@micheal2015 Did they ask you to go abroad to change visa type? I'm currently on a spouse visa/RP and will need to change to a work visa later this year but I'm worried they might ask me to leave to get the Z visa from the embassy in my home country.
There are several charity and NGO programs that place English teachers in rural schools around Yunnan. Food and board should be covered but you won't recieve a salary beyond some token sum. As others said rural yunnan is a world apart from Chinese cities, life is tough but people are friendly.
I've recently been apartment hunting. A 1 bedroom (not studio) inside the second ring road averages from 1900 in a new high rise to 1400 in an older building with no elevator. Prices obviously vary according to location, whether it is facing south and condition.
It's possible to find a place for less of you're willing to rent a ground floor unrenovated olderplace with limited public transport that's facing North.