Mr. Shen received his early education at the Y. M. C. A. (The Young Men's Christian Association) in Shanghai, China. From 1904 to 1909 he studied at the St. John’s University, graduating there with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He was awarded a medal for best translation in 1908.
While serving in the capacity of Secretary to the Chinese Educational Mission in America Mr. Shen studied international law and diplomacy at George Washington University, graduating from there with the degree of Master of Arts in 1915.
After graduation Mr. T. C. Shen was engaged as an instructor of the Shanghai High School for two years. In the meantime he was the editor of the Commercial Press, Shanghai making commentary notes on Shakespeare’s works. In 1910 he was also Secretary to Dr. Wu Ting-fang.
In 1911 Mr. T. C. Shen accepted the position of secretary to the Bureau of Foreign Affairs, Hangchow (Hangzhou). During the First Revolution Mr. Shen was transferred to the Bureau of Foreign Affairs in Shanghai for a year. He went to the United States in April 1913. From 1913 to 1916 he was Secretary to the Chinese Educational Mission in America. He was a member of the International Law Society in 1914-1916, member of the League to Enforce Peace in 1916, member of the Chinese Legation at Washington, D. C. in 1916.
Mr. Shen returned to China in August 1916. He was for a time a translator in Peking. In 1917 he was engaged as instructor in translation in the Li Hung-chang Memorial in St. John’s University and also as lecturer on International Law, Constitutional Law and Far Eastern Questions in the Department of government. He was a member of the Chinese Political and Social Science Association and of the Twentieth Century Club in 1916. He was also the general secretary of the Western Returned Students Union of Shanghai.