Taiwan's 23 million people consist of Han Chinese, Taiwanese, and nine different aboriginal groups speaking primarily Mandarin, Taiwanese, and aboriginal dialects. It is a thriving mosaic of tradition, culture, and high-tech development, merging Eastern and Western influences. In this fusion of modernity and tradition, street markets sell fresh produce and vials of Chinese herbal medicine next to modern shopping malls, and big city lights can be viewed from small, rural villages through the mountain mist. Taiwan is exciting, convenient, interesting, and affordable.
Geography & Facts
Taiwan is located in the Pacific Ocean only 160 kilometers from Mainland China and 580 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong. Taiwan is 394 kilometers long and 144 kilometers at its greatest width. The total area is a little larger than the combined states of Massachusetts and Connecticut, or about the size of Holland or Vancouver Island. A central mountain range runs the length of the main island of Taiwan, dividing it east and west and dominating two-thirds of the land surface. Taiwan's location is also subject to annual typhoons, which pass through between the months of July and October. These typhoons consist of strong winds and heavy rain.
Housing standards here are quite nice, but apartments are usually smaller than you might be used to. Rent varies considerably depending on location and quality of apartment. The majority of our teachers in Taipei and Taichung pay between NT$8,000 and $16,000 per month. Rent is cheaper in smaller cities. The typical arrangement for our foreign teachers is to have a room in a shared apartment. Often, new teachers find roommates during the large group initial trainings. Most apartments have two or three bedrooms. Deposits are typically two months’ rent. Payment of the first month's rest is also required. The set-up cost of housing typically runs from NT$25,000-40,000.
Partying & Entertainment
For the younger generation in Taiwan, KTV (karaoke) is pretty much the national pastime. A room costs about NT$500/hour plus expect to pay around NT$150/person on top of that. Some of the older generations like to relax and partake in indoor shrimp fishing in manmade pools. It would set you back around NT$100/hour to join them. Drinking is one of the fastest ways to use up your money in Taiwan. A few drinks at home won't really dent the budget, but if you're into partying hard on the weekend, there are plenty of establishments willing to sell you a great time; it just costs a lot. The two most popular beers are Taiwan Beer and Heineken, costing NT$35-40 per can or bottle from the convenience store. In a bar, you'll usually pay about NT$150 for a beer and about NT$200 for a cocktail. Depending on the venue, these prices can run higher. Most clubs have cover charges, and they tend to charge about NT$500-1,000 per person at peak times during the weekend.
Local food is very cheap. You can easily find a filling local rice, noodle, soup, or dumplings dish for between NT$40 and NT$60. By comparison, a Big Mac, fries, and soda set from McDonald’s costs about NT$118. Supermarkets sell local and imported produce at average prices. Traditional markets sell fresh local produce at much better prices. Some Western luxury items are simply exorbitant, but even these prices are slowly coming down as Taiwan becomes more international and its cities more cosmopolitan. While all manner of cuisine is available in the bigger cities, in some places, choices are limited. Finding vegetarian food is always easy—Taiwan seems to have more kinds of tofu than street names.
In Taipei, the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), urban train system is inexpensive and efficient—you can get to one side of the city from the other for NT$40. Kaohsiung has started to develop MRT lines. The high population density across Taiwan means that buses run regularly just about everywhere. Fares are very cheap (NT$15-25). Cab fare in Taipei starts at NT$70, and NT$250 would get you a half-hour ride of about 20 kilometers (from anywhere in Taipei to the heart of the city). Many NSTs follow the trend in Taiwan and get around by scooter. They are good in traffic and very cheap to run. New scooters average at about NT$35,000 for a 50cc to NT$50,000 for a 125cc bike. There are also better deals, and secondhand scooters cost much less.
We're accepting applications from all qualified applicants, and would love for
you to join us in beautiful Taiwan!