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Teaching English in Taipei

Reasons to visit Taiwan are as varied as the visitors themselves. Some come to study Chinese, some come to do business, others are on vacation or holiday or just passing through. Many Western Visitors come to teach English.

Alot has changed over the years; it used to be illegal for anyone on a tourist visa to work in any way and if the police raided your school and caught you teaching you were subject to arrest and deportation. (It was a common occurance and a constant subject of conversation wherever teachers gathered). It was actually the Golden Age for foreign teachers. The pay was high (a good teacher easily made more than a doctor or lawyer), there were tons of teaching positions listed in the China Post (you could literally find a job the day you arrived), there were no contracts, no taxes, and you could quit your job (after payday, of course) to take a better job elsewhere and there was nothing the schools could do about it since they had hired you illegally.

The government finally acknowledged the need to regulate this industry and recently made teaching English legal for foreigners who have the proper qualifications (see below). Now teachers must sign and honor year-long contracts, competition is fierce (and good jobs are harder and harder to find), you must pay income tax and abide by the labor laws. Salaries are down on average 10-30% but teachers can now receive residency visas and medical insurance. No more expensive visa runs to Hong Kong every month. Problems still remain; some schools CAN'T provide work visas so teachers still get arrested and deported.

Novice teachers had better understand what they are getting themselves into before signing any contracts. Start by clicking on the first link below and reading some of the horror stories that foreign teachers have experienced here in Taiwan (and China). The reason for this link is not to learn which schools to avoid, but to understand the type of problems you might encounter. There are other related articles on this site that are "must reads", especially "Taiwan-Warning to Teachers" and "Taiwan-Dealing with Agents"

The best all-around resource site for foreign teachers is:
Teach English and Live in Taiwan (TEALIT)
Tealit is the #1 site for finding work.

You can also find teaching jobs on:
English in Taiwan

Dave's ESL Cafe

Sites with a wealth of information about taipei and taiwan
Taiwanese secrets

They also explain the recent changes to the labor law as it relates to foreign English teachers:
Revisions to the Labor Laws (as they relate to foreign English Teachers)

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