The Bund is Your Classroom

Programs for this blog post

Chinese Language & Culture

Authored By:

Anesce Dremen
Behind a scaled version of Shanghai's The Bund, CIEE students look at their tour guide whose hand is raised in motion

Following the students’ first day of classes, they embarked into what they liked to call “the city city.” Amongst the backdrop of Shanghai’s notable “The Bund,” students completed their first Community Conversation. But first, students traveled via two private buses to go to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center. 

Seven students admire a scaled version of The Bund in Shanghai; one student on the far right raises her phone to take a photograph.


Level 0 and Level 1 students followed a tour guide in English. Levels 2 and 3 students followed a guide in Chinese. Both groups learned about Shanghai’s origin as a fishing village, the expansive nature of Shanghai’s metro (which now reaches Suzhou!), and city planning. Shanghai is expanding to transform 5 suburban areas into interconnected cities. Then, students also learned about the environmental concerns both current and future; Shanghai invests 3% of its annual GDP into ecological conservation.

Two students and a CIEE staff cross an intersection during the scavenger hunt.

At the end of the tour, students stamped a design unto their themed postcards.  Then, each group raced out the museum doors to begin a scavanger hunt toward Shanghai’s Bund. Between high rise buildings and waiting for lights to change, students solved clue after clue that brought them closer to The Bund. After completing the scavenger hunt, each level took a group photo. 

Two CIEE high school students pose with two women on the Bund.

The Community Conversations are a unique aspect of CIEE’s Language & Culture programs. Students have an opportunity to implement the vocabulary and grammar of the morning classes into practical usage with strangers. Their program leaders stand nearby for assistance or clarification. As the Pearl TV Tower attracted tourists both domestic and international, CIEE students used their Chinese skills to take a photo with people they interviewed. Whether Community Conversations are at the university’s grounds or at The Bund, the world truly is a classroom. 


Two CIEE high school students smile next to a mother holding up a peace sign with a child sitting by her side. Beyond a row of bushes are historic buildings of the Bund.