Cookery classes are regularly held upstairs at the French Concession continental restaurant Mesa and are also held once a month at the Westin Shanghai. The food on offer varies monthly – from desserts to Italian or Southeast Asian cuisine – and the quality is very high. The Y350 charge includes the cooking and eating of a three-course lunch. The Portman Ritz-Carlton has a similar deal twice a month for Y328.
Countless language schools have been set up to feed the throng of eager expats aiming to master Mandarin. It’s advisable to talk to students first to gauge their satisfaction with a school’s teaching methods. The following language schools are reputable and offer group or private tuition.
Berlitz (Bèilìzī; 6334 6262; www.berlitz.com; 35 fl, Ciro’s Plaza, 388 West Nanjing Rd; 38835) There’s another branch in Pǔdōng (6881 0558).
iMandarin (3222 1028; www.imandarin.net; Suite 721, Shanghai Centre, 1376 West Nanjing Rd; 1376721) With six branches, new classes start each week; from beginners to advanced, children’s courses, summer camps, business Mandarin. Cantonese classes also offered.
Mandarin Center (Wénhuà Yánxí Zhōngxīn; 6270 7665; www.mandarin-center.com; 16 Songyuan Rd, cnr Hongqiao Rd; 16) Part-run by the humanities department of Fudan University, with evening and weekend Mandarin classes, as well as instruction in Shanghainese dialect. Useful website.
Mandarin House (Měihé Hànyǔ; 6288 2308; www.mandarinhouse.cn; Room 1901-1903 Plaza 66, 1266 West Nanjing Rd; 12661901-1903) With seven branches around town, new classes start each week. Courses at all levels, with an average of four to six students per class.
Teach English abroad with an i-to-i TEFL Course
If you’ve ever thought about living and working abroad, then why not teach English as a foreign language (TEFL)? It could be the key to funding your travels and experiencing new cultures in a totally new way. You don’t need teaching experience or even the ability to speak the local language – although you might learn it while you’re out there.