One month in China
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Feb 4, 2013 12:57 PM Last Post By: SoloHobo
Feb 2, 2013 10:58 AM
One month in ChinaHello,
I am going to China for one month this summer (late July -- August). I would like to stay in Shanghai and try to experience the life of a regular person might. I am 20, don't speak a lick of Chinese, so I thought maybe I could find a Chinese school in Shanghai that I can go for a few weeks. not really to learn Chinese because a month isn't enough but it will give me something to do better than randomly knocking around a foreign country.
Also if there can be opportunities for me to volunteer and meet other Chinese people that'd be good too. I don't have much skills but I speak English and I can lift heavy objects.
Finally, for a month, is there short term apartment rental? It's not for the money but I like to cook.
Feb 2, 2013 11:54 AM
1Why don't you go and be a tourist, rather than just attending a Chinese school (that you don't want to learn Chinese at) to fill your time. Also, in a month, you're not going to learn much of use. There are plenty of summer schools (try Google...).
Other than seeing things like a normal tourist, there are volunterring activites (again, Google!), although in China they are mostly looking for English teachers with a university degree (in anything). At 20, I assume you don't.
Shanghai is a big busy city. You might, if you want to live as a local (what do they do? Oh yes, work, study, or are retired), pick a smaller city. Try Gulang Yu near Xiamen?
And I don't think there is a large market for Westerners to come to China for skilless manual labour....
Finally, most of China is hot and sticky in the summer. Not the best season for hanging around for no particular reason. Good luck!
Feb 2, 2013 12:11 PM
2thanks for your help.
I know summer is not the best time but as a uni student this is the only time I have off. I also have a job in summer but I am going to end it in late July then go back to school in Sept.
Why not be a tourist? I am more interested in the way other people live than seeing sights, although I do plan to take some short trips while I am in China. Staying put lets me see things a tourist won't.
I will google summer school but a personal tip is always appreciated.
Feb 3, 2013 1:44 AM
Feb 3, 2013 3:41 PM
Feb 4, 2013 4:01 AM
5Having lived in Shanghai in August, it will be very hot, and sticky. Not sure Shanghai would be the best choice to see life as a regular person, as the city has the most western influences if any city in the country, it also has more foreigners and expats than any city in the country as residents, and also is not much to see or do culturally, as Shanghai is really a new city, without much traditions, many people moved there from somewhere else, work there and have a main home somewhere else, and or bought a condo there as investment, or to send kids to better schools, and the children live there with grandma and then go home on weekends. (Especially the French Concession/Puxi area)
The best place to live in Shanghai is where all the foreigners do, either the French Concession older area, or the Pudong area which is all new and like the suburbs, huge streets and a car is needed, unlike the FC where you can walk, bike or train/bus everywhere.
I agree a smaller city that is more related to Chinese commerce and lifestyle would best, as Shanghai is just an modern extension and version of the west, western shopping malls, imported luxury cars, all the brands from the west from Apple stores to Nike, and more places to eat western than Chinese in the FC.
I also could think of 150 countries I would rather spend a month in observing local culture, than China, which overall, lacks much of anything, they are just work work work, listen to the communist party and live a life of existence compared to many lesser countries, not to mention you would be trapped in a concrete jungle overall, compared to say Chiang Mai Thailand, Hue/Danang Vietnam, Pakse Laos, Mandalay Burma to name a few. The pollution is terrible, the water is bad, the food sources toxic, the traffic is hell, and heat will be like Houston.
And I like Shanghai, at least compared to Beijing, a truly polluted and congested city on a grander scale.
Feb 4, 2013 4:39 AM
6I would like to stay in Shanghai and try to experience the life of a regular person might. I am 20, don't speak a lick of Chinese...
Do you mean a regular Chinese Shanghai resident? If you do, then the flaw in this plan should be fairly obvious. Forget it.
Feb 4, 2013 6:49 AM
7you have made some good point SLHB. I like Shanghai because it is more westernized so I imagine it will be easier for me as a foreigner. It's kind of like other Americans who like to travel to UK or Ireland because they are easier European countries to go to. For a month I would like some place safe and less trouble because I don't have a lot experience traveling. I also have some uni acquaintances who are chinese and they go back home in summer so if I need help in an emergency I may be abel to contact them. Also knowing a little about China potentially can be good for my education and future job prospects.
I did some search on the internet and posted a question on the SH expat site. Looks like there are lots of language schools I can choose from.
with language school sorted my main focus now is finding a gym. my interests in travel are like my interest in daily life, I like to eat, sleep, and go to the gym. I am a swimmer in college my summer plan is to catch up on sleep, go to Chinese lessons for a couple of hours a day, eat lunch, then work out. I will be working from April to late July so this is my break before school starts again in the Fall.
Does anyone know if I can find a gym with pool in Shanghai that does not require anual membership?
thansk in advance
Feb 4, 2013 7:54 AM
8Well, If I was young and single, I would head to Thailand...far nicer in every respect than China.
But my condo residence just put in a new gym and remodeled the huge indoor pool-
55 Zhenning Lu. Its between Yan'an Pky and Huashan Lu. The Courtyards has a new Tera Gym
Line 2 to Jiangsu Lu, walk on Yuyuan Lu (towards Jing An Temple) 1 block, to Zhenning Lu, turn right, 1.5 blocks, cross under Yan'an at the Nikko Hotel, another 30 meters to 55 Zhenning Lu.
Central Residences around corner are popular too, and another one a bit south is more a scene at the pool on weekends, cant remember the name, not sure about Gym, but all the big condo complexes in FC area have gym/pool/tennis usually.
This area is about 9000RMB a month for a apartment unfurnished, so you need to find a room for rent in a condo for a month, for about 3000RMB, that hopefully is close by to what you want, and also transport, as this is the big hassle in Shanghai/major Cities. Check Craigslist.
I know a woman that rents rooms to foreigners for a month furnished, its a big 3 bedroom condo, but its far from anything western, but it is a great way to immerse yourself in typical Shanghai life, there is a Carrerfour (like walmart/target) 20 minutes walk.
Its located near here near the Wusong River and far north end of Jing An, edge of Putuo.
Google Map Shanghai, than enter this-
Lvzhou City Garden Coffeemore
Jiaozhou Road, Putuo, Shanghai, China
It was zero english spoken here, except at the Starbucks nearby one guy and girl did. Otherwise, I lived there 3 weeks and struggled, but everyone is happy to help a foreigner, hard part was taxi, if not written down or you have Pinyan on smartphone, stick to trains.
Feb 4, 2013 9:22 AM
Feb 4, 2013 10:09 AM
10O ma sure they are flexible, as many cater to foreigners there on business, some 250,000 live in the Shanghai...
Feb 4, 2013 12:43 PM
Feb 4, 2013 12:57 PM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$155.60 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$22.12 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$168.31 per night