EF Language Year Abroad in Shanghai, China

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EF Shanghai
EF Shanghai
EF Shanghai
EF Shanghai
City views
City views


Travel to China for a semester or year and learn Mandarin in a city filled with exhilarating contrasts. You will learn Mandarin at EF's bright and modern school located in People's Square. After class, practice with locals as you explore Nanjing Road, The Bund, or the Oriental Pearl Tower. Grab soup dumplings and tang gao with your classmates and be sure to order in Mandarin!

Join students from around the world on the ultimate study abroad experience. Achieve fluency, see the world, expand your international network - and launch your global future. Study for 6, 9 or 11 months and start in April, June, September or January. College credit and internship opportunities ensure you're always adding to your resume during the adventure of a lifetime.

Our Mandarin courses are recognized by the University of Montana, our partner in Education. Globalize your future, boost your international career and prepare for the Hanyu Exam with a Mandarin Language Diploma from EF.

  • Study for a semester, academic year, or join a multi language year and study 2+ languages.
  • Start dates in January, September, April, & June.
  • Top activities include a tour of The Bund, photo hunt of Tianzifang art district, cruise of the Huangpu River, and weekend at Shanghai Disney.
  • EF students come from 100 countries around the world.

Questions & Answers


based on 12 reviews
  • Instruction 8.3
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.1
  • Value 9.7
  • Academics 8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 7
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 12 of 12
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Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching abroad turned into a career

After a year of teaching in China under my belt, I knew I wanted to come back. My main concern was that I was going to spend a few years with a lot of travel stories, but little to show for it with my professional self. I told my recruiter this when I applied. She told me about all of these teaching qualifications I could gain with EF. When I asked about other opportunities she said that it has that too. I took it with a grain of salt.

Five years later I have gained teaching qualifications, I've moved out of the classroom and started working in the central headquarters, and now I'm moving back to the US with a full time job with EF at their Boston office. I guess I proved my parents wrong with that one.

This "program" is a bit different from the others because it's not a program. It's a job. You are expected to work, but you get paid and you get plenty of holidays. Of the countries I visited while working with EF in China, about 50% were on my own and 50% were with company sponsored conferences. The housing isn't provided, but I liked that. They help out a ton with finding your apartment, and then I got to choose where I lived and how much I spent on it.

If you want to travel abroad, but also start a real career, this is the place.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Living with EF in Beijing

When you type China on your browser, safari or any other navigator the first thing that pops up is that China has the biggest population in the world, the largest economy in the world and maybe you can even find information about the pollution.

This can be a little overwhelming (believe me, it happened to me) but thankfully the personnel at EF were very helpful and caring and not leaving aside the host family that welcome you into their home with arms wide open and encourage you to learn their language.

Going to Beijing is quite an experience, every day is different from the moment you get on the subway station until the moment you go back home.. you get people taking pictures of you, you see the weirdest things while you walk, people on their phone 24/7, and so on.. but you get used to it.

The moments in the school are the ones that makes you never want to leave, being amongst friends whom at first were totally strangers but thru the days they become your friends, the relation with the teachers is also close they are always available for anything you need, always cheering for your learning. It's a very pleasant environment.

Each day is a learning day and a day you can share with your classmates, learning Chinese. That can be a bit difficult but at first what isn't, you just have to give it a try.

EF Beijing school is not like most schools but I think it's just what we need to make good friends, learn Chinese and make quite an experience, it has a countless numbers of restaurants just across the road where you can find from noodles to dumplings just to make in Beijing as Chinese as you want. And for the weekends you have your ordinary sightseeing starting from the Great Wall to any temple you want; lama temple, temple of heaven, etc. and not leaving behind Beijing's cuisine starting with their famous hot pot and the thing that could save you from any rush is a jianbing where you can find in any corner for a very low price with a very basic Chinese speaking and last but not least the nightlife, being a foreigner in China is a plus for when you go clubbing.. the alcohol for free so do the most of it.

You might go to Beijing speaking 1,2 or even three languages but your definitely leaving with Chinese in your head.

Going to EF Beijing is quite an experience!

What would you improve about this program?
It's good just as it is.
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Yes, I recommend this program

My Gap Year

Afraid to start college, I decided to take a gap year and in a blink of an eye I was landing in Beijing, China. When I arrived, I didn't like China, I wanted to go back home, but I began getting to know people with whom later I would hanged out, laugh, share experiences, food, pre- HSK stress (...more) and made me realized China wasn't "that bad".

In China, everything is simply "different" and everyday is a new adventure, from the subway ride in the morning to the dinner you share with your host family or the night you spend having fun with your friends at some local restaurant, bar or club.
I didn't know what to expect before coming, the only thing I will say is: be open minded to a new culture, education, style, everything.

EF staff is always there to help with whatever problem you have, help you improve your Chinese and even make it easier to learn it.

I don't regret coming to China; here I've grown so much as a person, learned a lot from the people around me and Chinese people and their culture.

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Yes, I recommend this program

EF Beijing

it's a good way to widen your view of the world, I got to know a lot of people from around the world and it just makes me understand the world better. the language classes jave greatly helped me improve my mandarin and I am already planning to do my HSK 2 exam. Beijing is a very large city that is a live at every hour of the day, which is one of the reasons I love it. I recommend this for anybody who would like to see more of the world and wants to meet new people.

What would you improve about this program?
the group activities could be a little more although there are already a lot of them
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Yes, I recommend this program

Traditional Culture

When coming from the western world, one always "underestimates" China (culture, traditions, food, people, etc...). We've always thought is such a different country compared to what we are used to, however, you do not realize until you don't come here. I mean it in a really good way, despite the culture differences, one grows up extremely fast by being in China, specially as a person. Furthermore, the help received by EF Staff has been more than useful.
About Beijing, there is not much to say rather than what you already think about it. Huge and bustling city where you will always be able to find whatever you need, being a mix of the most traditional chinese culture and the most modern west traditions.

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Yes, I recommend this program

EF Beijing - EF in Shanghai, China

I came to China 3 days before start my course that's why I was thinking of leave the first week, but when I came to EF Beijing I met awesome people and realized that the place its really great to be here in china, first is the friends that you met in the first day and then is the different things that you can do outside of the school like go to eat in different places, discover the culture and got to have fun at night, I was impressed with the cheap things that you can buy in china, such as clothes and electronic devices, honestly I'm having a good time here in EF Beijing and I'm satisfied with it.

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Yes, I recommend this program

My Gapyear in Beijing

When I graduated my high school me and my family were looking for a place for me to spend my gap year. My mom remembered me saying: "Wouldn't it be cool to speak Chinese." and half a year later I was in Beijing! China is a whole new experience. I had no clue what to expect, but it turned out to be one of my greatest decisions i have ever made. Very soon after I was on the plane to Beijing. One of the best decisions I have ever made! these past six months flew by, I had the time of my life there with all the other students and staff.

The EF staff in Beijing is really nice and friendly and help you with every problem you have. Just recently I past my HSK 3 and i couldn't have done with help of my teachers. They teach in a way that Chinese looks easy, I never thought that was possible!

The location of the school really good. It is relatively close to everything you need. The place where you spend your Friday and Saturday nights is only a few subway stops away.

Beijing is also really cheap, for a few Yuan you have a whole meal in front of you. Cooked and well!

Needless to say my time in Beijing was amazing, that's the reason i am going back for another three months!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime

Beijing is a strange place and unlike anything I've ever encountered before. The people can seem rash and brawly, the traffic chaotic and the food... Well, weird. Not a wonderland at first glance. Despite these differences I'm so happy I went here. When you learn to know the ins and outs of this city it truly is wonderful - a diamond in the rough, that will surely rival that of London or New York in the coming decades.

While the school itself is small (occupying only the top floor of a skyscraper), it feels cozy and friendly. The classes are solid, with experienced teachers always there to help. You'll improve in no time - this coming from someone who was a complete beginner at arrival. Every week there's also a lot of activities where you can either practice your Chinese or just hang out with your classmates.

Thanks to EF the preparation for this AY was a breeze. No worrying about everyday problems either! The on-site staff are always willing to help when you're in a pinch. Changing living space, getting a Chinese SIM card, informing me where the best bars and restaurants are located - everything done in a flash and with a big smile. Thank you EF, for this opportunity!

What would you improve about this program?
No more improvements that I can think of.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

EF Beijing

I came to Beijing not knowing anyone in china and without being able to speak more than a few words, but quickly found not only people I consider to be my close friends but also people that have grown to become my family. If I have to say something that is incredibly good with ef in Beijing and ef over all, it is that it knows exactly how to organize people to quickly get to know each other and become friends which is something that I find very important and which has served to make the experience here in Beijing extraordinary.

Another thing that sets ef Beijing apart from the others is that it really allows you to get the result you want. If you want to come to Beijing and get a plentiful social life and do new things every day, then that is very possible. If you want to devote yourself to study and improve your Chinese quickly then that is equally possible. Ef becomes exactly what you want it to be, and I have seen people who have had the time of their lives here, and people who had left being able to speak Chinese almost fluently. Ef gives their students the freedom to do both, and in my eyes it is something that is extremely good, especially if you are like me and like to combine both having fun and meeting friends as well as studying. It can be something negative though, for the people who don't have the energy to study on their own or take responsibility for their own studies, and instead might blame the school for it. The teachers here also encourage you to pass exam and take hsk test which is also great for learning.
For me, my year here has been incredible. I have had a great host family and had a great roommate that I became close to, but if I have to say something negative it is that the people here come and go and that the host family (which I've heard are also mostly super nice) also depend a bit on the circumstances. Some have had amazing hosts and others not so much.

If you are considering going to Beijing to study Chinese and get to experience Chinese culture then my advice to you is this: do it. But make sure you come here with an open mind and a positive mindset, because whether you will get something amazing out of this experience is entirely up to you at the end of the day. :) For me it has been amazing, and I think coming here might just have been the greatest choice I've done yet.

What would you improve about this program?
By more change in the classroom, so that every day might not look the same.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I love beijing

I'm very happy to join EF Beijing , I have a lot of fun in my new experience with my new friends from around the world. There are so many things that I've never seen in my life , but I have an opportunity to see it especially foods , and people. They are so kind to me especially my host family , they help me to get used to Chinese culture , people , and even my studied. I'm very enjoy my life in china , and I still expect to see more in china

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Yes, I recommend this program

EF Beijing - Academic Year Abroad

After I graduated high school, I decided to come to Beijing in China with EF. I really don't regret this decision. Beijing is the perfect place to spend a gap year. Life there is really cheap and the clubs are free for the foreigners so that's perfect for students.

The Chinese culture is really different from the European culture and it's great to change horizons. The people there are really polite and respectful.

The EF staff is always here for you if you need anything and they help you as much as they can.

The Chinese language is really important in the world today. I know that it looks really hard to learn but the EF teachers follow you at all times and respect your learning speed.

To conclude, I would say that this was the greatest experience of my life, and it would be a shame not to try.

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Yes, I recommend this program

9 months in Beijing

We all know China is a big deal. It is so different from every other country, and the language is a challenge. The good thing about EF Beijing is that they will do whatever they can to make you feel like home. Thy often move things so you feel more comfortable. EF is a great experience, and you shouldn't hesitate to book the trip with them if you are looking for a gap year. Also, Beijing has a lot of fun. Go to night clubs and have some fun!


Chinese Yuan
57 F / 36 F
82 F / 54 F
90 F / 72 F
73 F / 41 F
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
( SHA )

Shanghai is the largest city in mainland China and in the top 10 of most populous cities in the world. With the sheer amount of people that have relocated to Shanghai, you see a mix of different cultural influences, particularly in the architecture. Whether you are looking to travel or move to Shanghai, you will have plenty of opportunities but this city won't be slowing down on their growth anytime soon.

About EF International Language Campuses

The world is waiting. Learn a language abroad. See the world, experience a new culture, and make friends from around the world as you prepare for your global future. EF's fun and interactive classes help you learn faster while living the language...