I’m hoping to teach English in Taiwan (or maybe South Korea) from late May or June. I’m leaning towards Taiwan, because I:
- have already been to South Korea and I crave adventure.
- want to live somewhere that is warm/hot (preferably near a decent beach).
- would like to improve on my very basic knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.
I don’t have a great deal going on for me in the UK at the moment, so I thought I might as well make the most of having a good degree from a top university and using my free time to do a TEFL course. I really want to save money over the course of the year - is it possible to save around £5000 (a tad ambitious, perhaps)? I have applied to quite a few companies that assist teachers in securing TEFL positions. All of them have been very helpful and are keen for me to go over there as soon as possible, but it would be unwise not to request impartial advice from teachers who have already experienced living and working there.
So. Even though I’ve done considerable research into both countries, could any of you possibly help me out with the following queries?
- Have you taught in Taiwan (or South Korea)?
- How did you find it?
- Did you apply to schools independently or use companies?
- Did you manage to go back to home country to see family at some point during the year’s contract?
- I’m particularly interested in living in a large city. I’m hoping to find decent work in Taipei or Kaohsiung, but I’ll also consider Taichung. I have no interest in living in the countryside - I did that in Japan and it very nearly drove me insane. Which city would you recommend?
- How much did you earn and save? How much was your rent? (I have been struggling to find photographs of flats in Taiwan.) Was the accommodation decent? (Rude questions, sorry!)
- I’m vegetarian. Did you or anyone you met in Taiwan find being vegetarian incredibly difficult?
- Oh. Also. I’m gay. Any advice with regard to that would be appreciated.
Argh. Quite a few questions there.
I should mention that I studied Japanese at university and have lived there twice, so I do know a little bit about living in East Asia. I didn’t come out to the people I was working with and, although I ate well in my flat, eating out was a challenge. Octopus is NOT a vegetable .
I did have a great time, though. :)