Is it a waste of time to look for teaching jobs in Taiwan if you're not living there?

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Re: Is it a waste of time to look for teaching jobs in Taiwan if you're not living there?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 03 May 2012, 08:44

The chain schools are pretty much the only ones that will hire from abroad. A large part of the reason they hire from abroad is because they can't hire people who have been here for more than six months. That should tell you something about what they're like to work for.

The only other options are outside the buxiban system, such as working for a government school, international school or university. Government schools and international schools definitely hire from abroad. I don't know about universities. Anyway, it doesn't sound like you would have the right qualifications for those kinds of jobs.

It's not thirty minutes from Taipei Main Station to the train station in Taoyuan. It takes about forty minutes by bus to get from Taipei Main Station to the edge of Taoyuan City, up near Nankan and the freeway exit. You'd have to allow another fifteen to twenty minutes to get to the train station in Taoyuan. Of course, that doesn't take into account that you almost certainly wouldn't be living right next to Taipei Main Station and you almost certainly wouldn't be working right next to the train station in Taoyuan either. There's commuting time there, and also waiting time. The buses theoretically run on a schedule, but they can be hit and miss. I used to live in Taoyuan about fifteen minutes' walk from the bus stop near the freeway exit. I used to visit my friend who lives in the southeast of Taipei (he's not that close to an MRT). Door to door, on a good day, it would end up taking me the better part of 1.5 hours. On a bad day (i.e. a lot of waiting), it could take two or more hours. I believe the buses come less and less frequently the later it gets, which leads into my next point.

Depending upon where you work in relation to the train station in Taoyuan, it could be slightly shorter catching the train or it could be a lot longer. There's actually no good way to get from anywhere non-central in Taipei to anywhere non-central in Taoyuan, despite the distance being relatively short (less than 30km in most cases). I like the transportation here on all other counts except the actual times involved. It's not just the north either. It's basically four hours door to door from my current place in Taidong County to my friend's house in Tainan City, and it's actually taken me six hours on occasion.

The other thing you need to consider is that if you do end up working for a buxiban, there's a high likelihood that you won't finish your classes until after 8pm. If you have to do any preparation or marking (maybe you could come earlier the next day instead, though you quickly find yourself spending half your afternoon and an entire evening every day doing that if you're not careful), this could stretch out to way after 9pm. There will also be times when they will spring stuff on you that needs to be done then and there and that you can't put off. Maybe you have the energy for it, but I suspect that if you finish work at say, 8:20 (as I used to at Hess) and get out the door by 8:25, you're still not looking at getting back to Taipei until at least 10:00, but probably anything up to 10:30 or 11:00 because of the bus schedule. At some point, you have to find food, and as odd as it may seem (at least in Taoyuan), for a place that supposedly has a food culture, finding decent food at that hour in Taiwan can be very difficult. So, realistically, you're looking at 11:00 or 11:30 before you can really begin your evening (and what does that leave, other than clubbing, because everyone else will have gone to bed?), and that's if you can be bothered after your four hour stint at your buxiban.

This plan of yours could get old really fast. I can't emphasise how important it is to not commute here, especially as a teacher. What appear to be short distances or commutes on paper end up being deceptively long in practice.

Either live in Taipei for the benefits it confers, but also accept the much higher cost of living and that you're probably not going to be able to save a lot of money (and will also have to compete against a lot more people for jobs), or live in somewhere boring like Taoyuan or Xinzhu so you can save money. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
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Re: Is it a waste of time to look for teaching jobs in Taiwan if you're not living there?

Postby tomthorne » 03 May 2012, 09:28

GuyInTaiwan wrote:
It's not thirty minutes from Taipei Main Station to the train station in Taoyuan.


The fast train is about 30 minutes, Guy. There are plenty of adult cram schools around Taoyuan train station, but a lot of them are pretty low paying (GVO etc). They are also unlikely to provide an ARC.
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Re: Is it a waste of time to look for teaching jobs in Taiwan if you're not living there?

Postby tomthorne » 03 May 2012, 09:35

GuyInTaiwan wrote:
This plan of yours could get old really fast. I can't emphasise how important it is to not commute here, especially as a teacher. What appear to be short distances or commutes on paper end up being deceptively long in practice.



QFT. Seemingly high hourly rate gigs rapidly lose their value once you factor in travel time. Block hours near where you live is the key.
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Re: Is it a waste of time to look for teaching jobs in Taiwan if you're not living there?

Postby Multiracial Man » 03 May 2012, 09:55

You guys are bringing up some good points. If I got a buxiban job outside of Taipei, my intended travel schedule could get really screwed up, however if its a 9-6 job, I think that I can tolerate it. What time does public transportation start running in Taiwan?
I have a friend in Taoyuan that hates living there, shes a local. Anyone here have any impressions of it that are more positive? The only other place that I can see myself living is around New Taipei. I'd like to stay near Taipei proper if possible, I just don't think that I want to do the 1 hr commute thing just to do something interesting...
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Re: Is it a waste of time to look for teaching jobs in Taiwan if you're not living there?

Postby tommy525 » 03 May 2012, 10:02

A few posters around these parts have said Banqiao is not that bad. The area right at the main station looks like Tokyo , its so built up and new. Its nicer then Taoyuan thats pretty sure. And its only an MRT ride away from taipei main. Its only like 15 mins to Taipei main or so.
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Re: Is it a waste of time to look for teaching jobs in Taiwan if you're not living there?

Postby PigBloodCake » 03 May 2012, 10:08

Multiracial Man wrote:
tommy525 wrote:Taipei has swallowed Taipei County (now called New Taipei) and soon will swallow Taoyuan . Transport between Taoyuan and Taipei is readily available , easy and cheap. Except for the highspeed rail (which goes to the boonies anyway) that is like 150nt each way or so. Many buses go back and forth , but the trains only take 30 mins from downtown Taoyuan to taipei main station and you can use your MRT easy card to ride (no assigned seating) . Costs 27nt each way (so im told) . But the easy card cant be used only on the Taroko Train (but many do anyway). You can buy a ticket on the Taroko if you see the conductor, it may cost double the usual 65nt or so one way. Most people ride the commuter trains with the easy card.

so live in Taoyuan and visit taipei. Quite workable.

Or better yet, live in Banqiao, which is half way between Taoyuan and Taipei main station. Theres a great station there where you can ride HSR to taipei main station , or regular trains either to Taoyuan central or Taipei main. Or the MRT to taipei .

Banqiao is where I would look, cheaper rents then taipei city and close to Taoyuan.


Thanks for your info. At the moment, I'd really like to live in a urban place with a lot of fun things to do, like Da'an or Xiyin. I'm not 100% beholden to living in those places, I just don't want to have to commute really far away to do anything fun or live in a place where its hard to find people that understand English.

What is Banqiao like?


Banqiao is a city full of congregated old apartments and flats surrounding a newly developed area with shopping malls, a main train station, the city govt building, and residential buildings. I don't think you'll like it considering the fact that you're interested in Da'an or Xinyi districts.
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Re: Is it a waste of time to look for teaching jobs in Taiwan if you're not living there?

Postby Feiren » 03 May 2012, 10:34

1. Forget about commuting to Taoyuan to teach. Commuting in Taiwan is an incredible grind. You'll hate life and Taiwan if you do this.

2. If you want to live in Taipei, I'd suggest the neighborhood near Liuzhangli/Linguang MRT stations OR the Guting neighborhood near Guting MRT station.

Liuzhangli is an older (and therefore cheaper) neighborhood close to all the the clubs, restaurants, shopping and jobs in East Taipei, which is the closest thing to Manhattan Taiwan has. It's nothing like Manhattan, but as Manhattan is to the rest of the US, East Taipei is to the rest of Taiwan.

Guting is just west of the now expensive university district around NTU and NTNU. This is where much of Taiwan's music scene takes place and there are lots of hip cafes and bars catering to a more arty crowd than East Taipei. Guting is a bit cheaper than other places. Also, this is a great place to live if you have any interest in studying Chinese. Both Guting and Liuzhangli have lots to do and are full of English speaking people from all over the world and English-speaking Taiwanese people.

3. But lots of other peopel want to live in Taipei, so the competition for teaching jobs is fierce and schools are choosy. Give yourself extra time to find a job. It's unlikely that a chain school will place you in Taipei. You are much more likely to be assigned to a pit like Keelung (Jilong) , Caotun, or Shalu.

Good luck!
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Re: Is it a waste of time to look for teaching jobs in Taiwan if you're not living there?

Postby Skater bum » 03 May 2012, 10:56

The job you get now will most likely be 12-14 hours and watch out for those 9-5 jobs they always try to pay low salaries specially through agents. Guting area is ok I use to live there but expect to pay 15,000 at least. We hired a new Teacher at my school and had 38 applicants to choose from close to Da'an and the job only afford 8 hours a week! We advertised through word of mouth only as well. Taiwan is now over run with young yuppies. Still come just dont expect it to be as easy as landing here and walking into a job ....commuting and so on different city absolutely awful. Live as close to your school as possible unless you like being jammed into a tiny place with tons of sick people. Bring enough cash to survive a while take your time do a visa run to Thailand enjoy yourself, whatever job you get you may be stuck in. Once they get you a visa they pretty much own you.
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Re: Is it a waste of time to look for teaching jobs in Taiwan if you're not living there?

Postby Multiracial Man » 03 May 2012, 11:01

Feiren wrote:1. Forget about commuting to Taoyuan to teach. Commuting in Taiwan is an incredible grind. You'll hate life and Taiwan if you do this.

2. If you want to live in Taipei, I'd suggest the neighborhood near Liuzhangli/Linguang MRT stations OR the Guting neighborhood near Guting MRT station.

Liuzhangli is an older (and therefore cheaper) neighborhood close to all the the clubs, restaurants, shopping and jobs in East Taipei, which is the closest thing to Manhattan Taiwan has. It's nothing like Manhattan, but as Manhattan is to the rest of the US, East Taipei is to the rest of Taiwan.

Guting is just west of the now expensive university district around NTU and NTNU. This is where much of Taiwan's music scene takes place and there are lots of hip cafes and bars catering to a more arty crowd than East Taipei. Guting is a bit cheaper than other places. Also, this is a great place to live if you have any interest in studying Chinese. Both Guting and Liuzhangli have lots to do and are full of English speaking people from all over the world and English-speaking Taiwanese people.

3. But lots of other peopel want to live in Taipei, so the competition for teaching jobs is fierce and schools are choosy. Give yourself extra time to find a job. It's unlikely that a chain school will place you in Taipei. You are much more likely to be assigned to a pit like Keelung (Jilong) (Jilong) , Caotun, or Shalu.

Good luck!


Thanks for the info, Guting sounds interesting. What is the rent like for a nice place there? I saw rent prices in Da'an for what I would consider a nice place in my price range for like 16,000-21,000 NTD. I'm fairly comfortable with this price range, but I'm aware that when you get out of Da'an, you get a lot more space for the same money or less money.

I wouldn't say I'm in a rush to find something, but at the same time, I've been looking for 2 months and I know that right around now is the prime hiring season. I don't have the money to visit Taipei for a week or more to find a job so looking from here is my only viable option. I've actually applied to a lot of jobs in the surrounding area of Taipei and if they are interested, they usually become uninterested when they realize that I am not Taiwan now. I just made a video to present with my resume to jobs that I am applying for now, so hopefully that mitigates the school's reluctance to hire me...*fingers crossed*
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Re: Is it a waste of time to look for teaching jobs in Taiwan if you're not living there?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 03 May 2012, 11:12

tom: How regularly do the fast trains run though? I can't remember them being that frequent. They can also be delayed. As you point out, there are employment options around the train station, but they're problematic.

Multiracial Man: You're simply unlikely to get a 9-6 gig here in Taiwan. It doesn't work that way. Most people work during the day, and most kids are at school during the day. As such, they're free (for studying English) in the afternoon or evening. There are kindy gigs during the day, but they're probably illegal for you so you could get deported and fined if caught. A lot of people work these jobs anyway, but there is a significant risk involved and the instances of people getting caught seem to be increasing. I work at a government school, but unless you're a certified teacher (or perhaps married to a local in some cases), you're not going to be able to do that.

I don't know what time PT starts running. Early enough for you though. The issue is going to be what time it stops running.

As for Taoyuan, it regularly views for the title of armpit of Taiwan, so you'll be hard pressed finding a lot of good things about it here.

The main problem you're having here with not being able to get a job from abroad is that they want demos. Specifically, they want a demo of you interacting with the kids at their school, as well as using the books used at their school. You simply can't do that from abroad.

PigBloodCake: If he's setting his standards at the Da'an or Xinyi districts of Taipei, he's pretty much going to be disappointed with 99.9% of Taiwan then.
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