Living in NYU Shanghai Housing is a mandatory part of program enrollment. Housing is only available for the dates of the program, February 2 – May 27.

Student Life & Housing FAQs

  • When do I need to arrive?

All students MUST arrive on February 2 as indicated on the program calendar. Late arrival is not permitted. Students can check in to the residence after 12pm.

  • When will I sign up for housing and what are my options?

You will sign up for Housing when the housing application becomes available in October. You will enter your housing preferences there, along with other details such as your emergency contact and passport info. You will have 3-4 weeks to complete this application and submit the $1000 housing reservation fee. More information about the Portal will be made available on this blog. Housing is NOT first-come first-serve.

For more about housing options in Shanghai, please visit the Housing section of our web site.

  • When will I receive my housing assignment?

You can expect to be notified of your assignment approximately 1-2 weeks before the beginning of the program.

  • Can I choose my roommate(/s)?

Yes, you can request to live with other students of your choice. You will be able to do this when you fill out your housing preferences in the housing application. Please make sure all students wanting to live together request one another. While we cannot guarantee we will be able to meet your request, we do make efforts to accommodate these requests where possible.

  • How far is the residence from the campus?

The residence is about 30 minutes from the NYU Shanghai campus. You can take the metro (just a few stops) or the free NYU shuttle. Just remember the NYU shuttle schedule is based on course times so it is not as frequent.

  • What is the likelihood of securing a single room?

There are a very limited number of single rooms available, which cannot be guaranteed. Students registered with the Henry and Lucy Moses Center for Students with Disabilities are given priority. Please look at their website regarding information on reasonable housing accommodations. This includes how to apply for reasonable housing accommodations and what is evaluated when assessing the need.

  • Can I find my own housing?

All students are required to live in NYU provided accommodation although exemptions may be granted in limited circumstances (such as staying with a close relative who is already living near the academic center). You can submit a petition by the link below.

Student Exemption Request Form

The student must also ensure that the proposed host completes the following link and sends proof of residence as per the instructions on the form.

Proposed Student Host Form

Please note that submitting a request does not guarantee exemption and appeals will be evaluated by a housing committee on a case-by-case basis.  All completed exemption requests (i.e. both forms and proof of residence) for the fall semester must be received by April 15; all exemption requests for the spring semester must be received by November 15.  Students will be notified of the decision via email following the respective deadlines.  Completed requests submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

  • Am I able to cancel my NYU assigned housing? Will I receive a refund?

The Housing License binds you for the entire period you will be enrolled at the site unless you submit a written cancellation request to the Office of Global Programs that meets particular conditions by the designated cancellation dates. All appeals are subject to the cancellation fee schedule. You can read the Housing License and cancellation fee schedule at www.nyu.edu/global/housing-details.

  • How do I get a phone for use abroad?

Some mobile phone companies offer study away plans that allow you to keep your home number and pay lower rates. You could activate a this plan here and use it while you’re away. It’s usually easier – and cheaper – to get a pay-as-you-go phone in Shanghai than to use your current plan. You can still bring your smartphone and use it as a WiFi device (just be sure to cancel/turn off the data on it to avoid hefty international connection fees).

Another, more popular option is to unlock your current smartphone and replace its SIM card with one you get in Shanghai. You would then keep your device and just pay for the minutes over there. Lastly, you can buy a cheap phone from one of the service providers in Shanghai.

During orientation, NYU Shanghai site staff will show you where to get phones and how to “top them up” — aka, add minutes.

Be sure to contact your mobile carrier for specific information.

For more tips about getting to know the city, see here.

  • How do I access Money abroad?

You can always exchange currency before you leave at the airport or when you arrive at an exchange facility, but be advised exchange rates in airports are notoriously bad. To avoid bad exchange rates, many travelers prefer to withdraw money in country, outside the airport, closer to the campus. You might have to pay withdrawal fees at the ATM, but you’ll get a much better rate of exchange. That being said, you might need to withdraw some money before leaving the airport in order to navigate to the residence, for miscellaneous purchases, or for emergencies.

Once in country, students are encouraged to open a Chinese bank account (you will be aided in doing some during on-site orientation). You would withdraw a larger amount of RMB (local currency) using your home ATM or debit card and then deposit this amount into your Chinese bank. This would alleviate all the international transaction fees you would incur should you use your credit or debit card for everyday purchases — the local bank does not charge for withdrawals or purchases.

You’ll ideally want to lessen your usage of your debit and credit cards, if the cards charge international fees. In other words: a smaller number of withdrawals using your cards (+) a smaller number of foreign transaction fees is better than numerous daily withdrawals (+) numerous daily foreign transaction fees.

You can find up-to-date currency conversion rate information at http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/.

If you plan to use your ATM card abroad, here are a few things you should do ahead of time:

  • Find out if your bank charges a fee for international withdrawals and check to see if they have partner banks abroad – that will help ensure that your ATM withdrawals are as inexpensive as possible.
  • Inform your bank of your change in residence and the length of your stay away to prevent them from blocking your purchases or placing a “hold” on your account.
  • Set up online banking – that way you can keep track of your spending and ensure that all your purchases are legitimate (unfortunately fraud can happen anywhere).
  • Make sure your debit/credit card has a 4-digit PIN number – other lengths of PINs often won’t work abroad.
  • Visa and Mastercard are accepted widely throughout Shanghai and much of China; American Express less so.
  • Photocopy all your cards (front and back) in case your card is lost or stolen and you need to cancel it. Leave a copy with a friend or relative both in your home country and abroad (not in your purse or wallet).
  • Check your bank and credit card statements online regularly to help you identify any unusual activity.
  • Beware of pickpockets.
  • What is my address in Shanghai?

NYU Shanghai is located on 1555 Century Avenue in Pudong. The residence will serve as your mailing address (you will receive this address closer to departure).

  • Can I mail items to the site in advance?

No, students cannot mail items before they arrive. Once they arrive, they can have items shipped to their residence.

  • I don’t know anyone else on the program. Help!

Whether you are an NYU or Visiting student, don’t worry if you don’t know anyone else on the program. Many of the students who study abroad on our programs go independently and are looking to meet new people. In fact, most students who go report feeling comfortable abroad because of the small, intimate communities there.

We’re confident that you’ll make friends and find your niche within your NYU program. We’ve created the NYU Shanghai Spring 2017 Facebook Group specifically for students to “meet” each other before the start of the semester. This is particularly helpful for students that are not in the NYC area who may not be able to attend pre-departure events. So make sure you join and don’t be shy! Once you arrive on site, various orientation activities, social and otherwise, will help you to further get to know your new classmates.

  • Are there hotels in the area for family, friends or early arrival?

Yes! Guests are welcome to stay in any hotel in the city, but there are two hotels that usually offer a discounted price for NYU students. In order to get the university price, students need to use their NYU email address to email the hotel directly. In the email, students should state they are an NYU Shanghai student and would like to have discounted price for a specific room type (rates will vary). Most importantly, they need to state they will pay the costs themselves in the email.

NYU has worked with these hotels:

  • Can I have overnight guests?

No, in accordance with Chinese law and the logistical difficulty of registration, no overnight guest is allowed in the Residence Hall.