Shanghai’s universities: where should I go?

  • [Monday] 21st Apr,2014
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Shanghai is a popular destination among international students. Recently ranked by QS as 35th on the list of Best Students Cities in the world, Shanghai is not only interesting and affordable; it also has a large amount of universities. Over thirty universities in Shanghai accept international students, which could make the search for the right university quite difficult for new students in Shanghai. This article will give a brief overview of the most popular universities in Shanghai among international students. Tuition fees range between 20 000 – 25 000 RMB per year for undergraduates, 25 000 – 35 000 RMB per year for master students, and 30 000 – 45 000 RMB for post-graduate and doctorate programs. The Chinese school year is usually divided into two semesters, the first starting in September and the second starting in March.

English taught programs

If you’re looking to study in English, you can go to one of the large universities. Fudan University, Shanghai’s most famous and best ranked university, offers a variety of English-taught classes for both undergraduate and graduate students. Fudan also offers masters completely taught in English. Students looking to do either an exchange program or a full-time English program in Shanghai are most likely to find what they are looking for at one of the bigger universities. Fudan University, Tongji University, East China Normal University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Donghua University and Shanghai University all have a very diverse range of English-taught classes and programs.

If you’re looking for a university specified in a certain field you could go to one of the smaller universities. Shanghai International Studies University focuses on international relations and communication. For students interested in medicine, The Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine offers various programs in traditional medicine, while Jiao Tong has a rather well-known School of Medicine for regular medicine. If you’re looking for a school specialized in law East China University of Politics and Law should be your choice. East China University also has a department famous for its chemistry department; East China University of Science and Technology.

Chinese taught programs

There are even more opportunities for foreigners that speak Chinese. Usually it requires an HSK level 4 or 5 to start a Chinese taught bachelor’s or master’s degree as a foreigner, but this depends on the university.

Especially people who are looking for studying something creative have better options when they speak Chinese. Both the Theatre Academy and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music offer interesting classes, but only in Chinese. The Shanghai University of Sport is the place to be for everybody interested in short, medium, or long-term higher education in sports. Shanghai University of Engineering Science offers Chinese taught undergraduate programs focusing on development in interdisciplinary integration, such as Management and Design.

Studying Chinese language

If you want to study Chinese at a university, it is usually cheaper than official degree programs. The prices vary from 15 000 – 22 000 RMB per year for full time students. Almost all of the universities that have English taught classes also offer language classes. Whether you are absolutely new to Chinese language, or you have been learning Chinese for a long time; Shanghai has classes for everybody. Most of the universities offer group classes, with 10 to 25 people per class. Some of the universities also offer private classes, but those are a lot more expensive than the group classes.

Fudan University is known for the good quality of Mandarin lessons, but is also relatively expensive (21 000 RMB per year). East China Normal University (ECNU), Shanghai International Studies University and Shanghai University are cheaper (17 500 – 18 000 RMB per year) and have a good reputation. If you want to study Chinese while getting to know the culture, ECNU offers a one-semester program that combines those two. Not enough time to study for a whole semester? Some universities also offer a language and culture course in summer, taking three to eight weeks.