Life in Shenzhen

Making the move to China is a big one, we get that. On this page you’ll find information to help you get to know campus life and Shenzhen as a city.


ShenzhenShenzhen is an ever-changing city, literally. Everywhere you look, something is being developed or modernized. The city as we know it only has a history of about 37 years, dating back to when Deng Xiaoping proclaimed it China’s first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in 1980. Originally a fisherman’s village, it is now a vast and modern city of 14 to 15 million people. Located just a quick trip across a border checkpoint from Hong Kong and just south of Guangzhou via a 30-minute bullet train ride, the city itself is well-connected, affording you the opportunities of three vastly different metropolises. Shenzhen prides itself as being China’s hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, and the effects of this can be seen all throughout the city. Walking around the city, you can find skyscrapers housing many company headquarters like Tencent, Huawei, and DJI, upscale entertainment areas, and even lively urban villages where street noodles will cost you only 5 RMB. And nestled just behind Tanglang Mountain, you’ll find our quiet campus in Xili University Town.

Restaurants and Nightlife
Nanrong Hotel
Sunday morning dim sum at Xili Nanrong Hotel

As a new city, most people that live in Shenzhen are transplants—having moved from somewhere else in China (or even the world!)—and they have brought their cuisines with them. So here not only you can find Guangdong cuisine, but you can sample delicious foods from all over the country! And with a steadily growing expat population, non-Chinese cuisines are readily available should one’s palate need a taste of something else (Tacos? Check! Pasta? Check! Sushi? Check! The list goes on!). As for nightlife, bars can be found all over the city, from upscale venues to curbside barbecue joints serving into the wee hours of the morning. More western-style bars and clubs can be found all over, especially at the entertainment districts of Coco Park, Seaworld, and Coastal City.
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Outdoor Recreation
Tanglang Mtn Hike
A hiking path on Tanglang Mountain

Shenzhen offers many opportunities to stretch your legs and enjoy the outdoors. You can take in the views from atop several mountains around the city, the highest being Wutong Mountain in the eastern part of town, and the closest being Tanglang Mountain, often seen in the background of our campus photos. Head east and you’ll find a couple beaches, like Xichong and Dameisha. In Shekou, you can find a path that hugs the bordered coast where you can rent bikes or go for a jog. Shenzhen boasts a lot of greenery for a massive city, and as such you can find lively parks and gardens dotting the landscape.

Subway car
Shenzhen Metro Line 7 headed to campus

Public transportation is affordable, convenient and for the most part, bilingual. There are currently eight subway lines that service the city called the Shenzhen Metro, which also readily connects to public transport in Hong Kong and the bullet train to Guangzhou. There are many active bus lines crossing the city and no shortage of taxi cabs. Many people in Shenzhen prefer to get around with Didi Chuxing (滴滴出行), the China equivalent of Uber, for ultimate convenience.



20140822042038853Shenzhen has a sub-tropical climate–so it’s very, very humid during the rainy season (April to October). Summers fluctuate between blue skies and downpours, with temperatures usually maxing out around 35 degrees celsius. Winters are short and mild, but you should still pack a coat. Though the temperature never dips very low (hardly below 10 degrees celsius), the humidity makes the winter chill feel colder. It should also be noted that Shenzhen doesn’t have central heating, including our dormitories. Dressing in layers is key in colder months!


MallThere is no shortage of shopping malls in Shenzhen. At times it seems like every subway stop you exit through is a shopping center. That said, Shenzhen has many international brands and retailers available across the city. Luxury malls like MixC in Luohu district will be great for window shopping unless you regularly purchase Chanel or Gucci, while other mid-range malls like Yitian Holiday Plaza offer the big western retail comforts of H&M and Zara. On the other end, the stalls of Dongmen Market are mostly without name-brand tags and are a great deal, given you are a skilled haggler.


早安,镜湖Our campus is located just north of Tanglang Mountain and is housed in the northeast corner of University Town, alongside Tsinghua University Graduate School and Harbin Institute of Technology Shenzhen.
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