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Syracuse Scholar: Shuyuan Chen ’15
International students often face a unique set of challenges when they embark on their collegiate career in the United States. But one international student, Shuyuan Chen ’15, of Yangzhou, China, is using her experience to help others like her thrive at Syracuse University and at other schools and colleges around the United States. A dual major in economics and religion in the College of Arts and Sciences, Chen is one of the founders of Intercontinental Scholars (ICS), an international education company with the goal of helping international students bridge the cultural gap as they plan for college in the United States.
Q: What inspired you to establish Intercontinental Scholars?
A: I realized that lacking the language and cultural background are only symptoms of the struggles that international students face; the true reason many students have difficulties is that they do not have an awareness of the cultural gap before they come to this country.
Q: What has ICS done so far?
A: We have performed research, visited schools, held experimental summer camps and collected survey data. We have finished our first curriculum and are now working on our marketing strategy.
Q: What other ideas are you working on to help in bridging the cultural gap that international students experience?
A: I plan to work with Marlene Blumin, a professor in the School of Education, to co-author a book for Chinese high school students to prepare them for college in the United States. It will be based on Professor Blumin’s book “It’s All About Choices” (Kendall-Hunt, 2008).
Q: What has your academic experience been like at Syracuse?
A: I really appreciate the diverse opportunities. My professors are extremely helpful in both academic and career planning and I’ve been able to pursue two distinct majors that interest me. Almost every person who learns my major combination for the first time asks why I made this decision, but almost all of the internship and job offers I have received so far, even those in banking or international business, were interested by both my economics courses and my religion courses.
by Laura Bulman