• China
    • Shanghai
Fall, J-Term, Spring, Summer
Subject Areas
Asian Studies Cultural Studies Economics Entrepreneurship History International Business International Relations Sociology

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Dormitory Host Family


Price Details
You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE! Our high-quality programs include tuition, housing, on-site airport pick-up, field trips and cultural activities, 24/7 on-site professional staff, and automatic iNext insurance. There are no hidden charges or surprises when you arrive, and scholarships opportunities are available!
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Classes Some Meals Travel Insurance
Jul 14, 2022
Jan 03, 2020
1 traveler is looking at this program

About Program

Perched on the banks of the Huangpu River and the East China Sea, Shanghai is China’s largest city by population, and a global hub of culture, commerce, and finance

Long known for its history of foreign influence, fashion, and economic prowess, Shanghai strives to become a global financial and shipping hub. In turn, the city has undertaken massive development projects over the past two decades.

Courses are available in English and Chinese.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • CIEE Shanghai is located on the campus of East China Normal University. Known for its Chinese language and literature program, the university hosts more than 26,000 students.
  • sits to sites loaded with history, like Old City God Temple and the Bund.
  • Depending on their program of study and availability, students may be able to participate in an internship or volunteer.
  • Do Shanghai on your own terms by customizing your experience through the Open Campus program. Take one, two, or three six-week blocks, select your academic track from six options, then choose your courses from a wide range of subject areas.

Popular Programs

CIEE College Study Abroad in Shanghai, China

Study abroad in China’s largest city this summer. Join its population of 23 million in urban centers, on elevated light rails, or on the world’s first commercial high-speed Maglev train, and explore every inch of this dynamic city.

CIEE College Study Abroad in Shanghai, China

Explore the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and the French Concession, and gain a new understanding of China’s past and present.Travel to beautiful cities such as:
Hangzhou and Nanjing and gain hands-on cultural experience by learning Chinese cooking, calligraphy, martial arts, or mahjong.

CIEE College Study Abroad in Shanghai, China

This program invites students with a major or minor in economics, international business management, business management, or marketing; or Chinese or Asian studies majors with an interest in China’s business environment, to study abroad in Shanghai.

Shanghai Landmark

With CIEE's Open Campus Block Programs, you can design your very own study abroad program to include up to three different locations for 6, 12 or 18 weeks.

Stay in one city the entire time or spend other blocks at our other Open Campus Block locations in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dublin, Kyoto, London, Madrid, Monteverde, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore, or Sydney.



CIEE Scholarships and Grants

CIEE’s need-based grants offer support to students who face financial barriers to studying abroad. CIEE awards need-based grants based on students’ EFCs and program selection. The Gilman Go Global Grant offers students $750-$2,000 toward airfare, plus $2,500 toward semester program costs, or $1,000 toward summer program costs.

$500 - $2,500

Program Reviews

4.88 Rating
based on 17 reviews
  • 5 rating 88.24%
  • 4 rating 11.76%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.4
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.55
  • Housing 4.6
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 17 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A great experience in China!

I really enjoyed my time in Shanghai, China, on the CIEE: Business, Language, and Culture program. Many of my teachers had impressive business backgrounds and the class material was engaging. I met many close friends from different CIEE programs and really enjoyed the sense of community CIEE created between its students, especially those living in the dorms. Shanghai is a huge city with endless things to do. Plus, no classes on Fridays allowed for longer domestic travel trips on the weekends. I would highly recommend this program!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
1. Make sure to research where you want to do your day and week long CIEE sponsored excursions to find a trip that fits your interests.
2. Less is more when it comes to packing. I only came with one suitcase and then bought another there to come home with and it worked great for me. Almost all toiletries that you can imagine can be found somewhere in Shanghai, you just might have to hunt for specific things.
3. Plan travel to other countries after the CIEE program. China's semester long visas do not allow for multiple entries, so if you want to explore other countries in Asia you will have to plan that accordingly.
51 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Sprawling Skyscrapers & Hidden Street Gems: Experience the World's Most Polarizing City

During my study abroad, I'd eat street crawfish for lunch and juicy steak in high-rise buildings for dinner--at the same price. Shanghai's fast modernization has resulted in massive economic wealth and consumption, allowing denizens to live like kings, queens, and jesters all at once. Walking along the street, you'd pass the massive construction of a hundred-story building right after a row of run-down shacks. A local friend of mine commented that the polarization of Shanghai's urban/rural feeling was nothing new--but to me, it seemed the most alluring part of the city. I once ate street snake and frog-on-stick during a food tour, then later that week wandered into a secret hideaway up-scale speakeasy behind a Coca-Cola vending machine. Being able to experience life in all of its many forms is what made my experience truly educational, complimenting my studies of 'China in a Global Context' all the more. If you're looking for adventurous thrills and a thought-provoking representation of modern China, look no further than Shanghai.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
For my Chinese class, we had to produce a music video on our favorite location in the city. I am not a great singer--let alone in another language--nor am I an extrovert amongst strangers. I saw this as an opportunity to embrace my status as 'lao-wai' (foreigner) and push myself out of my comfort zone. Headed by my determination, our group chose our favorite location as the street we lived on--where we'd shopped at local stores, learned how to use the subway, sung late-night karaoke, and ordered all of our dumplings. Filming day was my most nerve-wracking moment. I had written the song (poorly), and directed my teammates to lip-sync in our favorite various spots. When it came to be my turn, the lyrics became a jumbled mess in my head, but I persisted, knowing that even though all the passers-by thought I was an odd lao-wai, at least I was trying to learn. Today, I still remember the lyrics of our song, and it holds a special place for me to remember all of my amazing times along that street. And someone will have to do a lot of convincing before I show them the video.
47 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

My Summer in Shanghai with CIEE's ACL Program

I'm writing this review as my program is winding down and I have one week left. The first seven weeks flew by, and they have been nothing but amazing so far. The first week is somewhat of a drag because you will be adjusting to the time change and I guess that most people will not be used to the heat. The good news is that the international student dorm is beautiful, excellent A/C and Western style bathrooms (don't worry, no squatty potty); however, you will have to get used to the hard beds in China. After going through orientation for a few days you begin class on Wednesday, and there is no hand-holding, you will jump right in. You will spend four hours in a classroom Monday through Thursday, and then a test at the end of each week on Friday. Fear not, you get a ten-minute break every hour and the last hour of class is broken up into focus groups, which are groups of two to three students meeting with a TA who will review what was learned in class that day. After the first week, you will finish adjusting to everything, the class included, and you will see a noticeable difference in your Chinese speaking after about ten days to two weeks. After you've adjusted to the course you will want to go out and explore Shanghai, plainly speaking, the city is massive. You need to try 小笼包 (xiao long bao) as soon as possible, they are a Shanghai classic and known as soup dumplings in the US. There are never-ending sights to see and museums to visit, and each part of the city has its flavor. I recommend going to the Bund at night and look across the river to see the skyline lit up; the view will take your breath away. If you want to go out and night, which I'm sure many college students will want to do, then there are plenty of great bars and clubs throughout Shanghai for you to visit. You will never be bored in this city, I promise you that. Once you feel confident enough in your Chinese, I highly recommend going to visit the fake market in the Shanghai Museum of Science and Technology subway station to try your hand at some bargaining. The market serves as a great place to improve your spoken Chinese and to buy gifts for family and friends. This program has changed my life, as I look back on my seven weeks here I realize how I've become more independent and confident, and my Chinese is as different as night and day from what it was before. If you come to Shanghai, come with CIEE.

47 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CGC Fall Semester

I absolutely loved this program's classes and professors. From discussing about issues in Chinese society to how to communicate effectively in China (considering language and cultural differences), the classes include fieldtrips related to the curriculum. I was able to juggle four liberal arts courses and a Mandarin course while having time to explore, practice chatting with locals, and eating my way through the city.

51 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

ACL Spring Semester

I highly recommend this program if you want to improve your Mandarin by a 10th fold. The teachers and tutors work one-on-one to provide the best educational lessons everyday catered to the speaking and writing level of the students. You must be really passionate about learning the language and dedicating many hours of reviewing Chinese characters and studying for quizzes etc. In just three months of the program, I went from Beginner II level to finishing Intermediate II.

48 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer Session Internship

My experience was unique having participated in the CIEE summer program. Not only was it my first time in China but also my first time taking Mandarin classes! The CIEE curriculum gave the students the essential conversational lessons to live in China alongside working 10-14 hours per week with a Chinese company. In the long term, not only did I add another job experience on my resume, but also I expanded my global mindset, and lived in a foreign country. I highly recommend this program if you wish to see how the metropolitan of Shanghai functions by working and studying.

42 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

New skills, friends, experiences, and opportunities.

My study abroad experience with CIEE met my expectations by increasing my Chinese language skills, facilitating making new friends from both China and the US, and experiencing new cultures and customs. Beyond the obvious benefits of a study abroad program of this caliber, it also provided me with future opportunities in both academic and career for after the program ended. For example, the CIEE program is designed to facilitate networking during the study abroad program experience. I was able to meet local business owners, CEOs of multinational companies, and many other professionals during the 2 month summer program in Shanghai. The program allowed for students to freely explore Shanghai independently on weekends, which allowed me to apply my newly learned Chinese language skills in real world situations to meet locals. I took full advantage of these opportunities, and sometimes would be people at cafes, bookstores, bars, restaurants. These opportunities lead to me eventually obtaining a job with a top multinational real estate company in Beijing after graduation last December. I immediately began working for the company after graduating and i'm already moving up the ladder due to my Chinese language skills. None of this would've been possible without the opportunity during my study abroad program to independently explore. This facet of the CIEE program makes my experience studying abroad unique.

What would you improve about this program?
The program could be improved by improving the living conditions for study abroad participants. The international dorm room experience sometimes took away from the reason I was in Shanghai in the first place. I would rather be fully immersed in the culture by living in a Chinese accommodation.
50 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer in Shanghai

I studied abroad with CIEE for one month in the spectacular city of Shanghai, China. It was such a wild ride, and I had so much fun!! I also learned a lot… maybe even more when I was outside the classroom. Being on your own in a huge city for a whole month forces you to change – and you can choose for the better, or worse. Hopefully, I adapted positively and gained skills that will be so useful for my whole life, like independence, intercultural communication, and a greater appreciation and awe for our big big world.

I loved my time in Shanghai because I made amazing friends and made amazing memories in the country of my background, being Chinese-American. CIEE arranged tons of activities for us to explore Shanghai and I was able to see it in a new light that was not as "touristy." They also arranged a whole weekend trip where they took us to Nanjing, another city in China that is full of important history. I also really enjoyed the class I took called Political Development in Modern China where I learned so many interesting things I would not have been able to if I weren't in Shanghai. Additionally, living in one of the best campuses in China at East China Normal University was an amazing perk, and I will never forget the delicious cafeteria food. I definitely think my time in China this summer grew my appreciation and love for my roots more than ever before.

I am now positive I will be going back to China in the future for longer periods of time. In my class, we learned about the notion of the impending “Asian Century” in the 21st century, which basically means Asia will show the world how it can excel, too. (Previous centuries being “American” and “European” respectively.) I am excited for Asia’s future, and of course, China’s. I’m super proud to be Chinese! I am really glad I did this summer study abroad. It went beyond my dreams. 🙂

What would you improve about this program?
I wish we were able to go on more field trips for class to expand our learning material in a hands-on way.
40 people found this review helpful.
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