My first time using this, not sure if I’m doing it right. Anyway, I have been offered a contract to teach for one year in Taiwan. I have just found out that it will be somewhere on the Matsu Islands. It’s good money, but a lot of work. 32.5hrs teaching, 7.5hrs admin, and all lesson planning, marking, etc on my own time per week. My question is to anyone who has been to the Matsu Islands. Will I go crazy being there for a full year? Is there anything to do on these Islands? Is there any kind of social scene? How complicated is it to get to and from mainland Taiwan? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have little time to decide whether or not to sign this contract. Thank you very much.
Wow! If the money is good, I’d say go for it. It will be a unique experience. You can always go to Taipei after a year with your pockets full of money and a years worth of Taiwan experiences under your belt. This sounds like a fantastic opportunity.
It is out in the sticks, though, that’s for sure.
Yikes! Good luck if you go with it. A friend of mine who recently returned to America couldn’t stand teaching and living on the Penghu archipelago. I heard it was actually somewhat decent. Now, Matsu…wow. If you can pull that off for 1 year with your sanity intact, I’ll tip more than my hat to you.
What is good money?
32.5 hours is a lot! + those office hours and marking?
Sounds fishy to me!
Trent-4 wrote [quote]I have just found out that it will be somewhere on the Matsu (Mazu) Islands. It’s good money, but a lot of work. 32.5hrs teaching, 7.5hrs admin, and all lesson planning, marking, etc on my own time per week.[/quote]
Wow, Mazu is really isolated, but with that heavy workload you’re not going to have much free-time anyway.
Depends largely on your personality. I would like it, but I know some people who would get cabin fever.
[quote]Is there anything to do on these Islands?[/quote] Do you like bird-watching/drinking? Most of the soldiers that get posted there hate it because it is “boring”. Tourists like it but say that “three days was more than enough”
[quote]Is there any kind of social scene? [/quote] Ha Ha Ha
There are flights to Taipei. I guess they take about an hour and cost about NT$2600 return. You could make a few trips to Taipei during your year. Do you have Saturdays off?
Personally, I think this would be a great experience although a little tough if you are not an independent person.
I agree with Almas and Maoman that it might be a bit challenging at times but likely an overall worthwhile experience. Fly to Taipei once a month for some social life and you’ll be fine. Use the time to study, or get in great shape, learn Chinese (lots of bored soldiers to practise with), etc. You’ll probably meet a greater slice of Taiwan’s demographics than living in taipei: politicians, fisherman, soldiers of all ranks, the wealthy and the dirt poor, students, professors, office staff, etc, etc. I’d imagine that after a year you’ll know a great deal about the way this society runs and the secrets of a lot of families.
Don’t forget, you’re going to a remote location but a great deal of the people you’ll be working with or teaching will be from elsewhere.
Actually, I suppose we should ask who you will be teaching? Is there a university on Mazu? If so and you are teaching there I’d say your social calendar will be very full. Imagine, the only white man on a island full of 20 year old Taiwanese students. Do we have a drooling emoticon?
Worked there for a couple of months (but not teaching) though I made trips back to Taipei every other week.
You should also note that Matsu consists of several islands - which one will you be staying at?
Nangan is the main island, Peigan is close (15-20min by boat). Hsijue and Dongyin are a bit further away and places you do NOT want to stay at.
Nothing that is worth staying more than a few days. They do have internet cafes though.
You can visit the tunnels dug in the 60’ that can accomodate small boats (near RenAi township) and walk around the coast.
Else you can sit at the Chien-Be cafe and overlook the ocean, if the weather permits you can actually see mainland China from there.
That would be the armed forces and lot’s of soldiers sitting in internet cafes and playing Counter Strike to practise their targetting skills.
By flight less than an hour or by boat (big ferry) as overnight trip from Keelong harbour. The ferry also stops in Dongyin.
Nangan (Nankan) has a new airport and is served most frequently while Beigan (Peikan) is served now only 3 times a day if I remember correctly. There are boats every hour or so between the two islands though.
Note: all flights and boat/ferry services are subjected to weather conditions and frequently delayed or cancelled, sometimes for several days, during the winter.
Expect it too be cold (small islands, lot’s of wind) and foggy at times, in particular during the winter.
Not certain if there is a university (Kinmen has one) - and I certainly haven’t seen many 20 year old girls there. They probably all flee to Taiwan, far away from the horny soldiers …
How do you people find these great jobs? I search and search, and come up empty handed.
My dream is to go to Penghu or Matsu next July/August (2005) to teach… Can anyone help me out?
Tips on how to start a job search-- Can I start out in Taipei, or is it best to just show up on the islands and knock on doors?
Do you know any recruiters that place in these areas?
Do you know any schools that are looking or that you have contacts at (I know, it is still early, but a girl has to have something to dream about during these cold Chinese winters)?
I’m sure if you turned up in either place and stayed for a month you’d find the job you wanted.