The newbie thread


I am looking to travel to Taiwan and schedule in-person interviews when I arrive. Basically, land and check out various schools that I found on the web. When is the best time to arrive in Taiwan if you’re looking for teach English at the start of the winter semester? That is, after the August/September semester ends. From what I understand, in Taiwan, the school year runs from Sept-Jan/Feb (1st semester), Feb-June (2nd semester).

1) Is the time right after New Years (January 1, 2015) the best time to arrive? Is it realistic to do in-person interviews from January 2nd to February 17th?


2) Is it best to arrive after the Chinese New Year (Feb 18-23, 2015)? Not sure about this since the second semester starts after this and it may not be enough time.

I am an American citizen that can stay in Taiwan for up to 90 days and I was trying to figure out the best time to go. It’s too late into August to attempt a 2014 start date.

Thank you in advance for your help.


Why is it too late to attempt a 2014 start date? When I came here about 2 years ago I started in September and met people who started in October or even November. On the other hand, it does seem like a lot of the hiring gets done in July or August for August or September start dates or just after Chinese New Year for immediate start dates.


You don’t think those sites are full of overpriced apartments that people think they can get foreigners to pay for? Mostly on those sites I found very overpriced places to live, and terrible “top floor” apartments that nobody who prizes comfort would want to live in. 591 has been taken over by agents who charge a lot of money for very little service, but at least the apartments are better and not “foreigner priced”.


Thanks for your feedback Singingrain.

I was thinking of arriving in November, I can’t really do any earlier (like arrive in September) and just wanted to get a feel if it’s realistic to find a teaching job that late in the school year. I am a US citizen, so I can stay up to 90 days, which I’m hoping is enough time to find something (search from Nov-Jan). Though you mentioned post-CNY is a better time (i.e. after mid-Feb).

Also, I’ve read some conflicting stuff about just showing up and actually getting some sort of visitors visa. Since USA/Taiwan have a mutual visa waiver program, is it necessary for a US citizen to get a visitors visa? Does it somehow ease the transition process in obtaining a work permit and ARC during one’s stay?


jazzercise I will be completing my TEFL course the beginning of October and hope to arrive in Taiwan around the middle of October to start work. I will be looking for/applying for jobs in September during my course. I’m hoping to find work in/near Taichung but am open to working anywhere. Ideally I’d like to learn Chinese and learn all about the culture assimilating as best I can. :laughing:

I’m a US citizen and am currently debating getting a visitor visa or just landing visa exempt for 90 days. Does anyone know if one over the other makes it easier to get the work permit/arc/visa etc??

Thank you in advance!!! :slight_smile:


I replied about that in another thread - a visa waiver is hard (or was hard, I am not clear) to xfer to a work/residence visa, it may require getting a tourist visa first or even doing a visa run, whereas a tourist visa is easy to convert. As far as I know.

Why Taichung? It’s not my favorite city, but then I haven’t been here long (just about 2 years).


Singingrain, that’s what I read too, easier to convert on a visitors visa, but I heard it doesn’t really matter and may even limit your stay: … 3#p1625922


That is interesting.

I know two or maybe three people who came over on the exemption. One had to go to Hong Kong. For whatever reason they wouldn’t change his exemption to a tourist visa. As far as I know, that was true when the exemption was 30 days and the visa was 60 days, but shouldn’t be true now, and yet, it happened. One got a visitor visa in Taiwan and it cost her more money, but she was able to transfer it to a work visa.

I do suppose a 60 day visa vs. a 90 day exemption makes the 60 day visa option less appealing.


It’s easy as pie to convert a landing visa to an arc. You will have to pay for a visitor’s visa during the process, but it’s way easier.


Taipei might not be a good idea to experience the genuine Taiwan.
I’ve heard of many people saying Taipei has little difference from Tokyo, Bangkok and Hongkong.

You can start in Taipei, but shift to Taichung or even Tainan or Kaohsiung where you spend less and learn more about the language and culture in Taiwan.


Good day to all! I just want to ask if there is a possibility for my girlfriend to work in an ESL teaching gig in Taiwan. We are from the Philippines, and we are both graduates of a Bachelor’s degree. She wanted to follow me because I’m going to work in Academia Sinica this incoming September. She already took the IELTS (or TOEFL, i can’t remember) exam and she obtained high scores in it. Moreover, she has a teaching experience (although it is Chemistry) in the university level for 3.5 years. She is willing to teach in buxiban schools or any schools in Taipei for that matter. Is that possible? Thank you in advance. :slight_smile:


大家好! I wanted to ask if it’s possible for someone who has English as a second language to teach English in Taipei. I came from a non-English speaking country, but I have stayed in Singapore for 4 years, and I went for a student exchange program to the United States for 3 months. However, even though most native speakers deemed me capable, and my TOEFL test score was 638/677 (but I took the test 4 years ago), I’m fully aware of the fact that English is still my second language and wondered if it might got in the way of papers/official documentations. I also don’t have any certification in teaching or any lingual courses (my bachelor degree is in fine arts). I only has a little of experience in private tutoring, and they were mostly conversational classes. All my students back then were a lot older than me, so I’m not very picky regarding that. :slight_smile:

I’ve done some searching on this forum and could not find the answer to my question, so I hope it’s alright if I post it here. What I found was information for people with the citizenship of Philippines, and I know that a lot of people in Philippines can speak English, so it’s probably considered as an English-speaking country (perhaps similar to Singapore?). If there was already an answer and I missed it, I’m terribly sorry! If this is also the wrong place to post this, I’m sorry to trouble the moderator who might have to move/edit my post!

Thank you in advance!



Moving to Changhua with a job lined up at the end of the month. I know this isn’t a big place for expats- is there anyone else in a similar situation? Any advice?


Hi, everyone. Happy to find a place here that will help me. Hope I’m putting this in the right spot! I’m moving to Kaohsiung in May (my gf is from there and we plan to settle down and get married). I have a Masters in Education from Indiana University, I’m TESOL certified through a 16 week in-class course (with Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul) and I have a Bachelor’s in English Lit. I have eight years experience teaching ESL both in the US and abroad in South Korea, including 4 years with a university in Seoul. I’m looking for serious offers from those at universities, international schools or business schools, or barring that, some advice from teachers already there about what steps to take, who to talk to, where to look, what my chances are, etc. For my resume and other documents, please e-mail me at


Hello, everybody. Thanks for all the info so far. I’m hoping to teach in Taiwan this September, but am unsure of the visa requirements.I will have a CELTA by July and already have an Undergraduate Diploma in Higher Education (Science) (this is equivalent to an associates degree). I have read on many sites that a CELTA and an associates degree, is all you need for a visa and work permit to legally teach. However on many other sites they say that you need a BSC or a BA. Does anybody know where I can find reliable and recent information regarding this?


I can’t answer your question, but I can tell you the qualifications for foreign teachers are set in Chapter IV (Art. 40 to 42) of the Qualifications and Criteria Standards for foreigners undertaking the jobs specified under Article 46.1.1 to 46.1.6 of the Employment Service Act. In that context, 46.1.3 refers to public and private (full-time) schools, and 46.1.4 refers to buxibans (“cram schools”). You can find the text at

If you ask the Workforce Development Agency or the Ministry of Labor (to which the WDA belongs), they’ll tell you (in Chinese) how the regulation is currently interpreted.

If it comes down to “we don’t care as long as the degree is ‘recognized’” then the Ministry of Education should be able to tell you.


Btw here are the links (in case google isn’t friendly): (Ministry of Education)

These are Taiwan government websites, so when you can’t get through, check to make sure you included the www (yes, even in 2016). As a general rule the English versions are not well maintained, if they’re maintained at all, but you can usually find a “contact” page.


Hi there everybody. I am a 23 year old male from South Africa, my girlfriend (25) and I are wanting to move to Taiwan to teach English. We both have degrees, hers being an honours in psychology and I have an undegraduate BSC in environmental management. We are currently in the process of completing our TEFL certification ( it is a Cambridge CELTA). From the research I have done it looks like we will have to apply for the Bushibans, or cram schools to secure our first position teaching. We would like to have the job before touching down in Taiwan and the chain school seem like the best option for that. My questions are what would be the safest option in terms of choosing a chain school? I have heard good things about Shane English, in the sense that they are reliable and give a good support structure to new teachers. Does anybody have an opinion on them?


Hello everyone. I’m also new to the forum and I’m considering a move to Taiwan to teach English. I have been reading that there are schools in Taiwan that do hire English teachers that only have 2 year collage degrees? Is this still the case or decade-old news? I don’t have a 4 year degree or a certificate such as a TESOL/TEFL/CELTA, etc. but I have about 8 years teaching experience. I have been teaching in Japan for almost 2 years and taught in China for 4 years and the US for 2 years. Do English schools in Taiwan sometimes look at years of teaching experience in lieu of not having a 4 year degree or certificate? I can also speak Mandarin and Japanese at a conversational level as well. I’m a Caucasian native English speaker from the US, which I know helps.

I would appreciate any advice from the experts on here.


I recall that they require a certification to go with a 2-year degree, and that it shouldn’t be an online one. I’ve never seen it spelled out anywhere in detail what would satisfy the certification requirement. Hopefully some others can chip in. You can find a number of threads on the topic in these search results: … mit=Search