Shanghai: from the beautiful Alps to an impressive skyline

14 Dec 2015 | by Olivia Collins


Olivia is a global degree student who has just started her semester in China and talks about her impressions of this huge city with a big heart.

Shanghai, where the beautifully displayed rim of the Alps makes way for the impressive skyline containing the Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower. Where the gooey cheese fondue with Swiss white wine makes way for Beijing duck with a Tsingtao because after all, we are students on a budget, with ‘no budget’. As with any other city, the more you get lost, the more you learn about its heart and so fall in love with it more and more.

The city of competition

This city seems to be able to capture so much in just the small dot in the map it represents.

In the big China, where people often think of the Great Wall and the 2008 Summer Olympics, Shanghai has to really prove itself, and it can.

Whenever you think you are lost, you discover that actually, you are not – it is a city that is able to make you quickly feel at home and will never fail to impress you.

The city with a rich history

The French Concession is an example of what I like so much about Shanghai. The district brings a more European twist to the city with its tree-lined streets and glimpse of the older style architecture that dates back to the 1850s.


As well as the French Concession, the Yu Garden adds to the rich history and culture of Shanghai. This housing area was built during the Ming Dynasty and was involved in many wars. There are countless of stories to be told about this establishment and one of them has to do with chasing bad spirits away from the area by for example having a non-straight bridge towards the tea house in the middle of a pond. The legend goes that these spirits are not able to cross paths that are curved, and thus the bridge protects the inhabitants and visitors.

yu garden shanghai

The city with a lot of travel opportunities

Checking the Facebook and Instagram posts of students nowadays makes you very jealous, especially with the locations in Asia that many have visited. Ranging from Japan to Hong Kong or Thailand, it’s simply not possible to be bored here. In addition, because of the vast amount of hotel brands that are located in Shanghai, there is also a possibility of expanding one´s hospitality knowledge. Visits to the lobbies, dining options such as afternoon tea and the rooms for an overnight stay allows you to form a good understanding of what every hotel (chain) has to offer.

Olivia Collins


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