Shanghai is the city with the largest population in China; more than 23 million people lived there in 2010. It is quickly becoming a leading global city due to its influence in various areas, such as commerce, finance, media, and technology. This being said, it is a great place for students who are studying international business, mass communications, and any of the STEM majors to study abroad.
So you have decided that you want to study abroad in Shanghai? That’s awesome! Obviously you have to do the standard tourist things, like visiting The Bund, City of God Temple, and Yuyuan Garden. However, there are a few other things that you should definitely check out while you are studying abroad in Shanghai.
1. Take the Maglev train from the airport. This train ride is sure to please even the most avid speed-demon. The train connects the Shanghai Pudong International Airport with the city, making it easy to get from the airport into the city and vice versa. However, that’s not what is special about this train ride. The Maglev train reaches a speed of 430 km/hour, or 267 mph. That is insanely fast! It only takes a little more than seven minutes to get between the two locations, which makes the 50 yuan ($0.15) trip seem like quite a cheap form of entertainment.
2. Get some exercise in the Fuxing Park. This is one of the few parks in Shanghai where you can walk, run, and get some good cardiovascular exercise. You can also see some very interesting people in this park, such as men in business suits who are taking their caged birds on a stroll or little old ladies sitting in their pajamas, singing opera. Nearby is the former home of Sun Yat-sen, where you can see furniture and books from the early 20th century and get a feel for what Shanghai was like back in the day.
3. Cruise along the Huangpu River. This is a great way to see Shanghai; I’d recommend taking your parents or friends on this excursion when they come to visit you. You can catch a tour cruise at the dock on the Bund and then relax and enjoy views of the city, the Nanpu Bridge, the Yangpu Bridge, and the Wusong Fort at the mouth of the river. Cruises last from about 30-minutes to three hours, so make sure you ask how long the cruise is before you step on board the boat. I would also recommend doing a river cruise at night so that you can see the city all lit up, which is a beautiful sight.
4. See a show at the Shanghai Circus World. This indoor circus is sure to impress anyone who sees it. I recommend the ERA- Intersection of Time show because it gives you a history of Shanghai while also incorporating motorcycles and traditional acrobatic acts. Tickets to a show can range in price from pretty inexpensive to pretty outrageous. Honestly, wherever you sit for this show, you are going to have a good seat, so I would recommend saving some money and opting for a cheaper ticket.
5. Be content in the Yu Yuan Garden. This garden, also known as the Garden of Contentment, is a fantastic garden that is divided into six separate sections: Grand Rockery, Inner Garden, Hall of Heralding Spring, Hall of Jade Magnificence, Lotus Pool, and Ten Thousand Flower Pavilion. What I love about this garden is that even though there are swarms of tourists here all the time, you can still find a small section to relax and enjoy yourself somewhere inside the garden walls. There are plenty of photo-op places inside the garden as well, so make sure you bring your camera. Last but not least, you can find some fantastic shopping opportunities in the streets near the garden. However, there is a lot of fake merchandise here, so do not be tricked into buying a “real” silk scarf that is certainly not the real thing.
Have you studied abroad in Shanghai? Do you have any tips for other students who are planning on studying there? Share them with us in the comments section below.