Living in Taiwan
Taiwan is a heavily populated island nation off the southeast coast of mainland China, and it has some of the best teaching opportunities in Asia. This is because of the low cost of living, the high paying job opportunities, and the high standard of living. Not only that, but Taiwan also has a landscape and natural wonders that can't be found anywhere else!
Teaching in Taiwan in a very rewarding career, and people that have done it usually emphasize the travel and adventure opportunities that they had while living and teaching in Taiwan. Native English speakers are flocking to Taiwan to teach English, and others are heading there to experience the culture and beauty of the country. The neighboring countries are also easy to get to, and Taiwan itself has everything from beaches, to mountains, to beautiful temples for you to explore! Taiwan has an efficient and easy to use transportation system that gets you where you need to go in a comfortable and clean manner. It is also known for its night markets that supply a large variety of foods at a reasonable price.
A few popular destinations:
Kenting National Park
Sun Moon River
Yunshan National Park
Kenting National Park
Kenting National Park is found in the Southern tip of Taiwan, and it takes up about 70 square miles of space. Due to its location and constant weather changes, the plant life found in Kenting National Park is rather rare and abundant. Kenting is known for its tropical climate and sunshine, as well as its beautiful mountains and beaches. Along the West Coast, you'll find coral sea cliffs, in the North you'll find huge mountains, and in the South, you'll find rolling foothills. If you enjoy wandering around in nature, biking, or swimming - you'll thoroughly enjoy Kenting National Park!
Taipei is the capital of Taiwan, and it's a contemporary, metropolitan city with a population of about 2.7 million people. It's located on the Northern tip of the island, and the city is bordered by both mountains and rivers. The natural beauty surrounding Taipei is something that you won't find in many other capital cities around the world. Taipei is less touristy compared to other well-known cities in East Asia, and it has more of an authentic feel. In addition, getting around town is easy - the metro is very well organized and user-friendly.
One of the most breathtaking sights in Taiwan is Shifen Waterfall. It's located in New Taipei City, and it's about 40 meters wide and 20 meters tall. The waterfall is sometimes referred to as 'Little Niagra' due to its similarity to Niagra Falls in the United States. Make sure you find the Observation Point Trail after the first major viewpoint of the falls - you'll be able to walk down near the bottom of the falls. On your way to the waterfall, you'll go through Shifen's Old Street, which is a cool experience in itself! You can enjoy some food here before you start your 40-minute trek to the falls.
Chimei Museum is located in Tainan City, Taiwan. The easiest way to get there is by train, as there is a train station that's about a 10-minute walk from the museum. Inside the museum, you'll find Western art, musical instruments, weaponry, and natural history. It's also known for having one of the largest collections of violins in the world, as well as a noteworthy collection of ancient weapons, and Western art. Chimei even lets distinguished musicians borrow the violins from its collection. Don't forget to check out the awesome fountain and surrounding gardens as well!
The Love River or Ai River is a canal that runs through Kaohsiung, in Southern Taiwan. Love River Park is also next to the river, and it's a great place to stop and hang out. Love River is culturally significant, and it plays an important role in the Taiwanese economy and tourism industry. You can take a boat up and down the river, and the water quality has significantly improved over the last few years. Love River is a peaceful and stunning attraction that locals, tourists, and new residents can enjoy. There are also many cafes, bars, restaurants, and cultural places of interest nearby.
Taroko Gorge is located on the east coast of Taiwan in Hualien. The canyon is approximately 19 km long, and it's a part of Taroko National Park. The Liwu River runs directly through the gorge, and there are multiple tours that you can take to enjoy the entire experience with a guide. There's a lot of geological activity in this area, so be sure to look ahead of time to find out what's open and what's closed before you make the trek over!
Sun Moon Lake
Once you've seen enough of the coastline, you can head towards the center of Taiwan. Here, you'll find the exquisite Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County. The lake is about 89 ft deep, and it has a surface area of about 3 square miles. Sun Moon Lake is surrounded by hiking trails that you can enjoy year-round. Although swimming is not typically permitted, there is a 3-km race that's held every year. The lake and its surrounding countryside have even been designated as one of thirteen national scenic areas in Taiwan, so this isn't an adventure that you'd want to skip.
Yunshan National Park
Yunshan National Forest Park is located in Shaoyang City, just South of Wugang. This is a great place to go to escape from life in the busy city for a little while. The park has 3 distinct areas: the Yunshantang scenic area, the Banshanchong scenic area, and the Zijingfeng scenic area. In each area, there's plenty to do, and the views from each are going to be the most spectacular part of your hike.
Things to Consider Before Moving to Taiwan:
Whether or not you've ever taught in China before, you should know that teaching in Taiwan is going to be completely different! Although the countries may be geographically close, Taiwan has its own government, and it is distinctly different from China. Along with that, Taiwanese festivals and parades are not something that you want to miss. Luckily, teaching schedules typically allow for plenty of time off, and you can spend it celebrating with the locals! These events are rich in culture, and they're a spectacular thing to witness. Many of these festivals are related to religion, but some of them are just historical celebrations. Taiwan encourages religious freedom, and the religions found throughout the country are extremely diverse.
Taiwanese children are known for being well-behaved overall, but this is not to say that they won't have bad days. Parents in Taiwan tend to expect more out of their children regarding behavior; however, learning a new language is hard, and kids will be kids. Taiwan is also well known for having some of the friendliest people in the world, and kids tend to learn these traits from their parents and the people they spend time around. Both the parents and the students are very welcoming to foreigners - especially foreign teachers. Parents really want their kids to learn English from a native speaker, so you will feel right at home if you decide to teach in Taiwan.
Cost of living
A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Taipei costs about 3,000 TWD to rent. Taiwan is not a large island and is about the same size as Belgium and thanks to its effective road system and high-speed train network it is easy to get around the nation. Schools that Teaching Nomad works within Taiwan allowing for a comfortable quality of life and saving potential.