ESL teachers are in demand in Taiwan throughout the calendar year. Teaching positions are available through public and private schools, language schools, universities and colleges, and through private tutoring. Despite greater competition for positions over the past few years, the government’s education reforms are continuing to make opportunities available for foreign teachers.
Public and Private School System
Public and private schools in Taiwan are somewhat similar to North America's conventional primary and secondary school system, and run on a two-semester system. The first semester begins in September and lasts until mid- or late-January, followed by a four-week vacation which includes Chinese New Year. The second semester begins in March and goes to the end of June, followed by a two-month summer vacation. Higher qualifications, including an education degree and teacher’s license, are needed for those who want to teach in the public school system. If interested in teaching in a conventional school, peak hiring time is in July/August.
Private Language Schools
Private language schools provide supplementary education for students who require additional tutoring. Classes are offered during after-school hours and at other convenient times. As private language schools do not follow the semester system of conventional schools, teachers are hired year round.
Language centers tend to be divided into “chain” schools and “cram” (also called “buxiban”) schools. Chain schools are prolific in Taiwan and in many ways are a monopoly, having edged out many smaller cram schools. Cram schools tend to offer higher quality education and better working environments than their chain counterparts; however, most foreign teachers find positions in the chain schools and many report a good experience. As with many chain businesses, some branches can be better managed than others.
Universities and Colleges
Universities and colleges in Taiwan, similar to those in America, are divided into academic and vocational schools. National (government-run) academic universities draw the best students and teachers, and receive substantial funding. While positions for teachers with Master’s degrees are still to be found, the emerging trend to secure a teaching position in these universities is the requirement of a doctorate. Even though the demand for English teachers in academic universities is growing, most foreign teachers find positions in vocational universities (universities of technology). A third option for ESL teachers is the five-year junior college system. This system counts three years of high school, along with a two-year associate degree, to be equal to a lesser valued four-year degree. While these types of colleges are slowly being phased out, opportunities still exist.
Classes typically begin in August or September and run through July, with a semester break which usually coincides with Chinese New Year. As teachers would need to be settled in Taiwan by end of July, hiring takes place in spring and early summer.
Private tutoring is something that some ESL teachers do in addition to a formal teaching position; however, as a work visa is required to work legally in Taiwan, and your visa is tied specifically to your school, the ability to tutor privately is often determined at the discretion of the school. You should see a clause in your contract that states whether or not you can work outside of your scheduled hours. Some contracts clearly disallow tutoring on the side as it is considered to be competition, or at the very least a distraction from school duties. Those who do risk private tutoring charge between NT$500 - 1,500 per hour.
Graduates of Oxford Seminars receive our Job Placement Service with exclusive access to established schools and recruiters around the world.
There are many other resources available to ESL teachers searching for teaching positions abroad, including:
Jobs Teaching English in the Summer in Taiwan
Summer teaching positions in Taiwan do exist; however, rarely are they lucrative or even paying positions. Private tutoring can be a good source of income during the summer months.
Additional ESL Resources to Help Teach English in Taiwan
There are an abundance of ESL resources on the Internet to help ESL teachers teach English as a Second Language.
The requirements and guidelines below are listed for ESL teacher applicants to Taiwan who are citizens of: United States, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa.
Minimum Requirements to Apply for Teaching Positions in Taiwan:
*Sometimes a Two-Year College Diploma and TESOL certificate is sufficient.
Types of Applicable Visas:
Important Visa Information:
Standard Process for Obtaining Documentation to Work Legally in Taiwan:
Standard Required Documents for Visas:
(Important to check with the Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Office with jurisdiction over your region, as variations in requirements can occur frequently)
As countries that have diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC) may not have formed diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan), consular services are administered through representative offices.
American Embassy Services in Taiwan
American Institute in Taiwan (AIT)
No. 100, Jinhu Road,
Neihu District 11461, Taipei City, Taiwan
Phone: +886 2 2162-2000
Fax: +886 2 2162-2251
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 8:00am - 11:0am, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Canadian Embassy Services in Taiwan
The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT)
6F, 365 Hua-Hsin Building, No. 1 SongZhi Rd, Xinyi District
Taipei 11047, Taiwan
Phone: +(886) (02) 8723-3000
Fax: +(886) (02) 8723-3092
Hours of Operation: Monday to Thursday 8:15am - 12:00pm, 12:30pm - 5:00pm and Friday 8:15am - 12:15pm
Australian Embassy Services in Taiwan
*In the absence of formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the ACIO (Australian Commerce and Industry Office) represents Australian interests in Taiwan.
Australian Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei
The President International Tower 27th-28th Floors #9-11 Song Gao Rd
Taipei 11073, Taiwan
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 8:45am - 12:30pm, 1:30pm - 5:15pm
British Embassy Services in Taiwan
British Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei
26th Floor President International Tower
Number 9-11 Song Gao Road, Xin Yi District
Taipei 11073, Taiwan
Phone: (886) (02) 8758-2088
Fax: (886) (02) 8758-2050
Consular Form: www.gov.uk/contact-consulate-taipei
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 9:00am - 12:30pm, 1:30pm - 5:00pm
Irish Embassy Services in Taiwan
*Irish citizens living in Taiwan should contact the Embassy in Beijing, China.
Irish Embassy in Beijing
3 Ritan Dong Lu
Beijing 100600, People's Republic of China
Phone: +86 10 85316200
Fax: +86 10 65326857
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 9:00am - 12:30pm, 2:00pm - 5:00pm
New Zealand's Services in Taiwan
* In the absence of diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce operates the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei
New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei
Walsin Building (Citibank) 9F, No.1 Songzhi Road, Xinyi District
Taipei City 11047
Taipei 11047, Taiwan
Phone: +886 2 2720 5228
Fax: +886 2 2720 5255
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 9:00am - 12:30 pm, 1:30pm - 5:30pm
Embassy Information Outside Taiwan
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Offices (TECRO) in the United States
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington, DC
4201 Wisconsin Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20016
Phone: (202) 895-1800
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Consular Division: Monday to Friday 9:00am - 12:00pm, 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices (TECO) in Canada
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Ottawa
45 O'Connor St., Suite 1960
World Exchange Plaza Ottawa
Ottawa, ON K1P 1A4
Phone: (613) 231-5080 ext.239
Fax: (613) 231-7112
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 9:00am - 4:00pm