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Study Abroad in Shanghai

Study Abroad in Shanghai

Shanghai may not have pandas like Chengdu or rice terraces like the south, but it is every bit as worthy of your time when deciding to study abroad in China. The reasons are endless for why you should choose the ‘Paris of the East’ for your study abroad programme. Below, we have tried to condense the endlessness of the reasons into just seven.

It has food from all 23 provinces in China

When you click off this article, keep in mind one thing: Shanghai is a foodie’s paradise. Forget what you learned from Chinese takeaways, this city attracts a diverse selection of the best flavors from all over the country for its hungry citizens. There’s something for everyone, such as delicious xiǎolóngbāo (soup-filled dumplings), street noodles prepared before your eyes, or, for the more adventurous, the local’s favorite–stinky tofu. What’s more, you can experience this wide variety of food all in one place: the popular Yunnan Road. This street has specialty cuisine from all 23 provinces in China – in just one place.

It’s the third-largest city in the world

To put it into perspective, Shanghai is about eight times larger than New York City, and has at least five million more people living within its city limits. A city this big means more of everything: more to do, more to see, more activities, events, and life everywhere you look. A city that big can be overwhelming, but studying abroad gives you the chance to pick up and move there knowing you’ll have a built-in cohort of fellow international students at the university of your choice.

It is a melting pot

Shanghai society has different cultures woven throughout. Shanghai has always been a meeting point of East and West, and continues to be a confluence point of cultures today. Throughout its history, Shanghai has been a major port for Europe and Asia. At points, it has been occupied by European and American concessions and also housed a community of Jewish refugees during the war. Paired with modern industry, this unique past set the stage for the global Shanghai you see today. This cultural collage can seem intimidating, and the only way to overcome this is to go out and immerse yourself in this mix of cultures.

It has an amazing public transit system

Though it is an incredible place to wander and explore on foot, Shanghai is well connected by their transport network and particularly by metro, less than $1 USD will get you almost anywhere in the city in less than an hour! Bike sharing is also wildly popular in Shanghai, giving you more ways to see new places, or change up your commute. Develop a relationship with your new home as you stumble upon new neighborhoods, restaurants, museums, and friendly Shanghai residents. Some of the best places to travel to in the city are Yu Gardens, Jing’an Temple, and the Bund.

It can be a boost to your CV

In the past 20 years, China has positioned itself to be a major player in almost every industry. This means companies from all over the globe have some connection with China and are on the lookout for employees with experience in this market. While abroad, you can practice your networking vocabulary during a language class, visit major factories and ports in the city if you study supply something like chain management, or even take on a full-time summer internship in Shanghai. Gaining internship experience, studying at a Chinese university, as well as practicing Mandarin in the commercial and financial capital of China are sure to make you stand out from the crowd.

You don’t have to be constantly budget conscious

For example, a meal at a dining hall can cost only c.10 RMB ($1.48 USD). You’ll also learn the art of bargaining – consider everything sold in a market or on the street open for a discussion. It may seem daunting at first, but once you get the hang striking a bargain in Shanghai you’ll feel like a local. A souvenir you were able to haggle for in Mandarin (or maybe just non-verbally, which is also a skill)!

Art and architecture away from the skyscrapers and lights

Shanghai’s global influences and traditional Chinese culture collide to make this city a feast for the eyes. Eastern and Western, as well as old and new architecture coexist side by side. The beautiful Jing’an Temple is nestled directly amid the hustle and bustle of skyscrapers while an art-deco slaughterhouse-turned-shopping center stands by the old Jewish Ghetto. Walking around the Bund may remind you of Europe while ultra-modern skyscrapers like the China Pearl Tower sparkle across the river. Shanghai is also home to a vibrant arts scene with museums big and small throughout, such as student favorites like the Shanghai Museum, Yuzmuseum’s famous Rain Room, and the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum.

SEE ALSO: Study Abroad in Beijing

Study Abroad in Beijing

Study Abroad in Beijing

While looking for the perfect destination to study abroad can be overwhelming, it can also be very fun, and once the choice is made, the adventure of a lifetime starts taking place.

If your desires are further afield than the West, look no further than Beijing. It will be a culture shock, it will be exciting, it will be totally different from what you are used to. Below are some reasons that studying abroad in Beijing will be worth it.


Studying in Asia is actually cheap in comparison to studying in most European countries. China is no different. In fact, it’s cheaper to travel, eat, and live in Beijing than it is in other Chinese cities, making it a destination that is easy to afford for college students living on a tight budget. You’ll find that by exploring local restaurants and markets, you’ll be able to eat as cheap as $10 per day. If you are worried about affording getting to China, many cross-cultural programmes are in place that offer scholarships.

Cultural difference

Chinese culture is vast. Within that vastness is a thrilling diversity and fascinating history. Through living in Beijing you’ll learn how Chinese people live now, from viewing the Buddhist temples that are scattered across the city, as well as learning about household and professional manners and norms and local cuisine. Furthermore, the more time you spend in Beijing, the more experience you have talking to locals, will teach you about the Eastern and more collectivist point of view that they have. You will emerge from your studies a more empathetic and understanding person.

Chinese cuisine

From noodles, to soup, to fish, to chicken claws, to milk tea, to shrimp and cucumber dumpling, you will fall in love with the cuisine and will get the chance to eat in restaurants with dishes from across the world. As many capital cities are, Beijing is a hub for different cultures, so if you need comfort food because you miss home, for as low as a price of USD $1 you can enjoy a familiar breakfast. Likewise, if you are wanting to explore culinary horizons, Beijing has you sorted.

Unique classes

Although all we want to do is travel when we visit another country, taking classes is the major focus of spending time abroad. But classes in Beijing will focus on topics you’ve never explored in such depth before, China’s history, language, economy and culture and will be closer to the Confucian style of teaching – longer classes but less times per week. You won’t have a better opportunity to learn about China than when you study in Beijing.

Endless exploring

There are countless neighborhoods to explore in Beijing. You can go to Houhai, one of the many hutongs in the city, and get on a boat around the lake after visiting a tea house; visit Sanlitun to dance in the best clubs after a shopping spree, walk around the 798 art district and taste traditional noodles, and visit the Olympic Park. There’s a different activity you can do each weekend, so that by the end of the semester you will know which places to visit the next time you travel to Beijing.

Access to Asia

Not only can you explore Beijing, but also travel to other wonderful cities, towns, historical sites, and parks. The good thing about living in the capital is that you’ll have transportation connections to almost every single part of Asia and the world! And you can travel by plane, bus, or train.

Professional advantages

Living in a big city has many advantages – one of them being the vast job field and the wide array of professional opportunities. If you’re looking to do an internship, Beijing is the place to go, bursting with businesses looking for experienced and international individuals who will bring a different perspective.

Art attack

Apart from having its own art district with art galleries and museums at every corner, Beijing is a melting pot of art from all over China, having traditional Chinese opera, acrobatic shows, museums, underground and stadium concerts…you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the world of Chinese art, meet artists from all over the world, and see things you have never seen before.

SEE ALSO: Study Abroad in Berlin