Shanghai, China
Shanghai, China
Shanghai, China

Shanghai

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 24, 2021

Summary: Located at the mouth of the mighty Yangtze River and with the Huangpu River running directly through its heart, Shanghai is one of the most important cities in China. Roughly 25 million people call home to this international hub of trade and finance.

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What is life like in Shanghai?

Live in Shanghai? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in Shanghai what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Shanghai, in some ways is a very modern city like Tokyo or New York but very interesting between the duplicity of the modern and old at one time. Expat lives revolve around whatever they'd like it to be, whether it is school or family or sports or social clubs. One can find ones interest in some manner here," mentioned another expat in Shanghai.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Shanghai accepting of differences?

Live in Shanghai? Answer this Question

"As in any expat community there are things that one can do and cannot do. This is still a communist country but Shanghai feels much more freedom. For the most part, anything goes as long as it is not critical of the government," remarked another expat who made the move to Shanghai.

What are the schools in Shanghai like?

Live in Shanghai? Answer this Question

"A lot of parents are with great affluence, and the students there are mostly very spoiled. They held parties in mansion or up at the Bund, and they have very little to non-social concerns and responsibility. Their parents are so rich, they are willing to spend all their money on their single-child. You as a parent will be put under pressure if you don't send your kids to summer school in America, or if you don't send your kids to extra classes outside of school for SAT/ TOEFL preparation. The aim of the school is to send students to top university but not to prepare them for life. Students and teachers would criticized if you aren't getting top grades and you are expect to excel at everything. If you want your kids to grow up in an environment like this, I will hold my opinion. I wouldn't encourage you to enroll your child into the school, but instead perhaps look into Concordia or Yew Chung in Shanghai," said another expat in Shanghai with children at YK Pao School.

"One of the things that I really appreciate about Concordia is that they are an affiliate school of Columbia University Teachers College. I think if you're looking for the leading school in Shanghai in the teaching of reading and writing, then you should consider Concordia. Also, if you're looking for a place to live, then Jinqiao is a great place to consider. My family and I live in Jinqiao and have found it a great place to raise our children," remarked another parent with kids at Concordia International School Shanghai in Shanghai.

"The Puxi campus is mostly local Chinese and Korean students( and mostly full with little turnover since most students are local) while the Pudong campus is more diverse with more Europeans and expat families so there is more turnover. While parents used to transfer to Puxi, most now stay at the Pudong campus unless they live near the Puxi campus. Apply to the campus that fits your needs," explained one expat living in Shanghai, China.

"Talk to the teachers. They are the ones that will be with your child from 8 to 5. Ask questions and if the teachers know what they are doing, they will be more than happy to tell you EVERYTHING about what goes on in their class," said another parent with children at Fudan-Vanke Experimental School in Shanghai.

"The middle school was founded in 2007 and still finding its feet. Admin still a little shaky. A lot of good teachers left, but new management and lots of new teachers coming in Sept 2010, so improvements expected. The school's unique selling point is its attempt to bridge the gap between Western and Eastern education and combine the strengths of both, and support both languages at native level, which sets it apart from other international schools. Fees are about half of those at other international schools in Shanghai," commented one expat when asked about Shanghai United International School in Shanghai.

"Go and see it to feel the difference with other bilingual schools. This is a caring community, it is not a machine that stamps children into the same shape and size. Teachers show genuine care and attention to individual children, most of the foreign teachers have been in China for some time and are committed. Children develop genuine respect for their teachers. Consider the Chinese element of the curriculum carefully if neither of the parents speak Chinese or just consider it a great opportunity to learn more Chinese yourself," explained one expat in Shanghai, China with kids at YK Pao.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Shanghai, China
GeoBlue International Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in China from our partner, GeoBlue.
Get a Quote

Get a quote for expat health insurance in China from our partner, GeoBlue.
Get a Quote Call  

Shanghai, ChinaGuide to Living in Shanghai, China

Shanghai, China: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Shanghai

China Forum China Forum
Join our China forum to meet other people living in Shanghai, China.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Shanghai.

Healthcare in ChinaHealthcare in China

Expats living in China discuss health insurance and quality of medical care in China. Tip 1: if you're going to the hospital in China (or to a doctor), bring a translator!

Shanghai, ChinaMoving to Shanghai, China

Expats offer advice about everything you need to know before moving to Shanghai: what to bring (and what to leave behind), how to find housing and more.

Real Estate ShanghaiReal Estate in Shanghai

Advice about renting and buying real estate in Shanghai

Shanghai, ChinaExpats Talk about Living in Shanghai

Expats talk about what it's like living in Shanghai, China: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What Newcomers to Shanghai Should Know

Expat Report: Moving to Shanghai

An expat in Shanghai wishes she had brought more walking shoes, winter socks and OTC medications. She advises apartment hunters to make sure everything in the apartment works before you sign the least.

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