Xiamen does not feel like mainland China. Since it’s an island and due to heavy outside Western and Japanese contact, this is not so surprising. Xiamen more closely resembles Macau than any other Chinese city, and its citizens and universities have close ties with Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Xiamen University was the first university in China founded by overseas Chinese.
In terms of being a Fulbrighter, Xiamen is clearly a wonderful placement. Great city. Good apartment. Lots of institutional support since the university president was a Fulbrighter and XU has 42 Chinese Fulbrighters on faculty.
Yesterday we toured XU’s beautiful campus…almost as nice as Zhongshan but with palms rather than banyans. We also went to Putuo Temple, now one of my two favorite temples in China along with Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Today we went to Gulangyu Island, filled with international and colonial flavor.