Diversity & Inclusion in Shanghai, China

At the Chinese Studies & Internship in Shanghai program, students attend classes an average of 3 hours/day, with a minimum of 2 hours and maximum of 6 hours. Language class size ranges from 1 to 10 students, with an average of 5 students. Elective class size ranges from 5 to 20 students. Students are expected to complete an average of 1 hour of homework for every hour in class. Extra time on exams and assignments, a low-distraction test environment, note-takers, readers for exams, audio recordings of lectures, and computer-based exams are available for students with documented need. Syllabi, readings, and assignments in advance may also be available.

Internships are optional and offer varied work environments and require varied tasks. Interns typically work 3 to 4 hours in the afternoons 3 days/week. Distances and modes of transportation to internship sites vary. Private transportation to and from internship sites can be arranged for a student with documented need.

Classrooms and staff offices are located on the upper floors of a classroom building on campus. There is no elevator in this building and the entrance has a 3.5-inch step. The restrooms on some floors, including the first floor only have squat toilets on 4-inch raised platforms. Other buildings on campus may have steps to the entrance and may or may not have elevators. Service dogs may be permitted on campus provided that prior approval is requested by the student. A mobility orientation and/or a sighted companion may also be available for students with documented need.

The dormitory is about a 50m walk from the classroom building. Upper floors are accessible by elevator and first floor rooms may be arranged for students with documented need. Students share double occupancy dormitory rooms with a local university student of the same gender. Each dormitory room includes a private bathroom. Single rooms or alternative rooming arrangements may be available for gender non-conforming students or students with documented need.

After class and on weekends, there are mandatory academic activities and optional trips to nearby sites and other cities. Excursions involve extended travel using public transportation or by bus, urban walking, rural and mountain hiking, and/or going up and down stairs. Alternative transportation is available for some excursions. Excused absences are available for students with documented need. Most Shanghai subways stops offer escalator and/or elevator access, but some do not, and buses rarely provide wheelchair accessibility. Sidewalks are usually crowded and often uneven. Some streets may not have sidewalks. Most street intersections provide curb cuts and light signals. Sound signals are rare. Some major intersections are crossable only by aerial walkway, many of which do not have elevator or escalator access. Traffic tends to be unruly.

A variety of health facilities are available in Shanghai, and some offer Western mental health counseling services in English. Other local resources available to students include:

  • ShanghaiPRIDE
  • Shanghai Women’s Rights and Anti-Domestic Violence Center
  • Shanghai Call Center
  • China White Ribbon Volunteers Network

Students have use of on-campus athletic facilities, including an indoor track, basketball courts, tennis courts, soccer fields, ping-pong tables, weight training facilities, and badminton facilities. Access to indoor climbing walls and dance studios may vary. Students also have the option of joining one of several local health clubs at their own expense. Swimming pools are available at nearby aquatic facilities for varying fees.

Religious proselytizing is illegal in China. However, worship is not illegal if one attends an established religious organization. There are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Taoist, and Buddhist places of worship in Shanghai, but many require a commute outside the campus neighborhood. Past students have also found other religious community groups with whom to worship. Limited approvals for class absences due to religious holidays are available, but must be requested from program staff in advance.

For more information about program expenses and financial support: