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

I was born in Beijing, China. I spent my childhood there, and moved to the States with my parents at the age of elementary school.

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

My parents moved here to Cleveland. I chose CASE specifically because it has a good academic reputation and a friendly atmosphere.

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

I was a little scared. My English was not well, and I was confused a lot by the surroundings back then. It changed after my English got better. I was then able to understand the cultural aspects better. My parents were busy, and I had some trouble at school back then because I didn’t understand their “cultural attitude”; I am trying to get used to it nowadays.

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

The first big challenge I faced was the food at school. The cuisine is new, and I am not used to it. But now I am more exploring, and could accept it pretty well. Another challenge was trying to understand the very different set of personal values here compared to China.

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?

My family still shop at China Town. We cook Chinese food at home. And we go to the annual Asian festival in Cleveland.

Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees?

Because it adds different views, and introduces diversity into the society. By welcoming immigrants and refugees into our community, people can get a view on how others’ values are and respect their lifestyles.

Why is it important to travel abroad?

Because it allows people to see the differences between people and allows people to learn about new cultures. It makes them open-minded and more understanding.