Who Can Teach in Taiwan?
You are only allowed to legally work as an English teacher in Taiwan if you meet the following basic requirements (you need to meet ALL of these, not just one or two):
- You have a bachelor’s degree (or 2 year associate diploma with TEFL certification) AND
- You are a native English speaker AND
- You have a passport from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the USA
If you plan on working at a public school (as in a normal 8 – 5 school with a wide range of classes beyond just English) or a University, you will require other credentials such as a teacher’s license. The majority of English teachers in Taiwan, however, work in cram schools and these are the basic requirements.
Do I Need an Education/TEFL Degree?
No, you don’t. The majority of work in Taiwan for foreign teachers is at cram schools. Cram schools consist primarily of children classes and very rarely will you find a cram school asking for anything beyond just a standard three or four year bachelor’s degree which is required by law.
Is Age Important?
Something that people sometimes overlook is that of age. The majority of cram schools prefer young teachers and as a result you may find that if you are 40+ years of age, finding a job can become increasingly difficult. This doesn’t mean you won’t find a job, but school owners prefer young teachers because they believe they are more energetic and give parents a better impression of the school.
Is Skin Colour Important?
Yes. If you are not white, you will find it harder to find a teaching job in Taiwan. Many might disagree with me, but I know this to be true from having met and spoke to people who faced problems finding employment because they weren’t white. This doesn’t mean you won’t find a job, but you will be turned away by many schools as soon as they discover that you aren’t white.
I’m an ABC/BBC. Can I Still Find Work?
Like skin colour, school owners prefer teachers to be foreign and white. If you are an overseas Chinese, even with a foreign passport, you will still find it more difficult to find a job than the majority of other teachers. Parents want white foreigners teaching their children. Be prepared to spend a little extra time looking for suitable places if you are ABC/BBC.