Sunday, June 05, 2005

Coming to Taiwan Without a Degree

I get letters like this one all the time, and it saddens me:
My name is _________, and my husband _____ and I are currently
preparing oursleves (as much as that can be possible!) to come to Taiwan to explore the vast realm of teaching english. We are very excited at this prospect, as we have just gotten married and are aspiring to start a new prosperous (hopefully!) life for ourselves overseas. We are two 30 year olds headed to Tainan, actually, and we were hoping you would have some valuable advice for us. We have enjoyed your webpage very much, lots of valuable advice and insight, but are finding it stressful to get all of the paperwork involved sorted out. There are many people advising us to get this visa or that visa or a tesol course, etc. So far we have just gotten our tickets. We leave on july 18th, and don't know where or who to go to to get our visas, or even what type we'll need. We are not accepting employment before we go, as we were advised against this. We hope to plan to stay here for 3-4 years, but hold no degrees or tesol courses. We were told that these werent necessary. Is this the case? Will we be able to get by like this?
I wrote back:

"Bullshit. At least ONE of you needs a degree so you can legally stay in Taiwan. EITHER a two-year degree plus a TESOL certificate OR a BA is acceptable. Nothing less will work. Further, to have no degrees means that you will never be able to move out of the English teaching business. Nor will you be able to leave Taiwan and then return to Canada to easily find work. You are locking yourselves into a lifestyle of lower incomes and reduced prospects.

My best advice is to stay in Canada and do a BA. Yes, there are people who work here without degrees. They work illegally and are always in danger, however remote, that they may be found out and reported and deported. Without a degree you are ILLEGAL. Additionally, a BA provides you with at least some small education for a better job in the future."

Folks, coming here without a degree is a really bad idea and I am not going to validate it with my approval. I think I need to make the warning on my website stronger.....

Michael

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Scott Sommers wrote
Or they could hook up with King Car Education Foundation and ATII. Once you're hooked in with these folks, it doesn't appear you need qualification of any sort.

EFL Geek said...

I give pretty much the same advice, though slightly less harsh, when I get emails from readers as well.

Anonymous said...

Alright,

I'm in a similar situation where I am about to take a TESL course in Victoria, BC with the intention of travelling to somewhere in Asia. My formal education consists of a 2-year diploma in Marketing Management. I was told by the owner of the TESL company that I could probably be able to still attain a working visa in Japan but m starting to find out that A degree may be absolutley necessary.

Basically I'm trying to find out if I can work in Taiwan, S. Korea, Japan, etc without a degree but with my education.

Michael Turton said...

Go get the whole marketing degree. Technically an associate degree + ESL certification is acceptable, but many schools don't know that and will nto accept it. Besides, how can having a BA hurt you?

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY said...

Mike Turton,
Your comments are elitist and unecessary. Because you have managed to eek out an existance teaching English, you have no right to tell someone like me, that I have no business teaching English due to the fact that I didn't spend twenty thousand dollars for an arts degree that any retard with the money and the time can procure. Some of the dumbest people I have ever met have arts degrees. They are worthless individuals that I wouldn't allow to teach basic bedmaking skills, let alone english. I chose to not spend the money, but I am more intelligent than most of the people that I know that had nothing better to do than spend a shitload of money on an education that any drooling invalid can obtain with a little cash. You do a diservice to your craft sir. You should consider merit over acedemic, worthless acheivement that is obtained easily by anyone who has a daddy willing to pay for it.
Any dog can be trained to sit up!Stand! and fetch! Reconsider your advice sir, Academics is a whole lot of bullshit and papers!
I would expect you to know the difference.

Michael Turton said...

you have no right to tell someone like me, that I have no business teaching English due to the fact that I didn't spend twenty thousand dollars for an arts degree that any retard with the money and the time can procure.

It is not me who says this, but a legal regulation of the government of Taiwan. Perhaps you can take it up with the legislature.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

My wife and i will be going to Taiwan in January 2006. My wife has her bachelor’s degree and I do not. Is there any way that I can work there also? As I don’t just want to do nothing.

Anonymous said...

Hi, seems like a cool site. can you add me to your links. www.therealtaiwan.com

Red said...

Well here is a situation. My wife and i would like to come to Taiwan, she wants to teach English and I want to be with her. I know i cannot teach as i do not hold a degree. She has a masters degree, 12 years of teaching experience. She can get in no problem.

I am a woman. They don't see me as a relative.

Michael Turton said...

Red, not much advice for you. I can only suggest finding some gay men and getting married just to get a visa. They won't check to see whether you are living together.

Michael

士豪 said...

As a Taiwanese, I can't agrre with you more...
It's a very valuable advice to the people would just think that Taiwanese are too ignorant to notice they don't even hold a degree... That is fine if you don't have a BA, but at least try to get a degree... For your information, the parents are not no longer stupid and they are very willing report you to the immigration once they notice something wrong...

BTW, nice blog.....

proteacher887799 said...

Michael Turton seems to be quite confused. The truth of the matter is, it is the sensible and logical thing to have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in a Discipline. This could mean having a degree in English, or even History. The point of having a Bachelor of Arts Degree is to show that you have attained the necessary skill sets and wisdom to teach English. Also, it shows you have critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze.
Michael then goes on to somehow suggest that having a B.A. Degree in Arts is something that is "useless." I wholeheartedly disagree. The fact that one has obtained a degree reveals these important characteristics of a person: Focused, diligent, persistent, and able to solve problems. I honestly believe that Michael may have some trepidation about going back to school and finally obtaining a degree. I say, muster up, get the courage, and obtain your Bachelor of Arts degree, good sir.

Michael Turton said...

Someone else said that, not me.