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Old 03-06-2005, 06:04 PM   #1
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Well, I just applied at a Taiwanese language school....lets hope that China doesn't blow them up anytime soon
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Old 03-07-2005, 03:48 AM   #2
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congratulationS!
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Old 04-06-2005, 07:08 AM   #3
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YO Timmy....just curious....any news about the TEFL gig in Taiwan yet?
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Old 04-06-2005, 07:32 AM   #4
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well...i have an interview today actually with a troubled youth camp/teacher kinda gig that is here in the US, and I would prefer that for the sake of being to able to pay off some debt at a faster pace then if i hit up taiwan w/my current debt(its not a lot but it is enough to be a pain in the rear). so, depending how that goes, and depending on the taiwan/china realtionship, i'll have to see how things are....i have heard back from a school, but their recruiting for fall has yet to begin.
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Old 04-06-2005, 07:41 AM   #5
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Good luck with the Taiwan gig that sounds like a great experience.
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Old 04-06-2005, 07:45 AM   #6
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thanx
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Old 04-21-2005, 06:59 AM   #7
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Hey Timmy

Not sure if you're still on the road to a Taiwan job.... and by this point you've probably researched quite a bit about the country but I'll throw in my 2 cents... or maybe 2 dollars

I lived in Taoyuan city (Taoyuan county) for about a year about 40 minutes from Taipei. If anyone has read the Lonely Planet Taiwan and looks up the city I lived in it's basically described as the asshole of Taiwan and gives you ways to avoid visiting there I won't argue though... I lived two minutes from a park full of drunks and druggies, I would see 3 hookers at least on the way to my morning kindergarten every day and I didn't see the sun much living amongst the urban sprawl.

In no way do I wanna bad talk Taiwan, I have a lot of great things to say about the country but ya, it's probably best to avoid living/working in Taoyuan. Odds are you probably won't end up there anyway. You will have choice where you work if you look, I recommend Kaohsiung (pronounced Gowshung) in the southwest.

I've heard it's great for outdoor sports, the beach, and it's not far from Kenting which is the touristy spot of Taiwan for good reason, the nicest beaches in Taiwan in most people's eyes. I've been to both of those places once so I don't know much about them but I would pick the south over the north if I was to go again. I'm not up to date on the running of their new bullet train imported from Japan but it runs from Taipei to Kaohsiung cutting about a 5 hour journey down to an hour and a half. It was nice that I lived near Taipei cause there a lot to see and do there...

I also recommend working for Hess which you've probably heard of and I've heard has foreigners running a teacher support group if you have problems with any co-teachers or are frustrated with things at school... and believe me it happens. I worked at an organization that has 12 branch schools and I worked at 5 different ones (which I believe is illegal, but even hiring foreigners at kindys is illegal but everyone still does it) Hess doesn't make you jump around as much and they train their employees. We just basically got thrown in the class blind. I could easily get any of my Canadian friends a job in Taiwan overnight with my organization (I won't mention their name) all it would take would be one email. They are always looking for teachers. But when it comes down to it I wouldn't do it cause of where I lived and how the school operates - it's actually quite well known and it's not as shady as it sounds but I would recommend Hess to avoid headaches. Plus most schools make you work Saturday but Hess usually just in the morning and I (for a long time) worked along with others until 9:30 on Saturday nights.

An awesome link before and during you teach English in Taiwan is:

Teaching English and Living in Taiwan - http://www.tealit.com

The mother of all sites for foreigners in that country, it's visited quite often. If and when you get there and want to learn some Mandarin for free, post your email at TEALIT saying you want language exchange and you'll get about 50 emails the next day, half from ladies wanting seriously to better their English and half wanting more of a fluid exchange than anything else It's true, but when it's all said and done you'll probably meet good people through that site whether it's for learning Mandarin or going climbing with someone. Teaching is great cause you meet SO many people right away, especially if you are put in a school dorm. Right away I had 4 roommates and was living for free in a decent dorm. Three from Canada and one from New Zealand. Then on the weekend usually so many teachers get together and it's friends galore... about 85 of the 100 teachers working at my school were Canadian if I had to make a guess, and most from the east coast - was cool to meet everyone.

I loved all my time in Taiwan and met awesome people and partied even too hard at times (you almost always work nights unless you have a kindy so you can get trapped in mad cycles

This is a crazy long post I guess I like talking about my time there... some more info:
- Check out Dasi beach in the NE - one of the only decent spots in the north to surf, check out hiking their too (Taoyuan valley trail)
- Gotta see Taroko Gorge, unbelievable, and the hot springs there
- The Ministry of Sound is the craziest club I've been in:
http://www.ministryofsound.com.au/internat...61010&se_id=112
- You'll never get a ticket on the scooter (or motorbike) even if you cut off cops and tried REALLY hard to - anything goes - if you can make it through that gap, you do it!
- If you get in an accident it's always your fault
- Don't overstay your year (or two)... Too many people stay too long in that country cause they have Taiwanese girlfriend, a job that pays them cash everyday with a $25-30CDN wage per hour, and it's easy as hell.... but move on with your life after I say... do what you REALLY want to do - plus breathe some nice air
- Don't mind the ugly as sin foreigners with the really hot Taiwanese girlfriends
- Book off the week before and the week after Chinese New Year and explore SE Asia! It'll be cheap and such a good time
- Visit Green Island - not many people go there (off the SE coast) but it's the real Taiwan in my mind - quiet, cliffs covered in vegetation, little development, goats roaming around, really nice - don't find the campground, sleep in a cave
- For a big party go to Spring Scream in Kenting... crazy

Bottom line, it's a great time - if you have any questions I'll definitely blab some more to you

I think Japan and Taiwan are the best places to teach, Japan is crazy expensive but you make crazy money, South Korea I've heard more than a couple bad experiences there (and if you think Taiwan's busy) and I think Taiwan falls somewhere in between with awesome people, great hospitality from the Taiwanese and good memories. Hope you're not sleeping by now

Cheers

- Gifro
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:05 AM   #8
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WOW!!! I just skimmed the post, but will go back over it again when I get home from work. Thanx for all the great info. I have actually sent all info into Hess. I liked what they had to offer, kind of a smooth landing for a first year type like myself. I am not sure if I am going through w/it all yet. I really want to get rid of any debt before I leave the US for an extended period of time. TEALIT is a great. I have done a lot of research from that site. Again, thank you for the info!
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:37 AM   #9
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No problem. Don't worry about ridding debt before you go to Taiwan that's for sure though. It's different for everyone - but at my main school I made 24 bucks an hour and put away about 1500 grand CDN a month (after my first month), and if you get a kindergarten on top of that you can put away more. I ridded about 10 grand CDN debt in my 11 months there when it was all said and done (all my student loan, yeah) with a 3 week trip to Thailand, a laptop and a camera thrown in the mix, and I didn't try hard to save most of the time.

Don't work too hard though.... only having Sundays off to do stuff can drive ya nuts. My advice is try to get most of your Saturday free if you go, it'll keep ya sane

If you wanna make more money after you're settled in there... ask around for private tutoring (you make closer to $30 bucks an hour CDN and it's the easiest teaching you'll do, I've heard of even higher wage than that too in Taipei) and look into getting a kindy. I taught Monday to Friday - 4 half an hour classes (2 hours every morning) plus my main school in the evening. The kindy gave me an extra grand a month - plus from them I got paid only once a month so it was easy to save. It's easy to spend at some schools like mine cause they pay you everyday when you sign out... not sure about Hess. It all depends on how much you party or want to save.

One more thing... I forgot to add the Penghu Islands for lists of places to see if you go (off the west coast) Really nice

Good luck

- Gif
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:39 AM   #10
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Ooopss... when I said 1500 grand in the last post I meant $1500 (no I wasn't THAT rich It cost me about 20 bucks Canadian everytime I wired home money which wasn't a big deal since I did about 3 grand at a time
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Old 04-22-2005, 10:24 AM   #11
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Hey gifro - great informaiton. Just wondering - do you know much about teaching in Thailand? Get any good dirt or anything? If we end up working our way to that region, I really want to end up in Thailand.

How'd you do on the culture shock?
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Old 04-23-2005, 06:29 PM   #12
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About teaching in Thailand...

Sorry, I don't know much at all about teaching in Thailand... I do know from the websites I've visited that you definitely can make it happen, but the only down side is the money. I guess most people that teach in Thailand sacrifice the wages for the unbelievable lifestyle.... if I wasn't such a broke ass when I went overseas I would have considered Thailand. Good on you if you teach there... I can't imagine - I spent 3 weeks in Thailand and was in heaven

As for the culture shock - Taiwan was the first time I ever went overseas, and I told myself - oh ya I'm open minded, culture shock is just for the wimps.... but I definitely experienced it, no matter how tough I thought I was I think for the most part just living in such a busy urban setting - I'm a country boy - was difficult and also it was my first time living on my own since I (admittedly) lived at home through university.... but it's not hard, just stay positive and it's no problems

The best advice I can give for teaching overseas is.... write off your first month - settling down, getting to know people, getting used to the culture, finding important necessities, all the rest of the bullshit.... after 1 month you'll be cool as a kat

Good luck and go for it

- Gif
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Old 04-29-2005, 06:25 PM   #13
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just wanted to thank you again gif.....amazing information.

the time is closing in on me making up mind. hopefully the hess thing works out. if notm i may go show up with some cash in hand and hope for the best. thanx again.
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