People who have never been to China do not realise how incredibly cheap it is. With the exception of accommodation and flights to China, once you are here then you can live quite easily on a small budget. By small, I mean about £200 a month, for a student though. I am living on campus so my dorms are extremely cheap, they go down to £4 a day, that's about £84 a month, which is the equivalent to what I roughly pay a week for university accommodation in England!
Of course, you have the typical high-end shops such as Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Mulberry, which are all the same prices as they are anywhere else. However, people, who don't want to spend that much money in those shops, will just go to the markets where they tend to sell all fake stuff. Apart from a few differences between the fake and real, why does it really matter that it's fake? It still looks the same right? I think people just like the fact that they can afford to buy one Prada bag in their life and show it off to everyone. Don't get me wrong, I would love a real Prada bag one day, but I'm quite happy getting a few fakes ones (which are actually still quite expensive) for now.
Food in this county is crazy cheap. It is cheaper than what you buy for a piece of chocolate in England...no joke! Averaged to about £1.50 for a meal; I'm not talking about a sandwich with a few crisps on the side, I mean a proper dinner meal. However, this is the local food, Western food, on the other hand, is pricey which is expected. I occasionally have Western food when I'm missing it but try to vary my cuisines.
For lunch in between classes I tend to go to the canteen on campus which provides both Chinese and western food which is ideal if you're not feeling the Chinese food.
Back home, I live about half an hour away from the city of Bath. On a night out, my friends and I will usually book a taxi for the way back. Guess how much it would cost for all of us?!...On average, about £80/£90. A taxi in China, from the airport to our university which was about an hour and a half drive, costed us £15..£15!! I think I'm just going to live in China for the rest of my life.
The metro is also super cheap. You can get from one side of Shanghai to the other for £4. And you thought the London Underground was cheap.
I have just bought a bike too which will come in handy to get around campus quicker. For only £25, including a lock and basket, it is my new pride and joy. Although it can be scary at times (because there are so many people walking, cycling, and on mopeds so brakes are essential), I do not regret buying it!
I think I chose a good city to live in for this year to be honest. This also means my travelling plans are affordable yaaay!