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Teach English in Yilan, Taiwan

Nestled on Taiwan's northeastern coast, Yilan is a treasure trove of natural beauty, cultural richness, and historical significance. With its sweeping landscapes ranging from lush plains to majestic mountains and the vast stretch of the Pacific Ocean, Yilan offers a serene escape from Taiwan’s more urbanized locales. But beyond its scenic beauty, Yilan boasts a vibrant local culture, deeply-rooted traditions, and a palpable warmth in its communities. As a destination for teaching English, Yilan promises a unique blend of professional growth and enriching personal experiences.

Reasons to Teach English in Yilan

  1. Natural Beauty: Yilan is renowned for its hot springs, beaches, and natural parks. Teachers can rejuvenate over weekends by exploring places like the Jiaosi Hot Springs or walking along the pristine shores of Wai’ao Beach.

  2. Cultural Immersion: Dive deep into Taiwanese traditions by attending the Yilan International Children’s Folklore and Folkgame Festival or by visiting the Yilan Distillery Chia Chi Lan Wine Museum. These experiences provide a richer context for understanding students and integrating cultural components into lessons.

  3. Smaller Class Sizes: Unlike bigger cities, schools in Yilan often have smaller class sizes, allowing for more personalized teaching and a deeper connection with students.

  4. Affordable Living: While offering an abundance of natural and cultural experiences, the cost of living in Yilan remains reasonable, ensuring teachers can live comfortably and even save.

  5. Community Engagement: Yilan's tight-knit communities offer a welcoming environment for foreign teachers. It's not uncommon for teachers to be invited to local events, homes, or outings, creating a genuine sense of belonging.

  6. Close Proximity to Taipei: While Yilan offers a peaceful retreat, the bustling city of Taipei is just a short train ride away, giving teachers access to a cosmopolitan experience whenever they wish.

  7. Diverse Teaching Opportunities: From public schools to private institutions and Buxibans (cram schools), Yilan offers a range of teaching positions catering to different preferences and expertise levels.

  8. Learning Opportunities: Teaching in Yilan is a two-way street. While imparting English knowledge, teachers can also pick up Mandarin and gain insights into Taiwanese traditions, history, and customs, enriching their global perspective.

Understanding Yilan's Education Landscape

Yilan, with its unique blend of coastal and mountainous regions, has a distinct education system that reflects its diverse landscape and cultural setting. While the city aligns with Taiwan's national curriculum and educational goals, there's a subtle emphasis on local traditions, arts, and environmental consciousness.

Public schools in Yilan offer a structured environment and follow the national curriculum. However, with Yilan's rich cultural and environmental backdrop, many schools incorporate outdoor learning and field trips to local landmarks, ensuring students gain a comprehensive understanding of their environment.

Private institutions and Buxibans (cram schools) are also prevalent in Yilan. These schools typically offer after-hours English lessons and can range from large, well-established chains to smaller, locally-run establishments. They offer a more informal teaching environment, focusing on conversational English, exam preparation, and often integrate cultural activities into their curriculum.

Eligibility and Requirements to Teach English in Yilan

The requirements to teach English in Yilan will be similar to the standard requirements for teaching English in Taiwan. However, it's essential to note that individual schools in Yilan might have specific preferences based on their unique needs or focus. Here are the general requirements for teaching in Yilan:

  • Bachelor's Degree in any subject for most positions. Those with an Associates Degree can still qualify for a visa with a TEFL certificate.
  • Native English speakers with passports from The UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or South Africa are preferred. Yet, well-qualified candidates from other countries may also be considered.
  • A TEFL certificate can provide an edge in securing positions, though not mandatory.
  • While teaching experience isn't essential, it's a definite advantage.
  • A clean national criminal background check is necessary.
  • Physical and mental health fitness is a requirement.
  • Candidates should be 20 years or older.
  • A keen interest in Taiwan and its culture is vital.
  • A genuine passion for the English language is a must.

Salary and Benefits for Teaching English in Yilan

Salaries in Yilan are competitive, reflecting the national average, with some variations based on experience, qualifications, and the type of institution. On average:

  • Public Schools: 60,000 - 70,000 NT$ per month
  • Private Schools: 50,000 - 60,000 NT$ per month
  • Buxiban: 40,000 - 70,000 NT$ per month

Besides the salary, many schools offer additional benefits such as end-of-contract bonuses, and health insurance. The cost of living in Yilan is comparatively lower than in larger cities, allowing teachers to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and save a significant portion of their income.

Living in Yilan

Yilan, often described as the gem of Taiwan's northeastern coast, offers an enviable lifestyle with its natural beauty and cultural vibrancy. Living in Yilan is not just about teaching English; it's about immersing oneself in an environment that promises both relaxation and excitement. Here's a glimpse into life in Yilan:

Natural Wonders

Yilan is renowned for its natural splendor. From the tranquil beaches of Toucheng to the rejuvenating hot springs in Jiaoxi, there's a slice of nature for everyone. Not to mention the mesmerizing Taroko Gorge that beckons with its marble cliffs and deep river valleys. Living here, teachers can enjoy weekend hikes, beach trips, and other outdoor activities, making it an ideal location for nature enthusiasts.

Cultural Experiences

The city pulses with tradition and local arts. Yilan offers numerous festivals throughout the year, with the Dongshan River Water Festival and Yilan Green Expo being notable events. These celebrations allow residents to get a firsthand experience of Yilan's rich cultural tapestry.

Local Cuisine

Food in Yilan is a delightful journey for the palate. Renowned for its fresh seafood, particularly in the Nanfangao region, the city is a haven for food lovers. Traditional dishes like 'ba-wan' (Taiwanese meatballs) or green onion pancakes are local delicacies that one must try.


Yilan's transportation system is well-developed, ensuring seamless connectivity to other parts of Taiwan. The Yilan train station connects the city to Taipei, making weekend getaways to the capital city hassle-free. Local transportation, including buses and taxis, is affordable and efficient.


Compared to the bustling cities of Taipei or Kaohsiung, Yilan boasts a more affordable cost of living. Housing, in particular, is reasonably priced, with many teachers opting for spacious apartments or shared accommodations. Local markets offer fresh produce at lower rates, making day-to-day living budget-friendly.

Community and Safety

Yilan has a tight-knit community, which is particularly welcoming to foreign teachers. It's common to build lasting relationships with locals, students, and their families. Moreover, Yilan, like most of Taiwan, is safe, with low crime rates and a peaceful atmosphere.

Facts About Yilan:

  • Geography: Yilan is uniquely situated between the sea and the mountains, making it one of Taiwan's most scenic cities.
  • Climate: Yilan experiences a humid subtropical climate. Summers are warm and wet, while winters are mild and relatively dry.
  • History: Yilan's history dates back to the prehistoric era, with artifacts found in the area suggesting settlements from over 30,000 years ago.
  • Economy: Traditionally an agricultural hub, Yilan today has a diverse economy with tourism playing a significant role.

Teacher Stories

Sarah from the USA:

"When I first arrived in Yilan, I was taken aback by its natural beauty. Coming from a bustling city in the US, the tranquillity here was a refreshing change. Teaching in Yilan has been an enriching experience. My students are eager to learn, and the community has been incredibly welcoming. Weekends are for exploring the local markets and trying out new delicacies. Yilan feels like home now."

Liam from the UK:

"I'd always wanted to teach abroad, and Yilan seemed like the perfect place. The city's rich history and culture fascinated me. The Dongshan River Water Festival was an absolute highlight! It's not just about teaching here; it's about being a part of a larger community and making lasting memories."

Naledi from South Africa:

"Yilan's landscapes remind me a bit of home. The beaches, the mountains, and the lush greenery are just breathtaking. Teaching here has been a journey of growth. The smaller class sizes allowed me to connect with my students on a personal level. Also, I've made some lifelong friends here."

Madeline from Australia:

"Being an English teacher in Yilan has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The students are curious and excited to learn. Outside the classroom, there's so much to see and do. From hiking trails to hot springs, every weekend feels like a new adventure."

Sean from Canada:

"I moved to Yilan with my family, and it's been an incredible journey for all of us. The city offers a perfect blend of tradition and modernity. The local food, especially the seafood, is to die for. As a teacher, it's fulfilling to see my students progress and embrace the English language."

Aoife from Ireland:

"The warmth of the people in Yilan is unmatched. As a teacher, I've received immense support from both the school and the community. The city's festivals and events have allowed me to immerse myself in the local culture. It's been a beautiful journey of learning and teaching."

Moving Towards Teaching English In Yilan

Choosing to teach English in Yilan is more than just an employment decision; it's a step towards immersing oneself in a unique cultural experience. This city, with its harmonious blend of nature and tradition, promises a journey that extends beyond the confines of a classroom. From the captivating landscapes to the passionate students, Yilan offers an environment where teaching becomes a joy. Whether you're a seasoned educator or someone looking to embark on a teaching journey, Yilan stands out as a destination that will enrich you professionally and personally. As you contemplate the next steps in your teaching career, consider the possibilities that await in Yilan - where every day is an opportunity for discovery and growth.