese eateries. Other than that, there isn’t much, not even a Starbucks (I don’t drink coffee but I’m making the point that there doesn’t even seem to be any common social area).

The director was pretty upfront with me and told me the teachers who were out there were trying to save money. I didn’t get to see the lodgings, but she assured me it was not a dorm room and I’d have my space.

So now I have to decide whether just saving dough is my primary objective. I’m also concerned that I may have to live like a monk out there, if the suburbs in Taiwan are similar to the ones back in the US (mostly families, nobody in their 20s-early 30s). I mean, this is a whole year we’re talking about.

Ok it sounds like the school I worked for when I first arrived. Is it on what looks like it should be a pedestrianized street?

If it’s the same room I had, then it’s at the back of a classroom. The room has a private entrance but you have to leave your room to get to the kitchen and bathroom, not great when you wake up late and they are teaching when you need the bathroom. The room isn’t a bad size but there isn’t much in it, a bed and a bar thing. It’s also permanently dark in the room because there is only one small window which has trees covering it.

The other teachers are good bunch, but the local teachers have a bit of an attitude,(although that could be because I was a bad teacher).

You do have one major advantage, speaking with an American accent.

If you do decide to take it, make sure you are given enough hours and don’t be afraid to get back into the city if it doesn’t work out.

Good luck with it. The area suits some and not others

linkou, while no utopia, is a bit bigger than a hole in the wall (here’s a link to find starbucks.) :wink:

that said, i don’t recommend taking rooms similar to what stuart has described. get something away from the school if possible, but at least something where you don’t need to go walking through a classroom to use the facilities.

also, if you’re going to work in linkou, you might as well live there. aside from starbucks, there’s rotten ron’s and kfc next to chang gun hospital (and even in the hospital), as well as lots of other choices around. plenty of people go into taipei from taoyuan and even chung li for weekends. from the latter it’s a 40 minute train ride.

linkou won’t be as exciting as taipei, but you should be able to save more $$$.

I lived in a burb that was similar to that (not so much going on, about that far from Taipei depending on mode of transit) and I’d recommend against it if you’re coming by yourself. It was three months here before I even saw a foreigner not connected to my school, and even that one was a nutbucket. English knowledge also decreases the further you get from a major city (Taipei, Kaohsiung, maybe Taichung) so that can cut into your life too.

If it’s one of your first jobs, I would find a job with one of the more established schools like HESS closer to easily availiable transport an/or your family and pick your own place to live. There are lots of opportunities for renting a room with someone closer to where you actually want to be.

Good luck![/quote]
You’re not going to be getting much pay at this school, so I would second this advice. The big chain schools pay no worse, and you can be in Taipei if you like. As well, I know Kojen at least doesn’t mind hiring ABCs.