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  Shanghai, Ideal Place to Study Chinese  
Shanghai is safe, vibrant and cool!
Shanghai was the cultural and economic center of Asia for the first half of the twentieth century and today it is on the fast track to becoming the dominant destination in Asia for business and leisure again. As of today, more than 300 of the Fortune 500 companies have invested in Shanghai. The bustling environment of business brings all kinds of people from all over the globe spanning the range of demographics, endowing Shanghai with the largest foreign community in this nation. The cosmopolitan nature of Shanghai is ever-present in its international citizens, modern skyscrapers, multinational office blocks, local and ethnic restaurants, shopping districts, first class entertainment facilities, attractive individuality of each neighborhood and frequent world events. Nevertheless, if you look beyond the daily hustle and bustle, you will also find that Chinese traditions are preserved around every corner. If you plan to learn or study Mandarin and do an internship in China, there is no better choice than Shanghai .

Downtown Shanghai
Downtown Shanghai
- Peoples' Square, Shanghai

Shanghai cityscape
Shanghai city
- view of Puxi, Shanghai

Shanghai also offers you infinite possibilities for enjoying its beauty, history and lifestyle with numerous museums, temples, galleries, theaters, cinemas and exhibitions dotted around the city, the frequent concerts of all types of music - opera, classical, jazz, rock and world sports events like Formula 1 Grand Prix, Tennis Masters Cup, Motor GP, etc.

Fascinating Shanghai
Nangjing Road, Shanghai
- Nanjing Road, Shanghai

Shanghai is also a convenient springboard for you to explore all China has to offer. The excellent public transportation system makes the surrounding areas - such as Nanjing, Suzhou, Hangzhou, and the beach - all easily accessible. There are also numerous flights from Shanghai to Beijing or Hong Kong every day which only take 2 hours to get there.There are bullet trains (travel less than 5 hours) and night trains with comfortable and deluxe sleepers to Beijing every day as well. Many of our students had spent their weekends there and come back for lessons on Monday. There are many fascinating cities and places near Shanghai too. We can give you “insider tips” and make travel arrangements for you. Of course, you can travel China all around with the Chinese you learnt after your course finishes!

The following websites will help you further enjoy your stay here in Shanghai.
Wikitravel
wikitravel.org/en/Shanghai
Useful city guide and tour service
www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/shanghai.htm
Hotel Reservations in Central Shanghai
www.centralshanghaihotels.com
Booking Apartments in Shanghai
www.homeyshanghai.com
Using the Shanghai Metro
www.exploreshanghai.com/metro
Tutors in Shanghai and China
www.shanghaitutors.com
Travel outside Shanghai in China
www.chinatour360.com
Shanghai Group Tours
www.china-group-tours.com/shanghai-tours.html
Séjours à Shanghai
www.decouverte-chine.fr/sejours-shanghai.html

Now let's take a 5 minute tour around Shanghai!
Shanghai is a city rich in history, culture and design. It witnessed the birth of everything considered modern in China for the past two centuries. Not quite Asian, not quite Western, it is a fascinating mix of East and West, a far cry from the ancient imperial history of Beijing. It has historic shikumen houses that blended the styles of Chinese houses with European design flairs, and it has one of the richest collections of art deco buildings in the world. The city has the feel of Paris or Montreal, while Tudor style buildings give a German flair and the 1930s buildings put you in New York or Chicago.

Quick Facts
Area: 6340 sq km
Population: 24 million
Visa: All foreigners coming to China are required to hold a valid visa to enter the country (except nationals from Brunei, Japan and Singapore may stay in China with only a valid passport for a maximum of 15 days). The airport authorities do not issue visas and you have to apply for a visa in advance.
No specific visa type is required by Chinese government to study Chinese at a language school. As a general practice guideline, students are suggested to apply for L (tourist) visa for short term course (less than 12 weeks) and F (business) visa for long term course.
Currency:
Name: Yuan RMB(Ren Min Bi)
Code: CNY
Symbol: ¥
Dialing Code 0086-21
Time Zone:GMT/UTC +8 (Standard Time)
Voltage: 220 V, 50Hz alternating current
Emergency:
Fire: 119
Police: 110
Ambulance: 120

Cost of Living of Shanghai
The following is a list of real prices of major elements in the cost of living of Shanghai that can be used as a general guideline. The prices are recorded in early 2010 by MandarinRocks when the exchange rate of USD to RMB is about 1:6:83.
Cell phone 100rmb for normal use or 300rmb for intensive usage (monthly)
Food (In supermarket)
Beef: 45rmb/kg
Pork: 35rmb/kg
Tomato: 13rmb/kg
Apple: 15rmb/kg
Orange: 10rmb/kg for local oranges, 24rmb/kg for imported(Sunkist)
Mineral Water(550ml): 2rmb
Coke(355ml): 2.5rmb
Beer(355ml): 3-5rmb
Canned Coffee: 5mb
Milk(950ml): 12rmb
Ice cream: 3rmb
Restaurant
Eat at home:10rmb raw material for a meal
Street snack bar (noodles, dumplings, fried rice, etc): 10-15rmb
Fast food restaurant (McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, etc): 20-30rmb
In Shopping mall (set-meal lunch): 25-30rmb
Local Chinese restaurant (some are really good): 30-80rmb
Upperscale Chinese restaurant 150-500rmb
Western restaurant 50-300rmb
Upper class western restaurant 300-700rmb
Coffee shop (Starbucks, Costa, etc) 
coffee: 30rmb
Muffin: 7rmb
Cheese cake (slice): 20rmb
Sandwich: 15rmb
Pub, Clubs
Cheap ones: 20-30rmb Normal: 50-100rmb
Cinema 30-70rmb  (Avatar in 3D IMAX was 120-150rmb)
Gym 2000-3000rmb/yr
DVD 10rmb
Daily Newspaper 1-2rmb
Magazine 10-30rmb
Hair Cut  Typically 30rmb, some large hairdressers charge 40-100rmb
Clothes Largely depend on brands, international brands like H&M, Zara, Gap, Nike, Adidas and luxuries are about the same as anywhere else, local brands are a bit cheaper
Souvenir T shirt 40rmb
Transportation
Bus: most buses is one price for all stops: 2rmb. Some special buses are higher: 3-4rmb
Subway: 3rmb (within 3 stops)-6rmb, typical 4rmb
Taxi: 14rmb for the first 3 km with 2.4rmb extra for each additional km

Events & Activities in Shanghai
Follow this page to check out heads up on what you can do in Shanghai while learning Chinese with MandarinRocks in 2015
Sightseeing
  • The Bund - The Bund alongside Huangpu River once was the financial center of the Far East. It is considered the city's symbol since the 1920s. It is often referred to as "the museum of buildings", as many different styles of European buildings can be found here. Now it is even more attractive as you can also see modern skyscrapers just opposite the Huangpu River. That gives you a strong contrast between modern life and the past.
  • Yuyuan Garden (Garden of Contentment) - A traditional Chinese Ming style private garden, originally built in 1559 but ransacked and restored several times since then. It’s worthwhile to visit the many exquisite Chinese pavilions, seemingly never-ending paths, and sculpted gardens within. Near the garden, the famous zigzag bridge and its teahouse can be visited. The bazaar near the garden is always crowded with both Chinese and Western tourists.
  • Nanjing Road - China's most famous shopping street, leading to People's Parkín gongyuán) and Jing'an
  • NanJing'An Temple - Commercial area on East Nanjing Rd
  • Temple of the Town Gods- A well-known Taoist temple not far from Yuyuan, the biggest example of traditional Chinese architecture in Shanghai. You can find local snacks and food, as well as other traditional Chinese decorations.
  • Former French Concession - the leafy district once knows as the Paris of the East, including the refurbished shikumen houses of Xintiandi. The boutique shopping areas, restaurants and leafy lanes north of Hua Hai Lu are one of the highlights of Shanghai.
  • Xujiahui - Southwest part of Shanghai, commercial area.
  • Next...how to get around in Shanghai
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