You may have been thinking that you should study Chinese in Shanghai, but Shanghai may not be the best spot for you after all.
While Shanghai is a major city in China, the air quality makes it an undesirable city for many international students.
But before you forget about studying Chinese in China, you could study Chinese in Kunming, which is another city in China that has spring-like weather year around. This means clear blue skies and no air masks.
AIR QUALITY IN SHANGHAI
If you decide to learn Mandarin in Shanghai, you can expect to wear a mask nearly every day. It’s normal for locals there to wear the mask and not see the view in the distance.
The air quality in Shanghai rests around 100-105, which is unhealthy. This means you can expect the “Shanghai smog,” which we’re sure you’ve heard about. Last year, the western press and Shanghai ex-pat media wrote articles about how “Living in Shanghai Takes Nearly 6 Years Off Your Life”.
Ozone, a serious pollutant that can harm a person’s respiratory system studying Mandarin in Shanghai, increased in the first five months of 2017. Another unfortunate statistic is that the winter of 2017 was bad for Shanghai smog too. While the smog started to lessen throughout the spring and summer of 2017, it did a 180 and began to get worse as the year went on.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT IF YOU LEARN MANDARIN IN SHANGHAI?
If you decide to learn Chinese in Shanghai, you can expect to wake up to heavy smog nearly every single day. Shanghai recently released the first pollution alert for 2018. Residents of Shanghai woke up in January to a blanket of heavy fog, which covered high-rise buildings and left everyone questioning why the air quality was so bad.
While it may look cool for a photograph, the smog in Shanghai creates many health risks. This isn’t the city for you or your lungs for those who want to study Mandarin in Shanghai but have asthma.
When residents woke up to that smog, Shanghai released a blue air pollution alert. The blue alarm is the lowest in the four-tier alarm system. It suggests that in 24 hours there will be heavy air pollution.
A blue alert means children, the elderly, and those with heart and lung diseases are advised to stay indoors.
This is a concern for many study abroad students, as they don’t want to be forced to stay indoors in their new city.
AIR QUALITY IN KUNMING
Unlike Shanghai, Kunming has a healthy air index. The air index for Kunming normally rests around 50-55. That’s half of Shanghai’s air index.
In Kunming, students experience blue skies, temperatures around 20-28 degrees, and moderate/good air quality. Air masks are not a common accessory in Kunming. Since there aren’t many manufacturing plants like there are in Shanghai, the air is fresh.
When residents of Kunming wake up, they’re able to see the views from their windows and breathe in the fresh, clean air.
WHERE TO STUDY CHINESE IN CHINA
So instead of studying Mandarin in Shanghai, why not pick a healthier city?
Keats School in Kunming, China, was founded in 2004 and is the first choice for hundreds of study abroad students. At Keats, we offer eight different Study Mandarin options, which means we will have something for your study needs.
If you choose intensive one-on-one classes, our most popular option, your tuition includes food and a private room. You couldn’t get this in Shanghai if you decided to learn Mandarin there. It would be at least triple the price with bad air quality on top of that!
So, instead of picking an air mask and not seeing the views Shanghai has to offer while studying Mandarin there, apply to Keats School instead. You won’t have to bring a mask, and you’ll be able to see all of the beautiful views this city has to offer.