Since your biggest initial expenditure will be in rent, the cost of setting up will vary depending on whether you choose to live alone or with roommates. $NT60000 should be enough to cover the essentials, and you'll need an extra $NT15000 - 20000 for living expenses until your first paycheck comes in. Keep in mind that KNS is happy to offer you an interest free loan of up to $NT50000 if you find yourself short during your initial month.
What is the cost of living like in Kaohsiung?
Generally speaking, the cost of living in Taiwan, and in Kaohsiung in particular, is much lower than in North America. What you spend in a month will vary depending on your living arrangements, lifestyle and entertainment choices, and a number of other factors, but in general, a thrifty person looking to save as much as possible can get by on as little as 20000NT per month, while a big spender might go through 35000 or 40000NT.
What is the accommodation like? Are apartments furnished?
There is a wide range of accommodation choices available and the vast majority of places come furnished. Whether you choose to live alone or with others, you can quickly find something that suits you. A three bedroom, furnished apartment, in a secure building costs anywhere from 12000 to 20000NT per month, while a bachelor pad can be priced anywhere from 8000 to 12000. Most large apartment buildings in Kaohsiung typically come with large courtyards and several amenities, including exercise facilities and game rooms, and in some cases, swimming pools.
Can I rent an apartment within walking distance of the school?
Yes, you can, although it could take longer to find and you may be limiting yourself to fewer choices. Our branches are all located in convenient locations and you stand a pretty good chance of finding something you like fairly close to where you’ll be working. Even if the place you choose to live in isn’t near the school, it’ll still be no more than a five to ten minute scooter ride or fifteen to twenty minute bike ride away.
What will I do for transportation?
Most teachers opt to purchase a scooter. Fully automatic (no shifting) scooters with a one year engine warranty can be had for around 20000NT from a second-hand shop and can be easily resold at the end of your stay. There is also a steady supply of scooters being sold privately by outgoing teachers for less. In addition to allowing you to get around the city more easily, your scooter is your ticket to excursions out of town on weekends.
Kaohsiung is also very bicycle friendly and a growing number of people are getting around this way. In addition, the new MRT system, in conjunction with plenty of public bus routes makes most of the city accessible via public transportation.
What are the class sizes?
Classes at KNS are capped at 16 students.
What are the student ages and levels of ability?
Our students range in age from six to fifteen years. Your class schedule could include a mix of beginner classes, intermediate classes, and high level classes who have been learning with KNS for as many as seven years.
How much money will I save?
Given an average yearly net salary of over 800000NT, and monthly living expenses between 25000 and 40000 depending on your lifestyle, you can expect to save anywhere from 300000 to 500000NT in your first year.
Will I be able to send money home?
Yes. You will be given an account with a local bank, into which your monthly salary will be deposited. Money can be wired to your home country bank account for a small fee.
What are the holidays?
In addition to the Chinese New Year break, and all national holidays, all KNS teachers have a three week break in July/August, during which time all regular classes are off. First year teachers also get a three day holiday which can be used at any point throughout the year, although it can’t be added on to the New Year or Summer Breaks, or be taken at Christmas time.
How does tax work?
Understanding Taiwan’s tax system can be a little confusing. Basically, there are two situations to consider.
1) You arrive here after June 30th and will therfore be in Taiwan for less than 183 days of the calendar year. You will be taxed on all money earned in that year at a rate of 18%. Normally, you aren’t entitled to a refund on this money, but KNS has a system in place to assist teachers in this situation, allowing you to recover a portion of your taxes. From January 1st of the following year you'll be taxed at only 6% and will be entitled to a refund on a portion of those taxes.
2) You arrive before July 1st and will therefore be in Taiwan for more than 183 days of the calendar year. You will be taxed on all money earned in that year at a rate of 6% and you will be entitled to a refund on a portion of those taxes. From January 1st the following year, your tax rate will depend on how many days you ultimately spend in the country that year. (Less than 183 days = 18%, More than 183 days = 6%)
In subsequent calendar years, the same rules apply and it pays to be in country for 183 days or more of any year.
Do I need health/travel insurance?
It is advisable to purchase at least 6 weeks worth of travel insurance before you depart for Taiwan. Upon your arrival, we will begin the process of obtaining your work permit and Alien Residence Certificate (ARC). This can take four to six weeks. Until your ARC has been processed, you are not covered under Taiwan’s National Health Insurance plan.
Will I be covered under Taiwan’s National Health Insurance (NHI) plan?
Yes. As mentioned above, it will take several weeks before your coverage begins, so you may want to purchase travel insurance for the first couple months of your stay. Once insured in Taiwan, you’ll be well covered for most instances of illness or injury. More detailed information is available at the NHI website here: http://www.nhi.gov.tw/english/
What’s the dress code?
Neat-Casual. KNS doesn’t require teachers to dress overly formally. Summers can be quite hot and shorts and t-shirts are perfectly acceptable in the classroom.