Young Taiwanese who go abroad on working holidays earn more on average than their peers from other countries and save more money, according to a survey released on Wednesday.
On average, Taiwanese working holidaymakers earn NT$360,000 (US$12,273) a year, while those from other countries average NT$320,000, the poll conducted by the Kang Wen Cultural and Education Foundation found.
The survey also found Taiwanese had saved NT$130,000 on average, more than one-third of their average income, by the end of their working holiday, the survey showed.
In comparison, other working holidaymakers in Australia did not save any money, and instead spent about NT$400,000, the foundation said.
Most of the Taiwanese respondents said they had joined the working holiday program mainly to broaden their horizons. The other top reasons given were to improve language ability, become more independent and satisfy their curiosity about the world.
Making money, which is often believed to be the main reason why Taiwanese go on working holidays, was 24th on the list of 25 choices on the questionnaire.
In fact, only 5 percent of Taiwanese have been able to make more than NT$1 million from working holiday programs, the poll found.
The average age of Taiwanese on working holidays is 26.3, two years more than those from other countries, according to the poll.
It also found that only 30 percent of Taiwanese working holidaymakers are men, compared with over 50 percent from other countries.
Most Taiwanese respondents said their holidays had helped them become more flexible, open-minded and appreciative of other cultures.
The survey was conducted between Aug. 29 and Sept. 9 among young Taiwanese who worked for more than six months in the past three years in one or more of the seven countries that have working holiday agreements with Taiwan. The poll had 226 valid samples.
The working holiday program came under the spotlight in Taiwan after Business Today magazine published an article about an economics graduate from National Tsing Hua University who was working in a slaughterhouse in Australia under the program.
In response to the story, some people warned that Taiwan is becoming a labor exporting country as an increasing number of young people are joining the working holiday program because wages are higher in other countries than at home.