Shanghai has become of the world’s largest economies. Few geographic areas have ever experienced such rapid growth over such a short period of time. Of course, this growth has had serious side effects: income equality is lopsided, the housing market is greatly inflated, and the environment has been sidelined for greater industrialization. Volunteers are definitely needed in many fields in Shanghai.

Youth Development & Education

The demand for English teachers is high in Shanghai, a place that is becoming a more popular Western tourist destination each day. Teaching English to kindergarten or elementary school students can be a rewarding experience and a great way to culturally immerse yourself. For many programs, prior teaching experience is not needed.

Community Development

Shanghai is a paradise for the rich but a challenge for the poor. As the city experiences rapid economic growth, more farmers have left the countryside to find work in the city, only to find high housing prices and poor living conditions. Some ways volunteers can help improve community conditions by working at soup kitchens and local hospitals or clinics.

Volunteering Tips

NGOs/Non-Profit/Volunteer History: Considering how strict the Chinese government is, there is a wide variety of NGOs in Shanghai ranging from clothing and toy distribution to low-income families to helping children of imprisoned parents to teaching English.

How Volunteering in Shanghai Will Help Your Future: Shanghai is bound to continue growing exponentially for at least the next decade or two. To see how such growth affects everyday life of low-income families can be a transforming experience that might impact your long-term aspirations.

Questions to Ask: What kind of transportation is best for commuting around the city? Should I speak proficient Mandarin before volunteering? Is this smog a problem?

Health and Safety of Volunteers in Shanghai

Shanghai does not experience frequent episodes of violent crime. Pick-pocketing in crowded areas and scams, whether in a tea house or in a taxi, are much more common. Like any bustling city, keep your eyes peeled for suspicious activity and don’t leave valuables in plain sight. When you’re in a foreign place and don’t know the language, cautiousness can be an important ally.

Shanghai is a major city and is still susceptible to disease. You should take the following vaccinations before volunteering in Shanghai: diphteria, hepatitis A & B, influenza, polio, and typhoid. Although some of these vaccines combat diseases found more commonly in rural areas, it’s best to be on the safe side, right?

Visas for Volunteering in Shanghai

A volunteering visa for Shanghai and greater China requires can be a single, double, or multiple entry visa depending on how long you plan on staying. Given how strict the Chinese government is in monitoring who enters and leaves, be sure to check what documents you must submit well before your departure date. For more information about Chinese visas, consult Visa HQ.

Volunteer Programs in Shanghai

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 programs
Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in China
8.5 •8 reviews

Join Projects Abroad as a volunteer in China and take part in any one...

The Global Education Partnership
Service-Learning in China | The Social Entrepreneurship Think Tank
10 •3 reviews

OUR PURPOSE WHY - 95% of students in rural China cannot go to college...

Wanderlust Exchange
Volunteer with Children in China
10 •1 review

This project gives you the opportunity to make a difference where it...

Hutong School
Volunteer in China with Hutong School

Join Hutong School's Volunteer Program and gain valuable experience...

Sunrise International
Volunteer projects in China with Sunrise Volunteers
1 •1 review

Our team dedicates an enthusiasm to promote the projects of: * English...

Drama Rainbow
Volunteer to be a Drama Teacher in China

Ideas cannot happen without imagination but for years Chinese schools...

Star Exchange
Star Exchange "Language Volunteer in China" Program

Our Star Exchange Language Volunteer Program is combining the...

Shanghai Zhuozhuo Art and Culture Exchange
Volunteer as an English Teacher in China

Volunteers teach English at many different schools located in all of...

Wanderlust Exchange
Mo Gao Grotto Culture Heritage Volunteer

The Mogao caves are best known of the Chinese buddhism grottoes, and...

Inspiring Futures in China with LOVVOL

LOVVOL offer the opportunity for students to explore China in an...

Other Volunteer Programs in China

Not enough options in Shanghai? Check out these other Volunteer Abroad programs in China!
  • International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
    Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in China from $310
    9.18 •11 reviews

    Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer...

  • United Planet
    Volunteer Abroad in China with United Planet for 2-12 Weeks
    9.33 •6 reviews

    Join United Planet this summer on our annual volunteer teaching...

  • Volunteering Solutions
    Volunteer in China | Most Affordable & Trusted Projects
    8.67 •3 reviews

    Volunteer with children in China and make a difference their lives...

  • Global Volunteers
    Experience the Real China as a Volunteer Teacher
    9.83 •6 reviews

    Join Global Volunteers in China to teach children and teachers English...

  • VIA Programs
    VIA Global Community Fellowship
    Multiple Countries
    9.27 •11 reviews

    The Global Community Fellowship is a 13-15 month program for young and...

  • Omeida Chinese Academy
    Volunteer in China + Learn Chinese!
    10 •3 reviews

    Traveling China on a budget? We got you covered. Want to explore China...

  • Edutrip International Cultural Exchange Company
    Deep understanding of China & community service
    10 •2 reviews

    Are you the kind of person who enjoys helping others? Are you looking...

  • Cultural Homestay International
    Volunteer Teaching to a Host Family in China with CHI
    9 •3 reviews

    Become a conversation volunteer in China with Cultural Homestay...

  • RCDP International Volunteer Program
    Volunteer in China - Lowest Fees & Happy Volunteers Since 1998
    10 •1 review

    Our volunteer programs in China are located in the historic city of Xi...

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