In the midst of Shanghai’s urban jungle you will find a neighborhood where the unlikeliest of colors has its way – green. No, it’s not one of the city parks, at least not by its name, but you will certainly be forgiven for thinking so. Just a tad north of the Xuhui historic city center, and a bit west of the fabulous former French concession a school quietly steps along the path of excellence and success. We of course, are talking about the Donghua University – a household name amongst Shanghainese and Chinese creative and innovative circles, but still rather unknown albeit, increasingly recognized in the West.

It was 4 years ago when Shanghai Summer School was looking for its new home when our great relationship – might we even call it a love affair, took off.

Donghua University campus

Donghua University started its journey years before. Its deep roots lie in the millennia of silk mastery. East China is where silk craft was perfected and popularized – it’s from here that great explorers and adventures like Marco Polo brought the finest pieces of textile West has ever seen. Through the years, knowledge of silk fashion and technology associated with its manufacturing was handed from generation to generation until part of that treasure found a home in five institutes established in the first half of the 20th century. As all of them were fruitfully engaged in different aspects of silk art it was only a matter of time their work combined under a single roof. In the years that followed many different departments were established, slowly expanding their knowledge portfolio into the modern multidiscipline Donghua University is today.

Donghua University, the top 10 institutions of higher education in China

Donghua University and its professors found their technical knowledge connected to engineering, design, production, and testing to be widely applicable cross-disciplines. Series of departments including those engaged in basic sciences like chemistry and physics collaborated with applicative homegrown textile technology to develop innovative materials that were used to design Chinese Space Program space suits. This accomplishment, however, was neither a surprise nor a coincidence. Since early two thousand Donghua University was in fact among the top 10 institutions of higher education in China with the highest number of Highly Cited Researchers, sharing top places with world-renowned universities like Beijing University, Tsinghua, Fudan University and others.

Park at Yan'an road campus

Home of Shanghai Summer School

Creativity is the underlying force that pushes the limits of science and technology. Donghua University has a long creative streak that started with the first silk weavers and has continued up to this day. Today, a creative torch is held by the researchers and students of fashion design. Their contributions of playfulness and limitless imagination are neatly exhibited in the form of varying artworks found through the Yan’an campus. Yan’an campus is also Shanghai Summer School’s home we are fiercely proud of. An extremely diverse mix of student nationalities gives it a proper Melting Pot of Civilizations-kind of a vibe. To be precise people from more than 140 countries called Donghua University their home in the years since China opened to the world in the mid 20th century. This is no coincidence, Donghua University was amongst the first in China to enroll foreign students and it reconfirmed its international orientation with many collaborations sprouting up between its researchers and their peers across the world.

Today, Donghua University is considered one of the five most international-friendly universities in all of China.

Very interesting expertise has developed at Donghua University as a consequence of sheer numbers of foreign students that came to study their major of choice, but had to be taught the Chinese language first, before they could join regular classes with their Chinese speaking schoolmates. International Cultural Exchange school was created to facilitate Chinese learning. Since its humble beginnings the school has grown significantly in size and richness of programs offered, becoming one of the new pillars of Donghua University. Its popularity amongst term students has in recent years spilled over to summer school programs where the teaching program is designed to be a good balance of Chinese language acquisition and cultural immersion. One of the best summer experiences in Shanghai, the Shanghai Summer School is hosted by Donghua University.

Shanghai skyline

Shanghai, Chinese richest and the most internationalized city 

No introduction to any university in Shanghai goes without the introduction of the city itself. The legendary Chinese metropolis has acted as a stage to some of the wildest stories of the early years of the 19th century. Great tales of wealth, love, adventure, but also crime, corruption, and poverty were born as Shanghai was one of the key power and capital centers of the age. From early forties Shanghai fell asleep for three decades when it returned in its full glory with the rise of new China. As the Chinese richest and the most internationalized city it drew millions of migrant workers who came to the city to build their dreams and concurrently build Shanghai as we know it today. From the years past old buildings, picturesque lanes and now fully grown tree lines still give a sense of its turbulent and glorious past, but the real richness lies in how the past is seamlessly merging with the futuristic world of modern China.

Shanghai Summer School

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Singapore Summer School

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As their forefathers have been in the past, students walking the halls of Donghua University today will be the leaders of the next generation. Spread across the world they will take their knowledge and contribute, each of them in their own way, to the future and better world. Professors and students alike will continue building Donghua University to be the best higher education institution, fit for the city it calls its home.

Find out more about Shanghai Summer School’s summer programs.

Shanghai Summer School strives to provide you with a summer experience unlike any other. The summer school is primarily about learning the Chinese language in an immersive way, but it’s also about going out and discovering a new culture and making meaningful connections with its people. We would even go as far as to say that delving headfirst into the bustling metropolis of Shanghai will allow one to adopt a new and expanded worldview, and a deeper understanding of cultures different than our own.

The knowledge of new languages combined with heightened cultural sensitivity and awareness has become ever more important in the global world we live in today.