Why Volunteer in Shanghai?

If you want to combine the exciting aspects of the city and the fulfilling nature of volunteering, choosing to volunteer in Shanghai could be a great choice for you. This sprawling urban center could be a great place to provide your skills to an in-need community – but it could also be the site of your next adventure. Delve into the raucous nightlife, flavorful food, and ancient traditions as you live and volunteer in the distinct cultural center that is Shanghai.

Why Volunteer Abroad in Shanghai?

With Shanghai being so large, there are likely many volunteer opportunities hidden among its winding streets. You might be able to take part in programs focusing on conservation, public health, social work, economic development, community service, teaching, law or sports. Not only could you be helping a community by providing vital skills, you could also be developing your own professional resume as you immerse yourself in a foreign –and exciting – culture.

What Might Life Be Like When I Volunteer Abroad in Shanghai, China?

By volunteering abroad in Shanghai, you could also have the chance to live and work within the largest city in the China! And where there is people, there is culture. Try the regional cuisine offered by street vendors and local restaurants, view the intricate arts and performances at museums, or go for a stroll to view the iconic architecture. When you’re not busy lending a hand to the community, you could take the time to seek adventure throughout the thriving streets of Shanghai.

Here a few things you could stumble upon during your time in Shanghai:

It’s food: When you picture red and shiny Chinese meals, you are probably thinking about Shanghai cuisine. The food becomes shiny due to many dishes being pickled in a particular wine. Sugar is also an important facet of the Shanghai diet, and is often combined with soy sauce. Common cooking methods are stir fry, steaming, but some dishes could be served raw. Another common preparation is “drunken” food – where ingredients are combined with alcoholic spirits before being cooked.

Shanghai cuisine is known for its emphasis on the flavors of the ingredients: dishes highlight the natural flavors of the ingredients as opposed to strongly flavored condiments. You might want to try some of these popular Shanghai dishes:

  • Xiaolongbao, or soup dumplings, are famous in Shanghai. These steaming hot buns are often filled with roast meat and, of course, hot soup broth.
  • Shanghai maoxie might sound a little better than its anglicized name: Shanghai hairy crab! These large crabs are often steamed and served whole with vinegar.
  • Grilled oysters are a great way to use the areas local ingredients. And they’re certainly yummy! Oysters could be served with chili oil, black bean sauce, or “French” cheese sauce.
  • Beggar’s Chicken is first sealed in lotus leaves, then parchment paper, and finally mud before its roasted over an open fire. The low and slow cooking method produces deliciously tender chicken!
  • Yangchun noodles are long thin noodles cooked in a clear broth. Sometimes it’s flavored with scallion oil. The noodles get their name from the tenth lunar month called yangchun. When the noodles were created, they cost ten fen, so it made sense to name them after the tenth month!

You could wash all this down with a bottle of salt water soda, a popular drink choice in Shanghai. The distinctive soda boasts hints of lemon and mint and could be refreshing on a hot day!

It’s culture: Located in eastern Asia, China is the world’s third largest country. The sprawling country shares borders with 13 countries: notably Russia, India, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. Shanghai is the most heavily populated city in China and is situated in eastern China. While the official language of Shanghai is Mandarin, many natives speak a vernacular language called Shanghainese. Volunteering in Shanghai might be a great chance to expand your language skills!

Visiting others is an important part of Chinese daily life. You may expect some of your new friends and neighbors to drop by unannounced. It’s completely proper to return the favor!

It’s sights: If you’re looking to explore Shanghai, why not start with some of these nearby adventures:

  • The Bund, located along the Huangpu River, is a collection of buildings the comprise Shanghai’s iconic cityscape. This stunning view is best seen while strolling or from a relaxing ferry ride.
  • Yuyuan Garden is the only surviving Ming garden in Shanghai. It is well-known for its distinctive dragon walls: walls sculpted to resemble roiling dragons.
  • Nanjing Road is a bustling street full of nightlife, shopping destinations, and eye-catching architecture.
  • The Shanghai Museum, located off of Nanjing Road, houses more than one million artifacts. You could see everything from jade carvings and bronze works to traditional Chinese garb.

In addition to these sights, Shanghai offers city monuments, national parks, and other UNESCO World Heritage sites. Ask your neighbors about their favorites!

How Do I Find a Perfect Volunteer Abroad Program in Shanghai, China?

Volunteering abroad in Shanghai could be a whirlwind experience full of meaningful life experiences and consequential contributions to a populace in need.  When you’re ready to find a perfect volunteer aboard program in Shanghai, browse the list of links below. To get more information about a particular Volunteer Abroad in Shanghai program, either click on the program name or “LEARN MORE.” You can also reach out to the Volunteer Abroad in Shanghai program directly. Best of luck as you take the next step in your volunteer abroad journey! 

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