10 Reasons Why You'll Love
Working in Taiwan
There are millions of reasons why you'll love working in Taiwan. These reasons have kept me here (in Taichung City, in the central part of Taiwan) for more than 11 years. On this page, I'll stick to the essentials and tell you the top 10 reasons why you'll love working in Taiwan.
I'll assume that you'll be working as an English teacher. After all, that's what most foreigners do here. There are other jobs available for westerners in Taiwan, but I don't have any personal experience with that, so I'll stick to what I know... teaching ESL in Taiwan.
Here we go, here are the top 10 reasons why you'll love working in Taiwan:
This tops the list of reasons why you'll love working in Taiwan as an English teacher. What's the point in working in a country where you don't get along with the locals? Taiwanese people are some of the friendliest you'll ever meet on the surface of this earth. What's more? Taiwanese society is as modern and developed as any western country, but somehow, the people have kept a very laid-back, hospitable attitude. Especially towards foreigners who want to work and settle down in Taiwan.
The money you can make working in Taiwan is highly attractive. First-time teachers (even without experience) can score jobs that will pay as much as NT$600 per hour. With experience, a decent university degree (master), or simple resourcefulness, you can earn as much as NT$1000 per hour working in Taiwan.
Lots of Jobs
Another thing that's pretty cool about working in Taiwan is the seemingly endless pool of teaching jobs. End of summer (August - September) and the period around the Chinese New Year (January - February) is the best time to find English jobs in Taiwan, but there are still plenty of jobs available year-round. New schools open all the time, teachers quit their jobs, new teaching positions are made available... the list goes on.
When you are working (legally) in Taiwan, you only have to pay 6% of taxes to the government. That is pretty awesome when you consider that you can benefit from one of the best healthcare systems in the world, as well as public transportation that can put many western's counterpart to shame.
Taiwan is the only place in the world where you can appreciate authentic, classical Chinese culture. The Chinese government (in China) has eradicated ancient traditions during the cultural revolution. In Taiwan, culture and traditions have been preserved and they still thrive through festivals, religious practices, and the way people live at home. I've traveled to more than 30 countries and until now, I still think Taiwan is the richest country (culturally) I've ever visited.
Many people ask me "How come you've been working in Taiwan for so long?" My first answer is usually: "Because of the weather!" Overall, Taiwan has a very friendly climate. The summers can be hot and the typhoons are somewhat annoying, but I still like to be able to go the beach 9 months a year.
First-Class Lifestyle, On the Cheap!
Working as an English teacher in Taiwan can allow you to have a very, very comfortable lifestyle, even if you don't work full-time. Outside of Taipei, the cost of living is ridiculously low. Really, it is absurd! I pay less than US$300/month for a huge 3-bedroom apartment in downtown Taichung. You can gorge yourself on Chinese food at all-you-can-eat buffets for as little as US$5. You can buy a safe, good-looking motorbike for US$500. Life is cheap in Taiwan. (Taipei is an exception. Renting a place is a bit more expensive, but still a joke when compared to international standard.)
At first, you might be a bit afraid to try new stuff in Taiwan. At night markets, it's not always obvious what's on display at the many stands. In restaurants, waiters will simply say "Chinese meat" when you point and inquire about the pictures in a menu. But don't worry, after a while, you'll become familiar with some of the most common dishes and you'll get addicted to them. Who knew I would become a stinky-tofu addict!
Whenever I go back to Canada, I always wonder: "Why can't I get it now? Why would this store close so early? What do you mean no beer after 11?" In Taiwan, you need something, you can get it within minutes. You wanna go somewhere, there's a bus or a taxi available within meters of where you are. Everything is available day and night, usually within walking distance. When I first started working in Taiwan, I didn't realize how important this convenience was, but now, whenever I leave my little Formosa, I miss it and become irritable if I don't get what I want instantly.
Endless Options for Activities
One of the main reasons why working in Taiwan has become so popular this past few years, is because of all the fun stuff you can do on the island. Some of the most popular activities are surfing, scuba-diving, rafting, hiking, climbing, studying Mandarin Chinese, calligraphy, martial arts, Chinese medicine... The possibilities of cool things to do when you're working in Taiwan are endless. You just have to pick what's right for you.
I hope you'll love working in Taiwan as much as I do. Don't make the same mistake that many expats end-up doing - staying home, doing nothing and missing out on all the wonderful things that Taiwan has to offer. Working in Taiwan shouldn't just be about work and money. You should appreciate every single day in this amazing culture and like the North Face slogan says: Never Stop Exploring!
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