Nine reasons why I loved SH so much I am going back in Feb 2020 for a whole year.
- International community – Your university will have so many people from countries you have never heard of (or at least not me because my geography is terrible) and people from all walks of lie and stages in life. I was 19 when I went and frinds with 17-27 years olds and my best friend was and still is two years older than me. I call her my jiejie and she calls me her meimei. You will never feel too far from home in Shanghai because going on exchange you will make so many friends and share in their culture.
- The food is amazing and you have the option for foreign food. You will be able to find your pub feeds once you become familiar with everything and there are international supermarkets to comfort you with western food. Australian food is a little harder to find but stress not because taobao will be your savior. In Australia and in my hometown we are so multicultural and share in this amazing food together so going to the french concession for Italian feels just like going out for Italian in my home town.
- Dogs… Spot the dog with the cute little booties it will make your day! They also have this dog meeting spot near the plaza which is pretty good for the socializing and getting a weekly dose of doggo.
- The transportation is so super efficient but I guess that applies to nearly everywhere seeing as I am from Australia…They have relatively cheap taxi, super cheap train, even cheaper for the bus! And my favorite option with a hint of adrenaline is riding a bicycle in SH! To do this you need a Chinese bank account linked to your phone using QR codes.
5. There is always more to see. Just when you thought you have done and seen it all in SH, you have not! No wonder I am going back. I am excited and nervous to see how much has changed in three years.
6. SHISU – This university is located pretty well, a short walk to metro lines 8 & 3, short walk to the plaza, carrafoure, many option for dinner – my favourite, Japanese near the train station.
7. East meets West – You will learn so much about cultural nuances and we be a master of cultural code switching after your exchange in China. Make the most of this learning experience even if is seems hard a frustrating at first!
8. You can live on a super budget or you can live the high life OR you can be so strict with your spending during the semester and once holidays roll around you can travel and splurge
9. Social life – everyone always want to do something! except.. like if they are hungover which for me was the case with a lot of my friends.