Lying on the estuary of Chang Jiang (Yangtze) River, Shanghai is regarded as the economic capital of mainland China, absorbing more and more global talent moving to Shanghai. As one of the earliest open ports in this big economy, Shanghai makes you feel at home with its sense of internationalism as well as its well-deserved reputation for safety, security and convenience. It’s like a giant magnet attracting people from all kinds of backgrounds that are moving to Shanghai because of its concrete advantages in terms of personal development, business opportunities, and its ease of lifestyle, whether you arrive alone or with a family.
The Huangpu River divides the city into two parts, Pudong (east of the Huangpu River) and Puxi (west of the river). While the former has emerged as China’s financial and commercial hub since its development in 1990, the latter has a longer history of prosperity. One of the things you will learn when moving to Shanghai is that the more you explore the city, the more quickly you’ll discover just how much it has to offer. You’ll find everything you need to make an enjoyable life both in Pudong or Puxi, while each of them presents its own unique experiences and advantages.
This sense of trust, security and internationalism is reassuring especially when you’re first settling after moving to Shanghai. You can easily find high-end residential areas where corporate executives, professionals, businessmen, artists, athletes, tourists and students mingle to create an inclusive and diverse mix of neighbours. There’s Lujiazui, Jinqiao, Greentown, Xiangmei Garden, Kangqiao, Xintiandi, Tianzifang, Xuhui and Xujiahui to name just a few. There are restaurants of all nationalities around the city, which is also full of quality malls, stores, shops, hairdressers, as well as the well-developed online tools and services which definitely make everything much easier and more fun for new arrivals.
Moving to Shanghai opens the door to a mega city that’s always on the move. As one of the largest cities in the world, it enjoys world-class urban planning with similarly well-planned and easily accessible public transportation. The metro system can able to take you all over the city due to its excellent coverage and low-cost tickets. Its 15 lines extend to almost every corner of the city. Taxi drivers are also quite experienced and the fares are very low compared to other major cities.
With a subtropical maritime monsoon climate, Shanghai enjoys four distinct seasons, marked by generous sunshine and abundant rainfall. Its spring and autumn are relatively short compared with its summer and winter. Shanghai starts the year shivering in midwinter, when temperature can drop below freezing and the vistas are grey and misty. Spring brings warmth; April to mid-May is probably one of the best time to visit Shanghai.
With an open mind and positive environment, people who are moving to Shanghai enjoy many unprecedented opportunities to enrich their lives. The culture, which may be very different from your own, presents a steep but enjoyable learning curve: explore Chinese etiquette, different culinary tastes (and standards) and a new language and writing systems that are a struggle to unlock at first but open up a new world of cultural opportunity.
People are also moving to Shanghai also because it is a heaven for food lovers. You’ll find an amazing array of traditional Chinese cuisine, small shops to high-end restaurants, from all the different provinces even throughout the whole world. From Nepalese to Japanese and Hungarian food, every cuisine is represented here. To unlock fine dining across the city, look for the bi-annual Restaurant Week in September and March – when more than 200 restaurants in Shanghai offer lunch and dinner specials. Reservations are usually required via Dining City’s Restaurant Week website.
There are also great international education opportunities for families who are moving to Shanghai. Wellington College International Shanghai has a vision of inspiring pupils to become intellectual, independent, individual and inclusive. This is based on a model of holistic education and pastoral provision that establishes the values, aptitudes and knowledge needed to be an effective global citizen. The school aims to prepare pupils for success during and beyond life at the College.
For more specifics about the city and the school, please check the guide “Moving to Shanghai” guide provided by Wellington College International Shanghai, which contains many more tips and insider knowledge from the staff and parents who live, work and learn in this amazing city.