Shanghai, China

IMPORTANT: For information and updates about COVID-19, please review the situation reports from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. The Study Abroad Center will keep everyone updated if changes to our programs in China need to be made.


The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Abroad Center offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study for the fall and/or spring semesters in Shanghai, China. On-site, the program is coordinated by the International School of Tongji University.

The period of study is September through December for the Fall semester and February through July for the Spring semester.

This program is open to all majors, but is particularly ideal for students who are pursuing degrees, minors and/or certificates in the following fields of study:

  • Asian Studies
  • Chinese language
  • Communication
  • Economics
  • History
  • Music
  • Planning Studies
  • Political Science

Students may choose from a wide variety of courses offered at Tongji University.

Approximate program dates:

  • Fall 2023: Sep. 4 – Dec. 23
  • Spring 2024: Fe. 19 – July 6

Informational meetings: March 2024

Schedule an Appointment with a Study Abroad Adviser on STAR Balance.

Application deadlines:

  • Fall 2024: Monday, Apr. 1, 4pm HST
  • Spring 2025: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 4pm HST

Host Institution

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Semester in Shanghai Study Abroad program is based at the International School of Tongji University. Founded in 1907 as the Tongji German Medical School, Tongji University 同济大学 (Tóngjì Dàxuéis now a highly ranked comprehensive university offering programs in science, engineering, medicine, arts, and law.

Tongji University has a comfortable and beautifully landscaped campus, featuring buildings in many styles (the university is famous for its architecture school).  The University is ringed by convenience stores, little restaurants, coffee shops, cleaners, bike repair shops, fruit stores, phone shops, banks and the post office.  The Tongji area is still relatively low-rise, with a neighborhood feel and plenty of Shanghai’s famous plane trees for shade.  Now that the center of Shanghai has moved east, Tongji has a more central and very convenient location: entrances to the No. 10 Metro line, one of the best in the city, are right outside the University’s front gate.


The UHM Semester in Shanghai program provides students an opportunity to fulfill UHM major, minor, elective, focus, foundations, diversification and foreign language requirements for graduation. Students on the program must be enrolled full-time and may earn up to 15 credits.

The program runs from early September to late December for the Fall semester and late February to early July for the Spring semester.

The UHM Study Abroad Center appoints a designated UHM Resident Director when appropriate. The Resident Director teaches two classes, oversees students’ academic progress and mentors all participants. All students are required to take one of the two UHM Resident Director’s classes. The subjects vary each semester according to the expertise of the UHM professor.


Students can earn UHM credits for a wide range of courses, including, but not limited to Asian Studies, Business, Chinese Language and Literature, Communications, Economics, History, Music, Planning, and Political Science.

Click here for a list of courses at Tongji University with UHM equivalencies. Course offerings are subject to availability and may change without prior notice.



Courses taken at Tongji University will appear on UHM transcripts as UHM credits. 

Current as of Jan. 11, 2024


Shanghai – Light of the Night (VIDEO)

Shanghai (上海) is an exciting, dynamic world city with something to offer for every interest.  It is the country’s commercial and business center, but it is also known for its contemporary and art deco architecture, its art museums and galleries, and its creative design and fashion industry.  Despite the city’s extraordinary modernization and growth over the last twenty years,  Shanghai has retained some distinctive neighborhoods and historical sites, and you can easily explore the city (and try out its restaurants) on your own.  Must-see attractions and sites include the Bund, the Shanghai Museum, the Jewish Refugees Museum, the Yuyuan Garden, the Jing’an Temple, and the China Art Palace.

Shanghai’s metro system is one of the best in the world: it takes you almost everywhere (including airports and railway stations) and it is easy to navigate, with all signs and announcements in English as well as Chinese.  You can download a free app and check it out.

Shanghai’s central location in the Jiangnan region also makes it easy to visit nearby cities of great historical and cultural interest, including Suzhou, known for its canals and traditional gardens, and Hangzhou, famous for the beautiful West Lake.  Both cities are only a short train ride away.


Students live on campus in one of Tongji’s new dorms for international students.  They may choose either a private room with private bath or a private room with shared room with a shared bathroom. Dormitory rooms are air-conditioned or centrally heated, depending on the season. Kitchen facilities are shared, and each student is responsible for his/ her own meals. There are many coffee and snack bars, cafeterias and dining facilities on campus. Living on campus is convenient, easy, and a great way to meet other students.

Extracurricular Activities

As the commercial and financial center of mainland China, Shanghai has much to offer, such as world-famous museums, parks and gardens and shopping. Must-see attractions and sites include The Bund, Shanghai Museum, Jewish Refugees Museum, Former Residence of Sun Yat-Sen, Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Confucius Temple, Soong Ching Ling Memorial Residence.


Shanghai, China

Program Cost (Fall 2023)

  • shared room: $7,071
  • single room: $7,516

Cost includes Tongji tuition, on-campus housing, excursions, health insurance, meals, textbooks, ground transportation, UHM Study Abroad and student visa fees.

Roundtrip airfare between Honolulu and Shanghai is not included; students have the option of taking the flight arranged by Third Eye Travel or making their own travel arrangements.


FOR UHM STUDENTS ONLY: In order to receive financial aid, please ensure that either: a) you are receiving financial aid during the current semester, or b) that you complete the Financial Aid application during the current semester.

NON-UHM STUDENTS (those attending other colleges and universities during the regular school year) must apply for financial aid at their home institutions


UHM Study Abroad Center Scholarship

See the Money Matters & Resources page for a list of possible scholarships.


Students participating in the UHM Semester in Shanghai program must obtain a student visa prior to arriving in China – click here for more information.

Note: Applicants should turn in a copy of the bio page of their passport, together with their application, by the application deadline. 

Admission Requirements

Students are eligible to study abroad as early as the second semester of their Freshman year or later.

The program is designed primarily for sophomore, junior or senior level undergraduate students. The minimum requirements are a cumulative GPA of 3.0, strong English writing skills, absolute fluency in English and successful completion of course prerequisites. However, students with a lower GPA may be considered. Non-native English-speaking students must have taken the TOEFL exam within the last two years and earned a composite score of 600+ or have taken the UHM ELI placement exam.

Admission to the program is selective. All applicants for the program will be judged on their academic performance, reasons for wishing to attend the program, flexibility, and sensitivity to other cultures, and ability to adjust to a new cultural setting.

Immediately upon acceptance to the program, students are required to pay a $500.00 non-refundable initial payment to ensure a place in the program. The initial payment will be applied toward the cost of the program.

Please note that students accepted to the program are required to attend mandatory pre-departure class sessions totaling 12 hours. Failure to attend will result in students being withdrawn from the program.


A completed Study Abroad Center application and three academic references must be received by the Study Abroad Center by the following dates to receive consideration. Students from outside the UH System must also submit official transcripts from every college attended.


  • Fall 2024: Monday, Apr. 1, 4pm HST
  • Spring 2025: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 4pm HST

Please note: The Study Abroad Center is closed on weekends, and Federal and State holidays.