A few weeks ago I sent a very brief survey to a class of my former students as a way of checking on their progress since graduation. Out of the 20+ students I sent the questions to, 9 replied. Those who did not reply may have been too busy to respond, or without internet (due to geography or poverty), or simply had no interest in participating. These students attended a low-level university (4-year program) in Guangxi province. The questions I asked were: 1. What kind of company do you currently work for? How much money do you earn each month? How many hours do you work each week? Where is it located? 2. Are you satisfied with your work? 3. Does your job make use […]
Today I want to illuminate what life is really like for the average Chinese person that has yet to fully reap the rewards of China’s rapid development. We’ll be looking at a friend’s monthly budget up close, which I think you’ll find quite interesting. From other discussions with students, this seems to be a fairly typical budget. She is about 20 years old, and is in her final semester of college (a three year program). Her school requires her to complete an internship as part of her degree, the hospital gives her practically no work to do and she takes home no salary. All in all it seems to be a huge waste of time and money for her, but for some reason it is necessary for […]
One of the fun things about living in China, is that there are very few questions that are considered off-limits (less fun when they are asking you), so I make the most of it and dive right into the personal lives of complete strangers (much to my modest wife’s embarrassment). One of the first questions I get when I start chatting with a stranger is about my salary, I think it’s more out of a curiosity of American life, than actually caring about how rich or poor I am. Through these exchanges the last few years I’ve managed to get a pretty good picture of how wages vary throughout China. I remember being surprised at how eager students were in Longzhou (a tiny, middle of […]
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