Before You Arrive

This page provides important information and links for first-year students who will start their fall semester at NYU Shanghai. Please read the following information carefully. If you have any questions, please contact

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Step 1: Activating Your NYU Email

The summer before you arrive at NYU Shanghai, you will receive important information, tasks, and deadlines via your NYU email. Please activate your NYU email with the following guidance and check your email from time to time.

  1. Activate your NYU email and avoid missing important information and deadlines.

    NYU Start NYU Start

  2. Access your NYU Email and Google Apps for NYU.

    NYU Home NYU Home

    • Watch the videos to learn how to use NYU Calendar, Drive and Gmail.
    • Set up NYU Shanghai VPN (*Note: NYU Shanghai VPN will be available in late July.)
  3. NYU’s DUO Multi-Factor Authentication protocol is a mandatory information security measure that protects your NYU email and other NYU affiliated accounts. After setting up your account, you will be able to access your NYU Email and Google Apps for NYU through NYU Home.

    DUO Multi-Factor Authentication DUO Multi-Factor Authentication

  4. IT Services

    If you have any questions related to the VPN, DUO or overall technological concerns feel free to reach out to the NYU Shanghai IT Help Desk via

Step 2: Applying for a Student Visa (International Students)

All international students must have a valid China student visa to study in China. The Student Mobility Team will issue you an official invitation letter confirming that you are enrolled at NYU Shanghai after you complete the Visa Survey. This is one of the crucial pieces of documentation you will need for getting your visa. The Visa Survey will be included in the first summer newsletter in mid May. Any delay in filling out the survey may negatively impact whether you will be able to study at NYU Shanghai. Check the Visa Page to learn more about getting a Student Visa to China. If you have any questions, please contact


Step 3: Check Your Summer Newsletters

Timeline for Summer Communication:

Step 4: Semester Housing

Apply for Housing Before Coming:

Housing Application Housing Application


Step 5: Online Orientation (log-in required)

Brightspace Online Orientation Module Brightspace Online Orientation Module

Step 6: Get Prepared for The Cashless Society in China

China is a pioneer in cashless transactions, propelled by Alibaba's Alipay and Tencent's WeChat Pay. ApplePay does not work well here.

To get prepared for the cashless society, the first step is to bring an unlocked phone that is compatible with physical SIM cards. ESIM is not popular in China as of today. The access will be very limited.

Although not all vendors accept cash here, bringing enough cash to service the first 3 weeks of your life in Shanghai is still highly recommended because the local bank account application takes time to process.

We highly recommend you to get familiar with the payment services in China by reading the Guide-to-Payment-Services-in-China before you come. YouTube is also a good channel to learn about most up to date payment services.