Some Reasons Why You'll
Love Teaching ESL in Taiwan!
Me and Alvin
After so many years (since 2000) of ESL teaching in Taiwan, I am often asked: "Do you still enjoy teaching English in Taiwan?" The answer is always a definite "yes!" and here are some reasons why...
Good Money $$$$$$$
One of the main reasons why I still love (and why you will also love) teaching English in Taiwan is the salary.
English teachers usually make between 20 and US$30 per hour teaching ESL in Taiwan. Most ESL teachers make monthly salaries of between 2000 and US$3000 teaching English full-time in cities like Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung.
My mom with some of my kindergarten students
You can earn even more than that!
If you're hungry for money, and have an entrepreneurial spirit, you can make a lot more money than that. I know teachers who earn around US$5000 per month teaching ESL in Taiwan.
Some make that much by mainly teaching private business English classes to medium and large Taiwanese corporations. Other teachers prefer to find full-time or part-time ESL jobs in private or public schools during the day and tutor English lessons at night (or at noon) at people's homes or in coffee shops.
The advantage of teaching private ESL lessons (tutoring) in Taipei or elsewhere in Taiwan is that you don't have to pay taxes!
The key to making a lot of money in Taiwan
is having a busy schedule!
Packing your schedule with classes is quite straightforward in the big cities like Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Hsinchu and Tainan, where ESL jobs are plentiful, but it usually requires more patience and persistence in smaller places like Hualien and Taidong. But if you really want to make a lot of money teaching ESL in Taiwan, you will... eventually.
My friend Andre with his students at the Science Museum
I love people!
I have a very curious nature, and one of the "subjects" I'm most interested in is people! I like to ask questions and know more about the men, women, and kids I meet in my life. Teaching ESL in Taiwan lets me follow this interest every day and that's why I still find my work extremely interesting and fun!
For me, teaching ESL in Taiwan isn't real work. I enjoy talking with my students, playing games with them, and helping them learn English.
If you don't enjoy being around people, or if you have a very shy personality, teaching ESL in Taiwan (or anywhere else) might not be for you.
Me, teaching about dinosaurs
By far the aspect I enjoy the most about working as an ESL teacher in Taiwan is that I can build my own schedule and arrange my life the way I want - not the other way around. This part is more important than money alone.
The ratio of a decent hourly pay versus an extremely low cost of living (outside Taipei) makes teaching ESL in Taiwan a very attractive option for people who want to have plenty of time to pursue a personal project or a passion.
Teaching in Taiwan allows me to spend time
on my personal projects.
For me it's mainly three things: travel, photography, and this website. Since moving to Taiwan back in 2000, I have traveled to most countries in Asia (more than 10 times to Thailand alone), I've explored the entire island of Taiwan, and I've built a huge collection of pictures of the places I've traveled to.
Also, I would never have had the time to build this travel website about Taiwan without the free time that my work gives me.
With my mom, in the countryside just outside Taichung
I can sing, dance, and play games!
I find teaching ESL in Taiwan to be very easy and enjoyable. I teach kids most of the time and I can arrange my curriculum the way I want. If I feel like singing, I sing. If I feel like dancing, I dance. And if I feel tired, I can just throw some tunes and play some easy games like musical chair with my students.
I make a difference and I feel helpful.
Teaching ESL in Taiwan is an extremely rewarding experience!
I always get a feeling of accomplishment when I see my kids reading stories by themselves, writing notes to their friends, or asking me questions in English.
I also kind of feel proud of myself when I hear that some of my older students were able to enter famous universities in the States or Canada, or when a student in one of my ESL business classes gets promoted because his English has improved.
I am my own boss!
Sure, the money sometimes comes from the owner of a school, but I still work for myself. I am a contractor. I perform a service for schools, but I always work for myself. I see myself as a partner, not an employee. I decide where I work, when I work, and I make sure I'm satisfied with what's included in my contracts.
You should also consider yourself as a contractor instead of an employee if you decide to teach ESL in Taiwan. You'll feel a sense of responsibility, you'll be more motivated to perform well in class, and you won't be shy to ask for more money.
My friend Molly
Low cost of living
Living in Taiwan is much, much cheaper than living in Japan.
Life in Taiwan can be really cheap and that's one of the reasons why I haven't gone to Japan or Korea to teach ESL.
I've heard of ESL teachers working full-time in Japan who are not able to save money because all the cash they make goes into paying for their accommodation and other living expenses. Not so in Taiwan.
You can make a lot of money teaching ESL in Taiwan, and you can save most of your hard earned dollars if you want to, because the cost of living in Taiwan - outside Taipei - is ridiculously cheap.
I would never have met Ruby if I hadn't moved to Taiwan to teach English. Taiwan can really change your life!
Here's how much I pay for my house in Taichung
For example, I live in Taichung, in the central part of Taiwan, in a fully furnished 3-bedroom apartment that has 2 bathrooms, a huge living room, a kitchen, a dining room plus a giant balcony... and I only pay US$280! It's really cheap! Back in Canada, I would barely be able to rent a small room in a basement for that price.
Eating is also very cheap. In Taiwan it's no secret that street food is an incredible bang for your buck. You can get some of the best Chinese food you've ever had for under NT$60, which is to say less than US$2.
Transportation is generally rather affordable. A 15-minute taxi ride shouldn't cost more than NT$150 or $200, and intercity trains and buses are around $200-500 depending on the distance. Most ESL teachers in Taiwan end up buying their own scooter and that's what you should do too. You can get a scooter or a motorbike for as little as US$300.
Outing at the science museum with the kids
It's been more than 10 years,
and I still love teaching ESL in Taiwan!
Taiwan has been my home since 2000 and I am still fascinated by its culture, the way people live, and the wonderful places around the island.
The list of reasons why YOU will enjoy teaching ESL in Taiwan could go on and on and on... If you browse through this website, you'll see why Taiwan is the best place in the world to teach ESL abroad.
I wish you good luck on your own
ESL odyssey in Taiwan!