• Learn more about China

    From public life to getting visas prepared, learn more here.

  • Where to live?

    This is one of the most important decisions when you move to Shanghai, get an overview here.

  • Things to do

    Shanghai has an abundance of activities for families and young children.

  • Directory

    Useful contacts and emergency information for life in Shanghai

  • Our Schools in Shanghai

    Learn more about our two campuses in Shanghai, Pudong and Puxi

  • Shanghai Life

    Now you have settled into Shanghai, its time to explore its rich history and culture.

Language Schools

Whether your life or work requires you to interact with non-English-speaking Chinese people or not, learning some Mandarin can make living in Shanghai an easier, more enjoyable experience.

    Although English is commonly spoken in the city centre and in the proximity of expat communities, exploring many parts of the city, shopping and communicating with taxi drivers requires at least basic knowledge of Mandarin.

    If you are keen to learn there are two options. One is to enroll at a local Chinese university in Shanghai, where the larger and cheaper classes generally focus on reading and writing Chinese characters. The other is to take classes at one of the many language schools, which offer full-time and part-time courses. Classes tend to be smaller and most schools also offer private tutors. Though they are more expensive, language schools tend to be more flexible when it comes to students’ language levels and schedules.

    Another difference is that language schools often avoid Chinese characters in the introductory levels, choosing instead to teach oral Mandarin using the pinyin system (Chinese written in the Roman alphabet). Oral learning is easier and faster. Therefore, for those in need of some survival Chinese, this is probably the best option.