Shanghai is fun---I've been there a couple of times but never had time to photograph with much seriousness. It's quite a cosmopolitan city, with a much more "modernised" feel than other Chinese cities in my experience. (More consistent restaurants, too, which is a big deal---I've had some of the best meals of my life in China, but also a few of the worst!) I suppose being there for a semester will give you a good chance to make local contacts and find out about the little back corners that visitors don't easily discover.
I get the sense that it's a city that has everything. For example, when I was there I was trying to find a specific museum exhibit, and ended up learning---by exhaustive search---that Shanghai has *three* distinct insect museums! Really, a city that can provide multiple options for your bug-viewing pleasure must have just about everything covered, wouldn't you think? :-)