Returning to Campus: What to Expect

Whether you're a first-year or returning student, the customs and procedures of entering China and going back to campus have changed a lot due to the current circumstances. Are you ready to return? Here’s what to expect!

Whether you’re a first-year or returning student, the customs and procedures of entering China and going back to campus have changed a lot due to the current circumstances. Are you ready to return? Here’s what to expect!

Following the good news from NYU Shanghai’s Vice-Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman regarding the return of international students, comes the preparation and logistics of returning to campus.

For incoming first-years, the New Students Programs Committee is in charge of trying to help ensure a smooth transition into campus life, both inside the classroom and in the city of Shanghai.

According to the New Student Programs Coordinator, Li Li (李莉), during an interview on October 28th, students will be sent an email with arrival guides and instructions to help you prepare for your departure.

Students are asked to share their arrival date with the university for the arrival orientation arrangements, housing assignments, and campus access. 

Students will be assigned an arrival ambassador as an assigned contact person – for first-year students: a volunteer Orientation Ambassador (OA), for returning students: a staff from the Student Life Office. There will be three separate orientations to help with your departure and integrate you into campus life: 

  1. Pre-departure orientation, in the form of Q&As which will be attached in the email sent by the New Student Programs Office. The sign-up information will only be sent to first-year students, but returning students are welcomed to RSVP as well. Students can ask any remaining questions after reading the arrival instructions given.

For first-year students only:

  1. Quarantine orientation, conducted during your quarantine, introducing you to the city of Shanghai, campus resources, as well as health and safety policies for returning to campus.
  2. In-person orientation, which will be done after quarantine to help you get accustomed to campus life, focusing on introducing community standards.

On your arrival day, here’s a rundown of what to expect (arrangements may vary for different airports):

Once you land, you will have to wait in line for a COVID-19 swab test, and you will be allocated to a random, government-appointed hotel for a 14 days quarantine. The allocation of hotels may vary according to the airport’s current arrangements, and all hotel & meal fees are paid by the student. Afterward, you will be grouped according to your assigned hotel and transported there in a government-provided bus. 

All 14 days of quarantine must be completed in your assigned hotel, and daily meals will be provided from the hotel. Students are expected to send their assigned quarantine hotel name, address, and quarantine completion date to Student Life ( within 48 hours after settling down in their quarantine hotels. Exceptions can be made only for people with Chinese residency, where half of the quarantine time can be completed at your place of residence. 

Two to three days before completing their quarantine, students will receive an email reminding them to complete a Health Declaration form. After the quarantine period has been completed, students will have their resident assistant (RA) help them move into their accommodations, where students will continue an additional 7 days quarantine imposed by the university. The New Student Programs committee is planning to have different activities for once you arrive that should help students meet new peers and adjust to campus life. 

Information regarding housing applications and/or other housing information should be sent through e-mail by the residence office soon, make sure to keep a lookout for it!

If you have any further questions, you can contact NYU Shanghai’s Student Life Office ( or NYU Shanghai’s New Student Programs Office for new students ( and NYU Shanghai’s Residence Team for housing inquiries (

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This article was written by Gwyneth Isman. Please send an email to or contact via Instagram @gwenn.n to get in touch.

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