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Shanghai is the fashion and cultural hub of China. With 24 million inhabitants, it is an exceptionally large and thriving place to live. The television tower skyline in Pudong district, encapsulates modernity to new heights, quite literally. Shanghai tower is the second largest building in the world. As the business hub of Shanghai, Pudong district is garishly flashy with its frequent laser shows and zealous highways. Open top bars amidst flossy skyscrapers make Shanghai what it is today.

Across the river, there is the French Concession area, rich in history and culture. With each street lined with French Plane trees and classy high-end stores, it is a honeypot for tourists. East meets West across its streets due to the French imperialist era. . This infusion of culture makes this part of Shanghai utterly unique. Expats crawl the streets with its lively bars and coffee hang outs. The area is filled with cutesy Chinese and French hot spots, alongside other cultural influences from all over the world.

Shanghai’s old city, Yuyuan gardens is a delight to walk through. Made up of traditional food stalls, parks and streams, the area adds that extra dimension to the city. Shanghai boasts a whole host of parks spawned across the city. Century park is the largest in the New Pudong District area, with nature trails encircling a magnificent lake. On weekends, families flock to the location, gathering a moment of piece inside the hectic city.

The arts and cultural affairs of the city offer a larger scope to explore. The Shanghai Natural History Museum alongside the China Art Museum are just a few of its many institutions. Musical opera singers and theater performances range from artists all over the world. One such popular outlet for tourists has been the Propaganda museum, proving new outlets to Chinese art and history. The city is crawling with hidden excursions for all interests alike. Each one caters toward a full and enriching lifestyle.

Local inhabitants of the city are friendly and wide-ranging. Levels of inequality still make up some factions of the Shanghai populace. Hence, local authenticity is still evident inside a somewhat rich landscape. Ancient rituals such as square dancing and Shanghai rummy are still practiced on every street corner. Some parts of Shanghai are extremely cosmopolitan with a better standard of English self-evident. With more ESL teachers in the city, it makes life that little bit easier for making friends.

Due to the sheer size of the city, transport is extremely important. A metro system covers the entire parameter of the city. Alongside this, a bike service is accessible in nearly every district. With such flat terrain, there is no better way to travel than cycling. Such a journey will keep you fit while soaking in the rich aromas of life in Shanghai.

If it is nature you are after, Shanghai boasts a variety of fishing villages along its coast. Such excursions allow yourself to experience another side to China. Or maybe you wish to visit a Chinese style Disneyland, the city is endless in its options for all folk alike.

ESL Teaching:

The demand for ESL teachers is slightly lower compared to the rest of China. However, a strong demand is still there. The local population are competitive people and wish the best for their children’s education. Hence, your area of work will be extremely appreciated. Shanghai has a huge population which means a large number of students will need English lessons. While there are a large number of ESL teachers in the city, the ratio of less teachers is still creating a demand.

Shanghai’s expat community is one of the largest in the country. As a 1st tier city, expats come and live in the city for all kinds of business. Many ESL teachers enjoy this cosmopolitan atmosphere. Different avenues for making friends from all over the world will come in abundance. Hence, ESL teaching in Shanghai can be hectic, but exciting!

The Shanghai populace will be less mesmerised by your presence in the street, however, still keen to make friends. Some of the local populace have high levels of English, providing larger scope for life long Chinese friends! Many enjoy mingling with the expat community, providing less cultural divisions as opposed to other Chinese cities.

Cost of Living:

Standard appartment in central Shanghai: £300-£650 a month
Bills: £30- £35 a month
Apartment prices in Shanghai vary hugely. Pricing will depend on size and exact location. In the lower price bracket, it will be a fairly small apartment. For a regular size, prices will begin to rise. It really depends how much you value location and size.

Standard apartment in suburban Shanghai: £200- £350 a month
Bills: £20-£25 a month
Suburban apartments will buy more for your money. However, due to high prices generally in Shanghai, the size will be still somewhat small. Nevertheless, chances of a larger size appartment will be higher with a less central location.

Internet (4g): £10 a month
China posses one of the best 4g services in the world. As a result, it is cheap and very high quality. At just £10 a month, it is an extremely cheap way to stay connected.

Metro: 20p per ticket
The Shanghai metro is extremely cheap. You can also buy a travel ticket which can be topped up as you go. It is also extremely conveinient and efficient. The service covers all areas of the city and outer district. Using the metro is a great way to save money!

Bus service: 20p per ticket
The bus is another great way to get around. Just like the metro, they cover all areas of the city.

Taxi: £2.20 – £5 (10 mins ride.)
Taxis are everywhere and are another alternative if you choose not to travel publicly. However, prices may fluctuate due to heavy traffic in the city. Prices will also increase later into the evening.

Supermarket Groceries: £15- £20 a week
Supermarkets are a great way to eat inside a somewhat expensive city. Quality of supermarkets fluctuate and so will the price accordingly. We highly recommend local food markets as a great way to go. Products at an incredible bargain price are available across the whole city.

Local Chinese Food: £2-£5
Local eat outs are another fantastic way to enjoy Shanghainese cuisine. They are sprawled across the city and offer amazing alternatives to those on a budget.

Standard Chinese Restaurant: £6-£12 (depends on location and quality.)
Standard restaurants again vary hugely on dish and quality. However, it is very possible to eat out and not always be breaking the bank. Local restaurants are everywhere and allow for a decent meal at a mild price range.

Western Restaurants: £12-£25 (depends on location and quality.)
Western food is usually in the high end of the city, making prices somewhat higher than other eat outs. However, the quality is usually very good and in an exciting part of the city.

Standard beer: £3.50-£6.00
Just like eating out, prices vary based on location and venue. Nevertheless, it may prove difficult for a cheap night out unless you choose to buy from a supermarket. Most bars and clubs will charge a similar comparison to the West. Some Chinese clubs will offer free alcohol for expats.

Expenditure in Shanghai is entirely flexible depending on how you choose to live. Due to its levels of inequality, the city caters well for the super-rich and the super poor. ESL teachers will still come under the bracket of being wealthy compared to most locals. Hence, the city will cater very well for your budget.