Living in Huaqiao: Leaving for Weekends (Guest Post)

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Written by Julee Range, this is a chapter of the KCIS Survival Guide. This guide was sent to all new teachers coming to teach at the Kang Chiao International School in Huaqiao.

One of the best ways to stay (mentally) health is to leave Huaqiao as often as possible!

Our holidays are pretty well set for the year. A week for Golden Week in October, a week for Christmas, a couple for Chinese New Year and then a smattering of long weekends during the second semester.

You can apply for extra days here and there but these will be unpaid. If you want to extend a weekend then get in quick as these days are hot property! Please do keep in mind that other people, including Jody, will have to cover your classes so bring you’re a game when it comes to sub plans!! You will also lose your attendance bonus if you take personal leave.

Here’s a quick “how to” on the leave request system:

  1. Go to:
  2. Select KCISEC HR Approval System (second row, first icon).
  3. Sign in with your email username and password.
  4. Select “Fill Form” and then “Leave Request”
  5. Complete the form selecting the appropriate person as your deputy (for international department click KCIS, International Department, Department of Academic Affairs, Jody).
  6. Submit the form and wait for approval!


Make the most of those weekends! Here are five handy places that aren’t Shanghai!


Jiangsu Province

Distance by train from Kunshan South: 11 minutes

Sights: ‘Venice of the Orient’: with 42% of the city covered by water, there are plenty of water ways, rivers, and lakes to explore. Suzhou also offers a number of spectacular traditional Chinese gardens, and an array of great restaurants and nightlife.


Jiangsu Province

Distance by train from Kunshan South: 30 minutes

Sights: Just a little further west of Suzhou, you’ll find her baby sister, Wuxi. Lakes, waterways and excellent parks are in abundance when you need your outdoor fix.


Jiangsu Province

Distance by train from Kunshan South: 2 hours

Sights: if you’re looking for history, culture and heritage, head to Nanjing to check out incredible city walls, temples and mausoleums. You can also check out ‘Purple Mountain’.


Zhejiang Province

Distance by train from Kunshan South: 1.5 hours

Distance by train from Hongqiao: 55 minutes

Sights: West Lake is the big drawn card; a boat ride here is a must do. Renting bikes is cheap and easy!


Shandong Province

Distance by train from Kunshan South: 4 hours

Sights: Taishan is one of China’s sacred mountains; a pilgrimage site for Buddhist and Taoist believers. It’s also a great spot for a spectacular sunrise.


One comment

  1. Hi! I really appreciate this post!
    I am currently applying to teach in China. I was wondering if you were happy teaching and living in a smaller town/city as opposed to a larger one like Beijing or Shanghai?

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