Teach English in Taiwan: programs, jobs, salary

Gert Svaiko

Want to know what it’s like to teach English in Taiwan coming from the UK? If you’re an educator, this underrated gem might be a perfect next stop in your career.

Taiwan is home to kind people, beautiful nature and vibrant cities. If that’s not enough for you to move here and teach English, we’ll help you make up your mind. This guide will inform you on salaries, requirements and reasons to teach English in Taiwan.

We’ll also point out a cost-effective way to manage your finances while travelling or teaching abroad. With the Wise account, from the money services provider Wise, you can send money for low fees and mid-market exchange rates.* You can also rely on the Wise card to help you handle all of your expenses.*


*Currently not available in Taiwan or in TWD. Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Table of contents

Why teach English in Taiwan in the first place?

So, why teach English in Taiwan? Taiwan’s official government has a plan to improve the population’s English skills by the year 2030. The goal of the Bilingual 2030 policy is to make general English proficiency better, which would have two main benefits. It would both attract foreign investments and help Taiwanese people find jobs abroad. This ambitious plan has opened the door for many English teachers and will most likely continue to do so in the future.¹

Also, the money is certainly a good reason. Since the cost of living is low and the salaries are good, it’s easy to save up. Some teachers even manage to save up to a half of their monthly income. So, teaching in Taiwan can potentially help you pay back student loans, invest in businesses or fund your worldwide travels in the future.²

📚 Read more: The best UK banks for sending money abroad

Can you get a visa sponsorship for teaching English in Taiwan?

Your employer can help sponsor your Taiwanese work visa. You will need to find a job in Taiwan before you leave the UK in order for this to happen. They will assist you with all of the necessary documents and make the process much easier.³

If you want to teach English in Taiwan for some time, but also travel while doing it, you might want to consider the Working Holiday Visa. It’s only available to citizens of certain countries, including the UK. This visa can’t be sponsored by others. Instead, you need to prove that you have enough funds to support yourself during your stay.⁴

Are English teachers in demand in Taiwan?

Yes, Taiwan needs English teachers. In fact, this is one of the best times to teach English in Taiwan. Since the Bilingual 2030 plan is an important official policy, English proficiency is one of the government’s priorities.

Requirements for teaching English in Taiwan³

The requirements for teaching English in Taiwan are pretty tight and precise. You need to come from an English speaking country and be under 65. Having a clean criminal record is of great importance.

In order to teach English in Taiwan, you should also have a bachelor’s degree. It can be in any field of study, not necessarily English. Previous teaching experience and a TEFL certificate are not obligatory, but it certainly helps to have them.

Do you need to speak Chinese to teach English in Taiwan?⁵

You don’t need to know any Mandarin Chinese to teach English in Taiwan. Sometimes it’s even better to only use English in the classroom.

However, in order to blend in with the locals and make friends, you might want to learn some words and phrases. While you don’t need to use Chinese with students, you’ll likely use it in your everyday life. At least until Taiwan officially becomes bilingual.

Can you teach English in Taiwan without a degree?³

It’s not possible to teach English in Taiwan without a degree, since you won’t be able to get the visa you need. A university degree is one of the most crucial government requirements for English teachers.

Some people take the illegal route and start teaching English on a tourist visa, but we strongly advise against this. You can get fined and even deported if you get caught.


English teaching programs in Taiwan

Many English teachers rely on pre-existing programs when trying to find work in Taiwan. Here are some that are available at the moment.

Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program (TFETP)

One option is to teach English in Taiwan’s government program. The Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program (TFETP) was created by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education and it’s a continuation of the Foreign English Teachers Program (FET). Its goal is to improve the English skills of elementary and secondary students in Taiwan.⁶

Your salary through this program will depend on the level of your degree. You can expect to get partially reimbursed for your travel and accommodation expenses. Extra perks such as performance bonuses and full health insurance are also included.⁷

TEFL Institute Internship Program⁸

Besides official government programs, you can teach English in Taiwan through different organisations. The TEFL Institute Program is ideal for first-time English teachers and those who have never been to Taiwan.

It’s a 12-month program for teachers aged 21 to 40. The program ensures visa and work permit sponsorships. Jobs vary from those in kindergartens to secondary schools. You can even pick the top three Taiwanese locations you’d like to work in and they guarantee you’ll end up in one of them.

If you’re ready to teach English in Taiwan for a full year, this might be the program for you. It’s around 26 hours of work a week, so you’ll have free time to explore Taiwan.

English teaching jobs in Taiwan⁹

There are several types of English teaching jobs in Taiwan. The most popular ones are in public schools, private schools and international schools.

Public school jobs are ideal for those who already have a teaching licence. Unlike many other countries, public schools in Taiwan pay more than private schools. Getting a job through Taiwan’s government program is your best option when it comes to this type of job.

Private schools or buxibans are very popular among English teachers, since there are hundreds of them in the country. Many teachers start there and move on after gaining some experience. You will work with students aged 4 to 15 in buxibans.

International school jobs require more effort and responsibility. However, they offer English teachers higher salaries and other benefits.

University jobs are the hardest to come by and they require other special qualifications, such as a master’s degree or even a Ph.D.

Can you teach English in Taiwan online?¹⁰

Besides working in schools, you can teach English in Taiwan online as well. You can work freelance or for English teaching companies that provide online courses. Even if you don’t have prior experience teaching online, being a native speaker and having a degree are more important.

What’s the average salary for English teachers and tutors in Taiwan?³

Taiwan is one of the top destinations when it comes to salaries for teaching English. For example, a full-time job in a private school pays 1,300-1,600 GBP a month on average. Public schools pay more, so the average monthly salary can go up to 1,700 GBP. Since the cost of living is low, this is more than enough for a comfortable life.

📚 Read more: Can you keep your UK bank account when moving abroad?

Volunteering to teach English in Taiwan

There is one official government volunteer program for English teachers, but it’s only made for Taiwanese nationals living overseas.¹¹

Taiwan has allowed foreigners to volunteer in the country in 2022. There aren’t many opportunities at the moment, but you can check with some NGOs for the most up-to-date information.¹²

And there you have it - your complete guide to teaching English in Taiwan. After reading this, you should have a better idea of how it all works, and be ready to start planning your move.

And, if you need a transparent, low-cost way to handle your finances while abroad, check out the Wise account.* It’s not a bank account but offers many similar features.

Sign up with Wise today 💰

*Currenctly not available in Taiwan or in TWD. Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Sources used for this article:

  1. National Development Council - Bilingual 2030
  2. Go Overseas - highest salaries for teaching abroad
  3. TEFL Org - teaching English in Taiwan
  4. Visa Guide - Working Holiday Visa Taiwan
  5. Xplore TEFL - requirements to teach English in Taiwan
  6. TFETP - mission and vision
  7. TFETP - remuneration and other benefits
  8. TEFL Institute - teach English in Taiwan internship
  9. Go Overseas - teach English in Taiwan
  10. Comfort Education - teach online
  11. The Overseas Community Affairs Council - English Teaching Volunteer Service Program for Overseas Youth 2023
  12. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan) - MOFA adjusts entry regulations for foreign nationals

Sources last checked on: 15-Nov-2023

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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