Teaching English in Taiwan has been on the downturn for the past seven years now.
There are several factors playing into this. First, the birthrate has been declining for many years now. In Taipei city for example, there used to be about 300 000 births per year and this has declined to less than 150 000.
The kindergarten jobs have disappeared not entirely but where there were three teaching hours teaching 10 to 16 children five times a week there are now only 30 minutes five times a week left. The government's regulations do not permit teaching English to children under the age of 7. Ten years ago, nobody cared about this and teaching English to this age was a big market.
If you found a morning job teaching here in Taiwan now, you can call yourself lucky. Even though the private teaching sector is not what it used to be there is still a good chance for you to pick up some privates in the late afternoon or evening hours.
The problem with low birthrates has just begun to affect the junior and senior high school business. Many high schools are faced with low enrollment numbers. While some schools are trying to compensate by offering more English classes to better compete, other schools have less hours to offer.
If you are coming to Taiwan now, you will need much more money to get by than ten years ago. Finding a job within a week was no problem at all. You had to learn to say "no" to people. There were so many hours available that it was easy to fill up your weekly schedule in no time. It can take you now up to one or two month just getting a starting job, three times a week, two or three hour, or something like that. This will not pay your living.
I cannot advise you anymore to find a nice apartment first and then start looking for a job. Now it is the other way around. First find a job and see where you end up working and then find a place near it to stay. You will need at least 36 000 NT$ to move into an apartment if the rent is 12 000NT$ per month. That is more than thousand US$ and by the time you start working you will have to pay the second month rent plus electricity, gas, tel, etc.
If you are adventurous and do have a lot of determination, you can come with a ticked and a thousand bucks. If you, however, are planing on coming here for a long stay, make sure you have enough cash to support yourself till you are settled all the way.
For more readings on teaching English in Taiwan go here. Teaching English in Taiwan