Shanghai Residential

Shanghai property and living advice by Adrienne Farrelly



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Activities in Pudong

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It can be pretty tough choosing the district you want to live in Shanghai, especially if you have a family with children to consider entertaining.  You read loads online and hear lots of advice from real estate agents in Shanghai. Many recommend Pudong district as a nice place with great expat oriented compounds and a good supply of international schools and kindergartens. But what else does this area offer you when you and the kids want to escape your daily routine of work, home keeping and school. We’ve done some research for you and found out just what Pudong has to offer families.
Activities for kids
There are plenty of venues, sport and art centers where you can take your children to have fun and learn something at the same time. Here are some of them:
Adventure Zone – this is a great play zone with three magical themed rooms where you can celebrate special occasions. You and your kids can enjoy slides, games and climbing challenges that keeps the little ones active and mentally switched on.  Or you can leave your children in the safe hands of the Adventure zone team and go workout at Kerry Sports Centre or relax in the SPA.
Active Kidz  – this is non profit organization offering a lot of sport and recreational programs for children including baseball, volleyball, field hockey and ballet.
The Community Center Shanghai – a great centre that offers a few sports activities for kids in Pudong: wushu, fencing and dance.  It is a great place to get to know more about Shanghai, take some courses, meet other expats, and even do some volunteering.
Basketball Stars United offers after school training and weekend games at international schools in Pudong for kids aged 7 to 16 years. Season timetables follow school semesters, and you can also send your kid to their holiday camps.
Little Chefs at Alla Torre – this is a family cooking class which takes place every Saturday (April 26, 2014 – April 18, 2015) in Pizzeria Alla Torre. It is an ideal combo activity for families. Your kids can get into the kitchens and learn how to make their own pizza. There is a competition after training, and the winner will receive a special prize. Also, while the children are engaged in the kitchen, the group’s Lujiazui branch offers the rest of the family an all-you-can-eat antipasti and pizza option.
Kids Elements – courses for kids in dance, theatre and more.
Childrens Technology Workshop offers creative, hands-on learning innovative workshops in engineering, robotics, animation, architecture and video-game design for children. There are after-school and weekend courses, and summer camps.
Animal Factory is located in the famous Brand mall. Kids can fluff and stuff their own furry friends chosen from a selection of 40 different animals. Every part of the process is participatory and loads of fun.
Cub Scouts welcomes boys to participate in an internationally recognized program emphasizing leadership and character development through camping and other skill activities. It helps young people build character, train them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develop personal fitness and that’s why you should enroll.
Pudong area has many museums, where you can bring your children to educate them in a fun way. If you want to spend time enjoying fresh air and bright sunlight you can go to Shanghai zoo, to one of many amusement parks or just play any kind of game you know on the many playgrounds. There are also a lot of dance studios, art galleries and cinemas, where you can go with your children to have fun. You can find a lot of additional information about kids activities in Pudong on our website.
If you don’t have children or you want to spend some time away from them, you also will find a lot of places in Pudong, where you can go to have fun, relax and socialize.
First of all there are plenty bars and restaurants, where you can see a lot of expats, like Simply Thai, Blue Frog, Paulaner Braeuhaus, Da Marco, Wagas etc.
If you like to keep your body fit, you are welcome in one of many Pudong sport centers:
Kerry Sports – Inside Kerry Parkside near Century Park this 5 star gym has it all
Noahs Health and Fitness Members Club (inside the Pudong Oriental Riverside hotel) has full gym, fitness center, indoor pool, massage rooms and SPA.
Pudong swimming center – also has racquet sports area (badminton, tennis and squash)
There are also a lot of international sports leagues (soccer, rugby, tennis etc.). Teams usually choose different places to have trainings, some of teams trains in Pudong. You can search the web, usually each league has their own website.
If you are not a fan of sport, but like sport activities from time to time, here are some places you can go:
Shanghai Century Star Skating Club (in Mercedes Arena) – 1025 sq.m. of ice – the largest and nicest skating rink in Shanghai
Pudong Tennis Center
Shanghai Binhai Golf. Located close to the Pudong International Airport and boasts two 18-hole courses. The course is open to visitors and contains a driving range with 20 bays.  The Binhai Golf Course can also arrange for shuttle buses to pick customers up from various locations in Pudong.
When you want just relax and indulge yourself with some royal treatment,you can choose on of many SPA in Pudong, for example:
The Spa At Mandarin Oriental- one of the most high-tech SPA in town, treatments rooms, couples rooms, an advanced beauty centre, a 24-hour fitness and wellness centre, a 24-hour indoor swimming pool, thermal bathing facilities, plus a spa boutique. There’s also a manicure lounge, pedicure lounge and reflexology lounge.
Spa at Club Oasis of Grand Hyatt Shanghai
 For any other activities you can go to:
Expo Park
Big E China’s first and only 3D black light themed entertainment center. They have a “lost civilization of Atlantis”-themed mini golf area, a space-invaders-style laser tag zone, plus you can chill in one of  KTV rooms and a bar with air hockey, billiards and foosball.
Shanghai wild animal park – you can see over 200 species of animals. You can choose to walk through the exhibits housing the gentle animals or can take a bus to view the carnivores. There is also a performance zone, a bird zone and an animal kindergarten.

Filed under active fun pudong activities for kids outdoors sports golf tennis SPA



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International Schools in Shanghai

     Shanghai’s International schools are spread across the city and provide essential international school services for the children of tens of thousands of expats that live and work here. To share some details of International schools in Shanghai, have a look at the details below.

    Expatriates moving to Shanghai must search through the limited information online and decipher which is the best school for their children. Some families enroll their kids into local schools; however the most expats decide to look for schools that mirror their own country’s educational system. International schools in Shanghai offer expatriate families the choice of educating their child using various curriculums from different countries such as Britain, America, Germany, France, Holland, Korea, Japan and Singapore. Since Shanghai has such a large and vibrant international community, the city boasts a good number of international schools to choose from. Here are some helpful insights into International Schools in Shanghai. Knowing about the schools is essential before you start searching for your Shanghai Apartment.

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American-based Curriculum

Shanghai American School (SAS)

    The Shanghai American School is not only the largest international school in Shanghai, but also the largest international school in China. With over 3,200 students spread across two campuses, one in Puxi and the other in Pudong. SAS is quite diverse with over 40 different nationalities represented in the student body. SAS offers an educational experience in line with American standards. Students at SAS are exposed to a rich academic environment and generally score well above average on standardized tests. More than 98% of SAS graduates go on to universities in the US and around the world.
Pros:
1. SAS emphasize fostering well-rounded students by encouraging student involvement in enriching extracurricular activities. The facilities at SAS are known for being state of the art. The campuses include multiple black box theatres and performance centers that are known to house professional musical and theatre groups from China and around the world.
2.  Chinese language programs are integrated into the curriculum ensuring that students have a working-knowledge of the local language.
Cons:
1. Getting a spot at SAS is rather difficult and usually there is a wait list to get in at the Puxi campus.
Website: www.saschina.org
Tuition fees: $19,983-$31,798 USD/year
Curriculum: Advanced Placement courses (AP), American high school diploma, and IB Program.

Concordia International School
     Concordia International School provides a college-prep American-based curriculum. The learning environment is based on a Christian context. Located in Pudong, Concordia boasts several newer buildings and facilities that are of a high-caliber.
Pros:
1. Concordia is known to have an active parent community with many avenues for parents to get involved in the school community.
2. Smaller class-sizes foster a close-knit environment and help to individualize learning.

Cons:
Concordia emphasizes an English speaking environment, which could make it difficult for students who struggle with English; ESL programs are not offered.
Website: www.ciss.com.cn
Tuition fees: $12,700-$21,300 USD/year
Curriculum: Advanced Placement courses and American high school diploma.

Shanghai Community International School
     With four campuses scattered around Puxi and Pudong, the Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) enrolls around 600 students per campus, which as indicated by the school’s name really makes each campus a tight community!  With over 60 nationalities represented in the student body, SCIS follows an American-based curriculum, while at the same time promoting a very strong international environment by exposing students to educational features from other countries. SCIS has a reputation for having one of the top athletic programs in Shanghai; SCIS’ basketball, volleyball, and football team have long winning streaks! SCIS also provides a large range of after school activities for students ranging from Model UN to choir groups. SCIS was voted by Shanghai Cityweekend as one of the top schools that build character in their students!
Pros:
1. SCIS is recognized for having excellent Early Childhood Education Programs
2. SCIS strives to be a responsible institution by implementing efforts to foster a “green” campus and by actively engaging in community service projects.
Cons:
Tuition costs for upper-year students are among the most expensive in Shanghai.
Website: www.scischina.org
Tuition fees: $13,888-$33,497
Curriculum: Advanced Placement courses (AP), American high school diploma, and IB program.

SMIC
     SMIC is a unique international school that was founded by the Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and is essentially a bilingual school with an English division and a Chinese division for students. In the English division, SMIC follows an American educational track and incorporates elements of Chinese educational philosophy in order to give students a unique educational perspective. SMIC’s vision is to create a community of global citizens.
Pros:
1. SMIC has one of the lowest tuition fees among international schools in Shanghai, making SMIC an affordable option for parents who want to expose their children to high-quality education.
2. Small class sizes and tight-knit faculty fosters an increased sense of school spirit.
Cons:
Compared to other international schools, SMIC has limited activities and electives for students to choose from.
Website: www.smic-school.cn
Tuition fees: $ 12,000-$14,440 USD/year
Curriculum: Advanced Placement courses (AP).

Livingston American School
     Livingston American School was established in 2001 as part of a former U.S. congressman’s mission to establish schools with American traditions in five cities around the world. As one of the newer international schools in Shanghai, Livingston American School’s enrollment is expanding every year. Livingston American School also offers a unique bilingual Korean and Japanese preschool option.
Pros:
1. Offers a comprehensive ESL program for non-native speakers
2. As a new school, students benefit from small-class sizes and receive more individual attention from instructors.
Cons:
While Livingston’s student body comes from all over the world, the majority of students attending are from a Korean background, making Livingston not as diverse as other international schools in Shanghai.
Website: www.laschina.org
Tuition fees: $11,823-$26,255 USD/year
Curriculum: Advanced Placement courses (AP).

British Curriculum

British International School Shanghai (BISS)
     The British International School Shanghai is one of the most prestigious international schools in the city. With two campuses, one in Puxi and the other in Pudong, BISS aims to keep ratios within 25% for any nationality, giving the school a very international feel.  The sports, arts, and technology facilities are all first-rate, which allow students to participate in a wide-array of extracurricular programs. Graduates from BISS often matriculate to top universities in the western world.
Pros:
1. BISS is considered to be one of the most accommodating schools for children with special needs.
2.  BISS has a unique Dutch program where students can take one hour of  Dutch per day!
Cons:
BISS’s campus in Pudong is quite far and could be a hassle to reach for parents with children at other campuses.
Website: www.bisshanghai.com
Tuition fees: $9,307-$17,513 USD/year
Curriculum: National curriculum of England, A-levels and IB program.

 Dulwich College
     Dulwich College is an international school that is associated with Dulwich College in London. The Pudong campus boasts around 1,350 students from over 40 different nationalities.  The campus is nested in large open green space, which is a pleasant contrast to the urban feel of the city. Dulwich is known to be a very academic-oriented; students are encouraged to strive for high levels of academic achievement. In addition, Dulwich has high-quality facilities and offers extensive extracurricular programs in both athletics and arts.
Pros:
1. The school’s location is quite central, making it convenient for many families.
2. Staff and teachers are quite accommodating and are known to exhibit a high level of professionalism.
Cons:
Dulwich offers a limited selection of secondary foreign languages from students to choose from (French, German, and Chinese).
Website: www.dulwichcollege.cn
Tuition fees: $12,192-$40,978 USD/year
Curriculum: National curriculum of England and IB program

 Shanghai Rego International School
     The Shanghai Rego International School is located in Puxi and follows a British curriculum but also offers SAT testing for students. With the majority of students being non-native English speakers, Shanghai Rego International School provides extensive language programs in tangent with the school’s English-language structure. Students are given the option of participating in sports, arts, drama, and language activities outside of the classroom.
Pros:
1. Only British-curriculum based school in Shanghai that offers SAT testing to students.
2. Offers a specialized language program that promotes the usage of students’ mother tongue, in tangent with taking classes in English. Languages included are: Dutch, German, French, Spanish, and Chinese.
Cons:
In 2012, there was a scandal with Shanghai Rego International school’s teachers having illegal or no visas, which almost caused the school to shut down.
Website: www.srisego.com
Tuition fees:  $18,258-$29,832 USD/year
Curriculum: National Curriculum of England up to A-levels, IB Program, and IGCSE.

Yew Chung International School of Shanghai
     Yew Chung International School is a bilingual school (English and Mandarin) with headquarters based in Hong Kong. The Pudong campus follows a British educational tradition, and also focuses on student’s achievement of competency in both English and Chinese.  The school offers a great deal of sports and arts programs and also offers academic enrichment opportunities.
Pros:
1. Yew Chung International School of Shanghai is recognized as one of the best international schools in integrating Chinese language into the school’s curriculum.
2. The location of Yew Chung International School of Shanghai is relatively convenient.
Cons:
1. The school offers a limited amount of sports programs compared to other international schools in Shanghai.
Website: www.ycef.com
Tuition fees: $11,902-$42,878 USD/year
Curriculum: National curriculum of England

Non-English International Schools

Eurocampus
     The Eurocampus is located in Qingpu district and is composed of both the German and French school of Shanghai. Both schools have students from varying nationalities; however students must be proficient in either French or German in order to attend the schools. Both schools have extensive extracurricular programs and impressive arts and sports facilities. Both schools also offer students the opportunities to take academic and language courses in English and Chinese.

Deutsche Schule (Eurocampus)
Website
: www.ds-shanghai,de
Tuition fees: $10,449-$19,294 USD/year
Curriculum: Based on the Ringen curriculum.

Lycee Francais de Shanghai
Website:
www.lyceeshanghai.com
Tuition fees: $7,515-$19,546 USD/year
Curriculum: French Baccalaureate

Shanghai Japanese School
     The Shanghai Japanese School provides a Japanese-based education, with the language of instruction being Japanese. The School predominantly caters to Japanese expats, with a few students from other Asian countries that are proficient in the Japanese language.
Website: www.srx2.net.cn
Tuition fees: 80,000 yen/month
Curriculum: Based on Japan’s national education system.

Shanghai Korean School
     The Shanghai Korean School caters to the children of Korean expats in Shanghai and teaches based on the Korean education system. Students must be proficient in the Korean language, in order to attend this school.
Website: www.skoschool.com
Tuition: Inquire at School
Curriculum: Korean National Curriculum

For a complete directory of schools you can visit http://www.shfamily.com/articles/2012/06/01/essential-school-guide-shanghai/

Information regarding the different types of curriculums offered, and the difference between Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate is described in-depth here http://www.shfamily.com/articles/2012/06/01/international-education-shanghai/
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    For a list of some of the concerns with International schools in Shanghai and problems that students face can be found here

Adrienne Farrelly

www.shanghaiprops.com

Filed under International schools review; international colleges; high school for international student; international school services; british internat



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Cheap flight tickets Shanghai

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Shanghai by night 

      Airline ticket prices differ substantially day to day from airline to airline. Actually the right way to get cheap international or domestic tickets in China is to check online through accessible websites like CTRIP, travelchinaguide.com, tripadvisor.com or flychina.com and just follow the guidelines. These websites are appropriate to foreigners for their accessibility in English version. By comparing ticket prices from these websites you can easily find the cheapest tickets for your flight’s date. You can also search directly on airlines websites where you can get cheaper airfare or discount but for this you need to know the cheapest airlines operating in China which can still be found in CTRIP, travelchinaguide.com, tripadvisor.com or research engines. In addition, Chinese version of the above websites (CTRIP) and Chinese websites like Qunar.com; jipiao.kuxun.cn also offer more interesting cheap airfares especially for domestic flights. For foreigners already reading Chinese there is no problem but for the rest, you need to get help from friends or travel agents. As a friend and professional in the matter, I can also help you going through this for a rapid and better result. As another advice for getting cheap flight tickets, you need to do your research and book in advance, if possible generally within 3 to 4 weeks for domestic flights and 4 to 8 weeks for international ones before the date. However, one of the best tips to get a cheap flight ticket is to refer to travel agencies which will provide you with the best choices for cheaper domestic and international flights. They already have a database of cheapest airlines and since they are daily working with them, they know more about the discount conditions and period. They can also advice you for the best housing according to your stay.

     If you are moving to Shanghai and looking for housing, contact Adrienne Farrelly at Shanghai Properties (Manager@shanghaiprops.com). She is Shanghai’s most trusted and experienced expat property agent. 

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Pudong international airport by night 

Filed under Cheap international flight; Cheap airline flights; china flight fare; discount fights; Where can I find cheap flight tickets



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Shanghai Properties tricks to lower rentals

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   Shanghai is the most cosmopolitan and expensive place in China and finding a modern apartment at a cheaper price is not an easy task due to the huge demand as well as from Chinese as from foreigners. However, foreigners and particularly the new arrivals are generally more charged by landlords. Hereinafter are some advises that our well-known real estate agency, Shanghai Properties, has assembled for foreigners looking for an apartment or property in Shanghai.

Tricks to lower rentals:

Research the current rental market: find out the average price for apartment rents in the neighborhood and city where you are looking to rent.

 Do previous research in the neighborhood. Go in prepared with numbers to back up your proposition. Know what rents other landlords in your neighborhood charge for comparable units.

Find out how long the apartment you want has been on the market. If it has not been rented after 1 to 2 months of availability, the landlord will be worried about losing money and might be more willing to negotiate your rent. 

Be prepared mentally to bargain or Ask for help from friends and co-workers who are good at it (knowledge of Chinese language is an asset).

Demonstrate flexibility. If the rent is $1,000 and you offer to pay $800, be willing to meet somewhere in the middle. Ask for other considerations if there is no room for negotiation on the amount of rent. As example of considerations, ask that utilities be included, see if you can pay a lower security deposit, find out if you can get free cable, local phone service, a gym membership or extra parking.

Demonstrate that you are a responsible person with good qualities like steady job and good credit; bring references, pay stubs, bank balances and credit reports when you meet with the landlord. Encourage him or her to conduct a background check, credit check and employment verification.

Remember you have options, and do not be afraid to mention them. Let the landlord knows you are considering other places with lower rents at the neighborhood; you might have an extra bargaining chip.

Talk to your landlord about paying in advance

Offer to sign a longer lease in exchange for a lower rent.

Shang-low: Height is prestige in China, so opt for a lower floor and pay less rent

Do Without a Fapio if possible: A fapio is an official receipt which the landlord should give you in return for the rent.  If your company is paying, you will require one. If you are paying then you can offer to do without one, which means the landlord can avoid paying tax on the rental earnings—a savings they may pass on to you (But as a matter of security you should at least require an unofficial one as evidence of the transaction).

Don’t insist too much to negotiate the security deposit. In my experience, when landlords charge a security deposit (often a month’s rent or more), this is something they won’t budge on.

   However, in other to avoid you all this stress of looking for a good house in Shanghai, I highly recommend you the service of a recognized agency. Shanghai properties is the experienced real estate agency in Shanghai which can help you find the home covering your needs not only at a lower price but at a cheaper one. 

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Filed under rentals by owner; property to let; Shanghai rental guide; how to renegotiate lower rent; tenant background/credit check



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Serviced Apartment Scams in Shanghai

    Summertime always brings new arrivals to our shores. Whilst looking for long term apartments many stay in short term serviced apartments.  As there is a shortage of serviced apartment in the Shanghai housing sector, unfortunately unscrupulous people take advantage of new arrivals and we have some pretty serious serviced apartment scams going on around town.

    To ensure you don’t get scammed, I have written some advice for you. Also, we strongly recommend you use the service of a trusted agent like our agency Shanghai Properties to keep you safe and comfortable.  If you need some help finding short term or long term housing please mail me, Adrienne Farrelly at manager@shanghaiprops.com for a quote.

 Serviced Apartments in Shanghai

    A serviced apartment is a type of furnished apartment available for short-term or long-term stays while living in Shanghai. They Serviced Apartments in Shanghai provide amenities for daily use such as kitchen, gas, bathroom, living room, and bedrooms.  When traveling, people need to feel at home, be able to prepare their own meals rather than relying on the hotel restaurant. They need space to relax or work in a living room with family members or friends. At the same time, they liked the hotel benefits like cleaning and security services.

Living room in a Shanghai serviced apartment

 Bedroom 

Kitchen 

    Serviced Apartments are nowadays fully present in Shanghai and are always located in a single or number of blocks with the Serviced Apartment name on the building and a concierge in the lobby. However, when looking for serviced apartment online, foreigners need to be very careful about serviced apartment scams. They do frequently happen to foreigners looking for rent in Shanghai.

    Scams generally happen in shanghai with the high demand for short term housing.  You can find yourself signing a contract and giving money to a person whom you believe to be the landlord and one day you are asked to leave the house by the real landlord or do another payment for the same house. You can also being asked by a landlord to first transfer the money to his account then he will FedEx (send by fast post) the keys of the apartment to you. That kind of procedure, you are highly recommended not to do it if you have never seen the apartment or the house. If you are not in Shanghai, you can ask a friend or another agent to verify the legitimacy of the rental. Another major concern is the return of the security deposit that often does not appear after check out and as most guests are leaving the city or country it is difficult to follow up on this. These scammers realize the vulnerability of short term foreigners and are prepared to exploit this for their gain.

In order to avoid scam, the best thing is not just rush to the first opportunity you have, first take your time to make thorough inquiries on it or look for a well-known real estate agency with a valid website (not just an email) and a recognized address where you can find them at any time.

Shanghai-Large

                         

Filed under apartment scam; shanghai housing; living in shanghai; furnished apartment; studio apartment for rent