Teaching for the summer only (while learning Chinese)


Hi all,

Title is pretty self explanatory (searched but it seems like the last question about this was 5 years ago)- I’m wondering if it’s possible to find a job teaching English for this summer if I’m leaving in September? And then similarly, if it’s actually feasible that the work would be part time enough for me to take Mandarin courses while I’m here. I have a college BA but nothing more in terms of teaching experience.


If you are a Taiwanese citizen it’s not overly complicated. If you are not, you will need to find a school that is willing to get you a work permit. This might be challenging if it’s only for 3 months.


I am not a Taiwanese citizen, unfortunately. Should I be contacting schools saying I’m interested in working but just for 4 months/Are there any schools to go to that would consider it?


Some schools have summer camps. Don’t think you can get sponsored for an ARC for a 4 month gig.


From which country is your passport issued? If you can get a so called working holiday visa, you don’t need an ARC or work permit.


Figuring how much money you would make teaching (if you got 20 hours a week, which might be a lot just swooping in like that and being short-term) and if you can dodge your Chinese class hours so there are no scheduling conflicts, and if the transportation didn’t eat up a lot of money – if it were me, I’d choose to live more simply in Taiwan, lower my costs, and just go to school for the summer. It’s not that long a time after all. And I would think if you’re taking the trouble to come all the way to Taiwan, you’d want to spend your out-of-class time sort of just going around and interacting with Chinese speakers. Otherwise you might as well just do online classes from home.


You need to apply for it in your home country, so it probably wouldn’t fit OP’s plan.

@cherryfifa have you looked into getting a student work permit? We have some threads about that.


This is definitely a good point, thanks for mentioning it. I did apply for a scholarship so if I receive it I’d probably go that route, just spending a couple months of my summer studying. If I don’t though, I’m just not sure I can financially justify not at least treading water over the summer, so that’s why I’m looking to find an option that would help out, even if it means being a lot busier.


Thanks! I checked but it sounds like that permit is for those who are already studying as in graduate school- Unless I’m misunderstanding?


Depends if you wanna do things by the book. There are people here who work in Kindergartens and get 60 000 a month. Sometimes more. Since it’s off the record work they don’t pay tax either so they keep all off it. I’m not advocating you to do so but many take the risk.

I worked in Taiwan by the book and held an ARC. I didn’t fancy risking deportation, but there are people who’ve worked years in the same kindergarten without trouble.

Usually they are married to locals though. Its harder to deport someone who is married. So if they’re caught it’s no big deal to them


Could be if they are married to locals, then their ARC is a “spousal visa”, which in red Chinese characters states that the holder (that foreigner) does NOT need any work permit to work in Taiwan; thus, can work legally anywhere, even 7-11s.


It’s also a logistical problem.
The OP wants to land a short-term job (though of course I suppose it would be possible to take a long-term job and simply break the contract at the end of the summer, if it were possible to find one quickly in the first place). OP also wants to be studying at a language center, which means taking whichever hours are offered, usually (it’s rare to have a choice of hours at your level and also to have the center respect the choice).

OP could potentially just find a tutor, which solves the set hours problem, but then the question is a visa, unless OP has visa-free entry or can get a visitor visa from the home country and is potentially willing to make visa runs (which means more money).

OP does not mention any previous Mandarin experience, but even if there is some, I would really question the value of a summer in Taiwan if most of OP’s free time was going to be spent wrangling children in English. It just doesn’t make sense economically or educationally IMO. If the OP has just graduated and has no obligations in the home country, my suggestion would be to work for the summer or beyond in the home country first, save up a bit of money, and come to Taiwan to study Mandarin for a couple of months without working, when it’s possible to just study and not teach at the same time. It’s unlikely that OP is going to get much in the line of Mandarin practice through a teaching job.

I guess it depends on the OP’s goals for Mandarin, though. If the idea is to become proficient, summer isn’t going to do much for that anyway.

One important point is to choose the least expensive language program that can still provide a visa if that’s needed. Structurally and results-wise they are all pretty much the same, use largely the same materials, and do things the same way.


I’m not very sure, but OP said “the work would be part time enough for me to take Mandarin courses while I’m here”, so is already in Taiwan on student visa?

I strongly agree this part. If OP’s purpose to be here is to learn Mandarin, and the duration is just a few months, using half of the time to teach English is a great waste of time and money OP is investing to stay here.


Hmmm…I think you’re right. It does sound as though OP is already in Taiwan.


This uni has a good paying summer English camp every year. The school’s language center also has a Mandarin program. If you are teaching there you might get a good deal on Mandarin classes.

Oh shite, you obviously would be working illegally. That uni probably isn’t cool with illegally employing teachers… anymore.


We have several threads about student work permits for your reading pleasure. :mag: :slight_smile:


Sorry! This is poor phrasing on my part- I meant while I’m there; I’m not in Taiwan right now.


I looked this up but it seems student work permits are referring to graduate studies, not language studies, right?


If you are not from a country whose young people can get a working holiday visa, getting a work permit and ARC supported by your employer seems to be the only way you will work legally for the summer while studying mandarin at a language school.

Add: this can be a legal option.
“For foreign students with proficiency in a special language, the Ministry of Education may, on a case-by-case basis, give its approval for such students, following their enrollment, to take employment as instructors at language institutes affiliated with universities, colleges, or junior colleges, or at language institutes affiliated with foreign cultural and educational organizations in Taiwan.”


That could be attractive, for sure, but it’s unlikely for a short-term job, though, and definitely not for English.

I would still advise the OP to save up enough money to “do” the Taiwan Mandarin learning experience as just that. If I had NT$5 for every Engrish teacher who swore they’d learn Mandarin, and never did…it’s just hard to do both at once, and even harder if you’re only allowing yourself a month or two. It would be challenging enough just to find a job for a short term, let alone try to get any real Mandarin out of the deal, at least for most people.