Living in Huaqiao: Food at KCIS (Guest Post)

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Written by Olivia Hall, 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.

They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch but here at KCIS we are lucky enough to enjoy just that. Not only is our lunch free, but the options we are offered are varied and cover a range of culinary preferences. Here is what’s on offer:

Chinese A and B – these options are usually similar and include a portion or two of meat (including fish) and a couple of portions of vegetables. They also come with soup and your choice of fruit or yoghurt.

Chinese Noodles – this consists of a huge bowl of noodles, a side of veggies, and fruit or yoghurt. Wonton soup day is always a popular choice!

Global Cuisine – the title may be slightly misleading unless your definition of ‘global’ is limited to Asia. In saying that, Korean Ddukbokkie, Singaporean noodles and Thai curries are pretty darn delicious.

Italian – pasta, pasta, pasta with a side of veggies and soup. As always, you can pick up your fruit or yoghurt.

Sandwich – just like in Subway! Enjoy a different meat each day with the vegetables of your choosing. A cookie is the definite draw card for the sandwich line.

Vegetarian – now open to anyone, the vegetarian option is basically Chinese A and B sans meat. Spring rolls are a good choice and you always get a fruit juice to wash it all down.

If you decide to get dinner at the Cafeteria (25 RMB a pop), you’ll find the options similar to lunch, although from time to time pizza, burgers and fries make an appearance. You can also enjoy an 8 RMB breakfast which usually consists of some sort of bread, congee and milky tea.

How to get your hands on a free lunch:


Head to to check out your options for lunch. You’ll need an ID number to log in – see HR personnel for this.

Once you’re logged in, you can peruse the options. Hover your curser over the category for each day to check out the detailed menu. You can select up to two options per day for lunch so that when you show up to eat, you can go with what really appeals to you! Click submit, check your order then hit confirm. You’ve now ordered lunch for the following week.

  • Can’t remember what you ordered?

You need to complete your order by 5PM on Wednesday for the following week so it’s more than likely you’ll forget what you ordered when you actually get to the cafeteria for lunch. Luckily, you can jog your memory by scanning your ID card on the machines just outside the cafeteria door before you join the cue.

You can also check your order online at Note that you can also order breakfast and dinner, however these will be charged 8 and 25 RMB respectively.

  • Join the Queue

Here are KCIS we enjoy many excellent privileges including our very own onsite café (Peter Parker). However, cutting in front of students for lunch is not one of them.

Unfortunately, we have to line up just like everyone else. Yes, we’re all pretty busy but you can make it work for you by avoiding the rush hour at the cafeteria. Try 11:10 for an early lunch, or 11:40 and 12:10 for a late lunch free of ques. The most congested times are 10:50, 11:20, 11:50 and 12:20 when students are released to their lunch breaks.


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