I am an undergraduate university student in the U.S. and this summer I will be participating in a cultural exchange with the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE) in Shanghai. The working language is in English, so in order to strengthen my Chinese, I wanted to live with a host family or Chinese roommates during the two months I will be living in China. Neither my school’s program nor JUCCCE has any established program for homestays. Any suggestions on what program/organization I can contact? Any pengyous out there with leads on families who might be willing to take me in?
I lived in Shanghai for 12 years, so I hope this can help a bit!
I’m not sure of any university programs that offer home-stay (they usually are for high-school), but it’s fairly easy to find a roommate. I would first make sure to download WeChat (微信) if you don’t have it already, as well as QQ messenger. These are the most common forms of communication, so they will be a huge help for this next step:
Check out some websites such as http://enjoyshanghai.com/property/shared/ – this is all roommate listings (wanted or available). You can use WeChat or QQ to talk with a potential roommate first, and find a good match. Many places do not mind short term roommates – you’ll find many people in your situation that only stay for a few months, so it is not uncommon.