5 Surprises about Studying Abroad in Shanghai

Nikita Deshazor is a student at Norfolk State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Shanghai, China.

Pudong- A great view of the Shanghai skyline!

When you think of China, what are some things that come to mind? The Great Wall, Chinese cuisine, or maybe Chinese New Year? All of these things may be a part of the country, but so much more awaits you. As a student, the experience abroad is unlike any other. Listed below are 5 things about going to Shanghai, China you may not have known.

  1. Paperwork

There is a lot of documentation necessary to study abroad in China. In order to simply enter the country, you must have a visa. Staying for an extended period (like a semester) is no exception. These documents can take a while to receive, so start early. Also, your program documentation and travel insurance is necessary. These forms ensure your safety and ability to enter China. Don’t let paperwork discourage you; keeping organized helps the process run a lot smoother.

  1. Large Seafood Diet

Shanghai is any fisherman’s or seafood lover’s dream. Located in Yangtze River Delta, Shanghai has easy access to the bounties of the river and the sea. Seafood is often served with vegetables and can be found virtually anywhere in the city. The hairy crab, shrimp, and carp are all common meats found in Shanghai Cuisine, also known as Hu Cuisine.

  1. Large population

Get ready to say goodbye to your American sense of personal space. Some parts of China, like Shanghai, are extremely population-dense. Shanghai is the 6th largest city in the world with more than 23 million inhabitants. The city is so large due to it being the global financial center and a common stop for tourists on their visit to China.

  1. No Cellular Service

Before you travel to China, you will need to check with your phone company about international service. Some service providers do not have international plans or it may be expensive to call and text. Many students opt for using phones in China (like TracFones) and making international calls that way. It’s highly unlikely that your country’s signal towers reach China.

  1. Outlets

In today’s society, most people have cellphones, laptops, mp3 players, or cameras. But, what you may not know is that your standard plugs probably will not work in China. Outlets vary from country to country, which will mean you need outlet adapters and converters. They convert the host country’s voltage into a level suitable for your device. These adapters/converters are available online and in some stores. Checking what type of outlets you will be using is critical in keeping you devices fully charged.

Bearing all things in mind, studying abroad in Shanghai, China can be an enriching experience!

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