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Should I work in Taiwan or stay in the U.S.? (graduating fro

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Should I work in Taiwan or stay in the U.S.? (graduating fro

Postby rcfong » 22 Feb 2002, 03:18


Thanks for posting. It's comforting to see that I'm not the only one in the same boat. I could imagine how tough it is to simply drop into Taiwan, and bravely go about your search. But then again, you mentioned that you have a job in the US already with a delayed start date. I'm sure that helps greatly. Now that you've decided to take the plunge, how are you faring over there?

Should I work in Taiwan or stay in the U.S.? (graduating fro

Postby <Wish you good luck> » 22 Feb 2002, 08:40


It's more or less a matter of determination whether you can find a good opportunity you want in Taiwan. You may start now to send resemes to foreigner-owned business firms, such as securities firms or securities investment & trust companies for internship in Taiwan, or to electronics companies for technical writing, with big possibility of being offered very good stock options and bonus from these reputable tech firms. I know a Canadian guy who came to Taiwan learning Chinese, and then found a job in a tech firm as a techinal writer. After two to three years, that company started up a subsidiary in the US, so this guy applied for going there. He got what he wants, with a bulk of stock options the company pays him on a yearly basis. He sold those stocks when the market was good, and then, you know......

I also know some foreigners who learn Mandarin here work as an editor in the financial sector. With an Economics major, that should be a plus.

But of course, those examples don't guarantee you will be as lucky as them too. But be aggressive, and keep on trying should be able to enhance your chances to get what you want more quickly than your expectation.

Wish you good luck
<Wish you good luck>

Should I work in Taiwan or stay in the U.S.? (graduating fro

Postby <wolf_reinhold> » 22 Feb 2002, 11:33

Without going into detail, let me tell you this: being posted to Taiwan (or any foreign country for that matter) pays well. Having a degree in business management and 16 years of living here has not enabled me to rustle up a managing job with an international firm. I have heard of other, similar situations.
But my real question to you is why bother with Taiwan at all? Just because you are ethnic Chinese, does this mean that you have to 'seek your roots'? Not that this is necessarily wrong thinking, but you seem ready to start a career and as an oldster, I would advise you to get solid experience in your job field in the US before thinking of coming East.
On the other hand, if you are just wanting to bum around for a while, Taiwan is a place to do that, although I might suggest Thailand for its superior creature comforts and cheaper thrills (or so I have been told.... [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] ).
Or try mainland China. I hear Shanghai is a happening place these days.

Should I work in Taiwan or stay in the U.S.? (graduating fro

Postby ironlady » 22 Feb 2002, 14:03

Don't think the dilemma on whether or not to go to Taiwan exists only for the recently-graduated.

I think that most folks who have spent any considerable amount of time in Taiwan are somehow pulled back more or less constantly. My husband and I are in that position.

What we have found is that although we have all the bells and whistles in the US (house, cars, etc.) the costs are extremely high (makes Taipei look like a free lunch, almost) because of all the required insurance (plus we live near Washington, DC which ain't exactly a low-rent district). We find that the added financial pressure is a big negative for us, and we are seriously considering whether we might not prefer to live in Taiwan (a lifestyle which we both considered perfectly comfortable and respectable) while holding on to more of the lower salary he would earn (I make pretty much the same no matter where I am, which is somewhat unusual) and paying lower taxes.

What I see among the families and couples our age (er...mid-30ish [img]images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] ) in the States is that most are slaves to a mortgage. Owning a home is the American dream, but paying for it can be the American nightmare. I see families where both husband and wife must work full-time or more to make those payments, and during the year I taught high school here, I saw the effect this is having on the kids. It made me really nostalgic for my nice Taiwanese students and the way they slept, hamster-like, on each other during class breaks. But I digress. [img]images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

The biggest factor for us is isolation. In the States, practically no one speaks to you. You have to be in some group (church, work, etc.) to be able to make friends with anyone. In Taiwan, it is enough just to be a grinning foreigner. [img]images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img] At least anyone will chat with you, and I actually have more Taiwanese friends at this point (still in Taiwan) than I do American friends, because of the difficulty of reconstructing or constructing a social network after 7 years outside the States.

I don't know if this helps you much or not, but at least this time when somebody tells you "I know what you mean," you might actually believe it!

Let me know what you decide!
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Should I work in Taiwan or stay in the U.S.? (graduating fro

Postby haobana » 23 Feb 2002, 09:59

You could look for a job at home for a year or two and then come over.

1. Got some experience in your field
2. Maybe you are required to have the 1yr experience/maybe not for the ARC
3. Learn/improve your Chinese

I don't know anybody who gets posted over here and if they did they'd be 5-10 years older than you most likely.

Then you can improve your prospects a lot. There are great opportunities for young people with aptitude who work for companies here and you can advance very fast but be warned it's hard work. Being from America you may be more expectant of this type of work environment. Long hours with
overinflated expectations of stock options.

The pay in business is lower in general compared to the US but you can often get a 'foreigner rate' which would be equal to the managers of the company. Taipei living expenses are expensive for Taiwan but cheap compared to Western countries.
However having said this I never did any of it and like most people started teaching English and waffled/used my English skills, jumped through a few jobs until I found a more relevant career job. English teaching pays big bucks here but unfortunately they will often try and discount your pay because you are an ABC. You may get lucky but that's what I've seen myself already.

Taipei living expenses are expensive for Taiwan but cheap compared to Western countries
The tech companies here such as ViaTechnologies and U-Vision will hire you fresh off the boat sometimes, if you'd like to work in marketing.
Check the ads on this site in the business section and you can get an idea of the business jobs initially available. If you speak Chinese (or write) your pay will up 50%.

Helps to have a little experience first. Otherwise
you can do technical writing and move into something else when your Chinese is better and you know your way around. If you want to work in China this is a great bounce board too.

Come on over now or in a year or two. It's a great experience no matter what happens.

Should I work in Taiwan or stay in the U.S.? (graduating fro

Postby jma123 » 25 Feb 2002, 05:31

There are many people who are in the same boat as us. The job in the US fell through, as I had expected, which is why I came back to see what life was like here. I must say though, if you are seriously thinking about a future here, then by all means come back here. But, I think it would still be best to get experience in the US first, and then come back here. Living here on a US salary is t-h-a-t much more comfortable. Plus, I think it's very easy to get wander through life here and if you are on a 'schedule' , then maybe the US should still be your focus. As for me, I'm probably heading back soon. TW was fun, but I realized it's probably not where I want to be right now, starting out. Maybe later on.

Should I work in Taiwan or stay in the U.S.? (graduating fro

Postby <too lazy to log> » 28 Feb 2002, 12:28

Please stay home. This place is already overcrowded.
<too lazy to log>

Should I work in Taiwan or stay in the U.S.? (graduating fro

Postby <higherstandards> » 28 Feb 2002, 12:39

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, Geneva">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by DWF:
<strong>I am double majoring in Economics... I don't think I would mind having lower wages in Taiwan, compared to those in the U.S. Besides, the standard of living is lower in Taiwan and the food is great!</strong><hr></blockquote>You're an economics major and you don't know the diffference between standard of living and cost of living?! [img]images/smiles/icon_confused.gif[/img] Time to review, I think...

Should I work in Taiwan or stay in the U.S.? (graduating fro

Postby Christine » 28 Feb 2002, 15:40

DWF, at the risk of sounding like Paulo Coelho...

In my opinion, there is no cookie-cutter answer. There are pros and cons to getting experience in the US first versus coming to Taiwan first. Your experience is what you make of it (either in the US or here), as no two people will have the same perspective or value systems.

Some people come here, work for a local firm, and walk away thinking that they got nothing out of it and wasted their time. Others had just the opposite experience. And sometimes it's the fear of the unknown rather than the actual event itself that sets us back from trying new things.

(Obviously the Alchemist is fresh on my mind... sorry...)

It's good to get feedback and do your due diligence (research) before taking action, but I say, don't think about it too much. Make a decision and just do it. [img]images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img]

You are just graduating and have many years ahead of you! Make the most out of it, think of it as just one stage of many more to come in your entire life, and stop doing it when you feel like you are no longer growing personally/professionally.
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Should I work in Taiwan or stay in the U.S.? (graduating fro

Postby rcfong » 11 Mar 2002, 00:11

Hello Everyone,

I must first apologize to all of you for this very late reply. I've been busy with exams lately and have been avoiding excess computer use. I've been wanting to reply for a while just to at least thank all of you for your excellent suggestions and support. Unfortunately, I didn't get around to doing it until now.

I think, for now, I'll try to get some experience here in the US first before going over. Hopefully I won't get stuck in a routine and end up staying here too long. I really do want to see more of Taiwan, work there, learn more, etc.

As for the question that was directed at me as to why I am choosing Taiwan....I'm selecting Taiwan purely based on the fact that Mandarin Chinese is the national language there. Yes, Mainland China's national language is Mandarin as well.....but, I'll save the opportunity of going to China for a later time. I'm a bit fearful of China and don't want to get arrested for taking pictures (I take lots of pictures---it's a joke, but I do love photography [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] Nevertheless, I do indeed want to see Shanghai and hope it to be the first destination in Mainland China that I visit. I hear it's a beautiful country [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

So back to the topic....I most likely will be staying here in the US for a bit (1-2 years). Some of my good friends are heading back to HK and Taiwan this summer and will let me know of how the job opportunities are like.

To the user named "Wish You Good Luck", thanks for your input. But for some reason, I just don't see myself being so lucky, hehe. I'll take it to heart though. Eventually, hard work should pay off.

Btw Christine....what you said seemed quite comforting. It takes some bravery but certainly sounds exciting.

Ok, that's it for now I guess. Thanks again for all the advice and comments. I'll let you know what I end up deciding on [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

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