One of the reasons Tim and I created to Move to Taiwan was because we found that there was a real lack of clear and accurate information about what it’s like to teach English in Taiwan. There are many other blogs and forums, but they are often filled with misinformation about what things are really like here.
We’ve received many emails from readers asking some specific questions, so I thought now would be a great time to answer the top 5 frequently asked questions we get about teaching English in Taiwan.
If I don’t cover your question below, feel free to send us an email here. I’m going to keep my answers brief and to the point, but I’ll link out to posts where we cover many of the topics more in depth.
What’s the best time to come teach English in Taiwan?
The biggest hiring period for English teaching jobs in Taiwan is during the summer. This is when the vast majority of people either leave and head back home or switch jobs.
Many buxibans (cram schools) tie their schedules to the academic calendar and so they want to hire teachers who will stay throughout the whole year. July and August are probably the best months to come, but as Tim addressed in another post, being here before July 3 is helpful for tax purposes.
The other big hiring period is right before or right after Chinese New Year. This period is much slower than summer, but still can be active. Other than those two times, there isn’t a particular time I’d recommend coming. Basically, you can find an English teaching job throughout the year, but it just may take a little longer than it would if you came during Summer or around Chinese New Year. Just make sure to save a little extra money if you don’t come during a peak hiring period.
Tim has a longer post on when is the best time to come teach English in Taiwan.
How much money will I make teaching English?
This really depends on both how much per hour you make and how many hours a week/month you work. I know people who don’t work much and make around $40,000 NTD, while I know others who work a lot and make as much as $120,000 NTD a month or more. For most new teachers you can expect to make around $60,000 NTD per month (roughly 25 hours a week at $600 NTD/hour) and I’d suggest this as a goal.
Tim has a very good post on salaries and saving money here. In general, $60,000 should be plenty of money to cover your cost of living and have a pretty decent lifestyle as long as you are relatively smart and don’t blow your money.
How do I find a job?
Tim wrote a good post on finding English teaching jobs in Taiwan, so you can go read it for more info. Most people find jobs after they arrive and the most popular website is Tealit.com. There are also many other smaller websites like the Taiwanease classified section and Facebook groups like this one or this one that people find jobs through. If you are in Taipei this is probably the easiest and best way to find a job.
If you choose to go to a smaller city then you can check out other smaller websites that list jobs (there are many of them so contact us if you know which city you want to go to and we can point you in the right direction). I also know several people who have gone to smaller cities and just started knocking on the doors of all the English schools and dropping off resumes until they found one hiring.
What’s the interview process like?
Check out the long post on what interviews are like here. In almost all cases you will be asked to give a quick 15 minute demo to a class of students or sometimes other teachers.
Essentially the demos are to make sure you are fine around kids and can communicate basic concepts.
If you have never taught before then I suggest talking to other foreigners who teach when you arrive and asking them for some tips. If you talk to other people you can get some info about what they did for their demos and what works/doesn’t work. One tip is to come up with a quick and fun game that can be used at all English levels, as many buxibans encourage playing games (while using English of course).
Is teaching English in Taiwan fun?
Teaching English in Taiwan can definitely be really fun and I know lots of people who enjoy it. That’s not to say everyone loves it though and there are many people who don’t like it and complain about their jobs. I think that’s true for any job anywhere though, and teaching in Taiwan isn’t really any different than anything else.
Basically if you work for a good school and have good classes, then chances are you will enjoy your job. Finding a good school is very important, which is why I recommend saving enough money before you get here so that you have some time to find a good position and don’t have to settle for something that isn’t good.