Kaohsiung, Taiwan's maritime port city, is an embodiment of modern progression harmoniously coexisting with ancient traditions. Located in the southern part of Taiwan, this sprawling metropolis is Taiwan's third-largest city and boasts a warm, tropical climate. With a blend of majestic skyscrapers and serene temples, lush parks, and a dynamic harbor, it's a vibrant destination that manages to charm both residents and visitors alike.
The city is a testament to Taiwan's rapid modernization, evident in its efficient public transport system, including a state-of-the-art metro system, and its bustling shopping districts. Yet, just a few steps away, you can find yourself enveloped in the tranquility of age-old temples and bustling traditional markets, showcasing the city's deep-rooted cultural heritage.
For the nature enthusiast, Kaohsiung offers easy access to both mountainous terrains and sun-kissed beaches. The nearby Lotus Pond is famed for its temples and pagodas, while the Cijin Island promises a delightful beachside retreat.
Amidst this eclectic mix, there lies a burgeoning demand for English education, making Kaohsiung an exciting destination for ESL teachers. The city's commitment to global communication and trade has amplified the need for English proficiency, offering myriad opportunities for teachers to be part of this linguistic evolution.
Kaohsiung is a magnificent blend of the old and the new. Here, you get the unique chance to teach amidst rich historical precincts and bustling contemporary districts. Introduce your students to English while you yourself get educated about the city's intriguing Daoist and Buddhist temples, lively night markets, and ultramodern cityscapes.
Taiwanese people, especially in Kaohsiung, are known for their hospitality and genuine interest in foreign cultures. As a teacher, you'll often find students and their families eager to share local customs, festivals, and culinary secrets with you.
Compared to the northern cities of Taiwan, Kaohsiung offers a more affordable lifestyle. This means you can enjoy a comfortable life, explore the city's attractions, dine out, and still save a considerable part of your salary.
From the beaches of Cijin Island to the hiking trails of Monkey Mountain, there's always an outdoor adventure waiting for you in Kaohsiung. It’s a great way to unwind and rejuvenate after a week of teaching.
With the city's push towards globalization and trade, there's a heightened demand for English proficiency. Numerous schools, Buxibans (cram schools), and international institutions in Kaohsiung are constantly on the lookout for qualified English teachers.
Kaohsiung’s transportation system, including its metro and buses, is not only efficient but also extremely affordable. This makes commuting to and from schools and exploring the city both convenient and cost-effective.
Its strategic location in southern Taiwan makes Kaohsiung a perfect base for exploring nearby attractions, including Kenting National Park and the historical city of Tainan.
The city is home to the Pier-2 Art Center, a hub for artists and art enthusiasts. It regularly hosts events and exhibitions, providing a refreshing break from your teaching routine.
Public schools in Kaohsiung, from elementary to high school levels, have been gradually incorporating English into their curricula. These schools provide a structured environment and often offer benefits such as housing stipends and paid vacations. Teachers usually work during regular school hours, and the emphasis is often on conversational English and basic grammar.
Buxibans are a significant part of the Taiwanese education system and are especially prominent in Kaohsiung. These after-school tutoring centers cater to students wanting to improve their English outside of regular school hours. Working in a Buxiban can be more demanding in terms of hours, but it can also be rewarding, especially when seeing students make rapid progress.
Kaohsiung hosts several international schools where the medium of instruction is English. These schools cater to expatriate families living in the city and Taiwanese families seeking a more global curriculum for their children. Teachers in these institutions usually need a more specialized background in education and can expect a higher salary with additional benefits.
These institutions cater specifically to adults and professionals seeking to improve their English for business or travel. They might offer specialized courses, such as Business English or TOEFL/IELTS preparation. Working hours can vary, with many classes held in the evenings or on weekends to accommodate working professionals.
Some universities in Kaohsiung offer English language programs and hire native speakers to lead these courses. These positions are typically more academic in nature and may require advanced degrees and prior teaching experience.
There are several government-sponsored programs and cultural exchange initiatives that place foreign English teachers in schools around Kaohsiung. These programs often offer comprehensive benefits, including housing, insurance, and airfare reimbursement.
Given the city's demand for English proficiency, many teachers supplement their income by offering private tutoring sessions. This allows for flexibility in scheduling and the opportunity to tailor lessons to individual students' needs.
Before diving into the teaching waters of Kaohsiung, it's crucial to ensure you tick all the necessary boxes in terms of qualifications and requirements. The standards to teach English in Taiwan are fairly consistent across its cities, but it's always wise to double-check with potential employers in Kaohsiung. Here's what you generally need:
Bachelor's Degree: To obtain a work permit as an English teacher in Kaohsiung, you need to have at least a Bachelor's Degree in any field. This is a standard prerequisite for most teaching jobs. Associate's Degree: If you only have an Associate's Degree, fear not! You can still qualify if you also possess a TEFL certificate.
While not always mandatory, having a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), or Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) certificate can enhance your job prospects. Some institutions might give preference to candidates with such certifications, especially if they lack teaching experience.
Schools typically prefer native English speakers, particularly those from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and South Africa. That said, well-qualified non-native speakers can still find opportunities if they demonstrate strong English proficiency.
To secure a teaching job, you'll likely need to provide a national criminal background check. Minor infractions, especially unrelated to child safety, generally won't disqualify you.
A clean bill of health is essential. You might need to undergo a medical examination, which can include drug tests. Being in good physical and mental health is crucial for the demands of teaching.
Applicants should be at least 20 years old.
While not a tangible requirement, having a genuine interest in Taiwanese culture and a passion for teaching the English language can make your experience more rewarding and can be a significant advantage during interviews.
Teaching English in Kaohsiung offers competitive remuneration packages, making it an attractive choice for many international educators. While salaries can vary based on qualifications, experience, and the type of institution, here's a broad overview of what you can expect:
Public Schools: 60,000 - 70,000 NT$ per month Private Schools: 50,000 - 60,000 NT$ per month Buxibans (Cram Schools): 40,000 - 70,000 NT$ per month, depending on hours worked and the institution's reputation. International Schools: 80,000 - 200,000 NT$ per month, depending on qualifications and experience. Universities: Around 55,000 NT$ per month, though those with advanced degrees or notable experience might command higher salaries.
Kaohsiung, Taiwan's third-largest city, offers a beautiful blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty. With a mix of cultural landmarks, modern amenities, and scenic spots, life in Kaohsiung promises a fulfilling experience. Here's what you can expect:
Kaohsiung is considerably more affordable than Taipei. The cost of everyday items, rent, and transportation tends to be lower.
Housing: An apartment in the city center can range from 10,000 to 25,000 NT$ per month, depending on its size and location. Those willing to live a bit further out can find even more affordable rates. Food: Kaohsiung offers a delightful range of dining options, from local street food stalls where meals can cost as little as 50 to 150 NT$, to mid-range and upscale restaurants. Groceries are also affordable, with local markets offering fresh produce at reasonable prices. Transportation: The city boasts an efficient MRT system, and fares are quite affordable. Buses are another economical way to get around. Many residents also opt for scooters, a popular mode of transport in Taiwan.
Night Markets: Similar to other Taiwanese cities, Kaohsiung has its array of night markets like the Liuhe and Ruifeng Night Markets, offering a variety of street foods, goods, and entertainment. Temples and Historical Sites: The city is home to several temples, such as the Lotus Pond with its Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, reflecting Taiwan's rich cultural and religious history. Natural Beauty: Close proximity to the coast means beaches are within easy reach. The city also offers beautiful parks and scenic areas, like the Love River and Shoushan National Nature Park.
While Mandarin is the official language, many residents, especially the older generation, speak Taiwanese Hokkien. English is taught in schools, so younger individuals might have a basic understanding. However, it's beneficial to learn some basic Mandarin phrases to ease daily living.
Kaohsiung has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters are milder and more comfortable. It's also worth noting that Taiwan experiences a typhoon season, typically from June to October.
The city boasts a growing expatriate community, thanks to its expanding business sector and the influx of foreign teachers. There are several groups and communities where expats gather, making it easier to form connections and friendships.
Taiwan consistently ranks as one of the safest countries in the world, and Kaohsiung is no exception. Violent crime is rare. However, as with any city, it's essential to stay aware of your surroundings and exercise basic precautions.
Taiwan's healthcare system is renowned for its efficiency and quality. Kaohsiung has several top-tier hospitals and clinics where residents can receive excellent care at affordable prices.
"I arrived in Kaohsiung fresh out of university, looking for a change of scenery and a chance to immerse myself in a new culture. What I found was a city brimming with warmth, both in climate and in the hearts of its residents. My school was supportive, and my students were eager learners. Every trip to the local market turned into an adventure. From trying new foods to bargaining in broken Mandarin, these moments became the highlights of my day. Over the two years, I've come to call this city home."
"When I first told my friends and family I was moving to Kaohsiung, I was met with puzzled looks. 'Why not Taipei?' they'd ask. But from the moment I set foot in this city, I knew I had made the right choice. The slower pace, the scenic views, and the genuine friendliness of the people here made all the difference. I've taught in the heart of the city at a private institution and have had the chance to bond with my students beyond the classroom. I've attended their family events and explored hidden gems of the city with them. It's these relationships and experiences that have enriched my time here."
"Coming from the hustle and bustle of London, Kaohsiung offered a refreshing change of pace. The city is spacious, clean, and not as overwhelming as some of the other major Asian cities. My school, situated close to the Love River, provided me with smaller class sizes, allowing me to connect with each student individually. The locals' patience and encouragement as I stumbled through my Mandarin phrases were heartwarming. Not to mention, the local delicacies are to die for!"
"My journey in Kaohsiung began three years ago. I was attracted to the city's blend of modernity and tradition. Teaching at a Buxiban here has been fulfilling. The curriculum allowed flexibility, and I often incorporated local events and festivals into my lessons. Weekends were spent either exploring the city's many parks or taking short trips to nearby attractions. The expat community is tight-knit, and there's always someone up for an adventure or a simple get-together."
Kaohsiung, with its blend of modern urban vibes and rich cultural tapestry, emerges as an idyllic destination for teaching English. Whether you're drawn to its serene landscapes or the pulse of its city life, there's an experience waiting to unfold for every teacher.
Starting your teaching journey in Kaohsiung offers more than just a job opportunity, it promises personal growth and professional development in an environment that's both challenging and supportive. As many of our teacher testimonials reveal, the city presents endless chances for meaningful connections with students and the local community.
But like every journey, a successful teaching stint in Kaohsiung requires preparation. It's essential to familiarize yourself with the educational landscape, understand the requirements, and gauge the benefits to ensure you make the most out of this experience.
Kaohsiung's demand for English education is continuously growing, making it an opportune time for prospective teachers. The city values quality education and is always on the lookout for passionate, dedicated educators who can contribute to its learning community.
So, if you're contemplating taking the leap, remember that the city of Kaohsiung not only offers a competitive salary and benefits package but also a chance to immerse yourself in Taiwanese culture, enjoy its scenic beauty, and make lasting memories.
To those considering this adventure: embrace the challenge, relish the unique experiences, and become a part of Kaohsiung's thriving educational tapestry. Your journey in teaching English in Kaohsiung promises to be as enriching for you as it is for your students.