Moderator: Tempo Gain
palefire wrote:I lived and taught English in Taiwan ten years ago, enjoying the adventurous, expat life, working hard, partying hard, traveling and acquiring Mandarin. I'm contemplating returning to try it on again, this time older, wiser and more responsible - with a Taiwanese wife (who I met here) and our 2-year old daughter.
I returned to my native Canada in 2007 for family reasons, and since then, got my TESL qualifications but the ESL teaching industry here fluctuates seasonally and I am looking for something more stable after the summer. I have yet to establish myself in the government ESL teaching job I have here, and due to budget cuts and rules of seniority, I have had to take a cut in hours and pay.
My wife works for a Taiwanese-Canadian company here but it's very "Taiwanese" in the lack of benefits and overtime pay here, although her English is good enough that she could work for an international company. To add to this quandary, I recently turned 50, so I have to consider that my age might work against me. Ideally, I would be teaching adults as I did before but the reality will probably involve teaching at a bu xi ban. I have graphic art skills that I've turned into small side businesses here and worked as a freelancer for an ad agency in Taipei before, so teaching would just be the main gig.
My family and I have been back to Taiwan twice i(n 2012 and 2015) for our wedding and to meet her huge extended family, and last year we went back to introduce our daughter to them, so I am no stranger to Taiwan and am very familiar with most (negative and positive) aspects of Taiwanese culture and life, especially in Taipei, but it is more than likely that we would be settling in the Taichung area (free grandparents' daycare).
I have been hearing some pretty sobering reports from different sources that Taiwan's economy has been in a slump for the past decade and that the demand and salary for English teachers has been in steady decline.
Most of what I've been hearing and reading paints a relatively negative picture of work opportunities in Taiwan right now and I'm hoping to get a more balanced perspective on what to expect if we were to decide to return to Taiwan. Like I stated earlier, I am no stranger to the culture and fairly comfortable in it, the only real concerns I have are about my daughter's education. I want her to have a more "western" style education which would involve critical thinking and creative problem-solving. That's for another discussion though.
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