Did you grow up outside of the US? If so, what was it like growing up in your native country?

I was born in Shenyang, China. It is an old industry city that has developed very fast in the past years. I studied in the college there, worked in the college there; I’ve lived in that city for 38 years before I moved to the US. Shenyang has a long history full of culture diversity, especially all the historical sites including the palaces built by the emperors from Qing dynasty. It also has a good number of well-known universities, countless shopping centers, and a very rich food culture.

How did you decide to attend a university outside of your native country?

I finished my master’s degree in computer engineering, and am right now completing my PHD at CSU. US has many higher education institutions with great reputation, so I accepted the offer.

What were your first thoughts about coming to The United States? Did those change?

There are not many people, but lots of grass and trees around. It is very peaceful. The universities here have rich resources, complete and advanced facilities, all very nice. I met a lot of nice people when I first arrived here. They helped me overcome the difficulties I encountered as a newcomer, and helped me adapt to the culture. There hasn’t been much changes regarding my thoughts about the US nowadays. I still think that all the advantages I saw are real. The only change I would say is that I now know more about the US culture, and I enjoy the life here even more.

Did you face any challenges transitioning to the U.S., or to Cleveland?

The biggest challenge I once faced was the language. Although I have learnt some basic English back in China while attending college, my listening and speaking were far from good. I still remember that the I made a joke when the driving coach told me to make a “U-turn”, and I replied with “Why is it my turn?”.

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?

We still cook Chinese food at home, and we celebrate the major traditional Chinese holidays such as the spring festival, moon festival, dragon boat festival etc.

Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees?

Because when people move to a totally different environment, they usually face great changes from all life aspects; all people will more or less encounter a variety of difficulties. Thus, it is crucial that they can receive warm welcome and the assistance they will need when they come to the new country. It will have a huge influence on their current life, as well as their future development.

Why is it important to travel abroad?

Because every country and culture has their own advances, especially America. Traveling is important, because people can broaden their views; and this is of great importance to the whole world’s future development.