“Few cities in the world evoke so much history, excess, glamour, mystique and exotic promise in name alone.” - Lonely Planet 

“Shanghai is the cool, confident face of modern China, and its energy is infectious. Go to the Bund to watch ships on the river and marvel at the huge variety of architectural styles on display, or watch the crowds go by in People’s Square. . . At night, explore all manner of fashionable restaurants, bars and nightclubs or just stroll through the city enjoying the spectacular neon lights.” - Tripadvisor

Shanghai is one of the most vibrant and dynamic cities in the world. With a population of over 24 million, it is also one of the largest. Known as the financial center of China, Shanghai boasts a number of super tall skyscrapers, including the Shanghai Tower, the second tallest building in the world. Architecturally it offers contemporary designs by ZHA, Morphosis, Thomas Heatherwick Studio, Foster + Partners, David Chipperfield Architects, Archi-Union, SOM, Gensler, KPF, UNStudio and OMA, together with a host of historic buildings, especially on the Bund and in the French Concession area. 

Tongji University owes its origin to Tongji German Medical School, founded in 1907 by Erich Paulun, a German doctor practicing in Shanghai. In 1912 Tongji German Medical School incorporated Engineering into its curriculum and was renamed, Tongji Medical and Engineering School. Tongji was formally established as a university in 1923, and renamed Tongji National University in 1927.

Despite vacating Shanghai during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-45), Tongji gradually grew in status and began to acquire other departments, although its strength still lay in Engineering. 

In 1978 Tongji University renewed its connections with Germany, and developed cultural, technological and scientific exchange programs with what was then the German Democratic Republic. After a series of mergers, Tongji University consolidated its status as one of the leading universities in China with programs in the sciences, engineering, arts, medicine, law, economics and management, and in 2007 celebrated its 100th anniversary.


The history of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning can be traced back to the Department of Architecture established in 1952. In 1986 it was renamed as the College of Architecture and Urban Planning [CAUP], and is now formed of 3 departments, Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscape Studies. It now runs 4 undergraduate programs, 5 postgraduate programs and 5 doctoral programs.  

CAUP currently includes 1098 undergraduate students, and 1344 postgraduate students (including PhD students) giving it the largest body of postgraduate students in the world. It is also a highly diverse and international in terms of its student numbers, with 242 international students from over 80 different countries. It also shares dual degree programs with many other institutions worldwide, including Georgia Tech (USA), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), TU Berlin (Germany), Bauhaus University Weimar (Germany) and TU Wien (Austria).  

The Department of Architecture is currently ranked number 18 in the world, and number 2 in China, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018. It has a particularly strong reputation for digital fabrication and computational design, and is involved in a number of international research projects, collaborating with other world leading institutes, such as the Institute for Computational Design and Construction [ICD] Stuttgart, Germany.


Students are personally responsible for securing and paying for their own accommodation. The Jinjiang Inn (1251 Siping Rd) offers an affordable option located adjacent to the university, but in general the former French Concession is the most popular area for international visitors in terms of restaurants, shops and bars.


Shanghai is served by two international airports, Shanghai Pudong and Shanghai Hongqiao airports. Taxis are a relatively inexpensive form of transportation in Shanghai, and taxis are readily available at both airports. Students are advised to only use official taxis. Please note that most taxi drivers have a poor understanding of English. It is advisable to have addresses written in Chinese to show the driver. From Shanghai Pudong airport, the Maglev train provides a high-tech and rapid alternative to a taxi, although the line does not extend to the center of Shanghai, and passengers are required to complete their journey by taxi. Tongji University is also served by Line 10 of the Shanghai Metro, an even cheaper alternative to taxis.


Students are advised to obtain a Chinese SIM card on arrival in China. Please note that access to Google, YouTube, FaceBook and several other site is not possible in China without a VPN.

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