Teaching Traveling: Interested in teaching abroad in Taiwan, but don’t have extensive education experience or certification? Read this interview with Dan and Casey from “A Cruising Couple!”
Tell us about your background, Dan and Casey.
Dan & Casey: We’re Dan and Casey, originally from Apex, North Carolina. Casey went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in International Studies and Spanish. Dan attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he studied Environmental Science. During our time at college we were both really fortunate to have many travel opportunities, spanning twenty-something countries on six continents. Travel has always been something very natural to us, and we feel most in our element when we’re exploring new places. Oh, we’re also high school sweethearts that tied the knot after graduating University! It only made sense to begin our new married life together by traveling to the other side of the world—so that’s exactly what we did! After a seven-week honeymoon road trip across the United States, we packed up our few belongings and moved to Taiwan.
TT: Wow! Tell us more about your travels.
D& C: Although neither of us had taught seriously, we both had a bit of experience with education. Casey spent a summer teaching English at camps all over Italy, and Dan was an outdoor recreation instructor. We enjoyed teaching, and it seemed like the perfect way to provide an income while also allowing us to travel. For the past two years, we have been living and teaching in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and we couldn’t be happier! Taiwan is an amazing place to live. It’s small, and the high-speed train makes travel around the country fast and accessible. The people are incredibly hospitable, and every day we are amazed by how genuinely interested the Taiwanese are in making us feel at home. We really believe there’s something here for everyone, whether you are looking for breathtaking mountains to hike, dramatic coasts to cycle, intricate temples to explore, or exotic flavors to try.
Taiwan is the perfect place to look for a teaching job, even if you don’t have a TEFOL certificate. There are lots of schools that will provide you with teacher training, structured lesson plans, and all the support a new teacher might need. While this sort of system is not be for everyone, it has been the perfect way for us to learn our way around the classroom. Now we can say we are comfortable teaching a variety of students, from three year olds to fifty-three year olds! However, we do advise travelers to be careful when deciding if teaching is for them or not. We have met so many people that come to Taiwan and end up miserable, primarily because they have no desire to teach. Unfortunately, not enjoying teaching-the thing you came halfway across the world to do-ends up leading to resentment for the country you’re in. Teaching is a wonderful way to support traveling and living abroad, but you must at least have some desire to teach.
TT: Great advice. How did you find this teaching travel opportunity?
D & C: We found the opportunity to teach in Taiwan via a good ‘ol Google search. Taiwan is a popular place to teach English, and it is quite easy to find jobs both prior to and upon arrival. While we secured our jobs in the United States, we have heard a lot of the higher paying jobs are easier to obtain once you are already in Taiwan. Of course, this is best if you have teaching experience and a bit of Chinese knowledge!