5 Reasons Why Studying Abroad In Shanghai Is The Best Decision!
Travel far enough, you will meet yourself.
Just in time for the Chinese New Year last week, today’s article is about studying abroad in Shanghai. I have avoided this topic for a long time because I couldn’t close this chapter of my life. Moreover, even though it sounds so dramatic, I couldn’t even look at Shanghai videos and photos without crying. It brought me so much pain during the last year. Whenever I was thinking about it, I was very sad. The reason for it was that I was supposed to be back in Shanghai last year in late Spring. Instead, I was stuck in Germany since last March because of Covid-19.
Now, after a year, I was finally able to let go and move on. That is also the reason why I am mentally able to process with this article. Furthermore, I can even now reflect on my time studying abroad in Shanghai with a little smile on my face.
All in all, I really loved my time in Shanghai, and I am beyond grateful for all the people that I met there. Furthermore, I’m also very thankful for all the memories, and I can only recommend everyone of you to study abroad as well! Here is why! Additionally to all those reasons in that article, here are the reasons why studying abroad in Shanghai was the best and my favourite experience and why I would like to move back.
So let’s jump back in time and start from the beginning. For my master degree, I had to do another study abroad semester. Since I’ve already studied in Europe and the US, I wanted to explore Asia this time. I always wanted to go to Hong Kong for studying abroad and it was my plan for a few semesters already. Unfortunately, HK was not open for the Finance degree. So I had the choice between Seoul and Shanghai. Obviously, Seoul was my first choice. (If you have been here around for a while, you know how much I love South Korea and everything related to it!).
Nevertheless, I still put Shanghai as the first choice because it was more affordable. But then, in the end, I even asked last minute if it was possible to move to Seoul anymore. My university told me that changes are no longer allowed, and that’s how I ended up in Shanghai. Right before my leave, I was really demotivated and didn’t want to go abroad. My personal life suffered a lot because of all my study abroad semesters. However, when arriving in Mainland China, it was the best thing that could have happened to me.
For this study abroad article, I decided to name why I liked my Shanghai time so much. Instead of what I experienced every month over there. I created TikTok impressions for every single month I spent there. So if you’re interested in my studying abroad in Shanghai semester, check out my TikTok (@lyy.hng).
1. SHANGHAI IS LIKE NEW YORK CITY
During my bachelor degree, I moved to NYC for half a year. It has always been my dream to be in NYC once. Nevertheless, NYC is very, very expensive. Therefore, I never considered moving back there. When I moved to Shanghai, one of the first things I realised was that Shanghai is exactly like NYC. It is just more affordable and way much better. Everything was very similar. The only difference was that the city is on the other side of the world. Not for nothing, it is said that Shanghai is the NYC of Asia. You will find everything that you need and even more over there. The nightlife in Shanghai is precisely like in Manhattan, if not even better. When living in Shanghai, there was nothing that I wanted and was not available and not reachable.
2. THE CITY LIVES IN THE FUTURE
When it comes to Shanghai, it seems like the rest of the world is about ten years behind. Life in Shanghai is very technologically advanced. When you take the metro, you scan your phone because your metro card is available in the wallet app. Hence, you can also top it up through your phone. When you pay for something in Shanghai, you pay with your phone. Everything you need and you do is available on your phone. I didn’t even need a house key because the door had a fingerprint. Technology doors like that are prevalent in Asia nowadays. My family in Vietnam have fingerprint door codes as well.
I remember how impressed I was when living in Shanghai. Everything was so convenient because it was all connected through technology.
3. TABAO LIFE
Not only was everything convenient and affordable in Shanghai, but in China in general, you have everything literally. There is this app called Tabao, which I would compare to Amazon. It is just way much better. For myself, I used Tabao more for clothes. On the other hand, my friends bought more things, such as accessories, interior, or technology. In general, everything that you could think of buying you could find on Tabao. You will even find things on Tabao that you didn’t know to exist!
What I love the most about that app was the search function. Whenever I saw something I liked, I could upload the picture on Tabao, and it will show me the product. This function even works when taking a picture of someone wearing a nice outfit. The Tabao app will find you the product, and even if it’s not the same product, the suggestions are also very concrete. Nowadays, when I ask my friends whom I met in Shanghai, what they are missing from our time there, we all agree that we miss tabaoing.
4. ASIAN CULTURE – KTV & FOOD
For me, one of the things I miss the most is my Ktv life. Ktv is the synonym for Karaoke. My friends and I often went to Ktv after dinner. It is a studio which has a lot of private Karaoke rooms that you can rent. It’s basically renting a room to sing, dance and to party. Looking back, the Ktv moments are one of my favourite memories. It’s something that makes so much fun and something I have always enjoyed doing in Asia. If you can’t imagine how a Ktv Party looks like, watch this!
Another thing I do enjoy about Asian culture a lot is dining together. Having a meal together is very important in Asia. Whether it is KBBQ or Hot Pot, where everyone shares their food or simple canteen meals and sushi dates when everyone has their meal. My friends and I always tried to have a meal together. One of my best friends from Shanghai even had a restaurant plan for the whole week. Restaurants in Shanghai are offering meal promotions on certain days. Hence, we had a Pizza promotion on a Monday and Tuesday; it was a Sushi promotion. Obviously, we didn’t stick to that restaurant plan every week because we often changed food. Besides, we also often went to the university canteen because it was more convenient after classes. Nevertheless, all those moments together made a substantial happy impact on studying abroad in Shanghai.
5. BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Studying Abroad in Shanghai was the best choice for me. Since I have Asian roots, it was charming to discover and explore the Asian culture more. I felt very accepted in Shanghai. Moreover, I never had the feeling that I need to try to fit in. It’s a struggle I sometimes face in Germany or the Western world in general. Even though I was born in Germany, I was always still the Asian girl. While growing up surrounded by white society, I was ever feeling different. Don’t get me wrong, I have the best friends I could have asked for, and I love them a lot!
Nevertheless, I often felt like I have to try harder to fit into society to be accepted. Moreover, sometimes it was also challenging to explain why I acted in a certain way because of the Asian culture at home I grew up. While living in Shanghai, everything felt in place, so I felt genuinely comfortable over there.
On the other hand, since growing up in Germany, I obviously have a Western mind. Hence, I was delighted that Shanghai has not only an Asian side but also a Western one. There were many foreigners in Shanghai, and in general, the city was very westernised as well. That’s the reason why studying abroad in Shanghai was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Even though I never intended on studying there in the first place, I got the best of both worlds!
Last but not least, I want to thank everyone who went on this incredible journey with me! Thank you for sharing all those lovely memories with me, and thanks to everyone who is still in my life even though we are not living together in Shanghai anymore!