“New York may be the city that never sleeps but Shanghai doesn’t even sit down…” – Patricia Marx
Characterised by a neon skyline that delicately touches the clouds, Shanghai is a city that conjures notions of tradition, glamour, excess, mystery and promise.
Long gone are the days of Shanghai as a quaint Chinese fishing village, with its gradual but definite development earning it county status in 1291. Now, the Huangpu River divides the streets of old and new, with the ancient town encompassing treasures like the bustling Bund Promenade and Yuyuan Gardens, while the visionary Pudong New Area reflects the progress of the digital age.
“From the architectural landmarks lining the Bund and the rickety charm of the Old Town to the leafy backstreets of the former French Concession, Shanghai is a city that just begs for wandering,” Kate Morgan writes for Lonely Planet.
“And eating. I love that you slurp a bowl of hand-pulled noodles or bite into soupy xiǎolóngbāo dumplings for next to nothing, then splurge on cocktails and fusion fare while gazing out from a rooftop bar on the Bund, over the Huangpu River to Pudong’s space-age night scene,” she adds. “Shanghai’s rollercoaster backstory is as decadent as it is debauched, but these days there is a palpable energy and confidence that the city is on the rise…again.”
The Earth Observatory notes that for more than forty years, Landsat Satellites have collected pictures of Shanghai, demonstrating the city’s growth between 1984 and 2016. At the beginning of the series, Shanghai’s focal point sat on the west bank of the Huangpu River, but developments have since sprawled out every way, urbanising farmland with the construction of contemporary houses, shopping centres, factories, roads and hotels. An area once recognised as a rural agricultural district now hosts a thriving population of almost five million and is the site of the city’s most iconic business towers, including the world’s second tallest skyscraper – the Shanghai Tower.
“In reality, the city is becoming ever more familiar to ‘westerners’ as recognisable brands fill shopping malls, Mercedes, Audi, Ford and land Rover’s cars fill roads while the world’s tastes are met with a cuisine that caters for all,” notes the Environmental Journal.
“Everywhere you turn you’ll see Nike, Adidas, New Balance, North Face, [..], Hilton, Ramada, Radisson,” it adds. “…It’s hardly surprising that Shanghai is fast becoming a cultural melting pot of the east and west. After all, it is the most populous city…in the world with more than 24 million people. As China’s rapid urbanisation continues the city has become something of a hybrid, culturally and economically.”
This development makes Shanghai an intriguing choice for young students and seasoned professionals, letting them immerse themselves in this vibrant industry and culture.
China’s hospitality industry has received particularly unprecedented growth. A booming economy has bolstered quality of life, fostering a society with a far greater disposable income. According to SmartIntern China, the region’s urban annual household income has swelled from US$320 in 1990 to more than US$4,000 in 2012, significantly enhancing opportunities for travel while promoting Shanghai as a business and hospitality hub.
Shanghai is home to more than 50 five-star hotels and the fact that the most prestigious brands have multiple settlings is highlighting the sheer density of the city’s luxury accommodation market. To capitalise on the region’s booming business of hospitality, it makes sense for young, ambitious students to receive a world-class, industry-focused education within this global hub.
“Since opening our doors in 2004, we have welcomed more than 2000 students from all over the world,” says Dr Sacha Stocklin, Campus Director of Les Roches Jin Jiang Hotel Management College (LRJJ) – ranked among the top Hotel Schools in the world based on a survey of 1800 hospitality recruiters and managers of luxury hotels.
“We take pride in the fact that attending Les Roches Jin Jiang has been a life changing experience for many students which will take them far in their professional career,” Dr Stocklin adds. “In the past 11 years, [LRJJ] has accrued an abundance of success stories of graduates entering the hospitality industry in positions worldwide.”
One of the school’s many assets lies in its location: China’s growing economic influence has heavily impacted the hospitality industry with luxury brands now emphasizing this importance by their hiring practices. Studying in the heart of Asia has become a career accelerator as it presents a multitude of benefits; adaptability and cultural awareness are highly valued soft-skills that improve employability among young professionals.
Falling in line with LRJJ’s prominence and reputation, many of its graduates go on to forge long and successful careers within some of the industry’s most prominent hotel names. The school maintains extensive relationships with key industry leaders in Shanghai and beyond, making the process of securing high-quality internships or even full-time employment far more efficient.
Being located in a global hospitality hub, students at LRJJ can experience the industry first-hand through various international events such as the annual Formula One Race or culinary highlights such as the Masters of Food and Wine by Grand Hyatt.
This hands-on approach is also reflected the school’s diverse curriculum, where academic quarters are sided with practical knowledge in Food & Beverage, enabling students to either pursue a career in Hotel Management or become an entrepreneur with their own Hospitality project.
Of course, the appeal of living in a megacity along with co-students from 25+ nationalities also plays a significant role in LRJJ student life.
On top of all this, LRJJ’s Hospitality Preparatory Program shows careful consideration for the global industries based in English-speaking countries, preparing students to meet the formal language requirements for diploma programs, transfers and of course for their careers.
And with experts forecasting that China’s tourism and hospitality industry will be worth more than US$100 billion in less than a decade, it’s clear the region serves as the premier destination for hospitality-focused study.
In fact, in 2011, China overtook the US to become the world’s primary food and beverage market, upping the demand for restaurants, eateries and hotels to satisfy every global culture. From its exotic cafes, to its luxury resorts, and its high-end corporate venues, Shanghai in particular now represents a haven for foreign brands and business professionals seeking the very best of global hospitality.