USAC China: Shanghai
93% Rating
(6 Reviews)

USAC China: Shanghai

The University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) offers this exciting opportunity to study Chinese and International Business Studies in Shanghai, China. This is a great opportunity to travel to China's, and the world's, largest city proper. Witness firsthand the transformation China is undergoing, with displays all around the city reminding you of the country's economic leaps.

Study Mandarin at an appropriate language level, and gather useful international business experience. Excursions are also available to many other pats of China, including Hangzhou and Nanjing. Sign up with USAC today to begin this journey of a lifetime!

  • Choose from multiple levels of Mandarin Chinese—an increasingly important language in today’s global society
  • Explore the city’s sophistication, fine arts, spectacular museums, culinary fusion, and world-class entertainment
  • Gain international business experience—300 of the world’s Fortune 500 companies have a major presence
  • Enjoy overnight trips to the beautiful Yangzi River Delta—picturesque Hangzhou, Nanjing, and Suzhou—and the exotic water village of Xitang
  • Kick-start your career with the Shanghai Summer Professional Development Internship
Program Type
Subject Areas
Art History
Asian Studies
Cultural Studies
International Business
Academic Year
Online Application

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 6 reviews
  • Academics 8
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 8.7
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
Beijing Boi

From the Great South Land to Shanghai

Coming from Australia, the first thing I noticed about Shanghai (or China, in general) was the sheer amount of people. To give people a sense of scale, there are 23 million people in Australia. There are 24 million in Shanghai alone.

I live out in state park, surrounded by green trees and the constant threat of wildfires or kangaroos blocking the road. I go out into Melbourne city on the weekends but not even that prepared me for the sheer enormity of buildings and the scale of population. I did spend my first couple of weeks adjusting by making frequent trips to parks and finding as much as a green as I could. Eventually I adjusted to the concrete jungle that was Shanghai and fell in love with the city.

In terms of the university, Shanghai University Yanchang campus is located on the most popular train line, right outside of an international plaza and just next to one of the best dumpling shops I've ever been to (more on that later). The classes run by USAC were fun, exciting and always a great time to practice Chinese. I was involved in the Intermediate Language, Tai Chi, and Chinese Politics class, all of which were led by great teachers. The dorms were American style (well according to the Americans) and really well furnished.

Bringing it back to food, nothing amazed me more than how cheap food was and how great it was. In the mornings, I would get up, take a short walk down the street to a food vendor and by a Jianbing (Chinese Pancake), which would cost me a dollar and fill me up for the morning. I did this every morning after I discovered this place. For lunch, I had the opportunity to get cheap food from the local cafeteria, or just down the straight at various food places around the university. For dinner, I would often journey into the CBD (downtown) with some of the other USAC students, and we would journey to hot pot, xiao long bao, yum cha, all types of restaurants. If we were feeling a little homesick, there were western style restaurants (including an amazing New York-style pizza joint) as well as starbucks and mcdonalds everywhere.

But food wasn't the only reason I travelled around. On some weekends I made trips around Shanghai or even to another province (Hangzhou was amazing!). USAC also provided many other travel opportunities, allowing me to go to Xi'an, Xitang and Yangzhou with USAC. China has two main holiday weeks, Spring Festival and Autumn Festival. Me and one other USACer spent our Autumn festival in the province of Chengdu, famous for pandas and spicy food. Travelling around China is a worthwhile experience and there is so much more when you are outside of Shangai!

All in all, the experience was amazing. Even those who didn't speak any Chinese when they first go to China were really good when they left and as someone who knew a bit the trip really helped me improve my language and my cultural understanding. I would recommend this journey to anyone and everyone, especially anyone interested in learning Chinese.

How can this program be improved?
Classes could start an hour later but everything else is well done.
Yes, I recommend
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When I first arrived in Shanghai at Shanghai University the first thing I remember was being greeted by You Sha. Shanghai is such an amazing city and it is so easy to explore the city by train, taxi, bus, how ever you want because of how close Shanghai University is. Zhabei (the district where the program is located) is such an amazing district. So much culture, food, and people. I didn't know that I would return for another semester in Shanghai then take part in USAC's Chengdu program.

It is so easy to meet other international students and local students at the university. When I immersed myself into the culture and life in Shanghai I was able to get the full experience that Shanghai and China has to offer. My Chinese speaking ability grew exponentially just by spending a year living in Shanghai.

I would suggest this program to anyone looking to study in China. I wish that I could express how much this program changed my life, but there aren't any words to describe it. You Sha & Jessica and the entire teaching staff made learning about the Chinese language and culture so enjoyable and fun. Go. Experience what China has to offer. Change your life.

How can this program be improved?
Some of the culture & business classes could be more difficult to some people, but I enjoyed the way all the classes were taught.
Yes, I recommend
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Great Experience with Great Program Advisors!

I had a great experience at Shanghai University as part of the USAC program. We had extremely helpful and friendly advisors who went out of their way to make sure we were adjusting well. Thanks You Sha and Jessica. You guys definitely helped me feel at home in Shanghai during the months I was there!

How can this program be improved?
Increase the difficulty level of courses and encourage less interaction among fellow English speakers and more with locals.
Yes, I recommend
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Life-changing experience

I was hesitant about going to China because of the things I've heard and safety, but once I arrived and was greeted by the lovely resident director, I knew I would have a great semester. I felt very safe and the dorms were near the campus. The Shanghai University campus is conveniently located near the city center so it was easy to travel around to experience Shanghai culture.

The professors were also concerned that you learned the materials and were really helpful and kind. My favorite class was Calligraphy because he was the sweetest professor and I've found a lifelong hobby.

How can this program be improved?
I would probably encourage a more structured lesson plan in the Advanced Chinese courses. Also, it would be nice if the dorms were nicer (no mold), but I understand that we share the building with other Chinese and foreign students.
Yes, I recommend
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Something You Should Experience For Yourself

When I decided to study abroad in Shanghai, I only signed up for one semester. Because I ended up loving it that much, I chose to extend my study abroad for one more semester. My only regret? Not staying even longer. USAC made my study abroad experience unspeakably flawless. The Resident Director on site not only has the best sense of humor ever, she is also incredibly attentive and knows who you are before you'll even meet her, providing a little bit of comfort when you're missing home.

My primary reason for studying abroad was to learn how to speak Mandarin. Seeing as I am an International Business major and Shanghai is a mecca for multi-national corporations, it made the most sense to go to. While there, I not only took Chinese language courses, I took courses that fulfilled my other degree requirements also. International business, management, and government courses all counted towards my degree, with a little bit of planning, of course.

Optional tours and field trips were also awesome. The Beijing tour, for example, provided students with the opportunity to get in all of those "must see" sites, within two days. If you've ever been to Beijing, you know that it is a massive city and can be difficult and expensive to get around on your own. One of the perks is having all of that planned out for you so you don't have the guilt of just not being able to see something.

My memories of studying abroad in China are incredibly fond and I geniunely miss it and the environment everyday. There are really no words I can tell you that can really make you understand the excitement and thrill of living in Shanghai, it's something that you truly have to experience for yourself. After this program, I have close friends from all over the world, that I speak to often.

Studying abroad in Shanghai, China is cultural experience that you'll never forget. It's something that you really need to see and experience for yourself.

How can this program be improved?
A few more course options would be nice. Other than that, there is always direction and suggestions provided for students until they get situated with the country.
Yes, I recommend
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USAC in Shanghai was great!

The USAC program in Shanghai is great if you really want to learn Chinese and experience the local culture, but still have a Western feel from time to time. Shanghai is very cosmopolitan and full of other international students. The people here were also very welcoming of foreigners which is something that can't be said of other parts of China.

This was the only study abroad program I've ever attended so I don't have anything to compare it to, but overall I felt the experience was great and the staff very supportive. They were there when you needed them, but also gave you plenty of independence to explore on your own.

I'm very very very glad I decided to study abroad in college. I haven't regretted it for a second. My parents were a little nervous about me going to China, but I'm glad I decided to challenge myself in a new culture. I learned how to live and travel on my own without relying on others. My only regret is not being able to travel to more of China. It now seems so far away and I don't know when I will be able to go back again!

Yes, I recommend

About USAC

USAC is a non-profit consortium of U.S. universities that collaborates to offer affordable, academic and authentic study abroad programs. There are abundant opportunities to immerse in the culture, history, and academics of other countries providing...