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Ask Matt: Am I Qualified to Teach English in Taiwan?

Dear Matt,

I would like to know: am I qualified to teach English in Taiwan? I am a British woman with a TESOL certificate (accredited by ACTDEC).  I have been teaching English in Sweden for the last 5 years (mainly upper high school students 15-19 but also younger children and employees of companies). Unfortunately I do not have a degree, just various qualifications from colleges since leaving school (none of them in the field of education).

 

I have read that a degree is not always necessary to teach English in Taiwan.

 

Is it schools that demand a degree? Or is it a requirement for a working visa? Am I able to legally teach English in Taiwan with these qualifications?

 

Susan

Hi Susan,

Your experience and qualifications will certainly help you to find a job teaching English in Taiwan. Unfortunately, it is unclear, in my experience, whether you will be able to teach legally in Taiwan.

Most teachers on working visas have at least a four-year degree from an accredited institution. That is the standard.

However, I have met teachers in Taiwan who were given working visas even though they held a two-year college diploma. Unfortunately, I also know of many teachers with two-year college diplomas who were rejected. This may depend on the type of diploma, or it may depend on the person processing the application. I don’t know why some people were granted visas while others were not.  I’m sorry that I can’t provide a more concrete answer than that.

But, if you really want to teach in Taiwan, and are unable to obtain a visa, you still have some options:

1) Teaching private lessons, or for a school, under the table and doing VISA runs.  This is not as uncommon a practice as you may think. These teachers fill an important need in the market. There is always a demand for private teachers.

2) Getting a student VISA by studying Chinese, which is, in my opinion, a worthwhile pursuit in any case.

3) Purchasing a fake degree.  Although this is an option, it is not recommended as the immigration department is checking degrees more and more thoroughly every year.

4) And, of course, you always have the option of finding yourself a Taiwanese husband J

If you need more information about qualifications for teaching English in Taiwan, you may want to read this, and other articles that I have written, on Transitions Abroad about teaching English in Taiwan.

Best of luck!

Matt

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2 Responses to Ask Matt: Am I Qualified to Teach English in Taiwan?

  1. tony August 5, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    i have a tesol certificate but not a degree can you help know if i need a degree to study in taiwan? i have seen schools in taiwan that say you need a degree/ or certificate but still not so sure about it.

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