Rewind two years ago I would have never thought I would be in Taiwan teaching English to students. However 10 months into my experience, I’m convinced that Taiwan is a great place for Americans to get a break from home and experience a vibrant culture and education system.
Culture of Appreciation for the Teaching Profession– Particularly in America, teachers are overworked and grossly under-appreciated. I would argue that specifically in Taiwan, or Asia as a whole, the teaching profession is highly revered and respected. Peep this—in Taiwan, students must bow to the teachers before class and there is a Teachers Appreciation Day holiday.
An opportunity to learn about a diverse culture- One thing special about Taiwan is the presence and celebration of its many indigenous subcultures. If you teach in the southern parts of Taiwan, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with and learn about ethnic Taiwanese students’ cultures. You will be able to participate in special festivals, try traditional foods, and get to learn about how the Taiwanese educational system educates these students.
Quality of Life– Although there aren’t as many vacation holidays in Taiwan as there are in the U.S., I’ve found that the quality of life here is much better than the States. The standard of living in Taiwan is fairly low and you don’t have to be rich to get access to healthy foods or good quality healthcare. Transportation is super cheap, even if you would like to travel to different parts of the island by plane. Taiwan is super green (recycling is mandatory everywhere) and very tropical, so if you’re looking to change your scenery for a weekend, you can fly to one of its exotic locations like Hualien, whose nickname is “Little Switzerland.” People’s English here is very good and it’s also very easy to find someone to teach you Mandarin in exchange for you teaching them English!
Proximity to other Asian countries– one of the sweetest parts of teaching in Taiwan or Asia in general is your proximity to other countries like Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, etc. Traveling to these countries will only cost you about 3-6 hours travel time and airfare is super cheap! If you’ve ever wanted to travel to these less frequented countries, but never had the funds or time, living in Taiwan is the perfect time to go.
Family friendly– Are you worried about moving your family abroad? Taiwan has great international schools and the society as a whole values the family unit. Taiwan has a very strong and positive relationship with the US, so fortunately, people will embrace you solely based on the fact that you are American. To name a few, some family-friendly activities to do in Taiwan are: bathing in natural hot springs, eating hotpot, renting bikes at a parks, visiting tons of historical museums, attending cultural shows, etc.