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Teaching English in Taiwan

Taipei 101
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Taipei 101
National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hal

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How Much Can I Earn?
Monthly Salary:
50,000 - 80,000 TWD ?
1,520 - 2,420 USD
Private Tutoring per Hour:
500 - 1,500 TWD
20 - 50 USD
Income Tax Rate:
10 - 20%
Ability to Save per year:
6,500 - 21,000 USD
What Are My Benefits?
Sometimes included or allowance may be given
Reimbursement (full or partial) sometimes given
Health Care:
What Will Teaching Be Like?
Teaching Hours:
20 - 30
Typical Contract Length:
One year
Typical Start Date:
August/September, January/February or year round
Application Timeline:
1 - 4 months
What Do I Need?
Work Visa:
Employer sponsors
Education Requirements:
Two Year College Diploma
Oxford Seminars TESOL/TESL/TEFL Certificate
Additional Notes:
Bachelor's Degree preferred
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What to Know About Living in Taiwan

If living in a vibrant city on a tropical island, experiencing another culture, and gaining teaching experience is a dream of yours, Taiwan may be your destination. With its rugged mountains, unique landforms, and stunning coastlines, this island is a unique draw to ESL teachers and tourists alike.


Most ESL teaching contracts in Taiwan include a housing allowance or access to school-owned apartments. The low cost of living, relatively high salaried positions, and school assistance in securing accommodation, make Taiwan a very popular destination for ESL teachers.Studio or one-bedroom apartments tend to be the most popular accommodation choices for ESL teachers. Another more cost effective route is for colleagues to share two- or three-bedroom apartments. Housing costs vary between cities and districts, with Taipei typically ranked as the most expensive region.

Studio apartments are usually furnished with a bed, armoire, AC, desk and chair. Some apartments may also come with a microwave, hot plate, or toaster oven. Having a TV and fridge could be an extra expense. Monthly rent for this type of apartment can range from approximately 7,500 - 10,000 TWD in Taipei and be lower in other city centers. One-bedroom apartments, if furnished, typically come with a bed, armoire, desk, chair, fridge, and AC. Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Taipei can range from approximately 10,000 - 20,000 TWD. A furnished two- or three-bedroom apartment, which can be shared among teachers, would cost approximately 15,000 - 35,000 TWD/month.

Services are generally a separate fee on top of rent and can include garbage collection, lighting for hallways, and security, costing approximately 1,000/month TWD. Utilities usually include electricity, water and gas, and cost approximately 1,000 - 2,000 TWD/month.

One can expect to pay a two-month deposit, plus one month's rent (three-month rent total) in advance when signing an apartment agreement.


Most ESL contracts in Taiwan do not include airfare; however, contracts vary between schools and the inclusion of airfare may depend upon the length of contract signed and the teacher's qualifications

Health Benefits

All legitimate businesses and schools in Taiwan have access to government health insurance and most schools would include this benefit in their contracts. While only a percentage of the premiums may be covered by schools, the health care itself is excellent and still very affordable.

Having independent health care insurance from one's home country may be prudent for the first few months in Taiwan until benefits with the school are fully activated.

Retirement Age

In recent years, Taiwan's official retirement age has risen from 60 to 65 years of age. While schools have a strong preference for hiring candidates between the ages of 20 - 40, there are opportunities for ESL teachers up to age 50 but they are not easy to find.

Communications Technology

Taiwan is one of the electronics manufacturing centers of the world and is considered 'cutting edge' in many respects. ESL teachers will find access to Internet and phone services easy and affordable. If they do not have Internet at their place of residence, their school will likely provide this to staff during working hours. Most coffee shops and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi to customers.


Mobile phones are relatively inexpensive to purchase in Taiwan and require use of a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card. The SIM card can be reloaded by use of calling cards, which are available everywhere. The purchase of a SIM card usually requires one to two pieces of identification, one of which must be a valid alien residence card (ARC). International calling cards can be purchased at reasonable rates and are also readily accessible. Public telephones (coin or card operated) can be found throughout cities in Taiwan.


Obtaining an Internet connection at one's place of residence, while affordable, may require a passport and Taiwanese guarantor. As an alternative, Internet cafes are plentiful and surfing time is inexpensive (between NT$15 - 30/hour).

American Food

American restaurants/cafes are becoming a common part of the landscape in Taiwan with many options available, including:

- T.G.I. Friday's
- Tony Roma's
- Ponderosa Steakhouse
- Outback Steakhouse
- Chili's
- McDonald's
- Burger King
- Subway
- Domino's Pizza
- Pizza Hut
- Starbucks (150 outlets in Taipei alone!)

The introduction of Costco (similar to Sam's Club) to Taiwan has been a great addition for Western shoppers. Nabisco and Frito-Lay, among other popular brands, have found their way into local grocery stores, as well as Western chocolate and ice cream. Coffee is becoming readily available and popular as the numerous Starbucks locations in Taipei would indicate. While import foods are still quite expensive, many items can be found in major grocery chain stores and hypermarkets. Taking a modest supply of one's favorite foods is not uncommon among foreigners.

Transportation in Taiwan

Public Transportation


Taxis are generally a cheap way to travel, especially when traveling with a friend. If you choose to travel by taxi, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

- Flagging a taxi is best, as opposed to using those sitting and waiting for customers.
- Ask other foreign teachers which taxi companies are safe and reliable.
- Choose a taxi that is metered, and make sure the meter is working before getting in.
- Choose a taxi driver that appears to be well-groomed with a well-kept car.
- Make note of, and use, the driver's name.
- Follow your instincts; if you feel unsafe, remove yourself from the taxi and get another.
- Carry a map so that you can point to where you wish to travel.

Train and Subway

The train system in Taiwan includes new high speed trains along the west coast, express trains that travel between cities, and other, slower trains which travel between towns. The trains are typically packed on weekends, but relatively empty during the week.

Taipei and Kaohsiung have mass rapid transit systems (MRT) which are quite popular and somewhat inexpensive. In Taipei, tickets range from 20 - 65 TWD depending upon the distance. A 150 TWD pass allows unlimited usage of the train for one day. In Kaohsiung, fares range from 20 - 60 TWD depending on distance. You can also purchase a reloadable card for 200 TWD that comes with a 100 TWD credit. Both systems stop at major tourist attractions, a popular feature for ESL teachers who want to explore these cities.


City buses are readily available in the capital, Taipei. There are fewer available in other cities throughout the island, but this is starting to change. Buses generally run on the half-hour and fares are approximately 15 - 25 TWD. In smaller city centers, routes are not as extensive or frequent as they are in Taipei, making other modes of transportation, such as a scooter, more appealing and feasible.

Other Modes of Transportation


The scooter tends to be the most popular mode of transportation for teachers in light of its cost, availability, and the ability to get around quickly in traffic. Many ESL teachers purchase scooters. An ARC (Alien Resident Card) is required upon purchase. Second-hand scooters are readily available and can be purchased for approximately 10,000 - 20,000 TWD, and a new scooter can be purchased for approximately 30,000 - 60,000 TWD. They can also be rented at a very reasonable rate, if you have a valid international or local motorcycle license.

Tips When Using a Scooter:

- Wear a helmet!
- If purchasing your own scooter, take care to ensure that all the paperwork and insurance are in your name. As well, ensure that it is secured while it is parked or stored.
- If you've never driven a scooter, practice in a safe area before using it on the main roads.
- Be cautious! Roads in Taiwan tend to be full of aggressive drivers, making this type of transportation potentially dangerous.


The bicycle is a common mode of transportation among Taiwanese and foreigners. Street or trail bikes can be purchased at a very reasonable price.

Tips When Riding a Bicycle:

- Wear a helmet!
- Wear a mask over your mouth and nose to mitigate the affects of pollution.
- Take an extra shirt to school as hot temperatures will make for a sweaty ride.
- Ensure that your bicycle, if purchased in Taiwan, was not stolen and resold.Ensure that your bicycle is well-secured when parked or stored.

Motor Vehicles

Some ESL teachers choose to purchase a used car if they have plans to stay in Taiwan for two or more years. An ARC (Alien Resident Card) and a local or international driver's license are necessary for the purchase of a vehicle.

Etiquette in Taiwan

The Taiwanese are a gracious, respectful, family-oriented, and hard-working people. They value humility and patience and are careful to guard the honor of family and others. A slight nod of the head is the most common greeting among new acquaintances in Taiwan with handshakes among men who have an established friendship. Introductions are usually made by a third party. Rarely would someone introduce themselves, unless alone with another person.

General Etiquette

The following are some helpful guidelines for etiquette. Taking the time to learn common etiquette is a compliment to the culture in which one is living.

- While the nod is the most common greeting among the Taiwanese, the handshake is also common and expected among foreigners. Handshakes are not typically firm.
- Greet the eldest person in the group first as a sign of respect.
- Taiwanese will generally lower their eyes as a sign of respect when being introduced.
- Address others by using their title and surname. Using one's first name is usually done when there is a greater level of familiarity. It is best to wait until invited to use the first name before doing so.
- Teachers should wear business attire in the classroom unless otherwise instructed.
- Avoid touching anyone on the head as it is disrespectful.
- Gift-giving is common in Taiwan and has some well-established guidelines. Consulting a Taiwanese friend before giving a gift would be wise. Remember to give and receive gifts with both hands and wait until you are in private before opening a gift.
- Remove shoes when entering someone's home. Slippers are usually provided, but it is best to take a pair of socks along with you when visiting.
- Tipping is expected for those offering services such as porters or hairstylists, but not expected for taxis or waiters. Restaurants will add a gratuity of 10% to the bill.
- Patience is sometimes required when ascertaining the meaning of someone's message, as brevity in communication is uncommon.
- As modesty is highly valued in Taiwan, playing down a compliment paid to you is considered proper etiquette.
- "Saving face" is an important part of Taiwanese culture and as such, showing respect, paying compliments, and avoiding harsh confrontation and blame is very important.

Dining Etiquette

Dining etiquette in Taiwan has some similarities to other Asian cultures as well as its own unique aspects. Unless there is a well-established relationship, dining together as a group would generally take place at a restaurant instead of in one's home. The host of the meal makes order selections, initiates toasts, initiates serving food, initiates eating, and pays the bill. When in doubt about proper etiquette to follow, it is always helpful to follow the lead of other guests. As chopsticks are the utensil of choice, getting used to using them before dining out would be a good idea. Following are some dining hints:

- Arrive on time and dress in business attire.
- If dining at someone's home, remove shoes before entering.
- Greet the host and most elderly before greeting others.
- Wait for the host to assign seating and to begin eating.
- Always try to leave a small portion of the meal on your plate to show the host/hostess has provided an adequate amount of food.
- Avoid putting bones in your bowl or on your plate; rather, put them on a specific plate provided or directly on the table.
- It is best not to ask for additional condiments beyond what is already on the table.
- To avoid being given more to drink, leave a small amount in your glass.
- At the end of the meal, place your chopsticks on the chopstick holder as opposed to putting them across the plate.
- Never stand your chopsticks up in your bowl. This is considered an offering for the dead and should only be done during ceremonies honoring deceased loved ones.
- A belch is not uncommon during a public meal as it is simply an indication that one is enjoying it.
- The serving of tea is an indication that the meal is coming to an end.
- Offering to contribute to the meal is polite but should not be insisted upon, as the host generally pays for the meal.
- Using a toothpick at the table is acceptable; however, cupping your free hand over your mouth is important during its use.
- If it is within your means, reciprocating with a meal of comparable value is considered polite.

Language in Taiwan

The Chinese language is often thought of as a language family because it combines many local dialects with commonly used Mandarin as its base. In some parts of southern Taiwan people speak Taiwanese but Mandarin is the official and most commonly spoken language.

Throughout history, many people around the world have marveled at the written word of the Chinese and how detailed and unique it is compared to the characters of other world languages. The characters of the Chinese language have undergone a series of historical changes. During the mid-20th Century, the Chinese government worked to develop simplified Chinese while the Taiwan government decided to stay with traditional Chinese. Most phrasebooks are written for mainland China so if you are using one remember to be patient as the writing is different and may not be comprehensible to Taiwanese citizens.

It is fairly easy to find Chinese language lessons in most American urban regions. Learning Chinese is definitely worthwhile for an English teacher before they begin an ESL career in Taiwan. In the meantime, here are some useful Chinese phrases to practice and remember

- Hello
Ni hao

- Thank you
Xie xie

- How much does this cost?
Duo shao qian?

- Where is the toilet?
Ce suo zai nar?

- My name is _______.
Wo jiao _______.

- Good bye
Zai jian

- Doctor
Yi sheng

- Where is_______?
______ zai nar?

- Where am I?
Zher shi shen me di fang?

- How do I get to ________?
Dao ___________ zen me zou?

- Where can I catch a taxi?
Zai nar cheng chu zu che?

- Bus station
Gong gong qi che

- Excuse me
Bu hao yi si

A pocket phrasebook would be an invaluable purchase. Even if pronouncing a particular word feels unrealistic, pointing to the word in a phrasebook (providing that it includes the Traditional Chinese characters) may prove very helpful.

Eating in Taiwan

Taiwanese Cuisine

The consensus among foreigners is that Taiwan is "food heaven". Visiting local food markets gives one a sense of the huge variety of fruits, vegetables, and other types of food available. Taiwanese cuisine centers on rice, seafood, and vegetables, and is generally flavored with pork fat. Spices often include ginger, anise, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Dried fish, fermented beans, and some chili peppers (lightly flavored) are often used. Dairy products are quite uncommon in the Taiwan diet; however, with Western influence, they are becoming more popular.

Popular food choices for foreigners include:

- Shui Jiao (boiled dumplings with pork and/or vegetables)
- Zheng Jiao (steamed dumplings with pork and/or vegetables)
- Mochi (sweet snack dipped in peanut powder & filled with a variety of pastes)
- Steamed Buns (variety of savory meats inside)
- Chow Mein (pan-fried noodles with vegetables and/or meat)
- Ji Si Tang Mian (soup noodles with chicken)
- Xian Yu Tang (fish soup)
- Shaved Ice (with a variety of toppings to choose from)

A helpful practice is to keep a notebook with food preferences after sampling various dishes at functions or enjoying a meal ordered at a restaurant, as it is very easy to forget the Taiwanese names of items.

Climate in Taiwan

Taiwan enjoys a sub-tropical climate with moderate temperatures in the North, and a tropical climate in the South. The country's average annual temperature is approximately 73oFahrenheit rising to 95oFahrenheit in the summer. The most dominant fluctuations in weather occur during the spring and winter seasons, with weather during summer and autumn maintaining stable temperatures.

There are four seasons in Taiwan, which some contend could be abbreviated to two: a hot season and a cool season.

Spring - Usually runs from March to June, with temperatures beginning to climb to meet the hot months of summer. The early monsoon rains start in May in the southern regions.

Summer - Generally June to September with the temperature averaging 82o Fahrenheit. The tropical breezes from the Pacific keep the island from becoming too hot. Monsoon rains typically begin in June and last through October.

Fall - Generally from mid-September to October. Temperatures begin to drop, however remain very pleasant. The latter part of the monsoon rains occur during the fall season in the northern parts of the country.

Winter - Typically lasts from November to February. Temperatures average 59-65o Fahrenheit. Due to the high humidity, most people find multiple layers of clothing works best in the northern regions of Taiwan, while a sweater or light jacket is sufficient outerwear for the southern regions.

Natural Disasters

Taiwan is familiar with earthquakes and the threat of high intensity monsoons. Being situated on the western edge of the Pacific Rim earthquake belt, an extremely active tectonic region, and its location in a subtropical area with high average temperatures and high precipitation, makes it vulnerable to these types of natural disasters.

Examples of extreme natural disasters include the Chi-Chi earthquake of 1999, which killed more than 2,400 and injured more than 11,000 people. The earthquake completely destroyed over 8,500 buildings and seriously damaged another 6,200. Typhoon Morakot of August, 2009 was the deadliest storm to hit the island in recorded history.

In response to these and other natural disasters, the government of Taiwan and partner NGOs (Non governmental organizations) are involved in ongoing efforts to create disaster readiness and relief plans. Pay attention to local weather warnings and dress/act accordingly.

Holidays in Taiwan

Several holidays in Taiwan are still based on the lunar calendar, and as such occur on different dates each year. Additionally, the government reserves the right to change event dates in order to ensure greatest productivity in the workplace. Schools typically abide by these changes and so have learned to become somewhat flexible with scheduling.

Below is a list of the primary holidays celebrated in Taiwan:

Founding Day of the Republic of China - January 1
Official birthday of Asia's first democratic republic

Spring Festival - January or February (1st day of first lunar month)
Known as Chinese New Year in the west. Three- to five-day celebration throughout Asia

Memorial Day - February 28
A day to celebrate ongoing peace

Children's Day- April 4
A day focused on honoring model students

Tomb Sweeping Day - April 5
Opportunity for respects to be formally paid at ancestors' graves

Labor Day - May 1
Celebrating the advancement of workers' rights and interests

Dragon Boat Festival - June
A festival for warding off evil and disease, and celebrated with dragon boat races

Mid-Autumn Festival - September or October (15th day of the eighth lunar month)
A time for family reunions and looking forward to a bountiful harvest in the following year

Double Tenth National Day - October 10
Celebration of the nation's birthday

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Teaching English in Taiwan

Teaching English in Taiwan is a great way to gain valuable experience and improve teaching skills, while enjoying a land of beauty, diversity, and mystery.

Peak ESL Hiring Season in Taiwan

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 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 "bushiban") 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. Some branches of chain schools are 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

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.

How to Find Jobs Teaching English in Taiwan

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:

- Oxford Seminars' English Language Schools Directory
- The Chronicle of Higher Education
- ESL Jobs
- TEFL.com
- Job Monkey
- Overseas Job Centre

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.

- Oxford Seminars' ESL Teaching Resources
- English In Taiwan
- Scholastic
- BBC Skillswise
- About.com - ESL Teaching Resources
- Classic Reader
- ESL Junction
- TeAchnology
- Discovery Education
- Songs For Teaching
- Genki English
- Taiwan Forums

Tips for ESL Teachers in Taiwan

- The ARC (Alien Resident Card) should be kept with you at all times.
- As Taiwanese value image and appearance, being well-groomed is important.
- If patience is not one of your strong points, it would be a good attribute on which to focus your energies.
- The Taiwanese are a gracious, non-confrontational people. Any conflict should be handled in a calm, private manner so as to "save face".
- Taiwan is considered to be a very safe country; however, it is still wise to limit the amount of money that you carry on your person.
- Adopt an adventurous attitude and explore the cuisine, culture, and sites of Taiwan.
- Use only bottled water from reputable companies for consumption. Boil filtered water if unsure.
- As the Taiwanese are typically petite compared to most Americans, clothing and shoes in larger sizes are not as readily available as they would be in the United States.
- The voltage in Taiwan is 110V, making the purchase of a transformer unnecessary if relocating to Taiwan from America.
- Consider getting an international driver's license in your home country.
- Penalties for drug usage are severe; as such, be careful to keep your distance from them or from those using them.

Teaching Requirements for ESL Teachers in Taiwan

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:

- Bachelor's (3 or 4 year) degree in any discipline - for teaching in a private school*
- Bachelor's degree and Teacher's license - for teaching in a public school
- Native English speaker

*Sometimes a Two-Year College Diploma and TESOL certificate is sufficient.

Types of Applicable Visas:

- Visa Exempt Entry: Extended to several countries (listed on Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs website). Valid for 90 days. Not extendable or convertible to other visas.
- Visitor's Visa: Designed for those who intend to stay in Taiwan for less than six months. Can be used as an initial visa (for ESL teachers working in private schools) while waiting for a Resident Visa to be processed.
- Resident Visa: Designed for those who intend to stay in Taiwan for longer than six months. This visa is often issued to teachers who have secured a teaching contract and whose schools have processed the work permit prior to their relocation to Taiwan. Some schools have their teachers enter Taiwan on a Visitor Visa and then process the work permit and Resident Visa once there.
- Spousal Visa: Designed for those married to a Taiwanese citizen and living in Taiwan. This visa can be used to teach English, provided the necessary requirements are met.
- Landing Visa: This is awarded to you at the airport if you do not already hold one of the above visas. It is valid for a maximum of 30 days and cannot be converted to a visitor or resident visa.

Important Visa Information:

- Visas will only be granted if there is sufficient time remaining on the applicant's passport. (This should be confirmed by a local Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Office).
- Leaving the country without a re-entry permit essentially cancels one's visa.
- A visa must be used within three months of receiving it.
- One should apply for a visa in person if possible. If you cannot travel to the Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Office, contact the office to see if application by mail is permitted.
- Once you arrive in Taiwan, you must apply for the ARC within the first 15 days.

Standard Process for Obtaining Documentation to Work Legally in Taiwan:

- The applicant secures a contract with a legitimate school.
- The school applies for a work permit on behalf of the applicant.
- Once the applicant receives the work permit, he/she applies for a Resident Visa/Entry Permit at the Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Office.
- If the work permit is not processed by the school prior to relocation to Taiwan, the applicant applies for a Visitor Visa at local Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Office. Once in Taiwan the school applies for the work permit on behalf of the teacher.
- Once a work permit is obtained, application for a Resident Visa/ARC (Alien Resident Card) is made.

Standard Required Documents for Visas:
(Important to check with a Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Office as variations in requirements sometimes occur)

- A valid passport with at least six months remaining after travel dates (This should be confirmed with local embassy/consulate)
- Completed visa application
- Passport photos - as recent as three months (specifications should be confirmed with local Economic and Cultural Office)
- Original university degree
- University transcripts
- Employment contract with letter of invitation
- A health certificate (includes an HIV test and chest X-Ray, etc.)
- For Visitor's Visa: Bank account balance statement issued in the last 3 months with your name clearly indicated and showing sufficient funds (approx. $2,000 US) to stay in Taiwan for the period stated on application
- For Visitor's Visa: Photocopy of one's airline ticket or travel itinerary issued by travel agent indicating dates of arrival to and departure from Taiwan
- Visa fee - See local Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Office for fee table
- Work permit issued by the Council of Labor Affairs (obtained by your employer)

Embassy and Consulate Information for Taiwan

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 and Consular Services in Taiwan

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT)
#7, Lane 134, Hsin Yi Rd, Section 3, Daan District
Taipei, 106-59, Taiwan
Phone: +(886) (02) 2162-2000
: +(886) (02) 2162-2251
: amcit-ait-t@state.gov
Website: www.ait.org.tw/en/home.html

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) - Kaohsiung Branch
5F, No. 88, Chenggong 2nd Rd, Qianzhen District
Kaohsiung City, 80661, Taiwan
Phone: +(886) (07) 355-5006
: +(886) (07) 338-0551
: amcit-ait-t@state.gov
: kaohsiung.ait.org.tw

Canadian Embassy and Consular Services in Taiwan

The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT)
6F, 365 Hua-Hsin Building, No. 1 SongZhi Rd, Xinyi District
Taipei 11047, Taiwan
City: Taipei
+(886) (02) 8723-3000

Fax: +(886) (02) 8723-3592
Email: tapei@international.gc.ca
Website: www.canada.org.tw
Hours of Operation: Monday to Thursday 8:15am - 12:00pm, 12:30pm - 5:00pm and Friday 8:15am - 12:15pm

Australian Embassy and Consular 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
Phone: +(886)-(02)-8725-4100
Fax: +(886)-(02)-8789-9599
Website: http://www.australia.org.tw/tpeichinese/home.html
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 8:45am - 12:30pm, 1:30pm - 5:15pm

British Embassy and Consular Services in Taiwan

British Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei
26th Floor President International Tower
Number 9-11 Sung Gao Road, Xin Yi District
Taipei 11073, Taiwan
Phone: (886) (02) 8758-2088

Fax: (886) (02) 8758-2050
Email: info.taipei@fco.gov.uk
Website: http://ukintaiwan.fco.gov.uk/
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 9:00am - 12:30pm, 1:30pm - 5:00pm

Irish Embassy and Consular 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
City: Beijing
Phone: (+86 10) 8531 6200
Fax: (+86 10) 6532 6857
Email: beijing@dfa.ie
Website: http://www.embassyofireland.cn/
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 9:30am - 12:30pm, 2:00pm - 5:00pm

New Zealand's Embassy and Consular 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
9F, No. 1 Songzhi Road
Xinyi District
Taipei 11047, Taiwan
Phone: +886 2 2720 5228
Fax: +886 2 2720 5255
Email: nzcio.tpe@msa.hinet.net
Website: https://nzcio.com/
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm.

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (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

Fax: (202) 895-1922
Email: tecroinfodc@tecro.us
Website: http://www.taiwanembassy.org/US
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (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
Fax: (613) 231-7235
Email: teco@taiwan-canada.org
Website: http://www.taiwanembassy.org/CA
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 9:00am - 4:00pm
Free PDF - Financial
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Taiwan: A Financial Snapshot

ESL teachers in Taiwan typically earn between 50,000 - 80,000 TWD per month and enjoy a low cost of living. Low housing, living, dining, and traveling expenses allow for a comfortable lifestyle and savings at the end of the month.

Expected Apartment Costs

Taiwan's rental housing market varies between cities and districts, and in terms of lifestyle levels. Taipei, Taiwan's capital, demands the highest rental prices, but are still very affordable compared to world housing costs. ESL teachers typically choose a studio or one-bedroom apartment with costs generally ranging from 5,000 - 20,000 TWD. Many choose a three- or four-bedroom house and share the cost with other teachers in order to have the conveniences of a larger living space.

Most landlords require a two-month deposit and one month's rent in advance when signing a rental lease. Utilities are usually not included in the rental price and can range from 2,000 - 3,000 TWD/month.


Banking in Taiwan is relatively straightforward if one has proper documentation, which typically includes the ARC (Alien Resident Certificate) and passport. There are two main types of banks in Taiwan: government-run and independent. Foreigners in Taiwan tend to find the independent banks more convenient as they accept foreign ATM cards that have the Cirrus, Maestro, or Plus symbol on the back, allowing withdrawals from abroad. They also issue an ATM card when an account is opened.

Some ATMs still charge a nominal fee for transactions and usually don't enforce a daily cash withdrawal limit. As well, English can be chosen as an option when using ATM machines. Caution should be exercised when using ATM machines by covering the keypad when entering the PIN, and by choosing an ATM that is centrally located in a bank, mall, or reputable shopping area. Fake ATMs that scrape personal bank information and give a message that there is no cash available are becoming more prevalent.

Banks in city centers are typically open from approximately 09:00 to 15:30 weekdays, and have at least one teller who can speak English. There are several international banks available including HSBC and Citibank.

A couple of tips:

- ESL teachers should take start-up money to cover initial set-up costs, apartment costs, and other living expenses prior to receiving their first paycheck.

- Credit card companies in one's home country should be made aware of one's relocation so that they don't freeze accounts when they see charges in another country (an unusual pattern).

Food Costs

While many items in Taiwan are on par with Western prices, some things are significantly cheaper. The following table provides ESL teachers with examples of the cost of food in Taiwan.

- 500 g Ground Beef - 344 TWD
- 2 L Whole Milk - 138 TWD
- 500 g Whole Chicken - 87 TWD
- 500 g Dry Pasta - 69 TWD
- 500 g Baking Potatoes - 30 TWD
- 500 g Rice - 30 TWD
- 340 g Box of Cheerios - 92 TWD
- Can of Coke - 30 TWD
- Bottled Water - 20 TWD
- Bowl of Noodles - 100 TWD

Other Miscellaneous Items

- Cinema Ticket - 200 - 300 TWD
- Second-hand Mobile Phones - 2,000+ TWD
- Local Phone Calls (3 Minutes) - 3 TWD
- Bus Ride - Approx 15 - 25 TWD