About SISU

Introducing SISU

Upholding the motto of “Integrity, Vision and Academic Excellence”, Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) is an internationally recognized, prestigious academic institution distinctive for its multidisciplinary and multicultural nature, committed to preparing innovative professionals and future global leaders for a wide range of international expertise to address the critical challenges of our times.

As China's top-notch university for lingustics, intercultural studies, and global and area studies, SISU is a member of the United Nations MoU network, and the Double First Class and Project 211 Universities identified by China's Ministry of Education.


Our history began in December 1949 with the establishment of the Shanghai Russian School affiliated to East China People’s Revolution University, as one of the earliest institutions where China’s higher education in foreign languages took shape. Its first president, Jiang Chunfang, is a renowned translator of Russian and publisher who pioneered the publication of The Encyclopedia of China.

Throughout its history, SISU has attracted and retained China's distinguished linguists, translators and philosophers with commitment to teaching and academic pursuits, including Professors Roland Fang Chong, Xu Zhongnian, Yan Disheng, Wang Dechun, Zhang Zhenbang, Li Guanyi, Yu Kuangfu and Xie Tianzhen, who have become part of the University’s increased wealth of intellectual resources.



A globalized and top-notch university in China, SISU has successfully developed a diverse and distinctive mix of disciplines crossing humanities, social sciences and natural sciences and in the fields of arts, education, economics, management, law and engineering with language and literature as its pillar.

Having established and maintained a high academic stature among universities of its kind, SISU has been funded to offer 12 national top and 21 national key degree programs, and 6 Shanghai leading disciplines, adding to our existing 3 national key disciplines and a national undergraduate education platform for European languages.

In recent years, SISU’s distinctive strength has been further enhanced with the number of language-related degree programs increasing and the number of doctoral and master’s degree programs significantly growing, resulting in a more balanced educational structure.

Currently, we offer courses in 49 languages, including 37 modern languages (English, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, Persian, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Swedish, Dutch, Hebrew, Ukrainian, Turkish, Hindi, Hungarian, Uzbek, Kazakh, Polish, Czech, Urdu, Malay, Swahili, Javanese, Pashto, Tajik, Romanian, Belarusian, Sundanese and Chinese). We also teach 12 classical and constructed languages, Latin, Ancient Greek, Old English, Sanskrit, Syriac Aramaic, Pahlavi, Classical Nahuatl​, Akkadian, Sumerian, Classical Hebrew, Ottoman Turkish and Esperanto.

The Graduate Institute of Interpretation and Translation (GIIT) of SISU is awarded the highest ranking by AIIC, the International Association of Conference Interpreters, as the only Asian university among the top professional conference interpreting schools in the world and an active member of Conférence Internationale Permanente d'Instituts Universitaires de Traducteurs et Interprètes (CIUTI).



With a mission to “introduce the rest of the world to China” and “present China globally”, SISU has won an unparalleled reputation in linguistics, literary studies, translation studies, intercultural studies and international journalism in Chinese academia, playing an active role in China's diplomatic decision-making. Our research excellence has been further recognized for our progress in political science, by developing a focused research field in global and area studies.

Drawing on our strengths in multi-language programs and multi-disciplinary resources, while responding to national and regional strategies, we operate more than 100 research institutes and centers serving as academic think tanks to provide advisory services on language policiesdiplomatic strategies and global communication. These academic entities have contributed landmark research and are also dedicated to promoting the development of social sciences in China.

Many of our faculty members are professional researchers as well as tutors and lecturers, carrying out scholarly investigation into their specialist subjects and making innovative and meaningful discoveries that feed into teaching and contribute to global knowledge.

SISU currently edits and publishes 18 highly regarded and rigorously peer-reviewed academic journals. Among them, the Journal of Foreign Languages, funded by China’s National Social Science Foundation, is the only one on linguistic studies among China’s “Top 30 University Journals in Social Sciences”.



We have made it a strategic priority in our development planning to go global and actively encourage a global vision by providing unique and valuable experience for students and researchers from all over the world to interact across national, cultural and linguistic borders.

We have now established partnerships with more than 440 universities and institutions from 62 countries and regions, and have maintained close connection with international organizations, including the United Nations and the European Union. SISU is an academic partner of the United Nations Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM), the European Commission's Directorate-Generals for Interpretation and Translation (DG SCIC and DGT) and the UK China Humanities Alliance (UKCHA).

We have also compiled and published a series of Mandarin Chinese textbooks to be used by non-Chinese speakers as a means of further promoting cultural exchange between China and the rest of the world. Over the past five years, around 4,000 international students have been enrolled each year in our Chinese language programs or other degree schemes and 10 Confucius Institutes have been established in Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America.



SISU has two campuses, Hongkou Campus and Songjiang Campus, covering a total area of 74.7 hectares. The two campuses are closely interrelated but distinct with their own features. The SISU Library, one of the three core members of CALIS China Library Consortium of Foreign Studies Universities, has a total collection of 1.17 million cataloged volumes (over half in foreign languages) and 1.45 million electronic documents. SISU's pioneering Museum of World Languages is one of the few language museums in the world and the first in China featuring global lingustic diversity.

SISU houses a range of state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities including world-class simultaneous interpretation systems, satellite signal-receiving devices and linguistic laboratories. A powerful digital audio-visual database containing multimedia resources in foreign studies has been set up to serve the needs of teaching and research. 



Taking advantage of their intercultural expertise and professional knowledge, SISU faculty and students actively volunteer their services at international conferences, sports games and other multilingual events.

We are also committed to advancing China’s foreign language education. Since its inception, Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press (SFLEP), affiliated with SISU, has published more than 1 billion books in more than 40 languages, of which over 70% were reprinted. SFLEP ranked top in the category of language and literature in the Chinese Book Citation Index, indicating our strong influence in Chinese academia.


SISU has launched the “Multilingual+” Initiative, a pioneering educational reform strategy towards global studies to meet with the future “multilingual+” era. “Multilingual” means that our students should at least master two second languages, and owns brilliant intercultural communication abilities. “+” (Plus) refers to interdisciplinary education that “interconnects” different fields of disciplines and subjects with area studies as its core.

We have been dedicated to providing our students with a humanistic and holistic education that enables them to think globally and innovatively and make practical use of their professional knowledge and skills for smooth cross-cultural communication.

Over the past seven decades, our graduates have been contributing to the economic, cultural and social development of China and to the promotion of friendly exchange with people around the world.

(Last Update: June, 2022)

Show more

Introducing SAGGAS

Shanghai Academy of Global Governance & Area Studies (SAGGAS) was established on September 28th, 2018, as a collaborative research platform managed by SISU under the auspice of the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Shanghai Municipal People’s Government. It represents Shanghai’s commitment to the Belt and Road Initiative, its determination to implement the Opinions on Further Opening Up Education in the New Era, and its bold attempt to build a global city with “Five Centers” and “Four Brands”. 

Following the motto of “Globe at Home”, SAGGAS draws on the strengths of 52 MOE-sponsored area study centers in Shanghai-based universities and 30 think tanks under the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, tapping domestic and international intellectual resources, to promote the growth of area studies and global governance as a discipline. A system of mechanisms, including academic management mechanisms, academic production mechanisms and academic support mechanisms, has been put in place and continuously updated to support the development of academic research, course materials, curriculum and expertise of global governance and area studies. 

SAGGAS aims to become a leading think tank specialized in global governance and area studies, a premium center for talent development, a high-end platform for research on international public opinions, and an advanced big data center. Ultimately, SAGGAS will help build a global academic community that will inform government decisions, guarantee economic growth, raise community awareness, and nurture global citizens.