Frequently Asked Questions
For more information on what to pack, please see What to Pack.
Where will orientation take place?
- Orientation will take place in the city or county where ETAs are assigned for the grant period.
What will happen after I arrive?
- Local Fulbright staff will meet ETAs in the airport arrivals area. We will have a bus to pick you up at the airport and take you to your site.
- You will receive NT 20,000 (in cash) upon arrival to assist with any immediate expenses.
The first few days of orientation will be focused on getting ETAs situated. This includes moving into housing for the month of orientation, purchasing a phone plan, and going to the store for any needs.
What does orientation entail?
- Orientation will take place during the month of August and run on weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm. Most evenings and weekends will be free for ETAs.
- Orientation will be focused on training and preparing new ETAs for the coming school year. This includes teaching and cultural awareness workshops as well as lessons on driving a scooter (a major mode of transportation in Taiwan).
- Local staff will help grantees open a bank account and purchase a phone plan in Taiwan.
- Apartments will be assigned temporarily for the month of orientation randomly. Final housing assignments will be determined after schools are assigned to ETAs.
- ETAs will visit local elementary schools, which will be assigned by the end of the month. Placements will be made according to a preference sheet completed by ETAs.
What does life as an ETA in Taiwan generally look like?
While lifestyles will vary based on the different regional placements, the following are basic guidelines for what to expect as an ETA in Taiwan.
- ETAs will be living with 1-3 other ETAs in an apartment. Each person will have his/her own room.
- The Fulbright stipend will be transferred through direct deposit on (or before) the first of every month. Fulbright staff will help ETAs set up a local Taiwanese bank account after arrival.
- All grantees will be registered for Taiwan's National Health Insurance, which is recognized as one of the leading public health care systems in the world. This is separate from U.S. Department of State’s ASPE insurance. Taiwan's National Health Insurance covers the vast majority of medical issues and is very affordable.
- Many goods and items (e.g. toiletries, dishware, etc.) are widely available in Taiwan for a reasonable price; thus, it is not necessary for ETAs to pack excessively. However, not all American/western brands are available in Taiwan; if available, they may be more expensive.
- School dress is generally very casual although this may vary by school. It is recommended that ETAs do not wear revealing clothing (e.g. mini-skirts); they should also not wear flip-flops.
- Mandarin Chinese courses are available at local universities and language centers. Prices depend on the class format (e.g. group vs. private tutoring). However, Mandarin Chinese knowledge is not required. Some schools may even request that their ETAs refrain from speaking Chinese with their students. Regardless, having some background in Mandarin can make life in Taiwan easier and more fulfilling.
What is the school year schedule and vacation policy?
- Taiwanese elementary schools generally begin classes at the end of August. There will be a 3-4 week break between semesters during the Lunar New Year. The school year will conclude at the end of June.
- Typical U.S. holidays (e.g. Christmas, Thanksgiving) are workdays in Taiwan.
- ETAs have five days of emergency leave and seven days of sick leave from school. Emergency leave is for situations such as scooter repair or running other errands.