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Tongji University, China

Shanghai is a vibrant metropolitan city with a great variety of food to fit all budgets, well connected public transport network and lots of historical and modern landmarks/architecture to explore. It feels like the endless streets always have some form of café, restaurant, entertainment and clothing store to offer. There is also an abundance of 24/7 convenience stores scattered around metro locations and the university campus.

Tongji Campus in Spring

Tongji university is one of the leading universities in Shanghai, offering a variety of courses in many different disciplines. After fulfilling your relevant credit point requirement in your field of study, there are also options to attend additional classes organised by the international school that allow you to gain a good background understanding of areas like Chinese foreign affairs, history, culture, language and economic development.

Views from the Zhonghe Building, where my friends left hand is pointing – you can vaguely see the Oriental Pearl Tower

Prior to beginning your exploration and adventures, there are a few things that you’ll need to take care of:

  • Bank account: as a short term exchange student on a X2 visa (<180 days), it was actually quite difficult to find a local bank willing to open an account for me (potentially due to tightened restrictions on moving populations). After asking the Bank of China, ICBC – I had some luck with the smaller Bank of Communications near Tongji

Note: Students here for two semesters X1 visa shouldn’t have the same problem, I gathered that this only applied to people here for shorter visas

Now that you have opened your bank account and have linked up your cards:

  • WeChat: the must have app for communicating with other students, friends and teachers. It has useful features of transferring money in app to friends and making payments at various stores
  • Alipay: a payment app that is widely accepted at restaurants and stores
  • Ofo: a convenient application that allows you to use any of the available Ofo bikes to travel any distance you like
  • Baidu maps: for public transport and navigation information

If you would like any more information about any aspect of Shanghai life, do not hesitate to contact me with your questions!

Views from a plaza on Middle Huaihai Road, where you will find a lot of luxury retailers

Janet Lin
Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Law
Tongji University
Shanghai, China

Australian Government New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient.


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