What to expect from living in Taiwan?

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What to expect from living in Taiwan?

Postby KobeBryant81 » 13 Jun 2012, 15:41

I am a Taiwanese guy in my mid 20's and I am currently facing a decision to either move back to Taiwan or stay in America. I overstayed my visa here and life is very tough without being able to legally work or go to school here in America. However, I have grown up here all my life and the thought of moving to Taiwan is quite scary. I can speak Mandarin fairly well but I can't read or write.

My question to you guys is what I should expect if I make the decision to move back? What are some advice you guys may be able to offer me for preparation? Any sort of advice will be very valuable to me as I am facing a tough situation right now. Thanks!
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Re: What to expect from living in Taiwan?

Postby ceevee369 » 13 Jun 2012, 15:52

KobeBryant81 wrote: I overstayed my visa here and life is very tough without being able to legally work or go to school here in America. However, I have grown up here all my life and the thought of moving to Taiwan is quite scary.


Could you enlighten us on the above?
Grown up all your life in the US but overstayed your Visa?
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Re: What to expect from living in Taiwan?

Postby KobeBryant81 » 13 Jun 2012, 16:01

ceevee369 wrote:
KobeBryant81 wrote: I overstayed my visa here and life is very tough without being able to legally work or go to school here in America. However, I have grown up here all my life and the thought of moving to Taiwan is quite scary.


Could you enlighten us on the above?
Grown up all your life in the US but overstayed your Visa?


Sorry for leaving that out lol. My parents and I moved to the US when I was 4 and we never went back since. Thus, I do not have any memories of Taiwan nor most of my relatives at all.
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Re: What to expect from living in Taiwan?

Postby Belgian Pie » 13 Jun 2012, 16:02

ceevee369 wrote:
KobeBryant81 wrote: I overstayed my visa here and life is very tough without being able to legally work or go to school here in America. However, I have grown up here all my life and the thought of moving to Taiwan is quite scary.


Could you enlighten us on the above?
Grown up all your life in the US but overstayed your Visa?


Stranger things can happen with a screen name like that ...
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Re: What to expect from living in Taiwan?

Postby ceevee369 » 13 Jun 2012, 16:08

If I would be you I'd look into this :

- what will be the legal consequences in the US - overstaying your Visa (Did you went to TECO to ask advice ?)
- what do you expect to do here in TW without a degree - (if you did not went to school ?)

While majority here are foreigners, our views can be biased and difficult to put ourselves in your shoes.
I’m a dog shaped ashtray
I’m a shrugging moustache wearing a speedo tuxedo
I’m a movie with no plot, written in the back seat of a piss powered taxi
I’m an imperial armpit, sweating Chianti
I’m a toilet with no seat, flushing tradition down
I'm socialist lingerie
I'm diplomatic techno
I'm gay pastry and racist cappuccino
I’m an army on holiday in a guillotine museum
I’m a painting made of hair, on a nudist beach, eating McDonald's
I’m a novel far too long
I’m a sentimental song
I’m a yellow tooth waltzing with wrap around shades on

Who am I?
I am Europe
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Re: What to expect from living in Taiwan?

Postby cranky laowai » 13 Jun 2012, 16:15

What level is your Mandarin?
What level is your Taiwanese?
How well do you read Mandarin written in Chinese characters?
What's your highest level of formal education?
What employable skills do you have?
Do you still have family here who can provide a support network that might help you with employment?

If you're here on your own -- without a U.S. passport, without Mandarin skills, and without a support network -- life would likely be difficult for a while. Also, you'll probably be conscripted into the military here for a year or so. But there has been talk of eliminating mandatory military in the next few years.
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Re: What to expect from living in Taiwan?

Postby KobeBryant81 » 13 Jun 2012, 16:46

ceevee369 wrote:If I would be you I'd look into this :

- what will be the legal consequences in the US - overstaying your Visa (Did you went to TECO to ask advice ?)
- what do you expect to do here in TW without a degree - (if you did not went to school ?)

While majority here are foreigners, our views can be biased and difficult to put ourselves in your shoes.



- what will be the legal consequences in the US - overstaying your Visa (Did you went to TECO to ask advice ?)

Basically I am facing a 10 year ban from the US once I leave. I currently can't drive or work here legally so this is not the lifestyle I want to keep on living, I have dreams of being successful in my career and this is definitely holding me back and giving me unnecessary consequences.

- what do you expect to do here in TW without a degree - (if you did not went to school ?)

That is the thing I am trying to figure out. I'm giving myself a year or two to prepare my move to Taiwan but I am clueless about many things. I have been researching online so I know some things but I figured it would be better to get opinions of posters as well.

cranky laowai wrote:What level is your Mandarin?
What level is your Taiwanese?
How well do you read Mandarin written in Chinese characters?
What's your highest level of formal education?
What employable skills do you have?
Do you still have family here who can provide a support network that might help you with employment?

If you're here on your own -- without a U.S. passport, without Mandarin skills, and without a support network -- life would likely be difficult for a while. Also, you'll probably be conscripted into the military here for a year or so. But there has been talk of eliminating mandatory military in the next few years.


What level is your Taiwanese?
If I was to rate myself out of 10, I would say around a 6 or 7. I can fluently keep up a conversation in Mandarin to anybody but with basic to moderate words. I can definitely understand more than I can speak.

How well do you read Mandarin written in Chinese characters?

None, I can recognize a couple words and that is about it.

What's your highest level of formal education?

High School, but I plan to get a degree before moving back. My major is Marketing.

What employable skills do you have?

I have tons of work experience with graphic design and web-based marketing. I also have years of experience with customer service and photography. These are decent skills that can earn me around $12 an hour but like I said, this is under the table pay and I don't know if I should be relying on this way of living the rest of my life.

Do you still have family here who can provide a support network that might help you with employment?

I do have family that can help but they are strangers to me as of now. I don't expect that they would be willing to help since my parents never got along with any of my family members.

If you're here on your own -- without a U.S. passport, without Mandarin skills, and without a support network -- life would likely be difficult for a while. Also, you'll probably be conscripted into the military here for a year or so. But there has been talk of eliminating mandatory military in the next few years.

I am aware of the military time but I don't mind that too much since I figure it might be a good way to meet people and get used to some of the culture. But yes, that is what I am afraid of, if I go back to Taiwan and it doesn't really benefit me. I don't mind if I must struggle for a while but I am weighing-in on my options for the long term future.
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Re: What to expect from living in Taiwan?

Postby tomthorne » 13 Jun 2012, 17:01

If you can't study or work legally in the US then you have to move to Taiwan. Otherwise you'll just be wasting more time in limbo.

If I were an older relative of yours I would tell you to get to Taiwan immediately and do a degree in a university here. Then do your military service (excellent discipline for a young chap). By this time your Mandarin skills will have gone through the roof which, combined with your English ability and knowledge of US culture, will make you a highly marketable young man. Don't do marketing, though. It's bollocks.
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Re: What to expect from living in Taiwan?

Postby cranky laowai » 13 Jun 2012, 17:12

tomthorne wrote:get to Taiwan immediately and do a degree in a university here.

I agree that having a college education would be extremely beneficial -- or, more specifically, the lack of a degree would hurt him a lot. But which university here? He wouldn't qualify as a foreign student or probably even as an overseas Chinese, so would the programs here in English still be available to him? At the moment, he couldn't handle an elementary school primer in Mandarin, much less a college textbook.
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Re: What to expect from living in Taiwan?

Postby Rabidpie » 13 Jun 2012, 17:18

cranky laowai wrote:
tomthorne wrote:get to Taiwan immediately and do a degree in a university here.

I agree that having a college education would be extremely beneficial -- or, more specifically, the lack of a degree would hurt him a lot. But which university here? He wouldn't qualify as a foreign student or probably even as an overseas Chinese, so would the programs here in English still be available to him? At the moment, he couldn't handle an elementary school primer in Mandarin, much less a college textbook.


That's what I was thinking as well. How would he start the process of applying for a Bachelors in a Taiwanese university? He'd have to take the gaokao tests wouldn't he?
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