Shanghai, China

Summer in Shanghai

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This program has been suspended for summer 2021.

Explore our other active study abroad programs for summer 2021, or check out our travel assurances and updated health and safety guidelines.

Study abroad in China’s largest city this summer. Choose from three sessions and courses on social sciences, humanities, technology and other fields.

Unique Experiences

  • Explore

    sites showcasing Chinese history, development, and politics during field trips.

  • Take part

    in unique cultural experiences such as a traditional tea ceremony.

  • Learn

    firsthand about China’s rise to a world super-power.

  • population of Shanghai

    24 M
  • height (in feet) of the Shanghai Tower, the second tallest building in the world

  • length of Shanghai’s metro - the longest rapid-transit system in the world

    400 miles

Location & Culture

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shanghai china waterway
shanghai china sunrise

Shanghai, home to more than 24 million people, has seen massive development over the last two decades. For example, the new financial district of Pudong is now home to some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world. Boasting the fastest-growing rapid transit system in the world, Shanghai’s urban centers are easily accessible by elevated light rails, the world’s first commercial high-speed Maglev train. 

shanghai architecture waterway sky

Excursions & Activities

  • Day trip to “the Venice of Shanghai” the ancient water town of Zhujiajiao
  • Study tour of Chongming Island, on the Yangtze River
  • Explore the Shanghai Film Museum and the Jewish Museum
  • Visit the Site of the First Communist Party Congress
  • Take a river cruise along Huangpu Jiang by the Bund

shanghai china aerial view buildings

Projects, Volunteer Opportunities, or Internships

  • Get involved in volunteer programs in hospitals, parks, schools, after school programs, homes for the elderly
  • Work with local environmental groups to help maintain public parks and learn about cultural nuances in the process
  • Volunteer to coach sports and games for local youths

Daily Life

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  • shanghai students housing


    The campus residence hall is located on the north end of East China Normal University campus. 

  • Shanghai China dumplings


    The residence hall is close to the main cafeteria on campus. Most students choose to eat in a variety of Chinese fast food restaurants and cafeterias within walking distance of the Global Institute - Shanghai.

Shanghai, China

Where You'll Study

  • A

    CIEE Global Institute - Shanghai

    On the downtown Putuo campus at East China Normal University

  • B

    East China Normal University Campus

    Downtown Putuo campus

  • C

    The Bund

    Historic 1,500-meter-long waterside promenade


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Students choose one, two, or three 4-week sessions and, depending on the session, the curriculum covers Chinese history, culture, politics, business or technology, and more. Content courses are taught in English and all courses are taught by faculty drawn from a variety of higher education institutions in China and worldwide. In-class work is augmented with co-curricular visits to the city’s rich variety of cultural and business institutions and organizations relevant to the course offering.



Language Prerequisites

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

Program Requirements

All students must enroll in one 3-credit CIEE course per session

Program Credit

Total credit: 3-4 U.S. semester/4.5-6 quarter credits per session

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours per session
  • CIEE Communicative Language course: 1 U.S. semester/1.5 quarter credits; 15 contact hours

Academic Culture

CIEE courses are designed to follow U.S. academic culture and standards. Each course is a full semester in content, so the pace is accelerated, and the workload is demanding. To avoid falling behind, students should not plan personal travel away from Shanghai when classes are in session.

Class Format

Classes taught at the CIEE Global Institute are for CIEE students only. Classes are scheduled Monday-Friday, and attendance is strictly enforced for both classes and required co-curricular excursions. The class typically features a combination of traditional lecture, discussion, and co-curricular activities. Heavy emphasis is placed on student participation. Students should expect an average of two hours of preparation for each hour in class. Instruction is supported and augmented online by our learning management system, Canvas.


The U.S. grading scale of A-F is used. Students’ are graded on attendance, class participation, homework, project work, presentations, and midterm and final examinations.

Language of Instruction



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Course Information

Course Notes

  • Students studying in Shanghai for multiple sessions may only take Communicative Chinese once.
  • “(GI)” denotes courses that originated at CIEE’s Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple Global Institutes and CIEE Centers.

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

See more scholarship info

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.

What's Included

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What's Included

Pre-departure Advising
Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city
On-site Staff
Full-time program leadership and support in your city
Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
Excursions and/or Study Tours
Travel Protection
CIEE iNext and a local liability insurance
24/7 emergency on-site support

Get Started

Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
  • 1

    You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience! 

    Apply Now
  • 2

    Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad. 

  • 3

    Contact Us

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.