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Taking Chances: Accepting a Job in Taiwan

“They were happy with all 4 of your interviews and are leaving it up to you guys to decide who takes the teaching job.”

The year after I finished my Education degree, I headed to Taiwan with 5 other girls for a year of adventure. We went through a recruitment company that was at the U of R job fair.

Our first interview was a group one. Talk about weird. How do you sell yourself and compete with friends for a job?

This interview was a half our scooter drive, one way, from our apartment. It wasn’t a chain school. We would be the only English person on staff. The time would be spent between 2 schools; a Kindergarten and an after school English program and there would be three hours between each job. Not enough time to drive home for lunch.

When they said that it was up to us to decide, I could sense the other girls hesitating. They wanted to see what other options were out there before making a decision. Me? The thought of not having to do another interview was enough. I took the job.

The hour scooter drive each day turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the day. I would be jammed in rush hour traffic in the morning, but see so many interesting things.

Those three hour breaks in the day were perfect for exploring. I would wander through temples, discover new alleys and streets, and get a lot of relaxing reading time in. It was also a good time to call home. I would sit in coffee shops and have the most interesting conversations with the workers or other locals who wanted to practice their English. Mmmmm, iced coffee and iced milk tea, I miss you!

The Kindergarten was run by a family and the Grandma cooked lunch every day. There were over 150 kids there, but you could still feel the family love. The Grandpa was always looking out for me. The aunts would warn me to cover up out in the sun. They couldn’t understand my desire for a tan. All they wanted was lighter skin!

My assistant bought me breakfast every day from her own pocket. This was special, as I know she didn’t make very much money. I never knew what I would get and I can tell you, I tried some pretty funky things.

I guess the point I want to get across is that sometimes taking a chance on what others pass up on can be the best decision.

Have you taught English overseas? Was it a chain? Tell me about your experience.


Profile photo of Christine Broderick Hawrylak

Wife, step-mom, teacher. I have travelled the world and am now working on renewing that adventurous spirit close to home. My goal is to inspire myself, as well as others, by looking back at my past and by getting off the couch to find excitement in the Canadian Prairies and beyond. I tend to focus on quirky stories and memories. If I've made someone laugh, I've done my job. From a solo traveler to family gal, join me in this life transition. And, join me as I learn this new world of blogging!! So far, I am loving it!

2 thoughts on “Taking Chances: Accepting a Job in Taiwan

  1. Profile photo of Charles McKinneyCharles McKinney

    Awesome article! I have been teaching overseas for 3 years now in East Asia. It's been the best experience of my life and wouldn't trade it for the world. English as the lingua franca of business, education and globalization has truly resulted in golden opportunities for globetrotting despite gender, age and social status. I love it!


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