Expat Exchange

Living in Taiwan

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 10, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Taiwan: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Taiwan?

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Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Taiwan responded:

"Kaohsiung is an easy city to live in and I love that you can go to the beach or mountains in the same day," said another expat in Kaohsiung.

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What do I need to know about living in Taiwan?

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When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Taiwan, they said:

"Make friends. Keep yourself busy doing what you intend to do in Taiwan. If English is your first language, you might want to teach. There's good money in teaching kids or adults in language centers called bushibans or in one on ones. Enjoy the difference in culture," remarked another in Taichung.

How do I meet people in Taiwan?

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When we asked people living in Taiwan about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"There are a number of bars (Pubs) in either Taipei, Taichung or Kaosiung where foreigners and Taiwanese young locals hang out. Otherwise, you can try enrolling in a University to study Chinese; there are opportunities to meet others in such an environment," said another expat in Taichung.

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Will I be able to find a job in Taiwan?

Live in Taiwan? Answer this Question

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Taiwan, they reponded:

"The main industries for foreigners are: Cram Schools, computers, semi-conductors, trading, fishing, golf and banking. Most people find jobs teaching English," said another person in Tainan.

"Most locals have their own small businesses. You will find a lot of local versions of mom and pop eateries with family members doing the cooking, serving and the cleaning. Many work in offices during the day and do odd jobs at night," remarked another expat in Taichung.

What is life like in Taiwan?

Live in Taiwan? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in Taiwan what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Anyone trying out living here in Taiwan will certainly be aware of how important making money is to the Taiwanese. They tend to revolve their lives around their work. The society is also Family centered. Relationship is important for a Taiwanese," said another person in Taichung.

What do expats in Taiwan appreciate most about the local culture?

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"Gentle spirited people who are often willing to help me; extremely safe environment (safe from criminals, not traffic!); not a world power so I can watch what the major players--including my home country of the US--are doing, as an observer from far away," remarked another expat in Taoyuan.

What do expats find most challenging?

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"Although language continues to be a great challenge (Chinese is NOTHING like Germanic or Romance languages in any way), far more frustrating are the clueless, selfish, inconsiderate drivers who lack what I consider basic driving sense. After seven years it's still an almost daily source of irritation and frustration," said another expat in Taoyuan.

Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Taiwan accepting of differences?

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"The Taiwanese are beginning to accept the foreigners as part of their life; they can be very accomodating especially to foreigners," said another expat in Taichung.

What are the schools in Taiwan like?

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"Unfortunately this is the only option (thus the current state of affairs) help your kids through it- and fight your battles on the western stupid kids syndrome," commented one expat when asked about Taipei American School in Taipei.

"If you have the option for HK, China, Singapore look into it. As a non Asian expat you will have a hard time for you kids (who will be considered not smart) and as a parent it is socially difficult. Even the small expat groups are not welcoming. Good luck," explained one expat in Taipei, Taiwan with kids at Taipei American School.

"This is called an American school but 95% Asian focused. English is not the primary language in the halls and amongst workers. Very competive and not very welcoming to westerners who are considered "stupid" amongst the Asian popluation," wrote an expat living in Taipei with children attending Taipei American School.

"If your option is Taipei or another city and you have a 9-12 grader. think twice. This school is very Asian. Very competitive and they just want to promote the kids who will give them good test scores so they can shine on their international rating. If you are from an EU country look into the European School. More of an international culture. Less Tiger Moms," said one commented one expat when asked about Taipei American School in Taipei.

"This school is best suited to local Taiwanese students. It is an IB school, although is not an accredited international school. The bilingual program of the primary school causes many parents concern about their child's language acquisition, although there are pathways for MOE education as well as the IB's MYP and DP in the junior and high schools," mentioned one expat living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

"It is wonderful. I was at first skeptical, due to the older appearance of the campus, and some of the leeriness of admissions staff, but I was so surprised. The upper school has a great counseling program for academics, issues, and college counseling. My daughter has a health problem, and the staff and teachers have been unbelievably wonderful in helping us through a rough time," explained one expat when asked about Taipei American School in Taipei.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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Learn what members have to say about living in Taiwan.

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Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Taiwan on our Taiwan forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

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An index of all of our site's Taiwan information.

Contribute to Taiwan Network Contribute
Help others in Taiwan by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Taiwan.

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Expats in Taiwan offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Taiwan.

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Find essential information about the digital nomad visa for working in Taiwan.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Taiwan GuideTaiwan Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Taiwan.

Taiwan Forum Taiwan Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Taiwan on our Taiwan forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Taiwan Index Taiwan Index
An index of all of our site's Taiwan information.

Contribute to Taiwan Network Contribute
Help others in Taiwan by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Taiwan.

Expat Healthcare Advice in TaiwanHealthcare & Health Insurance in Taiwan

Expats in Taiwan offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Taiwan.

Digital-Nomad-Visa-for-TaiwanDigital Nomad Visa for Taiwan

Find essential information about the digital nomad visa for working in Taiwan.

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