Teen Life: By Students For Students

As part of Explorations 2018, a new team of student journalists gathered together for two weeks with one focus: to explore teen life in Shanghai. Discover Asia's most exciting city through the eyes of Concordia students!

Welcome to Shanghai


Welcome to Shanghai! Congratulations on moving to one of the world’s most dynamic cities. Dubbed the Paris of the East, Shanghai has a heart that can only be discovered by living here. This section of Teen Life offers our best overview of some entertainment options you may want to enjoy during your time here. Whether you will be staying for one week, one year, or forever, there are endless activities to enjoy in this amazing city.

Parks and Resorts

Are you wanting to break the monotonous chains of doing the same boring thing? Are you ready to inject some excitement back into your life? Feel like you need a bit of thrill to start the beginning of the year? Don’t worry! Shanghai is not the peaceful quiet lake resort you imagine a typical Chinese city to be. There’s so much more to it! Shanghai is one of the most multinational cities in Asia! Come and get your psych on!

Click here to learn more!


Have you already decided that Chinese food is going to be “incomparable” to the food back in your home country? You might be right - but not in the way you think. Shanghai offers some of the most culturally exotic foods from all over Asia and the world! And it's delicious! Better yet, because Shanghai is such a multinational city, you can get almost anything one could want in Shanghai. Yes, even comfort foods like Taco Bell and Dairy Queen.

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Bubble Tea

Milk tea/bubble tea is a popular drink among teens in Shanghai, especially with students at Concordia. A mix of tea and a drop of milk, this iconic drink of Shanghai is appreciated by many. Not only are these delicious drinks highly addictive, but affordable prices make this sinful addiction easy to support.

Click here to find out the milk teashops located near Concordia:

Museums, Concerts, and Theaters

Are you a science nerd? Are you someone who loves drama, mystery, and humor in life? Do you consider yourself a music connoisseur? In Shanghai, you will discover that this city is full of intellectual and cultural ideas, combining the best from both the West and the East. In fact, theaters, museums, and concerts will constantly keep you on your feet and exploring this dynamic city.

Click here to learn more of what the culturally rich city of Shanghai offers!


Is this your first time in Shanghai? If it is, you shouldn’t miss out on these interesting places to visit. Even those of us who are not new still enjoy visiting these places with both families and friends .

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The futuristic stylish Lujiazui is a popular spot for international students. It sits on the bank of the Huangpu River, and is home to many internationally renowned destinations like the Shanghai Tower and Pearl Tower. It also encompasses a lot of malls, including SuperBrand and IFC.

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Puxi is the older district of Shanghai, and is much more compact than Pudong. There are no skyscrapers on this side of Shanghai, but there are lots of historic buildings from Shanghai's Concessional era. Most locations here are about 30 minutes by car and 40 minutes by subway from school.

Click here to learn more about the historical side of Shanghai.

Entertainment Ideas for Teens in Shanghai


Moving to a place can be a traumatizing experience for many due to the large quantity of unknowns which exist. This experience can be especially unsettling for teens moving to a new part of the world. Will I be able to make friends? Are my future classmates friendly? Will I be able to fit in? Relationships play a major part in one’s life, but especially for teens moving to a new school, in a new country.

This section of Teen Life is dedicated to answering some of these agonizing questions, and help students make the transition into the Concordia community. Please read on to learn more!

Ultimate Fear

As a newcomer, there are indeed major consequences that one is forced to encounter; this includes adjusting to a new school system, catching up with the latest trends, and just fitting in. Most students would admit, that even the simplest worries, such as sitting alone at lunch, or finding classmates to talk to in class, are probably one of the most stressful concerns in the life of a high schooler. So what is the fundamental fear that is hidden behind the mask of new students? Click here to learn more!

Relationships: Teacher and Student

Students often feel intimidated to reach out and talk to their teachers. Some students tend to feel nervous about confronting an adult about their concerns. But in reality teachers are not that scary! Whether the origin of stress is academic or relational, reaching out to a teacher could prevent unnecessary continuation of negative feelings. Click here to find out more about the benefits of maintaining a good relationship with teachers.

Relationships and Mental Health

One of the most critical aspects of a teenager’s life is their social connections within their community. For newer students especially, it may be a common practice to isolate themselves as a result. Unfortunately, this practice of seclusion, can negatively affect one’s state of mental health and lead to severe symptoms of loneliness and depression. Click here to further understand of the importance of establishing relationships with the people around you!

Family Relationships

Family may be the most supportive element for teenagers navigating their way through a new environment. Family acts as an anchor during worrisome times. A situation can seem to take an abrupt turn for the worse, however, when students begin to isolate themselves and prioritize their friends over family. Thus, teens should be reminded of all that their parents and siblings have gone through with them and the support only families can provide. Click here to continue reading on to discover the value behind family relationships and effective communication!

Ask a Counselor

It is one thing for students to send newcomers advice about relationships within the Concordia community, it is another to receive guidance from a professional counselor who has experienced numerous encounters of students facing social issues in school. A high school counselor in Concordia talks about her perspective on relationships that she has heard from multiple teenagers and discusses about the Ambassador program dedicated to new students.

Click here to continue reading more!

Ask a Classmate

Newcomers tend to feel a little anxious about how the school environment at Concordia will turn out. In an effort to alleviate some of these concerns, we have reached out to numerous high schoolers to get their thoughts on frequently asked questions new students have.

Click here to learn more!

Bridging Old and New Relationships

Academic Life

A deep investigation into the needs and wants of international students at Concordia reveals that the majority of our student body identifies academic concerns as among their top priorities. For this reason, we have compiled a wide array of qualitative and quantitative information from both Concordia students and counselors. Topics of exploration range from grades to courses offered plus a look ahead to prospective universities and careers current Concordia students are interested in pursuing.

We hope that the information gathered from the myriad of surveys and interviews we have conducted, will provide valuable insight into the academic life of Concordia students.


Recent survey data affirms that a majority of our high school student body highly values high academic achievement. There is also an acknowledgement of additional perceived pressures from parents, educators and fellow peers to perform at a high level. As a result, this perception can, at times, create stress and anxiety for some students. Fortunately, their exists a supportive community at Concordia that is here to help.

Click here to learn more!


Many teenagers at Concordia, for better or worse, focus on grades, especially during their high school years. Concordia students tend to set high standards, challenging themselves and continually strive to improve, as the perception of success is maintaining a 4.0 GPA throughout their academic careers. This inevitably results in heightened stress and anxiety for some. This section is a compilation of advice to assist the self-aware student as he or she flourishes in all aspects of student life.

Click here to learn more!


Selecting courses in high school for some students is another stress factor -- especially for those who have no clue on which career or major they wish to pursue in the future. Concordia high school students have many choices which enable them to pursue their passions through wise course selections. Choosing from a wide variety of courses allows students the opportunity to receive a well-rounded education, and to develop into strong leaders. Click here to learn more about our high school courses, and recommendations from our academic counselors.


Thinking about the future, specifically colleges and careers, can be scary for high school students who are still unsure of what they want to pursue. Thankfully, Concordia provides resources and opportunities for students to find their passion and pursue it even before they graduate. Each student is assigned to one counselor who can guide them through their entire four-year education plan. Setting an appointment with your counselor is easy: just send them an email or contact Polly Zheng, our college counseling coordinator.

Click here to learn more.

Unlocking Your Potential

Teenage Identity

Maybe you're sitting around with some friends at lunchtime when your table begins to mock one of your classmates. "She's so lame," your friend sneers, sitting across from you. Everyone at the table nervously laughs and maybe even agrees, and you feel a pang of guilt - that classmate is one of your friends. But you don't want to embarrass yourself, so you just play along and laugh, feeling ashamed that you didn't stand up for your classmate.

You have just experienced what most teens go through at some point in their life. Everyone talks about peer pressure, but just how bad is it? As teenagers, we are all trying to find our identity, yet peer pressure forces us to conform to social norms and pressures. Fortunately, you don’t have to twist yourself into a human pretzel to fit in with everyone else.

In this section, we want to help new and existing Concordia students navigate these social pressures inside and outside of school, while staying true to themselves.

Your Shanghai Life

Co-Curricular Activities

Even though Concordia’s high school community comprises of an extremely diverse group of students, there is one common denominator amongst all this diversity: after school activities. Many of our students choose to spend their time outside of formal school participating in clubs-related athletics, the performing and visual arts, forensics, MUN and even cooking. At Concordia, almost all students have a chance to explore their passions and abilities through the many co-curriculars our school offers.

To learn more about how school-related activities affect teen life, click here!

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is a common phenomenon amongst teens, including students at Concordia. For both new and returning students, the thought of trying to fit in can be daunting. According to a survey we conducted of Concordia high school students, 95% said that they had experienced peer pressure at some point in their life. But you don’t have to lose your individuality to fit in! This article will help you navigate the reality of peer pressure while staying true to yourself.

Click here to learn more!


“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom,” according to Aristotle.

Every teen wants to discover their own secret identity. As they’re growing up and facing serious choices, every teenager is in an intense struggle to find out who they are and how they fit into the world. However, this can be hard in the high school environment as this is when students begin to become more self-conscious about their self-image. However, we think the thoughts of others should not define who you are and become!

If you want to know more about discover yourself, click here!

From ideas to research to publication, Teen Life was created by students to sincerely assist fellow students as they transition to Concordia International School Shanghai.

The Teen Life team is Danbi, Ethan, Alice, Anita, Jenny, Hayley, Hannah, Rinka, Grace, Isabella, Kristie, Evelyn, Desiree, Ashley, Clarisse, and Corey. Staff advisors are Mr Lavender and Mr Sgourdos.