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Teach abroad in Taiwan


Taiwan is off the coast of mainland China. It has a wonderful sub-tropical climate, an advanced industrial economy, wonderful landscapes, and vibrant cities. A hybridized culture exists incorporating many different beliefs mainly from China, but also from other parts of Asia and abroad. Taiwan is great for exploring, and it’s in the centre of East Asia. Teaching English in Taiwan has become less common over the years, but there are still many opportunities for those who wish to teach in Taiwan.

36,193 sq km (same as Maryland or Belgium)

Since Taiwan is not technically recognized throughout the world as an independent country, your home country may or may not have a tax treaty.

The Taipei National Tax Administration, Ministry of Finance office has a pretty good website that details everything you have to do.

There are two TECO offices in the UK:

  • London
  • Edinburgh

When applying for your visa at one of these TECO offices in the UK it is strongly advised that you apply for a single entry 60 day renewable visitor's visa. Once you are in Taiwan you will be applying for a Resident Visa and at that time we strongly advise that you get a multiple entry stamp so that you can come and go from the country as you please without worrying about your visa invalidating when/if you leave Taiwan.

Canadians are encouraged to apply for a 60 day single entry visitor's visa. Remembering that you are going to change the status of your visa shortly after arrival. Do note that when you get a Resident Visa that you need to get a multi-entry visa in order to travel outside Taiwan during your contract or visa period.

  • Single Entry: Cdn$55
  • Multiple Entry: Cdn$110
  • Processing Time: 1 day
  • Rush Service (same day): Cdn$28 (single entry) or Cdn$55 (multiple entry)


Although you have the option to get a multiple or single entry visa, we strongly recommend you save the money and get the single to begin with. Once you arrive in Taiwan you will be changing the status of your visa and you will negate the multiple entry benefit. For those unaware, the multi-entry visa means that you can come and go from Taiwan and your visa remains active. A single entry would mean that as soon as you leave the country your visa is no longer valid.

We encourage you to get a single entry, as you will be changing the status of your visa once you arrive to a Resident Visa and then you can apply for a multiple entry. If you do not have a multiple entry and you leave the country, your visa is invalidated.

American Citizens Getting Visas for Taiwan

There are literally thousand of English teachers all over Taiwan, most have legal teaching visas but many are working illegally without the proper permits and visa authorizations. Footprints only represents opportunities where legal working visas are provided to teachers in Taiwan.

The basic requirements to teach with Footprints in Taiwan in a private language school or buxiban are:

Need to find an emergency phone number?

Emergency Services

Ambulance and Fire




Police Broadcasting Network


Foreign Affairs Department of the National Police Administration


In the 1990s, more and more students attend exam-oriented buxibans. Class rooms are constantly growing larger in size, equipment constantly improving. Have we entered the age of "recreational cramming"? Why exactly do they attend?

Taipei - an English teacher's perspective

Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan and is the largest metropolitan center. As such, pretty much everything that happens in Taiwan, happens here. Those of you looking for the "uniquely" Taiwan experience or those wanting to learn language and really immerse yourself in Taiwan should consider other cities. You have access to pretty much everything Western that you would want here. At the same time, you have access to pretty much everything Taiwanese too...

Getting Around in Taipei - the MRT

Teaching or Living in Tainan is Fascinating

Taichung - from an English Teacher's Perspective

Taichung is conveniently located in the middle of Taiwan allowing for easy accept to everything. Taiwan is a relatively small country and access from top to bottom is pretty fast and simple, but being close to the middle really makes it better.

Living and Teaching in Kaohsiung 

Kaohsiung is a great city to live and teach English. The cost of living here is SIGNIFICANTLY lower than it would be in Taichung or Taipei and there is lots for you to take in.  

If you're teaching in Kaohsiung, you might consider buying a scooter.  Transportation can be trying and distances can be a bit far.  If you do decide to get a scooter, BE CAREFUL and be sure to read our section on scooters and driving in Taiwan.

Places to See and Things to Do in Kaohsiung


Teach Abroad in Taipei

Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan (ROC), could justifiably claim the title of the most addictive city on Earth. Those who come to see what it has to offer invariably end up staying far longer than they had originally planned. Those who leave often find themselves drawn back by the attractions of its lifestyle, its people, and the countless other benefits of living there.

Tropical bliss! Most of Taiwan has beautiful warm climate year round. You can leave your winter coat behind when you go to Taiwan to teach but it is advised to bring an umbrella.

Taiwan enjoys warm weather all year round. The strongest fluctuations in weather conditions are during spring and winter, while during summer and autumn the weather is relatively stable.

Getting around in Taiwan is pretty easy if you have time... in cities other than Taipei, the actual infrastructure is pretty minimal though the bus system is excellent, you just have to figure it out. Take the time to do this and your life will become MUCH easier.

If you're like me and you can't sit around and wait for the bus, taxis are generally abundant and they are pretty cheap. A standard 10 minute cab ride will generally cost you about 400-600 NT.

Many teachers elect to buy a car or get a scooter. ***NOTE***

When you arrive in Taiwan from an international destination there are two main airports, Taipei's airport - Taoyuan Airport - and Kaohsiung International Airport.  There is also a domestic airport in Taipei (Songshan Airport) but who knows how long this will exist given the high speed train.  Planes are often the most convenient way to get to and from some islands. 

It is best to book your air travel with a travel agent in Taiwan.

Taoyuan (International) Airport to Taipei

Traveling around Taiwan by bus or train is pretty easy and it can be "super" fast. The high speed trains hit speeds of 300 Km/h making the trip from Taipei to Kaohsiung (top to bottom) in about 80 minutes.

Railways are the main arteries of land transportation in Taiwan. Railway transportation on the island is highly convenient, as all lines of the island-wide railway network. The Express Trains’ fare, from Taipei to Kaohsiung is NT845, to Taichung is 375, to Keelung is 66.

Depending on the distance to one's destination, intracity bus fares run from NT$15 to NT$25. Though buses run within all cities where our teaching opportunities are located, their routes are not so extensive or frequent as they are in Taipei where, owing to traffic congestion, buses are necessary. In southern and central Taiwan buses are rarely used by teachers for intracity travel, but they are okay for inter-city travel. Note that those in areas outside Taipei might want to consider getting a scooter. 

Taxi fares run NT$85 for the first 1.5 kilometers, and NT$5 more for every 300 meters after that. (An added charge of NT$50 to NT$100 may be added for transport from airports, train stations and during national holidays.) Taxis are rarely used by teachers as a long term mode of transportation option, however, as over the course of the year a bike or a scooter is much cheaper, and over the course of two years, a used car is. 

New cars in Taiwan are generally more expensive than in the West. Used cars can, however, be purchased for as little as NT$70,000 to NT$140,000. Those who buy cars must have auto insurance, which runs NT$7,500 to NT$14,000 per year. Registration and fuel taxes run another NT$17,500.

Good secondhand bicycles can be purchased for as little as NT$1,500. For those of you who are bike lovers, most quality bike parts are manufactured in Taiwan. You can get some GREAT deals on these pieces or you can make your own or get a great bike in Taiwan. Though bikes are a great way to exercise, they are not a very convenient way to get to work--especially if one wants to start work without a sweaty shirt. 

The main method of travel within cities is by scooter.

Seemingly EVERYONE has a scooter! Motorscooters and motorcycles are the most common modes of transportation for teachers. BE CAREFUL! Driving in Taiwan is fast and furious and can result in serious injury! Drivers are aggressive. Accidents are about as common as sunburn in Australia.

If you're going to get one please consider this carefully and BE SURE TO PRACTICE in safe areas before you start booting around.

Remember that what Westerners consider the rules of traffic are often disregarded here in the Taiwan.

Taiwan and Korea rival one another in Asia with respect to the amount of time spent on-line. Almost all new apartments in Taiwan come hardwired with broadband making keeping in touch with friends and family at home, planning trips, researching culture and lesson planning SUPER FAST and ultra convenient.

The average cost of a broadband connection with unlimited access time in Taiwan is USD $15 ~ 28 per month. Nowadays, there are lots of free ISP connections. In Taiwan we haven't heard of dial up! :)


Here are a couple places in Taiwan that teachers have voted on as top destinations in Taiwan.  Check them out and let us know your thoughts.  If you have a place you'd like to add to this list please do so but provide details about why you reckon it should make the list.

The Lantern Festival in Taiwan, called Yuansiao Festival in Chinese, is a HUGE even. An estimated 3+ million people attent the official national Lantern Festival event in Taiwan. Each year the location of this major event changed. In the past it was exclusively held in Taipei but since 2004 various cities around Taipei have had the honour and opportunity to host the event.

During major religious and civic holidays, banks and offices, embassies, consulates and TECO offices are usually closed. It is important to note that during Chinese New Year, Taiwan and the rest of Asia really comes to a halt, many restaurants will close up and you can expect to pay more for consumer services and goods. Taxi fares double but it's still a bargain when compared with Western fares.

The following is a brief list of the holidays in Taiwan:

Taiwan has some amazing mouthwatering cuisine. It is also home to some of the strangest foods I have seen and I have traveled a fair bit... Hundred years eggs and stinky tofu are two names that jump to mind but beyond that there is snake blood soup and some other strange dishes that aren't for the faint of stomach.

You don't have to have no sense of smell or the courage of a paratrooper to eat in Taiwan. In fact, they pretty much have everything and the food is REALLY good.

Chinese food in Taiwan is great! The best of China has been imported here, some of it came over back in the 15th Century and age old tradition has led to fusion and savory dishes that you won't be able to get back home.

Chinese dishes range from Northern Chinese favorites of roast duck, smoked chicken, quick-boiled lamb, smooth fish fillet, dried scallop radish ball to Souther Chinese favorites of camphor tree tea duck, salty chicken, syrup ham, exploding fried fresh shelled shrimp, dried & fried eggplant, mapo tofu(spicy)... ... Hungry yet???

When winter arrives in Taiwan people get serious about eating. As another cold front sweeps down across the island. Thousands of motorists and shoppers bundle up in heavy jackets, gloves, and ski-caps. Not too sure why... it really isn't that cold.

Ever been in a restaurant and looked over at the table next to you and though... YUM... I want that. That happens to me ALL the time. You know what I do. I point and nod my head and say PLEASE. Then I ask what the name is and I write in down in my little notebook.  When the food comes to me,if it's good, I give it a couple stars so I can remember what or how to order it in the future.

Here's a list of a couple of the staple yummies:

As one can imagine, when you have a countries literally ripe with fruit, the resulting fruit juices are going to be pretty choice. Taiwan has a great supply of wonderful fruit juices. A couple of my personal favorites are the sugar cane juice, plum juice, star fruit juice, and sherb juice.

For those of you who usually wake up to a coffee for your breakfast, surprise your taste buds and your senses and have a glass of fruit juice while you're waiting for the coffee to perk.

When it comes to fruit, Taiwan is second to none in terms of variety and deliciousness and they know it. Fruit exports are among the greatest revenue sources in Taiwan. Taiwan offers a superb climate, geography and growing season for a great many fruits. From tropical heat in the south to sub-tropic temperatures in the low-lying areas to temperate-zones in the mountains, they have it all here.

Those of you who are looking for organic fruit and produce will be pleased to note that annually the availability of organic products is doubling.

Taiwan is renowned for its delicious food. In addition to the island's own unique cuisine -- a myriad of fine foods and dining experiences -- most the world's favourite foodstuffs and beverages are available here.

This is a quick summary of the history of Taiwan.