requirement...Associates Degree??????

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Hopefully someone could help me with this,

Most of the job postings on this site ask as a requirement to have a bachelor's degree or an Associates degree alongside a tesol/tesl certificate.

I am not quite sure what an Associate degree is but when I did some research most definitions said an Associate degree is earned in a given field upon completion of a two-year program (15 credits per semester) at an accredited post-secondary institution.

But the term 'Associate degree' is not used in Canada - instead the term Diploma is used after a two year program completion at a post-secondary institution. However under certain job requirements they state that diplomas are not recognized by The Bureau of Education unless it is the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree.

A Bachelor's degree is earned after four years. Now, I have heard of being able to recieve diploma's after 8 months or 1 year of college. Associate degree's however are recieved after 2 years, not four years.

I am asking because I want to teach English in Taiwan. I have an attended an accredited post-secondary institution for 2 years, full time and have earned 72 credits (18 credits per semester) and graduated with a 2 year diploma.
Would that not be equivalent, if not the same as an Associates degree?????

I have also earned an Advanced TESOL certificate in Teaching Adolecents English.

Would someone be able to clarify this Associated degree/diploma dilemma for me?

Thank you,

For the moment, this isn't going to clarify your question. However, welcome to Taiwan. ;) There isn't a difference from my experience between diploma and degree. It really depends on who is in the government office. If you check through this below, I found it on

You will find how to go about getting a work visa in Taiwan. They want some kind of legit piece of paper that will get you the visa. Due to your background, does that work? Degree or Diploma should suffice in its wording on the document in order to that your ARC. Does anyone have any direct experience with using an Associates degree/diploma (again I don't think its a technical definition they are looking for)?

The visa process for Taiwan can be quite complicated due to the nature of the political environment in Taiwan. Visas are obtained through Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices in your country, not through embassies or consulates. (For listings, check the Embassies in (your country) There are many loopholes, but recommends obtaining a Legal Working Visa and Alien Resident Certificate (ARC).

What you need:

To legally teach in Taiwan, you will need to obtain a Work Permit and Alien Resident Certificate (ARC).

How to get it:

Most teachers arrive in Taiwan and then subsequently begin the Visa process. It is possible to obtain the proper visa, work permit and ARC before you arrive, but most teachers and schools prefer to complete the process once the teacher is in Taiwan.

A quick reference of steps.

Step 1:
Find an employer or setup interviews upon your arrival. This can be done by posting your resume on and browsing the jobs section and applying by email or phone.

Step 2:
In your home country, find the nearest Taipei Economic and Cultural Office and apply for a Visitor Visa (60 day multiple or single entry is fine). The process takes from 1-3 days.

Document checklist:
(a) Completed Visa application form
(b) Passport with 6 months validity
(c) Proof of flight in and out of Taiwan
(d) Four passport size photos
(e) Bank statement
(f) Processing fee (cash only)

Step 3:
Enter Taiwan and find a teaching position. Once you have completed contract negotiations you can begin the visa process.

Things to bring:
(a) Degree or 2 year college diploma
(b) TESOL/TEFL certificates
(c) Resume and cover letters

Step 4:
Apply for a work permit. This will probably be taken care of by your employer. You may be asked to fill out forms, submit documents such as degrees, certificates, resumes, 5-10 passport size photos or to visit government offices with your passport.

Step 5:
Apply for an Alien Resident Certificate. After receiving your employment approval letter, your work permit, which will be issued by the government authority for employment in the ROC, you need to apply for your Resident Visa at a Ministry Of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) branch. You will then be permitted to apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC.) If you have been issued a Resident Visa, you must apply for an ARC at the nearest city or county police headquarters. Your employer should also assist you in doing this.

Documents Required:
(a) Application form (Form V-I)
(b) Employment Approval letter issued by the government authority for your employment in the ROC
(c) Your original passport and a photocopy of it. Your passport will contain your resident Visa and will be returned after verification.
(d) Marriage certificate, if applicable (Must be authorized by by a notary public and legalized by the ROC Consulate or functional equivalent)
(e) Two recent passport size photos (2” photographs color or b&w)
(f) Birth certificates of expatriate's children, if applicable (must show the name of the parents and be notarized and legalized)
(g) All ARC applicants must have a health-check/AIDS. (You must have the health check at a govenment approved hospital.)

Note: The visa processing time could take from 1-2 months. Your Visitor Visa is valid for 1-2 months. As long as you can prove the working visa is processing, you can extend your tourist visa at the local police headquarters until the process is complete. However, in some cases, teachers may have to leave Taiwan to extend their visas. Most teachers in these circumstances, go to Hong Kong or Thailand and return with a new Visitor Visa. Usually, if this is necessary, the school will assist in paying for the costs of the trip. The ARC is valid for 12 months and may be renewed for up to 3 years.

IMPORTANT: This is a guideline ONLY. It is very important to coordinate the visa process with your employer and the Taiwanese Economic Trade Office in your country.
Hi Nicole....I am the Director of Eastern Canada operations and have taught the course many times. I also have been working with various Universities including a U.S. University in New York which recognizes our courses for credit. They offer Associate University degrees. I attended a meeting in which a Chinese rep was hiring University graduates and when I asked what the status was of an Associate Degree (which you quite correctly noted as being the equivalent of two years of a University degree in Canda) he stated that as long as the application stated "degree" they would be hired in government schools. My associate Heidy provided a very detailed and informative answer in her posting re: applying for Taiwan. She is correct that some countries don't know the difference between diploma or degree - but others do. In case you wish to pursue an Associate Degree and wish to have advanced standing based on your previous work, send me an email and I will assist. Many people from Toronto are doing this and have found that they only need to complete a few courses - and on line - in order to finish an Associate Degree since they have diploma courses, plus our Foundation and several specializations which are credits. Indicate your interest by sending your contact info to me at Jim
Thank you for that information Heidy and Jim.

Heidy you mentioned that not all countries care about the difference between degrees and diplomas. It seems like Taiwan is specific in regards to what level of education they are requiring their applicants to have. Would you happen to know which countries in Asia would not be so specific with degrees/diplomas? I want to go to Taiwan but if thats not an option then I should probably look into countries that would consider my education an asset.
This is all informative for those interested in heading to Taiwan to teach, but what about those who want to work in other countries such as in South Korea? From what I have been researching a Bachelor's degree is one of the requirements to teach in South Korea as noted on many job postings.

My two questions are:

1) What if a person has a college degree and a Foundation Certificate from GTC will this be enough to secure a teaching contract in South Korea?

2)What is being done by GTC to assist those individuals with the ever increasing demand for a bachelor's degree in most countries?