Teaching English in Hsinchu, Taiwan
Report submitted on 06 May, 2015 by Johan Vorster.
Teaching English in Hsinchu, Taiwan:
How can teachers find teaching jobs in Hsinchu, Taiwan?
Search “Hsinchu English Teachers” on Facebook or visit www.tealit.com.
The main English teaching jobs available are:
Full time English language school positions, part time English language school positions, agencies (send teachers to different locations), teaching at kindergartens / pre-schools, teaching at state schools, teaching at private international schools, teaching at companies, private teaching (not through a school, agency, etc.).
What are the minimum teaching requirements?
At least a bachelor’s degree is required for most teaching positions. TEFL not necessary but helpful.
What teaching requirements would you recommend?
Bachelor’s degree and TEFL.
What are the levels of payment?
US$16 per hour and up.
How many teaching days a week is normal?
5 days per week.
How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
18 hours per week.
What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
Public schools break for winter (about 8 weeks) and summer (2 to 3 weeks). Private schools usually have no break except over Chinese New Years (usually a 8 days or less).
What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Hsinchu, Taiwan to teach English?
Schools like HESS are great for newbie teachers with no experience as they provide basic training, placement and help finding you an apartment and getting you settled. However, having a friend help you get started can be better, and even allow you to find even better schools than HESS or Stanford. American Eagle schools (especially in my area) are highly regarded, organized and offer decent salaries. Some other, non-franchised private schools can be excellent to work for or horrible (best to ask about a school first before you sign up).
What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Hsinchu, Taiwan?
The fact that you can, without teaching experience, find work here quite easily is a big reason people come to teach here.
It’s very safe to live here. Public services are usually very efficient and cheap. Insurance is cheap. Public transport is really great.
What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Hsinchu, Taiwan?
Racism and racial discrimination against African-Americans and even against other Asians can be a big problem if you’re looking for work as an English teacher.
Visiting a doctor can be challenge. Luckily most doctors specializing in Western medicine have some English ability.
What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
The quality of the teaching material can vary a lot depending on school. Franchised schools (as mentioned before) are usually better equipped. Working hours can also vary a lot and teaching until after 9PM is not uncommon.
Living in Hsinchu, Taiwan:
Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Taiwan?
At least a visitors visa on entry. From there work permits can be obtained and then Alien Residential Certificates (ARCs) can be applied for.
What is the cost of living like in Taiwan?
Highly depends on the city or area, kind of apartment etc. Anywhere between US$300 and US$600 for rent and utilities.
What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
Bachelor’s/studio apartments, shared apartments, or loft apartments.
Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Hsinchu, Taiwan?
Taiwanese in general are mostly friendly towards foreigners and cities strive on making everything as convenient for you as possible. Living cost/salary margin can be quite good and Taiwan is a pretty good spot to be if you plan on traveling around Asia. Excellent place if you are interested in studying Mandarin.
Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Hsinchu, Taiwan?
Again, racial discrimination. The local food and language barrier is usually the biggest issue for new-comers to Taiwan. These two problems can be somewhat alleviated by the abundance of Western-style restaurants and supermarkets that are becoming the norm in bigger cities and the younger generation of Taiwanese who usually have at least a basic understanding of English.
What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Hsinchu, Taiwan?
Have a friend help you find work and get some advice about good schools in the area to apply for (and which ones to avoid). Arrive in Taiwan in June if you intend on trying to find work by yourself. Get some teaching work as a substitute teacher as you look for work (try the various Facebook groups).
Don’t delay on getting your scooter license!
What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Taiwan?
The convenience, safety and relative low cost of the most essential things here.
What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country?
Really depends on the person. You can pretty much find everything here in some from or another.
About Me and My Work:
My Name: Johan Vorster
Nationality: South African
Students I’ve taught in Taiwan: Toddlers (2-4 years), pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), adults.
How I found my current jobs: I’ve been with the same school for many years. They treat us well and are very approachable if you have a problem. I’ve been in Taiwan for a total of 7 years.
My school facilities: Very good.
Teacher support at my school: Training / workshops, teacher evaluations, peer support / training.
Do you teach English in Taiwan?
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