Where are you from?

I’m from China; and have been living in Canada for the past 3 years.

What was it like growing up?

I was brought up in a city in the northeast part of China, where winter gets very cold, but summer stays relatively cool. I lived with my grandparents for a few years, before returning to my parents’ for primary school. As a child, I read a lot of picture books, did lots of hiking, and also studied very hard. Food was always a nice part of my memory, I still miss the local snacks from my hometown.

Why did you #ChooseCLE (what brought you to Cleveland)?

I moved here with my husband. He got a good job opportunity, so we decided to move here together.

What were your first thoughts about coming to America? Did those change?

The first place I visited was Detroit. It’s got some nice museums, and I had great fun visiting the Detroit Institution of Arts. However, the economy did not seem to be recovering so well from the previous strikes. Compared to that first impression, Cleveland’s got more vitality. I like how it’s more alive in a variety of ways. There’s certainly more functioning businesses, more cultural/historical sites, and more immigrants.

What challenges did you face as an immigrant transitioning here?

I was lucky enough to be living in Canada for a while, so language is not really a barrier for me, like it might be for many other new immigrants. However, the United States is still different from Canada, traffic rules for example. Some challenges I face are filing all the paperwork properly, trying to find a job in this country, and getting used to the environment and weather.

What is your occupation?

New employee with Global Cleveland (Yeah!)

How have other Clevelanders made you feel welcomed?

When I first moved here, I got lost a lot on the buses. Whenever I told the drivers that I’m new to Cleveland, they have always been very understanding and helpful. They would explain to me where to get off, and which bus to catch, and also say welcome to me. That was nice.

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?

I mostly cook Chinese food at home, and my husband loves it.

What do you love about Cleveland?

It’s got good vibes. This is a city that packs in many cultures, which makes it feel more alive.

Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees?

Because they come to the country with goodwill and they all hope for a better future. When they have this in mind, they bring in all kinds of assets to the society (culturally and financially etc).

What suggestions do you have to make Cleveland a more welcoming community?

Hold more events like the recent Asian Festival. Give different communities a chance to express their voice.