Living in Shanghai: The Best of ECNU Student Accommodations

Mar 7, 2019 11:49:00 AM / by Imani Wilson

Are you ready for student life abroad in Shanghai? In this week's post, Imani shares her take on the dorm accommodation and facilities around the ECNU campus. From finding what you need around campus to a look inside her dorm room, she gives more insight on what to prepare for and what she already enjoys about living on campus.

Before I arrived in Shanghai, I was given instructions to get me to the East China Normal University (ECNU) Zhongbei Campus (not the Minhang Campus). There are about 10,000 students here, which is huge compared to Hood College. There are many metro stations and malls nearby.

ECNU MAPThere are so many places to explore on campus.

ECNU Zhongbei Campus

The CAPA students live in the International Student Dormitory which has a dining hall across the street. I love the area. Next to the dorm there are basketball courts and a sports field for soccer and track. Across the field there are multiple shops for hair cuts, snacks, and shops that fix glasses and phones. Everything is so close. It makes it very convenient to live here.

International Students DormitoryThere are many plants outside the dorm.

We all had a mini tour of the ECNU campus within the first two days of the program. On the tour I found where to buy food, where to go for my classes, and how to get to the ECNU Student Center. It takes about 10 minutes to get from the front gate to the dormitory we live in.

Dining HallThe dining hall has great food.

International Students Dormitory

In the guidebook that I was given, I saw that there were multiple options for the rooms. I got the double with WiFi and AC. I was very happy with my room when I arrived. The rooms are spacious, and I was able to store things easily because I packed somewhat light. One issue we noticed was that the room was very cold when my roommate andI came in. Once we found out how to turn on the electricity (for efficiency you have to use the dorm card), we found out that the heater goes up to 30 degrees Celsius which is about 86 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the hallway is so cold that I wish the rooms would heat up more.

ECNU Dorm 1I brought two suitcases, a backpack, and a laptop bag, and there was space for everything.

In the room we were given two beds, two desks, two closets, and a night stand. In the closets, we got a laundry basket and some hangers (maybe left by the people previously in the room). I was very surprised when I heard that the cleaning staff comes to our room to sweep the floors and pick up trash. CAPA also gave us a mini bathroom kit which included a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shower shoes, and a hand towel to get us started.

Dorm Beds
Where my roommate and I will be sleeping every night.

Speaking of the bathroom, I think it will take some getting used to. There is no toilet paper or soap provided, so we have to buy and bring our own. However, these items are in the lobby downstairs for purchase. Also, the toilets have low pressure, so we cannot flush the toilet paper down the toilet. The showers are the most essential yet most difficult for me to get used to. In the beginning we had problems with receiving hot water, but luckily the CAPA staff came to the rescue. There’s definitely been a bit of a learning curve.

Pretty Parts of CampusOne of the pretty parts of campus.

Overall, ECNU is a great place to live. It seems like Shanghai is very safe. There are only petty crimes. The animals (dogs and cats) on campus are cute. There are plenty of places to walk and take pictures (such as the river and cat island). Exercising will be easy because there are a lot of people that do TaiChi and play basketball in the morning. Also there are many clubs and sports teams to be a part of. I love it here. I would enjoy it even more if I wasn’t so jet-lagged.

Study SpaceTime to start hitting the books in this great study area.

Thanks, Imani!

Imani Wilson


Imani Wilson is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2019, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Mathematics major at Hood College, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.

Imani's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Shanghai Program

Topics: Shanghai, China, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations