China, Shanghai, night scene of Lujiazui financial district.

There are so many reasons to love NYU Shanghai. If I have to give one reason to Chinese and international high school students as why it’s the perfect place for your college experience, then that reason would be: location, location, location.

Although “location, location, location” is usually emphasized when purchasing a house, it also matters when choosing your university. Location it relates to the academic, career and experiential opportunities you could get at a university.

The City Is Your Classroom

NYU Shanghai students use the city as their classroom.

NYU Shanghai courses are deeply rooted in Shanghai’s history, culture and economy—the city lends itself to being the perfect classroom. 

Here are some examples of how NYU Shanghai faculty have leveraged the city as an invaluable resource for exploratory learning. 

In Professor Heini Shi’s course, Doing Business With China, students have toured businesses of all sizes. Everything from local startup accelerators to multinationals such as Coca Cola and DowDuPont based in Shanghai. In person, they learn firsthand some of the realities of owning, operating and building an enterprise in China. 

In one site visit, the class went to Shanghai’s famous West Nanjing Road to tour a music and fitness studio called Space. This fitness center is owned and co-founded by NYU Stern alumnus, William Hsieh. Hsieh. During the visit, he shared the story of how he started his company, along with insights to its operations and business strategy. 

Professor Lena Scheen literally walks her students through Shanghai’s past in her Chinese literature course Shanghai Stories. Every single week, students venture to a location that’s pulled from the pages of the stories they’re reading — it gets them out into the city and helps them connect the writers’ reflections with the space they are living in. 

Beilei Gu, Language Lecturer at NYU Shanghai, took students from her Advanced Chinese II class to an old lane house where she was born on Yuyuan Road. After digging into the house’s history, she discovered a story of its previous tenants who lived there in the 1930s. Standing in front of the old buildings with her class, she shared the stories she learned about the residents’ lives and how Shanghai has transformed over the past century. It was anything but a typical Chinese language class.

Perfect Location for Your First Internship

With four metro lines nearby NYU Shanghai, getting around Shanghai is easy.

As one of China’s biggest, most vibrant cities, Shanghai is growing at an extraordinary rate and is full of opportunities. NYU Shanghai is located in the heart of the Pudong DistrictShanghai’s finance and trade areawhich boasts hundreds of Chinese and foreign financial institutions as well as regional headquarters for multinational companies. With four metro lines nearby, getting around Shanghai is easy. You will have many opportunities to work or have internships, and the metro is a reliable way to get to your destination without a long transit time.

Many NYU Shanghai students start their internships as early as their first year as a way to explore academic and career interests. Because of NYU Shanghai’s location, students can head to their internships right after their last class, as most destinations are only a few metro stops away either in the Puxi or Pudong districtif not within walking distance. Experiencing different internships during the semester (or summer) is a great way to learn about what you are most passionate about and that experience will help inform your future career decisions. 

And this applies to both Chinese students and international students at NYU Shanghai:

During my stay at NYU Shanghai, I interned at three different industries, and decided to extend one of my internships to a full-time working opportunity after I graduated. I was grateful for being able to explore my own academic interests while feeling deeply connected to the potential career opportunities that are floating around in Shanghai. — Zheng Lan ’19
While working as an intern in the Office of Student Life at NYU Shanghai, I took advantage of Shanghai’s many business opportunities, finding two internships in the city. At the private equity firm where I interned one summer, I was the only foreign person there … That was a one-of-a-kind experience that I would never have had anywhere else. — Victoria Rusu ’19

A Place to Build Your Future

A rendering of NYU Shanghaiʼs forthcoming Qiantan campus.

As one of the world’s global cities, Shanghai attracts talent from all over the world. The Pudong district is especially a fast-paced but friendly environment for expats to live and work in.

Employers in Shanghai’s business hub want to attract and retain skilled overseas workers.

International students can apply for a work permit to work in Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone. Or gain work  in Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park within a year of earning their bachelor’s degree. Previously, anyone seeking to gain a work permit must have at least two years of professional experience or a master’s degree.

NYU Shanghai alumnus Tyler Rhorick ‘17 has become the world’s first overseas student to obtain a work permit in China upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree. 

“The biggest change I've noticed in Pudong is just the rapid speed of development. I would say that a lot of communities have sprung up. And I think obviously you see the big notable changes in the skyline. I remember when we first arrived the Shanghai Tower was under construction. Now it’s fully operating. It’s amazing to see how one of the world’s largest buildings was constructed with my time here. ” — Tyler Rhorick ’17

For the past three years, around 15% of international graduates have stayed in China. And most of them work in Shanghai. 

In two years, NYU Shanghai will move to a new campus in Pudong’s Qiantan district. Billed as the “the next Lujiazui,” Qiantan is a mixed-use district that will highlight ecological sustainability and international collaboration along the Huangpu River. 

It marks an important step not just for NYU Shanghai, but also for Shanghai’s ongoing efforts to advance its growth as an international metropolis. Many parts of the new campus will be open to the public. 

This new campus for NYU Shanghai will truly be in and of the city of Shanghai. And for NYU Shanghai students, it will be a new chance to build their future with what the city has to offer.

Yida Ma is a Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at NYU Shanghai, mainly working with Chinese applicants. She has spent most of her career in Shanghai, but lived and worked in New York for three years. Besides seeking and recruiting excellent students across China, she loves playing with other people’s cats, watching HGTV, and riding indoors with Zwift. She is originally from Xi’an, which is famous for its terracotta warriors, as well as its famous foods.