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Beijing Update...

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Anna is busy studying hard at the No. 80 High School in Beijing. Since meeting President Hu Jintao in September, Anna has been able to explore the city and the larger metropolitan area. The program has high expectations and the students are tested frequently which means plenty of evening studying. Anna's roommate Perry's native language is Russian so they are forced to communicate in Mandarin. That helps to sharpen their language skills! Anna gets to leave the dorms on weekends when she visits her host family.

She has had a visit from Christopher Hibbard,Fryeburg Academy's Director of Admission, who was in Beijing to attend educational conferences. Mr. Hibbard was also kind enough to carry a suitcase of items that Anna forgot to pack! She also met up with her old FA friend Eliza who is in Beijing for a semester.

Street vendors are everywhere and Anna enjoys the variety of foods that are available. She also says that she is now quite adventurous in restaurants--that is frog on the end of her chopsticks!

Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in China so today is another day of classes and studies. One thing she is thankful for is that now that November 15th has passed, the heat in the buildings has been turned on. Unlike her last stay, we are now able to Skype with her regularly as well as chat on the phone.

Anna passes along "Happy Thanksgiving" wishes to everyone back home.

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  1. Jim Rowe on

    Thank you for update. Glad Anna's experience in China going well. It will open up many doors for her in the future.
    • bj80sucks on

      The following is a statement of my experience while working at Beijing No. 80 High School (北京第八十中学). If you are thinking about working there or find someone named Li Dequan (李德泉) as part of any organization you have been made an offer from then you should consider working elsewhere. I was told by Director Li that I would be teaching A-level or AP classes, but was made to teach other classes despite my pointing out the lie on his part. I was not picked up from the airport, had to take a taxi, and was not reimbursed for the cost. I was locked in the building overnight by Li Dequan then threatened with death afterwards and yet he claimed he didn't know I was even locked in the international department. The teachers were required to participate in a “voluntary” Marzano teacher training conference and were never paid for attending the whole weekend event. The air quality is extremely poor due to poor ventilation, abundance of dust, and formaldehyde and other volatile chemicals that are released from constant remodeling. Because of the poor air I got headaches within 1 hour of being in the building and sometimes my hands would start shaking within a few hours and other times my tongue would tingle and I would have a bad taste in my mouth from breathing the air. While on sick leave, I was fired and told I needed to leave the dormitory within a few hours. I returned all the school property and was taken to a hotel which the school paid for, but on the way there I was told that I needed to give the school over my passport such that they could cancel my residence permit. I did not hand over my passport and over 3 weeks I was repeatedly told that if I did not give my passport to the school then I would be breaking the law and may be blacklisted, if I did not cancel my residence permit with the Exit and Entry Bureau then I would be breaking the law, and finally that if I did not shorten my residence permit then the school would cancel my residence permit. They lied about it all. The school promised to give me a new release letter (since the old one was false), my cancellation of FEC (foreign experts certificate), not to cancel my residence permit, and to transfer all the documents to my new employer; but, they lied about that as well. My lawyer and I finally filed a case against the school, won the case, and now the school is appealing it. The suit includes request for payment of violations of my contract, of violations of labor law towards me, and of violation of labor law towards the Chinese government. The school has prevented me from fulfilling the contract of my new employer by not giving me the documents that they are legally required to give. As I wrote in the beginning, if you are thinking about working at Beijing No. 80 High School (北京第八十中学) or find someone named Li Dequan (李德泉) as part of the organization then you should consider working elsewhere. Also at the school are secretaries such as Zhang Jing/Selina (张静) and Xu Lei/Ethan, Director Wang Jing (王瑾), old Vice Principal Li Xiaojun (李晓君), new Vice Principal Jordan and Principal Tian Shulin (田树林) all of which you should avoid as well since they seem nice in the beginning but if they think you will expose their lies and deceit they will do everything in their power to fire you or harm you another way. The complete story can be found here: