…I think Scott Sommer’s analyses of people coming here as economic migrants is definitely on target. I have noted a marked upswing in letters like this, to the tune of 2-3 a day:

Hello. My name is T. I saw your website a few weeks ago and it looks real awsome. Anyway I noticed that you said on your site that you can legally teach english in Taiwan on a student visa. Do you need to go to school for a certain amount of time? Also, one guy told me that teachers who go on the regular 60 day tourist visa (teachers with no degree) usually pick up a Taipei Times news paper and look for teaching jobs there. Which other ways do teachers use to find work? Is it really that easy to find a job with no university degree? And if so, how do they avoid getting caught? Do the cops only raid certain schools? Well anyway I hope you can answer my questions. thanks.


And this one too:


Hi my name is O_____
I from Quebec in Canada, .. here we have a different educational system, for us after the high-school it is the College where most of the students gets their diploma and then go for works… Just 20 % OF THOSE STUDENT GET TO UNIVERSITY, so for most of us, we have the professionnal or (collegial) diploma!!

So, for me , I’m a travel agent since 3 years but the idea to teach english and make money is very interesting.!! Do you think that I can be a foreigner and teaching english or french even if I don’t have a University Diploma !?????


Bad English seems to be typical of such letters, but most typical is the idea of making money without a degree. Another typical marker is that they ask me questions already answered on my Taiwan website. Indeed, I recently upgraded my Index page so that there is a pointer right at the top to the page for people attempting to come here without degrees that addresses this question: Can I Teach Illegally in Taiwan?

Think they’ll pay attention? Naw.