Shanghai campus at night

New York University

Since 2013, thanks to a unique collaboration with East China Normal University, NYU Shanghai students have been gaining a deep, and deeply personal, understanding of global player China. Last May the inaugural class of 300 departed with degrees in any of 18 undergraduate majors (ranging alphabetically from biology to social science), plus a required proficiency in Chinese. Today approximately 1,130 students, roughly half Chinese nationals and half from other countries around the world, are expanding their minds in a 15-story, 550,000-square-foot building on Century Avenue, a wide, tree-lined thoroughfare in the city’s Pudong district. The structure houses classrooms, labs, a library, an auditorium, a theater, and a music and arts hall. While it’s impossible to convey the NYU Shanghai experience without setting foot on campus, the following photo essay gives it the old college try.

Reporting and Photographs by Kate Lord

A lounge on the third floor

A lounge on the third floor, one of many scattered throughout the first eight stories of the building (levels nine through 15 are primarily faculty and administrative offices).

Science lab

A gizmo created in the seventh-floor Science Lab during an electrical engineering course.

Woodblock printing tools

Woodblock printing takes place in the eighth-floor art studio.

Chinese calligraphy session

Entertaining and edifying one-off events regularly take place throughout the Academic Building, such as this Chinese calligraphy session staged outside the library on the fourth floor.

Visual Culture and Social Art Practice: Collaborations and Community Interactions class

As part of the class Visual Culture and Social Art Practice: Collaborations and Community Interactions, students developed and then ran a workshop for local children at the Power Station of Art, a museum for contemporary works housed in a former electricity plant.

Interactive Media Arts (IMA) studio

There’s always magic at play in the eighth-floor Interactive Media Arts studio.

Dorm room

A 13th-floor dorm room in Tower 4 of the Green Center Towers (GCTs), a cluster of residential halls in the Jinqiao neighborhood four miles from campus.

dance class held in a sun-dappled studio

Students channel their inner Martha Graham during a contemporary dance class held in a sun-dappled studio on the eighth floor.

movie night

Movie nights, aka FilmFridays@Five (complete with popcorn), take place in the 300-seat auditorium, which spans the second and third floors.

2F Café

Located on the second floor, the aptly named 2F Café is a place to snack, socialize, and study.

Making noodles

Noodles being hand-pulled at the halal food station in the B1 cafeteria (lower level).

Coco bubble tea and juice shop

The chain of Coco bubble tea and juice joints is a student go-to.

Rental bikes

Cycling using bikes from either Ofo (yellow rims) or Mobike (orange) is a popular way to get to class.

Foosball match

Foosball (and pool and ping-pong) matches go down in a B1 game lounge, next door to the Student Fitness Center.

Lean Cafe & Bar

The popular Lean Cafe & Bar is on the same block as the GCTs (the drinking age in China is 18).


Students living in the GCTs can take the 6 (aka magenta) line of the Metro to get to campus.

The women’s soccer team

The women’s soccer team placed second in the 2017 Shanghai Intercollegiate League championship.