Teaching English and living in Taiwan is something that everybody should at the very least contemplate doing once in their life. It might not appear at the top of everyone's list alongside Japan and Korea, but for those who have sampled this wonderful little island, there is often simply no other country on the list.
In this article, we present you with the many reasons why you should live and teach in Taiwan.
# 1 - Friendliness
It's going to be top of the list for many people, and rightly so. Newcomers are always astounded at how friendly Taiwanese people are. Not just friendly to foreigners, they simply have a happy, friendly culture.
# 2 - Scenery
Taiwan was originally named Formosa by Portuguese sailors. Isle De Formosa translates as "Beautiful Island", and it couldn't be more apt. Even when you head inland and explore the concrete jungle of Taipei, beauty is all around, and Taiwan more than lives up to its name. Whether you like beaches, mountains, hiking trails, or hustle and bustle, you should find something that will wow you wherever you go.
#3 - Climate
Apart from a couple of sticky months in the summer, Taiwan has a great climate. Winter only goes as low as 10 degrees C and even that is for a few days at most. From March until October, you can pretty much forget about things like jackets. Shorts and t-shirt will be your wardrobe for well over half the year.
Typhoon season might be an inconvenience (and danger) for some, but for those working as teachers, it just means a few extra bonus days off work! Just make sure to take precautions.
# 4 - Night Markets
If you stay in Taiwan for more than two weeks and don't visit a night market, you need to find a better tour guide. With a mixture of food, souvenirs, and just plain random objects, Taiwanese night markets are a spectacle. The food is the best part of most night markets, offering delights ranging from fried chicken, to the more exotic, and the downright squeamish.
#5 - Bubble Tea
You can find this everywhere in Taiwan, as it's one of their delicacies. The "bubbles" are made from tapioca (a starch made from the root of the cassava plant), and the tea is usually served with milk or soy milk. It's refreshing, filling, and tastes great (in most cases).
#6 - Low Cost Of Living
Many people go abroad for the adventure and experience, but others wish to save money. Taiwan pretty much offers ample opportunity for both. Even if you live in the most expensive part of the country (Taipei), you can save money very easily, as the costs of living are low.
Move outside of Taipei, and it's almost impossible NOT to save money, all while having a great time.
Taiwan was recently voted the second safest country in the world. Crime is very low and rarely witnessed, and the police presence is good. Walking home a little bit tipsy at 3 in the morning (something that appeals to us all!) is a non-issue, apart from the fact you may wake up with a sore head!
Most foreigners who stay in Taiwan for a long period will have lost a phone, wallet, or other item, only to have it turn up at a police station after someone found it and handed it in. This might happen in many other countries in the world, but in Taiwan it's a guarantee.
#8 - Proximity To The Rest Of Asia
Fancy travelling around Asia? Taiwan makes a pretty good hub. It's a short flight away from many places. You can get to pretty much everywhere in 4 hours or less. Recent years have seen an increase in budget airlines as well, which makes it cheap to travel in your time off.
Speaking of which...
#9 - Holidays
As well as the fact you'll likely have up to two weeks holiday period from your school, there are also many national holidays throughout the year. Chinese New Year alone gives you 7-10 days off, and when you account for the others, it can add up to a lot of free time to explore and relax.
#10 - Food
We covered food briefly in the night market section, but it deserves its own segment. Food in Taiwan is exceptional. There is such a variety that even if you're not big on Chinese food, you can still enjoy eating every day of the week.
Restaurants are cheap and in cities, in large numbers, so you could eat out every day of the week, not spend too much money in the process, and never run out of places to eat.
#11 - Technology
With companies like HTC, Taiwan is right up there in the big leagues in terms of technology. An advanced transportation system, free wifi all over Taipei, and many other technological wonders make Taiwan very convenient and modern.
#12 - Traditional Chinese
Those wanting to learn Mandarin in the more traditional fashion only have the option of going to Hong Kong or Taiwan. The Chinese mainland uses the simplified characters, which many people say lack culture.
Many More Besides
These 12 are not the ONLY reasons to live in Taiwan, but a mere sample. If we told you everything, it would spoil the surprise. One final thing to say about Taiwan would be that because it's a less obvious choice than Japan, Korea, or other Asian countries, that makes it a bit of a hidden gem, and adds to its appeal even more.
Just don't tell everyone.