Living while teaching in Taiwan could be the ultimate adventure for parents who are considering relocating overseas. Known for its fascinating culture and stunning scenery, this Southeast Asian country has so much to offer people of all ages, making it an ideal choice for those with children.

Exploring Taiwan with Kids: Essential Tips for Parents Considering a Teaching Adventure

After all, travel is one of the most educational things you can do with your child, so as a TEFL professional, working overseas could be the rewarding experience that your whole family has been looking for.

Taiwan has earned a reputation as one of the best places for expats to live, and it isn’t hard to see why.

Ranking among Asia’s safest countries, its people are friendly and welcoming, and with such a wide variety of landscapes ranging from peaceful gardens to bustling cities, it’s an amazing destination to explore and discover exciting new things.

Why Relocate To Taiwan With Kids?

As a TEFL certified professional, living and teaching in Taiwan, the world is your oyster when it comes to deciding where to live and work. You have so many options open to you, from teaching English online to students all over the globe from the location of your choice to relocating permanently to a single location.

Of course, as a parent, one of your first considerations will be your child. So, if you’ll be travelling with children in tow, why choose Taiwan?

You’ll be pleased to discover there are plenty of reasons. Taiwan isn’t only one of the world’s safest countries, it’s also an incredibly convenient place to live. Public transport is easily accessible and offers comprehensive coverage, there are plenty of stores selling everything you could possibly need, and you’ll never need to search for a place to eat as there are affordable, child-friendly restaurants all around.

Most importantly, though, is how friendly the people are. The locals are welcoming to everyone, but especially so to families with youngsters, and your little ones will be received with open arms no matter where they go.

Nevertheless, if you’re thinking of teaching English in Taiwan, whether on a long-term basis or as part of a round-the-world voyage of discovery, you could benefit from our top tips to help you and your children make the most of the experience.

How To Get Around Taiwan With Your Family

Taiwan’s public transport system is excellent, with an extremely efficient train service between major cities.

Both the regular train, or TRA, and the High Speed train or HSR, offer free travel to children aged under 6 or under 115cm in height as long as they share your seat. Children under 12 or below 150cm can benefit from half price tickets, so it’s very affordable to travel far afield and see all the key sights.

In Taipei, the MRT is a convenient way to get around the city, with children aged under 6 or under 115cm travelling for free.

The cars have dark blue seats that are designated especially for those who have greatest need, including those travelling with young children, although often passengers in standard sits will give their seat up for parents with toddlers or babies.

Do I Enrol My Children In A Public School?

If you’re planning to work as an English teacher in Taiwan for any length of time and have school-aged children, you’ll need to consider their education.

ou can choose from bilingual private schools, international schools or public schools. Your home address will dictate which public school your children will attend, so it’s worth doing some research before finding a place to live so you can be sure of choosing a school that you like.

One of the advantages of sending your children to a public school is that they can fully immerse themselves in the local culture, and you, in turn, can become an integral part of the community.

Your children will be able to learn Mandarin and experience a completely different way of life, while you will have the opportunity to meet other parents and forge a network of friends.

Potential Challenges Of Exploring Taiwan With Children

When you’re exploring Taiwan with your children, there are a few potential challenges to be aware of. None are insurmountable, but it pays to be prepared before you arrive.

One thing you should be aware of is that locals may sometimes take photos of your children, and they may not always ask your permission. They may also give them gifts such as candy or cookies. It’s always best to accept presents like these to avoid causing offence.

Another thing to note is that cars, not pedestrians, have right of way on the roads in Taiwan, so you’ll need to be especially vigilant with your children when crossing the street. You’ll find that some areas lack footpaths too, so it’s particularly important to take care.

With this in mind, you may want to consider whether or not it’s worthwhile bringing a pram or pushchair with you if you’re travelling with a toddler. Small umbrella-fold models are usually best as they’re light enough to carry up and down stairs.

The climate can pose another possible issue too. Summers are exceptionally humid and hot, and even Autumn and Spring can be fairly warm. You should plan your clothing accordingly, and make sure you take plenty of sun protection with you wherever you go so your little ones don’t get burned.

If you’re living for any length of time in one of Taiwan’s cities, and especially Taipei, you’ll find that you’ll almost certainly be living in an apartment, which will typically be pretty small and without any kind of outdoor space. This could be a big culture shock depending on where you were living before, and you will need to check out public parks and green spaces nearby so your little ones can run around outside and blow off steam.

One last consideration, especially for those relocating to Taiwan on a long-term basis with older children is the very different school culture here. Teenagers will find school far more competitive than at home, and they’ll be given a lot more homework too. Hours are also longer, so your youngsters will need to be prepared for this change before you arrive.

What To See And Do In Taiwan With Children

Whether you’re planning to base yourself in one city and visit the rest of the country during your weekends and holidays. Or whether you’re going to stay on the move, visiting different regions before heading off to another country, you’ll find there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Taiwan, even with children.

Here are just a few of the top activities that both you and your little ones will enjoy:

What To See In Taipei

As the capital of Taiwan, Taipei is full of kid-friendly attractions that parents are sure to love too.

The Maokong Gondola and Taipei Zoo are top of the list. As the biggest zoo in Asia, there’s plenty of animals to discover here, with pandas being a highlight. It’s also home to a dinosaur museum and insectarium. You can buy a combined ticket with the gondola, with some glass bottomed cable cars for the fearless!

The Taipei 101 Observatory is another must-see attraction with the fastest lift in the world to take you to the building’s 89th floor.

You could combine some retail therapy with entertainment at the Miramar Department Store where you’ll find a 95m-high Ferris Wheel as well a carousel and other small kids’ rides.

If your children, or you yourself, love animals, there are some unusual cafes to visit. Cat cafes have become popular around the world, but only in Taipei will you find a capybara or reptile café!

There are even child-friendly activities to enjoy once the sun has gone down. The Shilin Night Market is home to fun children’s games as well as food stalls where you can find some delicious snacks.

What To See In Kaohsiung

As the biggest city in Southern Taiwan, Kaohsiung has plenty of kid-friendly attractions too including the Hamasan Railway Museum where little ones can ride on the mini trains and the Kaohsiung Zoo with its interactive water fountains and petting zoo.

Kids of all ages will also love the Suzuka Circuit theme park where they can explore a child-friendly department store with its playcentres, toy stores, arcades, and VR centre, play on the trampolines, try their hands at bowling, or ride the go-karts.

What To See In Taichung

The main attraction for families with children in Taichung is the National Museum of Science thanks to its impressive dinosaur exhibit, with animatronic creatures that move and make noises! Lihpao Land waterpark and amusement park is also well worth a visit.

Top Tips For Families Relocating To Taiwan

Although moving to Taiwan to work as an overseas English teacher and bringing your family along with you can seem daunting, it’s incredibly rewarding too. Still, it’s best to be prepared before you set off, so here are some top tips for you to follow to smooth your way:

  • Involve your children from the very beginning. Discuss where you’ll be living, what you’ll be doing, and where they’ll be going to school from the outset so they feel part of the arrangements. Taking virtual tours of Taiwan via Google Maps or Google Earth can help them feel closer to their new country before you go.
  • Plan ahead for all the fun things that you’re going to do when you arrive so you already have an action-packed itinerary for your weekends and holidays.
  • Help your child make friends in their new country by signing them up for clubs where they can participate in the hobbies they enjoy while also meeting new people with similar interests.
  • Encourage your children to keep in touch with their friends back home using Skype, Zoom, and email.
  • Give your child a journal so they can keep a record of their feelings, their experiences, and everything they see and do during their travels.

With these helpful suggestions in mind, you’ll be well on your way to an amazing teaching adventure in Taiwan!

For more top travel tips when heading overseas with kids, check out our Family Travel section.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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