The Big Question: Live and Work in Taiwan?

A friend asks you if they should come to Taiwan to live and work; what would you say?

Tough question I think, knowing all that I know, the good and the bad, what would I say?


P.S. this is a hypothetical question. I have no friend intending to come and just want to hear what we all have to say on the matter.

Suggest a visit? I don’t know, the best you can do is try to be honest. Tell your friend about the good and bad and then let them decide. You don’t want any bad feeling if they end up hating the place and thinking they’ve wasted their time and money.

Also, I think it very much depends what work they would be doing. Changing my job has made a huge difference to my feelings about this island. Location too is important - living in Yunlin County is going to be tough for most people to adjust to and enjoy, but Taipei’s not too much of a stretch.

Depending on the kind of work s/he wants to do Taiwan might be the best option but then again there are better places [in Asia] to live and work in than Taiwan. Malaysia for example. Or Thailand.

Tell them to visit Forumosa. :sunglasses:

I think it depends on the friend. I keep telling my ex to come. I think he would have a blast. But one of my bests asked if she should come. I think she would kill people. SO I said no.
I think it is case by case basis thing…

Depends on about twenty different variables.

For one thing, if the friend is not language-study oriented, and has little interest in learning Mandarin, living in Taiwan is going to be confusing and less rewarding.

I would also make sure that my friend feels some sort of passion, and a sense of ambition, toward one of the fields he/she might be working in.

Other factors:

Interpersonal skills
Sense of adventure
Interest in other cultures
Ability to adapt

If they want to teach be sure to tell them what starting salaries are and not what a teacher who has been here a while is making.

I first came to Taipei in 98 and was here for 2 weeks. Didn’t speak much Mandarin, loved it.

Nearly moved here in 2000 to teach English but had a better offer to go to HK and make money.

Finally came in Sepetmber last year and love it. My Mum is visiting at the moment (for 2 weeks) speaks no Mandarin and appears to love it.

Would recommend anyone interested to visit but based on my own experience that would probably sell it to them. Of curse would push the language barrier as negative but not much else as find Taiwanese to be friendly and helpful in general.

Most of the expats that I have met on my travels who have lived in Taiwan have had positive things to say about it.

I also came to Taiwan in 1998 and loved it. Stayed a full year, taught English (loved it), enrolled in Mandarin classes (loved it), lived the Taiwanese life (loved it).

I like to think that I was a little different than most foreigners. I enjoyed hanging out with the locals MUCH more than the other foreign English teachers there. I loved their company and enjoyed learning all about what they do, day in and day out. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Would I recommend going there? Yes indeed! Ahem…but that depends on who’s asking. I’d recommend it to some of my friends and definately not, to some others. You see, if the person can make sacrifices, then they might actually enjoy it. I have some friends that just wouldn’t understand why some things are done these ways. This makes me think about an mini-article I wrote about culture shock. It doesn’t go over everything, but may be of some help to people that’ve never left their home countries.

Here it is: Welcome to your new country. You