So you are thinking about teaching English in Taiwan and you are wondering how to get a job? If that is correct then you are in the right place.

I spent 2 years teaching English in Taiwan (Tainan and Taichung). I'll give you a brief overview of the scene there and then tell you about a couple of different ways on how you can do this.

Hualian, Taiwan coast

Here's a quick overview of the scene teaching in Taiwan

  • Requirements: 4 year degree & native English speaker, some schools may prefer experience, teaching licenses, TEFL certification, etc.
  • Job Market: O.K.
  • Average Salary: $NT600 an hour/$NT50,000-60,000+ ($1,550-1,900) a month
  • Cost of Living: Medium, similar to Korea
  • Housing: Not free or usually included
  • Teaching hours: 15-25 a week 
  • Airfare: No
    *These are averages expect differences between institutions

What kind of school will you work in?

  • Buxiban (cram school)
  • Public school or university

Most teachers will work in buxibans. These are usually after school private insitutes that offer classes.

To teach in a public school in Taiwan you usually need to have a teaching license. To teach in a university you usually need to have a master's degree.

Your 2 options for how to find a job teaching English in Taiwan

  1. Try to find a job online before you go
  2. Go there and look

1. Find a job in Taiwan online before you go [Not what I recommend]

I guess some people do it this way, yet I don't really recommend it. It might work out fine for you, however in my years teaching in Taiwan I learned some things about the schools that do hire from abroad.

They usually have these things in common:

  • In off-the-beaten path places
  • May offer some accommodation
  • Are through recruiters
  • Lower pay

It's not that they are necessarily bad, but...

I have applied to a few different jobs in Taiwan that hired from abroad and have seen a quite a few job posts for these kinds of positions.

This is really not the way most people do it in Taiwan, but if you do your research on the school then you may have a good experience with it.

I can't recall seeing a job post like this in a big city.

All of them that I have seen like this are in smaller more rural locations. I think that's because fewer teachers want to work in those places, so they look for teachers who are abroad.

Quite a few of them I have seen like this offered accommodation too. I have actually interviewed and seen a few jobs like this when I was in Taiwan. It was nothing special and it was just a single room most of the time. Sometimes it might be free and others they may charge you for it.

I personally don't like recruiters, so I just tend to stay away from them. They'll pretty much just give you the run around and it's just better to deal directly with the school rather than going through a middle man.

Where to look?

  • ESLcafe occasionally has a few jobs posted from Taiwan where schools will hire from abroad.
  • Google it, which will likely bring up some recruiter sites as well.

2. Go to Taiwan and look for a job [What I recommend]

Most people go to Taiwan to find work. That's the way I did it and everyone else I knew there did it. Prior to going I did interview with a school there that would of hired me from abroad. But I still would of showed up on a tourist visa and done all the visa stuff there.

Only a few schools hire foreigners outside of Taiwan. That means your chances of finding a job from home are way lower than if you were there.

Where to look?

  • Tealit is probably the best place to look. Keep in mind most schools will ignore you if you apply and are not in Taiwan.

Things you'll need to teach in Taiwan to get a visa

Here is a list of requirements for teaching in Taiwan that you may need:

  • 4 Year Degree - Some schools will accept a 2 year degree with a TEFL/TESOL certificate
  • Passport Photos
  • Background Check - I never had to do this or even heard of friends doing this. But recently things may have changed in regards to this and it may be a new requirement.

Option 1: The landing visa

You could just show up without a visa and get a 3 month visa free entry. After you find a job you'll have to leave Taiwan and go to Hong Kong (the closest place for a visa run) and apply for a new visa.

Three months is plenty long to find a job and after you find a job it can take up to a month to process the visa and then you will have to do a visa run. I wouldn't stress about this now. Your employer will tell you what you need to do.

I would do this instead of option 2. Back when I taught in Taiwan they only gave a month long landing visa, but they changed that in recent years. This is much better.

They say you usually need a flight out of Taiwan to do this. But in my experience it's possible to still get in without one. You could just tell the official that you haven't finalized your travel plans yet.

Or if it's your first entry you can buy a roundtrip ticket to Taiwan so that you have that return ticket. Roundtrip tickets sometimes don't cost anymore than a one way.

Read more about this topic at forumosa.

Option 2: Multiple entry tourist visa

You could apply for a two month or more multiple entry tourist visa that's extendable. They do cost money. Then fly to Taiwan to find work.

But don't tell them that you are flying there to find work. Just say that you are going there to travel and/or use Taiwan as a hub while you travel around Asia. Or to visit friends (although they may ask for numbers). 

I personally wouldn't do this. I now recommend option 1 or 3 if you want to study.

Option 3: Study Chinese

Sign up for Chinese classes and study two hours a day to get a student visa. This can be good as it will maximize your freedom (you won't be dependent on an employer to get a work visa). This method may also work with other countries.

There can be a minimum amount of study hours that you will need to get a visa. The article on teaching without a degree also goes into detail on this.

Related articles:

More on visas in Taiwan:

http://www.boca.gov.tw