If you're thinking about teaching English in Asia, Taiwan is definitely worth considering. Its people are friendly and welcoming and it boasts high-paying teaching jobs with a relatively low cost of living. It also has a diverse landscape and an interesting history, which makes it an appealing option for those who want to live in Asia and experience a unique culture. if you like the sound of this, read on to find out how to teach English in Taiwan.
If you'd like to teach English in Taiwan there are several options open to you.
Most English teachers working in Taiwan start by getting teaching jobs at Buxibans. These are Taiwanese private schools that teach students from 4 to 15 years old. Some schools also offer classes to older teenagers.
Buxibans are typically small businesses with only a handful of English teachers, and they usually offer classes in the evening or on weekends when kids are not in school. Buxibans follow a set curriculum, and teachers are usually provided with prepared lesson plans. Your job will be to follow these lesson plans and help students learn English through various additional activities such as games, songs, and conversations.
There are hundreds of small private language schools all over Taiwan so it's not too difficult to find one that is looking to hire an English teacher. Just make sure to do your research to find a good school.
If you have a teaching license from your home country or you have taught English abroad previously, you can try to get a job teaching English in the public school system in Taiwan.
If you are not a licensed teacher, you can still apply to be an assistant teacher in a public school.
The government stipulates that English teachers in public schools should be native English speakers, and most English teaching jobs available are for the high school level.
The good thing about teaching in a public school is that you can come up with your own curriculum for teaching English and enjoy more freedom inside the classroom compared to when teaching at the language academies.
Working for an international school in Taiwan is a great option. They typically offer a higher salary and better benefits than other schools. However, this is not without a higher level of responsibility and there is a lot more competition for these teaching positions.
If you have a master’s degree or a doctorate in your field, you can secure a position teaching English in one of the Taiwanese universities. Getting teaching jobs at this level can be difficult but the benefits are worth it. You get a higher salary plus the working hours are shorter than the other options.
Some ESL teachers opt to offer private tutoring services. Private tutoring offers a more relaxed environment where you can focus on a single student or small group. It also allows for more customized lesson plans that are specifically designed to fit the needs of individual students.
If you are a native English speaker, you can often get work with a business or company that offers their employees English classes. You can also teach your own ESL lessons to younger students privately.
The average salary of an English teacher in Taiwan is between 53,000 TWD to 111,000 TWD ($1,800 to $3,500) a month depending on the type of institution, location, and type of position.
Public schools: Taiwanese public schools pay quite well, and you can expect to earn $1,800 to $2,500 per month teaching there. For newly qualified teachers, the amount may be lower, between $1,000 to $1,500 (30,000 TWD to about 45,000 TWD). The starting salary may be low, but being an English teacher at a public school often comes with great benefits and job security. You’d be provided with a six to twelve-month contract should you choose this English teaching job.
Private schools: English teachers working in Buxibans (private schools) can expect a salary between $1,400 to $2,200 US per month, with working hours anywhere between 2 pm to 10 pm.
International schools: With monthly salaries up to $6,000, international schools are the pick of the bunch if you want to make some cash. However, these positions tend to come with a higher level of responsibility, and as such more experienced teachers are targeted. You'll also be expected to work longer hours than in a public school.
Universities: You can make upwards of $1,800 per month working at a Taiwanese university. And, while this amount may not stand out against the other options, you'll be working significantly fewer hours in comparison so the pay per hour is actually pretty good. However, you will be expected to prepare lessons outside of contract hours.
Many English teaching positions in Taiwan come with housing allowance, health insurance, and paid vacation days. Some employers may also offer reimbursement for travel expenses incurred by teachers and an end-of-contract bonus.
The requirements for the various teaching jobs in Taiwan depend on where you want to teach. For example, some schools will require their teachers to have a four-year degree, while others may only require you to be two years into your degree. Some prefer for applicants to possess some form of teaching certification while others do not.
With a little bit of research, you should be able to find a teaching position that is right for you. Let's take a closer look at the requirements for teaching English in Taiwan:
While a TEFL certification isn't always required to secure teaching jobs, most employers in Taiwan prefer or require that applicants hold a 120-hour TESOL or TEFL certificate from an accredited institution. This acts as proof that the teacher has received formal training in planning and implementing ESL lessons.
There are several ways to complete a TEFL certification, including in-person and online TEFL courses.
Nearly all private and public Taiwanese schools require that their ESL teachers have a four-year bachelor's degree in any discipline from an accredited institution. The only exceptions are jobs teaching very young learners at some private language schools, which may hire native speakers with no formal education beyond high school. Additionally, applicants who have yet to earn their degrees can also apply as assistant teachers in some public or private schools.
Those who wish to teach at a university need to hold a master’s degree or a PhD. Some universities also require that their teachers have at least two years of in-classroom teaching experience.
Your passport is the main document that you need in order to get the necessary visa and permits to teach English in Taiwan. The Alien Resident Certificate visa will allow you to stay and work in Taiwan for up to two years. However, to apply for this, you must already have a job waiting for you.
To get an Alien Resident Certificate so you can work legally in Taiwan, you need to bring your filled-out application form, your passport, and other required documents to the National Immigration Agency. You will need to bring the following:
A recent photo
A clear criminal background
Proof of insurance
Teaching contract from your employer
You will need to pay a fee of $1,600 ($1,200 if you are renewing your ARC). When you pass the interview, you will be issued the Alien Resident Certificate.
If you do not have a teaching job yet, you can apply for a visitor visa first. This will allow you to enter the country and seek employment. Once you have found a job teaching English, the employer can assist you in applying for the necessary work visa.
You can apply for a visitor visa even before departing for Taiwan. This allows you to stay for 6 months. The visitor visa can be extended by visiting a Taiwanese police station and getting your passport stamped.
Choosing which location to teach English in Taiwan is a big decision. There are many things to consider when making your choice, such as the type of city you want to live in, the salary you can expect to earn, and the cost of living in each location.
Taiwan has three major cities that have a population of over a million, so there are plenty of opportunities to teach English there.
If you're looking for a big city with plenty of nightlife and things to do, Taipei is the place for you. Taipei is the capital of Taiwan and the largest city on the island, with a population of over 2.6 million people. This equals lots of students seeking the services of a good English teacher!
The cost of living in Taipei is relatively high, but salaries are also higher than average. This is one of the reasons why many ESL teachers choose to stay here. Plus, Taipei offers historic buildings, shopping streets, and night markets that you can enjoy during your free time.
Kaohsiung is another large city in Taiwan, with a population of around 2.7 million people. Once again, if you have the right qualifications you should find it quite easy to secure a teaching job here considering the large population.
It's located in the south of the island and is known for its beautiful beaches and relaxed atmosphere. The cost of living in Kaohsiung is lower than in Taipei, but salaries are also lower.
Taichung is a smaller city located in central Taiwan. It's a popular destination for tourists and teachers alike due to its many temples and scenic mountains. You can spend your weekends hiking here. The cost of living in Taichung is lower than in Taipei and Kaohsiung, and salaries are also lower.
If you're looking for a smaller city or town with a more laid-back lifestyle, Tainan is a good option. Tainan is located in the south of Taiwan and has a population of around 1.9 million people. As with Taichung, the cost of living is lower than in Taipei and Kaohsiung, and salaries are also lower.
Finding an English teaching job in Taiwan can be a long process, especially if you are looking for the perfect fit for your needs and qualifications. The best place to start is the various job boards and hiring websites for the latest company postings. You can also work with a recruiter that has contacts with different public and private schools. Alternatively, you can work with a recruiter who will match your qualifications with their client’s needs and see what they come up with.
You need to get your resume and cover letter ready a few months before August, which is when the new school year starts. Schools post their job listings around June or July so you should start checking job boards and sites around that time.
When moving to another country, it is important that you're aware of the culture and etiquette there to ease your transition into your new life teaching abroad.
Below are a few helpful things every new Taiwanese resident should know about:
You will be provided with a standard curriculum to use in your classroom in every Buxiban. The materials, while interesting, will likely focus on memorization and spelling. That is why you might encounter some students who will try to memorize the material rather than learn how to read and understand the content. On top of this, you may notice that students, whether they are enrolled in public or private schools, are given heavy workloads. It is part of the culture to succeed academically.
Taiwanese students have very high respect for their teachers. You can expect your students to speak to you very formally and with a respectful tone. Your classroom may not be very lively but you can be sure that your students will always be ready to answer your questions.
Another characteristic of Taiwanese learners is that they generally learn more from group work. It is not uncommon for some students to work together to make understanding materials easier for them. You can encourage your class by assigning more group activities to help facilitate how they learn.
Taiwanese consider it very rude for meetings to start late. They have the same view if you leave early without asking for permission. So, if there are any gatherings in your institution, make sure that you come ahead of time.
Taiwanese workplaces are generally formal. This means it is a must that you use polite language when speaking to your superiors and colleagues. Additionally, be aware of your non-verbal communication. Your body language and facial expression must always lean on polite and patient.
The cost of living in Taiwan is relatively low when compared to other countries in Asia. Of course, your monthly expenses will depend primarily on the kind of lifestyle you lead. However, in general, you can live comfortably on an English teacher’s salary if you are mindful of how you spend.
If your employer does not provide accommodation, you can expect to pay anywhere from 6,000 TWD to 21,000 TWD ($200 to $700) on this. You’ll be able to find one-bedroom apartments for rent as little as 11,000 TWD ($360) but it might be cheaper to find a bigger place and share accommodation with others.
Utilities will cost you about 450 TWD to 1,500 TWD ($15 to $50) a month.
When it comes to food, there are plenty of cheap options to be found in Taiwan. Street food is very popular, and you can find everything from dumplings to noodles for a fraction of the price you would pay in a restaurant. You can also opt to cook your meals at home to reduce your expenses. On average, you could spend 4,500 TWD to 7,500 TWD ($150 to $250) a month on food.
Teaching English in Taiwan is a great way to earn a good salary and save money. The cost of living in Taiwan is relatively low, so teachers can save a significant amount of money each month. There are also plenty of opportunities to travel around and explore life in the country. There are a lot of things to enjoy in Taiwan.
Taiwan is blessed with beautiful scenery, from lush mountains to pristine beaches. You can spend your weekends hiking or biking in one of the many scenic areas enjoying the great outdoors or just appreciating the view. It is also home to numerous natural hot springs, which are said to have health benefits.
Of course, if you’re a food lover, you should try authentic Taiwanese food. From street snacks to gourmet cuisine, Taiwan offers a wide variety of delicious food to try. No experience is complete without sampling some of the local specialties such as beef noodles and bubble tea.
So if you're thinking about teaching English abroad, be sure to put Taiwan on your list!
Still looking for more information? Check out some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding English teaching jobs in Taiwan below.
Qualified teachers with a bachelor's degree and a TEFL certificate can expect to earn somewhere between $1,800 and $2,400 per month.
Yes, English teachers are very much in demand in Taiwan. English is seen as a key language for international business. As such, more and more Taiwanese are looking to work with and hire individuals who can communicate effectively in English.
To be able to teach English in Taiwan, you will need a university degree and a TEFL certification. You will also need native-level English proficiency, a valid passport, and a clean criminal record.
Officially, there is no age limit to teaching English in Taiwan. Teachers of all ages are welcome to apply to teach in Taiwan. Many first-time teachers are in their 20s or 30s, but there are also many seasoned teachers in Taiwan who are in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s.