The Chinese currency is the Yuan Renminbi (RMB or ¥), known colloquially as kuai. One yuan is divided into 10 jiao or colloquially "feathers" (mao). One jiao is divided into 10 fen.
Currently, the only currency being produced by the Chinese government comes in paper denominations of ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥20, ¥50 and ¥100 and coins in the amounts of ¥0.1, ¥0.5, and ¥1. However, there are still older paper bills in circulation in the amounts of ¥0.1, ¥0.2, ¥0.5.
The exchange rate is linked to the US dollar and so does not fluctuate much compared to other currencies. As of this publication, 1.0 USD = 6.156 RMB. For current exchange rate information, visit www.oanda.com
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Shanghai is not pricy, especially considering the size of the city. Meals, transportation, and entertainment will all cost much less than what Americans are used to. While credit and debit cards are commonly used in Shanghai, many smaller shops, cafes, and street vendors will only take cash. ATMs are readily available, but be sure to always have a backup option as well.
Additional Estimated Expenses
The ISA program cost includes items such as tuition and fees, housing, insurance, and more. To view what is included in your program price, please visit the "What's Included" section of the ISA Shanghai program page.
The Additional Estimated Expenses sheet in the "Accepted Students" section of the ISA website has the following estimated expenses listed:
It is recommended that students look into purchasing an ISIC card for their studies in Shanghai. The ISIC card is an internationally recognized student ID card that gives students thousands of discounts worldwide from travel to cinema, meals and more. While you will likely have a student ID from your host university abroad, it may not grant you discounts that an ISIC card could. You will likely be able to purchase an ISIC card abroad, but it is most convenient to purchase this card BEFORE you arrive, as it may grant you travel discounts, and you won't have to deal with the hassle of international delivery. To find out how to get an ISIC card, visit www.isic.org. Once there, you can find information on discounts in Shanghai, and what is needed to obtain an ISIC card.