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Taiwan friendlier than China?
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BruceLeeWannaBe



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:57 am    Post subject: Taiwan friendlier than China? Reply with quote

Hello. This post was also put into the "China-Off Topic" forum. But I also wanted to put this post on the Taiwan forum as well.

Anyone here ever taught English in both Taiwan and China? I'm wondering cause I want to know the similarities between taiwanese and chinese people in terms of how friendly they are towards foreigners.

Example. Chinese people (especially girls) will be friendly to you at first. Give out their phone numbers, and all that. After that, usually the person will never talk to you again. If they do they only give you a vague response. But they don't truly have an interest in you at all. (But on a positive note, there are some that do take interest in you).

But for foreigners who lived in both countries, what's your take on it? Are taiwanese people more willing to establish friendships with foreigners? What's the difference/similarities regarding that?

I also took notice that chinese english teachers will only interact with you just on a work related basis. Perhaps take you out to dinner once or twice. But very little interaction if any outside the workplace. Are Taiwanese colleagues also the same way?

Again, don't get me wrong. There are a few Chinese colleagues which are a pleasure to be around
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone's experience is different. It really depends where you live and work.

However in Taiwan most of the work is teaching children.
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TJA



Joined: 09 Apr 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Greater Taipei

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 2 cents: everyone's answer is going to be subjective on this. So with that, my subjective answer is:

Haivng lived and worked in both Taiwan and the mainland for multiple years, I would say I feel the people of Taiwan are more friendly and just 'nicer'. I have relatives by marriage in both, and at that level 'family is family' and all are nice to me. For colleagues, I find it similar between the two places. For strangers, however, I find the average person I have interacted with in China to be less friendly, less forgiving, just 'less nice' than the average person in Taiwan.

Lots of little things make this up, but here's a couple of quick examples. I have never, ever been ripped off by a taxi driver in Taiwan, but a percentage of China taxi drivers have a very different attitude to things like charging you off the meter and generally 'taking you for a ride'. On the subway, I find people on the mainland to be more pushy than their counterparts in Taipei.

Hope that helps.
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taiwan is easier to live in since it is more westernized.

The values of Taiwanese people are for the most part closer to those of people from Europe and North America than people from Mainland China.
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BruceLeeWannaBe



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little off topic. but i thought of comming to taiwan in 2014. I'm going to college soon and going for a diploma in culinary arts. It's a diploma earned after 18 months. Would that combined with my TESOL certificate be good enough to get the work permit in taiwan?

my diploma will be issued by a canadian college. not a university. But even though my diploma is 18 months and not a full two years, would it still work?
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BruceLeeWannaBe wrote:
A little off topic. but i thought of comming to taiwan in 2014. I'm going to college soon and going for a diploma in culinary arts. It's a diploma earned after 18 months. Would that combined with my TESOL certificate be good enough to get the work permit in taiwan?

my diploma will be issued by a canadian college. not a university. But even though my diploma is 18 months and not a full two years, would it still work?
Well, no one can say for sure what that immigration officer will decide on the day he looks at your stuff, but I can tell you this:
- I worked in Taiwan from '09 - '11 with an associate's degree (an American two-year degree) and a TEFL certificate (CELTA).
- Immigration did give me trouble about the duration of the degree. You see, my enrollment date and graduation date stated on the transcript were less than a year apart, so Taiwanese immi almost didn't issue me a work visa. They assumed it was a one-year diploma, which is not sufficient to get a Taiwanese work visa.
- However, I straightened them out. My school and I wrote them a letter explaining that although I was only enrolled for less than a year, I had amassed the credits over the course of several years, and it was meant to be a two-year program by default (my enrollment and graduation dates were only a year or so apart because I had transferred in so much previously-earned credit).
- Taiwanese immigration accepted this. They issued the visa.
- In other words, the decisive factor was that I was able to show them credit earned over a 2+ year period, and also a finished AA (which normally takes two years).

In your case, I'm less optimistic, because your program's default length is less than two years. Are you transferring in any credit earned previously? If you can do that, maybe you can say "this diploma was earned over the course of at least two years" and maybe you'll be okay -- but be careful and don't rely on this to work.
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BruceLeeWannaBe



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're right. An 18 month diploma probably wouldn't work. But I would like to know, would a foreigner be able to come to Taiwan, study Mandarin, earn a two or four year diploma in Mandarin language and then possibly get a work visa to teach English?

Since I just wanna live in Taiwan, I kinda thought of just doing that. But that's just me.
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BruceLeeWannaBe wrote:
I think you're right. An 18 month diploma probably wouldn't work. But I would like to know, would a foreigner be able to come to Taiwan, study Mandarin, earn a two or four year diploma in Mandarin language and then possibly get a work visa to teach English?

Since I just wanna live in Taiwan, I kinda thought of just doing that. But that's just me.
You really ought to check some sources besides just me, but this is what I'd say:

You can earn your two- or four-year degree in Taiwan, either at a Taiwanese university/college or via distance education.

There is a rumor in these forums, which is repeatedly brought up again and again that "Taiwan doesn't accept online degrees." This is utter hogwash. I got THREE work permits for Taiwan with an accredited distance degree. Taiwan may not accept unaccredited "diploma mill" degrees, but it does accept accredited, legit online degrees.

About colleges/universities in Taiwan:
I highly doubt that any college/university in Taiwan offers a degree in "Mandarin." That would be like an American university offering a degree in how to speak English. The best you're going to get from a Mandarin language school is a certificate, which isn't going to count as a "degree" in the eyes of the immigration bureau.

You might be able to find a Mandarin LITERATURE program. You might be able to find a Chinese Area Studies program or something like that, not sure. Perhaps that's what you meant.

Chances are that for most of those programs, you would already need to be fluent in the language to enter the program, since the focus of both degree programs would likely be old, maybe even classical Chinese, which would require a very deep understanding of the Chinese language. Furthermore, the degree might not even allow you to teach English in Taiwan in the end, because it wasn't earned in an English-speaking country (not sure if Taiwan requires the degree to have been earned in an English-speaking country -- you'll need to check on that; many other Asian countries have that requirement, so I wouldn't be surprised if Taiwan does, too).

About distance degrees:

- You can sign up for a distance degree program based in the US, Canada, etc. This has several advantages over a degree earned in Taiwan: 1) it's accredited in an English-speaking country, meaning that it is better for getting a work permit to teach English, 2) you can start it immediately without having to become fluent in Chinese first, and 3) you can finish it in less than two/four years (for an AA or BA respectively) if you work hard.

- You must have your exams proctored at a testing center or through a full-time teacher who your distance uni will verify. In my case, I had my Northern Virginia Community College course proctored by a faculty member at National Sun Yat-Sen University. I had my other exams administered at the Great Master IT Training Center in Kaoshiung, and at the Pearson VUE Center in Taipei. Getting exams proctored is a huge pain in the !@#$%^&*, but there's really no other way if you want an accredited online degree.

- Tuition will probably be much higher than a Taiwanese university. HOWEVER, you can test out of many, many classes using exams like CLEP, AP, DSST, ECE, UExcel, etc. In fact, you might even be able to pass a test and get college credit for the Chinese you're learning.

In conclusion:

- Don't just read my posts; do your research in many, many places.

- My take on it is that if you want to move to Taiwan immediately, you can enroll in a Chinese language school and live there on a student visa and have a distance degree program going on the side (make sure the degree program is based in an English-speaking country). Since you will have Chinese classes in the mornings and afternoons and regular online college courses in the evenings, expect to be excruciatingly busy.

- After a couple (or a few) years of doing this, you can finish your associate's degree by distance. Provided that you also have an decent TEFL cert (i.e. one done through a legit university like Cambridge), yes, that should allow you to get a work permit and work visa.

- Of course, funding this will be extremely difficult unless you have a ton of money already. You are not allowed to work on a student visa (at least not that I'm aware), so any work you do will be illegal (be careful, they DO drop in and check on you).

You can do it if you're dedicated. I did exactly what I just described, except in Korea instead of Taiwan. I moved there when I was 19, took language classes in the mornings and early afternoons, and online courses in the evenings and at night, funding all this with money that I'd saved by working full-time at 7-Eleven and various other crap jobs when I was between 17 and 19 years old (and later, gray market private lessons and various other gigs as well as student loans). I took the associate's degree that I earned, moved to Taiwan, and got a job and a work visa (and then proceeded to hold down a job while finishing my bachelor's so I could move to and teach in Japan). However, I was extremely busy and poor the entire time.

I don't regret it, but seriously doubt that most people would have the motivation to burn the candle at three ends the way I did (intensive language study, accredited non-language courses, and a job all at the same time). I can look back on it fondly now because I am sitting pretty, debt-free, with a degree, and six years of awesome experiences, but it was not easy. It was extremely grueling to do this. But possible, at least in theory. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

BruceLeeWannabe, have you considered teaching in China? You can learn the same Mandarin there, and it's much easier to find a job without a degree than it is in Taiwan... Any particular reason that you'd rather live in Taiwan over China?

Or are you already teaching in China?
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BruceLeeWannaBe wrote:
I think you're right. An 18 month diploma probably wouldn't work. But I would like to know, would a foreigner be able to come to Taiwan, study Mandarin, earn a two or four year diploma in Mandarin language and then possibly get a work visa to teach English?

Since I just wanna live in Taiwan, I kinda thought of just doing that. But that's just me.


Earning a degree from a university in Taiwan will not qualify you for a work permit to teach English. The degree has to be from a country where English is the primary language.
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JZer wrote:
BruceLeeWannaBe wrote:
I think you're right. An 18 month diploma probably wouldn't work. But I would like to know, would a foreigner be able to come to Taiwan, study Mandarin, earn a two or four year diploma in Mandarin language and then possibly get a work visa to teach English?

Since I just wanna live in Taiwan, I kinda thought of just doing that. But that's just me.


Earning a degree from a university in Taiwan will not qualify you for a work permit to teach English. The degree has to be from a country where English is the primary language.


Yeah, I agree. I think his best bet if he wants to live in Taiwan _right now_ is to come as a language student and do distance education with a US school on the side. That will produce an accredited US degree, which unlike an R.O.C. degree, will allow him to teach English in Taiwan once he graduates.

Another nice thing about doing a US distance degree is that he can take the NYU Language Exam for Chinese and claim 16 credit hours for Chinese. Something he likely wouldn't be able to do with an R.O.C. degree program.
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BruceLeeWannaBe



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After everything discussed, I think I'll just settle for a two year program from a Community college and then come to Taiwan later. There is no quick fix.
Rooster_2006 wrote:
BruceLeeWannabe, have you considered teaching in China? You can learn the same Mandarin there, and it's much easier to find a job without a degree than it is in Taiwan... Any particular reason that you'd rather live in Taiwan over China?

I'm in China now. Yes. Reason I wanna live in Taiwan? I was there in 2004 for two months. Found the people to be extremely friendly. But how can you judge a country after being there only for two months? This is why I came here to get other opinions based on whether or not Taiwan was better than China.

And most responses indicate that the Taiwanese people are much more friendlier than the Chinese. Easier to make friends among the locals. Here in China, people are more fake friendly.
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BruceLeeWannaBe wrote:
After everything discussed, I think I'll just settle for a two year program from a Community college and then come to Taiwan later. There is no quick fix.
Rooster_2006 wrote:
BruceLeeWannabe, have you considered teaching in China? You can learn the same Mandarin there, and it's much easier to find a job without a degree than it is in Taiwan... Any particular reason that you'd rather live in Taiwan over China?

I'm in China now. Yes. Reason I wanna live in Taiwan? I was there in 2004 for two months. Found the people to be extremely friendly. But how can you judge a country after being there only for two months? This is why I came here to get other opinions based on whether or not Taiwan was better than China.

And most responses indicate that the Taiwanese people are much more friendlier than the Chinese. Easier to make friends among the locals. Here in China, people are more fake friendly.
Certainly I got stolen from less in Taiwan. In just a couple of weeks in Mainland China, my USB drive got stolen, I got slipped a counterfeit 50 RMB, etc.

Taiwan...almost two years, not a single theft. I left my USB drive at the Internet cafes in Taiwan several times by accident. When I went back, it was always either where I had put it, or behind the counter where someone had turned it in.

Yes, I think Taiwanese are more honest and friendly. By far.
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BruceLeeWannaBe



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a thought. If I were to come to study Chinese. And teach Martial Arts in my free time (teaching to other foreigners who want to learn). Would that be something one could get into trouble for?
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BruceLeeWannaBe wrote:
Just a thought. If I were to come to study Chinese. And teach Martial Arts in my free time (teaching to other foreigners who want to learn). Would that be something one could get into trouble for?

If it's paid, then yes, unless you have some kind of work permit.

Whether you're actually likely to get busted or not is a different story. That depends on your advertising methods and your venue and also sheer luck.

I recommend you do two things:

1. Research a "student work permit" for Taiwanese student visas and find out the regulations on it. I have no idea if one exists or not, or whether you'd be eligible for it (or when). It's your responsibility to find out. I think a quick Google search will reveal lots of links on the subject.

2. Give us a bit more information about yourself, such as:

A) Are you an ABC, CBC, or other so-called "overseas Chinese?" This may give you special options that the rest of us don't have.

B) What are your funds? Tell us how much you have in the bank, and we can tell you whether that'll be enough to carry you through two years of study or not. You might be surprised. Taiwan is a cheap country. What is your eligibility for students loans? I don't know about other countries, but Americans are all entitled to unsubsidized Stafford Loans, which was part of how I was able to put myself through college while living in Korea and Taiwan -- I applied them towards the US-based online courses I was taking.

C) What is your nationality? Some nationalities can apply for Working Holiday visas. Others can't.
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taiwan is so safe that people leave their computer in starbucks unattended. And it is still there when they return.

Last edited by JZer on Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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