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East China Institute of Technology, Fuzhou, Jiangxi
Dear Fellow Teachers,
If you want to see the REAL China and feel part of a community, then Fuzhou could be what you're looking for.

Fuzhou (jiangxi) is not to be confused with Fuzhou (Fujian). The former has a population of just 200,000. The main income is from textiles and agriculture. It is essentially a poor area of China but there's enough to keep you busy. Roller-skaking, bowling, the waterpark, a walk by the river or stroll through the People's Park. 

In terms of food, The 4 star hotel, the Malihua, offers a Western style banquet (all you can eat) for 38 Yuan, including orange juice and beer. There is a CBC (like KFC) and several burger / fast food places. Several Western style restaurants, such as Chai Tian number 1 and 2. These serve steaks, pizza, fries, waffles, ice cream, but are a little expensive.

Most of the foreign teachers take the 2 hour bus journey into Nanchang one a month, for a Pizza Hut and Wallmart visit. Jiangxi also has the beautiful Lushan Mountain (where many of the communist leaders used to go for their holidays), this is a pricy place though!

There are currently 3 schools in Fuzhou that employ foreign teachers. My college is Fuzhou Teachers College (or East China Institiute of Tehnology North branch - as it's now 'neatly' known!) The college only employs VSO volunteers (2000RMB a month for over 60 hours). So this probably doesn't interest most readers, unless you're feeling particularly charitable. 

The Central Branch of the College has 10,000 students and an excellent English Department. This college receives all kinds of grants for improvements and is trying for University status. There are currently 7 foreign teachers working here. You can expect to earn 4000 - 6000RMB a month (40 hours), depending on experience and / or Masters, PhD. Includes Very Very nice accommodation.

Number 1 middle school also employ foreign teachers, although they have struggled this term to recruit. They are currently offering 3,500RMB month for 40 - 50 hours.

"5000RMB - That's terrible" - I hear you cry. Just to put this into perspective….. Jiangxi is a poor province. Noodles for lunch cost 2RMB, a meal with fish, rice and veg costs about 5RMB a head. A 80 minute foot massage is 30RMB. A taxi is 3RMB. So believe me, you would struggle to spend 1,000RMB a month in this place!!!!

I've been living and teaching in Fuzhou now for just over 1 year. I've had foreign teacher friends leave after one term and friends who never want to leave. Fuzhou is clearly not for everyone, but if you do want to live in a real community in real China, then you could do worse than Fuzhou.

Jo Taylor
Fuzhou Teachers College
154 Yangchen Road
Fuzhou City, Jiangxi 344000